Sunday, December 2, 2012




Vatican Radio REPORT/IMAGE:  In his weekly Angelus address, Pope Benedict noted that the first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. 

Advent, a word that means “coming” or “presence”, refers both to the first coming of Christ in the Incarnation, and to the second coming, when Jesus will return in glory. These two events, the focal points of salvation history, touch us deeply, the Pope said, “because by His death and resurrection Jesus has already accomplished that transformation of humanity and of the cosmos that is the final goal of creation.” But before that final end, the Gospel must be proclaimed to all nations. “This permanent coming of the Lord in the proclamation of the Gospel requires our continual collaboration; and the Church, which is like the Betrothed, the promised Bride of the crucified and risen Lamb of God (cfr. Rev. 21,9), in communion with her Lord collaborates in this coming of the Lord, in which His glorious return is already begun.” 

Sunday’s readings, Pope Benedict said, show us what we must do to be ready when the Lord comes. The Gospel reminds us that we must live simply and moderately, and pray constantly. Saint Paul urges us to continually grow in love for one another. And the reading from the prophet Jeremiah reminds us that the Church, the community of believers, “is a sign of the love of God, of His justice that is already present in history, but not yet fully realised, and that therefore should always be awaited, invoked, and sought after with patience and courage.”

In his remarks to English speaking pilgrims and visitors after the Angelus, the Holy Father made special mention of Devasahayam Pillai, a convert from Hinduism who was martyred in India in 1752. Blessed Devasahayam was beatified today in the diocese of Kottar. “His witness to Christ,” the Pope said, “is an example of that attentiveness to the coming of Christ recalled by this first Sunday of Advent. May this holy season help us to centre our lives once more on Christ, our hope.”

Below, please find the full text of the Pope’s remarks at Sunday’s Angelus. 

Today the Church begins a new liturgical year, a path that is further enriched by the Year of Faith, 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The first Time of this journey is Advent, composed, in the Roman Rite, of the four weeks that precede the Birth of the Lord, that is, the mystery of the Incarnation. The word “Advent” means “coming” or “presence.” In the ancient world, it signified the coming of the king or the emperor into one of the provinces; in the language of Christians, it referred to the coming of God, to His presence in the world; a mystery that involves the whole of the cosmos and of history, but that recognises two culminating moments: the first and the second coming of Jesus Christ. The first is the Incarnation itself; the second is the glorious return at the end of time. These two moments, chronologically distant – and it is not given to us to know how far apart they are – touch us deeply, because by His death and resurrection Jesus has already accomplished that transformation of humanity and of the cosmos that is the final goal of creation. But before that end, it is necessary that the Gospel be proclaimed to all nations, as Jesus says in the Gospel of Saint Mark. The coming of Christ is continuous; the world must be infused by His presence. This permanent coming of the Lord in the proclamation of the Gospel requires our continual collaboration; and the Church, which is like the Betrothed, the promised Bride of the crucified and risen Lamb of God (cfr. Rev. 21,9), in communion with her Lord collaborates in this coming of the Lord, in which His glorious return is already begun.

It is to this that the Word of God recalls us today, tracing out a line of conduct to pursue in order to be ready for the coming of the Lord. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says to the disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life . . . Be vigilant at all times and pray.” So: simplicity and prayer. And the apostle Paul adds the invitation to “increase and abound in love” among ourselves and towards everyone, to strengthen our hearts and to be blameless in holiness (cfr. 1 Thess 3, 12-13). In the midst of the turmoil of the world, or the desert of indifference and materialism, Christians accept the salvation of God and witness to it by a different way of life, as a city set on a hill. “In those days,” the prophet Jeremiah proclaims, “Jerusalem shall dwell safely; this is the name they shall call her: ‘The Lord our justice’” (Jer 33,16). The community of believers is a sign of the love of God, of His justice that is already present and working in history, but not yet fully realised, and that therefore should always be awaited, invoked, and sought after with patience and courage. 

The Virgin Mary perfectly embodies the spirit of Advent, which consists of listening to God, a profound desire to do His will, and joyful service to others. Let us be guided by her, so that God who is coming may not find us closed or distracted, but might extend to each of us a small part of His kingdom of love, of justice, and of peace. 

