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Sunday, December 23, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : 4th SUNDAY ADVENT - DEC. 23, 2012 - SHARE







VATICAN : POPE : PRAY THAT ALL MEN MIGHT SEEK GOD

HOLY LAND : 75000 VISITORS EXPECTED FOR CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 7 - PLENARY INDULGENCE

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 7

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 23: ST. JOHN OF KANTY

Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus on Sunday. Addressing pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square beneath the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Holy Father spoke of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin, Elisabeth – the episode narrated during the Gospel reading for the day. “The episode,” said Pope Benedict, “does not represent a mere gesture of courtesy, but dramatises with great simplicity the encounter of the Old Testament with the New Testament.” The Holy Father explained that the elderly and yet miraculously fertile Elisabeth represents Israel awaiting the Messiah. Noting that the expression with which Elisabeth greets Mary, “Blessed art thou among women,” is one that in the Hebrew Scriptures is spoken to the warrior women Jael and Judith, whose efforts saved the nation of Israel from peril, Pope Benedict says, “Now, it is spoken to the gentle young woman who shall before too long give birth to the Saviour of the World.” Pope Benedict went on to say that the scene of the Visitation also expresses the beauty of welcoming. “Wherever there are those who welcome one another, where there is careful attention, wherever there are people who make room for another,” he said, “there is God – and the joy that comes from Him."

“Let us imitate Mary in the Christmas season, visiting to those who are experiencing difficulty, especially the sick, the imprisoned, the elderly and little children,” prayed Pope Benedict, “and let us also imitate Elisabeth, who received her guest as God, Himself.” The Pope concluded by asking the faithful to pray that all men might seek God earnestly, and find that it is God Himself who comes first to visit us.” 

After the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Benedict had greetings for pilgrims in many languages, including English:

I greet all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims present at this Angelus prayer. Today, as we approach the Solemnity of our Lord’s Birth among us, let us strive again to make room in our hearts to welcome the Christ child with love and humility before such a great gift from on high. In anticipation, let me already wish you and your families a holy and peaceful Christmas!

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

HOLY LAND : 75000 VISITORS EXPECTED FOR CHRISTMAS

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT
Israel's Tourism Minister expects 75,000 visitors for Christmas. Huge crowds have been lining up at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity to visit the grotto. Muslims and Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus together. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict becomes increasingly religious, with local Christian communities caught in between.


Bethlehem (AsiaNews) - Each year, an atmosphere of celebration accompanies Christmas in Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born. Despite the tragic events of Gaza and tensions elsewhere in the Middle East, some 75,000 pilgrims are expected in the Holy Land.
Samir Qumsieh, journalist and head of Al-Mahed Nativity TV in Bethlehem, a Catholic broadcaster, said that traffic has shut down the city. All of its streets and squares are decked out with lights and decorations.
"Here everyone celebrates Christmas," he said. "Bethlehem has a Muslim majority and the Muslim community actively participates in the many initiatives of the season."
Today, hundreds of Palestinians, Christian and Muslim, will watch the lightning of the Christmas tree in the centre of the city, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as well as other political leaders will take part in the celebration. On 24 December, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will take part in Midnight Mass in the Church of the Nativity.
According to Samir Qumsieh, the current positive atmosphere is only a respite compared to what Christians experience every day in the Holy Land, especially in the Palestinian territories.
"The participation of political leaders in Christmas celebrations is not enough to calm Christian fears in Bethlehem," he explained. "In light of the economic situation and social discrimination, they continue to emigrate."
"We are victims of the divisions between Hamas and Fatah and of Israel's repressive policies. We can no longer live much longer in their situation."
The two Palestinian factions are far from real reconciliation. The growth of Hamas in the West Bank is complicating the situation, the journalist said, with the danger that Christians might be crushed by Islamic extremism.
"Even the recognition of Palestine at the UN has not changed anything on the ground," Qumsieh said. "Instead of going back to the negotiating table, Israel used Mahmoud Abbas' action to justify thousands of new homes in the West Bank, which probably had been planned for quite some time, and were not part of a vendetta as many analysts say."
For Qumsieh, religion and politics interact in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. One example is the call by Hamas leader for jihad against the Israelis, accused of occupying sacred Muslim land, and statements by right-wing Israeli leaders who use the Bible to claim the territories. Christians are caught in-between and their voice is increasingly weak.
"Unfortunately, the growth of armed Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East does not help," he said. "After the exodus from Iraq, Christian Churches could now disappear from Syria. In the Holy Land we are small percentage that continues to decline." 
Since 1967, about 35 per cent of the Palestinian Christian population has emigrated. By 2020, they should be only 1.6 per cent of the total population.
Most Christian families live from religious tourism, which employs thousands of people. Yesterday, the Episcopal Commission for Pilgrimages of the Assembly of Ordinary Bishops issued an appeal to encourage pilgrims to visit the Holy Land. "Do not be afraid to visit your Mother Church," the statement said. "The itinerary of your pilgrimage is safe and far from dangers."
Israel's Tourism minister said that tourists have access to a free 15-20 minute shuttle bus from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, on 24 and 25 December.
The authorities hope to reach a record 3.3 visitors in 2012, almost a million more than last year. More than 60 per cent of them are Christian pilgrims, who represent, according to the ministry, the greatest resource for Israeli and Palestinian tourism.
The presence of Christians and pilgrims in the Holy Land is a resource for interfaith dialogue as well. Last Tuesday, Mgr Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, lighted a Christmas tree for the first time at Jaffa Gate, in the Old City.
The ceremony brought together various bishops, priests, religious and believers as well as many Jews and Muslims. (S.C.)
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT 

