Sunday, August 5, 2012



Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus this Sunday, with pilgrims and tourists gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo. The Holy Father focused his remarks ahead of the Angelus on this Sunday’s Gospel reading, which is taken from the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John (Jn 6:24-35), in which Our Lord begins to reveal Himself as the Bread of Life. “Though material needs are important,” said Pope Benedict, “Jesus wants to help people move beyond the immediate satisfaction of them,” explaining that the Lord desires to open for us a horizon of existence that is not simply that of the daily concerns of eating, of clothing, and of one’s working career. He said, “Jesus speaks of a food that does not perish, a food that we must seek and welcome." It was a theme to which the Holy Father returned in his English remarks to the faithful following the traditional prayer of Marian devotion:

I welcome all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims present today and I pray that your stay in Rome will help you to grow closer to the Lord Jesus. In today’s Gospel he says to the people: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, whoever believes in me will never thirst.” Let us put our faith in him, and let us put our trust in his promises, so that we may have life in abundance. May God bless you all!

The Holy Father is in Castel Gandolfo for the month of August, where he is resting and taking time to make progress on literary projects. Late last week the Press Office announced that the Pope has completed the third and final volume of his theological work, Jesus of Nazareth. The manuscript is now being translated into the major modern languages.



Photo: Thisday
Remnants of the Bombed church
By Catherine Agbo, Silas Ezeugwu, and Peter Obioh, 3 August
LEADERSHIP REPORT: There was pandemonium at Dunamis Gospel Centre, Nyanya/Mararaba branch, on Wednesday night, after a security man discovered a bomb in the church and raised the alarm.
Over 1, 000 worshippers ran helter-skelter and are still counting their blessings after they survived what would have been a massive bomb attack. The bomb was said to have been placed in the church during their evening service but failed to detonate.
The anti-bomb squad of the police, which defused the bomb yesterday morning, described the bomb as foreign-made and capable of bringing down not only the church but surrounding buildings as well.
When LEADERSHIP visited the church yesterday, a church security man, who gave his name as Moses Uzoka said he discovered the bomb during a routine security sweep of the church. After the evening church service, he said, at about 9:30pm, he noticed a suspicious object in a bag under a seat at the children's section of the church.
He said: "I have never seen a bomb in my life but when I saw the object, it resembled the type of bombs I have seen in movies and I quickly shouted and everybody fled the church. We called one SSS man who lives near the church and he told us it was a bomb."
Uzoka narrated how he and others ran to the security post nearest to the church at "checking point", on the boundary between the FCT and Nasarawa State. He said the security agents insisted that they would not come on the grounds that the area was not within their jurisdiction and referred them to the Abacha police station. He said when they ran to the Abacha Road police station, the personnel there in turn referred them to the Mararaba police division.
"It was between midnight and 1am when the police from Mararaba came. When they saw the bomb they ran back and called their DPO. He too came to see it and went back. Later they brought an anti-bomb squad from Abuja to come and handle the bomb," Uzoka said.
LEADERSHIP learnt that it was later in the morning, about 11am, that an FCT anti-bomb squad arrived at the church to defuse the bomb and take it away.
Uzoka told our correspondent that a member of the anti-bomb squad said it was a foreign-made bomb and bigger than any he had seen since he started working on bombs.
He said: "The leader of the anti-bomb squad was shocked at the size of the bomb. He said that, if the bomb had gone off, not only would it have flattened the church and everything inside it, but that it would have destroyed the surrounding buildings as well.
When they were bringing out the bomb, I saw the inscription engraved on it: it was 'Mountain Fire' or something like that."
A LEADERSHIP reporter, who saw the police bomb squad taking the explosive away at about 11am yesterday, said he could not get very close because the police had cordoned off the church's frontage while they went about defusing the bomb.
A cleric at the church, simply called Evangelist Sunny, praised God for saving the lives of the worshippers.
He said:"When we discovered it, we quickly called Abacha Road police station. They refused to respond at that time. We went further to call Mararaba police station and they now came to the church to help with the situation. They later informed the anti-bomb squad of the FCT command which came later to defuse the said bomb."
When contacted, a senior police officer at the Nyanya police post, who does not want his name in print, confirmed that policemen went to the church but that they only found "some bags with perfumes and other materials".that can collapse the building at once," he said.
The head of the technical unit of the church, Godstime Asuquo, who spoke when newsmen visited the church on Thursday morning, said the FCT anti-bomb squad was contacted immediately to detonate the bomb.
He said it was only the grace of God upon the Church that did not allow the perpetrators of the dastardly act to succeed, adding that the church was planning to engage more security personnel to ensure adequate security in and around the church premises.
The commotion expectedly drew a large crowd to the frontage of the church. A GSM recharge cards seller, who has a kiosk just opposite the church, Linus Agi, said he was afraid to go into the church, though he saw the bomb when the anti-bomb squad brought it out and was taking it away.
"I was still around when it happened. We all ran away at first. Later in the morning, I saw when the police people brought out the bomb and took it away ," Agi said.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the church had been having a week-long revival programme to mark the beginning of a new month and that it was filled to the brim because the members had turned out en masse for the anointing and commune service.
One security man said over 1,000 worshippers attended the service and that it was the biggest church attendance he could remember.
Sometime last year, there was a rumour that the church had been bombed but it turned out to be a false alarm.
When contacted, a senior police officer at the Nyanya police post, who does not want his name in print, confirmed that policemen went to the church but that they only found "some bags with perfumes and other materials".


