Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Vatican City, 4 April 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks during this morning's general audience today to his recent trip to Mexico and Cuba by which, he said "I sought to embrace the entire continent, inviting everyone to live together in hope in concrete commitment to united progress towards a better future". The audience was held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 11,000 people. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
The Holy Father recalled the reasons for his journey: The bicentenary of the independence of Mexico and other Latin America countries, the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See, and the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of "Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre" in Cuba.
The Pope noted how his visit had been characterised by "the extraordinary, festive and vivacious welcome" of Mexicans, a sign of "the warm embrace of an entire people". He specifically mentioned his stay in the city of Leon where, in the presence of the civil and religious authorities, he had "underscored the need to recognise and protect fundamental human rights, among which religious freedom is particularly important", and had given guarantees of his "closeness to those who suffer social ills such as conflicts, old and new, corruption and violence". Nonetheless, he remarked, the widespread enthusiasm bore witness "to the tenacious hope of Mexican Christians, a hope that remains alive in peoples' hearts despite moments of difficulty".
Also in Leon, the Pope met with children and adolescents, whose joy "expressed the deep-felt desire of all young people in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean to live in peace, serenity and harmony, in a just and reconciled society".
The Holy Father continued his reminiscences: "The Lord's disciples must seek to augment the joy of being Christian and the joy of belonging to the Church. Such joy foments the energies necessary to serve Christ in situations of difficulty and suffering". For this reason the Pope had exhorted the thousands of faithful participating in Sunday Mass in Leon's Parque Bicentenario "to trust in the goodness of Almighty God, which can transform unbearable and incomprehensible situations from within, from the heart". He had also expressed his gratitude "to those who spread the Gospel in complex situations beset with restrictions".
Benedict XVI had left Mexico calling on the Mexican people "to remain faithful to the Lord and His Church, firmly anchored in their Christian roots".
The Pope then turned his attention to the Cuban leg of his journey. "I went there", he said, "to support the mission of the Catholic Church, which is committed to the joyful announcement of the Gospel, notwithstanding limited means and despite the difficulties which still have to be overcome before religion can offer its spiritual and educational services in the public arena". The Holy Father highlighted the good relations that exist between the State and the Holy See, relations "which aim to serve the living and constructive presence of the local Church. I also gave assurances that the Pope carries the concerns and aspirations of all Cubans in his heart, especially those suffering due to restrictions on freedom".
"One moment of intense spirituality", the Pope recalled, was the first Mass he celebrated on Cuban soil, marking the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of "Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre", patron of the island. The thousands of people who turned out for the ceremony were the "sign of a Church which is emerging from a difficult situation, but which has a vivacious witness of charity and an active presence in people's lives".
"I invited Cuban Catholics and the entire population, who are hoping for a better future, to give renewed vigour to their faith and, with the courage to forgive and comprehend, so as to help build an open and renewed society, where there is ever more space for God, because without God the world becomes an inhospitable place for mankind".
On the second stage of his Cuban journey, Havana, the young "were the main participants in the enthusiastic welcome I received as I made my way to the nunciature. There I was able to meet with local bishops to discuss the challenges the Cuban Church is called to face, in the awareness that people are looking to her with increasing trust", the Pope said.
During Mass on Sunday morning "I reminded everyone that Cuba and the world need change. This will only come about if everyone opens to the integral truth about man (an indispensable premise in order to achieve freedom) and decides to spread reconciliation and fraternity. ... I also underlined the fact that the Church does not seek privileges, but asks to be able to proclaim and celebrate the faith, also in public, bringing the Gospel's message of hope and peace to all sectors of society". In this context, Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation for the progress made by the authorities in Cuba and highlighted the need to continue this process until achieving complete religious freedom.
Speaking of his departure, the Holy Father mentioned the thousands of Cuban faithful who, despite the rain, had come out to greet him on his way to the airport. In his farewell address he explained that the moment had come for the various members of Cuban society "to make a sincere effort at collaboration and patient dialogue, for the good of the country". In this light, his own presence on the island was intended "to encourage people to open their hearts to Christ, Who is the source of hope and a power for good".
Benedict XVI affirmed that his pastoral trip to Mexico and Cuba had borne positive pastoral results, and he expressed the hope that both countries would harvest abundant fruits, to build a future of peace and brotherhood.
In conclusion the Holy Father mentioned the Easter Triduum, the culmination of the liturgical year which begins tomorrow with the Mass of the Last Supper. "Each of us", he told the faithful, "was loved by Jesus 'unto the end'; that is, unto the giving of Himself on the cross, when He cried: 'It is finished'. Let us allows ourselves to be touched by this love, let us allow ourselves to be transformed, so that the resurrection can truly be achieved in each one of us".

