Saturday, December 3, 2011









TODAY'S GOSPEL AND MASS ONLINE: DEC. 3: Matthew 9: 35 - 38, 10: 1, 5 - 8

RADIO VATICANA REPORT: “Despite the consumerism that characterizes the Christmas season, the popular traditions of the faith have not disappeared but create islands for the soul, spaces for silence, reflection, God”, said Benedict XVI, Friday afternoon.

The Pope was treated to a Christmas Special offered by Bavarian Television entitled "Advent and Christmas in the Bavarian Alps - from heaven to earth." As he entered the hall where the film was to be projected, the Holy Father was greeted by a group of traditional Bavarian musicians who played some familiar native songs for the Pope, under the direction of composer Hans Berger.

Pope Benedict then viewed the TV special which focused on the human and spiritual atmosphere of the season of Advent in Bavaria, the homeland of the Holy Father, and how Christmas the region's towns, churches , parishes and families traditionally prepare for Christmas.


DESALES REPORT: At DeSales University, you'll find a positive approach to life.

Maybe it's the friendly, unpretentious nature of our students, faculty, and staff, or the upbeat spiritual perspective of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, who have shaped the University and its character. Maybe it's because of our great academic programs, the personal atmosphere of our small suburban campus in Pennsylvania's scenic Lehigh Valley, and our supportive learning environment. At any rate, there's a remarkable experience to be found at DeSales University.

A private, four-year Catholic university for men and women administered by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the National League for Nursing. The Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). Next review by this organization will be in 2012. DeSales is also a member of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges, which offers cross-registration and interlibrary loan with Cedar Crest, Lafayette, Moravian, and Muhlenberg Colleges, and Lehigh University.

Sixteen teams compete in the NCAA Division III Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Conference (MAC) and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Men's teams include: basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field. Women's teams include: basketball, volleyball, cross country, soccer, softball, field hockey, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field.

Student/Faculty Ratio

Average Class Size

1,576 full-time undergraduate day students. Total full-time enrollment for traditional, graduate, and evening
(ACCESS) students: 2,468.

Student Profile
45% male, 55% female; 11% minority; 24 states and 4 other countries represented.

103 full-time faculty members; 76% have the highest degree attainable in their field.

Center Valley Campus
DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
Telephone: 610.282.1100

Expenses (2011-2012)

Room & Board$10,520
Student & Technology Fee$1,200

Financial Aid
More than 90% of undergraduate, full-time day students receive some form of financial aid.



ASIA NEWS REPORT: In a YouTube video images of the assault that took place yesterday in Iraqi Kurdistan, a few kilometres from the border with Turkey. The violence started after Friday prayers triggered by imam’s sermon. Christian personalities: since the Arab Spring, radical Islam is "more dangerous".

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - A group of protesters linked to the Islamic extremist wing, composed mostly of young people, yesterday stormed several Christian-owned shops, a hotel and a beauty parlour. The violence erupted yesterday afternoon in the town of Zakho, about 470 km from Baghdad, Iraqi Kurdistan located a few kilometers from the border with Turkey, and caused the wounding of at least 30 people, including 20 policemen. The fundamentalist wrath was unleashed by the vitriolic sermon of an imam in the local mosque, after which punitive raids were launched across the city. Pro-government Kurdish factions have already responded to the onslaught of the xtremist groups, who burned at least six sites of the Islamic Party of Kurdistan in the city and surrounding areas.

A video posted on YouTube (click here to view it), shows the assault against Christian shops and properties. Local Christian sources interviewed by AsiaNews - anonymous for security reasons - were involved in the raid confirm that "hundreds of people, especially young people" destroyed "at least 13 liquor shops, but the number could reach 30. Witnesses added that "the police did not react" and it is likely that "the assault was pre-planned." The extremist crowd, that carried out the attack in Zakho, then headed for Sumaili - town 15 km from Dohuk, the third largest Kurdish city - where once again exercises owned by Christians and Yazidis were targeted.

In Sumaili, said the source for AsiaNews, there are at least 200 Christian families who are now terrified. The violence continued in the Christian village of Shiuz, where 180 families live, and " the Kurdish police intervened to restore calm only two hours later ". "The extremist crowd - he adds - chanted jihad, or holy war, and anti-Christian slogans."

The Christian community in the region experienced a day of panic and terror at the hands of extremists and abandoned by local authorities. "These events - warns the source - lead to the faithful fleeing their native lands. In Mosul, Kirkuk and Baghdad, the police took steps to protect churches and places of worship. "

Iraqi Kurdistan has long been the center of a bitter conflict between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen for control of the lands and oil fields that surround it, the dispute also involves the Christian minority, who are victims of violence and vendettas. Iraqi Christian figures confirm that fundamentalist Islam - after the initial auspices related to "Arab Spring", which led to a cautious optimism - has become "much more aggressive and dangerous for non-Muslims." (DS)


CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT: Loreto Preparatory School pupils raise money through a sponsored “wacky hair day”, a spelling bee competition, a business enterprise day and collections at plays and musicals

By STAFF REPORTER on Friday, 2 December 2011

Loreto girls raise a record £10,000 for charity

Loreto girls Ranya, Molly, MelikeC Koyla, Hermione, George and Flora (Photo: Simon Carter)

Loreto Preparatory School’s fundraisers have collected a record-breaking £9,271 in the last 12 months.

