Sunday, September 9, 2012




Vatican Radio REPORT - A very small word that sums up Christ’s mission on earth was the focus of Pope Benedict XVI’s Angelus reflections this week: "Ephphatha," which means, "Be opened. Drawn from the Sunday Gospel, Mark Chapter 7, which recounts Christ’s healing of the deaf mute, Pope Benedict XVI said Jesus “became man so that man, made inwardly deaf and dumb by sin, would become able to hear the voice of God, the voice of love speaking to his heart, and learn to speak in the language of love, to communicate with God and with others”. Emer McCarthy reports Listen:
Below a Vatican Radio
translation of the Holy Father’s Angelus reflections. Original text in Italian
Dear brothers and sisters!

At the heart of today's Gospel (Mk 7, 31-37) there is a small but, very important word. A word that - in its deepest meaning- sums up the whole message and the whole work of Christ. The Evangelist Mark writes it in the same language that Jesus pronounced it in, so that it is even more alive to us. This word is "Ephphatha," which means, "be opened." Let us look at the context in which it is located. Jesus was travelling through the region known as the "Decapolis", between the coast of Tyre and Sidon, and Galilee, therefore a non-Jewish area. They brought to him a deaf man, so that he could heal him - evidently his fame had spread that far. Jesus took him aside, touched his ears and tongue, and then, looking up to the heavens, with a deep sigh said, "Ephphatha," which means, "Be opened." And immediately the man began to hear and speak fluently (cf. Mk 7.35). This then is the historical, literal, meaning of this word: this deaf mute, thanks to Jesus’ intervention, "was opened", before he had been closed, insulated, it was very difficult for him to communicate, and his recovery was '"openness" to others and the world, an openness that, starting from the organs of hearing and speech, involved all his person and his life: Finally he was able to communicate and thus relate in a new way.

But we all know that closure of man, his isolation, does not solely depend on the sense organs. There is an inner closing, which covers the deepest core of the person, what the Bible calls the "heart". That is what Jesus came to "open" to liberate, to enable us to fully live our relationship with God and with others. That is why I said that this little word, "Ephphatha – Be opened," sums up Christ’s entire mission. He became man so that man, made inwardly deaf and dumb by sin, would become able to hear the voice of God, the voice of love speaking to his heart, and learn to speak in the language of love, to communicate with God and with others. For this reason, the word and the gesture of '"Ephphatha" are included in the Rite of Baptism, as one of the signs that explain its meaning: the priest touching the mouth and ears of the newly baptized says: "Ephphatha" praying that they may soon hear the Word of God and profess the faith. Through Baptism, the human person begins, so to speak, to "breathe" the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had invoked from Father with that deep breath, to heal the deaf and dumb man.

We now turn in prayer to Mary Most Holy, whose Nativity we celebrated yesterday. Because of her unique relationship with the Incarnate Word, Mary is fully "open" to the love of the Lord, her heart is constantly listening to his Word. May her maternal intercession help us to experience every day, in faith, the miracle of '"Ephphatha," to live in communion with God and with others.

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus prayer, especially those from the Rome campus of the University of Mary in the United States. In today’s Gospel Jesus cures a deaf man with a speech impediment. Let us pray that our spiritual infirmities may be cured, so that our ears may be open to listen attentively to the Lord’s life-giving teachings, and our speech may plainly profess our faith in him. May God bless you!"

Finally in his greetings in other languages Pope Benedict touched on various important events: In Spanish he had a particular word of encouragement to the ongoing dialogue between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces, with the participation of foreign delegates, to try to end a decades-long conflict, with the hope that parties may proceed on the path of forgiveness and reconciliation in the search for the common good.

In Polish, he greeted the proclamation of the Week for Education, organised by the Polish Episcopal Conference, with the hope that "it will revive the cooperation between the family, the school and the Church, to ensure that children and young people are given a solid intellectual, cultural, spiritual and Christian education. "

Then, he sent cordial greetings to Catholics and all citizens of Kazakhstan, where the Pope recalled that Cardinal Sodano, as his legate, today celebrated the dedication of the new Cathedral of Karaganda, and to the faithful of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine, where yesterday , tin he presence of the Papal Legate, Cardinal Tomko, the sixth anniversary of the foundation of the Archdiocese was commemorated.


