Saturday, August 4, 2012


Vatican Radio REPORT Bavaria was transported to the centre of Lazio yesterday evening as over 1,000 pilgrims from the German “Land” descended on the Papal Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo, to bring a little bit of home to Pope Benedict XVI.
They came from Bavaria’s valleys and its mountain passes from its hamlets and industrious cities led by their Archbishop Cardinal Reinhard Marx, to visit a fellow Bavarian who is a long way from home.

On Friday evening Bavaria’s iconic horn blowers, famed Alpine choirs, dancers, artists and poets staged a special Bavarian Hour in honour of Pope Benedict XVI’s 85
th birthday April last. The Pope in accepting this very personal gift had asked it take place in the Summer – at another of his favourite places, Castel Gandolfo.

In thanking the men and women and their children who had trooped into the Lazio hill town in their colourful “lederhosen” and summer dresses, Pope Benedict told them their folksong and the sound of the Bavarian language had taken him back to his homeland again.

The Bavarian culture he said is neither “rude” nor “rowdy”, but imbued with a innate joy born of the Bavarian people’s inner yes to God and his creation.

Some might question our happiness – he continued –while the world is so full of suffering. But the Pope added - saying 'no' to joy benefits no-one, it only makes the world darker. Those who do not love cannot give love to their fellow man, can not help them, can not be a messenger of peace.

Pope Benedict asked the people of his homeland to try to bring this joy to others, to reject evil and to be servants of peace and reconciliation.

On a more personal note the Holy Father also revealed that he was an honorary “Schütze” or rifleman – though he also confessed to having been a “pretty mediocre” one.

Then with a special thanks to Cardinal Wetter Pope Benedicts’ first successor to the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, he reluctantly took his leave of the assembly joining in the traditional farewell folksong from the land of his youth.

Below a Vatican Radio Translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s words to pilgrims from Bavaria:

dear brothers,
dear friends!

At the end of this "Bavarian hour" I can only say "May God reward you" (Vergelt Gott's) from my heart. It has been nice to be here at the center of Lazio, in Castel Gandolfo, and at the same time in Bavaria. I have just been "Dahoam" (at home), and I have to congratulate Cardinal Marx, for being able to pronounce that word so well!

We have been able to perceive that the Bavarian culture is a cheerful one: it is not a rude demonstration, it is not ''Raudi” [Bayrisch for rowdy – ed], but cheerful, imbued with joy, born from an inner acceptance of the world, from an inner yes to life that is a yes to joy. It is based on the fact that we are in harmony with the Creation, in harmony with the Creator himself and this is why we know it is good to be Man. It is true, we have to admit that God has made this easy for us in Bavaria: he has given us a world, a land so beautiful, that it is easy to recognize that God is good and be happy. At the same time, however, He has also enabled the men who live in this land – through their "yes" - to give it its full beauty, through the culture of the people, through their faith, their joy , songs, music and art it has become as beautiful as the Creator wanted, but could not have realized alone, only with the help of men. Now, some might say, is it right to be so happy, while the world is so full of suffering, when there is so much darkness and so much pain? Is it legitimate to be so defiantly joyful? The answer can only be a yes! Because saying 'no' to this joy benefits no-one, it only makes the world darker. And those who do not love themselves cannot give to love their fellow man, can not help them, can not be a messenger of peace. We know this from our faith, and we see it every day: the world is beautiful and God is good and He became man and entered into us, suffers and lives with us, we know this definitely and concretely : yes, God is good and it is good to be Man. We live in this joy, and try to bring this joy to others, to reject evil and to be servants of peace and reconciliation.

Now, of course, I should like to thank everyone, one by one, but the memory of an old man is not reliable. So, I prefer to avoid this. However, I would nevertheless like to thank the dear Cardinal Marx for having organized this "hour", of having transported Bavaria to Rome and for having made tangible the inner unity of Christian culture, I would like to thank him for having gathered all of Bavaria in our archdiocese, from Lower Bavaria to Upper Bavaria .... I thank all the groups….I was deeply touched by everything and I am very happy and grateful. I could hear the marksmen from a distance, they deserve my special thanks, because I'm an honorary Schütze, although at the time I was a pretty mediocre Schütze. Then, I thank you especially, dear Cardinal Wetter: you were my first successor in the see of St. Corbinian; you led the archdiocese as a good shepherd for a quarter of a century, thank you for this!