VATICAN.VA RELEASE : At 17.30 this afternoon in the Vatican Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI presides over the celebration of First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent with the Roman Universities and Pontifical University in Rome, at the beginning of the academic year. During the celebration of the liturgy, the Pope says the following homily:
  • HOMILY OF VESPERS (INTERNET TRANSLATION)"He who calls you is faithful" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:24).
    Dear university friends,
    the words of the Apostle Paul guide us to understand the true meaning of the liturgical year, which start tonight along with the recitation of the First Vespers of Advent. The entire path of the Church is directed to discover and experience the faithfulness of the God of Jesus Christ in the cave of Bethlehem will come to us, once again, in the face of a child. The whole history of salvation is a path of love, mercy and benevolence: from the creation to the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, the giving of the Law at Sinai to return home from the Babylonian captivity. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has always been near God, who has never abandoned his people. Several times it has been sadly infidelity and waited patiently for the return, always in the freedom of a love that precedes and supports the beloved, attentive to his dignity and his deepest aspirations.
    God is not locked himself in his Heaven, but he leaned on the history of man: a great mystery that comes to overcome any possible expectation. God enters into the man's time in the most unexpected: making child and along the stages of human life for all of our existence, spirit, soul and body - as St Paul reminds us - can be preserved blameless and be elevated to the heights of God does all this for his faithful love toward humanity. Love is true when it tends by its nature to the good of the other, to the greatest possible good, and is not limited simply to respect commitments undertaken friendship, but goes beyond, without calculation or measure. It 'just that he did the living and true God, whose profound mystery is revealed to us in the words of St. John: "God is love" ( 1 Jn 4:8,16). This God in Jesus of Nazareth takes on itself the whole of humanity, the whole history of mankind, and gives a new turn, decisive, to a new way of being human, characterized by being born of God and strive towards him (cf. The Childhood of Jesus , Rizzoli-LEV 2012, p. 19).
    Dear young people, Distinguished Rectors and Professors, it gives me great joy to share these reflections with you who represent the Roman university world that brings together, despite their specific identity, state universities and private institutions of Rome and the Papal which for many years walking together giving a living testimony of a fruitful dialogue and collaboration between the different disciplines and theology. I greet and thank Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Rector of the University of Rome "Foro Italico" and your representative, for the words he addressed to me on your behalf. I greet warmly the Cardinal Vicar and Minister for Education, University and Research, as well as several academic authorities present.
    With special affection I greet you, dear university students of the Roman universities that you have renewed your profession of faith on the tomb of the Apostle Peter. You are living the time of preparation in the major decisions of your life and service in the Church and in society. This evening you can experience that you are not alone: ​​I am with you teachers, university chaplains, leaders of colleges. E 'with you for the Pope! And most importantly, are inserted in the academic community of Rome, where you can walk in prayer, in research, in comparison, the witness for the Gospel. It 'a precious gift for your life, let this be known to see as a sign of God's faithfulness, which offers opportunities to bring your life to Christ, sanctify for leave to perfection by Him (cf. 1 Thes 5:23) . The liturgical year we start with these Vespers will be for you the way in which once again relive the mystery of this faithfulness of God, on which you are called to found, as on a rock safe your life. Celebrating and living with the whole Church this journey of faith, you will experience that Jesus Christ is the only Lord of the cosmos and of history, without which any human construction is likely to vanish into thin air. The liturgy, lived in its true spirit, the school is always important to live the Christian faith, a faith "theological" that involves your whole being - spirit, soul and body - for you to become living stones in the building of the Church and employees of the new evangelization. In particular, in the Eucharist, the living God it is so close to becoming food that sustains the journey, a presence that transforms the fire of his love.
    Dear friends, we live in an environment where we often encounter indifference to God But I think deep down many - even among your peers - live far away from God, there is an inner longing for the infinite, transcendent. It is your task to testify at universities and the nearby God, manifested in the pursuit of truth, the life of every intellectual effort. In this regard, I express my appreciation and my encouragement for the campus ministry program entitled: "The Father saw him from a distance. Today man today of God, "as proposed by the campus ministry of the Vicariate of Rome. Faith is the door that God opens our lives to lead us to Christ, in which today meets the man of God today, the Christian faith is not adherence to a generic god or undefined, but the living God who in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, came into our history and it is revealed as the Redeemer of man. To believe is to entrust their lives to Him who alone can give full time and open to a hope beyond time.
    Reflecting on faith in quest ' Year of Faith , is the invitation that I wish to extend to the entire academic community of Rome. The ongoing dialogue between the public or private Universities and the Pontifical bodes well for an increasingly significant part of the culture of the Church not only in Rome, but Italian and international. Weeks cultural and the International Symposium of teachers to be held in June, will be an example of this experience, which I hope will be realized in all cities where universities are state universities, private and papal.
    Dear friends, "He who calls you is faithful and he will do it" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:24), will make you heralds of his presence. In prayer this evening let us set ideally to the cave of Bethlehem to experience true joy of Christmas, the joy of welcoming the center of our life, following the example of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, the child as a reminder that the eyes of God are open to the world and every human being (cf. Zech 12:4).God's eyes are open upon us because He is faithful to his love! Only this certainty can lead humanity towards goals of peace and prosperity, in this historical moment delicate and complex. Also the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro will be for you university students a great opportunity to show the historical fruitfulness of God's faithfulness, giving your testimony and your commitment to the moral and social renewal of the world. Delivery Icon of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, the Brazilian delegation by the university chaplaincy University of Rome, which this year celebrates its twentieth anniversary, this is a sign of our common commitment to you young university students of Rome.
    To Mary, Seat of Wisdom, I entrust all of you and your loved ones, study, teaching, the life of the universities, especially the process of formation and witness in this Year of Faith . The lamps you bring in your chaplaincies power is always supplied by your faith humble but adoring, because each of you is a light of hope and peace in the university.



