Sunday, June 3, 2012



THE STATE MUST RECOGNISE THE SPECIFIC IDENTITY OF THE FAMILY FOUNDED UPON MARRIAGE (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)Vatican City, 3 June 2012 (VIS) - In the archbishopric of Milan yesterday afternoon, the Holy Father met with representatives from the civil and military authorities, industrialists and workers, and exponents of the world of culture in the Italian region of Lombardy.
Benedict XVI focused his remarks on the principles of good government as laid down by St. Ambrose who, based in Milan, governed the Roman provinces of Liguria and Aemilia in the fourth century. These principles "are still important" for leaders today, the Pope said. The first quality of people in power must be justice, "the public virtue par excellence because it concerns the good of the entire community". Justice has to be accompanied by love of freedom, something which distinguishes good governors from bad ones. "Freedom is ... a precious right which must be guaranteed by the civil authorities. However, freedom does not mean the will of the individual but the responsibility of everyone. One of the principle elements of the secular State is to ensure freedom so that everyone can present their own vision of social life, but always while respecting others and in the context of laws which seek the good of all".
In order to guarantee the common good the laws of State "must draw justification and strength from natural law, which is the foundation for a social order adapted to the dignity of the human person". An exclusively positivist view of law cannot provide ethical guidance. The State must serve and protect the individual in all aspects, "beginning with the right to life, which must never be deliberately suppressed". It is also called "to recognise the specific identity of the family, founded on marriage and open to life, and the right of parents freely to choose the education and formation of their children. ... The State fails to do justice to families if it does not support freedom of education for the good of all society", the Pope said.
The Church offers her collaboration to the State, each with their own role and their own goals, through her doctrine, traditions, institutions and activities, by virtue of which she places herself at the service of people. "Suffice it to think of the many shining figures of saints of charity, of schools and of culture, saints who cared for the sick and the marginalised with the same service and love with which we would serve and love the Lord. ... Christian communities promote these actions ... as a gratuitous superabundance of Christ's charity and of the all-embracing experience of their faith. Apart from courageous technical and political decisions, the crisis we are going through also has need of gratuitousness".
Finally Benedict XVI recalled the fact that St. Ambrose advised people in positions of power to ensure they were loved. "That which love does can never be done by fear", he said, quoting the saint. The reasons that move people to enter into public life "cannot but be", he told his audience, "the desire to dedicate yourselves to the good of citizens, and therefore a clear expression and evident sign of love. In this way politics is ennobled and becomes an exalted form of charity".