After 12 hours the two typhoons hit 10 provinces of the east coast. Worst damage in the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, where two people died. Thousands of homes destroyed, tens of thousands more have suffered serious damage. Premier Wen Jiabao warns: focus on disaster prevention.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 800 thousand displaced people, forced to flee their homes after the devastating passage of two typhoons that hit - 12 hours apart from each other - at least 10 provinces of the east coast of China. Damrey and Saola caused two deaths and damaged thousands of homes. Meanwhile, experts warn that in the coming days, the area will be affected by more heavy rains that may cause additional damage. In recent days bad weather also invested the capital, officialy killing at least 78 people (but the number could be much higher) and exposing the backwardness of the sewerage system in Beijing. The incident sparked a furious protest on the web, barely contained by the authorities and government propaganda (see AsiaNews 26/07/2012 As flood deaths increase in Beijing, so does government propaganda).

For meteorologists, typhoon Damrey - from 1949 to today the most powerful to have hit north of the Yangtze River - will arrive in Beijing, still struggling with the flood emergency. However, it has already caused - along with Tropical Storm Saola, which had previously hit Taiwan and the Philippines, killing at least 40 people - 867 thousand displaced in 10 provinces bordering on the east coast, the most affected are the Jiangsu and Shandong.

The two victims are native of Shandong, where at least one thousand houses have collapsed and 23 thousand others suffered serious damage. In Jiangsu, a hundred houses collapsed and about 2,800 were damaged. The China Meteorological Department (CMD) reports that from 1949 to date there was a similar event in only two cases, with two typhoons in quick succession - 12 hours apart- they to hit the same area. It was in 2006 when Saomai and Bopha hit to 24 hours apart from each other.

Damrey and Saola were downgraded to a tropical storm overnight and took different directions, the first to the north and the second to the west. However, Premier Wen Jiabao on a visit to Hubei Province issued a warning to officials and city governments, to improve the sewage system - chiefly responsible for the disaster in Beijing - and flood prevention systems. "We need to really learn from these experiences," said the Prime Minister in a press briefing.



NAIROBI, July 31, 2012 (CISA) –The Mother Earth Network planned tree planting campaign kicks off at St Jude Catholic Church, Mukuru slums, in the outskirts of Nairobi on Saturday August 4
The Mukuru – Reuben is an informal housing area occupied by low level earners, casual labourers and the jobless.
The event will start with a speech by the area chief Patrick Kasosi. Then there will be an awareness campaign on the aims and expected goals of Mother Earth Network and on tree care and management to be presented Fr Herman Borg among others
The campaign is supported by the following organizations; Kagoech Foundation trust, Sustainable National Environmental Projects (SUNEP), Kenyatta University Environmental Club (KUNEC), Youth Alive Africa Kenya, Creative Hands Initiative, Kutoka Network, Green world resource foundation AOSK, FFA, St Dorcas Single Mothers, Hope World Wide, Discovery Basketball, Ruka Juu Acrobats, Reuben Youth Foundation and Total Kenya.
Others are Reuben Center Primary school, Gatoto Primary school, Baptist Primary school, St Elizabeth Primary school, Maendeleo primary and secondary school and Reuben Police Post office.
The Guest of Honour will be Fr Vincent Makokha, the Parish priest at St Mary’s Reuben Parish.
Over 300 seedlings are expected to be planted.
The event will also create awareness on the importance of community participation in Environmental conservation


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
3 Aug 2012

Cardinal Pell welcomes Iftar Dinner guests
Guests representing 12 different belief traditions attended the first Iftar Dinner hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, in Cathedral House last night.

In a world where there is often intolerance of different and varying beliefs, the dinner was a sign of mutual respect, friendship and hope for the future.
Iftar refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan and is a religious observance often shared within a community with people gathering to break their fast together.
Present at the dinner were representatives from the Catholic Eastern Rite Chuches - Bishop Ad Abikaram representing the Maronites, the Most Rev Archimandrite Paul Sayegh, the Melkite Greek Vicar General representing the Melkites and the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei for Australia and New Zealand, Fr Victor Martinez along with auxiliary bishops and priests from the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Other Christian traditions represented included the Coptic Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Armenian Church, Antiochian Orthodox Church as well as Bishops and priests from the Archdiocese of Sydney.
Guests also included Dr Vivek Thakkar representing Hindu Youth, the Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Mr Peter Wertheim, Rabbi Kamins from the Emanuel Synagogue and other members of the Jewish community.
The Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammad, also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Cardinal Pell on behalf of the whole Muslim community for hosting the dinner.

