CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: MON. JAN. 31, 2011: HEADLINES-
PONTIFICAL ETHIOPIAN COLLEGE: 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF PATRON
VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received priests and seminarians of the Pontifical Ethiopian College in a meeting to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Justin de Jacobis (1800-1860), patron of that institution.
St. Justin "was a worthy son of St. Vincent de Paul who put the principle of 'being everything for everyone' into exemplary practice, especially in his service to the people of Abyssinia. At the age of thirty-eight he was sent by Cardinal Franzoni, then prefect of the Propaganda Fide, as a missionary to Ethiopia, ... where he founded a seminary called the "College of Mary Immaculate". (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"He learned the local language, championed the centuries-old liturgical tradition of the rites of those communities, as well as working effectively towards ecumenism", said the Pope. "His particular passion for education, especially the formation of priests, means that he can justly be considered as the patron of your college. Indeed, this worthy institution still welcomes priests and candidates to the priesthood, supporting them in their theological, spiritual and pastoral preparations".
The Holy Father called on the priests, when returning to their communities of origin or assisting their compatriots abroad, "to arouse in everyone a love for God and the Church, following the example of St. Justin de Jacobis. He crowned his fruitful contribution to the religious and civil life of the Abyssinian peoples with the gift of his own life, silently restored to God after much suffering and persecution. He was beatified by Venerable Pius XII on 25 June 1939 and canonised by Servant of God Paul VI on 26 October 1975.
"The way of sanctity also lies open to you, dear priests and seminarians", Pope Benedict added. "Sanctity lies at the very heart of the ecclesial mystery; it is the vocation to which we are all called. Saints are not some exterior ornamentation of the Church; rather, they are like the flowers of a tree which testify to the endless vitality of the lymph flowing through it. It is good to see the Church like this, in ascension towards the fullness of the 'Vir perfectus'; in continual, demanding, progressive maturation; dynamically driven towards complete fulfilment in Christ".
Benedict XVI concluded by encouraging the members of the Pontifical Ethiopian College "to live this important period of your formation, in the shadow of the dome of St. Peter's, with joy and dedication. Walk resolutely along the path of sanctity. You are a sign of hope, especially for the Church in your countries of origin. I am certain that the experience of communion you have experienced here in Rome will also help you to make a precious contribution to growth and peaceful coexistence in your own beloved nations".
VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a video message of the Holy Father to students, staff and alumni of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, for the four-hundredth anniversary of its foundation.
Speaking English the Pope gratefully recalls "the many clergy, religious and laity who, at Santo Tomas, have handed down to generations of Filipinos the faith, knowledge and wisdom to be found in the religious and secular sciences".
"In particular", he adds, "I salute the memory of your founder, Bishop Miguel de Benavides, and the great commitment of the Dominicans who have guided the institution through the many challenges of the past four centuries. As you know, the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest institution of Catholic higher education in the Far East and it continues to play a very important role in the Church throughout the region.
"I am confident", the Holy Father concludes, "that, keeping in mind the faith and reason that are always part of a truly integrated approach to education, your university will continue to contribute to the intellectual, spiritual and cultural enrichment of the Philippines and beyond".
VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, has written a message for the fifty-eighth World Leprosy Day, which falls on 30 January. The message is entitled: "Uniting our efforts for a better expression of justice and love towards leprosy sufferers".
This World Day, Archbishop Zimowski writes, is an opportunity "to reiterate our gratitude for the commitment of millions of workers, professionals and volunteers from the fields of healthcare, society, politics and the media, who have helped and continue to help leprosy sufferers". In this context, he expresses particular thanks to the Raoul Follereau Association, which is soon to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary.
