Sunday, June 24, 2012


RADIO VATICAN REPORT: Vatican Radio - On a sunny June Sunday in Rome, Pope Benedict greeted the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Angelus. June 24th is the feast of Saint John the Baptist and it was on this figure of the Church that the Pope spoke of before the recitation of the Marian Prayer.
"This Sunday, we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, the great saint who prepared the way for our Lord. John was a voice, crying in the wilderness, calling God’s people to repentance. Let us heed his voice today, and make room for the Lord in our hearts."

The Holy Father explained that John’s conception to Mary’s elderly cousin Elizabeth is a sign that “nothing is impossible to God”.

Pope Benedict described John the Baptist as “the forerunner of Jesus, a messenger who prepares the way for the Son of God.

Thirty years later continued the Pope, John begins baptizing people in the Jordan river, hence the name “the Baptist”. He wanted people to repent in preparation for the imminent coming of the Messiah.

God, underlined the Holy Father, had a mission for this great Saint. He was the one to Baptize Jesus and in his own violent death bore witness to the Son of God and was the first to make Jesus known publicly.

Following the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Benedict, speaking in Italian, told those gathered he was making a visit on Tuesday to the areas in Northern Italy hit by a recent earthquake. He expressed the solidarity of the whole church with those affected and he invited the faithful to pray for all those in need.



Egypt has elected a new president however, some question the validity of the vote. The first supposedly free election since the revolution ended last week. The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi was elected. It is said that Morsi collected over 13 million votes and his rival Ahmed Shafik had over 12 million. In a breakdown Morsi received under 52% and Shafik over 48% of the vote.
It has been said that, Morsi "represents the older, more conservative wing of the Brotherhood and openly endorses a strict Islamic vision," this according to an official of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The late President Mubarak left office 16 months ago after the revolution in Cairo's Tahrir Square. This latest vote release puts the country's Coptic Christians in fear. This includes 10% of the Egyptian population of 85 million people.
There is anxiety that sharia law will be enforced. It is apparent that some seat were sponsored by political parties; and thus unconstitutionally. This accounts for the 71% majority of the Islamists.
As Egypt passes into a new government it is important for all Christians to keep them in prayer. Prayers for peace, stability and freedom...please keep these people in prayer.
(files from Cath.Online/CNN/blogger)


Viewpoint: Faith and football |  Fabrice Muamba, faith and football

St Luigi Scrosoppi
Are footballers and their fans becoming more religious? The image of players making the sign of the cross as they run out on the pitch, or score a goal, is very familiar. After Bolton's Fabrice Muamba collapsed with a serious heart attack in March, his team mates appealed for prayers, and many attributed his recovery to the thousands of prayers offered in those first crucial hours.
Recently it was announced that a former Manchester United footballer is training to become a priest. Phil Mulryne, once a teammate of Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, has enrolled at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. Mulryne, 34, began his career with the Manchester United youth team in 1994. He joined Norwich in 1999 and later had spells with Ipswich Town, Barnsley, Leyton Orient and Polish side Legia Warsaw.
Faith is an important feature in the lives of many top players. Practicing Catholic players include: Wayne Rooney, Reyes, Gilberto, Cech, Crespo, Del Horno, Duff, Alonso, Morientes, Ronaldo, O'Shea, Luque and Prso - to name but a few.
Most clubs have their own chaplain - Barcelona even has a chapel in their grounds. And all clubs have special Masses said for them throughout tournaments.
In Wroclaw throughout UEFA EURO 2012, the Church of St Elizabeth became a particular place of devotion for fans. Many came to pray for their teams there - and also scaled the 200 steps of the 12th century tower to get a breathtaking view of the Municipal Stadium Wroclaw.
Since 2001, football players have had their own patron saint: St Luigi Scrosoppi. Born in 1804 in Udine, northern Italy, to a very poor family, Fr Luigi devoted his life to working with poor young men and women, establishing many orphanages and schools enabling young people to better themselves by gaining an education and skills. He also encouraged boys to take part in sports and is often depicted in art carrying a football.
On Sunday night, Italy, a Catholic country, narrowly beat England in the quarter final. On Wednesday, the semi-final between two more Catholic countries, Spain and Portugal takes place. It looks as though St Luigi is going to be kept very busy over the next few days.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
22 Jun 2012

Some of the survivors of the latest tragedy. Many still missing
With 90 feared dead after an overloaded vessel carrying an estimated 210 asylum seekers capsized in Indonesian waters 120 km north of Christmas Island, numbers of those drowned in the past 18 months in their bid to reach sanctuary in Australia now stands at 557 but could possibly be far higher.
In December 2010 more than 48 men, women and children were lost when their flimsy boat broke up in high seas after crashing onto the jagged rocks off Christmas Island.
Just under a year later, in November 2011, a further 27 asylum seekers lost their lives off Java. Less than two weeks later another boat capsized off the Java coast. Of the 250 aboard more than 200 drowned.
As well as these four tragedies, there are disturbing and credible reports of two boats - one of which was carrying 105 asylum seekers and the other, 97 - that "disappeared" recently while making the journey from Indonesia to Australia.

More than 48 asylum seekers drowned when their boat
was thrown onto rocks at Christmas Island in 2010
"As well as those two boats, there may well be others we just don't know about," says Fr Jim Carty, coordinator of the Marist Asylum Seeker and Refugee Services.
According to Fr Carty when numbers of asylum seekers such as those who lost their lives on the vessel known as SIEV X during the Howard era when 353 of the 400 on board drowned are added to those who have died on voyages made over the past 18 months, the death toll over the past 12 years would top 1000.
"The decision to get on a boat in order to seek asylum is not made by someone who has any choice," says Fr Maurizio Pettenà, Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO). "No one wants to be an asylum seeker. No one wants to risk their life in open waters. But these people are desperate. They know the boat journey is dangerous and they know they're likely to end up in detention, but in their situation, it is often seen as a necessary step in order to secure their long term future."

