AUSTRALIA: SISTERS TRAVELLING ROADSHOW CONTINUES
ASIA: PAKISTAN: PRIEST ORDAINED FROM COMILLIANS
AFRICA: SOMALIA: CIVILIAN VICTIMS FROM AIRCRAFT BOMBING
TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 31: LUKE 14: 12 - 14
TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 31: ST. WOLFGANG
CHRISTIANITY, AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR OF DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA
VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received a group of prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Benedict XVI began his address by referring to the visit he had made to Luandain March 2009 during which, he said, "I had the chance to meet you and celebrate Jesus Christ in the midst of a people who never cease to seek, love and serve Him, generously and joyfully".
The Holy Father also made mention of the fact that he is due to return to Africa in November, when he will travel to Benin to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. Quoting from the final message of that synodal meeting, he said: "As Church, the first and most specific contribution we must make to the people ofAfrica is the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because announcing Christ is the primary and most important factor of development. Development arises from transformation of heart and transformation of heart comes from conversion to the Gospel".
The Pope then turned his attention to three of the most important difficulties currently facing Angolan Christians, "who undergo the pressure of the customs of the societies in which they live. Yet, by the grace of Baptism, they are called to renounce harmful practices, and to swim against the tide guided by the spirit of the Beatitudes".
The first problem the Pope identified was that of concubinage, "which goes against God's plan for procreation and the human family. The low number of Catholic marriages in your communities is the sign of a grave burden on families which, we well know, are vitally important for the stability of society. ... Help married couples to acquire the human and spiritual maturity they need to accept their mission as Christian spouses and parents with responsibility, reminding them that their spousal love must be unique and indissoluble like the bond between Christ and His Church".
Another difficulty lies in the fact that "the hearts of the baptised are torn between Christianity and traditional African religions. Faced with life's problems, they do not hesitate to turn to practices that are incompatible with adherence to Christ. One particularly abominable consequence is the marginalisation and even murder of children and elderly people, condemned by the false diktats of witchcraft. Dear bishops, continue to raise your voice in support of the victims, in the certainty that human life is sacred at all moments and in all situations". Ecclesial communities must strive, together with governments and civil society, to "find a way that leads to the definitive eradication" of this scourge.
The third problem facing Angolan Christians lies in "the remnants of ethnic tribalism, evident in the attitude of communities that tend to close in on themselves, rejecting people from other parts of the country. ... In the Church, the new family of all who believe in Christ, there is no space for division of any kind", the Pope said. "Men and women of different tribes, languages and nations gather round the altar where, sharing the one Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, they become true brothers and sisters. This bond of fraternity is stronger than that our earthly families or tribes".
In conclusion, the Pope reiterated a phrase he had pronounced during his 2009 visit to Luanda: "God has enabled human beings to fly, over and above their natural tendencies, on the wings of reason and faith. If you let these wings bear you aloft, you will easily recognise your neighbour as a brother or sister, born with the same fundamental human rights".
VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.
The Pope commented on today's reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, in which the Apostle invites us to accept the Gospel "not as a human word but as what it really is, God's word". By doing so "we can faithfully accept the admonitions Jesus addresses to our conscience, and behave accordingly. In today's reading He reproaches the scribes and Pharisees, who had the role of leaders in the community, because their behaviour was in open contrast with the teachings they rigorously sought to impose upon others. ... Good doctrine must be welcomed, but it risks being invalidated by incoherent behaviour. ... Jesus' approach is the exact opposite: He is the first to practise the commandment of love, which He teaches to everyone. And His is but a light burden because He helps us to carry it with Him.
"Referring to leaders who oppress the freedom of others in the name of their own authority, St. Bonaventure identified the true leader, saying that 'no one can teach or even practise, nor arrive at knowledge of the truth unless the Son of God is present'. ... We are, then, called to follow the Son of God, the Word incarnate, Who expressed the truth of His teachings through His own faithfulness to the will of the Father, through His gift of self. ... Jesus also firmly condemned vanity, noting that those who act 'to be seen by others' place themselves at the mercy of human approval, undermining the values that support the authenticity of the individual".
