Sunday, October 9, 2011









TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 8: LUKE 11: 27-28

VATICAN CHANNEL REPORT: Promoting inter-religious dialogue, continuing and intensifying (RADIO VATICANA IMAGE)

work toward the common good under the guidance and inspiration of the Gospel: these were some of the tasks to which Pope

Benedict XVI encouraged the bishops of Indonesia on Friday in remarks to them at the end of

their ad limina visits. Noting the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom in Indonesia as well

as the great religious diversity present in Indonesian culture and society, the Holy Father urged

the bishops, "to ensure that those whom [they] shepherd know that they, as Christians, are to be

agents of peace, perseverance and charity," adding, "the Church is called to follow her Divine

Master, who unites all things in himself, and to witness to that peace which only he can give.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: The Syrian Christian community has achieved, after many years, permission to build its own place of worship from the Government and the President. In Istanbul there are about 17 thousand Syrians, who mostly fled coming from the south east of the country in the mid 80s.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Syrian Christian community in Turkey has received approval for the construction of its first church in turkish territory. The building should be built in the district of Yesilkoy, Istanbul, and should meet the needs of a community of about 17 thousand Syrians living in the metropolis. After years of discussion and caveats, the approval came from the Turkish Prime Minister and President. The leader of the Syriac community, Kenan Altınışık said that work will begin as soon as the location has been chosen.

"Half of our community live in the neighborhood of Yeşilköy, or the surrounding area. We rent churches for Sunday celebrations, but we can begin to celebrate only at 11.30, while, according to our tradition, the ceremony should end by 10.30 am, "says Kenan Altınışık.

The land for the construction of the church will be assigned to the ancient Christian community by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, construction costs will be covered by the Syrians. A City Hall official said that they are already looking for a suitable land available for building the new church. The building will be built in a style with clear traces of the ancient Syriac culture. Contacts are ongoing between the community and officials to find a location that is satisfactory. In addition to the church a community center will also be built, the title given to the new place of worship will be "Church of Mother Mary ". The Syrians come mainly from the southeast of the country. Many of them migrated to Istanbul and abroad in the mid-80s, because of political instability in the region at the time.


- A low-budget film on the crucial role of fathers debuted as the number one new movie during its opening weekend in theaters across the U.S.

“There is an opportunity for fathers to step up in our culture and take more of a spiritual role and to affirm and love their kids and to prepare them for what should be a Godly legacy among families,” Alex Kendrick, actor and director for “Courageous,” told CNA on Oct. 6

“We see too many men accepting a 'good enough' mentality when their role is crucial to helping each child realize that God loves them.”

“Courageous,” has now ranked as the number four movie in the country, despite opening against six other movies with almost three times as many screens. The film opened on Sept. 30 to over 1,100 theaters across the U.S.

Kendrick, who works with the Sherwood Pictures production company that also produced the 2008 hit “Fireproof,” explained that the film follows the lives of four police officers who grapple with their identity as men, fathers and societal leaders.

“We saw a correlation with the motto of law enforcement, 'to serve and protect,' with that of fathers and many ways he serves the family as spiritual leader protector to provide for them,” Kendrick said.

“When a father is engaged and loving his children the way he should it's easier for them to believe that God loves them,” he added, “if they're not engaged, it's more difficult for them to believe that God loves them.”

“The father's role is crucial in that regard and we wanted to remind men of that and in a larger context, remind parents of their role to love and nurture their children.”

On what served as the inspiration for the film, Kendrick said that between movies, the company goes through what they call a “season of prayer” to discern what their next step should be.

“We've learned that the more we seek God, the more we seek his favor, the more he tends to direct and bless us.”

The group then “delved into the Scriptures and asked 'what does God say about fatherhood?' and then pulled those elements out and formed our plot around that.”

Kendrick said that the movie is unique in that it was made in Albany, Ga. “(Y)ou can't get any further outside Hollywood,” he laughed, adding that the actors were also selected based on their embodiment of the film's message.

