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Thursday, December 6, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : WED. DEC. 5, 2012

2012










VATICAN : POPE : GOD'S BENEVOLENT PLAN FOR HUMANITY AND OTHER NEWS 
CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. JOHN BOSCO- PART 10
AUSTRALIA : BISHOP FISHER ADVENT MESSAGE
ASIA : PHILIPPINES : 87 THOUSAND DISPLACED IN TYPHOON
 AFRICA : CAPE VERDE : 2 DEACONS ORDAINED AT BISHOPS CONFERENCE

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. DEC. 5, 2012

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 5: ST. SABBAS

(RADIOVATICANA/IMAGE/SHARE) GOD'S BENEVOLENT PLAN FOR HUMANITY
Vatican City, 5 December 2012 (VIS) - God's "benevolent plan" for mankind, which begins St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, was the theme of the Holy Father's catechesis at today's general audience. The great hymn that the apostle Paul raised to God "introduces us to living in the time of Advent, in the context of the Year of Faith. The theme of this hymn of praise is God's plan for mankind, defined in terms of joy, stupefaction and thankfulness, ... of mercy and love", said the Pope.
The Apostle elevated this blessing to God because he "looked upon his actions throughout the history of salvation, culminating in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus, and contemplated how the celestial Father chose us, even before the foundation of the world, to become His adoptive children, in his only Son, Jesus Christ. ... God's 'benevolent plan', which the Apostle also describes as a 'plan of love', is defined as 'the mystery' of divine will, hidden and then disclosed in the Person and work of Christ. The initiative precedes any human response; it is the freely given gift of his love, which envelops and transforms us.
"What is the ultimate aim of this mysterious plan? It is to recapitulate all things in Christ; "this means that in the great design of creation and history, Christ is placed at the centre of the world's entire path, as the axis upon which everything turns, drawing all of reality to Him, in order to overcome dispersion and limits, and to lead all to fullness in God".
However, "this benevolent plan", explained Benedict XVI, "did not remain concealed in God's silence, in the heights of His Heaven; instead, He brought it to our knowledge by entering into a relationship with man, to whom He revealed His very being. He did not simply communicate a series of truths, but instead He communicated Himself to us, He showed Himself as one of us, to the extent of taking on human flesh. ... This communion in Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, offered by God to all mankind in the light of His self- revelation, does not merely correspond to our humanity, but is instead the fulfilment of its deepest aspirations, and introduces it to a joy which is neither temporal nor limited, but eternal".
"In view of this, what is, then, the act of faith? It is man's response to God's self-revelation, by which He shows His 'benevolent plan' for humanity. ... it is allowing oneself to be seized by God's Truth, a Truth that is Love. ... All this leads to a ... true 'conversion', a 'change of mentality', because the God Who has revealed Himself to us in Christ and has shown us His plan captures us and draws us to Him, becoming the meaning that sustains our life and the rock on which it finds stability".
The Holy Father concluded by recalling that Advent "places us before the luminous mystery of the coming of the Son of God and the great 'benevolent plan' by which He sought to draw us to Him, to allow us to live in full communion of joy and peace with Him. Advent invites us, in spite of the many difficulties we encounter, to renew our certainty of the presence of God: He came into the world, in human flesh like ours, to fully realise his plan of love. And God asks that we too become signs of His action in the world. Through our faith, hope and charity, He wishes us to make His light shine anew in our night".
APPEAL FOR AN END TO VIOLENCE IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Vatican City, 5 December 2012 (VIS) - Following this morning's catechesis the Holy Father launched an appeal to the international community for an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"Troubling news continues to arrive regarding the grave humanitarian crisis in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which for months now has been the scene of armed conflict and violence", said the Pope. "A large part of the population lacks even the most basic means of support and thousands have been forced to abandon their homes to seek refuge elsewhere. I therefore renew my appeal for dialogue and reconciliation, and invite the international community to take all action necessary to attend to the pressing needs of the population".
NATIVITY SCENE FROM BASILICATA IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE
Vatican City, 5 December 2012 (VIS) - The traditional nativity scene mounted every Christmas in St. Peter's Square will this year be offered to the Holy Father by the Italian region of Basilicata.
The nativity scene, which includes one hundred terracotta figures, is the work of Francesco Artese, one of the most famous exponents of the southern school of traditional nativity sculpture. The most striking characteristic of Artese's work is his recreation of landscapes of the Stones of Matera and his reproduction of scenes of rural life. Indeed, the nativity of St. Peter's Square is reminiscent of locations in the Holy Land.
According to an informative note published today, "The Lucanian landscape has been enriched by the work of religious people who have chosen to live there, transforming these places into a human settlement rich in holiness, building 154 rupestrian churches, monasteries and sanctuaries which, from the high Middle Ages until the nineteenth century, have shaped the identity of a vast area which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
"The scenery of the nativity, therefore, while inspired by a traditional iconographic genre, is rendered unique by elements reproducing locations and architecture typical of the Lucanian landscape. The rupestrian churches of San Nicola dei Greci and Convicinio di Sant'Antonio are recognisable, and above, the bell tower of San Pietro Barisano stands tall amid the myriad rooftops. The human environment is that of ancient Lucanian rural civilisation ... and the statuettes, made entirely of terracotta, are dressed in clothing made of starched cloth and based on the typical Lucanian peasant costumes of the past. Artese has chosen to dress the Holy Family with costumes in the classic tradition".
"As in previous years, the installation of the nativity scene is entrusted to the Technical Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State".

