VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday, Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolence to Bishop Matthias Heinrich, auxiliary and diocesan administrator of Berlin, Germany, for the death of Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky, archbishop emeritus of that archdiocese. The cardinal died on 30 June at the age of 75.
(IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
In his telegram the Pope expresses his closeness to the faithful of Berlin as they mourn the death of their cardinal who, he writes, "had the task of guiding and, as bishop to all its inhabitants, uniting a politically divided archdiocese in the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. His efforts over the years were always at the service of reconciliation".
"In the same way", the Pope continues, "he felt a great need to show solidarity towards people without a land of their own, refugees and immigrants, and to give them a homeland within the family of the Church. May Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, reward him for his commitment and give him life in abundance in His Kingdom".
VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall of the VaticanApostolicPalace, the Pope received participants in thirty-seventh Conference of the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Benedict XVI greeted the newly elected head of the organisation, Jose Graziano da Silva, thanking the outgoing president, Jacques Diouf, for the "competence and dedication" he had shown during the years he was in charge of the FAO.
"Poverty, underdevelopment and the resulting hunger are often the outcome of selfish attitudes which, arising from man's heart, find expression in his social activities, in economic relations and in the conditions of the market, ... and are translated into the denial of the primary right of all individuals to nourishment and freedom from hunger. How can we remain silent before the fact that food has become the object of speculation and is tied to the movements of financial markets which, lacking clear rules and moral principles, seem fixated on the single objective of profit? Nourishment is a factor which touches on the fundamental right to life", he said.
"The international situation and recurrent concerns caused by instability and price increases demand concrete responses, which must necessarily be united in order to achieve results which individual States cannot achieve alone. This means that solidarity must become an essential criterion for all political and strategic action", the Holy Father explained. "In this perspective, international institutions are called to work in keeping with their mandate, supporting values which accord with human dignity, eliminating attitudes of closure, and leaving no space for individual demands which are passed off as being in the general interest".
Benedict XVI also recalled how the FAO is also "called to re-examine its own structure, freeing it from impediments which hinder the organisation from achieving the goal set out in its Constitution to guarantee nutritional development, the availability of food products and the development of rural areas, so as to ensure that humankind is free from hunger".
The Pope went on to speak of "the situation of millions of children, who are the first victims of this tragedy, condemned to early death or to a delay in their physical and mental development. ... Concern for younger generations could be a way to contrast the abandonment of rural areas and agricultural work", he said. However, "despite the commitments taken on and the obligations they entail, we must note that concrete aid and assistance are often limited to emergency situations, forgetting that a coherent concept of development must be capable of guaranteeing a future for every individual, family or community, favouring long term objectives". Thus, "support must be given to initiatives ... aimed at rediscovering the importance of family-run farms, supporting the vital role they play in ensuring stable food security".
"Food security is an authentically human requirement", Pope Benedict went on. "Guaranteeing it for present and future generations also means safeguarding ourselves against the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources. Indeed, the process of consumption and waste seems to overlook any concern for ... biodiversity, which is so important for agriculture".
"At this time in which agriculture is beset by so many problems, but is also facing new opportunities for alleviating the problem of hunger", the Holy Father told his audience, "you can ensure that, by guaranteeing a nourishment responsive to people's needs, individuals can grow in their true identity as creatures made in the image of God".
VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The College of Cardinals today offered a luncheon in the Pope's honour in the Sala Ducale of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, to mark the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Santiago de Chile, Chile.
This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Catholic News Service
HONOLULU (CNS) -- The sainthood cause of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai has taken a significant step forward with a Vatican medical board ruling in favor of a miracle attributed to her intercession.
According to a news release from her religious community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, N.Y., the seven physicians at the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes declared there is no medical explanation for the cure of a woman who had been suffering from an allegedly irreversible fatal condition.
A tapestry depicting Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai hangs inside St. Peter's Basilica during her 2005 beatification ceremony. (CNS/Reuters)
"The board concluded the woman's healing was inexplicable according to available medical knowledge. The doctors on the case expected her to die and were amazed scientifically at her survival," the release said.
No other details about the case have been released.
The Sisters of St. Francis received the news from Msgr. Robert J. Sarno, an American priest at the congregation who has been working with the postulator of Mother Marianne's cause, Father Ernesto Piacentini, in the written presentation of the miracle case at the Vatican.
The miracle, approved June 16 by the medical board, still must pass two more Vatican examinations before it is presented to the pope for final approval for canonization. The first is by a board of theologians who will determine if the healing was the result of prayer for Mother Marianne's intercession, and then by a committee of cardinals and bishops who will examine the entire case and give a final verdict.
Sister Patricia Burkard, general minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, said that the medical board's decision is a "reason to rejoice" for her religious order, for her devotees, and for "all who unselfishly care for others and do acts of charity known only to God."
"Mother Marianne was the human face of the Gospel's mandate to care for the hungry, the sick and the impoverished," Sister Patricia said. "We pray for success in the case so that her inspirational life will be better known throughout the world. She is a model for us all."