Vatican City, 4 April 2012 (VIS) - After delivering language greetings to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for his general audience, the Holy Father recalled the fact that today marks the international day to raise awareness on anti personnel mines. He expressed his closeness to victims and their families, and expressed his encouragement to "everyone who works to free humanity from these terrible hidden devices which, as Blessed John Paul II said when the Anti Personnel Mines Convention came into force, prevent mankind from 'walking together on the journey of life without fearing destruction and death'".

Vatican City, 4 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed :
- Bishop Oscar Omar Aparicio Cespedes, auxiliary of La Paz, Bolivia, as military ordinary for Bolivia.
- Msgr. Francesco Milito of the clergy of the archdiocese of Rossano-Cariati, episcopal vicar for ecumenism and culture, and director of the archdiocesan historical archives, as bishop of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi (area 930, population 179,603, Catholics 176,250, priests 99, permanent deacons 16, religious 182), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Rossano, Italy in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1972. Among other things, he has worked as professor and rector in a number of seminaries, official of the Secretariat of State and director of the archdiocesan monthly magazine. He is also author of numerous essays and articles on the ecclesiastical and cultural history of the Italian region of Calabria.
- Msgr. Tulio Luis Ramirez Padilla of the clergy of the archdiocese of Valencia en Venezuela, vicar general, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Caracas (area 790, population 4,435,000, Catholics 3,781,000, priests 538, permanent deacons 9, religious 1,722), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Caracas in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1984. He studied in Spain and in Rome and has worked in pastoral care in a number of parishes.

Vatican City, 4 April 2012 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop John George Chedid, emeritus of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles of the Maronites, U.S.A., on 22 March at the age of 88.
- Archbishop Ante Juric, emeritus of Split-Makarska, Croatia, on 20 March at the age of 89.
- Bishop Edward Materski, emeritus of Radom, Poland, on 24 March at the age of 89.
- Bishop Anarghyros Printesis, apostolic exarch emeritus for Catholics of Byzantine rite resident in Greece, on 18 March at the age of 74.
- Bishop Paulino Reale, emeritus of Venado Tuerto, Argentina, on 29 March at the age of 88.


Brother Bernard Elliot RIP | Brother Bernard Elliot SJ,Jesuit,Jesuit Refugee Service

Br Bernard Elliot
Brother Bernard Elliot SJ, a Jesuit who was involved with the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK from its earliest days, died on Monday, after a brief illness. He was 82. Over more than 30 years, Bernard supported refugees arriving, often destitute, in the UK and tried to 'accompany, serve and advocate' on their behalf.

Bernard Gerald Elliot was born in Macclesfield on 20 May 1929 and went to school at St John's, Alton, and then Cotton College in Staffordshire. On leaving school, he served his National Service with the Royal Artillery, largely as an instructor of radar, before working in marketing and advertising in the confectionery trade.

Bernard entered the Society of Jesus at Harlaxton, Lincs, in 1963, at the age of 34, and studied administrative skills and economics at Campion Hall in Oxford; both his father and younger brother had been accountants. After taking his vows as a brother in 1965, he spent four years at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire as sacristan, and returned there in 1973 after his tertianship at Corby Hall in Sunderland. From 1976, he was Master to the Lower Grammar boys at Stonyhurst, before being appointed to work in the Jesuit parish of St George's in Worcester.