Fr Jim Carty has worked with
refugees and asylum seekers
for more than 35 years
Fr Pettenà has joined calls for the government and politicians on both sides of the House to explore alternative measures that would allow people who are most at risk and affected directly by conflict and persecution in their homelands to depart in an orderly fashion and be processed here in Australia.
"Australia should explore suitable arrangements with countries such as Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka to allow people to escape to safety and by allowing processing in Australia it would take away the need for so many people to put themselves and their lives at the mercy of people smugglers and these dangerous journeys," he says.
Fr Pettanà is convinced the only way to prevent continuing tragedies such as the one that occurred in the waters of Indonesia last night is to increase Australia's humanitarian intake.
"At present the demand for refugee visas far outstrips supply," he says and is encouraged by the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen's pledge to expand the number of those found to be genuine refugees that Australia resettles each year.
But while the Government and Opposition continue to "exploit" asylum seekers to gain political points and refuse to come together to create a bi-partisan, humane and workable policy on the issue, the tragic loss of life of some of the world's most desperate and vulnerable will continue, Fr Carty warns.

Fr Maurizio Pettana says Australia
needs to prevent more tragedies
and urges the Government to explore
alternative measures and policies
"This latest tragedy reveals once again the plight of the 2000-plus asylum seekers and refugees being held in camps, detention centres, compounds and prisons in Indonesia. Many of these people have been found to be genuine refugees by the UNHCR (United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees) but having waited year after year in often appalling conditions there is still no guarantee of them finding resettlement," says Ian Rintoul of Australia's Refugee Action Coalition pointing out it is little wonder that with no hope of resettlement, no rights and no opportunity to work legally or for their children to attend school, so many refugees from Indonesia are willing to risk everything including their lives to try and make it to Australia.
For the past decade or more, Indonesia has become a warehouse for thousands of desperate Afganistani, Pakistani, Burmese, Sri Lankan and other refugees. But what few Australians do not realise is that the pitiful conditions many are forced to live in, which include rat-infested dwellings where as many as three and four families bed down in one room, are run by international agencies directly funded by our Government.
Three years ago a report by Australian lawyer, Jesse Taylor revealed the cost of the upkeep for more than 2000 of these refugees was paid for by the Australian Government in an effort to prevent or discourage them from trying to reach Australia by boat.

Nearly 1000 asylum seekers have drowned
or disappeared on their way to Australia
"Despite this being under the Federal Government's own humanitarian plan, in the first three months of this year only 17 of the hundreds if not thousands of refugees held in Indonesia and referred by the UNHCR have been accepted for settlement in Australia," Ian Rintoul reports.
He joins Fr Pettanà, Fr Carty, church leaders and other refugee advocates in calling on both sides of Parliament to develop a workable, humane and fair policy that puts human rights not politics front and centre.
According to the United Nations, there are currently more than 42 million forcibly displaced people in the world today who have fled violence, persecution and conflict.
The 4000 asylum seekers who have managed to reach Australia in the past six months is a very tiny proportion of this number, Ian Rintoul says and urges the Government to expand the number of resident visas granted on humanitarian grounds.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Peruvian Episcopal Conference criticized a bill that proposes to decriminalize sex among minors in Peru: this bill would increase, "libertinism and promiscuity," they said. In a statement sent to Fides Agency, Mgr. Salvador Pineiro, Archbishop of Ayacucho and president of the Episcopal Conference, emphasizes the responsibility of parents in the sex education of children and adolescents, and urges the Peruvian authorities "to have a responsible attitude before the rights of adolescents." The Church has asked to stop this bill because it would lead to "early initiation of sexual activity in children", "it will increase non-responsible fatherhood and abortion," creating "new situations of injustice, exploitation and youth abuse, as well as the loss of values required in the formation of responsible men and women."
The bill, recently approved by the Parliamentary Committee for Women and Families, will have to be presented for vote at the Congress Assembly. The measure modifies a provision of the Penal Code which provides for penalties of up to 30 years in prison for sex between minors of 18 years of age. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/6/2012)


by Melani Manel Perera
With the Civil War, the community of Mullikulam (Mannar, Northern Province) has lost everything: homes, properties, land. They can't return to their home village because the Navy wants to build a naval base there. Now the government has placed them in a forest: they sleep on the floor, surrounded by elephants and snakes. They need to build new homes, but they have no tools. Catholic priest: "We are witnessing an intolerable and meaningless discrimination."

Mannar (AsiaNews) - They live in the jungle, on the ground without a roof or a tent over their heads, surrounded by elephants, snakes and other wildlife. There are 145 families, 285 Tamil Catholics from the village of Mullikulam in Mannar District (Northern Province, Sri Lanka). In theory, these people would be among the first groups of civil war refugees (IDPs - Internally Displaced People) to enjoy the resettlement programs promoted by the government. In practice, for more than 20 years they have not had a home, or jobs to be able to survive. A group of people - including two Catholic priests, a Buddhist monk and two members of NGOs - visited the community and said they were "shocked" by the conditions in which these people find themselves. "What crime", said Ven. Buddhiyagama Chandrarathana Thero, "could these people have ever committed, to live like animals?".