“We look for people who resonate with the story, the purpose behind the movie,” he said. “When the movie's over they don't look at it as a 'gig' or as just a job but they expect it to change culture and glorify God.”

“Those are the kind of people we look for and we're happy to have found them. Who you see on screen in real life all believe what this movie is about and are speaking for it.”

Kendrick observed that the success of the film can be traced to the hunger many Americans have to see basic virtues portrayed in movies – a rarity in today's cinematic culture.

“I think they respect the values presented on screen,” he said. “For many, they want these values in their own life.”

“It's really going after that part of us that wants that higher calling, that wants that more noble life and noble standard and a life that honors God.”

With a modest budget of less than $2 million, and a cast of “no-name” actors, Sherwood Pictures has been thrilled with the unexpected response to the movie.

“We take joy in doing something that requires faith and gives God the opportunity to do only what he can do,” Kendrick said. “We make the movies but God changes the heart.”

He added that the personal feedback the company has gotten from moviegoers has been astounding.

“We're hearing so many testimonies from people all over the U.S. and Canada—hundreds and hundreds of emails and Facebook notes and things like that, even phone calls” from people relaying how touched they were by the film.

“It's been very, very exciting to see the response to this movie.”


Homeless charity saves tax payers £5 million | Anchor House,homeless residents, Canning Town, Newham

Patron Jeremy Paxman on recent visit
A small homeless charity in East London has been found to have saved society and tax payers more than £5 million a year by helping to turn around the lives of its homeless residents. A report undertaken by experts at Oxford Economics found that Anchor House, residential and life-skills centre in Canning Town, Newham, provides £3.98 in benefits to society for every £1 invested in its operations.

Anchor House director, Keith Fernett, says the charity decided to put itself under the microscope in the lead up to its 17 October £9.3 million appeal launch to prove to its supporters how much of a difference they are indeed making. "We are in the business of turning lives around and as a result of our work there are huge cost savings to society," Mr Fernett said.

"Because of our grass-roots support we saved society up to £3.2 million from lower crime, £388,000 through increased employment and £225,000 by hosting Alcoholics Anonymous."

The report also found that Anchor House saved the NHS £22,000 in hospital admissions, £14,000 in hospital outpatient treatments, £10,000 in acute mental health services and £5,000 in A&E treatment.

The award winning and nationally acclaimed charity accommodates up to 180 single homeless people each year, and addresses the root causes of homelessness through training, education, volunteering and personal rehabilitation.

Monsignor John Armitage, the charity’s chairman and Vicar General of Brentwood Diocese, says despite Anchor House being a small charity with limited resources and operating in one of England’s most deprived boroughs, the results achieved are "astounding".

"Last year 58 of our residents moved on to independent living, 32 were in employment and we trained more than 1,249 locals within the community," Monsignor John said. "We are foot soldiers of the Big Society initiative and this report proves that.

"Anchor House is a charity worthy of investment, not only because it succeeds and makes a difference, but because it is focused on helping society’s most marginalised and vulnerable who are often over looked."

Andrew Logan from Oxford Economic says social return on investment (SROI) is a popular metric used to quantify the positive impacts charities and other types of institutions generate per £1 invested, however there is still very few charities taking advantage of it.

"To calculate the SROI a charity needs to monetarise the economic, social and environmental outcomes that its efforts produce over the time of investment and then divide it by the costs," Mr Logan said.

"This isn’t an easy task and can be off-putting for charities with limited time and resources.

"But in comparison to other SROI studies of homeless projects which have been conducted in the UK, Anchor House was found to provide an exceptional high return to society."

To download a copy of the report or make a donation visit

Anchor House is a project addressing the root causes of homelessness: deprivation; drug addiction; mental illness; unemployment; lack of skills/education and crime. Canning Town, in the London Borough of Newham, is the third most deprived borough in England and Wales.


CISA REPORT: CONAKRY, October 4, 2011 (CISA) -On the occasion of the celebrations for the 53rd anniversary of national independence, the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, invitation the opposition to dialogue. This was after violent clashes on September 27 between the police and participants in an unauthorized demonstration.

