Friday, April 19, 2013




Vatican Radio REPORT: Faith is a gift that begins in our encounter with Jesus, a real, tangible person and not an intangible essence, ‘mist’ or 'spray'. Our real encounter with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was the focus of Pope Francis Thursday morning celebrated with the Italian State Police who serve the Vatican area. 

The Pope drew inspiration for his homily from the Gospel of John in which Jesus tells the crowd that "he who believes has eternal life". He says the passage is an opportunity for us to examine our conscience. He noted that very often people say they generally believe in God. "But who is this God you believe in?" asked Pope Francis confronting the evanescence of certain beliefs with the reality of a true faith:

"An ‘all over the place - god, a 'god-spray' so to speak, who is a little bit everywhere but who no-one really knows anything about. We believe in God who is Father, who is Son, who is Holy Spirit. We believe in Persons, and when we talk to God we talk to Persons: or I speak with the Father, or I speak with the Son, or I speak with the Holy Spirit. And this is the faith. "

In the Gospel passage, Jesus also says that no one can come to him "unless drawn by the Father who sent me." Pope Francis said that these words show that "to go to Jesus, to find Jesus, to know Jesus, is a gift" that God bestows on us. 

The Pope said we see an example of this in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, where Christ sends Philip to explain the Old Testament in the light of the Resurrection to an officer of the court of the Queen of Egypt. That officer - observed Pope Francis - was not a "common man" but a royal treasurer and because of this, “we may think he was a bit attached to the money", "a careerist." Yet, said the Pope, when this individual listens to Philip speak to him of Jesus "he hears that it is good news", "he feels joy," to the point of being baptized in the first place they find water:

"Those who have faith have eternal life, they have life. But faith is a gift, it is the Father who gifts it. We must continue on this path. But if we travel this path, it is always with our own baggage - because we are all sinners and we all always have things that are wrong. But the Lord will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness, and so we should always press onwards, without being discouraged - but on that path what happened to the royal treasurer will happen to us too”.

Pope Francis, what is described in the Acts of the Apostles, after the officer discovers the faith we also happen to us: "And he went on his way rejoicing":

"It is the joy of faith, the joy of having encountered Jesus, the joy that only Jesus gives us, the joy that gives peace: not what the world gives, but what gives Jesus. This is our faith. We ask the Lord to help us grow in this faith, this faith that makes us strong, that makes us joyful, this faith that always begins with our encounter with Jesus and always continues throughout our lives in our small daily encounters with Jesus. " 

Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) - “The Holy Father shares your sorrow, and that of the many mothers and families who have and are suffering the tragic loss of their loved ones at this moment in Argentina's history.” These are the words that the Pope addressed to Hebe de Bonafini, president of the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, in a letter dated 10 April and signed by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.
The Bishop of Rome thus responded to the letter that Hebe de Bonafini sent to him this past 21 March, gladdened by Cardinal Bergoglio's commitment in the “slums” of Buenos Aires and asking him to join with “all those in this unjust world who are fighting for an end to poverty.”
The Pope, writes Msgr. Camilleri, expresses his gratitude for the letter and responds to “your kindness, asking God for the strength for the fight, in the ministry that he has just accepted, for the eradication of poverty in the world, so that the suffering of so many who are in need might cease. His Holiness appreciates and highly esteems those who are close to the most disadvantaged and who make the effort to assist them, understand them, and meet their aspirations. In his prayers, he also asks that those responsible for the common good be enlightened so that they might fight the scourge of poverty with effective, equable, and caring means.”
The letter concludes with the Pope's blessing “as a sign of hope and support, at the same time asking the favour that they pray for and have prayers said for him.”
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an association of Argentinian mothers created in 1977 to denounce the disappearance of their children during the time of the Military Junta that controlled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Since 1977 they have assembled every Thursday in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada (the “Pink House”, seat of the Argentinian government) to protest for the crimes committed during that era and to keep alive the memory of the desaparecidos.
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – The German multinational financial services company Allianz Group, present in over 70 countries and with over 78 million clients worldwide, has awarded the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., as their Communicator of the Year.
The prize was awarded this morning during a meeting of the company's communications directors who meet once a year in a European capital to analyse themes and strategies tied to the world of communications with the assistance of experts in the field.
Among the reasons for this year's award, Allianz notes that Fr. Lombardi “represents the key to understanding and interpreting the Holy See with great refinement and experience, without seeking to make himself the protagonist.” The text of the award adds that the Press Office Director has always been “at the service of information, from both the side of the one who has it as well as that of the one who seeks it.”
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received:
- His Excellency Antonio Carlos Carvalho de Almeida Ribeiro, the new ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters,
- His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, Syria,
eight prelates of the Triveneto region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Luigi Bressan of Trento,
- Archbishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Udine,
- Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, bishop of Trieste,
- Archbishop Carlo Roberto Maria Redaelli of Gorizia,
- Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin, O.F.M. Conv., bishop of Treviso,
- Bishop Corrado Pizziolo of Vittorio Veneto,
- Bishop Giuseppe Pellegrini of Concordia-Pordenone, and
- Bishop Ivo Muser of Bolzano-Bressanone.
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Djuro Hranic as metropolitan archbishop of Dakovo-Osijek (area 7,752, population 643,892, Catholics 548,137, priests 250, permanent deacons 1, religious 423), Croatia. Bishop Hranic, previously auxiliary of the same ecclesiastic circumscription, was born in Vinkovci, Croatia in 1961, was ordained to the priesthood in 1986, and received episcopal ordination in 2001, being assigned the See of Gaudiaba. The archbishop-elect succeeds Archbishop Marin Srakic, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Fr. David J. Walkowiak as bishop of Grand Rapids (area 17,592, population 1,318,000, Catholics 179,500, priests 141, permanent deacons 40, religious 67), Michigan, USA. Fr. Walkowiak, of the clergy of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, was born in Cleveland in 1953, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1979. Holding a doctorate in Canon Law, he serves as an associate judge of the appellate tribunal for the Province of Cincinnati as well as the pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA. The bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Walter Allison Hurley, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