The population of Mullikulam

The first settlements in the area of Mullikulam date back to 1800. Tamil and Catholic, the population has always lived from agriculture and artisanal fishing. Thanks to the rainy season, the area is rich in water, which the inhabitants have used for large crops of rice. However, since the start of the conflict - which hit the northeastern provinces of Sri Lanka - the community has lost all political, social, economic, cultural and environmental rights.

The population was forced to leave the village for the first time in 1990. In 2002, with the signing of a peace agreement thanks to the mediation of Norway, the people returned to their villages. But in 2007, when the conflict resumed, the people once more found themselves without anything. "The army", one evacuee, who remains anonymous for reasons of safety, told AsiaNews, "told us to leave all our stuff and not take anything with us. It was only supposed to be for three days, then we would return to our homes. Five years have passed." They were all scattered throughout Thalvuoadu, Valkeipetrankandal, Thalaimannar, Nanattan, Madukkarai and Mannar, while another 400 families are living in their homes.

Why can't we return to our village?

Since 2009, by which time the war was over, many worked to support their cause and to ask that these people be resettled in their homes. Among many others was also the Bishop of Mannar, who together with other bishops of the north went all the way to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The same population has tried in every way to attract the attention of the authorities to their case, but without success. The government has always "justified" their silence on the issue by claiming the need to keep the area a "high security zone." In fact, some say the issue results from a project of the Sri Lankan Navy, which allegedly has chosen to build a new naval base right in the area of Mullikulam. "We will let you use our land", some evacuees have tried to say, "even if it is ours by right. But at least, let us live nearby."

The government's solution

After numerous appeals, peaceful marches and petitions, in February 2012 the Secretary of Defense agreed to visit the people, to find a solution. The reply came from the authorities: "You cannot return to your homes. You will be settled near the village of Mullikulam". That is, in the jungle of Marichchikattu.

"We had no choice", said another community leader, also anonymous, "we no longer wanted to be a burden for all those who have helped us over the years. So, on June 15 we moved to this forest. Our hope is to establish ourselves in the village of Manangkadu. But we have absolutely nothing. After 30 years, we have to rebuild our lives again."

Winifreeda Cross, a fisherwoman, says: "Even today, there is no way to have a peaceful life. There are mosquitoes everywhere that keep us from sleeping at night. Moreover, in the surrounding areas it's full of elephants. We came here because we have decided to sacrifice our lives for the future of our children. But we are afraid. If we don't manage to survive these difficulties, what will we do?".

However, the problems don't "just" concern the jungle. The area where they live now, in fact, belongs to the State Forestry Department. This means that without an official license, people cannot touch the land, neither to build houses, nor to cultivate it.

"There would be fishing", says Francis Joseph, a community leader, "which has always been one of our main activities. The Navy has given us permission to fish in the area. But how can we do this, without equipment? When we were displaced, we had to leave everything."

Hopes for the future

From June 15 until today, the Navy has "built" two bathrooms, and given them a tank of water, enough for the minimum needs of these people. Nothing compared to the real needs of the community. "We need boats", said Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda, a human rights activist, "fishing nets, fishing lines, motors, lamps, mosquito nets, dry food rations, kerosene. We are witnessing an intolerable discrimination, because for no reason these people are being prevented from returning to their places of origin."



Jun 24, 2012 - Feast of Birth of John the Baptist

Isaiah 49: 1 - 6
1 Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
4 But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God."
5 And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength --
6 he says: "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
Psalms 139: 1 - 3, 13 - 15
1 O LORD, thou hast searched me and known me!
2 Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar.
3 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
13 For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well;
15 my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
Acts 13: 22 - 26
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, `I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.'
23 Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised.
24 Before his coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, `What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.'
26 "Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.
Luke 1: 57 - 66, 80
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son.
58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari'ah after his father,
60 but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."
61 And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name."
62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled.
64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea;
66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.


Birth of St. John the Baptist
Feast: June 24

Feast Day: June 24
THE birth of St. John was foretold by an angel of the Lord to his father, Zachary, who was offering incense in the Temple. It was the office of St. John to prepare the way for Christ, and before he was born into the world he began to live for the Incarnate God. Even in the womb he knew the presence of Jesus and of Mary, and he leaped with joy at the glad coming of the son of man. In his youth he remained hidden, because He for Whom he waited was hidden also. But before Christ's public life began, a divine impulse led St. John into the desert; there, with locusts for his food and haircloth on his skin, in silence and in prayer, he chastened his own soul. Then, as crowds broke in upon his solitude, he warned them to flee from the wrath to come, and gave them the baptism of penance, while they confessed their sins. At last there stood in the crowd One Whom St. John did not know, till a voice within told him that it was his Lord. With the baptism of St. John, Christ began His penance for the sins of His people, and St. John saw the Holy Ghost descend in bodily form upon Him. Then the Saint's work was done. He had but to point his own disciples to the Lamb, he had but to decrease as Christ increased. He saw all men leave him and go after Christ. "I told you," he said, "that I am not the Christ. The friend of the Bridegroom rejoiceth because of the Bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled." St. John had been cast into the fortress of Machærus by a worthless tyrant whose crimes be had rebuked, and he was to remain there till he was beheaded, at the will of a girl who danced before this wretched king. In this time of despair, if St. John could have known despair, some of his old disciples visited him. St. John did not speak to them of himself, but he sent them to Christ, that they might see the proofs of His mission. Then the Eternal Truth pronounced the panegyric of the Saint who had lived and breathed for Him alone: "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist"

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)





Pope Benedict XVI met on Saturday morning with the heads of the various Dicasteries of the Curia.