By David V Barrett
Archbishop Elect Tartaglia 5[1]
Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley was named new Archbishop of Glasgow this week, succeeding Archbishop Mario Joseph Conti, who has been archbishop since 2002.
After the announcement was made by the Church in Scotland Archbishop-elect Tartaglia, 61, said: “I am conscious of the historic place of the Archdiocese of Glasgow in the history of Christianity in Scotland and of its importance for the Catholic community in particular. It is a great honour for me to be appointed archbishop of my native city and diocese.”
Bishop Tartaglia was born in Glasgow in 1951, one of nine children, and was ordained priest in 1975. He said he had been “very happy and fulfilled” as Bishop of Paisley where he has served since late 2005. “I have loved my diocese. The priests and people of the Diocese of Paisley will always be in my heart,” he said. “And I would want to serve the Archdiocese of Glasgow with the same affection and devotion.”
He continued: “I know I can only be a good bishop with help from above, so I ask everyone to pray for me.”
With 95 parishes, 203 priests and an estimated Catholic population of 200,000 the Archdiocese of Glasgow is the largest of Scotland’s eight
Archbishop-elect Tartaglia will be the eighth man to hold the office of archbishop since the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in Scotland in 1878.
His predecessor, Archbishop Mario Conti, who Pope Benedict asked to stay on for three years past his 75th birthday, said: “I am delighted that the Holy Father has appointed Bishop Philip as my successor. I have known him for more than 30 years and I have the greatest admiration for his gifts of leadership, intelligence, pastoral sensitivity and holiness. The archdiocese will be in very good hands.”


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
3 Aug 2012

Four priests were ordained by
Cardinal Pell in 2009, the largest
number in more than a decade
Vocation Sunday this weekend marks the start of National Vocations Awareness Week and for the Archdiocese of Sydney there is good reason to celebrate.
Tomorrow, 4 August, eight men from two city seminaries will be ordained into the priesthood by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell. This brings the number of priests who have been ordained by His Eminence at St Mary's Cathedral since Sydney's World Youth Day in 2008 to 23.
At the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush the numbers are even more impressive when seminarians from other countries who chose to be ordained by their local prelates are taken into account.
"Over the past six years there have been 38 ordinations of our seminarians," says Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Father Anthony Percy.
In the 1970s through until the end of the 1990s, the numbers of those seeking priestly vocations went into a sharp decline. But slowly this changed and for the past six years there has not only been an increase in the number of those ordained, but also in the numbers entering Sydney's Seminary of the Good Shepherd and the Redemptorist Mater Missionary Seminary at Chester Hill.
Currently the Seminary of the Good Shepherd has 42 men studying for the priesthood with a further 22 studying to be missionary priests at the Redemptorist Seminary.
"A few weeks ago a group of priests celebrating 40 years since their priestly ordinations visited the Seminary and one of them wanted to know: 'Is the Church going forward or backwards?'" Fr Percy says. "I was pleased to be able to tell the priest firmly that "we are definitely going forward."

Six priests were ordained by Cardinal Pell in 2010
at St Mary's Cathedral
He says he then went on quote the most recent statistics across the Archdiocese that showed not only was Sydney seeing an increase in ordinations into the priesthood or of those seeking a priestly vocation, but in many other areas.
"In the five years since the last report was sent to Rome, there have been over 5000 more baptisms per year, while daily Mass numbers have never been higher," he says. "Catholic marriages are also rising steadily despite marriage rates generally across Australia at all-time low. Since marriage is the basis of family and family is the basis of society, Catholics are well placed to profoundly influence the future of Australian society."
However, Fr Percy says there was one large area of growth that was difficult to quantify or put in into statistical terms.

Fr Anthony Percy
"This is the increasing level of involvement we are seeing among young people in the life of the Church. They have a substantial presence in the Church and the numbers I see today suggest not only an increase in numbers from the time when I was ordained over 20 years ago, but the young people seem to have a greater and much stronger commitment."
He puts much of this down to the success of Sydney's World Youth Day in 2008. The pride in faith, enthusiasm and eagerness to learn more about their beliefs and to deepen their faith has been further built on by ongoing initiatives such as the Sydney Congress Embracing the New Evangelisation (SCENE) which is held in alternate years to World Youth Day, Theology on Tap, the establishment of the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and Catholic social networking websites such as
He also believes young people have turned to the Church after discovering that they want more in their lives than is offered by today's secular society.
Fr Percy says while many of the challenges facing young priests involve providing an environment and culture where the Word of God can be fruitful, these challenges are not unique to today's world but would have been the same challenges faced by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Or even further back: St Francis of Assisi.