The Holy Father called for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, particularly for "those in the Christian community who are called to the ministry of teaching, that through their actions they may always bear witness to the truth they transmit in words".
Following the Marian prayer, the Holy Father expressed his closeness "to the people of Thailand who have suffered serious floods, and for the people of the Italian regions of Liguria and Tuscany, which have also been badly affected by torrential rain. I give them assurances of my prayers".
VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Almir Franco de Sa Barbuda, the new ambassador of Brazil to the Holy See. The Pope began his remarks to the diplomat by expressing his gratitude for the readiness of the Brazilian authorities to host the next World Youth Day, due to take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2013.
He then went on to consider the long history of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Brazil, which were established shortly after the country's independence, also highlighting the fruitful influence of the Catholic Church which dates back to the first Mass celebrated there on 26 April 1500. Proof of this is to be found, the Holy Father said, in "the many cities named after saints, and the numerous religious monuments, some of which symbolise the country throughout the world, such as the statue of the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro".
One important chapter of this "shared fertile history" was the agreement the Holy See and the Brazilian government signed in 2008, which "officially and juridically sealed the independence and collaboration of the two parties". In this context, the Pope also expressed the hope that the State would recognise that "healthy secularism must not consider religion as a mere individual sentiment, relegated to the private sphere, but as a reality which, being organised into visible structures, requires public recognition of its presence".
"It is therefore up to the State to ensure that all religious confessions enjoy freedom of worship, and the right to practice their cultural, educational and charitable activities, when these do not contrast with morality or public order", he said. "The Church does not limit her own contribution to concrete humanitarian or educational assistance; rather, she pursues above all the ethical development of society. Encouraged by the numerous expressions of openness to transcendence, she seeks to form consciences and to show solidarity".
Benedict XVI identified a number of fields of mutual cooperation, including that of education in which the Church has "many institutions which enjoy prestigious recognition in society. The role of education cannot, in fact, be reduced to the mere transmission of knowledge and abilities for professional formation", he explained. "Rather it must comprehend all facets of the individual, from social factors to the longing for transcendence. We must, therefore, reiterate that the teaching of a particular religion in State schools, ... far from indicating that the State assumes or imposes a certain religious belief, is recognition of the fact that religion is an important value in the formation of the individual. ... Not only does this not prejudice the secularism of the State, it guarantees parents' rights to chose the education of their children, thus helping to promote the common good".
Finally, on the subject of social justice, the Pope concluded by saying that "the Brazilian government knows that it can rely on the Church as a partner in all initiatives aimed at eradicating hunger and want, ... and helping those most in need to escape poverty ... and marginalisation".
VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for November is: "That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters".
His mission intention is: "That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelisation with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches".
VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Archbishop Ubaldo Ramon Santana Sequera F.M.I. of Maracaibo, Venezuela, president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, accompanied by Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, first vice president; Bishop Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate Salas, auxiliary of Caracas, secretary general, and Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, president "ad honorem".
- Ten prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Almeida Kanda of Ndalatando.
- Archbishop Jose Manuel Imbamba of Saurimo.
- Bishop Benedito Roberto C.S.Sp. of Sumbe.
- Bishop Emilio Sumbelelo of Uije, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Jose Francisco Moreira dos Santos O.F.M. Cap.
- Bishop Joaquim Ferreira Lopes O.F.M. Cap. of Viana.
- Bishop Mario Lukunde of Menongwe.
- Bishop Dionisio Hisiilenapo of Namibe.
- Bishop Fernando Guimarães Kevanu of Ondjiva.
- Bishop Manuel Antonio Mendes dos Santos C.M.F. of Sao Tome and Principe.
On Saturday 29 October he received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.
- Nine prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Eugenio Dal Corso P.S.D.P. of Benguela, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Oscar Lino Lopes Fernandes Braga.
- Bishop Jose Nambi of Kwito-Bie.