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. JOHN BOSCO- PART 10

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. JOHN BOSCO- TOMORROW

ASIA : PHILIPPINES : 87 THOUSAND DISPLACED IN TYPHOON

ASIA NEWS REPORT: The official toll is about 100 dead, but some sources report 230 and say the number is set to rise. The greatest damage on the southern island of Mindanao. Army and volunteers involved in the rescue operations. Manila emphasizes prevention efforts. Typhoon heads towards the South China Sea.


Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Over one hundred dead - some sources speak of 230 - have been reported in the provisional toll following Typhoon Bopha, renamed Pablo in the Philippines, which yesterday struck the south of the country, in particular the island of Mindanao. The number is likely to rise, since only in the last few hours civil protection, military and volunteers have managed to reach the most remote areas. Almost 90 thousand displaced people are being accommodated in emergency centers set up by the government; Manila, meanwhile, is satisfied with prevention plans and early warning systems which has helped to limit the scope of the disaster. Bopha, in fact, is estimated to be even more devastating Typhoon Washi, which hit the archipelago in December 2011 causing an estimated 1,300 victims.

Yesterday, the typhoon hit the southern island of Mindanao, bringing rain and strong winds up to 210 km / h, forcing authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of inhabitants. Currently it is passing over the western island of Palawan and in the early morning of tomorrow, will arrive in the South China Sea. Experts have not excluded that it might even touch the coasts of China, carrying with it a burden of death and destruction.

Many areas in Mindanao are still without electricity, food or drinking water, roads are cut off due to the collapse of bridges. The army is struggling to bring relief to the displaced in remote and isolated areas. Dozens of domestic flights and ferry connections have been interrupted in the centre and south of the archipelago, even schools and offices remained closed.

Corazon Soliman, Minister of Social Welfare, said that among the most critical areas is the southern mountainous town of New Baatan in the region of Davao. "The bodies are left on the roadside, in the open air - said the politician - and we do not want to run the risk of spreading disease."

At the same time, the government is highlighting efforts made in recent days to limit the damage and victims of the typhoon, sending text alerts and ads on TV to prepare the population, which reacted better than in the past. There are in fact damage to homes, crops and infrastructure, but the work of prevention "has saved many lives."

Every year, the Philippine archipelago is hit by the passage of at least 20 typhoons, some of them of a devastating nature. Bopha is the 16th to affect the Philippines in 2012. In August there were a hundred deaths and a million displaced by a series of violent storms. In 2011 there were 19 typhoons, 10 of high intensity: the death toll reached 1,500 mostly caused by Typhoon Washi (see AsiaNews 20/12/2011
Typhoon Washi, Manila declares a national emergency. First burials en masse).

