Thursday, March 22, 2012


Vatican City, 22 March 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Laity is promoting a meeting of youth pastoral care workers to reflect on World Youth Days (WYD) and prepare for next year's WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meeting, due to be held in Rocca di Papa near Rome from 29 March to 1 April, will bring together delegates from ninety-eight countries, as well as the organising committees of WYD Madrid 2011 and WYD Rio 2013.
A communique released this morning by the Pontifical Council for the Laity explains that this will be "an important moment of reflection for the pastoral care workers" who number "more than 300, representing 45 communities, associations and Catholic youth movements".
Work will begin on 29 March with a welcome address from Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The rest of the day will be dedicated to a study of organisational and pastoral aspects of WYD Madrid 2011, and the fruits it has yielded throughout the world. Participants will include Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, and Yago de la Cierva and Fr. Gregorio Rolgan, respectively executive director and secretary general of WYD Madrid 2011.
On Friday 30 March attention will turn to Rio de Janeiro. The challenges and expectations of next year's WYD will be presented by Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta O. Cist. of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro; Msgr. Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Commission for Youth; Fr. Carlos Savio, head of the youth office of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, and the WYD Rio 2013 organising committee.
Saturday 31 March will be dedicated to reflection on the "formation of young people; a mission priority for the Church", with contributions from Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Fr. Fabio Attard, counsellor general of the Salesians for youth pastoral care. On Palm Sunday 1 April, which also marks twenty-seventh diocesan World Youth Day, the delegates will participate in Mass presided by Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square.

Vatican City, (VIS) - Tomorrow, Friday 23 March, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, will travel to Nigeria where he is due to visit a number of dioceses and to close a seminar of inter-religious dialogue with followers of Traditional African Religions, according to a communique released today.

Vatican City, 22 March 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Culture is organising a meeting of ambassadors to the Holy See from Africa. The event, due to be held in Rome on 26 March, aims to promote cooperation between the council and countries that are geographically distant from the Vatican. This is the second initiative of its kind, a similar meeting was held last year with ambassadors to the Holy See from Asia.
The programme of the event is divided into several parts and will be held at more than one venue. The first part of the day will be devoted to a detailed presentation of the Pontifical Council for Culture by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, respectively president and secretary of that dicastery. The ambassadors will also have a chance to intervene and make proposals for collaboration. The session will be moderated by Fr. Theodore Mascarenhas S.F.X., head of the department for cultures in Africa.
Participants will then move on to the Temple of Hadrian where they will be welcomed by Giancarlo Cremonesi, president of Rome's Chamber of Commerce who will describe the activities of the organisation he heads. There will also be a detailed cultural introduction to the historical and present day aspects of the temple. The day will end with a visit to Rome's "Parco della Musica" Auditorium.
According to an English-language note released today, "the Pontifical Council for Culture has been receiving very active collaboration from different embassies. The event intends to strengthen further the ties between the embassies and the dicastery and to evolve new ways for cultural cooperation. Twenty-three Embassies have confirmed their participation".


Mohammed Merah, seen in a home video. (photo credit: France 2)
The Al Quaeda shooter from the Jewish school shooting in Toulouse, France was killed today. His apartment was surrounded by 300 police some of whom sustained gunshots from Merah. It was explained that Merah was shot and killed during an intense gun battle. During the several hours surrounding the apartment the police brought in Merah's mother and psychologists to persuade him to surrender. However, he refused and fired on police.
Merah was French-Algerian and 1 of 5 children. After his parents divorced and being unemployed; he joined radical Islam and trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please pray for these souls and an end to the violence of terrorism. (Image source: Google)
The four victims of the shooting were transported to Israel and the funeral held at Givat Shaul Cemetery. Their names teacher Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh 5, Gabriel 4, and Myriam Monsonego, 7, daughter of the headmaster. Please see the report on the killings at the Jewish school:
The 4 victims of the Jewish School shooting by Mohammed Merah


Conference gets under way to address Christian mission and evangelism reporters, Manila
March 22, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of World church leader gathering begins
Christian leaders after a press briefing before the start of the conference
Some 400 Christian leaders from around the world began a six-day conference in Manila today on Christian mission and evangelism organized by the World Council of Churches.
“We come together to proclaim our common faith in Jesus Christ and mission that we can work together for our mission in a world where competition, fragmentation, division are so strong,” said Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila before addressing the conference at the Traders Hotel.
“Divisions between rich and poor, the learned and the illiterate and political divisions are not healed and it seems no matter where we look there is division,” he said.
The gathering, until March 27, is expected to come up with a new official statement on mission and evangelism based on challenges that have been evolving over the last three decades.
“This event will mark a new phase in fostering ecumenism as delegates and participants will present the final draft for affirmation before the 2013 WCC Assembly in Busan, South Korea, which is expected to attract about 1,000 church leaders,” said Rommel Linatoc, a National Council of Churches official.
The World Council of Churches is a worldwide fellowship of 349 churches representing over 560 million Christians, seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service.