Vatican City, 3 June 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, almost half a million people attended the "Celebration of Witnesses" at Bresso Park in Milan, Italy, one of events of the seventh World Meeting of Families. The Holy Father arrived at 8.30 p.m. to participate in the celebration during which he answered questions put to him by various families on subjects which included the economic crisis, the position of divorced people in the Church and the indissolubility of Marriage. Benedict XVI also recalled his own infancy and family life.
An engaged couple from Madagascar who are studying at university in Italy spoke of the anxiety they felt when faced with the "forever" of Marriage. The Pope explained that falling in love, being an emotion, is not eternal. "The emotion of love must be purified", he said, "it must undertake a journey of discernment in which the mind and the will also come into play. ... In the rite of Marriage the Church does not ask whether you are in love but whether you want, whether you are resolved. In other words, falling in love must become true love; it must involve the will and the mind in a journey (which is the period of engagement) of purification, of greater profundity so that it is truly all of man, with all his capacities, with the discernment of reason and the force of will, who says: 'Yes, this is my life'". The Holy Father also mentioned other important factors such as communion of life with others, with friends, theChurch, the faith and God Himself.
A Brazilian family raised the issue of divorced couples who have remarried and cannot avail themselves of the Sacraments. Benedict XVI affirmed that "this is one of the the great causes of suffering for the Church today, and we do not have simple solutions. ... Naturally, one very important factor is prevention. This means ensuring that, from the beginning, the act of falling love is transformed in a more profound and mature decision. Another factor is that of accompanying people during marriage, to ensure that families are never alone but find authentic company on their journey. We must tell people in this situation that the Church loves them, but they must see and feel this love". Parishes and other Catholic communities "must do everything possible so that such people feel loved and accepted, that they are not 'outsiders' even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist. They must see that they too live fully within theChurch. ... The Eucharist is real and shared if people truly enter into communion with the Body of Christ. Even without the 'corporeal' assumption of the Sacrament, we can be spiritually united to Christ". It is important for divorced couples "to have the chance to live a life of faith, ... to see that their suffering is a gift for the Church, because they also help others to defend the stability of love, of Marriage; ... theirs is a suffering in the community of the Church for the great values of our faith".
A Greek family asked the Pope what families affected by the economic crisis can do not to lose hope. "Words are insufficient", the Holy Father replied. "We should do something tangible and we all suffer because we are unable to do so. First let us speak of politics. I believe that all parties should show an increased sense of responsibility, that they should not make promises they cannot keep, that they should not seek votes only for themselves but show responsibility for the common good of everyone, in the awareness that politics is also a human and moral responsibility before God and man". Moreover, each of must do everything we can "with a great sense of responsibility and in the knowledge that sacrifices are necessary if we are to prevail". The Holy Father also suggested that families help one another, and that parishes and cities do likewise, supporting one another with material assistance and never forgetting topray.
A seven year old girl from Vietnam asked the Pope to say something about his own family and infancy. Benedict XVI recalled the essential importance Sunday had had for his family. "Sunday began on Saturday afternoon when my father would tell us the Sunday readings. ... Thus we entered into the liturgy in an atmosphere of joy. The next day we would go to Mass. I lived near Salzburg so there was always music - Mozart, Schubert, Haydn - and when the 'Kyrie' began it was as if the sky itself had opened. ... We were of one heart and soul, with many shared experiences even through difficult times because there was the war and before that the dictatorship, then poverty. But the reciprocal love that existed between us, the joy in simple things was so strong that we could bear and overcome these things. ...Thus we grew up in the certainty that it is good to be human, because we could see the goodness of God reflected in parents and siblings. ... In thiscontext of trust, joy and love we were happy and I think that heaven must be similar to my youth. In this sense I hope 'to go home' when I go 'to the other part of the world'".

Vatican City, 3 June 2012 (VIS) - At 10 a.m. today, Benedict XVI presided at an open-air Mass at Bresso Park in Milan, Italy, for the closure of the seventh World Meeting of Families. The meeting began on 30 May and has had as its theme: "The Family: Work and Celebration". The homily delivered by the Pope to the one million faithful present are given below.
Below is the full English Translation of the Pope's Homily.

