POPE TO VISIT ANCONA FOR CLOSE OF EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS
VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the twenty-fifth Italian Eucharistic Congress, due to be held in the city of Ancona from 3 to 11 September on the theme: "Lord, to whom shall we go? The Eucharist for daily life". (image source: Radio vaticana)
Participating in today's conference were Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo; Vittorio Sozzi, head of the Cultural Project of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI); Giovanni Morello, president of the academic committee for exhibitions during the congress, and Fr. Ivan Maffeis, vice director of the CEI national office for social communications.
Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to Ancona on 11 September, where at 10 a.m. he is due to preside at a concelebration of the Eucharist at the city's shipyard to mark the close of the congress. During the afternoon he will meet with families and clergy in the basilica of San Cyriacus, then address a group of young couples in the Piazza del Plebiscito before returning to the Vatican.
Vittorio Sozzi explained how the congress has been divided into five thematic areas: affections, fragility, work and rest, tradition, citizenship. "The celebration of the National Eucharistic Congress", he said, "may be seen as an important occasion for the public reaffirmation of faith in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of salvation and communion".
The celebration of the twenty-fifth Italian Eucharistic Congress will also involve a series of cultural events, including an exhibition entitled "At the Table of The Lord: Masterpieces of European art from Raphael to Tiepolo", which will be held at the city's Mole Vanvitelliana from 2 September 2011 to 8 January 2012.
The exhibition will include a series of Italian and European works from the fifteenth century on. The theme is that of the Last Supper, as interpreted by artists from two different perspectives: the institution of the Eucharist and the communion of the Apostles. The event, which is being organised by the Italian Ministry for Culture and the Vatican Museums, will also include a section on liturgical vessels from the Marches, especially gifts made by Popes over the course of the centuries to the various churches in that region of Italy.
Another exhibition taking place within the ambit of the congress is entitled "Signs of the Eucharist" and has been organised with contributions from all dioceses in the Marches. It is based on the premise that the church is first and foremost a place for celebrating Mass, the liturgy of which is structured around the main Sacrament of the Eucharist. The practice of this liturgical rite requires a certain number of objects associated with the altar of the Eucharist, and the exhibition seeks to illustrate and describe these objects, which are an expression of popular religiosity, as well as of the splendour of the Church and her relationship with the local area.
A third cultural initiative taking place in the context of the Italian Eucharistic Congress has as its title: "I must stay at your house today: The Eucharist, the grace of an unexpected encounter". It is an itinerant exhibition which, starting from the Gospel episode of Jesus' meeting with Zaccheus, illustrates the human need for the Eucharist.
PRIESTSFORLIFE REPORT: PRIESTS FOR LIFE MOURNS PASSING OF FR. RICHARD HOGAN
Fr. Pavone expressed sadness today at the death of Fr. Richard Hogan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul who was released in 1995 to be the full-time Associate Director of Priests for Life. He served in that capacity for five years. He was the first priest, aside from Fr. Pavone, to be given permission to serve Priests for Life as his full-time ministry.
Fr. Hogan was a scholar and author, and wrote on the theology of the body and the philosophical and theological thought of Pope John Paul II, especially as it relates to the cause of familyand life.
Fr. Pavone stated, “Fr. Hogan gave witness to the Church’s teachings on life in a persuasive and compassionate way. He enjoyed traveling and speaking on the Priests for Life mission, and was convinced that the Church is the key to resolving the problem of abortion. In particular, his willingness to serve this mission full-time, and the willingness of his Archbishop (who at that time was Most Rev. Harry Flynn) to allow him to do so, was a sign to the Church that saving the unborn is important enough for us to invest money and manpower into that specific mission.
“With the passing of Fr. Hogan, it is my prayer that we will continue to see more priests and deacons seek and receive permission to minister to the unborn on a full-time basis. Moreover, we renew the call for lay people to devote themselves full-time to the pro-life cause,” Fr. Pavone said.
For more information about Fr. Hogan and about Priests for Life, visit www.priestsforlife.org.
“To accompany young people in this great celebration with the Word and with the Eucharist and with devoted pastoral care is the great challenge and opportunity that (World Youth Day) gives us for the present and the future of the Church,” he stated.
