Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The Holy Father on Monday received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
- Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord (1841-1913).
- Blessed Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) (1838-1896).
- Blessed Maria del Carmen (born Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching (1848-1911).
- Blessed Maria Anna Cope, nee Barbara, German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A. (1838-1918).
- Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman (1656-1680).
- Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr (1654-1672).
- Blessed Anna Schaffer, German laywoman (1882-1925).
- Servant of God Louis Brisson, French priest and founder of the Oblates of St. Francis of Sales (1817-1908).
- Servant of God Luigi Novarese, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Silent Workers of the Cross (1914-1984).
- Servant of God Maria Luisa (nee Gertrude Prosperi), Italian abbess of the convent of the Order of St. Benedict of Trevi (1799-1847).
- Servant of God Mother St. Louis (nee Maria Luisa Elisabeth de Lamoignon, widow of Mole de Champlatreux), French foundress of the Sisters of St. Louis (1763-1825).
- Servant of God Maria Crescencia (nee Maria Angelica Perez), Argentinean professed religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Orchard (1897-1932).
- Servant of God Nicola Rusca, Swiss diocesan priest, killed in hatred of the faith (1563-1618).
- Servants of God Luis Orencio (ne Antonio Sola Garriga) and eighteen companions of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools; Antonio Mateo Salamero, diocesan priest, and Jose Gorostazu Labayen, layman, all killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servants of God Alberto Maria Marco y Aleman and eight companions of the Order of Carmelites of the Ancient Observance, and Agustin Maria Garcia Tribaldos and fifteen companions of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools; all killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937.
- Servants of God Mariano Alcala Perez and eighteen companions of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937.
- Servant of God Donato Giannotti, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Sisters Handmaidens of the Immaculate Conception (1828-1914).
- Servant of God Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus (ne Henri Grialou), French professed priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and founder of the Institute of Notre-Dame de Vie (1894-1967).
- Servant of God Alphonse-Marie (nee Elisabeth Eppinger), French foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Blessed Saviour (1814-1867).
- Servant of God Marguerite Lucia Szewczyk, Polish foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sorrowful Mother of God - Seraphic Sisters (1828-1905).
- Servant of God Assunta Marchetti, Italian co-foundress of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles (1871-1948).
- Servant of God Maria Julitta (nee Teresa Eleonora Ritz), German professed sister of the Congregation of Sisters of the Redeemer (1882-1966).
- Servant of God Maria Anna Amico Roxas, Italian laywoman and foundress of the Society of St. Ursula (1883-1947).


VATICAN CITY, 20 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Cuba is preparing to greet Benedict XVI "with affection and respect", and President Raul Castro has welcomed "with satisfaction" the official announcement of the Pope's visit to the country, according to an official note released on Cuban media today. The visit is due to take place at the end of March 2012.

On Sunday 18 December, the Cuban president met with a Holy See delegation to discuss preparations for the forthcoming visit, which the Holy Father himself announced during a Mass on 12 December for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Latin America, and for the two hundredth anniversary of the independence of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. During the meeting "the excellent relations between Cuba and the Holy See were highlighted, and certain details of the Pope's visit were examined".

Benedict XVI's visit, his second to Latin America following his trip to Brazil in 2007, will coincide initiatives organised by the local episcopate to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of "Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre", patron of the island. One of these initiatives is a Marian Jubilee Year, which will begin on 7 January 2012 and end on 5 January 2013.
.../ VIS 20111220 (230)


VATICAN CITY, 20 DEC 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday signed decrees acknowledging miracles attributed to the intervention of seven blesseds (four women and three men) who will shortly be canonised. One of the new blesseds is Kateri Tekakwitha, the first native North American to be raised to the glory of the altars.

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in Ossernenon (present-day Auriesville, U.S.A.). Her father was a Mohawk chief and her mother a Roman Catholic Algonquian who had been educated by French missionaries. At the age of four she lost her family in a smallpox epidemic which also left her disfigured and with poor eyesight. Adopted by a relative, the chief of neighbouring clan, she continued to nurture an interest in Christianity and was baptised at the age of 20.

The members of her tribe did not understand her new religious affiliation and she was marginalised, practising physical mortification as a path of sanctity and praying for the conversion of her relatives. Having suffered persecutions which put her life at risk, she was forced to flee to a native American Christian community in Kahnawake, Quebec where she made a vow of chastity and lived a life dedicated to prayer, penance, and care for the sick and elderly. She died in 1680 at the age of 24. Her last words were: "Jesus, I love you". According to tradition, Kateri's scars disappeared after her death to reveal a woman of great beauty, and numerous sick people who participated in her funeral were miraculously healed.

