“The Holy Father has expressed his concern for us, and we represent the Holy Father and his thoughts in our own dioceses,” said Bishop Raphy Manjaly of the Diocese of Varanasi. “We want to convey, and also give people an experience of that compassion of Christ which the Holy Father expresses so often in his writings and his speeches.”
Catholics make up less than 2% of the population in India, but Bishop Manjaly said the Church’s mission extends to the entire country.
“We consider that we are pastors, not only for the few Catholics who are in our dioceses, but we have a flock which comprises the entirety of humanity,” he told Vatican Radio. “So our charity, our concern, or work is for the whole of humanity, and for people without the confines of religion, or caste, or creed. We are meant for all.” source: radio vaticana
TELEGRAMS FOR ACCIDENTS IN ZANZIBAR AND BUENOS AIRES
VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent two telegrams of condolence for separate tragedies of recent days, one in Zanzibar and the other in Argentina. In the case ofZanzibar, where the sinking of a ferryboat led to the deaths of 240 people, a telegram sent in the Pope's name by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. expresses the Holy Father's sadness upon hearing the news of so many human lives lost. The telegram also expresses Benedict XVI's closeness to those affected by the tragedy, especially the relatives of the victims, and gives assurances of his prayers to the Lord asking consolation for those who suffer, and for all the people of Tanzania.
For the second accident, in which a train collided with a bus on the outskirts of the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires killing eleven people and injuring more than 200, Cardinal Bertone sent a telegram to Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio S.J., archbishop of Buenos Aires. The text reads: "Deeply pained by the sad news of the railway accident in the neighbourhood of Flores, the Supreme Pontiff wishes to send an expression of his closeness and affection, while at the same time praying fervently to God for the eternal repose of the deceased". In closing, Benedict XVI sends his apostolic blessing as a sign of hope in the risen Christ.
VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, apostolic nuncio to Ukraine.
- Eleven prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Albert D'Souza of Agra.
- Archbishop Vincent Michael Concessao of Delhi, accompanied by AuxiliaryBishop FrancoMulakkal.
- Bishop Isidore Fernandes of Allahabad.
- Bishop Anthony Fernandes of Bareilly.
- Bishop Oswald Lewis of Jaipur.
- Bishop Frederick D'Souza of Jhansi.
- Bishop Gerald John Mathias of Lucknow.
- Bishop Francis Kalist of Meerut.
- Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Varanasi.
- Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery O.F.M. Cap. of Jammu-Srinagar.
VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Rudolf Balaz of Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, on 27 July at the age of 70.
- Bishop William Leonard D'Mello of Karwar, India, on 19 July at the age of 80.
- Bishop Henrique Johannpotter O.F.M., emeritus of Bacabal, Brazil, on 19 July at the age of 78.
- Archbishop Georges Kwaiter B.S., emeritus of Saida of the Greek-Melkites,Lebanon, on 26 July at the age of 83.
- Bishop Paul Marchand S.M.M. of Timmins, Canada, on 24 July at the age of 74.
- Bishop Cesare Mazzolari M.C.C.J. of Rumbek, Kenya, on 16 July at the age of 74.
- Archbishop Pedro Claro Meurice Estiu, emeritus of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on 21 July at the age of 79.
- Bishop Slavomir Miklovs, emeritus of Krizevci, Croatia, on 21 July at the age of 77.
- Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States of America, on 27 July at the age of 73.
- Bishop Francis John Spence, emeritus of Kingston, Canada, on 27 July at the age of 85.