London: Mass of Thanksgiving for Paralympics   | Mass of Thanksgiving for Paralympics , Southwark, Archbishop Peter Smith, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Bishop Thomas McMahon
A special Mass of Thanksgiving for the achievements, inspiration and blessings of the Paralympic Games took place on Saturday, 8 September, at St George's Cathedral, Southwark.
Archbishop Peter Smith presided and was joined by the other 'London' bishops: the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood. About 20 clergy and several hundred people from across London and beyond also attended.
The Dockhead Choir, who sang at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, sang at the Mass dressed in the costumes they had worn at the Opening Ceremony. The Choir is made up of 40 children and teenagers from the church choirs of The Most Holy Trinity Parish, Dockhead, and St William of York Parish, Forest Hill.
Speaking before the Mass, Canon Alan McLean, parish priest of The Most Holy Trinity, Dockhead, said: "The young people - and their parents - are both delighted and honoured to be taking part in this special liturgy. Being a part of the Mass in thanksgiving for the Paralympic Games is equally as great an honour for us all as being the first voices to be heard at the opening of the 30th Olympiad. Singing in worship of God is what the choir does best."
Source: Southwark Diocese


Agenzia Fides REPORT - On Sunday, September 9, the Church in Bolivia celebrates National Migrants Day and Refugees under the slogan: "Migration and New Evangelization." This year, the main activities will be held in Santa Cruz, where at the end of the day, Cardinal Julio Terrazas, Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, will preside at the Eucharistic celebration which will be followed by a big fair organized by the Pastoral Care of Human Mobility.
"The slogan Migration and New Evangelization wants to draw attention to the fact that our Bolivian immigrants, when they leave, they bring with them their religious culture and at the same time, immigrants who come bring their own devotions," said the head of the pastoral care of migrants, Mario Videla. At least three million Bolivians have migrated abroad. "Argentina is the country that has received the largest group, with about 1.2 million Bolivians, the rest are distributed in Brazil, with 600,000 immigrants, Spain and the United States; we know that there are Bolivians also in Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands ", said Videla. In spite of the efforts by the national government to combat poverty, Bolivians are leaving the country because there are no economic conditions to stay.
The note sent to Fides says that in these days, in Santa Cruz, the IV International Conference on human trafficking is being held, also the Pastoral of Human Mobility is present. Important international experts from various countries and heads of institutions of Bolivia are attending the Conference, in order to establish guidelines for assistance to victims of trafficking and to combat human trafficking in Bolivia. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 07/09/2012)


Thieves make off with haul of cash and valuables
Catholic Church News Image of Nuns robbed at knife point
A police officer collects evidence as Cluny Sister Imelda Gurung looks on
Six masked men carrying knives robbed a convent in suburban Kathmandu early this morning. They left with mobile phones, cameras, jewelry and 700,000 rupees (US$7,830) in cash.
The robbers climbed through a second floor window in an empty guest room before waking the convent’s four nuns and a young maid.
“They took us in one of the rooms and warned us, saying they would gag us and tie us up if we made the slightest bit of noise. They shut off most of the lights and looked through everything as we waited,” said 75-year-old Sister Imelda Gurung.
“They even took our religious rings from our fingers,” said Sister Winifred Mukhia, the 63-year-old superior of the convent.The robbers left the convent’s laptops, possibly because they would be more difficult to resell. In total, about US$10,000 worth of property and cash was taken.
The money was for school staff salaries and repairs to the property, Sister Winifred said.
Police were notified around 4:30 a.m. and came to the convent at 10 a.m. They took samples from a leech that had apparently dropped off a robber and inspected the surrounding area.
The convent is just over 15 kms southeast of central Kathmandu in Godavari, next to a school surrounded by corn fields.
A guard who sleeps near the gate said the men seemed to be drunk, mostly in their early 20s and from a local tribe. They left within a half an hour, said Dhurba Budathoki.
“They forced their way into my room, put a khukuri [Gurkha knife] to my throat from behind, before gagging me with my pillow cover,” Budathoki said.
“This used to be a peaceful place located next to the botanical gardens, but now even picnickers get robbed in daytime,” said Budathoki, who hails from the area. “Two weeks ago, in a similar incident, some robbers tied up some people in a house at night and ran away with their belongings.”
The Cluny sisters, many of whom are ethnic Nepalese from the Darjeeling region in India, teach and run schools in east Nepal and Kathmandu. They have expanded their work to mid-western Nepal in Hetauda, Gorkha, and Pokhara in the last five years.
The sisters said they get foreign volunteers to teach in their school in Godavari from time to time and seeing them may have tempted local youths.