In response to a question about the meeting, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi issued the following statement:

"In regard to the situation created following the dissemination of confidential documents, the Holy Father deepens his reflections in continuous dialogue with the people who share with him the responsibility for the government of the Church.

As you know, last Saturday he wanted to be more broadly informed on the progress of the investigations, and met with the Commission of Cardinals to which he has given this task, which is led by Cardinal Julian Herranz.

This morning, he participated in a meeting with the Heads of the Dicasteries, which is usually devoted to issues surrounding the better coordination of the work of the Curia, which is today particularly important and urgent for the effective witness to their harmony of purpose and the spirit which animates it.

This afternoon, the Pope has decided to meet some members of the College of Cardinals, who by virtue of their great and varied experience in the service of the Church, not only in Rome but also around the world, can have an exchange of ideas and suggestions to help restore the desired climate of serenity and trust in the service of the Roman Curia.

Of course, the Holy Father will continue his discussions and observations during the next few days, also taking advantage of the arrival in Rome of several Church leaders for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, which is an extraordinary opportunity for the community of the Church Universal to be united with him in prayer, service, and the witness of faith for the people of our time."

List of Cardinals scheduled to meet with Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday evening:

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney (Australia)
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General Emeritus for the Diocese of Rome
Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect Emeritus for the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples



Logo English version


The logo is composed of a square, bordered field on which a boat, symbolizing the Church, is represented as sailing on a graphically minimal representation of waves. The main mast of the boat is a cross from which sails are displayed in the form of dynamic signs which compose the trigram of Christ (IHS). The background to the sails is a sun which, associated with the trigram, refers also to the Eucharist. OFFICIAL SITE


With the Apostolic Letter of 11 October 2011, Porta fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith. This year will begin on 11 October 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, and will conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King.
This year will be a propitious occasion for the faithful to understand more profoundly that the foundation of Christian faith is “the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”[1] Founded on the encounter with the Risen Christ, faith can be rediscovered in its wholeness and all its splendor. “In our days too faith is a gift to rediscover, to cultivate and to bear witness to” because the Lord “grants each one of us to live the beauty and joy of being Christians.”[2]
The beginning of the Year of Faith coincides with the anniversaries of two great events which have marked the life of the Church in our days: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, called by Blessed Pope John XXIII (11 October 1962), and the twentieth of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, given to the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II (11 October 1992).
The Council, according to Pope John XXIII, wanted “to transmit doctrine, pure and whole, without attenuations or misrepresentations,” in such a way that “this sure and immutable teaching, which must be respected faithfully, is elaborated and presented in a way which corresponds to the needs of our time.”[3] In this regard, the opening words of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium remain of primary importance: “Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, (cfr. Mk 16:15) to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church.”[4] Beginning with the light of Christ, which purifies, illuminates and sanctifies in the celebration of the sacred liturgy (cfr. Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium) and with His divine word (cfr. Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Verbum), the Counil wanted to elaborate on the intimate nature of the Church (cfr. Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium) and its relationship with the contemporary world (cfr. Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et spes). Around these four Constitutions, the true pillars of the Council, are arranged the Declarations and Decrees which address some of the major challenges of the day.
After the Council the Church – under the sure guidance of the Magisterium and in continuity with the whole Tradition – set about ensuring the reception and application of the teaching of the Council in all its richness. To assist in the correct reception of the Council, the Popes have frequently convoked the Synod of Bishops,[5] first instituted by the Servant of God, Paul VI, in 1965, providing the Church with clear guidance through the various post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations. The next General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in October 2012, will have as its theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.
From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has worked decisively for a correct understanding of the Council, rejecting as erroneous the so-called “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” and promoting what he himself has termed “the ‘hermeneutic of reform’, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.”[6]
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in this same vein, is both an “authentic fruit of Vatican Council II”[7] and a tool for aiding in its reception. The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops of 1985, convoked on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council and to measure its reception, suggested the preparation of a Catechism in order to offer the People of God a compendium of all Catholic doctrine and a sure point of reference for local catechisms. Pope John Paul II accepted this proposal as a desire which “fully responds to a real need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches.”[8] Compiled in collaboration with the entire Episcopate of the Catholic Church, this Catechism “truly expresses what could be called the symphony of the faith.”[9]
The Catechism includes “the new and the old (cfr. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light. To respond to this twofold demand, the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the one hand repeats the old, traditional order already followed by the Catechism of St Pius V, arranging the material in four parts: the Creed, the Sacred Liturgy, with pride of place given to the sacraments, the Christian way of life, explained beginning with the Ten Commandments, and finally, Christian prayer. At the same time, however, the contents are often expressed in a new way in order to respond to the questions of our age.”[10] This Catechism is “a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith.”[11] The content of faith finds “ its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here, in fact, we see the wealth of teaching that the Church has received, safeguarded and proposed in her two thousand years of history. From Sacred Scripture to the Fathers of the Church, from theological masters to the saints across the centuries, the Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith.”[12]
The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today - capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the “door of faith.” This “door” opens wide man’s gaze to Jesus Christ, present among us “always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). He shows us how “the art of living” is learned “in an intense relationship with him.”[13] “Through his love, Jesus Christ attracts to himself the people of every generation: in every age he convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by a mandate that is ever new. Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith.”[14]
At the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI,[15] the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in consultation with the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See and with the contribution of the Committee for the Preparation of the Year of Faith,[16] has drawn up this Note, with some recommendations for living this time of grace, without precluding other initiatives which the Holy Spirit will inspire among Pastors and faithful in various parts of the world.