Dear Brother Bishops,
Distinguished Authorities,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is a time of great joy and communion that we are experiencing this morning, as we celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice: a great gathering, in union with the Successor of Peter, consisting of faithful who have come from many different nations. It is an eloquent image of the Church, one and universal, founded by Christ and fruit of the mission entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles, as we heard in today’s Gospel: to go and make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:18-19). With affection and gratitude I greet Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the principal architects of this VII World Meeting of Families, together with their staff, the Auxiliary Bishops of Milan and the other bishops. I am pleased to greet all the Authorities who are present today. And I extend a warm welcome especially to you, dear families! Thank you for your participation!
In today’s second reading, Saint Paul reminds us that in Baptism we received the Holy Spirit, who unites us to Christ as brothers and sisters and makes us children of the Father, so that we can cry out: “Abba, Father!” (cf. Rom 8:15,17). At that moment we were given a spark of new, divine life, which is destined to grow until it comes to its definitive fulfilment in the glory of heaven; we became members of the Church, God’s family, “sacrarium Trinitatis” as Saint Ambrose calls it, “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, as the Second Vatican Council teaches (Lumen Gentium, 4). The liturgical Solemnity of the Holy Trinity that we are celebrating today invites us to contemplate this mystery, but it also urges us to commit ourselves to live our communion with God and with one another according to the model of Trinitarian communion. We are called to receive and to pass on the truths of faith in a spirit of harmony, to live our love for each other and for everyone, sharing joys and sufferings, learning to seek and to grant forgiveness, valuing the different charisms under the leadership of the bishops. In a word, we have been given the task of building church communities that are more and more like families, able to reflect the beauty of the Trinity and to evangelize not only by word, but I would say by “radiation”, in the strength of living love.
It is not only the Church that is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons, but also the family, based on marriage between man and woman. In the beginning, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen 1:27-28). God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of God. Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another’s good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving. It is also fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education. And lastly, it is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation. Dear married couples, watch over your children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them, with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility. And let me add a word to the children here: be sure that you always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for your parents, and see that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are opportunities to grow in love.
God’s plan for the human couple finds its fullness in Jesus Christ, who raised marriage to the level of a sacrament. Dear married couples, by means of a special gift of the Holy Spirit, Christ gives you a share in his spousal love, making you a sign of his faithful and all-embracing love for the Church. If you can receive this gift, renewing your “yes” each day by faith, with the strength that comes from the grace of the sacrament, then your family will grow in God’s love according to the model of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Dear families, pray often for the help of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, that they may teach you to receive God’s love as they did. Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing, it is the only force that can truly transform the world. You have before you the witness of so many families who point out the paths for growing in love: by maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church, by cultivating dialogue, respecting the other’s point of view, by being ready for service and patient with the failings of others, by being able to forgive and to seek forgiveness, by overcoming with intelligence and humility any conflicts that may arise, by agreeing on principles of upbringing, and by being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society. These are all elements that build up the family. Live them with courage, and be sure that, insofar as you live your love for each other and for all with the help of God’s grace, you become a living Gospel, a true domestic Church (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 49). I should also like to address a word to the faithful who, even though they agree with the Church’s teachings on the family, have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation. I want you to know that the Pope and the Church support you in your struggle. I encourage you to remain united to your communities, and I earnestly hope that your dioceses are developing suitable initiatives to welcome and accompany you.
In the Book of Genesis, God entrusts his creation to the human couple for them to guard it, cultivate it, and direct it according to his plan (cf. 1:27-28; 2:15). In this commission we may recognize the task of man and woman to collaborate with God in the process of transforming the world through work, science and technology. Man and woman are also the image of God in this important work, which they are to carry out with the Creator’s own love. In modern economic theories, there is often a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market. Yet God’s plan, as well as experience, show that the one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit are not conducive to harmonious development, to the good of the family or to building a more just society, because it brings in its wake ferocious competition, strong inequalities, degradation of the environment, the race for consumer goods, family tensions. Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them to a fragile convergence of individual interests and undermining the solidity of the social fabric.
One final point: man, as the image of God, is also called to rest and to celebrate. The account of creation concludes with these words: “And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it” (Gen 2:2-3). For us Christians, the feast day is Sunday, the Lord’s day, the weekly Easter. It is the day of the Church, the assembly convened by the Lord around the table of the word and of the eucharistic Sacrifice, just as we are doing today, in order to feed on him, to enter into his love and to live by his love. It is the day of man and his values: conviviality, friendship, solidarity, culture, closeness to nature, play, sport. It is the day of the family, on which to experience together a sense of celebration, encounter, sharing, not least through taking part in Mass. Dear families, despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God.
Family, work, celebration: three of God’s gifts, three dimensions of our lives that must be brought into a harmonious balance. Harmonizing work schedules with family demands, professional life with motherhood, work with celebration, is important for building up a society with a human face. In this regard, always give priority to the logic of being over that of having: the first builds up, the second ends up destroying. We must learn to believe first of all in the family, in authentic love, the kind that comes from God and unites us to him, the kind that therefore “makes us a ‘we’ which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28)” (Deus Caritas Est, 18). Amen.