Têt-Trung-Thu festival which marks the rice harvest is held every year in Vietnam and in China. Children enjoy special 'moon cakes' and traditional music. Local Catholic communities organise events involving less fortunate children. In Ho Chi Minh City shared festivities involve Catholics and non Catholics.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Catholics in Vietnam in many different parishes celebrate the national Mid-Autumn feast or Moon Feast with traditional music, games and cultural events, especially involving less fortunate children. This year's events were based on three topics 'Moon of Love', ' Moon of Peace', ' Moon of Friendship' to express, through the work of priests and Sisters, Christ's special love for children. Activities were planned to ensure that even the less fortunate children enjoyed the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Têt-Trung-Thu – Mid-Autumn feast – an annual national celebration in Vietnam and China falls on the 15 day of the eighth month in the Lunar Calendar. It celebrates the annual rice harvest and, in the Gregorian calendar used in the West, falls between mid September and early October. This year it was September 12 which was also a full moon. Every year children enjoy eating typical 'Moon Cakes' made of rice and taking part in traditional singing and dancing.
According to the statistics of NGOs, in Vietnam today over 50,000 children are living in the difficult circumstances. This is why the local Catholic community plans festivities for less fortunate children, orphans, children who are blind or HIV positive. In Ho Chi Minh City hundreds of children, from Catholic and non Catholic families, gathered together for the Festival at the parish church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. In the parish area there are Catholics, Christians of other denominations, Buddhists and persons with no religion and all live peacefully in harmony. Local participants at the festivities this year said “no one could tell the difference”, as all the children played together. Just before the festival one group of children said how they look forward to it because “we all come together and play and sing and dance with the priests and our friends”. The local priests say for them it is an opportunity to confirm efforts to live faith in Jesus Christ.
Again in what was formerly Saigon, Têt-Trung-Thu coincided with celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of a local Catholic charity organisation Thiên Phước. More than 1,200 young people, Catholics and non, joined in the celebrations. Hải Phòng diocese, in northern Vietnam about 100 km from Hanoi, which has invested much energy in children's catechism classes, marked the Mid Autumn Festival involving less fortunate children in social activities and special games organised with the help of diocesan Caritas office.
|Parishioners from St Patrick's Blacktown at the Sydney Alliance Founding Assembly with Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia, Right Rev Monsignor Robert McGuckin VG EV (far right), the Diocese's Social Justice Co-ordinator Evan Ellis (fifth from right) and St Patrick's Blacktown Parish Priest Fr Peter Confeggi (third from right).|
Photo: Alphonus Fok & Grace Lu
By Evan Ellis, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Co-ordinator
On Thursday 15 September, the Sydney Alliance had its Founding Assembly. More than 2,000 people from more than 45 organisations packed the Sydney Town Hall and filled the neighbouring annex rooms.
For the past three years the Alliance has been growing in breadth and depth as it created a diverse coalition of religious organisations, community groups and unions from across Sydney.
Now, the Sydney Alliance has stepped into the public arena as a new voice for Sydney’s Civil Society and launched its Agenda for the Common Good.
Leading the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta contingent was Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Right Rev Robert McGuckin VG EV.
As parishioners from parishes in Penrith, St Clair, Stanhope Gardens, Blacktown South and Blacktown, Guildford and the Hills, along with migrant chaplaincies and representatives from Josephite Community Aid and Young Christian Workers stood, Msgr Robert McGuckin told the assembly: “The Catholic Church in Western Sydney is proud to partner and work with the Sydney Alliance to create a society that is just and fair for all.”
The Alliance has trained thousands of citizens from partner organisations and conducted many thousands of one to one meetings to build the trust and goodwill among so diverse a coalition.
Partner organizations also ran Listening Campaigns over six months across the geographic spread of Sydney, connecting with over six thousand people from diverse ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. The issues, hopes, dreams and aspirations of these people contributed to the Alliance’s multi-issue Agenda for the Common Good, which was launched on the night. The Agenda focused on three issues; community care and health, social inclusion and public transport.
State politicians such as Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Charles Casuscelli, Chair of the Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, were invited to begin working with the Alliance on these issues.
