Sunday, April 15, 2012




RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Regina coeli with the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square this Sunday – The Sunday of the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday.
In remarks ahead of the prayer, the Holy Father focused on the continuing celebrations of the season, saying, “Each year, celebrating Easter, we relive the experience of the first disciples of Jesus, the experience of meeting him Risen.” The Pope went on to say, “Christian worship is not just a commemoration of past events, or even a particular mystical, interior experience, but essentially an encounter with the Risen Lord,” adding that Christ is at once with God the Father, beyond time and space, and yet, really present to us all. “He speaks to us in Scripture,” he said, “and breaks for us the bread of eternal life.”

Pope Benedict said that through these signs we live what the disciples experienced, that is, seeing Jesus and at the same time not to recognize him – touching his body, a real body, yet free from earthly ties.

Christ’s greeting to the disciples in the upper room, as recorded in the Gospel according to St John: “Peace be with you,” was a special focus of the Holy Father’s remarks. “This traditional greeting,” he said, is in that scene transformed into something new. “It becomes the gift of peace that only Jesus can give,” said Pope Benedict, “because it is the fruit of his radical victory over evil. The “peace” that Jesus offers to his friends is the fruit of the love of God that led him to die on the cross, to pour out all of his blood in payment, as the meek and humble Lamb, “full of grace and truth.”

The Holy Father explained that this is the reason for which Blessed John Paul II desired to call this Sunday after Easter “Divine Mercy Sunday” - with an icon in mind: that of the pierced side of Christ, from which flow blood and water. But now Christ is risen, and from the Living Christ spring the Easter Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist: those who approach them with faith receive the gift of eternal life.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” said Pope Benedict, “Let us welcome the gift of peace that the risen Jesus offers us, let us fill our hearts with His mercy!” He concluded saying, “In this way, with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, we too can bring these Easter gifts to others. May Mary, Mother of Mercy, obtain these things for us.”

After the traditional Eastertide prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father had greetings for pilgims in many languages, including English:

I am pleased to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present today. In today’s Gospel, Jesus appears to his disciples and overcomes the doubts of Thomas. Through his Divine Mercy, may we always believe that Jesus is the Christ and, believing, may we have life in his name. Upon you and your loved ones, I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.


Divine Mercy is a Feast celebrated the Sunday afer Easter. It comes from the visions of a Polish Nun, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, that began on February 21, 1931. She saw a vision of Jesus standing and was told to have the image made with the prayer : JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.
The visions that speak of Jesus' great mercy for sinners if they come to him lasted from 1931-1938.

Sister Faustina was declared a Saint by Pope John Paul II on in 2000. Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted at the same time.
Blessed Saint Faustina
It is a universal Feast for the entire Church. The promise of Jesus to St. Faustina was: "I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion... on the Feast of My mercy. Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment."
Our Lord also asked…"I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere.
Here are the DIRECTIONS for fulfillment of Divine Mercy promise for the Sunday:
The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion
1. Celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday
2. Sincerely repent of all our sins
3. Place our complete trust in Jesus
4. Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday
5. Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast
6. Venerate the Image of The Divine Mercy
7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.
8. Say the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Then say: (optional)
O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.
Sister Faustina who gave us the Chaplet from God acknowledges the following:

"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just

"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
11 Apr 2012

Aged care legislation is designed for
a 1960s Australia and does not address
needs of today's older Australians
Most Australians believe they will be looked after in old age. But under current laws aged care is not an entitlement and is rationed with only 113 aged care places for every 1000 Australians over 70, says Martin Laverty, CEO of Catholic Health Australia (CHA).
In a pull-no-punches Forum on Aged Care at the National Press Club today, Mr Laverty said unless aged care legislation was urgently overhauled not only would many older Australians miss out on aged care but the shortfall in residential aged care homes would continue to escalate.
"The current rationing of aged care means of the 24,000 applications for community aged care services made last year, a mere 1800 were approved," he said.
Speaking on behalf of CHA which represents 500 aged care residential and community aged care services, Mr Laverty spoke of the inconsistencies of current aged care laws which he said were designed for a 1960s Australia and were inconsistent, confusing, complicated and unable to meet the needs and wishes of today's older Australians.

