Wednesday, November 9, 2011




TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 8: LUKE 17: 7 - 10



VATICAN CITY, 8 NOV 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - An international conference entitled "Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture" is due to being tomorrow in the Vatican, lasting until 11 November. The event, which has been organised by the U.S. Stem for Life Foundation and by the Pontifical Council for Culture, has the aim of supporting research and increasing public awareness of treatment using adult stem cells. The conference will be attended by 350 scientists, religious figures, politicians, educators and industry representatives.(IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

Today's press conference was presented by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Fr. Tomasz Trafny, head of the Council's science department; Tommy G. Thompson, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Robin Smith, president of the Stem for Life Foundation and chief executive of NeoStem, the company which backs the Foundation.

Primary stem cells are of two kinds: embryonic and adult. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or to become another type of cell with a more specialised function, such as a muscle cell or brain cell. Sources of adult stem cells have been found in the bone marrow, the blood and the liver. This offers the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat many diseases. Dr. Smith explained how the use of adult stem cells avoids "the ethical dilemma posed by the use of embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cell research and therapy allows us to advance scientific knowledge while protecting every stage of existence".

In the world today, 12.7 million people suffer from cancer, 346 million from diabetes and 583 million from autoimmune diseases. New therapy using adult stem cells can give them hope of improvement and cure. Such treatment has been used successfully in cases of multiple sclerosis and leukaemia, and "in the not too distant future we will be able to use adult stem cells to rebuild damaged tissue and repair organs such as the heart", Dr. Smith said.

Fr. Trafny explained that the conference will seek both to publicise the achievements of medical science, and to reflect upon them from the perspective of the human sciences. "We wish to raise some important and sometimes provocative questions", he said, "such as whether the Hippocratic oath should be extended to all the life sciences, because today it is not only doctors but also laboratory scientists who have power to intervene in all phases of human life".

In closing, Fr. Trafny expressed his thanks for the support of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

CON-CU/ VIS 20111108 (450)


VATICAN CITY, 8 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Neuquen,Argentina, presented byBishop Marcelo Melani S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Virginio Bressanelli S.C.I.

- Appointed Bishop Edmundo Ponciano Valenzuela Mellid S.D.B., apostolic vicar of Chaco Paraguayo, Paraguay, as coadjutor archbishop of Asuncion (area 2,582, population 1,690,000, Catholics 1,531,000, priests 220, permanent deacons 64, religious 864), Paraguay.

- Appointed Fr. Anselm Umoren M.S.P., superior general of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Abuja (area 8,000, population 2,889,000, Catholics 519,632, priests 108, religious 330), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Ukana Nto, Nigeria in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1988. He studied in Ireland where he obtained his Masters and has worked as a missionary in Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Sudan.


Abbotabad: police torture a pregnant Christian woman. Pregnancy at risk
by Jibran Khan
Salma Emmanuel, in the fifth month of pregnancy, has been hospitalized in critical condition. Her husband was accused of a theft committed in the house where the girl worked as a maid. Thieves have stolen as much as 100 grams of gold that was entrusted by Salma to her Muslim employer, for safekeeping until her brother’s wedding.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Accused of a theft she did not commit, the victim of violence and abuse at the hands of the police, 30 year old Christian Salma Emmanuel now risks loosing the child she is carrying. The maid has been hospitalized in a "critical" and her husband Masih Emmanuel, is being held by police at an undisclosed location. The incident has been condemned by the Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Mgr. Rufin Anthony, who denounces the "kidnapping, rape and torture" of the Christian maid, while the authorities continue to proclaim "equal rights".

Last week, Salma bought 100 grams of gold ornaments, ahead of her brother’s wedding in Rawalpindi. Not wanting to keep the valuables at home, she entrusted them to the safekeeping of Ghazal Riaz until the wedding. On November 5, Riaz phoned Salma to say there had been a robbery at her home. The robbers had taken about 900 thousand rupees (just over 10 dollars) and 300 grams of gold, including the jewellery belonging to the Christian maid.

The couple immediately went to the Muslim lady’s home who, meanwhile, had alerted the police, finding a team of police dogs on their arrival. In the home there was also Riaz's brother Jawad and an army colonel. The animals turned on Emmanuel Masih, though it was his first time in the house. Colonel Jawad began to pressure the police to arrest Emmanuel, the agents transferred him to the local station and since then his whereabouts are unknown.