AUSTRALIA : BISHOP FISHER ADVENT MESSAGE

Parramatta Council Christmas Crib News Story


DIOCESE OF PARAMATTA RELEASE: With The Parramatta Advertiser
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, has blessed the city's Christmas crib as part of Parramatta Council's Christmas 2012 program launch.
Held at Parramatta's Town Hall on Thursday 29 November, the festivities included a family-friendly concert and the official lighting of the city's Christmas tree.
In Lord Mayor John Chedid's Christmas message, he invited the whole community to take part in council's celebrations, which are taking place at various locations and times in the lead-up to 25
Read full story at The Parramatta Adveritser

ADVENT MESSAGE OF BISHOP FISHER
Download audio version Download audio version
Brandenburg Choir Noël! Noël! Concert
Catholic Outlook November 2012 Letter
of Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP

The secular year winds inexorably to its close, with longer and hotter days, endless Christmas parties, shopping and preparations and the rest. It’s the big slow-down towards the summer … yet suddenly the Church’s new year begins!
Just when we’re ready to wind down and take it easy, have a few drinks at the office parties, switch the mobile phone on to silent and take a snooze – at that very moment the Church’s liturgy says: ‘Wake up! Be on your guard! You do not know the hour.’
This can come as a bit of a slap in face. Why is Advent like that?
Well, one thing Advent teaches us is that God’s time is not man’s time. God exists in and as eternity, which means that there is no time really for Him or that all time is at once for Him, which is pretty mind-boggling for us. Advent suggests that we Christians, too, have to look beyond the here and now, the busyness and the leisure. Our personal diaries and our world’s calendars are not what ultimately matter.
The early Christians lived in daily expectation of Jesus’ return. We may smile fondly at their over-literal interpretation of Jesus’ words that they would be reunited soon, but maybe they were on to something.
We moderns tend to imagine the second coming as some infinitely distant event with little to do with us but, in fact, just like the 1st Century Christians, we live in a ‘middle ages’ – the space between Jesus’ resurrection and return – and the last judgement will not be arranged to fit neatly into our current work or holiday plans.
So Advent begins with ‘Stir Up Sunday’ which takes its name from the old Advent collect, but also from the practice of housewives stirring up Christmas pudding for the last time before the big day. It reminded people to stir themselves up, to be wary of complacency, not to slow down spiritually as the heat in Australia builds up, not to suspend the practice of their faith as the silly season begins.
We should keep our eyes on the new Jerusalem, for our long pilgrimage is almost over: the Lord’s unending day is dawning.
Perhaps this Advent message makes Christians sound like kill-joys to rest of the world each December. Why should we be tense when everyone else is trying to release the tension? Shouldn’t we be grateful we’ve made it safely – and perhaps successfully – through another year and are about to have a well-deserved break? Haven’t we earned a bit of a Christmas bonus, a bit of a break from God’s demands?
Isn’t Christmas supposed to be party time and if we start a bit early with office parties and finish a bit late with beach holidays, doesn’t that mean we are just stretching Christmas over two months, taking it more seriously as it were?
No, the Advent wisdom seems to be: we will not hear that Christmas message of joy and hope without appropriate preparation. Without a good Advent, Christmas will be reduced to hang-overs in paper crowns and indigestion wrapped in tinsel.
The great theologian St Anselm once asked ‘Why did God become man at Christmas?’ and he answered for the whole Church: ‘To redeem us; to save us from our sins.’
The Christmas message tells the whole world: we cannot go on just as before: everything changes because this divine babe is on His way. Christmas will offer us a new beginning and we can only grasp it if we convert now, if we stir ourselves up out of our slumber and smugness.
If we are spiritually asleep when the Christmas babe comes, He might just find there is no room at the inn of our homes, our lives, our hearts; they are locked and the householders asleep.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for prawns and champagne and Christmas puddings or whatever is your family’s equivalent. But if that (and indigestion and mounting credit-card debt) is all this season means for us, there’s not much sign that Christ’s first Advent changed anything ...
How do we stir ourselves up so that the pudding makers experience an expectancy like Mary did, and so we can prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming like the prophets did?
Advent is New Year’s Day for Catholics. A time, then, for resolutions. Not like the ones people make and break at the new calendar year, but the kind that come from an honest self-examination, calling ourselves to account, allowing the bright light of the Christmas star to spotlight the darker sides of our lives so we can spring clean them away for the summer ahead.
Advent says loud and clear: live NOW as if Christ will return at any moment with all the saints, all our loved ones. Show them an Advent we can be proud of!