Vatican City, 3 June 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, after having celebrated Mass in the presence of almost one million faithful at Bresso Park in Milan and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father announced that the eighth World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia, U.S.A. in the year 2015. "I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput", he said, "and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world".
Before bidding farewell to the participants in the seventh World Meeting of Families, Benedict XVI expressed his thanks to Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and to Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, as well as to all the organisers and volunteers.
The Pope then went on the greet pilgrims in various languages. Speaking French, he spoke of his joy at today's beatification in the French diocese of Besancon of Fr. Jean-Joseph Lataste of the Order of Friars Preachers, whom he described as an "apostle of mercy" and "apostle of prisons".
"Dear families of Milan, Lombardy, Italy and the whole world, I greet you all with affection and thank you for your participation", the Holy Father concluded. "I encourage you to show solidarity towards families experiencing the greatest difficulties. I am thinking of the economic and social crisis, I am thinking of the recent earthquake in Emilia. May the Virgin Mary always accompany and support you".


In order to promote Catholic Education JESUSCARITASEST.ORG, Daily News, will feature A Catholic Educational Institution GUIDE SEASONALLY. These Colleges and Universities are in no particular order since they serve different needs, talents and gifts. They have been chosen from an examination of numerous Catholic guides of Catholic higher education.
POPE JOHN PAUL II's encyclical on Education states:

In the world today, characterized by such rapid developments in science and technology, the tasks of a Catholic University assume an ever greater importance and urgency. Scientific and technological discoveries create an enormous economic and industrial growth, but they also inescapably require the correspondingly necessary search for meaning in order to guarantee that the new discoveries be used for the authentic good of individuals and of human society as a whole. If it is the responsibility of every University to search for such meaning, a Catholic University is called in a particular way to respond to this need: its Christian inspiration enables it to include the moral, spiritual and religious dimension in its research, and to evaluate the attainments of science and technology in the perspective of the totality of the human person.
Ave Maria University is a vibrant university located in beautiful southwest Florida. It is an academic institution that pledges faithfulness to the teachings of the Church and is committed to offering one of the finest classical liberal arts curricula available, as well as opportunities for specialized study in all of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142

CDU was founded in 1983 as the first catechetical institute in the United States to award the Catechetical Diploma and teach the Catholic faith to adults using distance education. 2008 marked CDU’s 25th year as a Catholic institution of higher learning. Location: The school’s academic and administrative offices are located in Hamilton, Virginia, about 50 miles west of Washington, DC. CDU students are located in all 50 states and over 40 countries.
Chairman of the Board: The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, DD
Contact Information: Our web site can be reached at . Contact us at , 1.888.254.4238 ext. 700 or you can write CDU at 120 East Colonial Highway, Hamilton, VA 20158.
MAGDALEN COLLEGE RELEASE: The College of Saint Mary Magdalen in Warner, NH ( announced today that it has expanded its educational programs to include the Erasmus Institute ( and its Cowan Program. By establishing the Cowan Program in Warner, the College welcomes back to campus one of its founders, Dr. Peter Sampo. Sampo, the College’s first president, has been a leader in Catholic higher education for over thirty years.


JP CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY RELEASE: John Paul the Great Catholic University, which opened in September 2006, is a visionary teaching institution focused on and dedicated to molding students into future innovators and creators, leaders and entrepreneurs. Students have the opportunity to acquire a deep and personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. Catholic ethical, moral, and social values provide a guiding compass for everything we do.