BISHOP AND MARTYR
Feast: September 16
3rd century AD, North Africa
September 14, 258, Carthage, Africa Province, Roman Empire
Algeria, North Africa
CYPRIAN was an African of noble birth, but of evil life, a pagan, and a teacher of rhetoric. In middle life he was converted to Christianity, and shortly after his baptism was ordained priest, and made Bishop of Carthage, notwithstanding his resistance. When the persecution of Decius broke out, he fled from his episcopal city, that he might be the better able to minister to the wants of his flock, but returned on occasion of a pestilence. Later on he was banished, and saw in a vision his future martyrdom. Being recalled from exile, sentence of death was pronounced against him, which he received with the words "Thanks be to God." His great desire was to die whilst in the act of preaching the faith of Christ, and he had the consolation of being surrounded at his martyrdom by crowds of his faithful children. He was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258, and was buried with great solemnity. Even the pagans respected his memory.
POPE AND MARTYR
Feast: September 16
against earache, against epilepsy, against fever, against twitching, cattle, domestic animals, earache sufferers
Martyr (251 to 253).
We may accept the statement of the Liberian catalogue that he reigned two years, three months, and ten days, for Lipsius, Lightfoot, and Harnack have shown that this list is a first-rate authority for this date. His predecessor, Fabian, was put to death by Decius, 20 January, 250. About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men, at a time when no one had been made before him, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter, and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant". "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (ibid., 9). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?
A few weeks later the Roman priest Novatian made himself antipope, and the whole Christian world was convulsed by the schism at Rome. But the adhesion of St. Cyprian secured to Cornelius the hundred bishops of Africa, and the influence of St. Dionysius the Great, Bishop of Alexandria, brought the East within a few months to a right decision. In Italy itself the pope got together a synod of sixty bishops. (See NOVATIAN.) Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, seems to have wavered. Three letters to him from Cornelius were known to Eusebius, who gives extracts from one of them (Church History VI.43), in which the pope details the faults in Novatian's election and conduct with considerable bitterness. We incidentally learn that in the Roman Church there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two ostiarii, and over one thousand five hundred widows and persons in distress. From this Burnet estimated the number of Christians in Rome at fifty thousand, so also Gibbon; but Benson and Harnack think this figure possibly too large. Pope Fabian had made seven regions; it appears that each had one deacon, one subdeacon and six acolytes. Of the letters of Cornelius to Cyprian two have come down to us, together with nine from Cyprian to the pope. Mgr. Merrati has shown that in the true text the letters of Cornelius are in the colloquial "vulgar-Latin" of the day, and not in the more classical style affected by the ex-orator Cyprian and the learned philosopher Novatian. Cornelius sanctioned the milder measures proposed by St. Cyprian and accepted by his Carthaginian council of 251 for the restoration to communion, after varying forms of penance, of those who had fallen during the Decian persecution.
At the beginning of 252 a new persecution suddenly broke out. Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellæ (Civita Vecchia). There were no defections among the Roman Christians; all were confessors. The pope "led his brethren in confession", writes Cyprian (Ep. lx, ad Corn.), with a manifest reference to the confession of St. Peter. "With one heart and one voice the whole Roman Church confessed. Then was seen, dearest Brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you (Romans 1:8); even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength." In June Cornelius died a martyr, as St. Cyprian repeatedly calls him. The Liberian catalogue has ibi cum gloriâ dormicionem accepit, and this may mean that he died of the rigours of his banishment, though later accounts say that he was beheaded. St. Jerome says that Cornelius and Cyprian suffered on the same day in different years, and his careless statement has been generally followed. The feast of St. Cyprian was in fact kept at Rome at the tomb of Cornelius, for the fourth century "Depositio Martirum" has "XVIII kl octob Cypriani Africæ Romæ celebratur in Callisti". St. Cornelius was not buried in the chapel of the popes, but in an adjoining catacomb, perhaps that of a branch of the noble Cornelii. His inscription is in Latin: CORNELIUS* MARTYR* whereas those of Fabian and Lucius are in Greek (Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma sotteranea", I, vi).