"The lethal impact of leprosy", he continues, "has been considerably reduced following the development of effective pharmacological treatments. Yet it continues to provoke suffering, disability and social exclusion, causing ignorance, inequality and discrimination to prosper which, in their turn, promote the spread of the disease. ... There is still a serious lack of structures, both for early diagnosis of the infection, and for the social and professional rehabilitation of people who have been cured but remain mutilated by Hansen's disease. We must promote a more widespread education of communities and peoples, so that they understand that those who have been cured no longer represent any threat of infection to others and must be helped to reinsert themselves into society".
Quoting from the Pope's Message for the twenty-fifth international conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Archbishop Zimowski notes how, "also in the field of healthcare - which is an integral part of individual life and of the common good - it is important to establish true distributive justice which guarantees everyone adequate care on the basis of objective needs. Consequently, the world of healthcare cannot divorce itself from moral rules, which must govern it in order to ensure it does not become inhuman".
On the eve of World Leprosy Day, the president of the pontifical council also mentions the efforts made by people within the Church "who, in many cases, committed themselves even unto the sacrifice of their own lives for the victims of Hansen's disease", in which context he mentioned the Canadian Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger, the Belgian St. Damian de Veuster and the Polish Blessed Jan Beyzym.
VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square, including young people from Catholic Action in the diocese of Rome who traditionally dedicate the month of January to their "Caravan of Peace" initiative. After the Angelus, a boy and girl from Catholic Action joined the Holy Father at his window to release two white doves as a sign of peace.
Before the Marian prayer the Pope commented on this Sunday's reading from the Gospel, in which St. Matthew recounts Jesus' first pubic address to the multitudes on the hills around Lake Galilee, known as the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes, in which He describes as blessed the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the merciful, the pure in heart and the persecuted.
"The Beatitudes", said the Pope, are a new programme for life, to free ourselves from the false values of the world and open ourselves to true goodness, now and in the future. When, in fact, God consoles, when He satisfies hunger for justice or dries the tears of the afflicted, this means that, apart from rewarding each person in material terms, He opens the Kingdom of Heaven. The Beatitudes are the transposition of the cross and the resurrection into the lives of the disciples. They reflect the life of the Son of God Who allowed himself to be persecuted and despised, even unto being sentenced to death, so that mankind might receive salvation".
"For this reason the Church does not fear poverty, humiliation or persecution in a society often attracted by material wellbeing and worldly power", the Holy Father said.
After praying the Angelus he recalled how this Sunday also marks World Leprosy Day, which was instituted in the 1950s by Raoul Follereau and is recognised by the United Nations. "Leprosy, though in regression, unfortunately still affects many people who live in conditions of dire poverty. To all leprosy sufferers, I give assurances of my prayers, which I extend to the people who assist them and to those who, in various ways, are committed to eradicating Hansen's disease".
He then addressed some remarks to the people of various Far Eastern States, who are currently celebrating the new lunar year. "To all those great peoples, my heartfelt best wishes for serenity and prosperity", he said.
Finally the Pope noted that today also marks the International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land. "I join the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Custos of the Holy Land", he said, "in inviting everyone to pray to the Lord that hearts and minds may converge on authentic projects of peace".
VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.
VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Mauro Maria Morfino S.D.B., professor of Holy Scripture at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Sardinia, as bishop of Alghero-Bosa (area 2,012, population 106,300, Catholics 105,650, priests 87, permanent deacons 7, religious 176), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Arborea, Italy in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986.
On Saturday 29 January it was made public that he appointed
- Fr. Eusebio Hernandez Sola O.A.R., bureau chief at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as bishop of Tarazona (area 4,514, population 91,414, Catholics 74,201, priests 94, religious 115), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Carcar, Spain in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1968.
- As members of the Council of Cardinals and Bishops of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State: Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary; Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, penitentiary major of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Archbishop Cyril Vasil S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Bishop Antoine Audo S.J. of Aleppo of the Chaldeans, Syria; Bishop John Charles Wester of Salt Lake City, U.S.A.; Bishop Luigi Negri of San Marino-Montefeltro, Italy, and Bishop Guerino Di Tora, auxiliary of Rome.
