Thursday, June 21, 2012



Vatican City, 21 June 2012 (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office for the presentation of the Year of Faith which is due to last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013. The conference was presented by Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Msgr. Graham Bell, respectively president and under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
Archbishop Fisichella also presented the website and logo of the Year of Faith, and outlined the calendar of events due to take place in Rome during that period.
"In his Apostolic Letter 'Porta fidei' Benedict XVI speaks ... of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ", the archbishop said. "For this reason he called the Year of Faith, which will also coincide with two anniversaries: the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ... The Year of Faith aims, above all, to support the faith of believers who, in their daily trials, never cease to entrust to entrust their lives to the Lord Jesus, with courage and conviction. Their precious testimony, which does not make the news, ... is what enables the Church to present herself to the world today, as she did in the past, supported by the strength of the faith and the enthusiasm of ordinary people.
"The Year of Faith", Archbishop Fisichella added, "falls into a broader context which is characterised by a generalised crisis that also touches the faith. ... The crisis of faith is a dramatic expression of an anthropological crisis which has abandoned man to his own devices. We must overcome the spiritual poverty affecting so many of our contemporaries who do no longer perceive the absence of God from their lives as a void that needs to be filled. The Year of Faith, then, is an opportunity which the Christian community offers to the many people who feel nostalgia for God and who desire to rediscover Him".
The programme of events for the Year "touches the daily life of all believers and the ordinary pastoral care of the Christian community, in order to rediscover that genuine missionary spirit which we need in order to give life to the new evangelisation". In this context, the archbishop announced that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has approved the formula for a special "Mass for New Evangelisation". This, he said, is a sign that during the Year of Faith "priority will be given to prayer, and especially to the Eucharist as source and summit of all Christian life".
The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation then went on to present the logo of the Year of Faith in which the image of a ship symbolises the Church. The mast of the vessel is a cross with full-blown sails which form the monogram of Christ (IHS) and in the background is a sun representing the Eucharist. The website of the event ( is available in various languages and can be consulted by smartphone and tablet. The Year also has an official hymn entitled: "Credo, Domine, adauge nobis fidem". A multilingual pastoral guide entitled "Living the Year of Faith" is due to be published in early September and pilgrims will receive an image of the Christ from the cathedral of Cefalu in Sicily, with the Creed written on the back.
Finally Archbishop Fisichella turned his attention to the most important events of the Year of Faith, those to be celebrated in Rome in the presence of the Holy Father: They include the opening, which "will take place in St. Peter's Square on Thursday 11 October, fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II. There will be a solemn Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by the Synod Fathers, the presidents of the world's episcopal conferences and by Council Fathers who are still alive".
Sunday 21 October will see the canonisation of seven martyrs: Jacques Berthieu, Pedro Calungsod, Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Maria del Carmen (born Maria Salles y Barangueras), Kateri
Tekakwitha, Maria Anna Cope, and Anna Schaffer. On 25 January 2013, during the traditional ecumenical celebration at the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, participants will pray that, "through their joint profession of the Symbol, Christians ... may not forget the path of unity". On 28 April the Holy Father will impart the Sacrament of Confirmation to a group of young people, while 5 May will be dedicated to expressions of popular piety.
On 18 May, the eve of Pentecost, Catholic movements, both old and new, will gather in St. Peter's Square. On 2 June, Corpus Christi, the Blessed Sacrament will be adored at the same time all over the world. Sunday 16 June will be dedicated to the Gospel of Life. On 7 July seminarians and novices from all over the world will conclude their pilgrimage by gathering in St. Peter's Square. The 29 September will be dedicated to catechists on the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and 13 October will focus on the presence of Mary in the Church. Finally, the closing celebration of the Year of Faith will take place on 24 November 2013.
The Year of Faith will also include a number of cultural events including an exhibition on St. Peter to be held at Castel Sant'Angelo from 7 February 2013 to 1 May 2013 and a concert in St. Peter's Square on 22 June 2013.