After a brief term at the Community Centre in Boscombe, Dorset, Bernard moved in 1979 to Heythrop College in London, where his collaboration with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) began. For the next 32 years, he was to assist, work with and listen to refugees, detainees and asylum seekers through JRS, based first at Osterley, near Heathrow, then in various parts of London - Stamford Hill, Stockwell, London Bridge and finally, at the Hurtado Jesuit Centre in Wapping.

The Jesuit Refugee Service was started in 1980 by Father Pedro Arrupe SJ; in the UK, Bernard established a system of support for Vietnamese fleeing from the atrocities of their homeland and arriving as refugees here. Below is a link to an interview, first published in 2005 on the 25th anniversary of JRS International, which tells the story in Bernard's words.

Bernard's final years were spent as a member of the Wimbledon Jesuit Community, living in Feltham, Middlesex. He was admitted to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey on 19 March 2012 and died there on 2 April 2012. May he rest in peace.

To read an interview with Br Bernard, see:

Source: JRS/Jesuit Comms



Archbishop Mark ColeridgeTuesday 3 April 2012
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday welcomed the appointment of Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge as Metropolitan Archbishop of Brisbane.
Archbishop Coleridge has served as the chief pastor of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn since 2006. Archbishop Coleridge replaces Archbishop John Alexius Bathersby who retired last year after serving the people of Brisbane since 1992.

Archbishop Wilson said yesterday that he was delighted with the appointment of Archbishop Coleridge and extended his heartfelt prayers to the Archbishop and the people of the Archdiocese.
“Archbishop Coleridge is an exceptionally talented pastor and will show solid leadership to the people of Brisbane. He has a great many gifts and wonderful human qualities. I will pray for him and the people of the Archdiocese in the coming weeks”, said Archbishop Wilson.
Archbishop Coleridge said he was heartened that Pope Benedict and others had chosen him as Chief Pastor of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and grateful to the Holy Father for the trust he placed in him.

"Until recently, I never imagined that I would be appointed Archbishop of Brisbane, following in the footsteps of some remarkable men," he said. "Faced now with the call, I feel the need for a strength not my own. I will do my best, but that will not be enough. Yet the Lord equips those whom he sends in ways they could never equip themselves.
"Therefore, peacefully and without reserve I put my life in his hands and at the service of the Church in Brisbane and Queensland. That service will be a great privilege.

"I am deeply grateful for the grace of my six years as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, and I will leave with unforgettable memories of people and places from Canberra to Bega, from West Wyalong to Cooma, from Gundagai to Goulburn and beyond. I will always be a small part of the Archdiocesanstory, but the Archdiocese will always be a large part of my own story."

Archbishop Mark Coleridge was appointed the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn in 2006, after spending some years as Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne.
Archbishop Mark has held posts as Master of Catholic Theological College, Melbourne; Media spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and foundation President of the Forum of Australian Catholic Institutes of Theology.

Appointed to Rome in 1997, Archbishop Mark worked in the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and was Chaplain to the late Pope John Paul II.
He is currently Chair of the Roman Missal Editorial Committee and the International Commission for the Preparation of an English-language Lectionary.
He chairs the Australian Bishops’ Commission for Liturgy and is a member of the Bishops’ Commission for Doctrine and Morals. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

He has recently been appointed to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Archbishop Coleridge will be installed as Archbishop of Brisbane on 11 May at St Stephen’s Cathedral.

Archbishop Coleridge said he would remain the Archdiocesan Administrator until his installation.

"The Auxiliary Bishop will then assume that responsibility until the College of Consultors elects an Administrator who will be responsible for the affairs of the Archdiocese until my successor is installed," he said.


by Melani Manel Perera
During Chrism Mass, Card Malcolm Ranjith urged more than 200 religious to follow the Lord for "we belong to Christ totally and integrally". The bishop is not superman but "one like you" with whom to collaborate to help the people of God to find their back to Him.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Let us then reflect about the beauty and the dignity of our vocation as priests and allow the Lord to shine through us, weak though we are, leading us to where he wishes to take us-writing the beautiful story of our life," said Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, in his homily during the Holy Chrism Mass held in All Saints Church, Borella in Colombo. Some 200 priests from 123 parishes in the diocese took part in the liturgy. The prelate co-celebrated the Mass with Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, Auxiliaries Bishop Emmanuel Fernando and Bishop Maxwell Silva as well as Archbishops Emeriti Nicholas Marcus Fernando and Oswald Gomis.