Government authorities are showing great consideration for the death of the Egyptian Coptic pope who will be buried in the monastery where Sadat placed him under house arrest. Three people have been crushed by grieving crowds with another 137 injured. In honour of the late patriarch, a Christian and a Muslim family end a feud that cost 11 lives.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Tens of thousands of people are taking part in the funeral of Shenouda III, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church who died on Saturday at the age of 88. The service is underway in St Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo's Abbasseya neighbourhood. The authorities are showing great consideration for the head of the largest Christian community in the Middle East.

Across Egypt, it is a day of national mourning, with flags at half mask. The country's main leaders are paying their respect to the body, which will be flown to Wadr Naturn (Nile Delta) after the ceremony for burial in the cemetery of St Bushoy Monastery where the patriarch spent four years under house arrest (1981-1985) after he criticised the regime of the late President Anwar al-Sadat.

Coptic bishops from around the world are taking part in the service led by Abuna Paulos, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. "Because he is resting does not mean that we lost him," the latter said.

Following tradition, Shenouda's body was removed from the coffin and placed on the throne with his embroidered ceremonial red and gold vestments, a golden mitre on his head.

The authorities took huge security measures around the cathedral and the monastery where he will be buried. Many ambulances and medical staff are also present. Two days ago, crowds crushed to death three people, injuring an additional 137.

In honour of Shenouda's death, two families from a village in Minya province, Upper Egypt, ended a long-standing feud that caused 11 deaths.

Provincial governor General Serag Eddin al-Rouby said that the two families, one Muslim and one Christian, agreed to end the dispute when they heard about the patriarch's death.'s-funeral-on-day-of-national-mourning-24282.html


Photo: Courtesy Michael Connelly/The Record
This is Archbishop Timothy Costelloe’s Homily, which he gave last night, 21 March, 2012 at St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth at his first Mass as Archbishop of Perth

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe's Homily
at his Liturgical Reception and first Solemn Mass
A few moments ago Archbishop Hickey and Archbishop Lazzarotto led me to the Bishop’s chair, the Cathedra, from where I will preside as the Archbishop of Perth. In doing so Archbishop Hickey is representing not just the Archdiocese of Perth or the Church in Western Australia but, in a very real sense, the whole Church found in virtually every part of our great land. Archbishop Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio, represents the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and for that reason he represents the universal Church spread throughout the whole world. Tonight we are celebrating the fact that we are members of this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. In a powerful way we are both expressing and experiencing our belonging to the Church which we love so much.
As we three bishops approached the Chair everyone sang together the beautiful hymn, “Christ be our Light”. We prayed that Christ would shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness, shine in his Church. Tonight, as we celebrate the ongoing life and fruitfulness of our Church, and as I speak to you for the first time as your archbishop, I would like to invite you all to turn your gaze to Christ, to contemplate his face, to let his light shine in your hearts.
This was the invitation which Blessed Pope John Paul II gave to the whole Church when he wrote a letter to launch the Church into the adventure of the new millennium. Twelve years later that invitation remains as important and as compelling as ever. “Isn’t it true,” wrote the Pope, that it is “the Church's task to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make his face shine also before the generations of the new millennium?” In these simple words the Pope captured for us the essence of our vocation as Christians, as disciples of Jesus. We are witnesses to him, not as a figure from the past but as a living presence today. We are called and empowered to make his face shine for each other and all the people of our own time and place. Here in the Archdiocese of Perth, as in every part of this country and in every part of the world, this is our task as Christians. Tonight I want to invite us all to re-commit ourselves once more to this urgent but privileged responsibility.
Pope John Paul however goes on to issue a warning. “Our witness,” he says, “would be hopelessly inadequate if we had not first contemplated the face of Christ.” It is as if the Pope is asking us how we can possibly hope to be witnesses to Christ if we do not really know him. For my Episcopal motto as Archbishop of Perth I have chosen the three words which Jesus, in John’s Gospel, uses to describe himself. Ego sum Via, Veritas et Vita: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” If we do not know Christ who is the Way, we will lose our way. If we do not know Christ, who is the Truth, we will be plunged into confusion. If we do not know Christ who is the Life we will be on a pathway to death. And if we have lost our way, if we are caught in confusion, if we are a people of death rather than of life, how can we be, like the Good Shepherd in tonight’s Gospel, a people who feeds others and leads them to safe pastures?
In his Second Letter to the Corinthians Saint Paul expresses this powerfully when he insists that “we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Christ’s sake”. This is also the cry of the Church. We are not on about ourselves. We are on about Jesus, and the gift which he is for the whole world. Saint Paul was so in love with Christ that he could confidently though still humbly proclaim: “I no longer live for it is Christ who lives in me.” For Saint Paul it was Christ who stood at the very centre of his life, Christ who had claimed his heart, Christ who was the one treasure he desired above everything else. This is what it is to be a Christian: this is our vocation, and our glory. But is it our reality?
Many of you know that I belong to the Religious Congregation, the Salesians of Don Bosco. Some years ago, the Superior General of the Salesians, Fr Pascual Chavez, speaking as the President of the Union of Superiors General in Rome, made an extraordinary and confronting statement. “The greatest challenge facing Religious Life today“, he said, “is to return Christ to the Religious Life and to return the Religious Life to Christ.” I’m sure that when they first heard these words, the leaders of the many Religious Congregations present must have been puzzled and even affronted. Perhaps they asked themselves how anyone could pose such a question to a group of people who were vowed to a life of obedience, poverty and chastity within the Church. At the risk of puzzling and even affronting people tonight I want to put the same challenge, to myself first of all, and then to all of us here. The greatest challenge facing the Church today is to return Christ to the Church and to return the Church to Christ. The greatest challenge facing each one of us today is to return Christ to our lives and return our lives to Christ. This is not a challenge to be something other than we are. It is a challenge to be more fully, more deeply and more openly what we already are.
The Second Vatican Council described the Church as a kind of sacrament, a living and effective sign, of the presence of Christ in the world as its healer, as its saviour. Saint Paul for his part, in a simple yet very profound way, described the Church as the Body of Christ. These two statements express both who we are and who we must become more and more each day. The society in which we live has great need of the light of Christ. It is our privilege and our duty to offer this light, this gift, to the world.
This is the task that is set before us as we begin this new chapter in the life of the Catholic Church here in the Archdiocese of Perth. Tonight I invite each one of you to continually ask yourself the question, “Where is Jesus in what I am doing?” As parents and children live your family lives together, what room have you made in your daily lives for Jesus? As priests and religious seek to be the Good Shepherds that tonight’s gospel speaks about, is Jesus really the treasure for which you are ready to give up everything else? As Parish Councils meet to plan the year ahead is Jesus really at the centre of all your planning? As Catholic schools and Colleges, universities and seminaries, move more fully into the academic year let yourselves be motivated by these words: The greatest challenge facing my school or college, university or seminary, the greatest challenge facing me in my classroom or lecture hall, is to return this place to Christ and return Christ to his rightful place. As diocesan agencies review your programmes and evaluate your outreach ask if, in meeting you, the people with whom and for whom you work are really meeting Christ. For once again, as Saint Paul reminds us, “We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.”
Since my appointment as the Archbishop of Perth was announced many people have asked me what my priorities are. I have given a variety of answers but in the end I would want to say this: I hope and pray that, through my ministry of service and leadership in the Archdiocese, all of us, the people who together are the community of the disciples of Christ, might become more and more, as the first Letter of Saint Peter puts it, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, so that we might proclaim the mighty deeds of him who has called us out of darkness into his own marvellous light”. That light is Jesus Christ. It is to him that we commit all that we have and all that we are. It is to him that we entrust the journey into the future which tonight we set out on together.
Christ be our Light. Shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness. Christ be our light, shine in your Church gathered today. SOURCE: ARCHDIOCESE OF PERTH