- Bishop Jesus Tirso Blanco S.D.B. of Lwena.
- Bishop Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias of Cabinda.
- Bishop Antonio Francisco Jaca S.V.D. of Caxito.
- Msgr. Colm Reidy, diocesan administrator of Dundo.
- Bishop Luis Maria Perez de Onraita Aguirre of Malanje.
- Bishop Vicente Carlos Kiaziku, O.F.M. Cap. of Mbanza Congo.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Kalisz, Poland, presented by Bishop Teofil Wilski, upon having reached the age limit.
On Saturday 29 October it was made public that he:
- Appointed Bishop Wiktor Pawel Skworc of Tarnow, Poland, as metropolitan archbishop ofKatowice (area 2,400, population 1,498,123, Catholics 1,454,328, priests 1,085, religious 1,093),Poland. He succeeds Archbishop Damian Zimon, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Sebastain Tudu of the clergy of Dinajpur, Bangladesh, vice rector of the major seminary of the Holy Spirit in Dhaka and diocesan director of the Pontifical Missionary Works, as bishop of Dinajpur (area 17,500, population 16,529,090, Catholics 46,578, priests 56, religious 148). The bishop-elect was born in Changura, Bangladesh in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1999. He has worked as parochial vicar in a number of parishes in Bangladesh and attained a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Urban University.
- Erected the new diocese of Kabwe (area 63,574, population 1,078,334, Catholics 138,810, priests 43, religious 95) Zambia, with territory taken from the diocese of Mpika and the archdiocese ofLusaka, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Lusaka. He appointed Fr. Clement Mulenga S.D.B, director of the office for the pastoral care of young people in the archdiocese ofLusaka, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Dimashi, in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1998. He studied at the Pontifical Salesian University and has worked in Salesian communities in Zambia and Tanzania.
- Appointed Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, apostolic nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, as apostolic nuncio to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominica, Jamaica,Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines,Suriname, Guyana, and apostolic delegate in the Antilles.
The Feast of All saints is our family Feast day when we honor all those who have died, marked with the sign of faith, and gone on before us to be with the Lord
'Halloween' comes from 'All Hallows Eve', the Vigil of the celebration of the Christian Feast of 'All Saints'. All saints is our family Feast day when we honor all those who have died, marked with the sign of faith, and gone on before us to be with the Lord. They now beckon all of us into the fullness of the communion of love.
The Feast of All Saints is our celebration
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - Now in my late fifties, I became almost as excited as when I was a child on All Hallows Eve this year. Why? Because my grandson's excitement was contagious. His anticipation of visiting neighbors and receiving candy became the subject of numerous conversations.
He ran around the house for a week dressed up like "Iron Man" and rescued us! He even tried to persuade me to dress up like "The Hulk" and canvass the neighborhood with him. He calls Me "Poppi" and I have had the joy of listening to him share his excitement about Halloween for weeks.
He and his mom, our daughter, live with us. I really should say we all live with him, given his ability to "occupy the turf" so to speak, with the amazing little world he has built. It ever reminds me of the gift of childhood. He has completely transformed our home.
He will soon be five years old and is a continual invitation to my wife and me to keep it simple. We raised five children of our own and have six grandchildren. Family truly is a way of life and, when lived as a domestic church, it is a source of real grace and conversion.
The term "Halloween" comes from "All Hallows Eve", the Christian Vigil of the celebration of the Christian Feast of "All Saints". I contend that what it is becoming, with its undue influence on gablins,ghosts and the demonic, simply reflects the waning influence of the Christian vision in the West. It also presents an opportunity for Catholic Christians to do what we have always done, live like missionaries in our own culture.
The Church has always recognized that cultural practices can be "mixed", containing those aspects which elevate the human person and those which do not. However, members of the Church are invited to transform such cultural practices from within through our proper participation. That has been the missionary model of the Church for two millennia.
