Sunday, January 27, 2013




Vatican Radio REPORTS Two thousand young boys and girls drawn from across Rome’s sprawling parishes marched on St Peter’s Square this Sunday to the sound of drums, trumpets and songs for their annual appointment with Pope Benedict XVI.
They are the children of Catholic Action Rome and the last Sunday of January marks their annual ‘Caravan of Peace’ which culminates in the release of two white doves from the Papal apartments shortly after the Angelus prayer.

This year, the young boy and girl chosen to release the doves together with Pope Benedict told the Holy Father that the funds collected by the children of Rome will be donated to the forgotten children of Egypt.

Proceeds from their pastoral and charity initiatives in fact will be sent to the Jesuit Community of Alexandria, in particular Brother Atef, who heads a theatre group for street children titled ‘Art and Life’.

Earlier, Pope Benedict XVI had encouraged prayers for peace across the entire Middle East. He expressed his spiritual closeness to all those participating in the initiative supported by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

In fact the last Sunday of January also marks world day of prayer for peace in the Holy Land. The global event, now in its fifth year, is a 24 hour continuum of prayer in more than three thousand cities for peace in the region.

The Pope said: “I thank those who are promoting this in many parts of the world and I greet in particular those present here today”.

Vatican Radio REPORT On January 27th each year, the United Nations sets aside a day in special remembrance of Holocaust victims.

Following his Angelus prayer this Sunday, Pope Benedict prayed: "Today is the " International Holocaust Remembrance Day" in memory of the Holocaust victims of Nazism. The memory of this immense tragedy, which above all struck so harshly the Jewish people, must represent for everyone a constant warning so that the horrors of the past are not repeated, all forms of hatred and racism overcome and respect and dignity of the human person promoted"

The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945.

It is hoped that through remembering these events, people will remember the Holocaust and prevent genocide.

Across the globe Holocaust survivors and world leaders speak out in remembrance of victims, but also to make sure that the world never forgets what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. So that new generations may learn about the tragedy, and for everyone to work so it will never happen again.

It is also a good time to remember the words of Pope Benedict XVI when he visited the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 11
th, 2009.

I have come to stand in silence before this monument, erected to honor the memory of the millions of Jews killed in the horrific tragedy of the Shoah.
They lost their lives, but they will never lose their names: these are indelibly etched in the hearts of their loved ones, their surviving fellow prisoners, and all those determined never to allow such an atrocity to disgrace mankind again. Most of all, their names are forever fixed in the memory of Almighty God.
Yad Vashem is the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust. It was erected to safeguard the memory of the past and impart its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust. Together with its partners, Yad Vashem has collected and recorded the names and biographical details of two thirds of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis. Two million more still remain unidentified.

As the Pope quoted at the beginning of his visit to Yad Vashem, a passage from the Book of the prophet Isaiah furnishes two simple words which solemnly express the significance of the place itself: “vad” – which means memorial, and “shem” which means name…
“I will give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name … I will give them an everlasting name which shall not be cut off” .
One can weave an insidious web of lies to convince others that certain groups are undeserving of respect – the Pope said - yet, try as one might, one can never take away the name of a fellow human being.
May the names of these victims never perish! May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten! And may all people of goodwill remain vigilant in rooting out from the heart of man anything that could lead to tragedies such as this!
And Pope Benedict said that the Catholic Church feels deep compassion for the victims remembered here. Similarly, he continued - she draws close to all those who today are subjected to persecution on account of race, colour, condition of life or religion – their sufferings are hers, and hers is their hope for justice. And he reaffirmed that he is committed to pray and work tirelessly to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again.
Gazing upon the faces reflected in the pool that lies in stillness within this memorial, one cannot help but recall how each of them bears a name. I can only imagine the joyful expectation of their parents as they anxiously awaited the birth of their children. What name shall we give this child? What is to become of him or her? Who could have imagined that they would be condemned to such a deplorable fate!
Their cry – the Pope said - still echoes in our hearts.