- As consultors of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: Msgr. Jacques Harel, national consultant for the Apostolate of the Sea in Mauritius; Fr. Maurizio Pettena C.S., director of the office for migrants of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference; Paolo Morozzo Della Rocca, professor of the faculty of jurisprudence at the University of Urbino, Italy; Christopher Hein, director of the Italian Council for Refugees, and Laura Zanfrini, professor of the faculty of sociology at the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy.
- Msgr. Robert Golebiowski, notary of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, as substitute defender of the bond at the same tribunal.
CNA REPORT: What would bring teenagers to church other than Sunday Mass?
For many, it's the parish youth group, where young people learn about their faith, do service work, participate in discussions and build relationships with one another.
The groups are an important way to reach young people and keep them connected with their parishes at a time when they might become busy with school-related activities and drop away, said Rita Ramos, youth ministry coordinator for the archdiocese.
Although open to junior high and high school students, a majority of youth group participants seem to be from public schools rather than Catholic schools, local youth ministers said.
One reason could be that Catholic school students have faith formation throughout the day at school and they don't look for more at their parishes, said Nicole Cook, youth minister at St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, Neb.
Cook could be right, said Allison Rickers, a senior at Mercy High School in Omaha who is involved in the youth group at Sacred Heart Parish in Omaha. In addition, Rickers said, students in public schools might have limited opportunities to express their religious beliefs.
Catholic schools offer Mass and teachers pray with students and address issues from a Catholic perspective.
Public school officials, on the other hand, cannot lead students in prayer or other religious activities.
"By attending youth group, they are getting some faith in their lives," she said of students from public schools. "Catholic school students talk about their faith on a daily basis in classes that are required so they may think they get enough faith talk during the day. Personally, I love having the extra faith talk with my youth group friends because it's way different than my peers at Mercy High School."
Whatever school they come from, the teens need to be met where they are in their faith, and youth ministers need to connect them to Jesus Christ so they can make better decisions, said Marty Kalkowski, youth minister at Omaha's Sacred Heart. There does not appear to be any conflict between Catholic and public school students in the groups, but they do learn from each other about differences in school cultures and different ways to live their faith, he said.
Virgil Tworek-Hofstetter, youth minister at St. Isidore Parish in Columbus since 1997, said he appreciates the way many Catholic school students are taught theology in school, because they can bring that background to the group when issues are discussed.
"For that reason I really value the Catholic school-educated kids in the group," he said. "They're systematically taught theology, but that doesn't make them better people necessarily or better Catholics or even better in the faith."
Kalkowski said Sacred Heart's youth group is built around weekly gatherings that include pizza, prayer, discussion and reflection on topics such as forgiveness, relationships and popularity. Sometimes a speaker addresses the 10 teenagers in the group, and on holy days the teens attend Mass together. Once a month, the group does service work at the parish's Heart Ministry Center.
"It's a chance to do a regular service activity and to reflect on larger questions of life and talk about real things," Kalkowski said.
At St. Columbkille, Cook meets weekly with 20 to 35 teens, and encourages them to build relationships with each other and other parishioners.
"It allows kids to know what's going on in the parish and what things they could get involved in now or later down the road," she said. "It also educates them in the faith and provides a safe space where teens can feel OK to be excited about their faith."
Youth group activities vary from week to week at St. Columbkille but revolve around three activities: the Dead Theologian Society, which teaches teens about the lives of the saints, small group faith sharing based on grade level, and general catechesis on topics sometimes involving parish experts.
"Kids need to know how and why the Catholic Church is different from other religions and why their faith is important," Cook said. "They need to take pride in their faith and in their religion."
Nourishing faith life
Tworek-Hofstetter said his goal is to nourish the teens' "faith life and community life so that when they go into the week, they have the spiritual stamina to keep them connected with the church and keep them connected with Catholic practices."
