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Monday, December 31, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : MON. DEC. 31, 2012 - SHARE


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 VATICAN : POPE : END OF YEAR HOMILY - MARY MOTHER OF GOD FEAST
 CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 15
 STATISTICS PASTORAL WORKERS KILLED IN 2012
 ASIA : INDIA : ORISSA : THOUSANDS OF HINDUS ATTEND CATHOLIC MASS
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : DEC. 31, 2012
TODAY'S SAINT : DEC. 31 : ST. SYLVESTER - POPE
Vatican Radio REPORT - Below, please find the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily for Solemn First Vespers for the Feast of Mary the Mother of God (Monday, 31 Dec 2012):

Dear Cardinals,
Venerable brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Distinguished authorities,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I thank all of you who have chosen to participate in this liturgy of the last hour of the year of the Lord 2012. This “hour” bears a particular intensity and becomes, in a sense, a synthesis of all the hours of the year that is about to come to an end. I cordially greet the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, and especially the many people from the ecclesial community of Rome. In a special way I greet the Authorities present, beginning with the Mayor of the City, and thank them for choosing to share with us this moment of prayer and thanksgiving to God.

The “Te Deum” that we raise to the Lord this evening, at the end of a calendar year, is a hymn of thanksgiving that opens with the praise - "We praise you, O God, we proclaim you to be the Lord" - and ends with a profession of faith - "You are our hope, we will not be confounded forever." For all that came to pass over the course of the year, whether easy or difficult, barren or fruitful, we give thanks to God. The Te Deum, in fact, contains a profound wisdom, the wisdom that makes us say that, despite everything, there is good in the world, and this good is destined to triumph, thanks God, the God of Jesus Christ, who became incarnate, died, and rose again. Certainly, it is difficult, sometimes, to accept this profound reality, since evil makes more noise than the good: a brutal murder, the spread of violence, serious injustices make the news. Gestures of love and service, on the contrary, daily struggles endured with patience and fidelity are often left in the shadows. And this is why we cannot rely solely on the news if we want to understand the world and life. We must be able to remain in silence, in meditation, in calm and prolonged reflection; we must know how to stop and think. In this way, our mind can find healing from the inevitable wounds of daily life, can go deeper into the events that occur in our lives and in the world, and come to the knowledge that allows us to evaluate things with new eyes. Especially in the recollection of conscience, where God speaks to us, we learn to look truthfully at our own actions, even at the evil within us and around us, to begin a journey of conversion that makes us wiser and better, more capable of creating solidarity and communion, of overcoming evil with good. The Christian is a man of hope, even and especially in the face of the darkness that often exists in the world, not as a consequence of God’s plans, but because of the wrong choices of man, because the Christian knows that the power of faith can move mountains ( cf. Mt 17:20): the Lord can brighten even the deepest darkness.

The Year of Faith, which the Church is living, should arouse in the heart of each believer a greater awareness that the encounter with Christ is the source of true life and a solid hope. Faith in Jesus allows a constant renewal of goodness and of the ability to rise from the quicksand of sin and to begin anew. In the Word made flesh is possible, to rediscover the true identity of man, who finds himself destined for the infinite love of God and called to a personal communion with Him. This truth, that Jesus Christ came to reveal, is the certainty that drives us to face with confidence the year we are about to begin.

The Church, which has received from her Lord the mission to evangelize, knows well that the Gospel is for all people, especially the younger generations, to quench that thirst for truth that everyone carries in his heart and that is often obscured by all those things that occupy life. This apostolic commitment is all the more necessary when the faith risks being obscured in cultural contexts which hinder its personal roots and its social presence. Rome, too, is a city where the Christian faith must be proclaimed again and again and witnessed in a credible manner. On the one hand, there is the growing number of believers of other religions, the difficulties parish communities have in attracting young people, the spread of lifestyles marked by individualism and moral relativism; on the other, the quest, in so many people, for a sense of their own existence and for a hope that will not disappoint, that cannot leave us indifferent. Like the Apostle Paul (cf. Rom 1:14-15) all the faithful of this city should consider themselves under obligation of the Gospel towards the other inhabitants!