My dear friends, I am deeply grateful to God and to you for the opportunity to stand here in silence: a silence to remember, a silence to pray, a silence to hope.





OVER 500, 000 attended the MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington, DC on January 25, 2013. The great crowds marked the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade the decision in 1973 that permitted abortion. This massive crowd gathered to honor life from conception to natural death. It is hoped that the legislation will soon be changed to end abortion in the US. (IMAGE SOURCE : GOOGLE)

Since 1973 an estimated 55 million babies have been killed by abortion in the USA. There was an overnight prayer vigil in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with thousands in attendance. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was present and Cardinal Wuerl. This annual March has become a large event spanning many days and involving talks, demonstrations, prayer, videos and other activities. Many politicians, clergy, religious, youth and leaders partake every year. Martin Luther King's niece Dr. Alveda King also attended and is part of a large movement in support of life. Last year over 400,000 attended. This year noted a particularly strong youth presence. One Catholic College, Christendom cancelled classes so that the entire school could attend.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "What a missionary gives" is the title of a cartoon animation that aims to explain to the children what it means to be missionaries. The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Spain have prepared this video, together with other material, on the occasion of Missionary Childhood Day, which is celebrated in Spain on Sunday, January 27. On this occasion, a Mass will be celebrated at the Blessed Sacrament School in Madrid, and will be broadcast on Spanish TV (La 2 ).
The note sent to Fides Agency by the PMS of Spain, Don Anastasio Gil, National Director of the PMS, explains the meaning of the video: "This is a way to show children and adolescents, not to mention adults, how the love for the needy is an opportunity to discover the missionary vocation and the source of happiness, and so they can transmit it to others. "

In the video, presented and put online since January 21, tells the story of a young man living in a big city. At the beginning it shows the protagonist leaving a shopping center full of parcels and envelopes that he has just bought. On the way home he runs into some poor people who ask for help, but he continues to walk without noticing. His attitude changes when he passes in front of a table and sees the work of the parish for the poor. He then began to give everything he had bought, to the point he had nothing left in his pockets. Only when the young man gave everything he has the feeling he is flying. He reaches the clouds and from there sees an African village, he then discovers his vocation: to go there to help the needy and bring the Good News. A voice concludes: "If you want to be truly happy, you have to give everything. But if what you really want is to fly, then you have to give yourself to God completely, as a missionary." (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/01/2013)


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
25 Jan 2013

The procession of the judiciary is one of the highlights of the Red Mass
Justice Tom Bathurst QC, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW will lead the impressive judicial procession from the Crypt and up the steps through the main doors of St Mary's Cathedral for the annual Red Mass on Tuesday 29 January which signals the start of the new Law Term.
Wearing their wigs and crimson robes of office, judges from the High Court of Australia together with justices from the Courts of NSW take part in the procession in what is regarded as one of Sydney's most impressive traditions.
The Red Mass, where the legal profession offer prayers for divine guidance for those seeking or dispensing justice during the coming year, is convened by the St Thomas More Society, and will be celebrated on by the Society's Patron, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell.

Dating back to 12th century when it was first celebrated at the Papal Courts of Avignon, the Red Mass was first held in Sydney at St Mary's Cathedral on 16 February 1931. Since that time the Red Mass has not only been adopted by other religious denominations but has become an important part of the Church calendar.
Cardinal Pell talks with Judges of NSW after celebrating Red Mass at the Cathedral
Taking its name from the crimson robes of the judiciary, Sydney's Red Mass was originally organised by an informal group of the city's Catholic lawyers, who just over a decade later went on to found the St Thomas More Society.
An integral part of the city's legal as well as the Church's calendar, the Red Mass is attended by members of Sydney's legal profession as well as those involved in law from all parts of NSW and the Commonwealth. Attendees include leading judges, magistrates, judicial officers from NSW as well as Federal jurisdictions together with the city's barristers and solicitors, professors and lecturers in law at Sydney's universities, newly graduated law students as well as those still studying law.