Cardinal Rouco said numerous bishops and a “massive” number of priests from around the world are expected to attend the youth event taking place August 16-21 in Madrid. “The number of priests registered has surpassed 12,000 and we expect that number to reach 15,000-20,000,” he said during a Mass for the feast of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, celebrated in Spain on June 15.
Cardinal Rouco Varela recalled the long logistical and spiritual preparation for World Youth Day 2011, centered upon “the Cross of Christ, the Cross of the World Youth Days, and the Icon of the Virgin Mary at its side.”
“The service of priestly ministry during the preparation has been essential, and during the event it will be even more so,” he added.
ALL AFRICA REPORT- From the office of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli, Sudan:
A Call To Prayer and Fasting to End the Nuba Genocide, and for the Peace of all Sudan! - Sunday June 26, 2011
To all my brothers and sisters in Christ,
On behalf of my people in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan we are asking all Sudanese Christians wherever they are, and the Church throughout the world to join with us in a day of prayer and fasting on June 26, 2011.
At this moment, there is a meeting in Ethiopia with the different parties of Sudan, the African Union and other international parties seeking to find a true path of peace that recognizes our right to survive and thrive as a people, both Muslim and Christian alike, with equality and justice for all. Please pray and fast with us as you are able for a solution to this crisis.As we approach the July 9 day of independence for the New South Sudan, President Bashir has declared for all the world to hear that Sharia will be the law of the land for the North, refusing to recognize the legitimate presence of the Christian minority. It is a declaration of their determination to also end the remembrance of our Christian heritage that dates back two thousand years to the story of the Ethiopian eunuch (who was from modern day Sudan).
Please forward to everyone.
Rt. Revd Andudu Adam Elnail
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli, Sudan
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – On 21 May, men in a dark car abducted and tortured William Gomes, a Muslim convert to Christianity. He is a member of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the founder of a humanitarian organisation called Christian Development Alternative (CDA). He was stripped, forced on the ground and interrogated for almost five hours. His abductors, who include a native English speaker, accused him of being in touch with Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) and getting kickbacks “to harm the Bangladeshi army”. He was also accused of getting money to discredit Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The men who held him threatened to kill him and his family. When Gomes promised to quit the AHRC, he was released. He is certain that the people who abducted him were from Bangladeshi intelligence. This is his story.
On Saturday morning, 21 May, I went out to work. On my way home, I came near the bus station in Sayedabad when a man, bigger and taller than me, stopped me and told me to follow him to his car.
I remember when he pointed it to me: a black Mitsubishi Pajero, with tinted windows. I went with him, thinking he was lost or needed help. Instead, when I got near the car, a door opened and before I knew it, I was shoved in as someone inside grabbed and pulled me into the vehicle.
The two men sat on either side of me and asked if I was William Gomes. After I said yes, I found myself blindfolded with a tape. They also put a hood on my head and handcuffed me with my hands behind my back.
They took my bag, mobile phone, wallet and all other personal effects. And then pointed two guns to my head, telling me not to make a sound or they would fire.
“We have orders to kill you,” one of the two said. Then the guy to my left told the driver to go to “headquarters”.
As the jeep started to drive off, I heard a phone ring. One of my kidnappers said, “Sir, Sir! We got him.” Then the vehicle sped off.
After 40 minutes, we stopped. Two of the men pulled me out of the car, threatening to torture me if I didn’t walk on my own. We went up to the ninth floor. I heard one of them push nine. They threw me into a room and took off my clothes. I heard one of them say, “He’s circumcised but he’s got a Christian name.”
They started pushing to the ground. “Do as Muslims do when they pray!” I didn’t know what they wanted me to do. Then, one hit my head against the floor and threatened me. “If you try getting up, we’ll stick boiled eggs up your ass. And we’ll do the same to your fathers.” By fathers, they meant members of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
Suddenly, a man stopped talking and starting shouting, “Sir, Sir! He’s ready.” Ready for what?
I did not know what to expect. I was completely naked, cold and bleeding from the nose. At a certain point, the men started asking me many questions like: When was the last time I left Bangladesh or did I ever go to Hong Kong.
