Wednesday, May 25, 2011





TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAY 24: JOHN 10: 22-30


VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the document "Family: Work and Celebration", the preparatory catecheses for the VII World Meeting of Families, was presented. The gathering will take place in Milan, Italy from 30 May to 3 June in 2012.

Taking part in the presentation were Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan; Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla, auxiliary of that same archdiocese, coordinator of the workgroup responsible for editing the preparatory catecheses and co-president of the academic preparatory committee for the theological-pastoral convention; Fr. Gianfranco Grieco, O.F.M., bureau chief in the Pontifical Council for the Family; and Fr. Davide Milani, head of social communications for the archdiocese of Milan.

Cardinal Antonelli mentioned that the dicastery over which he presides is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its foundation, just like the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He further explained that the gathering in Milan in 2012 will be organized in two parts: a theological-pastoral convention on the first three days followed by two days of celebration with the Holy Father in attendance. "The book of catecheses on the theme "Family: Work and Celebration", which was prepared by the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Milan, has been inestimably helpful in preparing for this gathering. ... It consists of 10 Biblical catecheses accompanied by texts of the Magisterium. The Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana) has published it in Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Polish, and it can be used directly by ecclesial communities and by families".

For his part, Cardinal Tettamanzi hoped that the catecheses could "serve as guide for dioceses around the world, transforming into a point of reference that is useful even beyond initiatives of pastoral care for family and work. It is necessary to disseminate the information widely so that, thanks also to translations, these characteristic materials and intuitions do not remain exclusive to just a few and do not simply constitute an intra-ecclesial patrimony".

Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla noted that the catecheses "form a trio that begins from the family to open it to the world. Work and celebration are the forms within which the family inhabits social space and lives human time. ... The first group of catecheses confronts the way of living relationships at home". A home that "necessarily becomes a space of acceptance and a place where a profound intimacy between the couple and between parents and children is safeguarded. ... The second group introduces the theme of work in daily life, ... which cannot be just a means of economic support but the place of personal identity and social relationship. ... The third group concentrates on the manner in which the family celebrates. It is difficult in today's situations to live Sunday as a time of celebration ... modern humanity has invented free time but seems to have forgotten the celebration ... This is why the family needs to engrave on its lifestyle the sense of celebration ... as a community of encounter".

On 28 March, the Pontifical Council for the Family initiated the site to provide information on the dicastery's activities and main projects. Among other sections is included one dedicated to the World Meeting of Families in Milan.


- The Natural Family Planning Center of Peru reported that 30,000 people participated in the March for Life in Lima.

Auxiliary Bishop Raul Chau of Lima noted that the May 21 event “was a festival in which Catholics clearly said that we do not want abortion in our country because that would mean legalizing the deaths of thousands of innocent babies.”

The thousands of participants carried banners, balloons and signs as they marched through the streets of the Peruvian capital.

Martin Tantalean, the president of the Natural Family Planning Center, told CNA the massive event was a sign of the growing grassroots movement among Peruvians to make their voices heard to the country’s leaders.

“It is important that Peruvians speak out in support of life and demand that both of the candidates in the runoff elections on June 5 respect the constitution, in order to defend all unborn babies in Peru,” he said.

The march concluded with addresses by numerous leaders and a Catholic music concert.



One of the finest religious films, and one of the best Catholic films, in years. No controversy here. The film won the Ecumenical Prize at Cannes 2010. It also won the Grand Prix du Jury from the festival itself.

The subject is the Trappist community of Mt Atlas, Algeria, in the 1990s.

Living their monastic life amongst the local people and ministering to them, especially with medical services, they were viewed more and more with suspicion in the country, especially because they were French expatriates, by government troops who were becoming more active against the increasing terrorist attacks, and by the terrorists themselves.

Seven of the monks were killed in the latter part of May, 1996.

Later, and with stronger evidence emerging in recent years with documentation more open and available, the violence perpetrated by both sides, including the military is now under review. The centre of the film, however, is the life of the monks and their preparation for death.While the film expertly builds up the background of post-colonial Algeria, corrupt government, extreme Islamists imposing something like Taliban terror in the towns and villages, the role of the military is ambiguous.