Many politicians also attend including both the NSW Attorney General and the NSW Shadow Attorney General.
This year not only will Past President of St Thomas More Society, State Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Greg Smith participate at next week's Red Mass but he will give one of the readings.
The President of the Law Society of NSW, John Dobson will also be involved in the liturgy as well as the President of the NSW Bar Association, Bernard Coles QC and Professor Gerard Ryan, Emeritus Dean at the University of Notre Dame's School of Law.
Murray-Luke Peard conducts the Capella Sublima at a recent performance
Among the other dignitaries expected to attend the 2013 Red Mass are the Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, Professor Greg Craven; former NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos and well-known diplomat, public servant and academic, Michael L'Estrange who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Notre Dame in December last year.

For Sydneysiders one of the highlights of the annual Red Mass is the impressive procession that takes place after the NSW and Australia High Court Judges don their crimson robes in the Crypt at St Mary's, and then in full judicial regalia, slowly make their way from the Crypt along the side of the St Mary's and up the steps and through the main doors of the Cathedral.
Another highlight of the Red Mass will be Sydney's renowned Capella Sublima which will perform throughout the Mass. These will include singing many of the sacred texts as well as 16th Century sacred music including "Victoria: Domine non sum dignus."
Based at the University of Sydney and holding regular rehearsals on campus at St John's College, the Capella Sublima ensemble was founded in 2001 by Richard Perrignon who is not only an accomplished musician and composer, but one of the city's leading barristers and a part time lecturer in law at the University of Notre Dame.
Chief Justice Tom Bathurst QC will lead the Red Mass procession next week
Richard Perrignon is also President of the St Thomas More Society.
Faith, the law, the St Thomas More Society and music are his passions and for the past several weeks, he has not only been busy with his law practice, his duties as a member of Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW, Arbitrator with the Workers Compensation Commission and as a Fellow of St John's College at University of Sydney, but has somehow found time to help organise this year's Red Mass and conduct rehearsals of Capella Sublima for the upcoming Mass.
"We will have our final rehearsal today, break for the long weekend and then gather at the Cathedral on Tuesday morning for the Red Mass," says a member of the Ensemble, 36-year-old Murray-Luke Peard.
A maths and computer science graduate who loves Medieval and Renaissance music, and is currently studying for a second degree in music, Murray-Luke is an enthusiastic and active member of Capella Sublima and each year like the rest of the ensemble very much looks forward to performing at the Red Mass.

Richard Perrignon, President of the Thomas More Society and founder-director of Capella Sublima
Richard Perrignon is not only the founder and director of Capella Sublima but also a composer of many of the sacred polyphonic compositions, or "motets" as they are known, performed by the singers.
That same enthusiasm, commitment and dedication is also apparent in his work with the St Thomas More Society. Joining the Society in 1992 when he first was called to the bar, he was elected President in 2009.
"Members of the St Thomas More Society take their inspiration from the selfless and brave example of St Thomas More who was Lord Chancellor of England during the turbulent reign of Henry VIII and the King's marriage to Anne Boleyn," Richard Perrignon explains.
Adopting St Thomas More's words: "the King's Good Servant but God's First" as its motto, the Society helps provide an opportunity for young lawyers to meet older and more experienced lawyers. In addition the Society holds annual retreats, convenes seminars on ethical issues that relate to the law and celebrates St Thomas More's Feast Day with a special Mass on 22 June each year.
The Red Mass which will be held at St Mary's Cathedral at 9.a.m on Tuesday, 29 January. Along with the city's legal profession, the general public is welcome to attend.