They also mentioned (opposition leader) Khaleda Zia. Questions came one after the other. They started to ask me about money. “When was the last time I met Khaleda Zia? Where’s the money? Where are the 10 million taka they gave me? How much money Zia gave me for the Mishu case?”
I told them that I had never met Khaleda Zia. “I am a liberal,” I tried to explain to them. “I don’t have ties with rightwing people.”
My head was hurting like heck. At one point, they asked me when I went to Kashmir. They accused me of meeting agents from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the ISI, in order to destroy Bangladesh.
“I don’t know anyone from the ISI,” I tried to tell them, “I’m a human rights activist; I only work for the AHRC.”
Their response was to say that the AHRC “is the greatest enemy of the country and the army. Didn’t its chief say he didn’t want the army in government? How dare that son of a dog speak against the army?”
They kept accusing me. One of them accused me of being involved with Pakistani intelligence, that I was getting kickbacks from them and the Asian Human Rights Commission mi to organise attacks and discredit the army and the prime minister.
I was still on the ground. I heard a mobile phone ring again, and someone saying that they were almost done. Then a foreigner, a native English speaker, asked me for information about my chief, the chairman of the AHRC, about when he would be back in Bangladesh.
Several times, they mentioned the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB, a special police unit accused of abductions and murders). I am certain these men were from RAB’s legal branch.
I did not know what to tell him. I was thirsty and asked for some water. I drank something warm. I think they drugged me or gave me something strange.
They started listing all the times I was allegedly corrupted. They then mentioned the Christian Development Alternative (CDA), my humanitarian organisation.
“Why do you care about Bangladeshi in Indian jails? Why are you trying to discredit the good work of our government and its good relations with India?”
All I did, through my organisations, was to write letters to the appropriate authorities in order to solve some human rights problems.
At some point, the foreigner said, “He is a terrorist. Let us kill him and feed him to the Magur Machh (a flesh-eating fish).”
At that moment, I got really scared and started to beg them to let me go. I was crying and told them, “Please, I have two little children. Forgive me! I’ll quit my job!” I promised them that I would no longer collaborate with the Asian Human Rights Commission.
Instead, they threatened me again. “You won’t quit the AHRC. Now you go home, and behave as nothing happened and don’t tell anyone about our meeting.”
Suddenly, it was all over. They took me and gave me back my clothes. I was still blindfolded and handcuffed when they put me into a car and took me back where they had abducted me. The same man from the morning, after returning all my personal effects, told me, “We are keeping an eye on you. If you open your mouth, I’ll make sure you’re devoured by the magur machh.” He then disappeared.
As for me, I am living in fear for my family and myself.
DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT:
YOUTH BREAKFAST WITH THE CARDINAL AND THE BISHOP
|Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony at Saturday's Youth Breakfast.|
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu
Around 300 young people joined Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell and Bishop of Parramatta Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP at a special Youth Breakfast at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall Parramatta on Saturday 18 June.
Cardinal George Pell spoke on the topic of ‘Culture of Life vs Culture of Death’ at the breakfast, which was hosted by Catholic Youth Parramatta.Visit Catholic Youth Parramatta
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Feast: June 21
Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he was placed in the court of Francesco de'Medici in Florence, where he remained for two years, going then to Mantua. At Brescia, when he was twelve, he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, and from him received First Communion. In 1581 he went with his father to Spain, and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. While there he formed the resolution of becoming a Jesuit, though he first thought of joining the Discalced Carmelites. He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much difficulty in securing his father's consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother, 2 November, 1585, a proceeding which required the approval of the emperor, as Castiglione was a fief of the empire. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, who was then General of the Society, 25 November, 1585. Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a brilliant public act in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance. He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy, but also in theology, at the University of Alcal&aacuate;. He made his vows 25 November, 1587. Immediately after, he began his theological studies. Among his professors were Fathers Vasquez and Azor. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell ill and died 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli wreathed with festoons of silver. The altar has for its centerpiece a large marble relief of the Saint by Le Gros.
|Matthew 7: 6, 12 - 14|
|6||"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.|
|12||So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.|
|13||"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.|
|14||For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.|