AFRICA : KENYA : BISHOPS CALL FOR DEMARCATION OF BORDERS

CISA NEWS  REPORT

Bishops Call for Demarcation of Borders
LODWAR, December 14, 2012 (CISA) -The Bishops of neighbouring Dioceses in Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia have called for borders demarcation to avoid conflicts and to achieve peaceful co-existence amongst the neighbouring communities of the four countries.
According to reports from the Sudan Catholic Radio Network, the appeal was launched during a Conference on peace and cross border evangelization at Lodwar Diocese.  
Bishop Dominic Kimengich of Lodwar Diocese appealed to the international community to help in the border demarcation to avoid tensions and wars amongst the neighbouring pastoralist communities.
It is not uncommon for gangs to raid cattle from one border to another, especially between Kenya and Ethiopia, causing deaths and injuries.
Bishop Kimengich urged the Church officials to encourage peace building through reconciling the people.
The Bishop of Torit, Johnson Akio Mutek suggested the inclusion of elders in resolving the issues of the borders.
The meeting of the Bishops from the four countries was born from the need to find a common position on the issue of the Ilemi Triangle, an area of 14,000 square kilometres, disputed by South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS 

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 7 - PLENARY INDULGENCE




Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
end.
Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Day 7 Prayers


The Presentation
O most sweet infant Jesus, presented in the temple
by the Virgin Mary, embraced by Simeon, and revealed
to the Jews by Anna the prophetess. 



Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary...

 Amen.

FROM THE RACCOLTA OFFICIAL

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 7




IN HONOR OF THE YEAR OF FAITH - JCE NEWS WILL BE SHOWING SOME OF THE TOP CATHOLIC MOVIES OF ALL TIME. TUNE IN FOR THE NEXT PART OF ST. RITA- TOMORROW
PART 1 - http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/12/catholic-movies-watch-st-rita-part-1.html
2 - http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/12/catholic-movies-watch-st-rita-part-2.html
3 - http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/12/catholic-movies-watch-st-rita-part-3.html

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE - 4TH OF ADVENT - YEAR C - DEC. 23, 2012



Dec 23, 2012 - 4th Sun of Advent


Micah 5: 1 - 4

1Now you are walled about with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike upon the cheek the ruler of Israel.
2But you, O Bethlehem Eph'rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
3Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel.
4And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.
Psalms 80: 2 - 3, 15 - 16, 18 - 19

2before E'phraim and Benjamin and Manas'seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!
3Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
15the stock which thy right hand planted.
16They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance!
18Then we will never turn back from thee; give us life, and we will call on thy name!
19Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
Hebrews 10: 5 - 10

5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, `Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God, 'as it is written of me in the roll of the book."
8When he said above, "Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law),
9then he added, "Lo, I have come to do thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.
10And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Luke 1: 39 - 45

39In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.
41And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 23: ST. JOHN OF KANTY


St. John of Kanty

BISHOP

Feast: December 23




Information:

Feast Day:December 23
Born:23 June 1390, Kęty, Oświęcim, Poland
Died:24 December 1473, Kraków Academy
Canonized:1767 by Pope Clement XIII


Stories of  John of Kanty (Kanty is near Oswiecim in Poland) are many but not entirely dependable. Nevertheless we have record of him as a holy and learned man who was both a distinguished university teacher and a benefactor of the poor. He came from a family of good position, and was sent to the University of Cracow, where he did well. He was ordained priest, and appointed to a lectureship in the University. His academic life was however interrupted when jealous rivals managed to get him removed from his teaching post, and he was sent to labor as a parish priest. This caused him much distress, as he was both unused to this kind of work and weighed down by the feeling of its heavy responsibility. But he gradually won the love of his parishioners, who wept when, after some years, he left them to return to the University of Cracow as professor of Scripture. This  post he held for the rest of his long life; and he became increasingly famous for his teaching, his humble and austere way of living and his spontaneous generosity to chose in need. Perhaps his best lesson for us, especially in these days of increasing communication, lies in one of his favorite sayings to his pupils: 'Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause.'

When he died St. John was greatly mourned, and was already accounted a worker of miracles; but he was not canonized until 1767.

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