From a sponsored “wacky hair day” to a spelling bee competition, followed by a business enterprise day and collections at every musical and theatrical production, the girls and their families have surpassed all expectations.

The money will be donated to both local and overseas causes. Both the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust and the NSPCC will receive £3,000, while Cafod and the Albanian Children’s Breakfast Fund will be sent £2,000.

Headmistress Rosemary Hedger said: “I am constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of our parents and the inventiveness of the girls. It’s a stunning sum of money.”


ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA REPORT: At a time when many Australians are suspicious or cynical about organised religion, they trust the place of Catholic hospitals in the community, Bishop Pat Power told a meeting in Rome yesterday.

Chairman of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference's Commission for Health and Community Services, Bishop Power is one of several bishops from around the world who gathered in Rome for a meeting of bishops called by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.

Speaking on the topic, Organisation of pastoral care in health in the Church, he said Catholic hospitals were some of the best and most trusted in Australia.

“The face of Jesus is presented with compassion and expertise to the Australian community through our excellent Catholic hospitals,” he said.

“Governments across Australia have a high regard for Catholic hospitals and aged care services.

“Unlike the situation in some other countries, our state governments actively fund 21 Catholic public hospitals to provide services to any person in need.

“Our 550 Catholic aged care services all receive some type of federal government funding. Government health funding is in fact very good in Australia.”

He said although governments did not always take the same view as the Church on certain ethical issues, they did respect the ability of Catholic hospitals to operate in accordance with Catholic ethical teaching.

For the full text of Bishop Power's talk, click here.


Agenzia Fides report - Thousands of orphans entrusted to grandparents after their parents die of AIDS, an entire generation at risk, illiteracy and lack of education: This unfortunately is the reality for many children in Malawi. This southern African country has a population of 14 million people, mostly young orphans of AIDS. In their support, the local Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood has promoted 42 local projects that provide homes for orphans and street children, schools and health centers throughout the country. In Chikwawa, capital city of one of the eight Catholic dioceses in Malawi, the reception center is located in the Cathedral. The same applies to structures located in the Parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa in Mangochi, or in that of St. Ignatius of Loyola on the border with Mozambique. Among them, the religious elementary schools in Tikondane, Osiyana or Mpire, are the first battlefront for children in the country. In many of these small institutions, often one or two small buildings surrounded by land, orphans with no families are welcomed. The sisters claim that for many cases the best care for these children is a healthy diet, and, for example, with the aid received in the hospital in Mlambo flour was bought. Also in the area of Mzuzu, health care programs have started, such as the Sisters of the Holy Rosary that reach families in need thanks to some mobile units. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 03/12/2011)


St. Francis Xavier


Feast: December 3


Feast Day:December 3
Born:April 7, 1506, Javier, Navarre
Died:December 3, 1552, China
Canonized:March 12, 1622 by Gregory XV
Patron of:African missions; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; Bombay, India; China; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Goa India; India; Tokyo, Japan; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; navigators; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith

Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, 2 December, 1552. In 1525, having completed a preliminary course of studies in his own country, Francis Xavier went to Paris, where he entered the college de Sainte-Barbe. Here he met the Savoyard, Pierre Favre, and a warm personal friendship sprang up between them. It was at this same college that St. Ignatius Loyola, who was already planning the foundation of the Society of Jesus, resided for a time as a guest in 1529. He soon won the confidence of the two young men; first Favre and later Xavier offered themselves with him in the formation of the Society. Four others, Lainez, Salmeron, Rodriguez, and Bobadilla, having joined them, the seven made the famous vow of Montmartre, 15 Aug., 1534.

After completing his studies in Paris and filling the post of teacher there for some time, Xavier left the city with his companions 15 November, 1536, and turned his steps to Venice, where he displayed zeal and charity in attending the sick in the hospitals. On 24 June, 1537, he received Holy orders with St. Ignatius. The following year he went to Rome, and after doing apostolic work there for some months, during the spring of 1539 he took part in the conferences which St. Ignatius held with his companions to prepare for the definitive foundation of the Society of Jesus. The order was approved verbally 3 September, and before the written approbation was secured, which was not until a year later, Xavier was appointed , at the earnest solicitation of the John III, King of Portugal, to evangelize the people of the East Indies. He left Rome 16 March, 1540, and reached Lisbon about June. Here he remained nine months, giving many admirable examples of apostolic zeal.

On 7 April, 1541, he embarked in a sailing vessel for India, and after a tedious and dangerous voyage landed at Goa, 6 May, 1542. The first five months he spent in preaching and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. He would go through the streets ringing a little bell and inviting the children to hear the word of God. When he had gathered a number, he would take them to a certain church and would there explain the catechism to them. About October, 1542, he started for the pearl fisheries of the extreme southern coast of the peninsula, desirous of restoring Christianity which, although introduced years before, had almost disappeared on account of the lack of priests. He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of Western India, converting many, and reaching in his journeys even the Island of Ceylon. Many were the difficulties and hardships which Xavier had to encounter at this time, sometimes on account of the cruel persecutions which some of the petty kings of the country carried on against the neophytes, and again because the Portuguese soldiers, far from seconding the work of the saint, retarded it by their bad example and vicious habits.