Sister Francis Regis Hadano, regional administrator for the Sisters of St. Francis in Hawaii, said her community is "delighted" with the Vatican ruling.
"We Franciscan Sisters are very pleased and certainly excited about the advancement in the miracle case," she said in an email to the Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Honolulu Diocese. "We are hopeful the theologians will meet sometime later this year. There is much work to be done in preparation for this session so prayer is needed."
"We thank all who pray specially for Blessed Marianne to be canonized," she said.
This is the second miracle attributed to Blessed Marianne's intercession to go through the Vatican approval process.
The first miracle, required for her beatification, was the medically unexplainable recovery of a New York girl dying from multiple organ failure after prayers were said to Mother Marianne. It was approved by the medical board Jan. 29, 2004. The board of theologians gave its approval six months later, on July 15. On Dec. 20, Pope John Paul II affirmed the case, making Mother Marianne eligible for beatification. She was beatified in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 14, 2005.
Mother Marianne, as the head of her religious community in Syracuse, led the first group of Franciscan sisters to the Hawaiian Islands in 1883 to establish a system of nursing care for leprosy patients. She was the only one of 50 religious superiors in the United States, Canada and Europe who were asked for help to accept the challenge.
Once in Hawaii, she relinquished her leadership position in Syracuse to lead her mission for 35 years, five in Honolulu and the remainder on Molokai.
When she died in Kalaupapa in 1918, a Honolulu newspaper wrote: "Seldom has the opportunity come to a woman to devote every hour of 30 years to the mothering of people isolated by law from the rest of the world. She risked her own life in all that time, faced everything with unflinching courage and smiled sweetly through it all."
CATHOLIC LEADER REPORT: SUNNY winter skies greeted worshippers of Our Lady of the Southern Cross parish, Greater Springfield, last Sunday for a special event.
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane celebrated the outdoor Mass, installing Greater Springfield parish priest Fr Mauro Conte.
Gift of art: Brianne Gatehouse, 10, presents Springfield parish priest Fr Mauro Conte with a painting she did as a gift for the new parish. Brianne is a student at St Augustine's CollegeArchbishop Bathersby described the event as "a great day of celebration for our archdiocese".
"I am deeply grateful to be invited to be present with you on this most significant day," he said in his homily.
"Soon we will celebrate the sesquicentenary of St Mary's Parish, Maryborough, in 1861, with the appointment of the first French parish priest Fr Tissot.
"Your brand new parish also will undoubtedly celebrate its sesquicentenary at some time in the distant future.
"Such is the birth of this new parish for the Archdiocese of Brisbane as the Church grows and the faith is planted in the hearts and minds of new Christians."
Fr Conte spoke of the ongoing support from the archbishop and other priests gathered with the community in prayer, including Brisbane archdiocese Moderator Fr Peter Meneely.
"The atmosphere was great," Fr Conte said.
"The weather was fantastic and the whole community was there as we cancelled the other Masses so that everyone would come to the one with the archbishop."
"Excited" and "very happy" was how he described the feeling among the people, more than 600 of whom were gathered.
"We worked very hard towards this event," he said.
"It was very successful and was exactly what the community was looking for ... the announcement of our name.
"The people are responding really well."
Our Lady of the Southern Cross parish comprises five suburbs.
Fr Conte said it was "in an area full of children and families" and they recently celebrated First Holy Communion with 25 students.
"We have started a journey full of challenges," he said.
"The first is to build a church and raise funds.
"Another challenge is to keep the community together."
- Selina Venier
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – In the humid heat of summer, about 218,000 Hong Kong residents joined the annual 1 July march to demand greater democracy and oppose property corporations, whose hegemony has led to a growing rich-poor disparity. Police sources said that estimated 51,000 protesters took part in the rally.
Since the handover of the former British colony to Chinese rule in 1997, a march has been held on 1 July, from Victoria Park to the Hong Kong central government office, to mark the event and to allow people to express their dissatisfaction over political and social issues.
In 2003, over 500,000 people joined the march to stop the adoption of security legislation and call for the resignation of senior officials. This year marks the highest turnout since 2004, when 200,000 people came out.
The Civil Human Rights Front, a coalition of civic groups that includes Catholic organisations, organised the march. Its demands include direct election for Hong Kong’s chief executive and all Legislative Council (LegCo) seats as well as end to the hegemony property corporations, which has led to a growing disparity between rich and poor. Marchers also want current Chief Executive Donald Tsang to step down because his administration has failed to meet local people’s needs.
Front spokesperson Fan Kwok-wai told the press that protesters’ call for greater democracy was clear. They want the Hong Kong government to scrap a proposal on “electoral replacement” that would fill vacant legislative seats based on previous election results. The proposal will be voted at the LegCo on 13 July.
Former LegCo Member and senior civil servant Anson Chan was at the march. She said that such a proposal would deprive people of their right to vote, and should be withdrawn.
Members of the Hong Kong Journalists Association also took part in the rally. They too noted that the proposal would deprive voters of their right to vote and limit freedom of expression.
Vincent, a protester, told AsiaNews that he was disappointed by the democratic reforms proposed by the Hong Kong government as well as its housing policy.
