BENEDICT XVI INAUGURATES THE NEW "DOMUSAUSTRALIA"
VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2011 (VIS REPORT) - Yesterday afternoon the Pope travelled across Rome to inaugurate the "Domus Australia", a welcome centre for Australian pilgrims in the city. In his remarks he recalled the warm welcome he had received when he visited Australia for World Youth Day in 2008, and made mention of last year's canonisation of the first Australian saint, Mary MacKillop. (IMAGE RADIO VATICANA)
"Our earthly lives", the Holy Father said, "are spent journeying towards that ultimate goal, where 'no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him'. Here on earth, the Church's long tradition of pilgrimage to holy places serves to remind us that we are heavenward bound, it refocuses our minds on the call to holiness, it draws us ever closer to the Lord and strengthens us with spiritual food for the journey.
"Many generations of pilgrims", he added, "have made their way to Rome from all over the Christian world, in order to venerate the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and thereby to deepen their communion in the one Church of Christ, founded on the Apostles. In so doing, they strengthen the roots of their faith; and roots, as we know, are the source of life-giving sustenance. In that sense, pilgrims toRome should always feel at home here, and the 'Domus Australia' will play an important part in creating a home for Australian pilgrims in the city of the Apostles. Yet roots are only a part of the story. According to a saying attributed to a great poet from my own country, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, there are two things that children should receive from their parents: roots and wings. From our holy Mother, the Church, we too receive both roots and wings: the faith of the Apostles, handed down from generation to generation, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, conveyed above all through the Sacraments of the Church".
Thus, the Holy Father concluded, "Pilgrims to this city return to their homelands renewed and strengthened in their faith, and borne aloft by the Holy Spirit in the journey onward and upward to their heavenly home".
VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The positive results of World Youth Day (WYD) 2008, celebrated in Sydney, Australia, and the recollection of the first country's saint, Mary MacKillop, were the central themes of remarks made this morning by Benedict XVI to prelates of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.
The Pope mentioned the increased number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life in Australiain the wake of WYD 2008. This is proof, he said, of "the youthful vitality of the Church to which we all belong and the perennial relevance of the Good News which must be proclaimed afresh to every generation".
"St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop's "courageous response to the difficulties she faced throughout her life can also inspire today's Catholics as they confront the new evangelisation and serious challenges to the spread of the Gospel in society as a whole".
"It is true that yours is a pastoral burden which has been made heavier by the past sins and mistakes of others, most regrettably including some clergy and religious; but the task now falls to you to continue to repair the errors of the past with honesty and openness, in order to build, with humility and resolve, a better future for all concerned. I therefore encourage you to continue to be pastors of souls who, along with your clergy, are always prepared to go one step further in love and truth for the sake of the consciences of the flock entrusted to you, seeking to preserve them in holiness, to teach them humbly and to lead them irreproachably in the ways of the Catholic faith".
"You are conscious of your special duty to care for the celebration of the liturgy", Pope Benedict told the prelates in conclusion. "The new translation of the Roman Missal, which is the fruit of a remarkable cooperation of the Holy See, the bishops and experts from all over the world, is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by His people. Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation. As we know, the sacred liturgy and its forms are written deeply in the heart of every Catholic. Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone".
VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the feast of Deepavali. The message, which also bears the signature of Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary of the pontifical council, is entitled: "Christians and Hindus: together in Promoting Religious Freedom". Deepvali celebrates the victory of truth over falsehood, of light over darkness, of life over death, of good over evil. The celebrations, which being this year on 26 October, last three days and mark the beginning of a new year, a time for family reconciliation, especially among brothers and sisters, and adoration of the divine.
Religious freedom, the text reads, currently takes "centre stage in many places, calling our attention to those members of our human family exposed to bias, prejudice, hate propaganda, discrimination and persecution on the basis of religious affiliation. Religious freedom is the answer to religiously motivated conflicts in many parts of the world. Amid the violence triggered by these conflicts, many desperately yearn for peaceful coexistence and integral human development".
The Message continues: "Religious freedom is numbered among the fundamental human rights rooted in the dignity of the human person. When it is jeopardised or denied, all other human rights are endangered. Religious freedom necessarily includes immunity from coercion by any individual, group, community or institution. Though the exercise of this right entails the freedom of every person to profess, practise and propagate his or her religion or belief, in public or in private, alone or in a community, it also involves a serious obligation on the part of civil authorities, individuals and groups to respect the freedom of others. Moreover, it includes the freedom to change one's own religion".
VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences eight prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, on their 'ad limina' visit:
- Archbishop Barry James Hickey of Perth, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Donald George Sproxton.
- Bishop Gerard Joseph Holohan of Bunbury.
- Bishop Justin Joseph Bianchini of Geraldton.
- Bishop Luc Julian Matthys of Armidale.
- Bishop Michael Joseph McKenna of Bathurst.
- Bishop David Louis Walker of Broken Bay.
- Bishop Geoffrey Hilton Jarrett of Lismore.
A priest is evangelizing in remote mountainous areas with few churches by offering pastoral care to people in their homes.
“To evangelize effectively, priests have to reach out to people and offer them what they need,” Father Michael Nguyen Tien Quang, pastor of Mong Son parish in Luc Yen district of Yen Bai province, said.
On October 18, Fr Quang traveled 50 km by motorbike along hilly roads to visit Catholics in Sao village. There he baptized four adults, heard confessions from those who had not had the opportunity to go to confession for years, held rites for patients and celebrated Mass attended by 50 people in a local family’s home.
Noting there is only one church in the district, the 38-year-old priest said he has to reach out to local Catholics, offering religious rites and teaching catechism in their houses.
He said he also sends nuns and seminarians to work in local Catholic communities for one or two weeks a year.
