Institute For Mission, the Parramatta Diocesan Centre for Catholic Adult Faith Formation, is one of the ‘eSites’ hosting the Conference webcast, sharing in the rare opportunity of hearing two keynote educators, Fr Denis Edwards and Sr Janette Gray rsm, as they explore the theme of The Holy Spirit: Giver of Life.
Fr Denis Edward is senior lecturer in theology at the Flinders University School of Theology and Adelaide College of Divinity. He has written extensively on theology and science subjects.
Sr Janette Gray is a Sister of Mercy who lectures in systemic theology at the Jesuit College of Theology in the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne. Her teaching areas are the theology of the human person, Church, the interface between Church and contemporary society, Church and social responsibility, feminist theology, and Christian-Muslim relations.
The keynote educators will be joined by Fr Chris Ryan MGL (who accompanied the World Youth Day Cross and Icon around Australia prior to WYD 2008 Sydney) and Jan Heath. Mrs Heath was recently involved in the hugely popularPray 2010, and it is anticipated that both speakers will bring an experiential aspect to the eConference.
The fifth eConference to be presented by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Broken Bay Institute, it is hoped The Holy Spirit eConference will set a new record for the number of people logging on to participate.
Previous eConferences have shared enormous success bringing together more than 30,000 people on each occasion across 28 countries. Many will again watch online from schools, parishes, hospitals, prisons, groups, universities, religious orders and Church agencies.
Support questions are available from the eConference website closer to the event, and all sessions will be archived online to allow for repeat visits.
The Holy Spirit eConference will be streaming from 10.30am to 3.15pm on 19 May.
If you would like to join in the eConference at the Institute For Mission (IFM) eSite at 1-5 Marion Street Blacktown, bookings are essential.
Please contact IFM by phone on 02 9831 4911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendance at the IFM eSite is free and tea and coffee will be provided, however, participants are asked to bring their own lunch on the day.Learn more about The Holy Spirit eConference at the Broken Bay Institute
WASHINGTON (May 12, 2011)—Trinitarian Father Juan J. Molina has been named associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of National Collections and director for the Church in Latin America. Father Molina is currently serving as policy advisor for Latin America and Global Trade in the Office of International Justice and Peace at USCCB and previously served as advocacy program coordinator in the Southwest regional office of Catholic Relief Services.
“Father Molina’s qualifications and skills made him a perfect choice for this position,” said Patrick Markey, executive director of the USCCB Office of National Collections. “Father Molina’s knowledge of the region, his existing relationships with the Church in Latin America, and his deep knowledge and broad experience in the work of the Church will help him transition well into a program that is already recognized for the excellent work Father Andrew Small did to support the USCCB’s commitment to the Church in Latin America, especially regarding Haiti.”
In March, the Vatican appointed Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father Andrew Small as national director of the Pontifical Missions Societies, based in New York City. During his two years of service as director for the Church in Latin America, Father Small oversaw the grant making program and the development of plans to help the reconstruction of the Church in Haiti in the wake of last year’s earthquake.
As director of the USCCB effort to support the Church in Latin America, Father Molina will be responsible for the bishops’ grant initiative for the Church in the region, including the work to support the Haitian bishops’ Partnership for Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti (PROCHE by its acronym in French).
Father Molina is a priest of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (the Trinitarians). He holds a Ph.D. in economics and a master’s degree in international political economy and development, both from Fordham University. He also received a Master of Arts degree in spirituality from the Washington Theological Union in Washington and speaks several languages.
The USCCB Office of National Collections manages eight of the national collections held in Catholic parishes throughout the year. The Collection for the Church in Latin America received over $7.1 million in donations from 150 U.S. Dioceses in 2010. The bishops’ Subcommittee on Latin America approved grants for 22 countries in the region totaling $7,563,961 that year. The special appeal for the Church in Haiti received over $84 million, of which 60 percent was committed for aiding the victims of the Earthquake and 40 percent has been committed for church reconstruction.
For more information on the USCCB’s work in Latin America, visit www.usccb.org/latinamerica.
Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thousands of Syrians across the country took to the streets yesterday to demand democracy, reforms and an end to the Bashar al-Assad regime. For the ninth consecutive week, protests followed Friday prayers. President Bashar al-Assad is said to have issued a presidential order “not to shoot demonstrators,” warning that “whoever violates this [order] will bear full responsibility,” presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban told prominent political activist Louay Hussein.