Many of the dates which were "Christianized" and now host Christian "Holy-Days" were originally utilized for "Pre-Christian" ("Pagan") celebrations. This process reflects the wisdom of the Church and a missionary approach. She "baptized" them, recognizing the seeds of what was good within them. By immersing them in the beauty of the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the fullness of truth and the source of all goodness, she transforms them into vehicles for transforming culture.
The Church is His Body. She is meant to be the home of the whole human race. As the early fathers were fond of proclaiming, the Church is the world reconciled - the world in the process of transfiguration. We who live our lives in the Church do so for the sake of the world. We should not be afraid of human culture; we are called to continue the redemptive mission of our Lord by transforming it from within as leaven in a loaf.
The early Christians always honored the dead and had a special devotion and affection for the martyrs. We have wonderful accounts like the Martyrdom of Polycarp from the middle of the second century which set forth the practices:
"Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more pure than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, so that when being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps ".
The Liturgy was often celebrated over the bones of the "holy ones", the saints, who gave their lives in love for Love Himself, Jesus Christ the Savior.This is one of the origins of our practice of embedding relics in the altar to this day. Christians do not fear death. We view it with the eyes of faith as a change of habitation.
The dates of commemorating those who witnessed to the faith by their heroic lives and deaths varied as local communities honored local saints and martyrs. Over time, those Feast days became more universally accepted as the rhythm of the Church Year became more uniform.
The first account we have of honoring all the saints is from St Ephrem the Syrian (d. AD 373). The great Bishop of Constantinople, St. John Chrysostom (d. AD 407), set aside the first Sunday after Pentecost for this commemoration. The Church of the East still celebrates the Feast on that day. In the Western Church the date may have originally been on that date but was moved to May 13th. There is some evidence that the move to November 1 came with Pope Gregory III (d. AD 741), and was likely first observed on November 1st in Germany.
The Feast of All saints is our family Feast day when we honor all those who have died, marked with the sign of faith, and gone on before us to be with the Lord. They now beckon all of us .
into the fullness of the communion of love. In a special way we commemorate all who have been honored by "canonization", the process wherein the Church has acknowledged their extraordinary lives of holiness and holds them up as models and intercessors. This wonderful celebration is grounded in the most ancient of Church teaching concerning the Communion of Saints.
The Church proclaims that death does not separate us because it was defeated by Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28) We affirm and celebrate our eternal communion in Him through the Holy Spirit - and with one another. We honor all of our brothers and sisters, known and unknown, who are a part of that great cloud of witnesses to which the author of the Letter to the Hebrews attests. (Heb. 12:1).
Just as we pray for one another, so those who have gone on before us pray for us and are joined to us forever in that communion of love. This ancient and firm belief is attested to in the earliest writings of the Christian tradition. For example, St. Cyril of Jerusalem (AD 350) writes: "We mention those who have fallen asleep: first the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition... (Catechetical Lecture 23:9).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this communion in these words: "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness...They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us...So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped....as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself: We worship Christ as God's Son; we love the martyrs as the Lord's disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciples (CCC # 956, # 957)
The vigil of the Feast (the eve) has come, in the English speaking world, to be known as "All Hallows Eve" or Halloween. While some consider Halloween to be "pagan" in origin it is actually the eve of the great Christian Feast of All Saints. Many of the customs which surround it reflect the Christian confidence in our triumph over death in Christ and our bold rejection of the claim that evil has any more power over us.
When my grandson was done sorting through the candy and talking away about the events of the evening, I made the sign of the cross on his forehead and prayed a prayer which developed over all those years my wife and I raised our children "May the Lord bless you, fill you with His Holy Spirit, surround your bed with His Angels and give you peace." He looked at me as he does almost every night and ask me to repeat it again saying "surround your bed with His angels?" in a question format.
I cherish that question because it calls me to do all I can to help to form him in the Christian way of life. As for the growing pagan practices around us, I am not afraid. I will do all that I can to ensure that he will be a part of a new generation of those who, bearing the name Catholic Christian, do what Christians always do, bring about the conversion of Nations and cultures.