    President Aquino, cardinals and bishops attend reporter, Cebu
    Catholic Church News Image of
    The image of Saint Pedro Calungsod is carried into Our Lady of Guadalupe church in preparation for the celebration Mass
    An estimated half a million people attended the "national thanksgiving" celebration for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, in Cebu today.
    At the event were President Benigno Aquino, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, retired Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu and Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Congregation of Saints.
    A foot procession of 80 carrozas, floats of Catholic saints, from parishes around the province opened the celebration early in the day.
    At noon, a waterborne procession brought the image of Calungsod on board a galleon to a new site dedicated to the saint, which stands on a 27-hectare beachside property.
    Archbishop Palma told reporters that the fluvial procession depicted the travel of Calungsod to Guam, where the martyr died as a catechist in the late 1600s.
    He said the galleon that took Calungsod to Guam was God’s instrument for bringing him and offering his life for the faith.
    “This is also a reminder that life is a journey,” the prelate said. He urged the faithful to emulate Calungsod. 
    President Aquino, who arrived in the city early in the day, delivered a message after the Mass, which was followed by a cultural presentation and a grand fireworks display.
    Security was tight around the city with special weapons and tactics teams and K-9 units on the lookout for possible trouble.
    Police earlier appealed to devotees not to bring sharp objects or jewelry, warning them that security would be very strict at the Mass venue.
    Church officials have cited Calungsod as a role model for young people as well as overseas Filipino workers, as he died for his faith in his teens while in a foreign land.


    Bishops will establish council for royal commission

    Friday 30 November 2012

    THE Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will set up a new Council for the Royal Commission the Bishops Conference announced this morning.

    Read the full statement

    Australia’s Catholic Bishops see the Royal Commission as an opportunity for the Church’s processes to be scrutinised with greater objectivity.

    In order to work as effectively as possible with the Royal Commission, the Bishops have established a supervisory group of representatives from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia.

    This supervisory group will establish and oversee a new Council for the Royal Commission consisting of 10 people (including bishops, religious and lay people) served by an Executive Officer.

    In their statement, the Bishops say, “Our hope is that, in its search for truth, the Royal Commission will present recommendations ensuring the best possible standards of child protection in our country.”

    Statement from the Bishops on the royal commission 
    30 November, 2012

    With leaders of Religious Orders, we welcome the establishment of the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

    It is an opportunity for those who have suffered to obtain a compassionate hearing, justice and further healing.

    It is also an opportunity for the Church’s processes to be scrutinised with greater objectivity. This will allow further refinements that seek justice and pastoral care.