Vatican City, 21 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received participants in the annual general meeting of the Reunion of Organisations for Aid to the Oriental Churches (ROACO).
In his remarks to the group Benedict XVI mentioned the social and economic crisis which, "due to the global dimension it has taken on, does not spare the more economically developed parts of the world and, even more worryingly, also affects the most disadvantaged areas". Above all in the East, "homeland to ancient Christian traditions", this process "generates insecurity and instability also at the ecclesial level, and in the ecumenical and inter-religious fields. These factors nourish endemic wounds of history and make dialogue, peace, coexistence among peoples and authentic respect for human rights even more fragile, especially the right to religious freedom for individuals and communities".
In this year's meeting, representatives form the Holy Land were joined by prelates from the Syro-Malabar Church in India, the Greek-Catholic Church of Ukraine, the apostolic nuncio to Syria and the president of Caritas in Syria.
"This", the Holy Father said, "is an occasion to reaffirm my closeness to the great suffering of our brothers and sister in Syria, in particular the young innocents and those most defenceless. May our prayers, our commitment and our concrete fraternity in Christ ... help them not to lose the light of hope at this moment of darkness; and may God give wisdom of heart to those in positions of responsibility, that all violence and bloodshed may cease".
The Pope went on: "May the international community spare no effort to help Syria emerge from its current situation of violence and crisis, which has already gone on a long time and risks becoming a generalised conflict which would have highly negative consequences for the country and the entire region. I also make an urgent and heartfelt appeal that, in the face of the dire need of the population, the necessary humanitarian assistance be guaranteed, also to the many people who have had to abandon their homes, some of whom have taken shelter in neighbouring countries. Human life is a precious gift which must always be protected".
In closing Benedict XVI called on the members of ROACO to be "eloquent signs of the charity that pours from Christ’s heart" and to "present the Church to the world in her most authentic identity and mission". He concluded by expressing the hope that the Virgin would give them hope and watch over his own forthcoming trip to Lebanon.

Vatican City, 21 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning 21 June 2012 the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Filip Vujanovic, president of Montenegro. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"The principal reason for the visit was to exchange the instruments of ratification of the Basic Agreement between the Holy See and Montenegro, something the cardinal secretary of State and the president of Montenegro duly did at the end of their meeting. With that exchange the Agreement comes into force, pursuant to article 21.
"The Agreement was signed in 2011 and is the result of the excellent relations between the Holy See and Montenegro, which have been established ever since the country gained its independence. The document recognises the juridical status of the Catholic Church and her principal institutions in civil society, her liberty and independence in apostolic activity and in regulating matters that specifically concern the Church, as well as freedom of worship, and freedom of action in the fields of culture, education, pastoral care and charity.
"During the cordial discussions it was noted that the Agreement represents a positive development in the consolidation of the rule of law and democratic principles, upon which Montenegro wishes to base its future. Moreover, a fruitful exchange of opinions took place on current international issues and the regional situation. with particular appreciation being expressed for the way in which the Holy See is following Montenegro's journey towards full European integration. Finally the parties stated their desire to keep the spirit of collaboration alive through constructive dialogue on areas of mutual interest for the Church and State".

Vatican City, 21 June 2012 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that at 7 p.m. on Saturday 30 June Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany, will take possession of the title of St. John Mary Vianney in Via Lentini 6, Rome.

Vatican City, 21 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.


The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Text "Freedom" to 377377

Bulletin Inserts: "Help Save Our Religious Freedom" is the title of the newly released bulletin insert. The insert emphasizing a text campaign can be used in church bulletins, meetings and group discussions.
View PDF Version | En Español

Latest News!

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
Presentation given in Indianapolis, 6.20.12

Most Reverend William E. Lori, Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty
Address given during the USCCB General Assembly, Wednesday, June 13, 2:30 PM

John H. Garvey, Esq., President, The Catholic University of America
Address given during the USCCB 2012 June General Assembly

Special Masses

Opening Mass—June 21 in Baltimore, MDTime: 7 p.m.
Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption
Celebrant: Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore
Closing Mass—July 4 in Washington, DCTime: 12:10 p.m.
Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Celebrant: His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Homilist: Most Reverend Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
Nationwide Telecast: EWTN cable network. Check your local listings.

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer Resources


Former Anglican bishops honoured by Pope Benedict | ePersonal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Edward Barnes, Monsignor Robert Mercer, and Monsignor David Silk

Mgr Barnes and Mgr Silk were received and ordained via the Personal Ordinariate in 2011, whilst Mgr Mercer was received and ordained in 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI has elevated three priests of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to the rank of Chaplain of His Holiness (Monsignor).

