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Saturday, March 10, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SAT. MARCH 10, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : POPE PRAYS WITH ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS
AMERICA : CLOCKS FORWARD AND NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH
EUROPE : BISHOP'S CONFERENCE RELEASE ON MARRIAGE
AFRICA : WHAT IS KONY - BISHOP EXPLAINS CHILD SOLDIERS
AUSTRALIA : PARRAMATTA : WORLD DAY OF PRAYER EVENT
ASIA : SAUDI ARABIA : 50 WOMEN INJURED AT PROTEST
TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 10 : 40 MARTYRS OF SEBASTE
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : SAT. MARCH 10, 2012
 
VATICAN : POPE PRAYS WITH ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict received in audience on Saturday morning the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams, at the start of his 3 day visit to Italy. According to the Anglican leader, the discussions focused on "a shared sense of deep anxiety" about the situation of Christians in the Middle East and a look ahead at the theological reflections that Dr Williams will be offering the Synod of Bishops next October. They also talked "quite animatedly" about a recent lecture the Archbishop gave in Geneva on how to connect Christian theology with human rights.
After the audience Philippa Hitchen sat down with the Anglican leader to talk about their meeting, about current concerns in the Church of England, including the Anglican covenant, legislation on women bishops and the forthcoming diamond jubilee of Queen Elisabeth, as well as about the concept of monastic values as a key to ecumenical progress.....
Asked about Saturday afternoon's celebration of Vespers with the Pope in the church of San Greglorio al Celio, Dr Williams says "The fact that 3 successive archbishops have been to San Gregorio is an acknowledgement of historical fact, that the mission to England began here and it's good to touch the soil on which you are nurtured, to honour the memory of St Gregory and St Augustine of Canterbury...and by going back to our common roots to affirm a communion that is still in us......."

"A monastic community is a community assembled around the word of God, that identifies together with the prayer of Christ...that says something about the deepest roots of ecumenism ...but also about mission and I'll be speaking on Monday in Montecassino more specifically about the mission dimension of monastic life...."
SHARED FROM: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=570305

AMERICA : CLOCKS FORWARD AND NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH

Tomorrow, Sunday, March 11, at 2am the clocks will move forward 1 hour in the USA and Canada. This is called "Daylight Savings Time" or "Spring Forward".
 
NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH
On March 19 it will be the feast of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
The Novena Prayer to St. Joseph begins today.
Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
*Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so
strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I
place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful
intercession and obtain for me from your
Divine Son all spiritual blessings through
Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged
here below your Heavenly power I may offer my
Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of
Fathers.
Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not
approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head
for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I
draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray
for us. Amen

EUROPE : BISHOP'S CONFERENCE RELEASE ON MARRIAGE

BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES RELEASE:
VIEW VIDEO CLICK BELOW:
http://vimeo.com/38151274

The government is about to launch a consultation on changing the legal definition of marriage. Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith, President and Vice President of the Bishops' Conference respectively, have written to Catholic parishioners to voice their opposition to any change in the law and to encourage participation in the consultation:
"Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now. The law helps to shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved. There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations."
Supporting the existing legal definition of marriage, they say:
"The roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility. This pattern is, of course, affirmed by many other religious traditions. Christian teaching fills out this pattern and reveals its deepest meaning, but neither the Church nor the State has the power to change this fundamental understanding of marriage itself."
The letter will be read out at Masses throughout England and Wales on 10/11 March.

Full Text

Letter: Archbishop Nichols and Archbishop Smith on Marriage 192.35 kB
A Letter on Marriage from the President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of