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The community of the Dominican Sisters of Maryknoll celebrate 100 years since the founding of the congregation and 70 years of their presence in Bolivia. The missionaries are in the poorest areas of Bolivia: La Paz, Santa Cruz, Beni, and in the Apostolic Vicariate of Pando, where the missionary work is coordinated throughout Bolivia, closely with lay missionaries. Sister Nancy Connor, who lives in La Paz, recalls that the first nuns who arrived in Bolivia settled in the village of Riberalta, in the forest, where they later built a hospital. "This was the first mission in Latin America, the cradle of our mission," underlines Sister Nancy. At the time the population was not very big, and the nuns were able to visit all the sick, house by house.
The origins of the congregation dates back to January 16, 1912, when a group of women led by Josephine Rogers (1882-1955) who later became the first superior general of the congregation, began working at the secretariat of the Maryknoll missionary seminary (New York) . The sisters, now present in all the continents, are dedicated to teaching, health care, missionary work and social activity.
Following their founder, Sister Mary Josephine Rogers, who said "there is nothing more amazing as life, the greatest miracle is growth and development," her spiritual daughters are still encouraged to contemplate the wonderful works of God in people. "Many social projects that we started years ago have now expanded- says Sister Nancy – such as the project of San Miguel and the rehabilitation center for children with disabilities. This work was initiated by a aly woman and now accommodates several children and their families".
For the Maryknoll woman religious, the 70-year Riberalta represent a large growth, for which we must thank all the people who opened their arms and their hearts to the mission "from afar". "The future of our Church is in youth that want to build a work for one’s neighbor such as the kingdom of God, a kingdom of love and justice", says Sister Nancy. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 22/3/2012)


John 5: 31 - 47
31 If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true;
32 there is another who bears witness to me, and I know that the testimony which he bears to me is true.
33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.
34 Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved.
35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me.
37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen;
38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent.
39 You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me;
40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
41 I do not receive glory from men.
42 But I know that you have not the love of God within you.
43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope.
46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me.
47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"


Blessed Clemens August von Galen
Feast: March 22

Feast Day: March 22
Born: 16 March 1878 at Dinklage Castle, Lower Saxony, Germany
Died: 22 March 1946 at Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Beatification: 9 October 2005, Saint Peter's Plaza, Vatican, by Pope Benedict XVI
Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.
His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.
Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.
He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Munster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.


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