Sister Trinh, who has just finished a week’s work in Sao village with 15 Catholic families, said she taught them how to make the sign of the cross, recite the rosary, confess and sing hymns, and offered catechism to catechumens. Local people there have had no priest in years.
The Lovers of the Holy Cross nun said local people offered her accommodation and food. “They were very happy to receive me in their homes,” she added.
Joseph Bui Van Dung, a villager, said Fr Quang has celebrated Mass at his house three times.
Dung, 41, said he moved to the area in 1985, married a non-Catholic and did not practice his faith until last year, when Fr Quang visited his family and blessed their marriage and baptized their two children.
He said local people have to notify the local government when Fr Quang or nuns visit them.
Fr Quang, who started serving the parish in 2006, said over the past five years around 100 marriages have been blessed, some 100 adults baptized, and hundreds who had stopped practicing their faith for years returned to the Church. He also offers scholarships to students from poor families.
He and local Catholics have also bought a 1,000-meter-square plot of land and plan to build a church in the future.
Fr Quang was ordained a priest in 2005 and serves some 5,000 Catholics among a total population of around 100,000.
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois ran the Kansas City Marathon on Saturday to help raise money and awareness for pro-life work.
He finished the 26.2-mile marathon with a time of 4:08:39, placing 531st out of 1,330 finishers.
The race went “very well,” he told CNA Oct. 19. “It’s a little bit hilly out in Kansas City. It was a nice sunny day, and the weather was good.”
The bishop took part in the event with the LIFE Runners team, a national effort which brought together 170 runners from 20 states to run either the half-marathon or the full marathon.
“This is the first time that I’ve run with the LIFE Runners, that was definitely significant,” Bishop Paprocki said. “It was really very inspiring.”
He and other runners wore T-shirts with slogans to promote respect for life, such as “Remember the Unborn.”
Others at the race responded positively to the slogans, Bishop Paprocki said. There were no negative reactions.
The bishop has run 17 other marathons. He began running in high school because of concern over his family’s history of heart disease.
His Saturday run helped raise $12,500 for a Chicago legal clinic and $3,700 for respect life ministries. His donations will support youth scholarships to the January March for Life in Washington, D.C., multimedia educational resources for diocesan youth in schools and parishes, and internet publicity about post-abortion assistance and healing.
Soliciting donations for a marathon inspires people to be more generous compared to when someone simply asks for money, he noted.
“People see you make an effort.”
The LIFE Runners as a whole raised $35,000 for the Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Alpha Center pregnancy help bus, which travels across South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota to offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and information about abortion and alternatives. Their contributions also helped the Kansas City Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic help bus.
CATH NEWS REPORT: Screenshot from The Catholic Weekly
The Sisters of St Joseph celebrated the first anniversary of the canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, with congregational leader Sr Anne Derwin saying it was "somehow important to just reconnect with this time last year and the joy it brought to so many people", reports the Catholic Weekly.
"When we were deciding who to ask, we felt we couldn't go past (sculptor Judith Rolevink), as a woman and as a woman of South Australia," Sr Anne said.
A bronze statue of the saint was unveiled in front of the chapel at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney.
"Judith approaches her work from a very reflective and meditative point of view, and so entered into the heart and mind of Mary MacKillop in this work.
"She asked lots of questions, she deepened her knowledge, and she has given us a beautiful image of Mary."
Sisters of St Joseph travelled to Sydney from overseas to join locally-based Sisters, other religious, and guests for the anniversary Mass.
The congregation applauded and murmured their appreciation as the statue of Mary at the age of 42, the age she arrived in North Sydney, was revealed to the public for the first time.
"She was still in the prime of life and mission, and you can see that by her stepping forward," Sr Anne said.
Mary MacKillop Place director, Sr Brigette Sipa, said the statue is a fitting tribute to Mary.
"We wanted to do something special for the one year anniversary of Mary's canonisation in Rome and the unveiling of a beautiful new stature is a fitting way to mark the occasion." eir financial support of this project.
Tripoli (AsiaNews) – Libyan rebels have taken Sirte and killed Muammar Gaddafi. Mahmud Jibril, prime minister in the Transitional National Council (TNC), and Abdelhakim Belhadj, NTC military chief, have confirmed the death of Libya's former strongman.
According to Libyan media, he was hiding in a hole in the ground and pleaded with the rebels not to shoot him. Until a few hours ago, the only evidence of his death was photo showing the Libyan leader lying in a pool of blood. Ahmed Ibrahim, Education minister in the old regime, and Mutassim Gaddafi, son and advisor to the fallen Libyan leader, were also arrested.
Hours before the official announcement was made, soldiers and civilians who had heard the news celebrated shooting in the air, lighting firecrackers, honking their horns and dancing in the streets of Libyan cities. “People are shooting in the air to celebrate Sirte’s capture and Gaddafi’s possible death,” said Tiziana Gamannossi, an Italian businesswoman living in Tripoli, who spoke to AsiaNews. “At the moment, the transitional government has not yet confirmed the news.”
Gaddafi’s last battle was quite bloody, she noted. “Tripoli hospitals are full of wounded coming in from Sirte, Sebha and Bani Walid, where nothing is working.”
“The Red Cross and Doctors without Borders are unable to cope with the volume. Money coming from the old regime is not enough to buy medicines. The only health care centres in operation are in the capital and they need everything, from drugs to gauze to dress the wounds.” (S.C.)
Feast: October 20
A nun of Portugal who is especially revered in Santarem. She is considered by scholars to be identical to Irene (f.d. April 5), despite the considerable differences in years between the accounts of their lives.
|Luke 12: 49 - 53|
|49||"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!|
|50||I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!|
|51||Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division;|
|52||for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three;|
|53||they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."|