Sri Lankan theologian Fr Tissa Balasuriya laid to rest | Fr Tissa Balassuriya

Fr Tissa Balassuriya OMI
Hundreds of people of all faiths bid farewell to the controversial Sri Lankan theologian, Fr Tissa Balasuriya, who died aged 89, after a long illness on 17 January. His funeral was held on 19 January at Fatima Church in Borella, a Colombo neighbourhood, with people from all sorts of backgrounds - from civil society groups to ministers, Catholic priests to Buddhist monks. After the service, his body was laid to rest in the church cemetery.
Known for his commitment to interfaith dialogue, the Oblate of Mary Immaculate, who was known as Fr Bala, came into conflict with the Church over a book he published in 1990. Titled Mary and Human Liberation, the work combines ideas drawn from Latin American liberation theology with an Asian vision of religious integration.
In 1994, Sri Lankan bishops issued a warning against the book. That same year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) asked Father Balasuriya to retract certain arguments he advanced in the book, a request he declined.
Vatican criticism centred on some of his statements on doctrinal issues like original sin, the Immaculate Conception, and the irreplaceable role of Jesus in the work of salvation. When the CDF asked him to sign a statement of faith, again Fr Balasuriya declined. In view of his refusal, the Congregation formally announced his excommunication in January 1997.
Father Balasuriya eventually agreed to sign a statement of faith, and his excommunication was lifted in January 1998.
"Let us bury only the bones and the flesh of Fr Balasuriya," said Mgr Norbert Andradi, Oblate of Mary Immaculate and Bishop of Anuradhapura, "but let us also keep his words and deeds with us".
To read an extract from Fr Bala's 1984 book Planetary Theology, see:
Source: AsiaNews/Fides


Nehemiah 8: 2 - 4, 5 - 6, 8 - 10
2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
4 And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden pulpit which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithi'ah, Shema, Anai'ah, Uri'ah, Hilki'ah, and Ma-asei'ah on his right hand; and Pedai'ah, Mish'a-el, Malchi'jah, Hashum, Hash-bad'danah, Zechari'ah, and Meshul'lam on his left hand.
5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood.
6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God; and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
8 And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
9 And Nehemi'ah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep." For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Psalms 19: 8 - 10, 15
8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
1 Corinthians 12: 12 - 30
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
18 But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
19 If all were a single organ, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part,
25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
Luke 1: 1 - 4
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us,
2 just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,
3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph'ilus,
4 that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.
Luke 4: 14 - 21
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;
17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21 And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Jan 27, 2013 - 3rd Sun Ordinary Time


St. Angela Merici
Feast: January 27

Feast Day: January 27
21 March 1474, Desenzano del Garda, Province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Died: 27 January 1540, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Canonized: May 24, 1807, Rome by Pope Pius VII
Major Shrine: The Merician Centre (including the now subterranean Church of St Afra, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy)
Patron of: sickness, handicapped people, loss of parents
Angela Merici was born on March 21st, 1474, at Desenzano on Lake Garda; left an orphan at the age of ten she was brought up by her uncle and on his death went to live with her brothers. She was a devout girl and, having joined the Third Order of St. Francis, devoted herself to teaching children. As her work became known she was asked to go to Brescia where a house was put at her disposal and a number of women came to join her; she was thus enabled to establish a religious association of women, under the patronage of St. Ursula, who, remaining in the world, should devote themselves to every sort of corporal and spiritual work of mercy; but the particular emphasis was on education. Angela's methods were far removed from the modern idea of a convent school; she preferred to send her associates to teach girls in their own families, and one of her favorite sayings was, 'Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family'. It was by educating children in the milieu in which they lived that she strove to effect an improvement in social conditions.

Angela Merici is known now as the foundress of the Ursuline nuns—and so she was, but despite her own inclinations. In reality she was in advance of her own times. Her plan of religious women without distinctive habit, without solemn vows and enclosure, was directly contrary to prevailing notions at her period, and under the influence of St. Charles Borromeo at Milan and subsequent papal legislation (under St. Pius V) the Ursulines were obliged to adopt the canonical safeguards then required of all nuns.
Angela Merici died in Brescia on January 27th, 1540.


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