England and Wales
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

This week the Coalition Government is expected to present its consultation paper on the proposed change in the legal definition of marriage so as to open the institution of marriage to same-sex partnerships. Today we want to put before you the Catholic vision of marriage and the light it casts on the importance of marriage for our society. The roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility. This pattern is, of course, affirmed by many other religious traditions. Christian teaching fills out this pattern and reveals its deepest meaning, but neither the
Church nor the State has the power to change this fundamental understanding of marriage itself. Nor is this simply a matter of public opinion.
Understood as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, and for the creation and upbringing of children, marriage is an expression of our fundamental humanity. Its status in law is the prudent fruit of experience, for the good of the spouses and the good of the family. In this way society esteems the married couple as the source and guardians of the next generation. As an institution marriage is at the foundation of our society.
There are many reasons why people get married. For most couples, there is an instinctive understanding that the stability of a marriage provides the best context for the flourishing of their relationship and for bringing up their children. Society recognises marriage as an important institution for these same reasons: to enhance
stability in society and to respect and support parents in the crucial task of having children and bringing them up as well as possible.
The Church starts from this appreciation that marriage is a natural institution, and indeed the Church
recognises civil marriage. The Catholic understanding of marriage, however, raises this to a new level. As the Catechism says: ‘The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, by its nature is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.’ (para.1601)
These rather abstract words are reflected however imperfectly in the experience of married couples. We know that at the heart of a good marriage is a relationship of astonishing power and richness, for the couple, their children, their wider circle of friends and relations and society. As a Sacrament, this is a place where divine grace flows. Indeed, marriage is a sharing in the mystery of God’s own life: the unending and perfect flow of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We know, too, that just as God’s love is creative, so too the love of husband and wife is creative of new life. It is open, in its essence, to welcoming new life, ready to love and nurture that life to its fullness, not only here on earth but also into eternity.
This is a high and noble vision, for marriage is a high and noble vocation. It is not easily followed. But we are sure that Christ is at the heart of marriage, for his presence is a sure gift of the God who is Love, who wants nothing more than for the love of husband and wife to find its fulfilment. So the daily effort that marriage requires, the many ways in which family living breaks and reshapes us, is a sharing in the mission of Christ, that of making visible in the world the creative and forgiving love of God. In these ways we understand marriage to be a call to holiness for a husband and wife, with children recognised and loved as the gift of God, with fidelity and permanence as the boundaries which create its sacred space. Marriage is also a crucial witness in our society, contributing to its stability, its capacity for compassion and forgiveness and its future, in a way that no other institution can. In putting before you these thoughts about why marriage is so important, we also want to recognise the experience of those who have suffered the pain of bereavement or relationship breakdown and their contribution to the Church and society. Many provide a remarkable example of courage and fidelity. Many strive to make the best out of difficult and complex situations. We hope that they are always welcomed and helped to feel valued members of our parish communities.
The reasons given by our government for wanting to change the definition of marriage are those of equality and discrimination. But our present law does not discriminate unjustly when it requires both a man and a woman for marriage. It simply recognises and protects the distinctive nature of marriage.
Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now. The law helps to shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved. There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children. We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations. With every blessing.

Online Petition

The 'Coalition for Marriage' is a grass-roots movement to campaign for the definition of marriage to remain unchanged in English law. The Archbishops are encouraging people to sign the coalition's online petition registering their opposition to a change in the law on marriage.

AUSTRALIA : PARRAMATTA : WORLD DAY OF PRAYER EVENT

DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT:

World Day of Prayer Lawson News Story
Our Lady of the Nativity Parish at Lawson hosted a World Day of Prayer gathering on Friday 2 March, with more than 70 people from different denominations taking part.


The World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christians of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service.
This year’s theme was ‘Let Justice Prevail’ and was prepared by the women of Malaysia. The Lawson church was decorated with a flag, flowers and a globe of the world, signifying unity among all nations in this time of prayer.
At the conclusion of the World Day of Prayer ceremony supper was enjoyed in the Santa Maria Hall.
In Australia, Elizabeth Clarke is the World Day of Prayer NSW President and a member of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay’s Ecumenical Commission.
“I have childhood memories of sectarianism which in my young adult life gave way to an awareness of acceptance and welcome by other denominations,” Elizabeth said.
“Later through travel, living overseas, family life with my husband and four children, shared prayer and biblical groups, theological study and parish work, I became committed to ecumenism and interfaith dialogue.
“I hope my involvement in the World Day of Prayer will advance mutual respect of each other’s faith and traditions so that we may pray with Jesus, ‘May they all be one.’” (Jn 17:21)
Visit the Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism & Interfaith Dialogue

Our Lady of the Nativity Lawson Parish extends a warm welcome to all visitors to the Blue Mountains. Mass is celebrated on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 9am in Our Lady of the Nativity Church, 254 Great Western Hwy, Lawson.

AFRICA : WHAT IS KONY - BISHOP EXPLAINS CHILD SOLDIERS


Agenzia Fides REPORT - Uganda has suddenly become "the center of the world" thanks to the Internet: a video about Joseph Kony, described as "the tyrant of child soldiers" has had over 70 million viewers on Youtube and was released throughout the world through blogs and social media. The documentary, called "Kony 2012" and created by the American NGO "Invisible Children", tells the story of child soldiers in Uganda. Children are recruited by the "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA), well-known military organization led by Kony who has been fighting against the Ugandan government since 1987.

In 25 years, according to the video, the LRA has used over 20,000 children kidnapped from tribes and villages, and exploited boys and girls for prostitution. The International Court of Justice in The Hague wants Joseph Kony for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The documentary has created a media event earthquake, but according to observers, "he tells a half truth because the conflict has diminished considerably in recent years and does not reach the proportions mentioned in the video." According to the local church, the video has the merit of having brought attention to a phenomenon and a war that has created immense suffering to the nation. Commenting on the video, Mgr. Juan José Aguirre, Bishop of Bangassou, said: "I counted every tear of these people and I encourage them not to lose hope. I appeal especially to the many families who have seen their children kidnapped and indoctrinated by force and daughters turned into sex slaves. For many years the Church of Uganda emphasizes this phenomenon, but nothing has happened. Now that the monster has woken up, may God make it disappear forever". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 10/03/2012) (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE/BLOGS)

ASIA : SAUDI ARABIA : 50 WOMEN INJURED AT PROTEST

ASIA NEWS REPORT:Poor sanitation and ill-treatment by faculty lead to protest. University spokesman alleges students attacked administrative staff, faculty and security personnel.


Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) - More than 50 women students were injured whilst protesting alleged ill-treatment by faculty and administrative staff and poor sanitation at the Abha campus of King Khalid University women's colleges on Wednesday.

The lack of cleanliness was one of the students' main complaints. "We have to walk on mounds of garbage that have accumulated close to the cafeteria," one student said.

Another S said the authorities did not even bother to furnish lecture halls with a sufficient number of chairs and the complaints of students were never heeded.

Students started gathering Wednesday morning in front of the college buildings and protesting after some of them were called by the administration to discuss their issues.

However, Awad Al-Qarni, director of Public Relations at the university, claimed that on Tuesday, students attacked security guards, administrative staff and faculty members.

According to official accounts, a number of officers from the police, Civil Defence, Health Department and Red Crescent as well as 50 members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (HAIA) were present at the scene of the disturbances.

A HAIA spokesman denied that commission members beat the students, claiming instead that they helped them contact their parents. In fact, "the HAIA presence created a sense of peace and security in the girls," he said.

Whatever the case may be, a spokesman for the Health Department in Asir province said that 22 students were admitted to hospitals and 31 cases were treated on the campus itself.

A female student with epilepsy died after receiving a blow to the head, whilst others were either injured in the crush or by police, state owned Iran's Press TV reported.

Saudi media have been silent about the latter claim.

Asir Gov. Prince Faisal bin Khaled ordered an immediate investigation into the incidents, partially because of pressure from students' families.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/International-Women's-Day-in-Saudi-Arabia:-50-female-students-injured-in-protest-24188.html

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : SAT. MARCH 10, 2012



Luke 15: 1 - 3, 11 - 32
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable:
11 And he said, "There was a man who had two sons;
12 and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them.
13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.
14 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want.
15 So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything.
17 But when he came to himself he said, `How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."'
20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet;
23 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry;
24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.
25 "Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant.
27 And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.'
28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,
29 but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!'
31 And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 10 : 40 MARTYRS OF SEBASTE

Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
MARTYRS
Feast: March 10


Information:
Feast Day: March 10
Died: 320 AD, Sebaste
A party of soldiers who suffered a cruel death for their faith, near Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia, victims of the persecutions of Licinius, who, after the year 316, persecuted the Christians of the East. The earliest account of their martyrdom is given by St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (370-379), in a homily delivered on the feast of the Forty Martyrs (Hom. xix in P.G., XXXI, 507 sqq.). The feast is consequently more ancient than the episcopate of Basil, whose eulogy on them was pronounced only fifty or sixty years after martyrdom, which is thus historic beyond a doubt. According to St. Basil, forty soldiers who had openly confessed themselves Christians were condemned by the prefect to be exposed naked upon a frozen pond near Sebaste on a bitterly cold night, that they might freeze to death. Among the confessors, one yielded and, leaving his companions, sought the warm baths near the lake which had been prepared for any who might prove inconstant. One of the guards set to keep watch over the martyrs beheld at this moment a supernatural brilliancy overshadowing them and at once proclaimed himself a Christian, threw off his garments, and placed himself beside the thirty-nine soldiers of Christ. Thus the number of forty remained complete. At daybreak, the stiffened bodies of the confessors, which still showed signs of life, were burned and the ashes cast into a river. The Christians, however, collected the precious remains, and the relics were distributed throughout many cities; in this way the veneration paid to the Forty Martyrs became widespread, and numerous churches were erected in their honour.
One of them was built at Caesarea, in Cappadocia, and it was in this church that St. Basil publicly delivered his homily. St. Gregory of Nyssa was a special client of these holy martyrs. Two discourses in praise of them, preached by him in the church dedicated to them, are still preserved (P. G., XLVI, 749 sqq., 773 sqq.) and upon the death of his parents, he laid them to rest beside the relics of the confessors. St. Ephraem, the Syrian, has also eulogized the forty Martyrs (Hymni in SS. 40 martyres). Sozomen, who was an eye-witness, has left us (Hist. Eccl., IX, 2) an interesting account of the finding of the relics in Constantinople through the instrumentality of the Empress Pulcheria. Special devotion to the forty martyrs of Sebaste was introduced at an early date into the West. St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia in the beginning of the fifth century (d. about 410 or 427), received particles of the ashes of martyrs during a voyage in the East, and placed them with other relics in the altar of the basilica which he had erected, at the consecration of which he delivered a discourse, still extant (P. L., XX, 959 sqq.) Near the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, in the Roman Forum, built in the fifth century, a chapel was found, built, like the church itself, on an ancient site, and consecrated to the Forty Martyrs. A picture, still preserved there, dating from the sixth or seventh century, depicts the scene of the martyrdom. The names of the confessors, as we find them also in later sources, were formerly inscribed on this fresco. Acts of these martyrs, written subsequently, in Greek, Syriac and Latin, are yet extant, also a "Testament" of the Forty Martyrs. Their feast is celebrated in the Greek, as well as in the Latin Church, on 9 March.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/F/fourtymartyrsofsebaste.asp#ixzz1oiLPBuys
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