In the past few years, the Chrism Mass has been held on the Monday before Easter rather than Holy Thursday to allow every priest in the diocese to participate.

Speaking to the religious present, Card Ranjith said, "Dear Fathers today as we renew our priestly promises we ought to recall this most important aspect of our priestly identity," namely that "we belong to Christ totally and integrally. St Paul [. . .] saw this 'belonging' as the key element of his spiritual strength. 'I live yet not I, but Christ lives in me' (Gal, 2:20). [. . .] On our ordination day, willingly we accepted to allow the Lord to own us so that he may lead us and make our lives fruitful for him".

"Your bishop," the cardinal explained, "is one like you who by the will of God and the favour of the Holy Father has been entrusted for a given period of time with the task of shepherding this diocese. He is not a superman though. And he cannot do this work alone. The Lord has placed you" in a position "to collaborate with him so that with your cooperation he can help the people of God in this part of the Church to find their way back to Him." It is "the way through which the Lord fashions your life, and mine too, [thus] making them bear fruit-whatever the task that is assigned to each one of us. No one is indispensible; it is true. But everyone has to join in."

Benedict XVI once said, "Our obedience is a believing with the Church, thinking and speaking with the Church, serving through her." Indeed, "letting oneself be guided where one does not want to be led is an essential dimension for service and it is exactly what makes us free".,-follow-the-Church-24427.html


Cisa News REPORT
GAO, APRIL 03, 2012 (CISA) -Caritas Mali reported that its local office in Gao in northern Mali was destroyed along with the local church when Tuareg rebels seized the city last weekend.
Despite the conflict in the north and a coup last month, Caritas Mali operations continue.
The Tuareg rebels have seized three regional capitals in as many days. The main rebel group is the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). They are operating alongside the Islamist group Ansar Edine, who have links to Al Qaeda’s north African branch.
Father Jean-Jacques, director of Caritas Gao, said, “Caritas staff fled Gao on Saturday March 31. We learned from our guard that the centre and the church compound have been destroyed.”
“We have received calls from the small Catholic community left in Gao. They are now in hiding, fearing for their lives,” he told Zenit.
Father Jean-Jacques says there are about 200 Catholics in Gao.
The capital of Mali is calm. “All is normal here in Bamako,” said Théodore Togo, the Secretary General of Caritas Mali.”We are monitoring the situation in the north. Apart from in Gao and in Mopti temporally, our program continues in assisting people affected by the food crisis.”
Caritas Mali is distributing corn, millet, rice and sorghum, as well as seeds to over 100,000 people affected by a growing food crisis.
“If the rebels limit their activities to the north, then the majority of our aid programs will be able to continue as planned,” said Théodore Togo.
A coup last month toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure, adding further insecurity to the volatile situation in Mali.
Caritas members in Niger are also providing food aid to refugees who have fled the conflict in northern Mali. SOURCE: CISA NEWS AFRICA


Agenzia Fides report - The Bishops of Colombia expressed their satisfaction with the release of ten people (including members of the police and army) who had been kidnapped by the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Yesterday, April 2nd, the hostages were handed over to a humanitarian mission composed of delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and two members of the Colombian Commission for Peace (CCP).
"The Bishops of Colombia share the joy shared by those who have been released, their families and their friends, and all Colombians, so that they do not lose the hope of seeing all the hostages freed" said the President of the Episcopal Conference, His Exc. Mgr. Ruben Salazar Gomez, Archbishop of Bogota in a statement.
The Bishops, invite "groups that are still holding people as hostages to release them as soon as possible, in order to allow the crime of kidnapping to disappear from our country forever". In this way, therefore, "deep respect for the rights of all Colombians, as the basis for building a just and fraternal society will be consolidated". Furthermore, "the unilateral liberation of all hostages is a necessary first step to start the process of dialogue in order to end the scourge of civil war in Colombia and to advance along the paths of peace." Some of the released hostages had been held prisoners for more than 10 years. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 03/04/2012)


Matthew 26: 14 - 25
14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15 and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?"
18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.'"
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the passover.
20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples;
21 and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?"
23 He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me.
24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."
25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."