Monsignor Edwin Barnes, Monsignor Robert Mercer, and Monsignor David Silk, have all received the honour from the Holy Father, recognising their former ministry as Anglican bishops.

Mgr Barnes and Mgr Silk were received and ordained via the Personal Ordinariate in 2011, whilst Mgr Mercer was received and ordained in 2012.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, said “By establishing Personal Ordinariates, Pope Benedict is seeking to be generous in making provision for those Anglicans who wish to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In every possible way he has sought to recognise the fruitful Anglican ministry which we undertook before entering the Catholic Church; this honour for these three distinguished men is a further sign of our Holy Father’s love and warmth toward this project”.

The announcement was made on Thursday morning as the clergy and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham met for their summer plenary at Allen Hall, the diocesan seminary of the Archdiocese of Westminster.


KADUNA, June 19, 2012 (CISA) – Radical Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed Sunday’s suicide bombings of three churches in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna.
The blasts were in revenge for what it said were previous Christian “atrocities” against Muslims, the group said in an email sent to the local media. At least 50 people were killed in the bombings and reprisal killings, the Red Cross says.
According to the Red Cross, another 131 people were injured by the violence – the third weekend in a row in which Boko Haram has carried out bombings on churches. The group has carried out a series of deadly attacks in the past two years. Two of Sunday’s blasts happened in the Wusasa and Sabon-Gari districts of the town of Zaria and a third hit the nearby city of Kaduna, the state capital.
Rioting broke out in different parts of Kaduna state as youth took to the streets in anger and attacked Muslims.
Kaduna lies on the dividing line between Nigeria’s largely Christian south and mainly Muslim north. It is one of the areas where conflict between rival religious and ethnic groups has claimed many hundreds of lives.
Kaduna state governor Patrick Yakowa said the weekend’s attacks were “sad and disheartening” and a blow to government efforts to promote peace and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
In an emailed statement in the local Hausa language, Boko Haram spokesman Abul-Qaqa said: “Allah has given us victory in the attacks we launched today against churches in Kaduna and Zaria towns which resulted in the deaths of many Christians and security personnel.”
The group justified the weekend attacks on churches by saying they were carried out in revenge for what it described as government-backed killings of Muslims in central Nigeria during earlier bouts of violence.
Christians were warned to “either embrace Islam or… never have peace of mind,” the statement said. A 24-hour curfew has now been relaxed to allow people to move about in the hours of daylight.
“The situation is calm. The police have limited the curfew, which now ranges from 6 pm to 6 am. The population has been able to resume its activities in the hours when the curfew is not in force” said Rt Rev Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso Archbishop of Kaduna.
Boko Haram – which means “Western education is forbidden” – wants to impose strict Muslim law across Nigeria.
Since 2009, it has targeted police stations and other government buildings, churches and schools. Hundreds of people have died in the attacks, and analysts suggest the group is trying to trigger clashes between Christians and Muslims.


Activists note high public support for procedure in region known for ambivalence towards female children reporter, Bhopal
June 21, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Surgeons successfully separate conjoined twins
An Australian-Indian team of 22 doctors and 11 nurses separated 11-month-old Stuti and Aradhana on Wednesday at Padhar Hospital in Betul.
Surgeons successfully separated conjoined twin girls during a 12-hour procedure Wednesday in Madhya Pradesh state.
The operation was funded with public support, which activists say is a sign of hope in an Indian state notorious for the ill-treatment of girls.
An Australian-Indian team of 22 doctors and 11 nurses separated 11-month-old Stuti and Aradhana at Padhar Hospital in Betul. Citing poverty, the twins’ parents left the girls at the Protestant hospital after their birth on July 2, 2011.
Hospital administrator Rajeev Chaudhary said the surgery was successful and the girls were recovering in the ICU. “Their pulse rates are normal, and the doctors are keeping a watch on every development,” he said.
However, the 48 hours after the surgery would be critical, he said.
Dr. Albert Shun, consultant pediatric surgeon and liver transplant surgeon at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, led the medical team that separated the twin’s fused livers and removed their hearts from a common membrane cover.
The surgery was paid for with public assistance, after the hospital started a media campaign for the girls. New Delhi Television (NDTV), a national channel, collected 1 million rupees (US$18,180) from its viewers, and the state contributed another 2 million rupees.
“This shows that public sentiments have not died yet,” said Pushpa Maravi, an activist working among tribal people in the state. Madhya Pradesh state needs such media campaigns to end female feticide and malnutrition, she said.
Female feticide is rampant in many parts of the state as people consider girls a burden on the family, Maravi said.
According to a 2011 census, Madhya Pradesh had only 930 females per 1,000 males, below the national average of 940.
In October 2011, the state government launched the “Save Girl Child” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of parents and bans sex determination tests on pregnant women.
Manish Masboinwar, a villager who followed the twin’s case on TV, said the surgery would not have been possible without public support. “If people come together like this, the state can also eradicate malnutrition of girl children,” he added.