The next day, November 6, his wife was also summoned to the barracks. The agents threatened, physically abused and psychologically tortured her, saying that they would force her to have an abortion and she would never see her husband again. The police, under pressure from the Riaz family, intended to extort a confession of a crime that the Christian couple did not commit. "I was tortured in a brutal fashion - Salma Emmanuel confesses in tears - and when I was close to losing consciousness, I was sent home." Now she has been admitted to a hospital, unaware of the fate of her husband, and in real danger of losing the baby of five months in her womb.

The Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Mgr. Rufin Anthony speaks of "sad fact" because "for the umpteenth time people in power have used their influence to bully the weak and abuse the law." The prelate adds that "nearly taken an innocent life" and now confirms the practice of daily "abductions, rapes and torture" against the religious minority, while the authorities continue to insist on "equal rights".


Catholics Come Home shares the good news of the catholic Christian faith with the whole world

CATHOLIC ONLINE REPORT: "Catholics Come Home" hopes to inspire one million to come home to local Catholic parishes. The bi-lingual Catholics Come Home commercials are scheduled to air on CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, USA, TNT, CNN, FoxNews, and other networks during shows like 60 Minutes, NCIS, Kennedy Center Honors, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Jay Leno, O'Reilly, major sports, and highly rated sitcoms.

ATLANTA, GA (Catholic Online) - I am a re-vert to the Catholic Church. I returned to the faith of my childhood after a search for truth as a young man. That search led me home to the fullness of truth which subsists within the Church into which I was baptized as a child.

As the years have passed my love for the Lord continues to grow. My greatest joy in life is to help others find Him and the fullness of His life lived within the Catholic Church. Over these years I have come to understand my own vocation as living in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world.

I am an evangelizer at heart. My service as a Deacon has been deeply involved in the New Evangelization.

Perhaps because I am a re-vert, I have often had the joy of sharing the Catholic faith with many "former" or "fallen away" Catholics. Helping them find their way home is one of my greatest joys. I have also had the joy of helping Christians from other communities come into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

I am certainly not alone in experiencing the joy of participating in the New Evangelization. One of its greatest advocates is a very gifted man named Tom Peterson.

I met Tom several years ago at a Catholic Leadership Conference. I had seen my first "Catholics Come Home" commercial months earlier and became immediately convinced that the work of this non-profit media apostolate was going to become one of the most important resources for the New Evangelization in my lifetime.

Anyone reading this article who has not yet seen a "Catholics Come Home" commercial should go to their outstanding interactive web site . Watch these beautifully produced commercials! Read about this fruitful New Evangelization Apostolate. Be encouraged in your own faith and find the courage to give it away to others. Learn to feel good again about being a Catholic Christian.

I recently received some very good news from Tom Peterson about the newest effort being undertaken by "Catholics Come Home" to share the good news of the Christian life as found in its fullness within the Catholic Church. Tom, who refers to himself as an "advertising guy...simple and not a scholar," has built "Catholics Come Home" into an evangelization effort which is unmatched in the Catholic Church today.

Like the little boy with the loaves and the fish in the Gospel account of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish (John 6), Tom Peterson has offered what he had and the miracle continues through the hands of Jesus Christ. This "advertising guy" is utilizing the best quality offered by the integrated media of our age to reach real people with the real hope they need in an age that has lost its soul.

"Catholics Come Home" has cooperated with thirty Dioceses and Archdioceses, the most recent of which is my childhood home of Boston, Massachusetts. It is led by Franciscan Archbishop, Sean Cardinal O'Malley. The Cardinal's enthusiasm since the campaign began speaks volumes, "we've made an outreach to inactive Catholics, launching several television commercials to invite our brothers and sisters home. It's for Catholics, who for whatever reason have stopped coming to church."

What has happened in Boston is happening everywhere these commercials air. Mass attendance has increased an average of 10 percent, and as much as 18 percent. The ads and the interactive website have reached 40 million viewers across the US and 1.5 million viewers worldwide in the past three years. According to census statistics published by participating dioceses, "Catholics Come Home" ads have helped more than 200,000 fallen away Catholics come home to the Church.

"Catholics Come Home" recently announced a major, national, prime-time network television evangelization initiative, for the first time ever in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church, to air from December 16, 2011 through January 8, 2012.

This invitation of the New Evangelization highlights the history, beauty, spirituality and accomplishments of the Catholic Church. The positive message will reach 250 million television viewers in over 10,000 U.S. cities and every diocese throughout the United States, airing over 400 times during the three week period spanning before Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany, January 8, 2012.