Why Franciscan? Get the Facts

Our 42 undergraduate majors and 32 minors, as well as seven graduate programs, offer a variety of academic challenges within the spirit of Christian humanism that educates you as a whole person. Inside and outside the classroom, you’ll experience the joy-filled Franciscan spirituality that enables you to answer the call of the Holy Father to evangelize the culture through volunteer work, mission trips, and community service. Our dynamic campus life, where unique faith “households” create a family away from home and lifelong connections, encourages your participation in everything from intramural sports and NCAA Division III athletics to Chapel Ministries, student government, clubs, and organizations for faith, fun, and friendship.
Admissions Office
1235 University Boulevard
Steubenville, Ohio 43952
800-783-6220 toll-free
740-283-6226 voice
740-284-5456 fax

Redeemer Pacific College (RPC) is a Catholic liberal arts college with a unique partnership with Trinity Western University (TWU), providing students with a solid foundation in Catholic liberal arts as they work towards an undergraduate degree in any one of the 40 + undergraduate majors offered by TWU. RPC functions in fidelity to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church as we lead our students to grow in knowledge and love of Christ and His Church.
Campus Beauty Shot
It Roman Catholic with Lay Administration. They offer Bachelor of Arts degree.
Tuition $22,850
Room & Board $7,550
Other Costs $450 (books & supplies, no additional fees)

10,000 Ojai Road, Santa Paula, California 93060
(805) 525-4417 | contact
A private, four-year Catholic university for men and women administered by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Student/Faculty Ratio

Average Class Size

1,576 full-time undergraduate day students. Total full-time enrollment for traditional, graduate, and evening
(ACCESS) students: 2,468.

Student Profile
45% male, 55% female; 11% minority; 24 states and 4 other countries represented.
103 full-time faculty members; 76% have the highest degree attainable in their field.

Center Valley Campus
DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
Telephone: 610.282.1100

Expenses (2011-2012)
Tuition $28,000
Room & Board $10,520
Student & Technology Fee $1,200
Total $39,720

Holy Apostles College and Seminary is Approved by The Cardinal Newman Society. Holy Apostle's commitment to fostering a strong sense of Catholic identity.
Holy Apostles College & Seminary - 33 Prospect Hill Road Cromwell, CT 06416-2027, USA

HOLY APOSTLES WEBSITE: Holy Apostles College & Seminary is a regionally accredited, co-educational Catholic college located in historic Cromwell, Connecticut. We welcome and serve lay commuter students, distance learning students, as well as seminarians.
We offer undergraduate, graduate, and seminary degrees in philosophy & theology, in on-campus, on-line, and blended formats.

PC WEBSITE RELEASE: Providence College was founded in 1917 through a joint effort by
the Diocese of Providence and the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph, with the blessing of Pope Benedict XV and the consent of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island.
Type of institution: Medium-size university
Setting: Urban
Undergraduate enrollment: 3,966 (2008–09 academic year)
Total average cost: $43,680 (tuition, room and board for 2009–10)
Undergraduate majors: 49

Providence College
1 Cunningham Square
Providence, RI 02918 USA
Tel: +1 (401) 865-1000


Media Release, 9 May, 2012
Today marks a special anniversary for the Catholic Church. Ten years ago at the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference plenary meeting in May 2002, a new agency was born with an extraordinary purpose for humanity to undergo an ecological conversion. This call for ecological conversion was proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in 2001 and it inspired an unprecedented move by the Australian Catholic Bishops’.
One decade on and Catholic Earthcare Australia’s Director Mrs Jacqui Remond looks back to recount the major achievements as being “three pastoral statements on key issues including The Great Barrier Reef, The Murray Darling Basin, and Climate Change, the handbook, ‘On Holy Ground’ and the sustainability initiative, ‘ASSISI’ including two programs ‘Animators for Sustainability’ and ‘Creation and Reconciliation’ that are for people to bring about strategic and system-wide change to embed sustainability across their whole organisation”.
Fr Denis Edwards new book, ‘Jesus and the Natural World’ will be launched by Archbishop Philip Wilson. Mrs Remond said,” The theology that Fr Denis Edwards offers is a significant gift for us to come to understand more fully that we are called to integrate the depth of our faith with the vastness of God’s created and unfolding universe. With Jesus and the Holy Spirit we are invited to continue opening up a mindful and compassionate relationship with all of God’s Creation.”
Celebrations begin at Mary Mackillop Chapel, North Sydney at 5.30pm this evening with a thanksgiving mass as part of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference Plenary. Dinner at ‘The Living Room’ on Blues rd, North Sydney, will follow at 7pm. A new animation called, “Pure Gift” will be launched at the dinner. All are welcome to the mass and if you would like to join us for dinner please contact Catholic Earthcare Australia on 02 8920 0719.
To find out more about Catholic Earthcare Australia, please visit
Media Contact: Jacqui Remond on 0413 715 375
Catholic Earthcare Australia is an agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference


A Dana commercial aircraft crashed in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. The plane was travelling from Abuja to Iju/Shaga in Lagos. According to the Minister of Aviation there were 147 people onboard.
Lagos — A commercial aircraft belonging to Dana Air has crashed in Lagos.
Reports show that there are little or no survivors. Many security, rescue and aviation personel are on the scene.


Thinking Faith reflection on the Diamond Jubilee | Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee

Photo by ComSec at
This weekend will see the pinnacle of the celebrations that have been taking place across Britain and throughout the Commonwealth in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Her 60 years on the throne have been characterised by a quiet but strong faith, writes Anthony Symondson SJ, who describes the unique element of the coronation rite upon which the Queen’s understanding of her role as a vocation is founded.

Attitudes to the English monarchy wax and wane. Queen Victoria bestrode the course of youthful popularity, extreme dislike during her widowhood, to universal adulation on her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Queen Elizabeth II has had to endure prying into her and her family’s private lives on a scale previously unknown in history. The media tries to manipulate public attitudes at times of crisis, notably in the immediate aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in order to misrepresent her. Yet the real feeling of the nation invariably recurs at times of national celebration or mourning associated with landmarks in her reign. Her Golden Jubilee in 2002 was a triumph that is said to have surprised her. The death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, earlier that year brought pageantry and sorrow unknown since the death of King George VI in 1952; television cameras picked out people of all generations praying in the street. The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year brought crowds in jubilant mood on the ceremonial route and gave the nation a lift at a time of economic hardship.

To read more of Fr Anthony's piece on Thinking Faith see:


by Melani Manel Perera
Sister Augustine, a nun at the Ave Maria Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Nayakakanda, teaches catechism. In the first year and half of teaching, she brought 66 people to baptism. Currently, she is helping an additional six, drawn to conversion by love or hardships. Irrespective of their reason, if they "are here, it is because the Lord wants" it.

Wattala (AsiaNews) - Udeni Damayanthi, 28, is a young Buddhist woman from Pollonnaruwa District (Northern Province, Sri Lanka) who wants to become Catholic. Ten years ago, she moved to the small village of Medirigiriya in Wattala (Western Province) to work. There she befriended various Catholics, and her mother also got sick.

"Through my mother's illness, I experienced the love of Jesus for the first time," she told AsiaNews. Thus, she began going to church with her friends and pray for her mother's health. Seven years later, she got better and Udeni's interest in God and prayer continued.

Her need to convert became that more personal when she became engaged to a Catholic man. At the same time, she met Sister Augustine, who teaches catechism at the Ave Maria Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Nayakakanda, who provided her with the answers she sought. She and five other men and women are currently sharing the same journey of catechesis.

In the first year and half of teaching, Sister Augustine "brought 66 people onto the path that led to the baptism," the nun told AsiaNews.

In her first meeting, when the sister greeted for the first time, she reminded them, "Everything happens according to God's plan. If you are here, it is because the Lord wants you to become his sons and daughters. And through you, others can learn about and experience a Christian life."

Not everyone is like Udeni with a positive story to tell. Devi Rodrigo, who comes to catechesis with her 13-year-old daughter, has a lazy husband who does not help the family.

"Our life is miserable," she said. "Only Jesus is close to us; only he accompanies us. No one else can help us stay clear-minded even in the face of hardships."

Devi found a great deal of support among some Catholic priests and nuns. "With them, I came to realise the value of a Christian life. For this reason, I want to convert."

Conversion, in other cases, is the result of marrying a Catholic. This is what happened to Kobiga, a Hindu Tamil, who met Jegan, a Catholic Tamil.

