Sunday, January 22, 2012


RADIO VATICANA REPORT/IMAGE: The profound spiritual connection between the desire for Christian unity and the desire for authentic liberty was the focus of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks before the Angelus prayer with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday. Speaking ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father recalled the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which opened this past Wednesday: We will all be changed by the victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ, taken from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Material for the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been prepared by a working group composed of representatives of the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, Old Catholic and Protestant Churches active in Poland. “In effect,” said Pope Benedict, “Poland has known a long history of courageous struggle against many different adversities, and has repeatedly given proof of great determination, animated by faith.” He went on to say, “Through the course of centuries, Polish Christians have spontaneously intuited a spiritual dimension in their desire for freedom, and they have understood that the true victory can be achieved only if it is accompanied by a profound interior transformation.”

It was a subject to which the Holy Father returned in his English language remarks:

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Angelus. This week, Christians throughout the world mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We are confident that, as Saint Paul says, “We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 15: 51-58). Let us renew our prayer for the unity of all of Christ’s followers, and deepen our resolve to be one in him. Upon each of you and your loved ones at home, I invoke God’s blessings of peace and joy.

Pope Benedict also had greetings for those who begin lunar New Year celebrations on Monday. “In the present world situation of economic and social crisis,” said Pope Benedict, “I express the hope that the new year be marked by justice and peace, that it bring relief to those who suffer, and that young people especially, with their enthusiasm and their idealistic drive, might offer new hope to the world.


USCCB REPORT: WASHINGTON—Over 10,000 worshippers, many of them youth from schools around the nation, are expected to gather in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to pray for an end to abortion at the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life, Sunday, January 22, at 6:30 p.m., the eve of the 2012 March for Life. January 22 marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Mass, concelebrated by fellow cardinals and many of the nation's bishops and priests. Following the Opening Mass, the Vigil will continue in the Crypt Church of the Basilica with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Night Prayer according to the Byzantine Rite, and holy hours led by seminarians from across the country from midnight until 6:00 a.m.
That same evening, The Catholic University of America will host close to 1,300 pilgrims overnight.
On Monday, January 23, the Basilica will host Morning Prayer at 6:30 a.m. in the Crypt Church and the Closing Mass at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church. Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York will be the principal celebrant and homilist. At the conclusion of the National Prayer Vigil for Life, participants will join in the national March for Life.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America.
Media are welcome to attend the Mass and speak with and interview pilgrims. Deirdre McQuade of the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat will be available for interviews before and after the Vigil Mass. To schedule an interview in advance, please call 571-331-7018.
Media should check in at the Basilica’s Great Upper Church Sacristy and present press credentials to Jacquelyn Hayes or a designated Basilica press representative to receive a press pass. Advance registration is preferred. Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by Satellite TV feed courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For coordinates, or to register, contact Jacquelyn Hayes, director of communications for the Basilica, at 202-281-0615 or



January 21, 2012. ( Etsuro Sotoo was a professor of art at Kyoto University when he decided to travel in Europe. He arrived in Barcelona in 1978, he was so impressed with Gaudí's Sagrada Familia that he dropped everything to follow in the work of Gaudí as a sculptor. Ever since then he continued to learn more and more about the architect.

Etsuro Sotoo

“I know all the works, all the words, all the models, but I can't take another step. I can't come close to Gaudí. I decided not to look to him. So then where do I look? I tried to look in the way that Gaudí did. I'm a sculptor, I tried to do what he would have done. This was the magnificent and miraculous moment.”

Etsuro came from a cultural and religious traditions very different from that of Europe. As a result he had trouble connecting with the project in a manner faithful to the spirit of Gaudí. When he finally understood his real intention with the Sagrada Familia, it changed his life.

Etsuro Sotoo

“I invite everyone who wants to understand Gaudí to not pick the wrong door. If you really want to know him, find the the door of spirit and faith.”