The director, Xavier Beauvois, shows an instinct for depicting the detail of monastic life with sensitivity and a strong awareness of what it means. His technical advisers have offered expert information which he has absorbed.

The screenplay does not shy away from deep and reflective words which support the visual action. First of all, the words from the scriptures are most apt, especially about two together, one taken, one left, and the text on losing and gaining one’s life.

But, each of the monks is given several opportunities to speak about his vocation and his commitment. This is stronger as the risk situation becomes more dangerous and their lives are threatened.

Perhaps this makes it sound as if the film is offering a sermon rather than a movie story. It is a movie first and foremost and that is how it delivers its message, through story and in words and moving images - Peter Malone,Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

Starring Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin, Sabrina Ouazani. Written and directed by Xavier Beauvois. MA 15+ (Strong violent scene). 183 mins.

TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2011


ASIA NEWS REPORT: South Korean Protestant Pastor: "In North Korea there are still about 40 thousand Christians: some tortured and committed to labour camps, but who set an example for everyone." The Catholic Church does not confirm these figures but praises the attitude of those who managed to escape, "missionary of hope for us all."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - "About 40 thousand underground Christians still live in North Korea. Including those, and they are the majority, who have ended up in a labour camp because of their faith", revealed Protestant minister Lim Chang-ho in an interview with the Daily NK. According to the pastor, "given the high level of repression by the regime against Christians, they are preserved in the only way they can: get married to each other and in secret."

In North Korea, people are organized into 51 classes. The first three are based on loyalty to the Kim family and the cult of dictator as the "eternal president" and the "Dear Leader" his son as the only accepted forms of divinity in the country. Obviously, anyone who professes a religion or is in possession of religious material is classified as "hostile" and is effectively banned from public life in the country.

According to the testimonies of those who manage to escape from the clutches of the regime, Christians are subjected to the worst treatment. In this situation, the beleaguered community responds the best way it can: "Christianity is still present only thanks to the very courageous and admirable attitude of the faithful. When neighbours see how a Christian behaves, they want to imitate them: I can not confirm it, but there is even talk of some conversions. "

In fact, Pastor Lim has direct experience of the community given that – he claims – that he has delivered aid to the North: "If we bring disinfectants or antibiotics, we know from the outset that the underground Christians will not use them: they will wait until someone falls seriously ill before using the medicines. In some villages, they are among teh most respected people".

According to the latest data available to Christians in the South, " there are at least 30 thousand Christians currently being held in forced labour camps, where all those who profess a faith are sent. A terrible situation, but we know that there are about 10 thousand of our brothers and sisters who live at large". Other believe, however, that these are exaggerated figures. AsiaNews sources speak of "no more than 200 Catholics" still alive in North Korea, mostly very elderly survivors of civil war and deportation.

However, the Catholic Church in the South has a very important role in helping all those who escape the North - explains the Bishop of Daejon Mgr. Lazarus You Heung-sik to AsiaNews, who is in charge of the pastoral care of immigrants - "these people are often the best missionaries. We are not in the race for conversions, we wait to see if a natural path is perfected and is sincere. But this sometimes happens, and when it does, it is a great fruit of God. "


ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY REPORT: Kieran Williams didn't think he would have much chance in the WYD Madrid Video Competition.

It was open to young people from all over the world and film making is really just a hobby for Kieran.

He did win the xt3 Mary MacKillop video competition, "Looking for Mary", last year with a film called Suffering With a Smile, but Madrid was an international competition.

Then the call came from the judges. He was a finalist and the organisers wanted to fly Kieran over to Madrid for the announcement of the winner.

At a special WYD event last night the winning video was announced - "The Power of Confession" and to accept the prize - Kieran Williams.

A twenty-five year old university student, Kieran created the film with sports journalist and friend, Sebastian James.

It is about one friend who gives his life for another, knowing that he has been to confession and was ready to meet his maker. This inspired

Kieran Williams won the WYD video competition
with his film "The Power of Confession".

The man he saved to make the most of the Sacrament of Confession, and he eventually went on to become a Priest.

The poignant appeal about the film is that it is based on a true story.

Kieran didn't have much time to talk about his win overnight except to say he was "very stoked" and it came out of the blue.