Isaiah 35: 4 - 7
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

Psalms 146: 7 - 10
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The LORD will reign for ever, thy God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
James 2: 1 - 5
1 My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
2 For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
3 and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet,"
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?
Mark 7: 31 - 37
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decap'olis.
32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him.
33 And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue;
34 and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened."
35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
36 And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."
Sep 09, 2012 - Order of the Mass


St. Peter Claver

Feast: September 9
Information: Feast Day: September 7

Born: June 26, 1580, Verdu, Catalonia, Kingdom of Spain

Died: September 8, 1654, Cartagena, Colombia
Canonized: January 15, 1888, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine: Church of Saint Peter Claver
Patron of: Slaves, Colombia, Race relations, and African Americans
The Blessed Peter Claver was born at Verdu in Catalonia in the year 1581, of parents eminent for piety and virtue, who instilled like qualities into his infant heart from the very cradle. In youth his piety and love of study won general admiration, and every preferment was open to him, but zeal for his neighbor's salvation led him to enter the Society of Jesus. His reputation was such that he was instantly admitted on his application in August, 1602. After a fervent noviceship, he was sent to the college of Majorca and there had the inexpressible happiness of enjoying the direction of the Blessed Alphonsus Rodriguez, then porter of the college, an eminent contemplative, from whom Claver derived much spiritual profit, and even a knowledge of his future career. Before completing his studies, he solicited the American mission, and was sent out in 1610. From that time he never asked about Spain, and seemed to have forgotten everything but the land of his labors. Completing his studies at Santa Fe de Bogota, he was ordained at Carthagena in 1615, and from that moment devoted himself to the care of the Negro slaves. No sooner did a slaver reach the port than he hastened on board with his interpreters, a basket of delicacies for the sick, and other necessaries. The sick were the first objects of his zeal. Gaining their good will by his kind and gentle manner, he instructed them in the doctrines of Christianity; and if there was danger, baptized them. He then began his regular instructions for those in health, which he continued from day to day, till they were prepared for baptism. Then, on an appointed day, he administered the sacrament to all, after a touching exhortation to persevere in virtue, The amount of his toil may be conceived, when we learn that at that time ten or twelve thousand slaves were annually landed at Carthagena. Nor did this include all, as many slavers, to avoid the custom-house duties, landed their cargo on the coast and pretended that they belonged to former licensed importations, and were already baptized. The zeal of the servant of God was more active than the interest of the government officers; he discovered most of these Negroes, instructed and baptized them. Not wearied with these labors, he visited the hospitals, and especially that of the Incurables and Lepers, whom he nursed with the greatest charity. The poor forsaken Negroes, too, in their hovels, were never too forlorn or too distant to escape him. So long did he breathe the pestiferous atmosphere of these abodes of misery, that his taste and smell were entirely lost. Besides all this, his austerities were frightful: his life was a miracle, as nothing but a miracle could have sustained it in such a climate, where a scratch is often fatal. Over the Negroes, he maintained a general direction; he had regular masses, instructions and devotions for them; he was their pastor, their father, their protector. In their behalf he frequently exercised the miraculous powers with which God, in a most eminent degree, invested him. Among the Spaniards he labored reluctantly, as they had clergy in abundance; but the poor could always have recourse to him, and for them, as for Moors, and heretics or unbelievers, he spared no toil.
During the season when slavers were not accustomed to arrive, he traversed the country, visiting plantation after plantation, to give spiritual consolation to the slaves. For a time, also, he was sent to labor among the Indians near the Isthmus, the field of the labors of St. Louis Bertrand, but, being seized with a fatal fever, he was carried back to Carthagena; there, partly recovering, he renewed his labors, but was again prostrated, and for the last four years of his life was scarcely able to move. Such was the poverty and wretchedness of the Jesuits, that he had no attendant but a Negro boy, and men were actually tearing down the house when he died, on the 8th of September, 1654, at the age of 72, a faithful imitator of the great Xavier. His canonization was immediately undertaken and almost brought to a close in 1747; but the suppression of his order and the troubles in Europe deferred the publication of the brief till the 29th of August, 1848, when he was solemnly beatified by Pope Pius IX.

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