Each week, teens at St. Isidore meet for praise and worship music, an ice breaker activity and some sort of Scripture study. Occasionally a speaker will come, students will participate in the sacrament of reconciliation or they'll visit a nursing home. Twice a year, members travel to Omaha for service work. They also participate in summer mission trips through Youth Work and Young Neighbors in Action.
"We've had a number of individuals, who having had that experience, have rethought about what they're going to do in life ... not necessarily following directly in youth ministry, although some have," Tworek-Hofstetter said. "I feel that there are a lot of things that are gained from those immersion experiences."
Rickers said her favorite part of youth group at Sacred Heart Parish is reading a Scripture passage and coming up with discussion questions that relate to the Scripture and to today's society.
"We have about five questions that relate to our theme or Bible passage that we all get to answer. That's my favorite part because then we usually get different answers and it's truly neat to be in a group discussion with people around my age," she said. "We don't fight about it. We're all very respectful of what we each have to say."
Rickers credits her involvement in youth group with helping her grow in the faith.
"I've been open to great discussions from my peers there and in those discussions I've learned a lot," she said.
Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police returned to the streets in Egypt today for the first time since Friday, while a general strike was called. On the seventh day of protests, the goal is to force President Hosni Mubarak to leave. From his part the Rais, in a statement read on television, announced today that he has charged the new Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq to promote democracy through dialogue with the opposition. However the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, has delegated Mohamed ElBaradei the task of negotiating for a "transitional government". The former head of the UN nuclear energy agency, seems to have succeeded in unifying protesters. "No turning back," he said yesterday to the crowd. "A new era has begun for Egypt – he added.
An "orderly transition to a government that meets the expectations of the Egyptians" was also called for by U.S. President Barack Obama, who spoke with some foreign leaders over the phone on the subject.At the same Obama and some European leaders addressed the Israeli government. As reported today inHaaretz,Tel Aviv says it is "best interests of the West" and "throughout the Middle East to maintain the stability of the regime in Egypt." "It is therefore necessary to curb public criticism against President Mubarak."
If Israel’s concern is not only shared by the West- the king of Jordan and Libyan President phoned Mubarak - the fate of the Egyptian president seems quite obscure. According to the Sunday Times, the Egyptian opposition is negotiating for a transition, not with the president, but with the army which, according to protesters, "must choose" between Egypt and the Rais. The same source claims that the vice president, General Omar Suleiman, former intelligence chief and defense minister, Mohammed Tantawi, asked Mubarak to resign, presenting him with a "respectable" solution.
UCAN REPORT: Catholics throughout Laos have welcomed their new priest, ordained for a northern long-time vicariate that has not had a priestly ordination in 30 years.
Father Pierre Buntha Silaphet was ordained a priest for Luang Prabang apostolic vicariate on Jan. 29 by Bishop Louis Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun of Pakse at a service attended by some 1,000 people of Catholic and other denominations.
Church sources say Luang Prabang vicariate has not had a priestly ordination for more than 30 years.
Father Buntha, 34, is from Sayaboury village, northern Laos. The ethnic Khomu priest is the youngest of a family with seven siblings. His parents are farmers.
After finishing his philosophical and theological studies at St. John Vianney Major Semianary in Thakhek, he also studied English for one year in the Philippines.
|Father Pierre Buntha Silaphet (second left) during his ordination Mass|
A priest who asked not to be named told ucanews.com that 20 Sayaboury villagers were prevented from traveling to Farther Buncha’s ordination by village guards on Jan. 28.
However, villagers from other villages throughout the country offered Father Buncha rice, cattle, cooking items, blankets and pillows.
There are about 43,000 Catholics in Laos, out of a total population of about 6 million, most of whom are Buddhists, according to a Church source in Laos. Less than15 priests and 100 nuns serve Catholics in the four Church jurisdictions — Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet and Vientiane apostolic vicariates.
St. John Bosco
FOUNDER OF THE SALESIAN SOCIETY
Feast: January 31