Sunday, July 15, 2012




(Vatican Radio) On the eve of the Year of Faith and with one eye on the upcoming Synod on New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI launched a call to mission Sunday as he told the lay faithful of Frascati that they share responsability for the Church and the formation of new generations of Christians. That God is calling them and they need to listen. That rediscovering the beauty of being Church means carrying on Christ’s work of “forming the formators”, clergy, religious and above all laity. That being missionaries - like the Apostles - can mean rejection and persecution, it means preaching "truth and justice" even if goes against applause and human power. Eight thousand people packed into the tiny square in front of the Cathedral of St Peter the Apostle, for Sunday morning Mass presided by Pope Benedict. Loud speakers relayed the liturgy throughout the winding cobbled streets of the hill top town, festooned with white and yellow flags and banners bearing Pope Benedict’s coat of arms.

The Pope was greeted on behalf of the suburbicarian diocese by Bishop Raffaele Martinelli, who spoke of Frascati’s deep bonds with the Successor of St Peter and his personal witness, during a period of service at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of then Cardinal Ratzinger’s tireless work on behalf of the Church. Bishop Martinelli presented Pope Benedict with a donation for his personal charities on behalf of his community and urged the Pope to confirm the local Church, first formed in 2 A.D., in the faith.

“Dear brothers and sisters of Frascati!” the Pope responded “Be united among yourselves, and at the same time open, be missionaries”. Drawing on the Liturgy of the Word proclaimed during Mass, the Pope dedicated his homily to the history of mission and evangelization in the Church, which he noted is never-ending : “It is a beautiful and exciting thing to see that after two thousand years, we are still carrying on Christ’s commitment to formation!”

“The Lord calls us all, distributing different gifts for different tasks in the Church. He calls us to the priesthood and consecrated life, and He calls us to marriage and commitment as lay people within the Church and in society. What is important is that the wealth of these gifts is fully welcomed…God calls: we need to listen, welcome, respond”.

Below a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily

Dear brothers and sisters!

I am very pleased to be among you today to celebrate this Eucharist and to share the joys and hopes, trials and efforts, ideals and aspirations of this diocesan community. I greet Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, my Secretary of State and the titular of this diocese. I greet your pastor, Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, and the Mayor of Frascati, thanking them for the kind words of welcome with which they greeted me on your behalf. I am pleased to welcome the Minister, the Presidents of the Region and the Province, the Mayor of Rome, the other mayors present and all the distinguished authorities.

And I am very happy today to celebrate this Mass with your bishop who for more than twenty years, as he already mentioned, was a very loyal and capable collaborator of mine in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Working primarily in the field of catechesis and catechism with great silence and discretion he contributed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism. His voice is also very present in this great symphony of faith.

In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus takes the initiative to send the twelve Apostles on a mission (cf. Mk 6.7 to 13). In fact, the term "apostles" literally means "emissary, messenger." Their vocation is fully realized after the resurrection of Christ with the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. However, it is very important that from the outset Jesus wants to involve the Twelve in his action: it is a sort of "internship" in view of the great responsibility that awaits them. The fact that Jesus calls some disciples to collaborate directly in His mission, expresses an aspect of His love: He does not disdain the help that other men can contribute to his work, He knows their limits, their weaknesses, but does not despise them, indeed, He confers on them the dignity of being His emissaries. Jesus sends them out two by two and gives them instructions, which the Evangelist summarizes in a few sentences. The first concerns the spirit of detachment: the apostles must not be attached to money and comforts. Then Jesus warns the disciples that they will not always receive a favorable welcome: at times they will be rejected, and indeed may also be persecuted. But that should not affect them: they must speak in the name of Jesus and preach the Kingdom of God, without worrying about their success. They must leave the success in God's hands.

The first reading, presents us the same perspective, showing us that often God’s messengers are not well received. This is the case of the prophet Amos, sent out by God to prophesize in the sanctuary of Bethel, a sanctuary of the kingdom of Israel (cf. 7.12 to 15 Am). Amos preached with great energy against injustice, especially denouncing the abuses of the king and chiefs, abuses that offend the Lord, and render acts of worship vain. Thus Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, orders Amos to leave. He replies that he did not choose this mission, but the Lord made him a prophet and sent him there, to the kingdom of Israel. Therefore, whether accepted or rejected, he will continue to prophesize, preaching what God says and not what people want to hear. And this remains the mandate of the Church: She does not preach what the powerful want to hear. The criterion is truth and justice even if it goes against applause and against human power.

Similarly, in the Gospel, Jesus warns the Twelve that they may encounter rejection in some places. In this case they must go elsewhere, after having carried out the gesture of shaking the dust from their feet in front of the people, a sign that expresses detachment in two senses: moral detachment - as if to say: the announcement was given to you, you are the ones who refuse it - and material detachment - we did not and do not want anything for ourselves (cf. Mk 6.11). The other very important indication of the Gospel is that the Twelve can not be content to preach conversion: their preaching must be accompanied, according to the instructions and example given by Jesus, by the healing of the sick. Care of the sick bodily and spiritually. He speaks of the concrete curing of diseases, but he also speaks of casting out demons that is, purifying the human mind, cleaning, cleaning the eyes of the soul that are obscured by ideology and therefore can not see God, can not see the truth and justice. This dual physical and spiritual healing is always the mandate of the disciples of Christ. The Apostolic mission must always include both aspects of preaching the word of God and the manifestation of His goodness with acts of charity, service and dedication.