“I know him in whom I have believed” (2 Tm 1:12). These words of St Paul help us to understand that faith is “first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed.”[17] Faith which is a personal trust in the Lord and the faith which we profess in the Creed are inseparable; they focus on each other and they require each other. There exists a profound bond between the lived faith and its contents. The faith of the Witnesses and Confessors is also the faith of the Apostles and Doctors of the Church.
Thus, the following recommendations for the Year of Faith desire to aid both the encounter with Christ through authentic witnesses to faith, and the ever-greater understanding of its contents. These proposals are intended as examples to encourage a ready response to the invitation of the Holy Father to live fully this Year as a special “time of grace.”[18] The joyous rediscovery of faith can also contribute to consolidate the unity and communion among the different bodies that make up the wider family of the Church.

I. On the level of the Universal Church

1. The main ecclesial event at the beginning of the Year of Faith will be the XIII General Assembly of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, convoked by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012, dedicated to The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. During this Synod, on 11 October 2012, there will be a solemn celebration of the beginning of the Year of Faith, in remembrance of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
2. In the Year of Faith pilgrimages of the faithful to the See of Peter are to be encouraged, to profess faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in unity with him who today is called to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith (cfr. Lk 22:32). It is also important to promote pilgrimages to the Holy Land, the place which first saw the presence of Jesus, the Savior, and Mary, his Mother.
3. During this Year, it will be helpful to invite the faithful to turn with particular devotion to Mary, model of the Church, who “shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues.”[19] Therefore, every initiative that helps the faithful to recognize the special role of Mary in the mystery of salvation, love her and follow her as a model of faith and virtue is to be encouraged. To this end it would be proper to organize pilgrimages, celebrations and gatherings at the major Marian shrines.
4. The next World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, will offer a special occasion for the young to experience the joy which comes from faith in the Lord Jesus and communion with the Holy Father, in the greater family of the Church.
5. It is hoped that many symposia, conferences and large gatherings will be held, even at the international level, to encourage encounters with authentic witness to the faith and to promote understanding of the contents of Catholic doctrine. Noting how, still today, the Word of God continues to grow and spread, it will be important to give witness that “all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfilment”[20] in Christ Jesus and that faith “becomes a new criterion of understanding and action that changes the whole of man’s life.”[21] Some conferences should be particularly dedicated to the rediscovery of the teachings of Vatican Council II.
6. The Year of Faith will offer a special opportunity for all believers to deepen their knowledge of the primary documents of the Second Vatican Council and their study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is especially true for candidates for priesthood, particularly during the propeduetic year or in their first years of theological studies, for novices in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as for those in a period of discernment for joining an Ecclesial Association or Movement.
7. This Year will provide an auspicious time for a more attentive reception of the homilies, catechesis, addresses and other speeches and documents of the Holy Father. Pastors, consecrated persons and the lay faithful are invited to renew their efforts in effective and heart-felt adherence to the teaching of the Successor of Peter.
8. During the Year of Faith, in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, various ecumenical initiatives are to be planned, aimed at “the restoration of unity among all Christians” which “is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.”[22] In particular, there will be a solemn ecumenical celebration in which all of the baptized will reaffirm their faith in Christ.
9. A Secretariat to coordinate all of the different initiatives promoted by various Dicasteries of the Holy See, or other events relevant to the Universal Church, will be established within the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. This Secretariat should be informed timely of the main events and can also suggest appropriate initiatives. The Secretariat will open a dedicated website with the goal of making available useful information regarding living out the Year of Faith more effectively.
10. At the conclusion of this Year, on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, there will be a Eucharist celebrated by the Holy Father, in which a solemn renewal of the profession of faith will take place.

II. On the level of Episcopal Conferences[23]

1. Episcopal Conferences, in light of the specific mission of the Bishops as teachers and “heralds of the faith,”[24] can dedicate a day of study to the topic of faith, its personal witness and its transmission to new generations.
2. The republication in paperback and economical editions of the Documents of Vatican Council II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium is to be promoted, as is the wider distribution of these texts through electronic means and modern technologies.
3. A renewed effort to translate the documents of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church into languages which lack a translation is desirable. Initiatives of charitable support to enable translations into the local languages of mission countries, where the local Churches cannot afford the expense, are to be encouraged. This should be done under the guidance of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
4. Pastors should work to promote television and radio transmissions, films and publications focusing on the faith, its principles and content, as well as on the ecclesial significance of the Second Vatican Council. This should be done using the new styles of communication, especially on the popular level, making these things available to a wider public.
5. The Saints and the Blessed are the authentic witnesses of the faith.[25] It is, therefore, opportune that Episcopal Conferences work toward the dissemination of a knowledge of the local Saints of their territory, also by modern means of social communication.
6. The contemporary world is sensitive to the relationship between faith and art. It is, therefore, recommended that Episcopal Conferences maximize the catechetical potential – possibly with ecumenical cooperation – of the artistic patrimony of the region entrusted to their pastoral care.
7. Educators in centers of theological studies, seminaries and Catholic universities should be encouraged in their teaching to demonstrate the relevance within their various disciplines of the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and of the implications derived from them.
8. It would be useful to arrange for the preparation of pamphlets and leaflets of an apologetic nature (cfr. 1 Pt 3:15), which should be done with the help of theologians and authors. Every member of the faithful would then be enabled to respond better to the questions which arise in difficult contexts – whether to do with sects, or the problems related to secularism and relativism, or to questions “arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries,”[26] or to other specific issues.
9. It is hoped that local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular Churches would be examined to ensure their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.[27] Should a catechism or supplement be found to be not totally in accord with the Catechism, or should some lacunae be discovered, new ones should be developed, following the example of those Conferences which have already done so.
10. The Year of Faith will also be an appropriate time to examine, in collaboration with the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Ratio of formation for future priests, ensuring that the contents of the Catechism for the Catholic Church are present in their theological studies.

