Wednesday, January 18, 2012



VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks preceding the Angelus to the theme of vocation as it emerged in this Sunday's Gospel readings.(IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

The first reading described the Prophet Samuel's response to God, following the advice of Eli, the Temple priest, while the second underscored the importance of St. John the Baptist who told his disciples that Jesus was the Messiah.

The Holy Father laid emphasis on "the decisive role spiritual guidance has for the journey of faith and, in particular, for responding to a vocation of special consecration to serve God and His people. Christian faith itself presupposes announcement and witness", he said, "and thus the call to follow Jesus more closely, renouncing the idea of forming a family of one's own to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally involves the witness and suggestion of an 'elder brother', often a priest. Nor must we forget the fundamental role of parents, who ... show their children that it is beautiful and possible to construct an entire life upon the love of God".

The Pope concluded by entrusting "all educators, especially priests and parents", to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, "that they may become fully aware of the importance of their spiritual role to foment, not only young people's human development but also their response to the call of God".

Following the Angelus the Pope spoke of today's celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "Millions of people are involved in the phenomenon of migration", he said, "but they are not just numbers! They are men, women and children, the young and the old who seek a place in which to live in peace. In my message for this Day I called people's attention to the theme of 'migrations and new evangelisation', underlining the fact that migrants are not just recipients but also active protagonists of the announcement of the Gospel to the modern world".

Finally the Holy Father referred to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is celebrated annually from 18 to 25 January, inviting everyone, "as individuals and in communities, to participate spiritually, and where possible practically, to ask God for the gift of full unity among the disciples of Christ".
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VATICAN CITY, 16 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Nine prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Martin David Holley and Barry C. Knestout, and by Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop emeritus.

- Bishop Herbert A. Bevard of Saint Thomas.

- Archbishop Timothy Broglio, military ordinary, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Richard Brendan Higgins, F. Richard Spencer and Neal J. Buckon.

- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

On Saturday 14 January he received in audience:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin, Germany.
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VATICAN CITY, 16 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- In accordance with canon 185 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church of Fr. Michel Aoun, "sincellus" for the clergy of Beirut of the Maronites, Lebanon, as bishop of Jbeil-Byblos of the Maronites (Catholics 250,000, priests 94, religious 78), Lebanon. The bishop-elect was born in Damour, Lebanon in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984. He has worked as a pastor and educator in Lebanon and as rector at seminaries in Cairo and in Rome. He is also vice president of "La Sagesse" University in Beirut.

- In accordance with canon 185 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church of Fr. Elias Slaiman Slaiman, professor and judge in the Lebanese ecclesiastical tribunals, as bishop of Lattaquie of the Maronites (Catholics 33,000, priests 28, religious 51), Syria. The bishop-elect was born in Hekr Semaan, Syria in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1987. He studied in France where he also served as vicar at a parish in Paris. He has worked as chaplain of "La Sagesse" University in Beirut and vicar general of Damascus, Syria.

- In accordance with canon 185 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church of Fr. Mounir Khairallah, "protosincellus" of Batrun of the Maronites, Lebanon, as bishop of Batrun (Catholics 69,800, priests 56, religious 95). The bishop-elect was born in Mtah-Ezziat in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1977. He studied in France where he also worked in pastoral care in Parisian parishes. On his return to Lebanon he served as secretary of the Maronite Patriarchal Synod, as seminary professor and as pastor in a number of parishes.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Zielona Gora-Gorzow, Poland, presented by Bishop Pawel Socha C.M., upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday 14 January it was made public that he:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Beira, Mozambique, presented by Archbishop Jaime Pedro Goncalves, upon having reached the age limit, appointing Bishop Joao Carlos Hatoa Nunes, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Maputo, Mozambique, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Beira.

- Erected the new diocese of Ifakara, (area 14,245, population 322,779, Catholics 287,000, priests 62, religious 201) Tanzania, with territory taken from the diocese of Mahenge, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Dar-es-Salaam. He appointed Bishop Salutaris Melchior Libena, auxiliary of Dar-es-Salaam, as first bishop of the new diocese.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bombay, India, presented by Bishop Bosco Penha, upon having reached the age limit.
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Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
16 Jan 2012