"With him, I found a different, beautiful way of life," she said. "I am happy and for this reason I want to become Catholic."

Jegan works at the Forts Authority in Colombo. He goes with his would-be bride to catechism.

"My family is Hindu, but when I was young I began going to church and participate in their activities. Eventually, I converted. Since then, the Lord has blessed my life. However, I still feel not fully mature as a believer. For this reason, I decided to go on this journey as well."



Jun 03, 2012 - Trinity Sun
Deuteronomy 4: 32 - 34, 39 - 40
32 "For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of.
33 Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live?
34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
39 know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God gives you for ever."

Psalms 33: 4 - 6, 9, 18 - 20, 22
4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.
22 Let thy steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in thee.
Romans 8: 14 - 17
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"
16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Matthew 28: 16 - 20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age


Sts. Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa, Martyrs of Uganda
Feast: June 3

Feast Day: June 3
Born: Buganda, Uganda
Died: June 3, 1886, Namugongo, Uganda
Canonized: October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine: Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs, Namugongo
Patron of: African Catholic Youth Action, converts, torture victims
In the interior of central Africa the first Catholic missions were established by Cardinal Lavigerie's White Fathers in 1879. In Uganda some progress was made under the not unfriendly local ruler, Mtesa; but his successor, Mwanga, determined to root out Christianity among his people, especially after a Catholic subject, St. Joseph Mkasa, reproached him for his debauchery and for his massacre of the Protestant missionary James Hannington and his caravan. Mwanga was addicted to unnatural vice and his anger against Christianity, already kindled by ambitious officers who played on his fears, was kept alight by the refusal of Christian boys in his service to minister to his wickedness.

Joseph Mkasa himself was the first victim: Mwanga. seized on a trifling pretext and on November 15, 1885, had him beheaded. To the chieftain's astonishment the Christians were not cowed by this sudden outrage, and in May of the following year the storm burst. When he called for a young 'page' called Mwafu, Mwanga learned that he had been receiving religious instruction from another page, St. Denis Sebuggwawo; Denis was sent for, and the king thrust a spear through his throat. That night guards were posted round the royal residence to prevent anyone from escaping.

St. Charles Lwanga, who had succeeded Joseph Mkasa in charge of the 'pages', secretly baptized four of them who were catechumens; among them St Kizito, a boy of thirteen whom Lwanga had repeatedly saved from the designs of the king. Next morning the pages were all drawn up before Mwanga, and Christians were ordered to separate themselves from the rest: led by Lwanga and Kizito, the oldest and youngest, they did so—fifteen young men, all under twenty-five years of age. They were joined by two others already under arrest and by two soldiers. Mwanga asked them if they intended to remain Christians. "Till death!" came the response. "Then put them to death!"

The appointed place of execution, Namugongo, was thirty-seven miles away, and the convoy set out at once. Three of the youths were killed on the road; the others underwent a cruel imprisonment of seven days at Namugongo while a huge pyre was prepared. Then on Ascension day, June 3, 1886, they were brought out, stripped of their clothing, bound, and each wrapped in a mat of reed: the living faggots were laid on the pyre (one boy, St Mbaga, was first killed by a blow on the neck by order of his father who was the chief executioner), and it was set alight. The persecution spread and Protestants as well as Catholics gave their lives rather than deny Christ. A leader among the confessors was St Matthias Murumba, who was put to death with revolting cruelty; he was a middle-aged man, assistant judge to the provincial chief, who first heard of Jesus Christ from Protestant missionaries and later was baptized by Father Livinhac, W.F. Another older victim, who was beheaded, was St Andrew Kagwa, chief of Kigowa, who had been the instrument of his wife's conversion and had gathered a large body of catechumens round him. This Andrew together with Charles Lwanga and Matthias Murumba and nineteen others (seventeen of the total being young royal servants) were solemnly beatified in 1920. They were canonized in 1964.

When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their nativel language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them.


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