The Church is going forwards not backwards
says Fr Anthony Percy
However new challenges confront young priests in today's world and Fr Percy believes these are associated with marriage and catechesis.
"Discovering commitment is actually an adventure; that new life is a blessing and not a threat; that ignorance is not bliss but banal. These are the pastoral priorities of the young priests of the third millennium," he says.
Information and events are planned throughout National Vocations Week which runs from 5 - 12 August with one of the highlights being the chance to meet and hear Br Paul Bednarczky, Executive Director of National Religious Vocation Conference, USA.
On Sunday afternoon, 12 August Br Paul will give an address at Dooleys Catholic Club Lidcombe where he will speak about religious and priestly life today, the call to leadership, the right people for the Vocation Ministry, and the trends and challenges facing us all.
To register for this event contact or by phoning 0437 402 256.
Further information about the week and about vocations can be obtained by logging on to the Archdiocese of Sydney's Vocation Centre at


Poisoning may have been revenge for breaching Ramadan rules
Ayyaz Gulzar, Karachi
August 2, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Christian nurses say they were poisoned
Two Christian nurses remain in hospital after being poisoned last Sunday. It may have been an act of vengeance for not observing Ramadan
Nine Christian student nurses in Karachi have claimed they were poisoned last week, in an incident that put the women in hospital. The toxic substance that they ingested was so powerful, it took effect in a matter of seconds.
They say they were poisoned from drinking tea during a group study session at the hostel of the city’s Civil Hospital on July 29.
Some of them suspect they may have been the target of Muslims unhappy that they violated Ramadan fasting rules by drinking the tea.
Rita James, who spent two days on a ventilator, said she was still suffering from low blood pressure following the incident.
“After the first two sips, it was very tough for me to breathe and my throat started getting dry,” she said.
Two of the nurses were still receiving treatment last night.
Nasreem Gill, the hospital’s chief nursing superintendent, said she filed a police report on Monday while they waited on the outcome of tests to determine whether the poisoning was deliberate.
But one of the nurses, who declined to be identified, claimed hospital management was trying to cover up the incident after most of them were quickly discharged and sent home. There was also some speculation that other members of staff may have been responsible.
The All Pakistan Christian League held a demonstration outside the hospital, calling for an investigation.
A group from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and Father Thomas Gulfam, general secretary of the Heralds of Peace, visited the nurses who were still in hospital yesterday.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The 41st General Assembly of Diocesan Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Peru is in progress, held at the Retreat House of St. Joseph of Cluny in Lima on the theme: "Faith without love does not bear fruit "(Porta Fidei # 14). The objective of the Assembly is to rediscover the identity of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), and thus strengthen and organize the missionary activities for the period 2012 - 2013 in each of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of Peru. In a note sent to Fides Agency from the PMS of Peru says: "We want to create a sense of belonging to the PMS in order to achieve and consolidate the presence of the PMS in every particular Church and therefore analyze the richness and challenges of each particular community that allows us to elaborate a pastoral plan on the basis of the national Plan of the PMS. "
"We have also established pastoral regions at a national level with an aim to organize, plan and communicate the actions and strategies to strengthen the work and contribution of the PMS" the statement continues.
The opening of the Assembly, which began on August 1 and closes on August 3, began with a Mass presided by the Apostolic Nuncio to Peru, Mgr. James Patrick Green. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 02/08/2012)


Exodus 16: 2 - 4, 12 - 15
2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness,
3 and said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
12 "I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, `At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'"
13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp.
14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground.
15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.
Psalms 78: 3 - 4, 23 - 25, 54
3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;
24 and he rained down upon them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.
54 And he brought them to his holy land, to the mountain which his right hand had won.
Ephesians 4: 17, 20 - 24
17 Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds;
20 You did not so learn Christ! --
21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus.
22 Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
John 6: 24 - 35
24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper'na-um, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal."
28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
30 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?
31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world."
34 They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst


Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome
Feast: August 5

Feast Day: August 5
THERE are in Rome three patriarchal churches, in which the Pope officiates on different festivals. These are the Basilics of St. John Lateran, St. Peter's on the Vatican Hill, and St. Mary Major. This last is so called because it is, both in antiquity and dignity, the first church in Rome among those that are dedicated to God in honor of the Virgin Mary. The name of the Liberian Basilic was given it because it was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated, under the title of the Virgin Mary, by Sixtus III., about the year 435. It is also called St. Mary ad Nives, or at the snow, from a popular tradition that the Mother of God chose this place for a church under her invocation by a miraculous snow that fell upon this spot in summer, and by a vision in which she appeared to a patrician named John, who munificently founded and endowed this church in the pontificate of Liberius. The same Basilic has sometimes been known by the name of St. Mary ad Pr├Žsepe, from the holy crib or manger of Bethlehem, in which Christ was laid at His birth. It resembles an ordinary manger, is kept in a case of massive silver, and in it lies an image of a little child, also of silver. On Christmas Day the holy Manger is taken out of the case, and exposed. It is kept in a sumptuous subterraneous chapel in this church.


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