Brother Charles Howard led a
remarkable life and helped
revolutionise Catholic education
Marist Brother Charles Howard, former Superior General of the Marist Brothers and one of Australia's most outstanding educational trailblazers died on Saturday, 14 January at the Brothers' Community in Campbelltown where he had been receiving palliative care.
He was 87 years old.
The first and so far the only Australian to be elected Superior General of the international congregation of Marist Brothers, a position he held from 1985 until 1993, Br Charles also served as Provincial of the Sydney Province from 1972 until 1976 when he became the first Australian to be elected to the General Council of the Marist Brothers in Rome.
"The lamp of his earthly life had been dimming little by little in the community of elder Brothers where he spent his last days. Presently, Charles' lamp is eternally shining with the whole Marist community in heaven," Marist Superior General, Br Emili Turu said this morning.
Tributes to Br Charles from Brazil, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Kenya, the Philippines, South America and many other countries have already been posted on the website of the Marist Brothers General House in Rome.
The Marist Brothers Sydney Province has also been overwhelmed with messages and tributes in which the late Br Charles, who was also a former headmaster of St Joseph's College, Hunters' Hill, is warmly remembered for his energy, compassion, humour, unwavering commitment to social justice and the poor as well as his profound faith.
He is also being commemorated both here and overseas as a visionary and Catholic education trailblazer.
"He was deeply committed to Catholic schooling in Sydney and was very conscious it should be affordable to ordinary families, no matter what their income, and should remain affordable into the future," says Br Kelvin Canavan, the former long term Director of Schools for the Archdiocese of Sydney. "I worked closely with Br Charles for more than 20 plus years and admired and respected his commitment to keep Catholic schools affordable and to ensure a high standard of education at our schools so students could be assured of obtaining a place at university so they could go on to make a real contribution in life in whatever their chosen profession," he says.
St Joseph's College Chapel where
the Funeral Mass for Br Charles
will be held
Br Charles made an invaluable contribution to universal Catholic education, founding two teacher training schools in Africa and the Philippines to ensure Marist Brothers could obtain a certificate, diploma or degree in education as part of their post-novitiate studies.
The first training school he founded as Superior General was in 1986 when he established Nairobi's Marist International College. Aimed at producing highly-trained and well-formed teachers, the recently renamed the Marist International University College is an official constituent of the University of East Africa and offers a diploma in education as well as a Bachelor of Education in the Arts or Science.

In 1991 Br Charles founded the Marist Asia Pacific Centre in Manila, which gave student Brothers from Malaysia, South Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Island and the Philippines the opportunity to undertake professional training as teachers and educators, or the university equivalent.
"He wanted to make sure Marist Brothers across the Pacific, Asia and Africa had the chance to train as teachers and were not just thrown in at the deep end immediately after ordination, which used to be the case in Australia back in the 1950s and 1960s," explains Br Anthony Robertson of the Marist Brothers Sydney Province.
Born on 29 October 1924 outside Melbourne, Br Charles's family moved to Sydney in the late 1930s and he spent his teenage years as a student at the Marist School, Randwick. Through his contact with the Brothers there, he discovered his vocation and at 18 received the religious Habit.
The next several years were spent in study and formation. Br Charles then served at various schools and in the juniorate at Mittagong. A standout due to his intelligence and pedagogical knowledge, he was sent to France in 1961 to complete his religious formation. On his return to Australia he was appointed headmaster of St Joseph's College responsible for more than 1000 students. This was a period of great change and the Wyndham Scheme reforms and introduction of the High School Certificate.

Superior General Br Emili Turu says Br
Charles lamp will shine brightly forever
At St Joseph's Br Charles proved himself a strong consultative leader full of humour, serenity and compassion.
His term as principal came to an end in 1968 when he was set to Belgium to study catechetics at Louvain. This was followed by further studies in Ireland, this time in psychology. During this time he participated in the General Chapter of the Marist Brothers in Rome. Back in Australia once more, he was appointed Provincial of the Marist Sydney Province in 1972 and during this challenging post-Vatican II period, gave priority to pastoral work.
In 1976, he was elected as General Councillor to the General Chapter and for the next nine years had a chance to visit many of the 80 different countries of the Marist world. He was particularly touched by social justice issues and their implications during these travels.
In 1985, Br Charles was elected Superior General, during which time he oversaw a new Marist presence in Easter Europe, the founding of teacher training scholasticates for Africa and Asia and the establishment of the International Finance Commission.
At 69 but still filled with energy and purpose, his Generate over, Br Charles spent the next several years in the novitiates of Kutama (Africa) and Lomeri (Pacific).
Finally he aged in his mid 70s, Br Charles returned to Australia where he continued to be involved in education. In 1997 he was declared a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his service to the Catholic Church and the community, particularly in the fields of education, social justice and reform.
In 2000 he received a further accolade for his achievements when he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Australian Catholic University.
"We give thanks for the extraordinary life of Br Charles and his significant contribution to our College and the broader Church and community and extend our sympathy to the Marist Brothers," Mr Ross Tarlington, Headmaster of St Joseph's College said this morning.
A Funeral Mass for Br Charles will be celebrated at the chapel at St Joseph's College at on Tuesday, 24 January.


Lenten course based on The King's Speech  | Finding a Voice, Kings Speech,Hilary Brand

Colin Firth in The King's Speech
Finding a Voice published by Darton Longman & Todd

How often does fear prevent you from doing or saying what you think is right? Do you have a sense of calling and if so do you have the courage to see it through? When did you last speak out confidently in a public arena about something you believed in? What are the discouraging memories that drag you down and hold you back?