Aged care needs urgent overhaul says
Martin Laverty CEO
of Catholic Health Australia
"Aged care laws ration community care and restrict community packages that offer more hours of care as a person's needs change," he said and cited a Sydney resident whose community aged care package allowed him five hours of care in his home each week.
"But when the needs of this Sydney man changed, the hours of care delivered to his home could not be expanded and he was forced to move into a residential aged care, needlessly separating him from his wife," he said.
Another example Mr Laverty gave of the inconsistencies of current laws was the case of a wealthy resident who sold her home for several million dollars prior to moving into to a high care facility for the aged. Despite being able to afford such care, current aged care laws, limit the cost of high care accommodation to just $32 per day, or $37 less than the $67 daily charge to Sydney Backpackers at Central Station.
The outmoded laws and lack of government action also mean that providers operated at a loss of $62 per bed each day.
"This is the reason some providers are not building new services to meet growing demands," he said.

Aged care reforms urgently needed over
next decade to meet the needs
of Australia's 4.5 million baby boomers
Of 10,500 bed licences offered by the government last year, only 8000 or 75% were picked up.
"Over the past three years 7000 beds offered by the government have been knocked back by providers. As a result, Australia will be 120 aged care homes short of the current government target and result in some Australians missing out on residential care," he warned.
Mr Laverty and the other members of the National Aged Care Alliance taking part in today's forum called on the Government and Opposition to implement the recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in its report: "Caring for Older Australians."
"We support the Commission's recommendation for residents to be given the option of paying rent if they can, which would ensure no one is ever forced to sell their former home," he said. "CHA and the Alliance also support fully refundable bonds to operate across residential aged care services for those who choose to pay them."

Martin Laverty CEO
of Catholic Health Australia
It is now almost a year since the Productivity Commission released its report but the Government has yet to implement any of its recommendations. This despite Prime Minister Julia Gillard's election promise that aged care would be a priority.
Earlier this week Alzheimer's released a damning report of Australia's aged care system and its failure to meet the needs of the nation's 280,000 dementia sufferers, a number that is expected to rise to 400,000 over the next 10 years.
But instead of addressing Australia's fast growing ageing population, yesterday's Australian Financial Review predicted that in the government's determination to achieve a surplus, the aged care sector was set to take a $2 billion hit in this year's budget.
In a bid to cut back on $7 billion taxpayer funded subsidies, it is believed the Government is investigating an option that would mean a 5% cut in subsidies to nursing homes to cover the costs of employing staff to help residents eat, bathe and go to the toilet.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Half of the Bolivian population, over 5 million people, is 17 years or less old, and among these, approximately 850 000 children and adolescents working in dangerous and poorly paid activities such as in the cultivation of cane sugar and chestnuts, in mines, fisheries, construction, sale of alcoholic drinks, collecting trash, cleaning in hospitals, in addition to dealing with security or domestic labor. From a study carried out by the Ministry of Labor, it showed that the health and physical integrity of minors working environment is compromised. There are 76 000 boys and 58 000 girls, between 5 and 13 years of age, who work in urban areas, while 160 000 boys and 143 000 girls are registered in rural areas working mainly in the agricultural field. As for the age group ranging from 14 to 17 years, in the urban area, about 99 000 workers are boys and 73 000 girls, while in the rural areas boys are 78 000 and girls are 58 000. In addition to the family economic difficulties, these children are forced to work because of poverty, migration, parental irresponsibility and the separation of families. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 13/4/2012)