III. At the Diocesan level

1. It is hoped that each particular Church would have a celebration of the opening of the Year of Faith and a solemn conclusion to it, in which to “profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world.”[28]
2. It would be desirable that each Diocese in the world organize a study day on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, particularly for its priests, consecrated persons and catechists. On this occasion, for example, the Eastern Catholic Eparchies could hold a meeting with their priests to give witness to their specific experience and liturgical tradition in the one faith in Christ. Also, in this way, young particular Churches in mission territories would be able to give renewed witness to that joy of faith which is so often particular to them.
3. Each Bishop could devote a pastoral letter of his own to the topic of faith, keeping in mind the specific pastoral circumstances of the portion of the faithful entrusted to him, reminding them of the importance of the Second Vatican Council and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
4. It is hoped that in each Diocese, under the leadership of the Bishop, catechetical events will be organized, especially for the youth and those searching for a sense of life, helping them to discover the beauty of ecclesial faith, promoting encounters with meaningful witnesses to the faith.
5. It would be appropriate for each particular Church to review the reception of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its own life and mission, particularly in the realm of catechesis. This would provide the opportunity for a renewal of commitment on the part of the catechetical offices of the Dioceses which - supported by the Commissions for Catechesis of the Episcopal Conferences – have the duty to care for the theological formation of catechists.
6. The continuing education of the clergy can be focused during this Year of Faith on the documents of Vatican Council II and on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, treating such themes as “the proclamation of the Risen Christ”, “the Church - sacrament of salvation”, “the mission of evangelization in the world today”, “faith and disbelief”, “faith, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue”, “faith and eternal life”, “the hermeneutic of reform in continuity” and “the Catechism in ordinary pastoral care.”
7. Bishops are invited to organize penitential celebrations, particularly during Lent, in which all can ask for God’s forgiveness, especially for sins against faith. This Year also provides an appropriate occasion in which all can approach the Sacrament of Penance with greater faith and more frequently.
8. It is hoped that there will be a renewed creative dialogue between faith and reason in the academic and artistic communities, through symposia, meetings and days of study, especially at Catholic universities, in order to demonstrate that “there cannot be any conflict between faith and genuine science, because both, albeit via different routes, tend towards the truth.”[29]
9. It is also important to promote encounters with those persons who, “while not claiming to have the gift of faith, are nevertheless sincerely searching for the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of their lives and of the world,”[30] taking as an example the dialogues of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
10. The Year of Faith can be an opportunity to pay greater attention to Catholic schools, which are a perfect place to offer to students a living witness to the Lord and to nurture their faith. This can be done by making use of good catechetical tools, like the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Youcat.

IV. At the level of the parish/community/association/movement

1. In preparation for the Year of Faith, all of the faithful are invited to read closely and meditate upon Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei.
2. The Year of Faith “will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist.”[31] In the Eucharist, mystery of faith and source of the new evangelization, the faith of the Church is proclaimed, celebrated and strengthened. All of the faithful are invited to participate in the Eucharist actively, fruitfully and with awareness, in order to be authentic witnesses of the Lord.
3. Priests should devote greater attention to the study of the documents of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, drawing from them resources for the pastoral care of their parishes – catechesis, preaching, Sacramental preparation. They should also offer cycles of homilies on the faith or on certain specific aspects such as, for example, “the encounter with Christ”, “the fundamental contents of the Creed”, and “faith and the Church.”[32]
4. Catechists should hold more firmly to the doctrinal richness of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and, under the direction of their pastors, offer guidance in reading this precious document to groups of faithful, working toward a deeper common understanding thereof, with the goal of creating small communities of faith, and of giving witness to the Lord Jesus.
5. It is hoped that there will be a renewed commitment in parishes to the distribution of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and of other resources appropriate for families, which are true domestic churches and the primary setting for the transmission of the faith. This might be done, for example, during the blessing of homes, the Baptism of adults, Confirmations and Marriages. This can contribute to the deepening of Catholic teaching “in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times.”[33]
6. The promotion of missions and other popular programs in parishes and in the workplace can help the faithful to rediscover the gift of Baptismal faith and the task of giving witness, knowing that the Christian vocation “by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate.”[34]
7. During this time, members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and of Societies of Apostolic Life are asked to work towards the new evangelization with a renewed union to the Lord Jesus, each according to their proper charism, in fidelity to the Holy Father and to sound doctrine.
8. Contemplative communities, during the Year of Faith, should pray specifically for the renewal of the faith among the People of God and for a new impulse for its transmission to the young.
9. Associations and Ecclesial Movements are invited to promote specific initiatives which, through the contribution of their proper charism and in collaboration with their local Pastors, will contribute to the wider experience of the Year of Faith. The new Communities and Ecclesial Movements, in a creative and generous way, will be able to find the most appropriate ways in which to offer their witness to the faith in service to the Church.
10. All of the faithful, called to renew the gift of faith, should try to communicate their own experience of faith and charity[35] to their brothers and sisters of other religions, with those who do not believe, and with those who are just indifferent. In this way, it is hoped that the entire Christian people will begin a kind of mission toward those with whom they live and work, knowing that they “have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man.”[36]


Faith “is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us. Intent on gathering the signs of the times in the present of history, faith commits every one of us to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world.”[37] Faith is both a personal and a communal act: it is a gift from God that is lived in the communion of the Church and must be communicated to the world. Every initiative for the Year of Faith should be designed to aid in the joyous rediscovery of the faith and its renewed transmission. The recommendations provided here have the goal of inviting all of the members of the Church to work so that this Year may be a special time in which we, as Christians, may share that which is most dear to us: Christ Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind, Universal King, “leader and perfecter of faith” (Hb 12: 2).
Given in Rome, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on 6 January 2012, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

William Cardinal Levada

Luis F. Ladaria, S.J.