Followers of Christ are described in the New Testament as a ‘royal priesthood’ and ‘inheritors of the kingdom’ – people with incredible potential and enormous responsibility. Yet the selves we see in the mirror are flawed and failing, all too often tongue-tied and terrified. The King’s Speech is such a runaway success because it holds that mirror to our world and offers hope of overcoming the difficulties. It shows hope built out of friendship, trust and supportive love, and courage in the face of gathering evil.

Lent is traditionally a time for strengthening resolve, bringing believers together in trust and encouragement as they strive to follow their calling. The purpose of this course could be summed up in the words of the King’s speech therapist: "To give them faith in their voice and let them know a friend is listening."

The course provides five group sessions using the film as a starting point along with personal weekly reading exploring more fully the issues raised, and Bible readings to root it in Christian values.

Hilary Brand is a freelance writer and author of a number of popular Lent courses including the best-selling Christ and the Chocolaterie.

Finding a Voice is available through ICN:


UCAN REPORT: Children and women to be given more voice during Vatican II golden jubilee reporter, Kochi
Forums for children, young people and women are among schemes decided during the Syro-Malabar Church (SMC)’s synod that finished January 13.
They are among moves to encourage greater laity participation during the Vatican II golden Jubilee.
“We want the laity to play a vibrant and positive role in the making of the Church in modern times. Without lay participation, the Church doesn’t exist or move forward,” Father Paul Thelakat, spokesman of the Catholic Oriental rite, said today.
He said the synod decided to set up 12 international forums to ensure lay people take a lead role in Church affairs.
Head of the Church, Cardinal-designate Major Archbishop George Alencherry, chaired the synod that was attended by 43 bishops and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
The Church will also create forums for media, health and charity works, education, science and technology, agriculture, history and literature.
Father Thelakat said many of these forums already exist, but they never got involved in the Church decision bodies.


VATICAN, January 17, 2012 (CISA) -Pope Benedict XVI has created a new diocese in Tanzania in East Africa.
The new diocese of Ifakara now in the Archdiocese of Dar-es Salaam, was created from Mahenge Diocese on January 14, 2012.
The Pope also named Bishop Salutaris Libena as the first Bishop of the new Ifakara Diocese.
Before appointment, Bishop Libena had been serving as Auxiliary Bishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania according to Vatican news.
St Patrick Parish becomes the Cathedral of the new diocese.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – One day to go to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 20th "Peace Accords" in El Salvador (see Fides 04/01/2012) and the main church of this country, the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Salvador continues to be occupied by former veterans of the previous armed conflict. This prevented the celebration of Masses last Sunday and the press conference that the Archbishop of San Salvador, His Exc. Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas usually held after Mass. According to information provided by the Archdiocese to Fides, the Sunday Mass, which was usually transmitted from the Metropolitan Cathedral through Radio Peace, yesterday was celebrated by the Vicar General, Msgr. Jesus Delgado Acevedo, in the Seminary of San José de la Montagna.
Former combatants who entered the Cathedral at the beginning of last week, have informed a local newspaper that they do not intend to withdraw until a commission to negotiate with the government is established. In this regard, the Attorney for Human Rights, Oscar Luna, has promised to work as a mediator. The requests of ex-combatants regard their reinstatement as veterans of the police; the reinstatement of their representative, Luis Ortega, in parliament; the recognition of their trade union. According to the local press, the former guerrillas also demand the end of the aversion of some political parties towards former guerrillas. (CE)


Mark 2: 18 - 22
18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
19 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.
22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins."


St. Berard of Carbio
Feast: January 16

Feast Day: January 16
Carbio, Umbria, Italy
Died 16 January 1220, Morocco
Canonized: 1481, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. Francis, together with two other priests, Peter and Otho, and two lay-brothers, Accursius and Adjutus, to evangelize the infidels of the East. On the conclusion of the Second General Chapter in 1219, St. Francis believed that the time had then come for the religious of his order to extend their apostolic labours beyond the Italian peninsula and Northern Europe; and, choosing for himself and twelve other religious the greater part of Syria and Egypt, he allotted to Berard and his companions the missions of Morocco. The five missionaries set sail from Italy, and after sojourning some time in Spain and Portugal finally arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco. Their open preaching of the Gospel there and their bold denunciation of the religion of Mahomet soon caused them to be apprehended and cast into prison. Having vainly endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the true religion, the Moorish king in a fit of rage opened their heads with his scimitar, and thus were offered to God the first fruits of the blood of the Friars Minor. Berard and his companions were canonized by Sixtus V, in 1481. The feast of the martyrs of Morocco is kept in the order on the 16th of January.


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