That is, after all, what it means to be a missionary Church. That is why I use the term "Pre-Christian" to describe the state of the West, not "Post Christian". This is a new missionary age and there is a lot of work to be done.Let's embrace what is good - and transform what is not - in the celebration of Halloween and use it as an invitation to Christian mission.
AUSTRALIA: SISTERS TRAVELLING ROADSHOW CONTINUES
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT:
31 Oct 2011
For just under nine months, Sister Julianne Murphy RSJ has driven 27,118 kilometres across Australia visiting 107 schools, countless cities and town centres across Victoria, Queensland, NSW and WA as part of the Sisters of St Joseph's Travelling Roadshow - Australia Disaster Relief Recovery.
During this time she Zumba-ed with students at Australian Catholic University, visited Yarralumla where the Roadshow was welcomed by the Governor General, Quentin Bryce and most importantly of all, observed how Australia's Catholics and non-Catholics alike continued to be inspired by the life and work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.
"There is a growing and deepening awareness of her legacy in communities, towns and cities throughout Australia, and since the canonisation, it seems people of all ages, walks of life and faith have taken her to their hearts," she says.
Although the 2011 Travelling Sisters Roadshow officially came to an end in Brisbane last weekend at the inaugural fundraising dinner for the Mary MacKillop Foundation, plans are already afoot for a 2012 Travelling Roadshow.
"We visited every State and Territory and met an estimated 28,351 children, but we've had so many requests from other schools and communities who missed out, that next year we're hitting the road again," Sr Julianne says.
As with this year's Roadshow she will be accompanied on each leg of her journey by different Sisters of St Joseph. But with the next Roadshow not due to start until March, she will still be behind the wheel of the now famous brightly-coloured Travelling Sisters Roadshow van.
Leaving Brisbane this week, she will drive the van to Sydney where it will go on display in Martin Place, with the Sisters of St Joseph helping to raise awareness about the Mary MacKillop Foundation and where Christmas Cards to help fund the Foundation can be bought.
Established in 1995, the Mary MacKillop Foundation continues its namesake's legacy and responding to people in need, offering hope and practical help by supporting small life-changing projects to provide relief from suffering, distress, poverty, destitution, misfortune and helplessness.
Sr Julianne will spend a week at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney and then faces another long drive with the van when she hits the highway and returns to her home in the Port Pirie Diocese of South Australia.
"But this time there'll be no rush and I can take my time," she says cheerfully, admitting that at the end of her almost nine month long odyssey she is both "exhausted and exhilarated."
"Travelling such a lot can be tiring but the experience of the past eight and a half months has been profound, filled with highlights and very special moments," she says.
The Travelling Sisters Roadshow was designed by the Sisters of St Joseph and the Mary MacKillop Foundation to help children in cities, towns and rural communities come to terms with the string of Australian disasters that devastated communities earlier this year, ranging from the floods across Queensland, NSW and Victoria to the destruction wrought by Cyclone Yasi to overwhelming damage to homes and livelihoods from the bushfires that swept WA early this year.
"Even if children are not directly impacted by these disasters, they can still be affected by the images they see on television," Sr Julianne explains.
A teacher and school principal in Port Pirie for more than two decades, one way Sr Julianne helped children come to terms with the disasters and understand what other children might be going through, was to help them "walk in those children's shoes."
Using a pair of shoes, children were encouraged to step into them and imagine what it was like for children on the other side of Australia whose homes had been swamped by floods or razed to the ground by bushfires. Sr Julianne also encouraged children to send postcards to the youngsters at schools in hard hit areas.
"They wrote to other children, sending them jokes or drawings or just saying 'thinking of you,'" she explains and admits she was delighted when she was in Tully recently, a town devastated by Cyclone Yasi, to discover the children had received postcards from their counterparts in WA as well as the Eastern states, and that the Tully youngsters were penning their own postcards in return.
There were also instances of spontaneous generosity among the children she spoke to.