For this reason, for several years now, our Diocese has been committed to highlighting the missionary dimension of ordinary pastoral care, so that the faithful, supported especially by the Sunday Eucharist, can become disciples and coherent witnesses of Jesus Christ. Christian parents, who are for their children the primary educators in the faith, are called in a special way to this coherence in their lives. The complexity of life in a great city like Rome and in a culture that often seems indifferent to God, demands that we not leave fathers and mothers alone in so crucial a task, but rather that we support and accompany them in their spiritual life. In this regard, I encourage those who work in family ministry to implement the pastoral activities that emerged from the last Diocesan Convention, dedicated to baptismal and post-baptismal pastoral care. It requires a generous commitment to develop the paths of spiritual formation that after the baptism of children will go with the parents in order to keep the flame of faith alive, offering concrete suggestions so that, from an early age, the Gospel of Jesus will be announced. The emergence of groups of families, in which the Word of God is heard and the experiences of Christian life are shared helps to strengthen the sense of belonging to the ecclesial community and to grow in friendship with the Lord. It is also important to build a relationship of cordial friendship with those of the faithful who, after having baptized their child, distracted by the demands of everyday life, do not show great interest in living this experience: they will be able to experience the love of the Church, as a caring mother, stands by them to promote their spiritual life.

In order to proclaim the Gospel and to allow those who still do not know Jesus, or have abandoned Him, to cross again the threshold of faith and live in communion with God, it is essential to know in depth the meaning of the truths contained in the Profession of Faith. The commitment to a systematic training of pastoral workers, which for some years now has taken place in the various prefectures of the Diocese of Rome, is a valuable tool that must be pursued with commitment in the future, in order to form lay people who know how to echo the Gospel in every house and in every room, even in those listening centres that have brought so much fruit since the time of the city Missions. In this respect, the “Dialogues in the Cathedral,” which have been held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for some years, constitute a particularly appropriate experience to encounter the City and to dialogue with those who seek God and truth, and who are inquiring into the into the great questions of human existence.

As in the past, so today the Church of Rome is called to announce and to tirelessly witness to the riches of the Gospel of Christ. It must do so also by supporting the many people living in situations of poverty and marginalization, as well as families in need, especially when they have to assist sick and disabled people. I hope very much that the Institutions at various levels will not allow their activities to cease, so that all citizens might have access to what is essential to a dignified life.

Dear friends, on the last night of the year that is coming to an end, and at the threshold of the new, let us praise the Lord! Let us show to “He who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1:8) repentance and asking for forgiveness for their offenses, as well as the sincere thanks for the countless benefits granted by the divine goodness. In particular, we give thanks for the grace and truth that have come to us through Jesus Christ. In Him the fullness of all human time is placed. The future of every human being is kept safe in him. In Him, the fulfilment of the hopes of the Church and of the world comes true. Amen.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 15

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

STATISTICS PASTORAL WORKERS KILLED IN 2012

Agenzia Fides REPORT - Once again this year, Fides publishes an annual document of all the pastoral workers who lost their lives in a violent manner over the course of the last 12 months. According to information in our possession, during 2012, 12 pastoral care workers were killed, almost all priests: 10 priests, 1 religious sister, 1 lay person.
For the fourth consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral workers killed is AMERICA, bathed with the blood of 6 priests. Following is AFRICA, where 3 priests and 1 religious sister were killed. ASIA, where 1 priest and 1 religious sister were killed. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 29/12/2012)

ASIA : INDIA : ORISSA : THOUSANDS OF HINDUS ATTEND CATHOLIC MASS

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT
by Nirmala Carvalho
For Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, such an event is unprecedented in the history of the troubled state of Orissa. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics and Hindus brought flowers and candles to the Baby Jesus in all the parishes of the state. In his New Year message, the archbishop stresses the importance of young people in spreading and bearing witness to the message of Christ among the nations.


Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of thousands of Christians and Hindus took part in Midnight Mass in the parishes of Kandhamal, Bubhaneshwar and other districts in Orissa. For Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, "the level of participation is unprecedented in the history of the Church in Orissa". Interviewed by AsiaNews, the prelate said that "sense of peace, festivity and prayer was palpable in the churches."

Catholics and non-Christians came to Mass with their families. Hundreds of children brought flowers and candles, which they placed before crèches to pay homage to the Baby Jesus. In light of the anti-Christian pogroms by Hindu extremists in 2007 and 2008 that left hundreds dead, this is extraordinary fact.

"God came to earth to be with us," the archbishop noted. "Slowly, non-Christians are recognising that." For the prelate, the large crowd is a sign that Christ brings together people from all nations.

"A young Italian woman attending the Mass asked me why there were so many people," he said. "Because they want to share the joy of Jesus," he answered.