His key message was that such events contribute strongly to the building up of peace and harmony among all faiths.
Cardinal Pell said during the dinner that gatherings like this are really one of the fruits of tolerance that flourishes in Australian society and is a sign of respect for diversity.
He said all the belief traditions gathered at the dinner have a common respect for human life.
"We are all called to be instruments of peace and harmony among aggressors and those who practice terrorism although we worship the one God in different ways," Cardinal Pell said.
"We gather united in our plans for respect and friendship."
Organiser of the dinner and Director of the Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations, Dr Giovanni Farquar,rsj, said she believed this was an "Iftar first" as it was the first time a dinner had been hosted in the home of the Archbishop of Sydney for this particular gathering.
She said she was most grateful so many leaders and representatives of the different belief traditions attended the dinner and hoped it would become an annual event.
Following the evening Cardinal Pell said it was a most enjoyable night held in an atmosphere of friendship and learning.


Agenzia Fides REPORT- With only a day dedicated to catechesis and presided by Monsignor Romulo Emiliani, Auxiliary Bishop of San Pedro Sula, the campaign for peace in prison, organized by the Pastoral Commission for prisoners continues.

The initiative, called "La Paz no tiene rejas" (Peace has no bars), was proposed by the inmates themselves, whose attitude was praised by Mgr. Emiliani, "the prisoners live this moment intensely and ask for this type of catechesis, centered on love for life; this situation is beautiful, I am convinced that many are changing their attitude toward life."

"We talked about the commitment to live with Christ, to seek the Lord. We must continue with this form of evangelization, so that they are fully open to Christ," added the Bishop, who also stressed that society must work together to lend a hand to the detainees who are ending their jail sentence." When they finally come out, an opportunity has to be given to them. They have every right to start over again. If they get a decent job, people with a good job do not have time to think about bad things."

The director of the prison of San Pedro Sula, Oquelí Mejia Tinoco, who has followed the initiative, said that "we are excited about what is happening these days, we know that it is a way of consolidating peace. For more than 60 days there have been no violent events. "

"We want peace, to stop violence, but there can be no peace if there is no justice. Prisoners must be treated like all human beings, they have the right to health care, education, and they deserve a second chance " emphasizes Zobeida Mendoza, a member and coordinator of the Commission for the Pastoral Care of prisons. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 04/08/2012)


Bishop MacDaid urges all road users to be safe and recommends prayer for motorists
Ahead of this August bank holiday weekend in the Republic and Northern Ireland, Bishop Liam MacDaid, Bishop of Clogher, welcomes the measures announced today by Mr Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, and calls on all road users: motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, to take special care of themselves and their loved ones.
Bishop MacDaid said, “Up to 2 August the recorded 2012 road fatality figures stood at 109 for the Republic and 24 for the North. This loss of human life is heart breaking for the loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society as a whole. Ahead of our August bank holiday weekend I am asking all road users to exercise particular vigilance in terms of safety and to be responsible on the roads over the next days.
“Care for one another in our community is a basic human value which travels across different faiths and cultures. This duty of care also applies to our road use and it is fundamental to the common good of all in society.”
Bishop MacDaid concluded, “As individuals we have an obligation to exercise a duty of care to other road users by improving our driver behaviour and, at a public policy level, this improved behaviour needs to be matched by effective strategic planning and greater resourcing.” Bishop MacDaid recommends the following dedicated prayer for motorists which may be recited before driving:
Prayer for motorists before driving:
Before I take my place behind the wheel
I pray, O Sacred Heart – Guide me on my way.
Virgin Mary, Morning Star, from every danger guide this car.
Thou dear Lord who gave it to enjoy,
Grant that its purpose be to save and not destroy.
Notes to Editors
• The Diocese of Clogher is a cross-border diocese. It includes the counties of Monaghan, Fermanagh and portions of Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan. The Diocese of Clogher has 86,047 Catholics, 73 priests, 37 parishes and 85 churches. The Cathedral of Saint Macartan is located in Monaghan town.
• Road fatality statistics provided by An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.


Matthew 14: 1 - 12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus;
2 and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him."
3 For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife;
4 because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
5 And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Hero'di-as danced before the company, and pleased Herod,
7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
8 Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."
9 And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given;
10 he sent and had John beheaded in the prison,
11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.


St. John Vianney
Feast: August 4

Feast Day: August 4
May 8, 1786, Dardilly, France
Died: August 4, 1859, Ars-sur-Formans, France
Canonized: 1925, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine: Shrine of St. John Vianney; Ars-sur-Formans, France
Patron of: parish priests; confessors
Curé of Ars, born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786; died at Ars, 4 August, 1859; son of Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze."