Mass for Expectant mothers at St Patrick's Cathedral, June 2012. Casamento PhotographyTuesday 19 June 2012

By Fiona Basile, Kairos Catholic Journal

MORE THAN 80 expectant mothers along with their families attended the inaugural Mass for Expectant Mothers at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 17 June, where they received a special blessing from Archbishop Denis Hart for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
View the photo gallery

The historic Mass was a first for the Archdiocese, with Archbishop Hart using the recently released ‘Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb’ to bless the unborn child, praying for constant protection and a healthy birth, as well as for women, for comfort in all anxiety.

Executive officer of the Life, Marriage and Family Office Marcia Riordan said, “This new Mass aims to increase community reverence and love for every human life, and to honour every expectant mother.”

“Society today can make it difficult for women to become mothers and can sometimes fail to recognise the important and unique contribution that mothers make. We wanted to recognise and thank expectant mothers for their generosity and courage.

“The Mass for Expectant Mothers provides us with a new opportunity to thank mothers, and to pray for their health and well-being and for their unborn child. We hope it will contribute to building up the culture of life and love.”

In addition to praying for all mothers awaiting the birth of a child, the congregation also prayed for married couples who are struggling with infertility, as well as mothers who grieve and mourn for children lost before birth.

Volunteers and staff from the Life, Marriage, and Family Office, distributed small tokens of recognition to the women, including a fresh rose and a medal of St. Gerard Majella, patron of expectant mothers.

“Expectant Mothers travelled from over all over Melbourne to attend the Mass with their families and many were making it a family occasion, and going out for lunch following the ceremony,” said Marcia.

“I am delighted that so many pregnant women attended this historic Mass and that the Church is considering making it an annual event.”
Kara Considine attended the Mass with her husband Chris and their young daughters Annabel and Jemima. While they made the journey from Prahran, Kara’s father Brian travelled all the way from Bendigo to attend the special Mass.

“With the two little ones, and so much going on, it was touch and go as to whether we’d even make it to the Mass,” said Kara. “But dad was going to attend whether we did or not!”

“I’m so pleased we made it, it was really lovely. As a mum, you’re often busy getting everything ready for the new baby, as well as trying to organise the children, and finishing up at work, so it was really lovely to take this time as a family to stop and reflect on the beauty and gift of our pending arrival—I’m really excited about our third child.

“It was also really wonderful to see the Cathedral full of life with young children everywhere and I was really touched by the words of the Archbishop.”

Read Archbishop Hart's homily
Photos by John Casamento/Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.


Matthew 6: 7 - 15

7 "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Feast: June 21

Feast Day: June 21
Born: 9 March 1568 at castle of Castiglione delle Stivieri in Montau, Lombardy, Italy
Died: 21 June 1591 at Rome
Canonized: 31 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine: Church of Sant'Ignazio, Rome (his tomb)
Patron of: Young students, Christian youth, Jesuit novices, People with AIDS and their caregivers
Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he was placed in the court of Francesco de'Medici in Florence, where he remained for two years, going then to Mantua. At Brescia, when he was twelve, he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, and from him received First Communion. In 1581 he went with his father to Spain, and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. While there he formed the resolution of becoming a Jesuit, though he first thought of joining the Discalced Carmelites. He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much difficulty in securing his father's consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother, 2 November, 1585, a proceeding which required the approval of the emperor, as Castiglione was a fief of the empire. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, who was then General of the Society, 25 November, 1585. Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a brilliant public act in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance. He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy, but also in theology, at the University of Alcal&aacuate;. He made his vows 25 November, 1587. Immediately after, he began his theological studies. Among his professors were Fathers Vasquez and Azor. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell ill and died 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli wreathed with festoons of silver. The altar has for its centerpiece a large marble relief of the Saint by Le Gros.


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