Etsuro Sotoo says that his commitment to architecture was the first step by which Gaudí helped him to rethink his values. After some time he converted to Catholicism.

Etsuro Sotoo

“Why do we build the temple of the Sagrada Familia? A simple question: why do we build? We don't seek beauty in vanity of men. No, The Sagrada Familia is a tool for building us. [FLASH] Gaudí left the temple half finished, the temple of the Sagrada Familia perfectly built the man Gaudí.”
Etsuro Sotoo is currently working on the main sculptures of the Sagrada Familia. A work that changed the course of his life.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Nirmala Carvalho
The spirit of the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity has shown the dignity to the poorest of the poor around the world. Archbishop of Calcutta: "Foreign volunteers find themselves in giving to and serving the needy."

Kolkata (AsiaNews) - In the Archdiocese of Calcutta "the world community bears witness to the love of Christ and experience the Word of God, inspired by the love of the sisters of Mother Teresa for the poorest of the poor, the sick, the physically disabled and mental and forgotten”, says Mgr. Lucas Sirkar, Archbishop of Calcutta, marking the 125 years since the founding of the Archdiocese.

The city of Calcutta, said Msgr. Lucas, "has welcomed people from all walks of life: powerful and weak, rich and poor, businessmen and homeless", "has given hope and enriched the lives of people in India and worldwide, regardless of creed, nationality, ethnicity or caste ".

For the archbishop "Divine Providence led Mother Teresa to this diocese, to found the Missionaries of Charity and show poverty in the world. Her spirit has defended and promoted the dignity of the poor. "

"The Western world – concluded Mgr. Lucas - is hungry, despite the great material wealth available. Here in Calcutta that hunger is appeased, as evidenced by the many volunteers who come from all over the globe. It is in giving and serving that they find their lives ".,-in-the-wake-of-Mother-Teresa-23757.html


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
17 Jan 2012

Bishop Peter Comensoli celebrating Mass
at Los Angeles cathedral
Archdiocese of Sydney Auxiliary Bishop, the Most Rev Peter Comensoli and 18 students have arrived in Mexico City to visit one of two most visited Catholic shrines in the world as part of a 13-day pilgrimage.
Spending time at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be one of the most special moments of the pilgrimage for the students, five of whom are from the University of Notre Dame Australia.
Accompanied by the university's Convenor of the Chaplaincy at the Sydney Campus, Jessica Langrell, the group flew into Los Angeles two days ago. The first stop was a close call for the group - arriving at the city's beautiful Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral just before closing hour.
"American friends of ours literally kept the Cathedral doors open with their feet to prevent the usual lock up from happening," said a delighted Jessica in the blog she is keeping of the life-changing trip.
After inspecting the renowned tapestries depicting the communion of saints, the Cathedral's soft light cast by the extensive use of alabaster and its famed post-modernist architecture, the group gathered in a side chapel for Mass.

Post modern Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
in LA where Bishop Comensoli celebrated Mass
"We were led in prayer by our American friends as we prepared for Mass which was celebrated by our pilgrim leader, Bishop Comensoli and this was how we officially began our pilgrimage," Jessica says.
The Mass finished with the 18 young people singing Ave Maria, then the group headed back to the airport when they spent the night at a nearby hotel before boarding their flight to Mexico City.
In the morning, Bishop Comensoli led the pilgrims on a visit to the ancient Avenue of the Dead, the remains of the pre Columbian city of Teotihuacan with its pyramid structures. Built in 100 BC and ultimately housing as many as 200,000 people it was one of the largest cities worldwide at that time.
But the highlight of the visit to Mexico is undoubtedly the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Tepeyac Hill, in Mexico City and the site of the Marian visitation there nearly 500 years ago. The beloved shrine which is visited by hundreds of thousands of the faithful each year holds the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas,

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian peasant and newly converted Christian was on his way to a small chapel. The vision of a young woman appeared before him as he stood near the top of the hill on 9 December 1531.
She said she was the ever-Virgin Mary, the Mother of the true God and she asked him to build a church on the exact spot where they were standing and to run and tell the Bishop.
When he told his local Bishop of the vision the Bishop said only he would consider the request.
Juan returned to the hill and Mary repeated her request. Once more Juan sought out the Bishop however he wanted a sign.
Juan's uncle was mortally ill and it was two days before he again returned to the hill country. Mary appeared and said his uncle was recovered but he was to go to the top of the hill cut some flowers and bring them to her.

Icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Juan did so and found Castillian roses in full bloom. Such roses were native to his Bishop's hometown but as it was winter could not possibly bloom without divine providence. Cutting the roses Juan Diego placed them on his tilma or peasant cloak and when he showed the woman she said to take them to the Bishop as this was the sign he needed.
When Juan met with the Bishop and opened the tilma allowing the flowers to fall to the ground, the Bishop also fell to his knees. On the tilma was an imprint of the Holy Virgin precisely as Juan had described her.
In 1977 this tilma was examined using infrared photography and digital enhancement techniques. Unlike any painting the tilma shows no sketching or any sign of outline drawn to permit an artist to produce a painting. The method used to create the image is still unknown. The image is inexplicable in its longevity and method of production. It has survived fire, flood and even a bombing. And can be seen today in the basilica built to accommodate ten thousand people.
From Mexico, Bishop Comensoli and his group of young Australian pilgrims will head for New York City where they will meet up with the Sisters of Life and the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. Four Sisters from the US-based charism recently visited Australia and ran an afternoon retreat in mid December for more than 100 women at the Broadway Campus of the University of Notre Dame.
Founded in 1991 by New York-based Cardinal John O'Connor "to protect and enhance the sacredness of every human life," the Sisters from the community were in Sydney for World Youth Day in 2008 and were also present at WYD11 in Madrid last August.

March for Life in Washington DC last year -
marks the Supreme Court Roe vs Wade decision
"Australians everywhere responded to the Sisters of Life whether they met them during World Youth Day in Sydney or Madrid or here in Sydney in December," says Jessica who describes them as "very holy women filled with love."
The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are also well known to Australians. Using music to spread the word, they are accomplished musicians and introduced Australia to the Catholic Underground. Now a worldwide movement, the Catholic Underground offers young people a chance to get together and enjoy an evening of rock, reggae, rap and soul along as well as an opportunity to spend quiet time in prayer, adoration and the new evangelism.
The Friars began their community in New York where they work with young people and the poor of the city.
The students will complete their pilgrimage in Washington DC when they join the annual pro-life event March for Life which marks the day the US Supreme Court legalised abortion in 1974.

Tapestries of the communion of saints
at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
No doubt their experience of Guadalupe will be in their prayers as Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the Protectress of Unborn Children.
To read about their travels, thoughts and prayers log on to Jessica Langrell's lively day-to-day pilgrimage blog at