[1] Benedict XVI, Enc. Letter, Deus caritas est, 25 December 2005, n. 1.

[2] Id., Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, 10 January 2010.

[3] John XXIII, Address of the solemn opening of the Ecumenical Vatican Council II, 11 October 1962.

[4] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, n. 1.

[5] The Ordinary Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops have treated the following topics: The preservation and strengthening of the Catholic Faith, its integrity, vigor, development, historical and doctrinal coherence (1967), The ministerial priesthood and justice in the world (1971), Evangelization in the modern world (1974), Catechesis in our time (1977), The Christian Family (1980), Penance and reconciliation in the mission of the Church (1983), The vocation and mission of the laity in the Church and in the world (1987), The formation of priests in actual circumstances (1991), Consecrated life and its mission in the Church and in the world (1994), The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the world (2001), The Eucharist: source and summit of the life and mission of the Church (2005), The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church (2008).

[6] Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, 22 December 2005.

[7] Id., Porta fidei, n. 4.

[8] John Paul II, Address on the closing of the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 7 December 1985, n. 6. The same Pope, in the initial phase of this Synod, during the Angelus of 24 November 1985, said: “Fatih is the principal foundation, it is the cornerstone, the essential criterion of the renewal willed by the Council. From faith come custom, the stile of life and practical direction in every circumstance.”

[9] Id., Apostolic Constitution, Fidei depositum, 11 October 1992, n. 2.

[10] Ibid., n. 3.

[11] Ibid., n. 4.

[12] Benedict XVI, Porta fidei, n. 11.

[13] Id., Address to the participants in the meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 15 October 2011.

[14] Id., Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 7.

[15] Cfr. ibid., n. 12.

[16] This Committee, formed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to the mandate of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, includes among its members: Cardinals William Levada, Francis Arinze, Angelo Bagnasco, Ivan Dias, Francis E. George, Zenon Grocholewski, Marc Ouellet, Mauro Piacenza, Jean-Pierre Ricard, Stanisław Ryłko and Christoph Schönborn; Archbishops Luis F. Ladaria, and Salvatore Fisichella; Bishops Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Raffaello Martinelli.

[17] Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 150.

[18] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 15.

[19] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, n. 65.

[20] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 13.

[21] Ibid., n. 6.

[22] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Decree, Unitatis redintigratio, n. 1.

[23] The following recommendations made for Episcopal Conferences are also offered, in an analogous way, to the Synods of Bishops of Patriarchal and Major Archepiscopal Churches, as well as to the Assemblies of Hierarchs of the other Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris.

[24] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, n. 25.

[25] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 13.

[26] Ibid., n. 12.

[27] John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution, Fidei depositum, n. 4.

[28] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 8.

[29] Ibid., n. 12.

[30] Ibid., n. 10.

[31] Ibid., n. 9.

[32] Cfr., Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini, 30 September 2010, nn. 59-60, and 74.

[33] ID., Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 8.

[34] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Decree, Apostolicam actuositatem, n. 2.

[35] Cfr. Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 14.

[36] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et spes, n. 1.

[37] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 15.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "Given the serious political crisis that the Republic is experiencing, as Bishops of Paraguay, we turn to the representatives of the government and all citizens to express once again our exhortation to peace and the safeguarding of human life as a supreme value ". With these words, spread in a statement sent to Fides agency, the Bishops of Paraguay invite to maintain social peace and order in the country.
The decision of the Congress to initiate impeachment for the President of the Republic, Fernando Lugo, has provoked, in fact, a situation of tension between the population in the capital.
"We call on political leaders, social organizations, trade unions and the people to keep calm and to avoid any confrontation and violence, which jeopardize integrity and people's lives," reads the text.
The Bishops have decided to launch this appeal because many farmers took to the streets and part of the population already speaks of "coup". The Senate, yesterday, June 22 voted for the impeachment of the President motivating the measure taken with the recent clashes between police and farmers in the area of Curuguatay where, due to a matter of land possession, 17 people died (see fides 18/06/2012). Federico Franco, vice president, was sworn in as new president of Paraguay. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/6/2012)


NAIROBI, June 19, 2012 (CISA) –Kenyan Catholic Bishop Anthony Mukobo of Isiolo Vicariate, on Sunday June 17 presided over the blessing and official opening of a new prayer garden situated at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi.
The Consolata Prayer Garden is built with the help of the Consolata Shrine parishioners generous donations.
Bishop Mukobo commended the parishioners for constructing the Prayer Garden and said the move will bring them closer to Jesus Christ through prayers and devotions.
“The garden is an added value to the already existing spiritual riches in the locality,” said Bishop Ireri.
He urged Christians to fully utilize the new garden for spirituality.
The Parish Priest, Fr James Lengarin said the garden is projected to cost Kshs 14 million when fully complete.
“So far, over Kshs 12 million has been spent. We hope the Christians will continue to donate generously until it is complete,” said Fr Lengarin.
Chairlady of the pastoral council, Mrs Phyllis Kimbo said, “Exactly one year today, we embarked on this project. We thank God that He has seen us through and that the labour of our hands was not in vain.”
The ceremony was preceded by the Holy Mass, followed by a procession with the statue of Mary.
The new prayer garden comprises of 14 Stations of the Cross, an open air chapel and a 2.8 meter-statue of the Virgin Mary Consolata.