In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Malacca. He laboured there for the last months of that year, and although he reaped an abundant spiritual harvest, he was not able to root out certain abuses, and was conscious that many sinners had resisted his efforts to bring them back to God. About January, 1546, Xavier left Malacca and went to Molucca Islands, where the Portuguese had some settlements, and for a year and a half he preached the Gospel to the inhabitants of Amboyna, Ternate, Baranura, and other lesser islands which it has been difficult to identify. It is claimed by some that during this expedition he landed on the island of Mindanao, and for this reason St. Francis Xavier has been called the first Apostle of the Philippines. But although this statement is made by some writers of the seventeenth century, and in the Bull of canonization issued in 1623, it is said that he preached the Gospel in Mindanao, up to the present time it has not been proved absolutely that St. Francis Xavier ever landed in the Philippines.

By July, 1547, he was again in Malacca. Here he met a Japanese called Anger (Han-Sir), from whom he obtained much information about Japan. His zeal was at once aroused by the idea of introducing Christanity into Japan, but for the time being the affairs of the Society demanded his presence at Goa, whither he went, taking Anger with him. During the six years that Xavier had been working among the infidels, other Jesuit missionaries had arrived at Goa, sent from Europe by St. Ignatius; moreover some who had been born in the country had been received into the Society. In 1548 Xavier sent these missionaries to the principal centres of India, where he had established missions, so that the work might be preserved and continued. He also established a novitiate and house of studies, and having received into the Society Father Cosme de Torres, a Spanish priest whom he had met in the Maluccas, he started with him and Brother Juan Fernandez for Japan towards the end of June, 1549. The Japanese Anger, who had been baptized at Goa and given the name of Pablo de Santa Fe, accompanied them.

They landed at the city of Kagoshima in Japan, 15 Aug., 1549. The entire first year was devoted to learning the Japanese language and translating into Japanese, with the help of Pablo de Santa Fe, the principal articles of faith and short treatises which were to be employed in preaching and catechizing. When he was able to express himself, Xavier began preaching and made some converts, but these aroused the ill will of the bonzes, who had him banished from the city. Leaving Kagoshima about August, 1550, he penetrated to the centre of Japan, and preached the Gospel in some of the cities of southern Japan. Towards the end of that year he reached Meaco, then the principal city of Japan, but he was unable to make any headway here because of the dissensions the rending the country. He retraced his steps to the centre of Japan, and during 1551 preached in some important cities, forming the nucleus of several Christian communities, which in time increased with extraordinary rapidity.

After working about two years and a half in Japan he left this mission in charge of Father Cosme de Torres and Brother Juan Fernandez, and returned to Goa, arriving there at the beginning of 1552. Here domestic troubles awaited him. Certain disagreements between the superior who had been left in charge of the missions, and the rector of the college, had to be adjusted. This, however, being arranged, Xavier turned his thoughts to China, and began to plan an expedition there. During his stay in Japan he had heard much of the Celestial Empire, and though he probably had not formed a proper estimate of his extent and greatness, he nevertheless understood how wide a field it afforded for the spread of the light of the Gospel. With the help of friends he arranged a commission or embassy the Sovereign of China, obtained from the Viceroy of India the appointment of ambassador, and in April, 1552, he left Goa. At Malacca the party encountered difficulties because the influential Portuguese disapproved of the expedition, but Xavier knew how to overcome this opposition, and in the autumn he arrived in a Portuguese vessel at the small island of Sancian near the coast of China. While planning the best means for reaching the mainland, he was taken ill, and as the movement of the vessel seemed to aggravate his condition, he was removed to the land, where a rude hut had been built to shelter him. In these wretched surroundings he breathed his last.

It is truly a matter of wonder that one man in the short space of ten years (6 May, 1542-2 December, 1552) could have visited so many countries, traversed so many seas, preached the Gospel to so many nations, and converted so many infidels. The incomparable apostolic zeal which animated him, and the stupendous miracles which God wrought through him, explain this marvel, which has no equal elsewhere. The list of the principal miracles may be found in the Bull of canonization. St. Francis Xavier is considered the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles, and the zeal he displayed, the wonderful miracles he performed, and the great number of souls he brought to the light of true Faith, entitle him to this distinction. He was canonized with St. Ignatius in 1622, although on account of the death of Gregory XV, the Bull of canonization was not published until the following year.

The body of the saint is still enshrined at Goa in the church which formerly belonged to the Society. In 1614 by order of Claudius Acquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus, the right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome, where the present altar was erected to receive it in the church of the Gesu.

TODAY'S GOSPEL AND MASS ONLINE: DEC. 3: Matthew 9: 35 - 38, 10: 1, 5 - 8

Matthew 9: 35 - 38
35And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.
36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
38pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
10: 1, 5 - 8
1And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.
5These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,
6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.

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