AFRICA : CAPE VERDE : 2 DEACONS ORDAINED AT BISHOPS CONFERENCE

Agenzia Fides REPORT - The inter-territorial Episcopal Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, held from 26 November to 2 December, its first ordinary meeting of the pastoral year 2012-2013. For the first time the Bishops gathered in Cape Verde, in Rui Vaz, 22 km from the city of Praia, in the diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde. According to information sent to Fides Agency by the Curia of Bissau, the opening session was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio, His Exc. Mgr. Luis Mariano Montemayor, who focused on the service that the Church carries out in favor of the many people who live in the various countries that make up the Inter-territorial Catholic Episcopal Conference. He also stressed the invitation by the Church to all Christians to live with joy the Year of Faith. As is customary in the first meeting, the Bishops focused their attention on the exhortation for Lent 2013, which will have as its theme: "Some challenges of ecology in the light of Christian faith." Among the other topics covered in the meeting: the University Unity of Ziguinchor (UUZ) in Senegal, the Synod on the New Evangelization, the 11th International Meeting of the Teams of Nossa Senhora-in Brasilia, the meeting of Caritas Africa and the Year of Faith.
The Bishops had the opportunity to meet various authorities of Cape Verde, visited some historical sites of the island of Santiago, development projects and the new social center of the parish of St. Catherine. After the meeting, they thanked God for the moments of sharing and prayer experiences, for the kindness and hospitality of the people they met, for the commitment of all those who contributed to the smooth running of the meeting, invoking the Lord's abundant blessings for all. The celebration of Mass on the first Sunday of Advent, December 2, in the park of the Seminary of St. Joseph, in Praia was very emotional, with the ordination of two deacons. (SL)

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. DEC. 5, 2012

Matthew 15: 29 - 37
29 And Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
30 And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them,
31 so that the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
33 And the disciples said to him, "Where are we to get bread enough in the desert to feed so great a crowd?"
34 And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish."
35 And commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground,
36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
37 And they all ate and were satisfied; and they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.


TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 5: ST. SABBAS

St. Sabbas
HERMIT
Feast: December 5


Information:
Feast Day: December 5
Born: 439 at Motalala, Cappadocia
Died: 532
Hermit, born at Mutalaska near Caesarea in Cappadocia, 439; died in his laura 5 December, 532. He entered a Basilian monastery aat the age of eight, came to Jerusalem in 456, lived five years in a cavern as a disciple of St. Euthymius, and, after spending some time in various monasteries, founded (483) the Laura Mar Sabe (restored in 1840) in the gorges of the Cedron, southeast of Jerusalem. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palestine in 494. The opposition continued and he withdrew to the new laura which he had built near Thekoa. A strenuous opponent of the Monophysites and the Origenists he tried to influence the emperors against them by calling personally on Emperor Anastasius at Constantinople in 511 and on Justinian in 531. His authorship of "Typicon S. Sabæ" (Venice, 1545), a regulation for Divine worship throughout the year as well as his authorship of a monastic rule bearing the same title (Kurtz in "Byzant, Zeitschrift", III, Leipzig, 1894, 167-70), is doubtful. After him was named the Basilica of St. Sabas with its former monastery on the Aventine at Rome. His feast is on 5 December.

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