Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes | Bishop Jacques, Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, Auxiliary Bishop of Nanterre,new Bishop of Tarbes, Lourdes


On Saturday, 11 February, thousands of Lourdes pilgrims braved sub-zero temperatures to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. The day marks the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to St Bernadette in 1858.

Among the pilgrims were many pilgrimage directors from the UK who were in Lourdes to finalise details of this years' pilgrimages.

Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes was principal celebrant at the International Mass in the St Pius X Basilica.

After the Mass, the Bishop prayed the Angelus at the Grotto. It was then announced that the Holy Father had accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacques, who has reached the retirement age, and appointed Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, Auxiliary Bishop of Nanterre, as the new Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. He will be received as Bishop in the St Pius X Basilica during Mass on Sunday, 25 March, 2012.

For more on Lourdes see:


ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT By Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012Four years ago on this day, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressed the nation to publicly apologise to the Indigenous people of Australia for the past injustices and wrongs done to them. Today about 200 people gathered at Birrarung Marr to commemorate this momentous occasion thanks to a new initiative of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne (ACMM) office.

View gallery

Launched last week at the ACMM office, the ‘I Feel Proud Today’ campaign aims to commemorate the anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations made by Kevin Rudd in Parliament on 13 February 2008.

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012ACMM executive office Vicki Clarke said, “The campaign aims to ensure that our shared story will never be forgotten.”

“The ‘I feel proud today’ campaign is about keeping the National Apology alive in the minds and hearts of the Australian People.

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012“This day is about commemorating our shared history and about bringing people back to how they felt when the National Apology was being read out, and how they felt about being witness to such a significant moment in our modern history.

“By commemorating this day, Australians can continue to reflect on that moment in time where we united as one, determined to mend relationships with our Indigenous people.

“The National Apology was so important for the healing of this Nation; it has helped many people to move on but we need to keep touching people’s hearts and spirit, to ensure this truly sacred moment is never forgotten.”

Both at the launch last week and during this morning’s commemoration, Ian Hamm, Executive Officer of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria spoke of his experience of being separated from his parents and family as children and the significance of the National Apology for him.

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012“The importance of that day for the people of this country cannot be underestimated,” said Ian.

“I don’t think there are the words to capture what those words [I’m sorry] meant to us as a nation. For a single moment in time, by and large Australia was in one place with a deeper commitment that often doesn’t happen.

“It’s a day and moment in time that we should never forget. It brought everyone in this country together and was also the beginning of another journey toward healing, particularly for the Aboriginal community and Stolen Generation. We can never recreate it, but we can remember it every year.”

Apology-Day-Anniversary-2012As people watched on, they wore badges with the words ‘I Feel Proud Today’ on them.

Five thousand badges and resource kits have also been distributed to schools and organisations throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia to help commemorate the day.

Both the launch and today’s event were organised with the support of Link-Up, Connecting Home, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Reconciliation Victoria, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, Archdiocese of Melbourne Social Justice office, Catholic Social Services Victoria, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, Brotherhood of St Laurence and the City of Melbourne.

Vicki said, “The organisations, communities and individuals represented want to acknowledge the importance of the Apology, and its part in the journey towards healing and recognition.”

“There is a legacy of pain for many but this day is a day for all Australians to be proud of
the steps that have been taken towards healing and unity.

“This campaign is only beginning and I’ve got no doubt it will only get bigger and better as the years go on. We will never forget this day and what it means to our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and to all Australians.”

View story and gallery from last week's campaign launch at ACMM office.

Photos by Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal


VATICAN, February 10, 2012 (CISA) –Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to preach the annual Lenten Retreat for the Roman Curia.
The African cardinal, who received his red hat from Pope Benedict in November 2010, has been deeply involved in efforts to secure a lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to CWS, he has been Archbishop of Kinshasa, the capital city, since 2008, having previously served 20 years as Archbishop of Kisangani.
Cardinal Monsengwo is the 2nd African cardinal asked by Pope Benedict to lead the annual Lenten exercises.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, preached the retreat in 2009.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Nirmala Carvalho
Three attacks since 2011 at St. Joseph's PU College, Anekal. The religious are accused of not having displayed the national flag on Republic Day, but the president has always denied this. Silence of police and authorities. Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Their aim is to terrorize the Christian community."

Anekal (AsiaNews) - "The goal of ultra-nationalist Hindus is to terrorize the Christian minority and to create tension within the community", says Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), denouncing the climate of fear in which Christians live in Anekal, a city of Karnataka. The extremist’s target are the Jesuits and their school, St. Joseph's PU College. Missionaries, teachers and students of the institute have been the victims of three attacks since 2011, at the hands of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists (Abvp), a student organization affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ultra-nationalist party in government. The BJP supports the extremist Hindu groups belonging to the Sangh Parivar like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or the Bajrang Dal, responsible for violence against Dalits and Christians.