Head of Vatican press office wins major prize | Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office,  Communicator of the Year,Allianz Group,

Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ,

Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office, has been named Communicator of the Year, by the German multinational financial services company Allianz Group, present in over 70 countries and with over 78 million clients worldwide, 
The prize was awarded on Thursday morning during a meeting of the company's communications directors, who meet once a year in a European capital to analyse themes and strategies tied to the world of communications with the assistance of experts in the field.

Among the reasons for this year's award, Allianz noted that Fr Lombardi “represents the key to understanding and interpreting the Holy See with great refinement and experience, without seeking to make himself the protagonist.” The text of the award adds that the Press Office Director has always been “at the service of information, from both the side of the one who has it as well as that of the one who seeks it.”
Source: VIS

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
19 Apr 2013
Glen Matthews Tribal Musician Leading in Oln's Mass
It may be the smallest order in Australia - Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor - but the 13 sisters and their practical and compassionate work among the sick and poor, was recognised and celebrated at a special Centenary Mass at St Mary's Cathedral last weekend.
Nearly one thousand people from around the country gathered to remember Eileen O'Connor, the c o-founder of Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor, also known as the Brown Nurses.
Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney and Principal Celebrant, Bishop Terry Brady, echoed the thoughts of many at the mass when he referred to Eileen O-Connor as a "saint-in-waiting".
While still a very young woman Eileen, along with Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest Fr Edward McGrath, co-founded  Our Lady's of the Poor in Sydney in 1913.
With just a handful of supporters they quietly provided in-home healthcare, advocacy and friendship for the poor, sick and marginalised.
And not without their own battles.
Eileen, affectionately known as "Little Mother", suffered a lifetime of pain and suffering following a fall when very young and resulting in a broken spine. Numerous operations and complications through tuberculosis meant she never grew more than 115 centimetres and in her last years she suffered paralysis and would lapse into unconsciousness for days at a time. Like her supporter and co-founder Fr McGrath her battles were not only physical ones. Both battled with Church authorities with massive obstacles placed in their way however they inspired a small congregation of nuns to dedicate their lives  to visiting the sick and the very poor in their homes when others would not cross the doorstep. These women administered health care and helped with household work and also took care of children in the home.
Eileen O'Connor, co-founder of Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor
Eileen died in 1921 aged just 28.
Those days of battling with church authorities are long gone and Eileen's work was honoured by many senior church leaders at the Centenary Mass.
Apart from Bishop Brady there were five bishops from the Archdioceses of Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra-Goulburn and the Dioceses of Maitland Newcastle, Broken Bay and Wollongong as well as 42 priests. The Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher also attended along with political and community leaders, other religious orders and organisations.
For many the mass provoked memories when they were youngsters of the Brown Nurses going about their work. For all it was a very moving celebration beginning with Indigenous musician Glen Doyle leading the 13 remaining Sisters into the Cathedral.
"As a little boy, I can recall the Brown Nurses getting on and off the 399 bus from Circular Quay to Maroubra Beach at Dudley Street, Coogee," Bishop Brady recalled during his homily.
"I remember being told the story of co-founders, Eileen O'Connor and Fr Ted McGrath MSC, by my mother.
"In the mid-1970s my path with the Sisters crossed again when I was working with the then South Sydney Council as a welfare worker.
Bishop Terry Brady - Homily
"Many of the poorest people of the inner city were being cared for by the Sisters, especially those whom were in the 'too hard' basket for others.
"Over the centuries the Lord has tended to tap on the shoulder young women like Eileen to carry out his most challenging missions," he said.
"He certainly knew what he was about when he offered his invitation to Eileen. 
"She may have been crippled and had a number of other ailments but her heart was on fire for the love of the Lord and her brothers and sisters, especially the poorest of the poor.
"In many ways, Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor was a forerunner of a much larger congregation in our church, the Missionaries of Charity.
"I often wonder if the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta had not heard of these Australian based Sisters."
Bishop Brady said Eileen's status as a 'saint in waiting' was not without foundation.
"To many of us, she is already an uncanonised Saint," he said.
Historic Oln Centenary Mass
"Many of us have a desire to see Eileen O'Connor officially to be beatified and ultimately to be declared a Saint of our Church.
"Work already has been completed, however more is to be done and it is really up to a number of us here today to work much more deliberately to make it happen.
"I dream for the day when the words declaring Eileen O'Connor a Saint of the Universal Church will fill St Peter's Square."
His Excellency, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, said it was an honour to address the congregation as the recently-appointed representative of His Holiness, Pope Francis, exactly one month after his election as the Successor of St Peter and Bishop of Rome.
"As has been noted from the first moment that his name was announced from the balcony of St Peter's, Jorge Bergoglio, Jesuit priest, bishop, cardinal and now Pope, has always been, and will remain, a friend of the poor," he said.
Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor was established as a ministry of compassionate service for the sick poor in their own homes.
"So, he would be delighted to know that I am with you this morning to celebrate the centenary of the Brown Nurses."
The Sisters may be small in number but they keep alive the faithfulness and vision of their co-founders.
The Sister's mission for the poor and disadvantaged in the local government areas of Sydney, Randwick and Leichardt is conducted by the Brown Nurses. Based in Glebe this small team of registered nurses continue to minister to the sick poor in the tradition of Eileen O'Connor.
"The cause of a person's poverty is not yours to question. The fact a person is poor is the reason you help." - Eileen O'Connor
Eileen O'Connor faced many physical hurdles in her short life