Despite the announcement, local forces say that four people died yesterday and many more were wounded in what for organisers was the “Friday of the free women of Syria” in which they honoured the women who participated in anti-regime protests.
Yesterday’s demonstrations took place in Homs as well as Daraya, a Damascus suburb. Baniyas and Deraa are still under siege, with demonstrations held in check.
Next week, Louay Hussein and three veteran opposition activists will meet the presidential advisers to discuss demands made to the government.
- The practice of abstaining from eating meat on Fridays is to return in England and Wales later this year.
“I think Catholics will welcome this,” said Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Bishops Conference of England & Wales.
The decision was made by the bishops of both countries this week and announced to the media May 13.
“What we have sought to do in this decision is to establish a shared practice, a shared habit, because habits that are carried out together are better learned and are stronger -- we give each other mutual support.”
“So that’s why there’s a simple, across-the-board expectation that this will be something that Catholics will do.”
The practice of abstaining from meat on a Friday was traditionally a way of remembering that Jesus Christ died on that day. The Church in England and Wales dropped the centuries-old custom in 1984. At the time they was stressed that other forms of Friday penance were also acceptable. The result, though, seemed to be that practice of Friday penance seemed to fall away altogether.
Not surprisingly, the bishops’ decision is being welcomed by the owner of the fish and chips shop around the corner from the cathedral in central London.
“It’s a good decision, primarily for religious reasons rather than reasons of business,” Osman Ismael of the Friars Inn told CNA.
“Interestingly, though, Friday is still our busiest day when it comes to selling fish and chips. So perhaps the custom never really went away.”
The decision will go into effect on September 16, the first anniversary of Pope Benedict’s visit to Scotland and England.
St. Isidore the Farmer
PATRON OF SPANISH FARMERS, MIRACLE WORKER
Feast: May 15
It is a misfortune which deserves to be lamented with floods of tears, that ignorance, obstinacy, and vice should so often taint a country life, the state which of all others is most necessary and important to the world; the most conformable to a human condition and to nature; the state which was sanctified by the example of the primitive holy patriarchs, and which affords the most favorable opportunities for the perfect practice of every virtue and Christian duty. What advantageous helps to piety did the ancient hermits seek in the deserts, which the circumstances of a country laborer do not offer? The life of St. Isidore is a most sensible proof of this assertion. He was born at Madrid, of poor but very devout parents, and was christened Isidore from the name of their patron, St. Isidore of Seville. They had not the means to procure him learning or a polite education; but, both by word and example, they infused into his tender soul the utmost horror and dread of all sin, and the most vehement ardor for every virtue, and especially for prayer. Good books are a great help to holy meditation; but not indispensably requisite. St. Irenaeus mentions whole nations which believed in Christ, and abounded in exemplary livers, without knowing the use of ink or paper. Many illustrious anchorets knew no other alphabet than that of humility and divine charity. The great St. Antony himself could not so much as read the Greek or Latin languages: nay, from the words of St. Austin, some doubt whether he could read even his own barbarous Egyptian dialect. Yet in the science of the saints, what philosopher or orator ever attained to the A B C of that great man? Learning, if it puffs up the mind, or inspires any secret self-sufficiency, is an impediment to the communications of the Holy Ghost: simplicity and sincere humility being the dispositions which invite him into the soul. By these was Isidore prepared to find him an interior instructor and comforter. His earnestness in seeking lessons and instructions of piety made him neglect no opportunity of hearing them; and so much the more tender and the deeper were the impressions which they left in his soul, as his desire was the stronger and the more pure. His patience in bearing all injuries and in overcoming the envy of fellow-servants by cordial kindnesses, his readiness to obey his masters, and in indifferent things to comply with the inclinations of others, and humbly to serve every one, gave him the most complete victory over himself and his passions. Labor he considered as enjoined him by God in punishment of sin, and for a remedy against it. And he performed his work in a spirit of compunction and penance. Many object that their labors and fatigues leave them little time for the exercises of religion. But Isidore, by directing his attention according to the most holy motives of faith, made his work a most perfect act of religion. He considered it as a duty to God. Therefore he applied himself to it with great diligence and care, in imitation of the angels in heaven, who in all things fulfil the will of God with the greatest readiness and alacrity of devotion. The more humbling and the more painful the labor was, the dearer it was to the saint, being a means the more suitable to tame his flesh, and a more noble part of his penance. With the same spirit that the saints subdued their bodies by toils in their deserts, Isidore embraced his task. He moreover sanctioned it by continual prayer. While his hand held the plough, he in his heart conversed with God, with his angel guardian, and the other blessed spirits; sometimes deploring the sins of the world, and his own spiritual miseries, at other times in the melting words of the royal prophet, raising his desires to the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem. It was chiefly by this perfect spirit of prayer, joined with, or rather engrafted upon a most profound humility and spirit of mortification, that St. Isidore arrived at so eminent a degree of sanctity as rendered him the admiration of all Spain. In his youth he was retained servant by a gentleman named John de Vargas of Madrid, to till his land and do his husbandry work. The saint afterwards took a most virtuous woman to wife, named Mary Toribia. Those who call her de la Cabeza were deceived by a chapel to which that name is given, because her head is kept in it. After the birth of one child, which died young, the parents, by mutual consent, served God in perfect continency.