“To the political parties and their militants I renew the offer to dialogue. No obstacle is insurmountable, no divergence can resist our common commitment to respect freedom and law”, said the Head of State in a radio speech.

The clashes resulted in the deaths of two people and injury to 40 others. About 300 people were arrested in connection to the protests. The demonstration was organized by the opposition to protest on the modalities of convening the parliamentary elections on December 29.

Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly, Archbishop of Conakry and Co-President of the National Commission for Reconciliation (NCR), has appealed to the government and the opposition to dialogue “without conditions, in the name of God and on behalf of our Guinean brothers and sisters,” he said this on September 28, during the day of prayer organized in 60 different places in the Country, by the government and the NCR.

Archbishop Coulibaly also said that the NCR is at God’s and the people’s service, and urged people “to remember all the victims of Guinea in your prayers every day, so that God opens the doors of Paradise to them”.

The Archbishop of Conakry emphasized that “Guineans should live together in unity: God has endowed our Country with wealth and it is in harmony that we can enjoy it”.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
7 Oct 2011

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will officially open Australia's first pilgrim centre in Rome, Domus Australia.

The opening will take place on Wednesday 19 October with many invited guests travelling from Australia for the special event.

Pope Benedict XVI will enter the beautifully restored St Peter Chanel Chapel where he will be escorted to the new altar by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, for the welcome and papal blessing.

Guests will include Australia's first resident Ambassador to the Holy See, Tim Fischer as well as Cardinals and Senior Clergy

of the Vatican, the Australian Bishops attending the Ad Limina in Rome, Australian Clergy and Religious living, working or studying in Rome
Australian seminarians in Rome as well as the Italian contractors who helped bring the project to completion and many of the supporters and sponsors who have supported the establishment of the pilgrim centre.

The St Mary's Cathedral Choir is also travelling to Rome to sing at the opening as well as other events during the week.

Nearly three years ago, a group of Australian Dioceses, led by the Archdiocese of Sydney and supported by each of the Australian Archdioceses finalised the process of buying the student house of the Marist Fathers located at Via Cernaia 14/B Rome, to establish a new pilgrim centre for visitors to Rome.

Continuing the long Church tradition of providing accommodation for pilgrims to holy places, Domus Australia is much more than just a place to visit or rest. It is a true religious and cultural centre for pilgrims.

As well as offering very comfortable accommodation for pilgrims, it provides a true Catholic pilgrimage experience, with daily Mass in English and an information centre providing the opportunity for visitors to Rome to learn more about the history of the Church and the many places of religious significance they can see.

"Domus Australia will provide Australians with a unique pilgrimage experience and further strengthen the links between the Church in Australia and the Church in Rome," Cardinal Pell said.

"It will be a real away from home for travelling Australians.

"However we are extremely honoured by the Holy Father's acceptance of our invitation to join us for the official opening and bless Domus Australia."

Pilgrims have already been staying at Domus for several weeks with the occupancy rate already running at above 80% . An investment which has to generate its own income that is financially good news.

A short walk from Stazione Termini (Rome's main railway station), Domus Australia has 32 rooms accommodating around 70 people. Each room as its own ensuite, air-conditioning, television, internet facilities and much more.

There is a lounge room and a very popular roof-top barbeque and bar area for relaxing after a day of discovery in the Eternal City.

Apart from the Chapel, underneath is a conference area for around 150 people.

A dining room for guests opens onto a courtyard and caters for around 80 people.

The official opening will take place at 5.30 in the afternoon, Rome time. It will be streamed live on the Archdiocese of Sydney's social network and although in Sydney this will be in the early hours of the morning, the stream will be made available on demand later in the day.

Telstra is supporting the event by sponsoring the live webcast. More news and stories on the build-up to the official opening next week will also feature on and the Archdiocese of Sydney websites.



St. Pelagia
Feast: October 8
Feast Day:
October 8

She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.
Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 8: LUKE 11: 27-28

Luke 11: 27 - 28
27As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!"
28But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
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