UPPER NILE: April 13, 2012 (CISA) -International Organization for Migration, IOM, teams in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region are working with UNHCR and other humanitarian partners to meet the growing needs of thousands of Sudanese refugees who are fleeing fighting and aerial bombardments in Sudan’s Blue Nile State.
According to UNHCR, more than 92,700 refugees have fled the Blue Nile State since the fighting erupted in September last year. The majority of them are now sheltering in Doro and Jammam camps in Upper Nile State.
Over the past week, more than 2,800 refugees have been registered in Doro Camp. IOM staff report that many families arrive exhausted after a long and difficult journey on foot or donkey carts to cover the 20 kilometres that separate Doro camp from the border.
IOM is in charge of providing safe drinking water, setting up latrines and supplying hygiene materials. The Organization is currently providing 12.9 litres of safe drinking water per person per day and working to reach 12-20 litres per capita per pay in line with the humanitarian response standards advocated by the humanitarian organization, SPHERE.
Since the start of the influx of the refugees, IOM has set up 642 common latrines, 574 household latrines, 450 bathing shelters, 407 garbage pits and has trained over 50 water and latrine management committees. More than 9,000 refugees have participated in hygiene awareness promotion sessions and over 550 hygiene kits have been distributed.
IOM is also providing management training to some of the camp residents as part of a process to instill a sense of community ownership of facilities and services.
IOM and other humanitarian agencies continue to preposition relief items and food stocks ahead of the rainy season when transport and access will be restricted and more expensive.
In mid-January, IOM assisted UNHCR with the successful relocation of over 6,000 persons from the border village of El Foj to Jammam, the second camp in the region and only halted operations when teams came under aerial bombardment.
The Organization needs an estimated US$ 10 million to cover the first three months of its emergency operations in support of UNHCR’s activities in Maban County. To date, it has secured a US$ 2 million contribution from the United States’ Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration.


by Nirmala Carvalho
Two incidents are reported in Karnataka, one in Andhra Pradesh. In both states, members of Hindu ultranationalist groups have insulted, beaten and proffered death threats against believers and clergymen. Law enforcement officers filed cases against persons unknown even though the victims knew their attackers. For the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, the Christian minority lives in a "climate of terror".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - India's Christian minority is living in a "climate of terror," this according to Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) who spoke about the violence visited upon some Christian communities over the Easter break.

In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Hindu ultranationalist groups have attacked, beaten and made death threats against the pastors and members of three Pentecostal churches. Although each incident is distinct, they all have one thing in common, namely the "utter failure" of the police to act. For all intents and purpose, they are accomplices of Hindutva extremists.

The first incident occurred on 5 April in Mangalore (Karnataka) when a group of Hindus hurled stones at a congregation that had gathered for Maundy Thursday prayers at St Sebastian Church in the city's Bendore area. A 46-year-old woman, Claret Pinto, suffered head injuries and was rushed to Colaco Hospital. Police later filed a report against persons unknown.

On Easter Sunday in Chamrajnagar (Karnataka), police went to the home of Rev Rajesh, 27, a pastor in the Indian Pentecostal Church of God (IPC) who had just finished a prayer service. They asked him under what authority he conducted the service at his home. Then, they insulted and eventually ordered him to vacate his home.

Later that day, Rev Rajesh and five other pastors went to the local police station to file a complaint about the incident. As they were briefing the attending officer, about 100 activists from the Bajrang Dal stormed the station and attacked the clergymen and a parishioner. The latter, named Babu, was wounded to the head and needed 24 sutures. Police present at the scene stood idly by.

Also on Easter Sunday, Hindu ultranationalists from the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) broke into the home of Rev Ratnababu, a pastor with the Christu Asinadu Prathana Mandir Church.

As some gagged and bound his son Madhu, others attacked the clergyman, throwing chilli powder into his eyes to blind him. They then physically assaulted him and his wife. When some neighbours began coming to the house in response to her screams, the attackers fled. Madhu was rushed to hospital.

Police filed a report against persons unknown even though the young man could identify the attackers.

Rev Ratnababu has been serving his Pentecostal community for 15 years. This attack by Hindu ultranationalists was not the first of its kind. In October 2011, there were three attempts to torch his church and numerous death threats against him. In the past six months, RSS activists were also able to get the police to arrest him, twice.

According to Sajan George, anti-Christian incidents are occurring on a regular basis. This and the lack of justice are a "serious threat" to the country's secular backbone.



Apr 15, 2012 - 2nd Sun Easter
Acts 4: 32 - 35
32 Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common.
33 And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold
35 and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.
Psalms 118: 2 - 4, 13 - 15, 22 - 24
2 Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
3 Let the house of Aaron say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
4 Let those who fear the LORD say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Hark, glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: "The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
23 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
1 John 5: 1 - 6
1 Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the child.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.
5 Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood.


Sts. Basilissa and Anastasia
Feast: April 15

Feast Day: April 15
According to tradition, Basilissa and Anastasia were noble Roman women who recovered the remains of Peter and Paul for burial. As a result, they were arrested and beheaded by order of Emperor Nero.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints

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