In 1806, the curé at Ecully, M. Balley, opened a school for ecclesiastical students, and Jean-Marie was sent to him. Though he was of average intelligence and his masters never seem to have doubted his vocation, his knowledge was extremely limited, being confined to a little arithmetic, history, and geography, and he found learning, especially the study of Latin, excessively difficult. One of his fellow-students, Matthias Loras, afterwards first Bishop of Dubuque, assisted him with his Latin lessons.
But now another obstacle presented itself. Young Vianney was drawn in the conscription, the war with Spain and the urgent need of recruits having caused Napoleon to withdraw the exemption enjoyed by the ecclesiastical students in the diocese of his uncle, Cardinal Fesch. Matthieu Vianney tried unsuccessfully to procure a substitute, so his son was obliged to go. His regiment soon received marching orders. The morning of departure, Jean-Baptiste went to church to pray, and on his return to the barracks found that his comrades had already left. He was threatened with arrest, but the recruiting captain believed his story and sent him after the troops. At nightfall he met a young man who volunteered to guide him to his fellow-soldiers, but led him to Noes, where some deserters had gathered. The mayor persuaded him to remain there, under an assumed name, as schoolmaster. After fourteen months, he was able to communicate with his family. His father was vexed to know that he was a deserter and ordered him to surrender but the matter was settled by his younger brother offering to serve in his stead and being accepted.
Jean-Baptiste now resumed his studies at Ecully. In 1812, he was sent to the seminary at Verrieres; he was so deficient in Latin as to be obliged to follow the philosophy course in French. He failed to pass the examinations for entrance to the seminary proper, but on re-examination three months later succeeded. On 13 August, 1815, he was ordained priest by Mgr. Simon, Bishop of Grenoble. His difficulties in making the preparatory studies seem to have been due to a lack of mental suppleness in dealing with theory as distinct from practice -- a lack accounted for by the meagreness of his early schooling, the advanced age at which he began to study, the fact that he was not of more than average intelligence, and that he was far advanced in spiritual science and in the practice of virtue long before he came to study it in the abstract. He was sent to Ecully as assistant to M. Balley, who had first recognized and encouraged his vocation, who urged him to persevere when the obstacles in his way seemed insurmountable, who interceded with the examiners when he failed to pass for the higher seminary, and who was his model as well as his preceptor and patron. In 1818, after the death of M. Balley, M. Vianney was made parish priest of Ars, a village not very far from Lyons. It was in the exercise of the functions of the parish priest in this remote French hamlet that as the "curé d'Ars" he became known throughout France and the Christian world. A few years after he went to Ars, he founded a sort of orphanage for destitute girls. It was called "The Providence" and was the model of similar institutions established later all over France. M. Vianney himself instructed the children of "The Providence" in the catechism, and these catechetical instructions came to be so popular that at last they were given every day in the church to large crowds. "The Providence" was the favourite work of the "curé d'Ars", but, although it was successful, it was closed in 1847, because the holy curé thought that he was not justified in maintaining it in the face of the opposition of many good people. Its closing was a very heavy trial to him.
But the chief labour of the Curé d'Ars was the direction of souls. He had not been long at Ars when people began coming to him from other parishes, then from distant places, then from all parts of France, and finally from other countries. As early as 1835, his bishop forbade him to attend the annual retreats of the diocesan clergy because of "the souls awaiting him yonder". During the last ten years of his life, he spent from sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the confessional. His advice was sought by bishops, priests, religious, young men and women in doubt as to their vocation, sinners, persons in all sorts of difficulties and the sick. In 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached twenty thousand a year. The most distinguished persons visited Ars for the purpose of seeing the holy curé and hearing his daily instruction. The Venerable Father Colin was ordained deacon at the same time, and was his life-long friend, while Mother Marie de la Providence founded the Helpers of the Holy Souls on his advice and with his constant encouragement. His direction was characterized by common sense, remarkable insight, and supernatural knowledge. He would sometimes divine sins withheld in an imperfect confession. His instructions were simple in language, full of imagery drawn from daily life and country scenes, but breathing faith and that love of God which was his life principle and which he infused into his audience as much by his manner and appearance as by his words, for, at the last, his voice was almostinaudible.
The miracles recorded by his biographers are of three classes:
* first, the obtaining of money for his charities and food for his orphans;
* secondly, supernatural knowledge of the past and future;
* thirdly, healing the sick, especially children.
The greatest miracle of all was his life. He practised mortification from his early youth. and for forty years his food and sleep were insufficient, humanly speaking, to sustain life. And yet he laboured incessantly, with unfailing humility, gentleness, patience, and cheerfulness, until he was more than seventy-three years old.
On 3 October, 1874 Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was proclaimed Venerable by Pius IX and on 8 January, 1905, he was enrolled among the Blessed. Pope Pius X proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy.
[Note: In 1925, Pope Pius XI canonized him. His feast is kept on 4 August.]


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