"Looking at all these people, I realised that I am not a pastor for Christians alone. All the people in my archdiocese belong to my flock. On 25 December, the Baby Jesus spoke to everyone with the simplicity of his presence, telling everyone: 'I am here!'"

In his message for 2012, Mgr Barwa thanked the civilian administration for protecting religious buildings during Christmas celebrations.

"All that we are and all that we have is God's gift," the archbishop said. "The New Year, 2013, the Year of Faith, is God's gift to us who are privileged. I hope the New Year will be rich in opportunities to work together and that it may bring hope, harmony and communion in Orissa."

For the archbishop, youth and children are the backbone of Orissa's Christian community. Through education to deepen faith in Jesus, they can be agents of social change and true messengers of Christ in a society divided by hatred and violence.SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : DEC. 31, 2012

John 1: 1 - 18

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God;
3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
15 (John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'")
16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.



TODAY'S SAINT : DEC. 31 : ST. SYLVESTER - POPE

St. Sylvester
POPE
Feast: December 31


Information:
Feast Day: December 31
Died: 31 December 335 at Rome, Italy
Patron of: Feroleto Antico, Italy
St Sylvester, whom God appointed to govern his holy church in the first years of her temporal prosperity and triumph over her persecuting enemies, was a native of Rome and son to Rufinus and Justa. According to the general rule with those who are saints from their cradle, he received early and in his infancy the strongest sentiments of Christian piety from the example, instructions, and care of a virtuous mother, who for his education in the sound maxims and practice of religion, and in sacred literature, put him young into the hands of Charitius, or Carinus, a priest of an unexceptionable character and great abilities. Being formed under an excellent master, he entered among the clergy of Rome and was ordained priest by Pope Marcellinus, before the peace of the church was disturbed by Diocletian and his associate in the empire. His behaviour in those turbulent and dangerous times recommended him to the public esteem, and he saw the triumph of the cross by the victory which Constantine gained over Maxentius within sight of the city of Rome, on the 28th of October 312. Pope Melchiades dying in January 314, St. Sylvester was exalted to the pontificate, and the same year commissioned four legates, two priests, and two deacons to represent him at the great council of the Western church, held at Arles in August, in which the schism of the Donatists, which had then subsisted seven years, and the heresy of the Quartodecimans were condemned, and many important points of discipline regulated in twenty-two canons. These decisions were sent by the council before it broke up, with an honourable letter, to Pope Sylvester, and were confirmed by him and published to the whole church. The general council of Nice was assembled against Arianism in 325. Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret say that Pope Sylvester was not able to come to it in person on account of his great age, but that he sent his legates. Gelasius of Cyzicus mentions that in it "Osius held the place of the Bishop of Rome, together with the Roman priests Vito and Vincentius." These three are named the first in subscriptions of the bishops in the editions of the acts of that council and in Socrates, who expressly places them before Alexander, patriarch of Alexandria, and Eustathius, patriarch of Antioch. St. Sylvester greatly advanced religion by a punctual discharge of all the duties of his exalted station during the space of twenty-one years and eleven months; and died on the 31st of December 335. He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla. Pope Sergius II translated his body and deposited it under the altar in a church dedicated to God in his memory. Mention is made of an altar consecrated to God in his honour at Verona, about the year 500; and his name occurs in the ancient Martyrology called St. Jerome's, published by Florentinius, and in those of Bede, Ado, Usuard, &c. Pope Gregory IX, in 1227, made his festival general in the Latin church; the Greeks keep it on the 10th January.

After a prodigious effusion of Christian blood almost all the world over, during the space of three hundred years, the persecuting kingdoms at length laid down their arms and submitted to the faith and worship of God crucified for us. This ought to be to us a subject of thanksgiving. But do our lives express this faith? Does it triumph in our hearts? It is one of its first precepts that in all our actions we make God our beginning and end, and have only his divine honour and his holy law in view. We ought, therefore, so to live that the days, hours, and moments of the year may form a crown made up of good works, which we may offer to God. Our forgetfulness of him who is our last end, in almost all that we -do, calls for a sacrifice of compunction at the close of the year; but this cannot be perfect or acceptable to God unless we sincerely devote our whole hearts and lives to his holy love for the time to come. Let us therefore examine into the sources of former omissions, failures, and transgressions, and take effectual measures for our amendment and for the perfect regulation of all our affections and actions for the future, or that part of our life which may remain.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsylvester.asp#ixzz1iF2KhU00
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