The process of canonisation began in 1884. She was declared venerable by Pius XII in 1943 and beatified by John Paul II in 1980. As the first native North American to be beatified she occupies a special place in the devotion of her people. Her feast day falls on 14 July.


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From 5 to 9 June 2013 The Archdiocese of Cologne with the decision of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) will host a Eucharistic Congress with the entire German Catholic Church. The meeting is the celebration of faith and deepen the conversation and is subject to the biblical motto "Lord, to whom we go to?" (Jn 6:68). These include religious services, religious talks, quotes such as "Night Fever", lectures and theological academies and a cultural program with many opportunities to meet and exchange. The meeting is aimed mainly at Catholics from all German dioceses. Venues are the cathedral, Romanesque churches, other churches and secular venues in Cologne.

The Eucharist, Christ's presence in the form of bread and wine, is the central sacrament of the Church. It will therefore not only venerated especially, but is always also the subject of in-depth reflection and discussion. To this end, Catholic Christians gathered at the end of the 19th Century Eucharistic congresses. These meetings will make the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the church consciously deepen their understanding, to emphasize its social importance, and publicly testify that Jesus Christ as the Eucharist, the living center of the church and its mission is. Eucharistic congresses are held both at the national level as well as internationally. In Germany, the last of the international Eucharistic Congress took place in Munich in 1960, the next is in 2012 in Dublin.
Organizers of the Congress 2013 in Cologne, the German Bishops' Conference, hosted the archbishopric of Cologne. The Steering Committee of the Congress are the Archbishops Reinhard Marx (Munich), Werner Thissen (Hamburg), Hans-Josef Becker (Paderborn), Ludwig Schick (Bamberg) and Rainer Woelki (Berlin). Chairman's Cardinal Joachim Meisner (also Chairman of the Liturgical Commission DBK), his deputy, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Freiburg (also Chairman of the BNP). The Project Director of the Congress was appointed Monsignor Robert Small, he is Head of the Department of Pastoral Care in Cologne General Vicariate.


The Calling Documentary
CALLING WEBSITE RELEASE: Life is a calling. And every call is both thrilling and daunting. Transporting viewers to distant lands and into deep regions of the human soul, The Calling reveals the joys and anxieties of those who are drawn to religious life. Putting flesh and blood on questions that are often viewed too piously or abstractly, this documentary focuses on three members of a newly formed Catholic community that aids the poor living on the dusty edges of Lima, Peru. It’s a film about hard choices and having the faith to make them; providing a glimpse into the deeply personal nature of belief, the bonds of family, and being brave enough to ask: Who am I?
Over the course of the film we meet Orlando Castillo, a young man from a prosperous Tampa family who wishes “to live simply” and become a priest, despite his parents reservations. We deal with Mother Mary-Elizabeth’s sense of loss and doubt, as she feels torn between her call and the emotional needs of her biological children. And we witness how Fr. Philip Scott – the community's founder - faces the personal and logistical challenges of moving his fledgling mission from the United States to his native country - Peru.

Peru is not a safe place to practice mercy. Over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line, many in ramshackle shanty-towns that seem to melt into the distant dusty horizon. These vast conglomerations typically lack clean water, adequate sanitation, and legal protections. Armed only with the power of their convictions, our protagonists venture into this desperate and uncertain landscape determined to make a difference. And through their actions create something that rarely sprouts in these dark corners of the world: Hope.

The Calling is a story that has played out for centuries. The path into religious life is not always an easy road to traverse. What transpires before our eyes is a moving account of people pursuing a passion, as they cope with the unknown feelings that arise during this tangled and tender process. The film will challenge viewers to question their relationships, temporal and spiritual, as they witness individuals who courageously live out their beliefs.
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Philippine laymen and six other martyrs named for canonization
Betty Perdon, Cebu City
December 20, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of Vatican promulgates sainthood
Blessed Pedro Calungsod was beatified in 2000
The Vatican has announced the authentication of miracles attributed to Blessed Pedro Calungsod of the Philippines, though no date for canonization has been announced.
Pope Benedict XVI “received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato SBD, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees [for sainthood],” said a statement from the Vatican issued yesterday.
Six other Catholic martyrs were also confirmed for sainthood during the audience.
“Let us pray that the Holy Father will tell us when would be the canonization,” said Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu, chairman of the committee on preparations for Calungsod’s sainthood.
Monsignor Ildebrando Leyson, vice-postulator for the cause of Calungsod’s canonization, said a copy of Blessed Calungsod’s biography would be sent to all Cardinals and their reply “would still be needed before the date of the canonization is announced by the pope.”
Calungsod, a 17th-century Filipino lay catechist, would be the first Visayan saint and second Filipino saint in history following San Lorenzo Ruiz, who was canonized in Rome in 1988.
He was martyred in Guam in 1672 with a Spanish Jesuit priest, now Saint Diego Luis de San Vitores, and was beatified in 2000 by Blessed John Paul.


ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT: Our Lady of Victories School, Camberwell 'dream bags' Print E-mail

Wednesday 21 December 2011

dream-bags-350Students in the Senior Class at Our Lady of Victories School in Camberwell hope to brighten the Christmas for a number of our asylum seekers with their ‘Dream Bags’.
The ‘Dream Bags’ are the result of a unit of work around Asian literacies and more specifically the practice of bags of goodies which were distributed to children who were the victims of war to cheer them up. The children created these gifts with the help of their teacher, Mrs Karen Gosling, and mums who made the bags, packing them with a number of treasures. Colin, from the Salvation Army and an Asylum Seekers Resource Centre representative, was only too happy to come and collect the bags and assure the children that the bags would be greatly appreciated by the children of asylum seekers.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Still explosions in northern Nigeria attributed to the Boko Haram sect. On 18 December in Malikali, on the outskirts of Kaduna, capital of the State, at least one person died and several others were injured in the explosion of a clandestine explosive device belonging to the sect. In addition to the building where the illegal lab was hidden, several other surrounding buildings were destroyed. On the same day, police discovered another hidden structure for the production of bombs in the city of Kano, capital of the State, where, according to the Nigerian security services, the Boko Haram sect moved its headquarters, until now located in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. Right here on December 17 three members of the sect died in the accidental explosion of the device they handled.
Faced with the continuing wave of attacks, the Nigerian Bishops have launched an appeal asking the population to live in peace and harmony because, otherwise, they risk "of dying because of violence and mutual destruction". The appeal is contained in the statement of the Administrative Council of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, which met on December 9 in the federal capital, Abuja. "We cannot but recognize the urgent need for reconciliation, justice and peace in the face of dramatic challenges to the security in our Country. As has been repeated often, Nigerians must learn to live together in peace, or they will die because of violence and mutual destruction". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/12/2011)


Luke 1: 26 - 38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


St. Dominic of Silos
Feast: December 20

Feast Day: December 20
Born: 1000, CaƱas (modern Rioja), Spain
Died: December 10, 1073, Silos
Patron of: against rabies; against rabid dogs; against insects; captives; pregnant women; prisoners; shepherds
St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, was named after this Benedictine abbot, who lived a century before him. According to Dominican tradition, St. Dominic of Silos appeared to Blessed Joan of Aza (the mother of the later St. Dominic), who made a pilgrimage to his shrine before the birth of her son, and named him after the abbot of Silos.
Dominic of Silos was born in Navarre, Spain, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, and was a shepherd boy, looking after his father's flocks. He acquired a love of solitude and as a young man became a monk at the monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla. He eventually became prior of the monastery and came into conflict with the king of Navarre over possessions of the monastery claimed by the king. The king drove Dominic out of the monastery, and Dominic went with other monks to Castille, where the king of Castille appointed Dominic abbot of the monastery of St. Sebastian at Silos.
The monastery was in terrible shape, spiritually and materially, and Dominic set about to restore the monastery and to reform the lives of the monks. He preserved the Mozarbic Rite (one of the variants of the Latin Rite) at his monastery, and his monastery became one of the centers of the Mozarbic liturgy. His monastery also preserved the Visigothic script of ancient Spain and was a center of learning and liturgy in that part of Spain.
Dominic of Silos died on December 20,1073, about a century before the birth of his namesake, St. Dominic of Calaruega. Before the Spanish Revolution of 1931, it was customary for the abbot of Silos to bring the staff of Dominic of Silos to the Spanish royal palace whenever the queen was in labor and to leave it at her bedside until the birth of her child had taken place.
In recent times, great interest in Dominic of Silos has arisen since the literary treasures of the library of Silos have become known. The abbey had a profound influence on spirituality and learning in Spain. Today the monastery is an abbey of the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes housing a library of ancient and rare manuscripts. SOURCE EWTN.COM

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