Sr Rosalie Bertell, GNSH, PhD
4 April 1929 – June 14, 2012
Sister Rosalie Bertell, GNSH, PhD, an internationally recognized environmental epidemiologist, cancer researcher and public health advocate, died 14 June, 2012, at age 83 in Saint Mary Medical Centre, Langhorne, PA, in the 54th year of her religious life. She was the daughter of the late Paul G Bertell and Helen Twohey Bertell of Buffalo, NY.
Dr Bertell entered the field of cancer research at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo in the 1970s. What started there grew into a lifetime devoted to research, writing, public speaking and advocacy work on the effects of low-level radiation on human health.
Prior to founding the International Institute of Concern for Public Health in Toronto, Canada in 1984, she was an Energy/Public Health specialist at the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto for four years.
Sister travelled the globe, researching and advising ways of dealing with the chemical and nuclear hazards which endanger the environment and erode the health of people worldwide until shortly before her death.
Sister Rosalie authored two books, No Immediate Danger (1985) and Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War (2000) and more than a hundred articles.
She was named to the Global 500 Roll of Honour 1993 (United Nations Environment Programme) and was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, December, 1986. Among other accolades, Sister received numerous honorary doctorates in recognition of her scholarly and professional work and her efforts as a social justice advocate...
She attended St Mary Academy, Kenmore, NY, received her diploma from Mt St Joseph Academy, Buffalo and earned her BA in Math/Physics/Education from D'Youville College. She entered the Carmelite Community in Buffalo in 1951, but her health prevented her from continuing beyond 1956.
Before entering the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in 1958, she served on the faculty of Catholic University, Washington, DC for a year. From Catholic University, she received a Masters in Mathematics/Philosophy and a Doctorate in Mathematics/Biology/Biometrics.


by Joseph Yun Li-sun
In his annual message on the Day of the Environment, the bishop of Suwon urges Catholics to stop "The ecological destruction [that] is still committed today in every corner of the world".

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The Catholic community as a whole "must take responsibility for the environment, a gift of God that must be treated as such. We must be committed to building a new society, one that is 'green', to make the Lord proud of us," wrote Mgr Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, bishop of Suwon and president of the Committee for Justice and Peace of the, in his annual message on the Day of the Environment.

Titled We are God's Co-operators Cultivating and Caring for His Garden, the message said, "The ecological destruction is still committed today in every corner of the world, resulting in a total abrogation of the cooperative relationship between God and man." Now, "The time has come for us as the ecclesiastical community to take the initiative in the construction of a 'green civilisation."

Protecting the environment is important to the South Korean Church. The country is ecologically blessed and most of the population lives in contact with nature, especially in the south, where fishing is a major source of employment.

In order to preserve the country's environment, Catholics have become involved in campaigns to raise awareness and in protest action against plans that alter the natural balance.

"All the members of the Church must concentrate strength on the construction of the 'green civilisation', a social system for the service and care of all creatures," Mgr Ri said.

"The world will be changed into a world that 'God saw how good it was' (Ge, 1:10), a divine gift, when we are united in our various efforts. We must be the hope for the ecology of the earth".



Matthew 6: 24 - 34

24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?'
32 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.


St. Etheldreda of Ely
Feast: June 23

Feast Day: June 23
Born: 630
Died: 23 June, 679
Patron of: neck ailments, throat ailments, widows
Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 630; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young she was given in marriage by her father, Anna, King of East Anglia, to a certain Tonbert, a subordinate prince, from whom she received as morning gift a tract of land locally known as the Isle of Ely. She never lived in wedlock with Tonbert, however, and for five years after his early death was left to foster her vocation to religion. Her father then arranged for her a marriage of political convenience with Egfrid, son and heir to Oswy, King of Northumbria. From this second bridegroom, who is said to have been only fourteen years of age, she received certain lands at Hexham; through St. Wilfrid of York she gave these lands to found the minster of St. Andrew. St. Wilfrid was her friend and spiritual guide, but it was to him that Egfrid, on succeeding his father, appealed for the enforcement of his marital rights as against Etheldreda's religious vocation. The bishop succeeded at first in persuading Egfrid to consent that Etheldreda should live for some time in peace as a sister of the Coldingham nunnery, founded by her aunt, St. Ebba, in what is now Berwickshire. But at last the imminent danger of being forcibly carried off by the king drove her to wander southwards, with only two women in attendance. They made their way to Etheldreda's own estate of Ely, not, tradition said, without the interposition of miracles, and, on a spot hemmed in by morasses and the waters of the Ouse, the foundation of Ely Minster was begun. This region was Etheldreda's native home, and her royal East Anglian relatives gave her the material means necessary for the execution of her holy design. St. Wilfrid had not yet returned from Rome, where he had obtained extraordinary privileges for her foundation from Benedict II, when she died of a plague which she herself, it is said, had circumstantially foretold. Her body was, throughout many succeeding centuries, an object of devout veneration in the famous church which grew up on her foundation. One hand of the saint is now venerated in the church of St. Etheldreda, Ely Place, London, which enjoys the distinction of being the first—and at present (1909) the only—pre-Reformation church in Great Britain restored to Catholic worship. Built in the thirteenth century as a private chapel attached to the town residence of the Bishop of Ely, the structure of St. Etheldreda's passed through many vicissitudes during the centuries following its desecration, until, in 1873-74, it was purchased by Father William Lockhart and occupied by the Institute of Charity, of whose English mission Father Lockhart was then superior.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)