Dear brothers and sisters, I give thanks to God who sent me here today to re-announce to you this Word of salvation! A Word that is at the foundation of the life and action of the Church, this Church in Frascati. Your bishop has informed me of his most heartfelt pastoral commitment, which is essentially a commitment to formation, aimed primarily at educators: forming the formators. This is exactly what Jesus did with his disciples: He taught them, prepared them, formed them also through missionary "training", so they were capable of taking on Apostolic responsibility in the Church. It is a beautiful and exciting thing to see that after two thousand years, we are still carrying on Christ’s commitment to formation! In the Christian community, this is always the first service offered by those in roles of responsibility: starting with parents, who in the family accomplish the mission of educating children, we think of parish priests, who are responsible for formation in the community, of all priests, in different fields of work: priority is always given to the educational dimension, and the lay faithful who, in addition to their role as parents, are involved in the formation of young people or adults, as leaders in Apostolic Action and other church movements, or engaged in civil and social spheres, always with a strong focus on forming people.

The Lord calls us all, distributing different gifts for different tasks in the Church. He calls us to the priesthood and consecrated life, and He calls us to marriage and commitment as lay people within the Church and in society. What is important is that the wealth of these gifts is fully welcomed, especially by young people: that they may feel the joy of responding to God with their whole heart, gifting it on the path of priesthood and consecrated life or on the path of marriage, two complementary paths that illuminate each other, enrich each other and together enrich the community. Virginity for the Kingdom of God and marriage are both vocations, calls by God to be answered with and for our entire life. God calls: we need to listen, welcome, respond. Like Mary: Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word (Lk 1.38).

Even here, in the diocesan community of Frascati, the Lord bountifully sows his gifts, he calls you to follow Him and to extend His mission today. Even here there is need for a new evangelization, which is why I propose you intensely live the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, 50 years from the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Council documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians, for the formation of our consciousness. So read them, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and rediscover the beauty of being Christians, of being Church to enjoy the great "we" that Jesus has formed around him, to evangelize the world: the "we" of the Church, never closed, but always open and projected towards the proclamation of the Gospel.

Dear brothers and sisters of Frascati! Be united among yourselves, and at the same time open, be missionaries. Stand firm in faith, rooted in Christ through the Word and the Eucharist; be people of prayer, to always remain bound to Christ, as branches to the vine, and at the same time go out, bring His message to everyone, especially the small, to the poor, the suffering. In every community, love each other, do not be divided but live as brothers and sisters, so that the world may believe that Jesus is alive in his Church and the Kingdom of God is near. The Patrons of the Diocese of Frascati are two Apostles, Philip and James, two of the Twelve. To their intercession we commend your community’s journey, that it may be renewed in faith and give clear witness in works of charity. Amen.\



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PLAMEN IGNATOV, a Bulgarian artist, worked for 16 years on a matchstick monastery. It is a replica of the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria. This is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery. The monastery was founded in the 10th century by the hermit Ivan of Rila. The matchstick version is showcased in the Museum of Archaeological in Sofia. Bulgaria.
Here is the actual monastery below:


After the massacre of Tremseh, the UN secretary general tries to push the Security Council to take concrete action to stop the civil war. Russia and China oppose any resolution that involves new sanctions against Assad. Yesterday a further 118 deaths, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - "Inaction becomes a license for further massacres": with these words which the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking Security Council intervention to stop the ongoing massacres in Syria. The same Ban Ki-moon said that what is happening poses "many doubts" on the commitment of President Bashar al-Assad for peace.

The decision making body of the United Nations met to discuss the future of the observers' mission, which expires July 20, but the echo of the Tremseh massacre, with over 200 deaths, broadened the discussion. So far to no avail, since the total contrast between West and Arabs who want to pressure the Assad regime and Russia and China that oppose it.

Faced with the request of the UN Secretary to "take decisive and collective action to end the tragedy immediately and fully" the West proposed a resolution that gives Assad 10 days to remove the tanks, helicopters and weapons heavy from cities and put an end to violence. Failure to comply would lead to new sanctions. China and especially Russia, however, are opposed to any step that could lead to new sanctions.