Just happy to be a finalist Kieran didn't ever see himself as receiving first prize.

"We had a lot of trouble filming on the water, the audio was very tricky," he said

"However we knew it was a good story even with the quality difficulties."

Kieran also paid tribute to his friends who helped with the production - Sebastian; Assistant Producer Miguel Sargosa ( a former Catholic Communications employee); Actors Andrew Cougle and Alfio Stuto who was the 2nd place winner in the "Looking for Mary" competition and who is probably best remembered for playing the role of Jesus in Stations of the Cross at WYD Sydney.

Kieran also wrote the music for the short film.

First prize for the winning video is ten thousand euros or Aus$13,280 but most of this could also go into the next production. Kieran is already working on an entry for Tropfest.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - Ninety young aspirants to priesthood and religious life of the diocese of Edea and the neighboring dioceses of Douala and Yaoundé, lived three days of study, prayer and fraternity, from May 13 to 15, on the occasion of the seventh edition of "Festivoc 2011. The meeting was organized and coordinated by the Rogationist Fr. Philip Golez, with the help of the seminarians of the preparatory training at the house of St. Hannibal Mary Of France. The event was attended by thirteen religious congregations, men and women. For seven years the congregation of the Rogationists has been committed to keeping alive the ministry vocations in this diocese also attracting people from other neighboring dioceses.
According to the orientation of the theme of the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations - "Proposing vocations in the local church" - the young people worked with the help of a priest and a university teacher, seeking to deepen their knowledge about the role of young people in promoting vocations. On the evening of the first day a cultural program with songs, plays, sketches, etc. was presented, in order to allow their peers understand how they perceived and felt the call of the Lord in their lives. On the second day a conference on the theme of World Day for Vocations was held and was followed by group sharing and discussion, in the afternoon there was the presentation of all these religious families who were present. The procession with the Blessed Sacrament, adoration and confessions were the central moments of the Vigil of prayer for vocations. The festival ended with the solemn celebration of the Holy Mass presided by Archbishop Jean-Bosco Ntep, Bishop of Edea. Young people have already arranged to meet next year for the eighth edition of Festivoc


St. Vincent of Lerins


Feast: May 24


Feast Day:May 24
Born:445, LĂ©rins, France

St. Vincent was of Gaulish extraction, had a polite education, was afterwards for some time an officer in the army, and lived with dignity in the world. He informs us in his Prologue, that having been some time tossed about in the storms of a bustling military life, he began seriously to consider the dangers with which he was surrounded, and the vanity and folly of his pursuits. He desired to take shelter in the harbor of religion, which he calls the safest refuge from the world. His view in this resolution was, that he might strenuously labor to divest his soul of its ruffling passions, of pride and vanity, and to offer to God the acceptable sacrifice of a humble and Christian spirit, and that being further removed from worldly temptations, he might endeavor more easily to avoid not only the wrecks of the present life, but also the burnings of that which is to come. In these dispositions he retired from the crowds of cities, and made for the desired haven with all the sail he could. The place he chose for his retirement was in a small remote island, sheltered from the noise of the world. This Gennadius assures us to have been the famous monastery of Lerins, situated in the lesser of the two agreeable green islands which formerly bore the name of Lerins, not far from the coast of Lower Provence towards Antibes. In this place he shut himself up, that he might attend solely to what God commands us, and study to know him. Vincent reflected that time is always snatching something from us: its fleeting moments pass as quick as they come, never, never more to return, as water which is gone from its source runs to it no more. Our course is almost run out; the past time appears as a shadow; so will that which is now to come when it shall be once over, and no tears, no entreaties, no endeavors, can recall the least moment we have already let slip unimproved. In these reflections the fervent servant of God assures us that he earnestly strove to redeem time,and to be always turning it to the best account, that this invaluable grace might not rise up at the last day in judgment against him. He considered that true faith is necessary to salvation no less than morality, and that the former is the foundation of Christian virtue; and he grieved to see the church at that time pestered with numberless heresies, which sucked their poison from their very antidote, the Holy Scriptures, and which, by various wiles, spread on,, every side their dangerous snares. To guard the faithful against the false and perplexing glosses of modern subtle refiners, and to open the eyes of those who had been already seduced by them, he, with great clearness, eloquence, and force of reasoning, wrote a book, which he entitled, A Commonitory against Heretics, which he composed in 434, three years after the general council of Ephesus had condemned the Nestorians. He had chiefly in view the heretics of his own times, especially the Nestorians and the Apollinarists, but he confuted them by general, clear principles, which overturn all heresies to the end of the world. Together with the ornaments of eloquence and erudition, the inward beauty of his mind, and the brightness of his devotion, sparkle in every page of his book.