"Catholics Come Home" hopes to inspire as many as one million souls to come home to local parishes. This evangelization goal is based on statistical census results from Catholics Come Home media initiatives that have aired in 30 past partner dioceses, ranging from Chicago to Seattle and Boston to Atlanta.

Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%, and helped over 300,000 people home to the Church, just since 2008.

The bi-lingual Catholics Come Home commercials are scheduled to air on CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, USA, TNT, CNN, FoxNews, and other networks during shows like 60 Minutes, NCIS, Kennedy Center Honors, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Jay Leno, O'Reilly, major sports, and highly rated sitcoms.

Viewers will be directed to their parish and will learn more at

According to a recent CARA Catholic Poll (CCP), only 33% of U.S. Catholics attend weekly Mass. That means 42.7 million, or two-thirds of U.S. Catholics, are not going to Mass. The number of Americans identifying themselves as non-religious/secular increased 110% from 1990 to 2000, now 13.2% of the total population.

The average American spends 38 hours per week consuming media, with TV and internet being the top two choices. Mormons, Christian Scientists, and Atheists are now advertising.

"These inspiring messages are sponsored by 30,000 Catholic families who want to invite neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to the largest family reunion in modern history" said the Founder of "Catholics Come Home", Tom Peterson.


ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA REPORT: After two years of planning, design and construction, the Archdiocese’s newest school, Mother Teresa Primary in Harrison, has been blessed by Archbishop Mark Coleridge and officially opened.

Parents and the local community attended the ceremony, which allowed students and staff to show what they have accomplished in the short time the school has been running.

Students treated the audience to a musical presentation, acting out the stages of the school’s development, from the first brick laid to the birth of a successful primary school with almost 300 students.

Principal Mr Michael Lowe said the school was still growing. It currently offers education from preschool to year three, but expects to increase to year six by 2014.


CISA REPORT: MZUZU, November 8, 2011 (CISA) -The Catholic Church in Mzuzu Diocese, Malawi, marked its golden jubilee in style.

The long-awaited golden jubilee celebration was marked at the St. Peter’s Cathedral on November 5.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Bishop Joseph Zuza of Mzuzu Diocese who is also the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

The Prefecture Apostolic of Northern Malawi was erected on 18th May, 1947. It was a division of the Vicariate Apostolic of Malawi. On March 3rd 1961, the Prefecture was raised to the status of a Diocese

In his speech, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, current Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, commended Bishop Zuza for strong pastoral initiatives to serve the people in the region and especially for his timeless in priesthood pastoral work. He said, Monsignor Zuza has been a shepherd since 1995.

Archbishop Nicola said the Diocese has been very well managed and organized. He thanked Zuza for the help and concern shown in the establishment of the new Diocese of Karonga. He said the celebration of the golden jubilee was a witness of accomplishment and growth of the Catholic Church in Mzuzu Diocese and the Catholic Church in Malawi.

The Nuncio urged the Catholic Community especially the laity to always remain united to the Church . . . It is unity that can make us grow more in this country.

“… Sometimes when we see things not going very well or according to our expectations the temptation is to leave our Church. Sometimes even within our communities, our parishes and dioceses we face difficulties but we need to be very hopeful,” he said.

Pope Benedict XVI message was conveyed to the Church in Northern region by the Papal Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia His Excellency, Nicola Girassoli. It was read by the Charge’D’affairs to Malawi Monsignor Hubertus Van Megen.

During the function the Chairman for ECM, Bishop Joseph Zuza officially announced the hosting of the 18th AMECEA Plenary in 2014 to be held in Malawi. He asked the congregation to work together to ensure that the 2014 Plenary be successful, honorable and also memorable. The Catholic Secretariat will spearhead the preparatory work for the event.

Present at the function were the Papal Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia His Excellency, Nicola Girassoli, all the Bishops of Malawi, Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata Benjamin Phiri (Zambia), Charge’D’affairs to Malawi Monsignor Hubertus Van Megen and Bishop Fanuel Magangani (Anglican).