St. Isidore continued always in the service of the same master. On account of his fidelity, he could say to him as Jacob did to Laban,1 that, to guard and improve his stock, he had often watched the nights, and had suffered the scorching heats of summer, and the cold of winter; and that the stock, which he found small, had been exceedingly increased in his hands. Don John de Vargas, after long experience of the treasure he possessed in this faithful ploughman, treated him as a brother, according to the advice of Ecclesiasticus,2 Let a wise servant be dear to thee as thy own soul. He allowed him the liberty of assisting daily at the public office of the church. On the other side, Isidore was careful by rising very early, to make his devotions no impediment to his business, nor any encroachment upon what he owed to his master. This being a duty of justice, it would have been a false devotion to have pretended to please God by a neglect of such an obligation; much less did the good servant indulge his compassionate charity to the poor, by relieving them otherwise than out of his own salary. The saint was sensible that in his fidelity, diligence, and assiduous labor consisted, in great part, the sanctification of his soul; and that his duty to his master was his duty to God. He also inspired his wife with the same confidence in God, the same love of the poor, and the same disengagement from the things of this world: he made her the faithful imitatrix of his virtues, and a partner in his good works. She died in 1175, and is honored in Spain among the saints. Her immemorial veneration was approved by pope Innocent XII. in 1697. See Benedict XIV., de Canoniz. 1. 2, c. 24, p. 246.
St. Isidore being seized with the sickness of which he died, foretold his last hour, and prepared himself for it with redoubled fervor, and with the most tender devotion, patience, and cheerfulness. The piety with which he received the last sacraments drew tears from all that were present. Repeating inflamed acts of divine love, he expired on the 15th of May, 1170, being near sixty years of age. His death was glorified by miracles. After forty years, his body was removed out of the churchyard into the church of St. Andrew. It has been since placed in the bishop's chapel, and during these five hundred years remains entire and fresh, being honored by a succession of frequent miracles down to this time. The following, among others, is very well attested. Philip III., in his return from Lisbon, was taken so ill at Casarubios del Monte, that his life was despaired of by his physicians. Whereupon the shrine of St. Isidore was ordered to be carried in a solemn procession of the clergy, court, and people, from Madrid to the chamber of the sick king. The joint prayers of many prevailed. At the same time the shrine was taken out of the church, the fever left the king; and upon its being brought into his chamber, he was perfectly cured. The year following the body of the saint was put into a new rich shrine, which cost one thousand six hundred ducats of gold. St. Isidore had been beatified a little before by Paul V., in 1619, at the solicitation of the same king. His solemn canonization was performed, at the request of king Philip IV., on the 12th of March, 1622; though the bull was only made public by Benedict XIII. See the life of St. Isidore, written by John of Madrid, one hundred and forty years after his death; and Card. Lambertini, de Canoniz. SS. t. 3.
|Acts 2: 14, 36 - 41|
|14||But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.|
|36||Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."|
|37||Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"|
|38||And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.|
|39||For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him."|
|40||And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."|
|41||So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.|