The last episode dates back to February 9, when the tahsildar (district official) of Anekal convened a meeting of the Commission for Peace. During the meeting, more than 100 Akbvp activists constantly interrupted the interventions of six Jesuit priests there present, insulting them for not having hoisted the national flag on the National holiday of the republic. Some pictures of the event transmitted by local television, showed the activists hit the headmaster of St Joseph College, Fr. Melvin Mendonca, under the eyes of the tahsildar and police. The attackers then paraded the Jesuit through the city, to the police station. When other priests have tried to point out to tahsildar what was happening, one of the activists shouted: "Try it with your friends in America. Here, we make the rules. "

Accused of not having hoisted the national flag, already on 27 January, Akbvp members had beaten teachers and students of St Joseph College. The principal has always rejected the accusation, explaining that the symbol was displayed on the campus of Jnana Jyoti, headquarters of the institute. 60% of students at the institute are Dalit Hindus, while the remainder are Christians and Muslims.

"After this further attack - saya Sajan George to AsiaNews - the Christian community is scared, insecure and abandoned. The Hindu activists continue to attack, strengthened by their political ally: the BJP government in Karnataka. "


Agenzia Fides REPORT- The police continue the strike and the people of Bahia, state in northeastern Brazil, live in anguish. In just six days there have been 87 murders, the result of criminal acts, and is in a wave of ransacking. Government officials of Bahia and associations of the military police in the Brazilian state met two days ago, with the Church as mediator, to try to resolve the dispute over wages.
In the residence of the Archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia and Primate of Brazil, Mgr. Murilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger, S.C.I., the parties sought to end the strike, but still has not solved the problem. This is the second attempt of negotiations. The first (4 days ago) lasted 10 hours. The spokesman for the archdiocese, Father Manoel Ribeiro, explained that the position of the associations concerning the counterproposal made by the government of Bahia is being debated. The governor of Bahia, Jaques Wagner, believes that negotiations with the military police are progressing and took the opportunity to urge the police not to abandon the people to themselves. But Wagner also said that there will be no amnesty for those responsible for acts of vandalism. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 09/02/2012)


Mark 8: 1 - 10
1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him, and said to them,
2 "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat;
3 and if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a long way."
4 And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert?"
5 And he asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven."
6 And he commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.
7 And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, he commanded that these also should be set before them.
8 And they ate, and were satisfied; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
9 And there were about four thousand people.
10 And he sent them away; and immediately he got into the boat with his disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanu'tha.


Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast: February 11

Feast Day: February 11
The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.
Never has a sanctuary attracted such throngs. At the end of the year 1908, when the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition was celebrated, although the record really only began from 1867, 5297 pilgrimages had been registered and these had brought 4,919,000 pilgrims. Individual pilgrims are more numerous by far than those who come in groups. To their number must be added the visitors who do not come as pilgrims, but who are attracted by a religious feeling or sometimes merely by the desire to see this far-famed spot. The Company of the Chemins de Fer du Midi estimates that the Lourdes station receives over one million travellers per annum. Every nation in the world furnishes its contingent. Out of the total of pilgrimages given above, four hundred and sixty-four came from countries other than France. They are sent by the United States, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. The bishops lead the way. At the end of the year of the fiftieth anniversary, 2013 prelates, including 546 archbishops, 10 primates, 19 patriarchs, 69 cardinals, had made the pilgrimage to Lourdes. But more remarkable still than the crowd of pilgrims is the series of wonderful occurrences which take place under the protection of the celebrated sanctuary. Passing over spiritual cures, which more often than not escape human observance, we shall confine ourselves to bodily diseases. The writer of this article has recorded every recovery, whether partial or complete, and in the first half-century of the shrine's existence he has counted 3962. Notwithstanding very careful statistics which give the names and surnames of the patients who have recovered, the date of the cure, the name of the disease, and generally that of the physician who had charge of the case, there are inevitably doubtful or mistaken cases, attributable, as a rule, to the excited fancy of the afflicted one and which time soon dispels. But it is only right to note: first, that these unavoidable errors regard only secondary cases which have not like the others been the object of special study; it must also be noted that the number of cases is equalled and exceeded by actual cures which are not put on record. The afflicted who have recovered are not obliged to present themselves and half of them do not present themselves, at the Bureau des Constatations Médicales at Lourdes, and it is from this bureau's official reports that the list of cures is drawn up.
The estimate that about 4000 cures have been obtained at Lourdes within the first fifty years of the pilgrimage is undoubtedly considerably less than the actual number. The Bureau des Constatations stands near the shrine, and there are recorded and checked the certificates of maladies and also the certificates of cure; it is free to all physicians, whatever their nationality or religious belief. Consequently, on an average, from two to three hundred physicians annual visit this marvellous clinic. As to the nature of the diseases which are cured, nervous disorders so frequently mentioned, do not furnish even the fourteenth part of the whole; 278 have been counted, out of a total of 3962. The present writer has published the number of cases of each disease or infirmity, among them tuberculosis, tumours, sores, cancers, deafness, blindness, etc. The "Annales des Sciences Physiques", a sceptical review whose chief editor is Doctor Ch. Richet, Professor at the Medical Faculty of Paris, said in the course of a long article, apropos of this faithful study: "On reading it, unprejudiced minds cannot but be convinced that the facts stated are authentic."

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


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