When many of the city's sick and marginalised were left by themselves, the "Brown Nurses" were thee to assist.



Martin's hopes for a better world are tragically poignant
Martin's message, penned at schoolMartin's message, penned at school
  • Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite for the Washington Post
  • United States
  • The biblical prophet Isaiah had a vision of peace: “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)
Today that little child is 8-year-old Martin Richard, killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Afriend of his teacher apparently posted a picture Martin had made that is leading the nation, teaching of peace.
Martin’s life was cruelly cut short, and his mother and sister, who survived, are gravely injured. Our hearts go out to this family that has sustained so much loss.
Martin’s words--“No more hurting people. Peace”--have moved a nation to consider peace, to know peace, to build peace, to live toward peace in the face of unspeakable, calculated cruelty.
“You shall not hurt or harm on all my holy mountain,” Isaiah continues (11:9).
It is breathtaking and heartbreaking that the wisdom of the ages comes through the words of this child, teaching a nation.
This time, we don’t yet know who designed and orchestrated this act of terror. There is a collective national breath-holding, as we are poised to find someone, blame someone, punish someone, maybe just anyone, so we can relieve the tension and vent.
Martin’s here, teaching peace. Peace means not hurting people. Peace means not wanting a scapegoat, a political club with which to beat the other side, and a way to vent our very justifiable rage.
If you honor this little, very brief and wonderfully important life, take a moment and let his words teach you.
Of course, we need to find who did this, and we must prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
But this time, let us listen to Martin and not give in to the impulse to seek revenge.
Peace is not hurting people.


As cars drove by, the woman's husband asked for help but to no avail. The motorbike the man and his family (wife, daughter and son) were riding was hit from behind by a lorry that fled the scene of the accident. Although father and son survived, rescuers say that had help arrived in time, mother and daughter could have been saved as well. The Indian public is dismayed for the lack of civility and humanity in Indian society.

Jaipur (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Motorists and passers-by ignored a man for more than 40 minutes as his wife and their little eight-month girl bled to death in the middle of a road. The accident occurred yesterday in a tunnel in the city of Jaipur (250 km southwest of New Delhi). Avideo recorded by a CCTV camera shows the distraught man's calls for help fall on deaf ears as a stream of vehicles drove by without stopping for help. The man and his son, who was also riding on the motorbike, suffered only light injuries.
Kanhaiya Lal was riding his motorbike with his wife Guddi, 24; son Tanish, 4; and eight-month daughter Arushi, in an unlawful albeit traditional travelling arrangement. A lorry traveling at high speed hit them from behind, throwing everybody off the bike. The vehicle's driver did not stop but sped on as if nothing had happened.
The woman and the toddler lost immediately consciousness from heavy blood loss. Holding his injured son, who was alert, Lal called for help and led him away from the centre of the road.
Only 40 minutes after a man reached Kanhaiya and called police and an ambulance. For the woman and the girl it was too late; they were pronounced dead before they arrived at the hospital.
The doctor in charge of the SMS emergency unit, D. S. Meena, said that "The situation might have been better if they were provided medical help in time".
Indians were dismayed by the accident, which highlights the lack of civility and humanity in today's society. For men, the question is what is to be done to change things.
"That kind of failure is very, very common on the roads," said Mridul Bhasin, a campaigner with an advocacy road safety group, who was quoted in The Hindu. "This is happening day in, day out every minute in our country. People die and we turn a blind eye."
A similar accident occurred in October 2011 in Guangdong, China, when Yueyue, a two-year-old girl, was hit by two lorries and left to die on the road.


John 6: 44 - 51

44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48I am the bread of life.
49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
51I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."


St. Apollonius the Apologist
Feast: April 18

Feast Day:April 18
Martyr whose Apologia or defense of the faith, is called one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian prefect, Sextus Tigidius Perenis, arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. Perennis demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between Perennis and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)


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