Agenzia Fides report – On Sunday, November 6 the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro (Spain) concluded. The Bishop of the diocese of Barbastro-Monzón, His Exc. Mgr. Alfonso Milian Sorribas presided the closing Mass, which was broadcast live from TVE La 2, in its program "El día del Señor". According to information from the General Curia of the Claretian Missionaries, among the concelebrants there was a large group of Claretian priests and members of the current community of Barbastro, as well as priests and religious men and women from other institutions, and many the faithful.
In his homily, the Bishop emphasized "the indelible memory of the Claretian Martyrs ", recalling the words of John Paul II on the occasion of their beatification and defining them as "admirable young men". The Pope described their earthly life: "All the witnesses we have received allow us to say that these Claretians died because they were disciples of Christ, because they did not want to abandon their faith and their religious vows". (John Paul II, Homily-October 25, 1992).
The Martyrdom of 51 Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (known as Claretian) of Barbastro, occurred on days 2, 12, 13, 15 and 18 August 1936. On 20 July 1936, the house that housed the community of Barbastro, with 60 missionaries, of which 39 students who were preparing for ordination, was surrounded and searched for weapons, to no avail. All its members were arrested. The three community leaders were shot without trial, at dawn on August 2. The others, suffered the same fate after being subjected to physical and moral trials. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on 25 October 1992. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 08/11/2011)



Four Crowned Martyrs
Feast: November 8
Feast Day:
November 8

The old guidebooks to the tombs of the Roman martyrs make mention, in connection with the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus on the Via Labicana, of the Four Crowned Martyrs (Quatuor Coronati), at whose grave the pilgrims were wont to worship (De Rossi, Roma sotterranea, I, 178-79). One of these itineraries, the "Epitome libri de locis sanctorum martyrum", adds the names of the four martyrs (in reality five): "IV Coronati, id est Claudius, Nicostratus, Simpronianus, Castorius, Simplicitus". These are the names of five martyrs, sculptors in the quarries of Pannonia (now a part of Austria-Hungary, south-west of the Danube), who gave up their lives for their Faith in the reign of Diocletian. The Acts of these martyrs, written by a revenue officer named Porphyrius probably in the fourth century, relates of the five sculptors that, although they raised no objections to executing such profane images as Victoria, Cupid, and the Chariot of the Sun, they refused to make a statue of Æsculapius for a heathen temple. For this they were condemned to death as Christians. They were put into leaden caskets and drowned in the River Save. This happened towards the end of 305. The foregoing account of the martyrdom of the five sculptors of Pannonia is substantially authentic; but later on a legend sprang up at Rome concerning the Quatuor Coronati, according to which four Christian soldiers (cornicularii) suffered martyrdom at Rome during the reign of Diocletian, two years after the death of the five sculptors. Their offence consisted in refusing to offer sacrifice to the image of Æsculapius. The bodies of the martyrs were interred at St. Sebastian and Pope Melchiades at the third milestone on the Via Labicana, in a sandpit where rested the remains of others who had perished for the Faith. Since the names of the four martyred soldiers could not be authentically established, Pope Melchiades commanded that, the date of their death (8 November) being the same as that of the Pannonian sculptors, their anniversary should be celebrated on that day, under the names of Sts. Claudius, Nicostratus, Symphorianus, Castor, and Simplicius. This report has no historic foundation. It is merely a tentative explanation of the name Quatuor Coronati, a name given to a group of really authenticated martyrs who were buried and venerated in the catatomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, the real origin of which, however, is not known. They were classed with the five martyrs of Pannonia in a purely external relationship. Numerous manuscripts on the legend as well as the Roman Martyrology give the names of the Four Crowned Martyrs, supposed to have been revealed at a later date, as Secundus, Severianus, Carpoforus, and Victorius. But these four martyrs were not buried in Rome, but in the catacomb of Albano; their feast was celebrated on 7 August, under which date it is cited in the Roman Calender of Feasts of 354. These martyrs of Albano have no connection with the Roman martyrs described above. Of the four Crowned Martyrs we know only that they suffered death for the Faith and the place where they were buried. They evidently were held in great veneration at Rome, since in the fourth and fifth century a basilica was erected and dedicated in the Caelian Hill, probably in the neighbourhood of spot where tradition located their execution. This became one of the titular churches of Rome, was restored several times and still stands. It is first mentioned among the signatures of a Roman council in 595. Pope Leo IV ordered the relics removed, about 850, from the Via Labicana to the church dedicated to their memory, together with the relics of the five Pannonian martyrs, which had been brought to Rome at some period now unknown. Both group of maryrs are commemorated on 8 November.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 8: LUKE 17: 7 - 10

Luke 17: 7 - 10
7"Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, `Come at once and sit down at table'?
8Will he not rather say to him, `Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink'?
9Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
10So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"

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