    However imperfectly, this work has been going on in the Catholic Church for the last two decades.  It will continue.

    Once again, we renew our heartfelt apology to those whose lives have been so grievously harmed by the evil perpetrated upon them by some priests, religious and church personnel.

    In order to work as effectively as possible with the Royal Commission, we have established a supervisory group of representatives from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia.

    This supervisory group will establish and oversee a new Council for the Royal Commission consisting of 10 people (including bishops, religious and lay people) served by an Executive Officer.

    Our hope is that, in its search for truth, the Royal Commission will present recommendations ensuring the best possible standards of child protection in our country.

    Painful and difficult as this might be for the Church, it is nothing compared to the hurt of those who have suffered sexual abuse, particularly by clergy and religious.

    Through the days of our meeting, the bishops and religious leaders have appreciated the support of the prayers of many in the Australian Catholic community.


    Agenzia Fides REPORT - "With joy we announce faith to the whole world" is the theme of the missiological session and of the pilgrimage promoted by the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) in Poland to be held on 1 and 2 December at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Jasna Góra. According to information sent to Fides Agency by Fr. Jacek Gancarek, Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of the Archdiocese of Czestochowa, priests, men and women religious and laity will take part in the missiological session and participate in the prayer vigil, led by Fr Tomasz Atlas, national Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Poland.
    During the missiological session, participants will reflect on various topics, such as missionary spirituality and missionary activity, the implementation of the new evangelization, the mission "Ad gentes". The life and missionary work of Blessed Maria Teresa Ledóchowska will also be recalled on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of her birth.
    At the session, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care; His Exc. Mgr. Grzegorz Ryś, Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow and President of Committee for the New Evangelization at the Pastoral Commission of the Polish Episcopate; Fr. Bogdan Michalski, National Secretary of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle; Father Luca Bovio IMC national Secretary PUM will also be present. The missiological session will conclude with a prayer for peace. (MF/SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/11/2012)


    Latin ad-venio, to come to.
    Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
    With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished
    • to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
    • thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
    • thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.


    In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 



    The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], it was celebrated throughout the whole Church,    Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time,. 

    Advent Resources



    Dec 02, 2012 - 1st Sun of Advent

    Jeremiah 33:
     14 - 16

    14"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
    15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
    16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: `The LORD is our righteousness.'
    Psalms 25: 4 - 5, 8 - 10, 14

    4Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
    5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.
    8Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
    9He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
    10All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
    14The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
    1 Thessalonians 3: 12 - 13

    12and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you,
    13so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. -1 Thessalonians 4: 1 - 2

    1Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more.2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
    Luke 21: 25 - 28, 34 - 36

    25"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,26men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.27And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."34"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;35for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.36But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."




    St. Bibiana
    Feast: December 2Information:
    Feast Day:December 2
    Born:4th century in Rome
    Patron of:against epilepsy, against hangovers, against headaches, against insanity, against mental illness, epileptics, mentally ill people, single laywomen, torture victims
    The earliest mention in an authentic historical authority of St. Bibiana (Vibiana), a Roman female martyr, occurs in the "Liber Pontificalis" where in the biography of Pope Simplicius (468-483) it is stated that this pope "consecrated a basilica of the holy martyr Bibiana, which contained her body, near the 'palatium Licinianum'" (ed. Duchesne, I, 249). This basilica still exists. In the fifth century, therefore, the bodily remains of St. Bibiana rested within the city walls. We have no further historical particulars concerning the martyr or the circumstances of her death; neither do we know why she was buried in the city itself. In later times a legend sprang up concerning her, connected with the Acts of the martyrdom of Sts. John and Paul and has no historical claim to belief. According to this legend, Bibiana was the daughter of a former prefect, Flavianus, who was banished by Julian the Apostate. Dafrosa, the wife of Flavianus, and his two daughters, Demetria and Bibiana, were also persecuted by Julian. Dafrosa and Demetria died a natural death and were buried by Bibiana in their own house; but Bibiana was tortured and died as a result of her sufferings. Two days after her death a priest named John buried Bibiana near her mother and sister in her home, the house being later turned into a church. It is evident that the legend seeks to explain in this way the origin of the church and the presence in it of the bodies of the above mentioned confessors. The account contained in the martyrologies of the ninth century is drawn from the legend.source

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