This, despite UN envoy and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's explicit accusation against Damascus for "the use of artillery, tanks and helicopters, confirmed by UNSMIS (United Nations observers, ed ) in violation of the obligations and commitment of the Syrian government to end the use of heavy weaponry in populated areas. "

And while government and rebels continue to trade blame for the Tremseh massacre, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (opposition) said that yesterday there were 118 other dead 49 civilians, 37 soldiers and 32 guerrillas. The Observatory also reports protests in Damascus, disrupted by gunfire. (PD)





Rev Dr Andre Karamaga leads prayers in a past event
NAIROBI, July I0, 2012 (CISA) -The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) has congratulated the President and the people of the Republic of South Sudan on its first anniversary of independence, on July 9, 2012.
“In the short period of one year, your Government translated the independence into worthy economic and social development. This is clearly demonstrated by infrastructural development, increased number of schools and medical services, maintenance of peace and security in most parts of the country and good neighbourliness through your participation in regional initiatives in Eastern Africa.
You have also increased the democratic space in your country by operationalizing the Transitional Constitution. This is not mean achievement within such a short span of time and we therefore congratulate you,” said the AACC message, signed by the organization’s General Secretary, Rev Dr Andre Karamaga.
The AACC message, addressed to the country’s president, His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit said, “We are aware these achievements were made in the midst of many challenges, some of which are clearly outstanding.”
“With conflict looming large in your border with the Republic of Susan, insecurity has remained a serious concern and a source of source of anxiety for many of your citizens. This has not been made easier by the breakout of many inter-ethnic conflicts, especially in the Jonglei State,” added the statement.
“We welcome the efforts you have taken in addressing inter-ethnic conflicts and encourage you to work with the Church whose initiative in seeking and pursuing peace will be a major contribution,” , the AACC said.

The message said the AACC was aware about the challenge of internally displaced persons, especially those held up in transit camps in the border with the Republic of Sudan.
“We lament that the deplorable conditions that are living in mean that independence has not translated into peace dividends to them,” underlined the AACC statement.
The AACC also noted that it was also aware of the challenge of the outstanding issues in the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Accord) framework which are Citizenship, demarcation of the border between the north and the south including Abyei, the sharing of wealth (oil) revenues and national debt and agreements signed before the independence of South Sudan.
“As long as these issues remain unsolved they continue to contribute negatively at the speed at which nation building is supposed to be achieved,” said the Church statement.
The Church body assured the country’s president and the entire people of South Sudan people of its readiness to avail its supportive role in the country’s development.
“It is for this reason that we welcome the resumption of negotiations under the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP),” said the AACC, adding, “In this regard, we strongly support the full implementation of the African Union Peace and security council Roadmap of April 24, 2012 and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2046 of 2012.”


Agenzia Fides REPORT – The 93rd Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of Colombia ends today, July 13.
According to information gathered by Fides Agency, among the problems the Bishops faced is that concerning the situation of tension and fear because of violence, recorded in different areas, such as the Apostolic Vicariate of Tierradentro. The same Apostolic Vicar, His Exc. Mgr. Edgar Tirado Hernando Mazo, spoke during the Assembly to inform that the church is working to change this situation. Through the Parish Commissions of the Social Pastoral (COPPAS), one is trying to reach the faithful in order to create a social conscience, in order to work for a worthy development and thus, working for peace and for justice.
"Evangelization does not stop at theoretical elements but goes immediately to concrete actions, and always seeks a permanent dialogue with everyone," said the Apostolic Vicar.
For the Bishop of Santa Marta, His Exc. Mgr. Ugo Puccini Banfi, the most urgent problems are prostitution and drugs. "Even groups of foreign tourists arrive in our town, such as Taganga, just to find drugs and prostitution," said the Bishop. "The poor people of our people, before the wealth of tourist, lose dignity and yields. We face a great challenge, we must revive the pastoral care of the sea with the fishermen, and the pastoral of tourism."
The Bishops’ appeal at the opening of the Assembly, was to end the armed conflict in the country (see Fides 10/7/2012) and conclude peace negotiations with the guerrillas. This has become the main theme of the situation of the diocese of Buenaventura, shared with other dioceses. The presence of illegal armed groups, indiscriminate drug trafficking, the constant threats of death and uncontrolled mining, however, have not stopped the Bishop of Buenaventura, His Exc. Mgr. Héctor Epalza Quintero, from bringing the Gospel message of hope to the inhabitants of this region of Colombia. "We are living a difficult reality that involves different protagonists, all outside the law, that vie for the territory in Buenaventura, in the Valle del Cauca, where there is a very complex social and political reality," said Bishop.
The Diocese of Buenaventura, through the Diocesan Commission "Life, Justice, Solidarity and Peace", was the first to denounce the abuses against life, as when he gave news of the murder of fourteen women in towns and 60 other murders which occurred in the gold mines, in Zaragoza, in the rural area. "We need to evangelize in the midst of the conflict, filling these people with hope, faith and love who continue to believe. We are committed to living in permanent mission through the Continental Mission of the New Evangelization," concluded Mgr. Epalza. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 13/7/2012)


Amos 7: 12 - 15

12 And Amazi'ah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there;
13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom."
14 Then Amos answered Amazi'ah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,
15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, `Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
Psalms 85: 9 - 14

9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 Yea, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way
Ephesians 1: 3 - 10

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
8 which he lavished upon us.
9 For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ
10 as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Mark 6: 7 - 13

7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
10 And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them."
12 So they went out and preached that men should repent.
13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

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