"One small boy at a school in regional Australia listened intently to how much some people had lost and what it was like to suddenly have nothing. He was only six or seven but keen to help and on his own initiative picked the five apples on his family's apple tree and sold them to his classmates, and handed me the money to help those in need," she says.
The selflessness of children and their eagerness to help others was and is a continuing inspiration, she says.
In addition to helping children come to terms with the recent disasters, the Travelling Sisters Roadshow also raised awareness about the Mary MacKillop Foundation.
For the past 16 years, the Foundation has supported more than 300 projects. These include giving assistance to indigenous groups, people with disabilities as well as rural and isolated communities in need.
The Foundation also funds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships and since this initiative began, 32 young indigenous people have graduated with a further 35 currently in the midst of their studies.
"Every year we invite community-based self-help projects to apply for a 12-month grant of up to $10,000 with 40 such grants being awarded each year," Sr Julianne explains. "But in light of this year's series of natural disasters in Australian, the Foundation gave 40 extra grants to specific projects that focussed on disaster recovery."
ASIA: PAKISTAN: PRIEST ORDAINED FROM COMILLIANS
Mushtaq Anjum has become the first Pakistani Camillian priest after he was ordained along with two new deacons on Friday at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Faisalabad.
Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, concelebrated the Mass with 30 priests including three Camillians from abroad. About 250 Catholics also attended the ordinations.
“Our congregation is born today in Pakistan in the shape of a new priest”, said Father Evan Paul Villanueva, MI, Vicar Provincial of the Philippine province, who also thanked the local Church for supporting them.
Italian Father Rino Metrini, the first Camillian priest to visit Pakistan started the mission in 2001 when he came to supervise the construction of Rosary Christian Hospital, a non-profit charitable institution in the village of Rehmpur, in Punjab province.
Father Anjum, a drop out from St. Thomas the Apostle Minor Seminary in Faisalabad, was among the first group of three Camillian candidates to join the training program, which started that same year. One of the others became a diocesan priest, the other got married.
“I was teaching in a Catholic school when I joined. The vision of starting this new mission in Pakistan kept me going,” explained Father Anjum who plans to initiate community-based health programs for children and drug addicts.
The new priest helped form a lay Camillian family of 15 Catholics last year who visit the sick and provide them with food and medicine.
Faisalabad diocese presently has 40 priests and three deacons, one of them permanent. Church authorities say this year saw a drop in ordinations.
AFRICA: SOMALIA: CIVILIAN VICTIMS FROM AIRCRAFT BOMBING
Despite the Kenyan offensive was presented as aiming to secure the border between the two countries, the situation remains precarious in Dadaab (locality in northern Kenya on the border with Somalia, where the largest refugee community in the world, over 400,000 people resides). In Dadaab on October 12 two aid operators were kidnapped. For this reason, the various NGOs present have reduced their activities pending the re-established full security conditions.
"The UNHCR can only guarantee minimum security for basic staff who are able to continue life support activities, such as the distribution of food and essential medical care. Humanitarian operations must also cope with the torrential rains which continue to fall in the area", says to Fides, Suzanna Tkalec, operator of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), head of Caritas Somalia in Dadaab.
Even the military operations are affected by weather conditions, but the Chief of the Kenyan Armed Forces said that his troops will remain in Somalia as long as necessary to ensure the security of the border. "We have no time limits", said Gen. Julius Karang. The recent terrorist attacks in Nairobi and other Kenyan village, attributed to the Shabab, are raising the fear of getting involved in the Somali quagmire, because the leadership of the Shabab has appealed its supporters so that they carry out attacks in Kenya.
The Shabab once again demonstrated their ability to hit with deadly bombings on October 29, when their commandos attacked a government based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 31/10/2011)
TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 31: ST. WOLFGANG
Feast: October 31
924 in Swabia
31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (modern Austria)
1052 by Pope Leo IX
apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; stomach diseases; strokes
Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.
After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.
St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.
St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.
ued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.
TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 31: LUKE 14: 12 - 14
|Luke 14: 12 - 14|
|12||He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid.|
|13||But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,|
|14||and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."|