CISA REPORT: LIBREVILLE, January 20, 2012 (CISA) -On the eve of the 2012 African Cup of Nations, 25 footballers including Seydou Keita from Mali, Demba Ba from Senegal, Charles Kabore from Burkina Faso, and Lawali Idrissa from Niger, have spoken out in solidarity with millions of people facing hunger across their region. They are appealing to the international community to work together so that “We CAN win the match against hunger”.
In the face of an emerging food crisis in West Africa, Mali and Barcelona star Seydou Keita said: “If we act now we could save the lives of women and children who are always the first victims of food crises. If we act urgently, children will be saved from malnutrition and will have the chance to grow healthily and to succeed at school.”
National teams from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal are all determined to lift the Cup for their supporters back home. They are calling on governments and the international community to show equal determination to help protect millions currently threatened by a looming food crisis across the Sahel region, including over one million children threatened with severe malnutrition. The footballers have taken special photos and recorded videos which will be broadcast throughout the tournament calling for an early response to the coming crisis.
Oxfam, together with Save the Children, this week released a new report, A Dangerous Delay, which found that a late response to the current food crisis in the Horn of Africa – including Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia – cost thousands of lives and millions of dollars. Oxfam urged the international community to learn the lessons of the report and respond much earlier to prevent a disaster in West Africa.
The Sahel region has seen poor rains in 2011, causing a 25 percent drop in harvests compared with 2010 and pushing up food prices – almost doubling in some of the hardest hit areas. In some countries such as Mauritania, Chad and Niger, people are already on the move months earlier than expected as pastoralists look for new pasture for their livestock.
The region last saw a crisis in 2010, which affected 10 million people. The footballers’ appeals come on the back of statements by political leaders and governments in the region – including from Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Mali, who have promised to develop national emergency plans and have asked for international assistance.
“While the situation in the Sahel is serious, the worst is not yet inevitable if we act swiftly. We know about this coming crisis months earlier than we have in the past, meaning we can act now to save more lives and protect the livelihoods of many more people. This is why we are delighted that footballers across West Africa have spoken out in solidarity with their fellow citizens to call for early action to win the match against hunger,” said Oxfam’s Eric Hazard.
Meanwhile the Congregation of the Sisters of St Mary of Gabon concluded the celebrations of the 100 years of its foundation on Sunday with Holy Mass presided over by the archbishop of Libreville, His Grace Basil Mve Engone. The congregation was founded in 1911 by Bishop Jean Martin Adam, who was then the Apostolic Vicar of Gabon. Up to now it is the only native female religious order in the country. The jubilee celebrations were inaugurated in January last year under the theme: the role of the catholic woman in the church and society. In his homily on Sunday, Archbishop Engone encouraged the sisters to carry on their mission guided by the principles of the church. He called upon them to be models for society. The conclusion ceremony was attended by many people including bishops and delegates from Central Africa.


Jonah 3: 1 - 5, 10
1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,
2 "Arise, go to Nin'eveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you."
3 So Jonah arose and went to Nin'eveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nin'eveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey in breadth.
4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he cried, "Yet forty days, and Nin'eveh shall be overthrown!"
5 And the people of Nin'eveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it.
Psalms 25: 4 - 9
4 Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.
6 Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness' sake, O LORD!
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
1 Corinthians 7: 29 - 31
29 I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,
30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods,
31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away.
Mark 1: 14 - 20
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."
16 And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men."
18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets.
20 And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb'edee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him.


St. Vincent Pallotti
Feast: January 22

Feast Day: January 22
1798 in Rome, Italy
Died: 1850
Canonized: 1963 by Pope John XXIII
A contemporary of Cardinal Newman's and the Cure of Ars', St. Vincent Pallotti was a very modern saint who organized so many remarkable pastoral programs that he is considered the forerunner of Catholic Action. He was a man of great ideas and great vision and was able to inspire others to tackle great things. He is the founder of the Pallottine Fathers and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters; however, this was but the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. He left behind schools, guilds, and institutes that carried the Catholic mission into the very heart of contemporary society.

He was born in Rome in 1795 and began studies for the priesthood very early. Although he was very bright, he was not attracted by studies, even though he was ordained a priest at twenty-three and earned a doctorate in theology soon afterward. He was given an assistant professorship at the Sapienza University but resigned it soon after to devote himself to pastoral work.

Before long, his zeal was known all over Rome. He organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, carpenters, and gardeners so that they could better work at their trade, as well as evening classes for young farmers and unskilled workers. He soon became known as a "second St. Philip Neri." He gave away his books, his possessions, and even his clothes to the poor, and once dressed up as an old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened "to kill the first priest who came through the door."
In 1835, he founded his two congregations and was instrumental in the founding of a missionary order in England and several colleges for the training of missionaries.
He died at the age of fifty-five and his body lies incorrupt in the church of San Salvatore in Rome. He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1963.