Out of humility, he disguises himself under the name of Peregrinus, to express the quality of being a pilgrim or stranger on earth, and one by his monastic state, in a more particular manner, estranged from the world. He styles himself The least of all the servants of God, and less than the least of all the saints, unworthy to bear the holy name of a Christian. He lays down this rule, or fundamental principle, in which he found, by a diligent inquiry, all Catholic pastors and the ancient fathers to agree, that such doctrine is truly Catholic as hath been believed in all places, at all times, and by all the faithful. By this test of universality, antiquity, and consent, he saith, all controverted points in belief must be tried. He showeth, that while Novatian, Photinus, Sabellius, Donatus, Arius, Eunomius, Jovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, and Nestorius expounded the divine oracles different ways, to avoid the perplexity of errors, we must interpret the Holy Scriptures by the tradition of the Catholic church, as the clew to conduct us in the truth. For this tradition, derived from the apostles, manifesteth the true meaning of the Holy Scriptures, and all novelty in faith is a certain mark of heresy; and, in religion, nothing is more to be dreaded than itching ears after new teachers. He saith: "They who have made bold with one article of faith will proceed on to others; and what will be the consequence of this reforming of religion, but only that these refiners will never have done till they have reformed it quite away." He elegantly expatiates on the divine charge given to the church, to maintain inviolable the sacred depositum of faith. He takes notice that heretics quote the sacred writings at every word, and that in the works of Paulus Samosatenus, Priscillian, Eunomius, Jovinian, and other like pests of Christendom, almost every page is painted and laid on thick with scripture texts, which Tertullian also remarks. But in this, saith, St. Vincent, heretics are like those poisoners or quacks who put off their destructive potions under inscriptions of good drugs, and under the title of infallible cures. They imitate the father of lies, who quoted scripture against the Son of God when he tempted him. The saint adds, that if a doubt arise in interpreting the meaning or the scriptures in any point of faith we must summon in the holy fathers, who nave lived and died in the faith and communion of the Catholic church, and by this test we shall prove the false doctrine to be novel. For that only we must look upon as indubitably certain and unalterable, which all, or the major part of these fathers have delivered, like the harmonious consent of a general council. But if any one among them, be he ever so holy, ever so learned, holds any thing besides, or in opposition to the rest, that is to be placed in the rank of singular and private opinions, and never to be looked upon as the public, general, authoritative doctrine of the church. After a point has been decided in a general council, the definition is irrefragable. These general principles, by which all heresies are easily confounded, St. Vincent explains with equal eloquence and perspicuity." His diction is pure and agreeable, his reasoning close and solid; and no controversial book ever expressed so much, and such deep sense, in so few words. The same rules are laid down by Tertullian in his book of Prescriptions, by St. Irenaeus and other fathers. St. Vincent died in the reigns of Theodosius II. and Valentinian III., consequently before the close of the year 456. His relics are preserved with respect at Lerins, and his name occurs in the Roman Martyrology.

St. Vincent observes that souls which have lost the anchorage of the Catholic faith, "are tossed and shattered with inward storms of clashing thoughts, that by this restless posture of mind they may be made sensible of their danger; and taking down the sails of pride and vanity which they have unhappily spread before every gust of heresy, they may make all the sail they can into the safe and peaceful harbor of their holy mother the Catholic church; and being sick from a surfeit of errors, may there discharge those foul and bitter waters to make room for the pure waters of life. There they may unlearn well what they have learned ill; may get a right notion of all those doctrines of the church they are capable of understanding, and believe those that surpass all understanding."


TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAY 24: JOHN 10: 22-30

John 10: 22 - 30
22It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
23it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
24So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me;
26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
28and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30I and the Father are one."