“Soaring housing prices have made it impossible for us to purchase a flat. Expensive properties also have caused the prices of daily necessities to go up. Life is hard. We must voice out our grievances,” he said.
At a Christian prayer meeting held before the march, Father Thomas Law Kwok-fai pointed out that various factors that impact on people’s lives, including telecommunications, supermarkets, shopping arcades, housing estates and even politicians, are all in the hands of certain corporations, and that this deprives others of their right to survive. More than 500 Christians attended the meeting.
At the march, other issues led to appeals, including a call for higher wages for foreign workers, as well as greater concern for new immigrants and medical care, and release of Liu Xiaobo and other Chinese dissidents.
North and South Sudan have reached an agreement that provides for the dispatch of 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei, withdrawal of troops from Khartoum and the demilitarization of the area (see Fides 21/6/2011). "The dispatch of the deployment of UN troops is expected after July 9 (the date of the proclamation of the independence of southern Sudan). It is hoped that, when the Ethiopian peacekeepers will finally be deployed, people regain confidence and return to Abyei, and regain farming the land", says the Apostolic Administrator of Malakal. A difficult return because, as pointed out by Mgr. Mousa, "several houses in Abyei have been ransacked and destroyed by the troops of Northern Sudan".
As for South Kordofan, the other region in the center of tensions between north and south Sudan, Mgr. Mousa reports "that the situation is unclear, partly because reporters are not allowed to go there. It is therefore difficult to ascertain from independent witnesses what is happening in the area. It is known that in South Kordofan, the humanitarian situation is very serious", concludes the Apostolic Administrator of Malakal.
Bl. Junípero Serra
Feast: July 1
Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, 24 November, 1713; died at Monterey, California, 28 August, 1784.
On 14 September, 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. For his proficiency in studies he was appointed lector of philosophy before his ordination to the priesthood. Later he received the degree of Doctor of Theology from the Lullian University at Palma, where he also occupied the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy until he joined the missionary college of San Fernando, Mexico (1749). While traveling on foot from Vera Cruz to the capital, he injured his leg in such a way that he suffered from it throughout his life, though he continued to make his journeys on foot whenever possible. At his own request he was assigned to theSierra Gorda Indian Missions some thirty leagues north of Querétaro. He served there for nine years, part of the time as superior, learned the language of the Pame Indians, and translated the catechism into their language. Recalled to Mexico, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people to penance. He would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lighted torch to his bare chest. In 1767 he was appointed superior of a band of fifteen Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Lower California. Early in 1769 he accompanied Portolá's land expedition to Upper California. On the way (14 May) he established the Mission San Fernando de Velicatá, Lower California. He arrived at San Diego on 1 July, and on 16 July founded the first of the twenty-one California missions which accomplished the conversions of all the natives on the coast as far as Sonoma in the north. Those established by Father Serra or during his administration were San Carlos (3 June, 1770); San Antonio (14 July, 1771); San Gabriel (8 September, 1771); San Luis Obispo (1 September, 1772); San Francisco de Asis (8 October, 1776); San Juan Capistrano (1 Nov. 1776); Santa Clara (12 January, 1777); San Buenaventura (31 March, 1782). He was also present at the founding of the presidio of Santa Barbara (21 April, 1782), and was prevented from locating the mission there at the time only through the animosity of Governor Philipe de Neve. Difficulties with Pedro Fages, the military commander, compelled Father Serra in 1773 to lay the case before Viceroy Bucareli. At the capital of Mexico, by order of the viceroy, he drew up his "Representación" in thirty-two articles. Everything save two minor points was decided in his favour; he then returned to California, late in 1774. In 1778 he received the faculty to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. After he had exercised his privilege for a year, Governor Neve directed him to suspend administering the sacrament until he could present the papal Brief. For nearly two years Father Serra refrained, and then Viceroy Majorga gave instructions to the effect that Father Serra was within his rights. During the remaining three years of his life he once more visited the missions from San Diego to San Francisco, six hundred miles, in order to confirm all who had been baptized. He suffered intensely from his crippled leg and from his chest, yet he would use no remedies. He confirmed 5309 persons, who, with but few exceptions, were Indians converted during the fourteen years from 1770. Besides extraordinary fortitude, his most conspicuous virtues were insatiable zeal, love of mortification, self-denial, and absolute confidence in God. His executive abilities has been especially noted by non-Catholic writers. The esteem in which his memory is held by all classes in California may be gathered from the fact that Mrs. Stanford, not a Catholic, had a granite monument erected to him at Monterey. A bronze statute of heroic size represents him as the apostolic preacher in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In 1884 the Legislature of California passed a concurrent resolution making 29 August of that year, the centennial of Father Serra's burial, a legal holiday. Of his writings many letters and other documentation are extant. The principal ones are his "Diario" of the journey from Loreto to San Diego, which was published in "Out West" (March to June, 1902), and the "Representación" before mentioned.
|Matthew 11: 25 - 30|
|25||At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;|
|26||yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.|
|27||All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.|
|28||Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.|
|29||Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.|
|30||For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."|