St. Isidore of Seville
Feast: April 4

Feast Day: April 4
Born: 560 at Cartagena, Spain
Died: 4 April 636 at Seville, Spain
Canonized: 1598, Rome by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of: computer technicians, computer users, computers, the Internet, schoolchildren, students
Born at Cartagena, Spain, about 560; died 4 April, 636.
Isidore was the son of Severianus and Theodora. His elder brother Leander was his immediate predecessor in the Metropolitan See of Seville; whilst a younger brother St. Fulgentius presided over the Bishopric of Astigi. His sister Florentina was a nun, and is said to have ruled over forty convents and one thousand religious.
Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, which was the first of its kind in Spain, the trivium and quadrivium were taught by a body of learned men, among whom was the archbishop, Leander. With such diligence did he apply himself to study that in a remarkably short time mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Whether Isidore ever embraced monastic life or not is still an open question, but though he himself may never have been affiliated with any of the religious orders, he esteemed them highly. On his elevation to the episcopate he immediately constituted himself protector of the monks. In 619 he pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who should in any way molest the monasteries.
On the death of Leander, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. His long incumbency to this office was spent in a period of disintegration and transition. The ancient institutions and classic learning of the Roman Empire were fast disappearing. In Spain a new civilization was beginning to evolve itself from the blending racial elements that made up its population. For almost two centuries the Goths had been in full control of Spain, and their barbarous manners and contempt of learning threatened greatly to put back her progress in civilization. Realizing that the spiritual as well as the material well-being of the nation depended on the full assimilation of the foreign elements, St. Isidore set himself to the task of welding into a homogeneous nation the various peoples who made up the Hispano-Gothic kingdom. To this end he availed himself of all the resources of religion and education. His efforts were attended with complete success. Arianism, which had taken deep root among the Visigoths, was eradicated, and the new heresy of Acephales was completely stifled at the very outset; religious discipline was everywhere strengthened. Like Leander, he took a most prominent part in the Councils of Toledo and Seville. In all justice it may be said that it was in a great measure due to the enlightened statecraft of these two illustrious brothers the Visigothic legislation, which emanated from these councils, is regarded by modern historians as exercising a most important influence on the beginnings of representative government. Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun 13 November, 619, in the reign of Sisebut. But it was the Fourth National Council of Toledo that afforded him the opportunity of being of the greatest service to his county. At this council, begun 5 December, 633, all the bishops of Spain were in attendance. St. Isidore, though far advanced in years, presided over its deliberations, and was the originator of most of its enactments. It was at this council and through his influence that a decree was promulgated commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school already existing at Seville. Within his own jurisdiction he had availed himself of the resources of education to counteract the growing influence of Gothic barbarism. His was the quickening spirit that animated the educational movement of which Seville was the centre. The study of Greek and Hebrew as well as the liberal arts, was prescribed. Interest in law and medicine was also encouraged. Through the authority of the fourth council this policy of education was made obligatory upon all the bishops of the kingdom. Long before the Arabs had awakened to an appreciation of Greek Philosophy, he had introduced Aristotle to his countrymen. He was the first Christian writer to essay the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge. This encyclopedia epitomized all learning, ancient as well as modern. In it many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise had been hopelessly lost. The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. His style, though simple and lucid, cannot be said to be classical. It discloses most of the imperfections peculiar to all ages of transition. It particularly reveals a growing Visigothic influence. Arévalo counts in all Isidore's writing 1640 Spanish words.
Isidore was the last of the ancient Christian Philosophers, as he was the last of the great Latin Fathers. He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages. His contemporary and friend, Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, regarded him as a man raised up by God to save the Spanish people from the tidal wave of barbarism that threatened to inundate the ancient civilization of Spain, The Eighth Council of Toledo (653) recorded its admiration of his character in these glowing terms: "The extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence, Isidore". This tribute was endorsed by the Fifteenth Council of Toledo, held in 688.



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