Wednesday, April 24, 2013





Vatican Radio REPORT “It is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church”: this was Pope Francis’ message as he marked his name day, the Feast of St. George, this Tuesday celebrating Mass in the Pauline Chapel with the Cardinals present in Rome.
In his homily, the Pope thanked the cardinals for coming to concelebrate with him: "Thank you - he said - because I really feel welcomed by you". Commenting on the readings of the day, the Holy Father highlighted three aspects of the Church: Its missionary activity, born of persecution; the fact that it is a Mother Church which gifts us the faith that is our identity and that you cannot find Jesus outside of the Church; the joy of belonging to the Church bringing Jesus to others. In short the joy of being an evangelizer:

Below we publish a Vatican Radio transcript and translation of the Holy Father’s Homily for Mass with the Cardinals in the Pauline Chapel.

I thank His Eminence, the Cardinal Dean, for his words: thank you very much, Your Eminence, thank you.

I also thank all of you who wanted to come today: Thank you. Because I feel welcomed by you. Thank you. I feel good with you, and I like that.

The [first] reading today makes me think that the missionary expansion of the Church began precisely at a time of persecution, and these Christians went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, and proclaimed the Word. They had this apostolic fervor within them, and that is how the faith spread! Some, people of Cyprus and Cyrene - not these, but others who had become Christians - went to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks too. It was a further step. And this is how the Church moved forward. Whose was this initiative to speak to the Greeks? This was not clear to anyone but the Jews. But ... it was the Holy Spirit, the One who prompted them ever forward ... But some in Jerusalem, when they heard this, became 'nervous and sent Barnabas on an "apostolic visitation": perhaps, with a little sense of humor we could say that this was the theological beginning of the Doctrine of the Faith: thisapostolic visit by Barnabas. He saw, and he saw that things were going well.

And so the Church was a Mother, the Mother of more children, of many children. It became more and more of a Mother. A Mother who gives us the faith, a Mother who gives us an identity. But the Christian identity is not an identity card: Christian identity is belonging to the Church, because all of these belonged to the Church, the Mother Church. Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: "Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy." And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful.

And the third idea comes to my mind - the first was the explosion of missionary activity; the second, the Mother Church - and the third, that when Barnabas saw that crowd - the text says: " And a large number of people was added to the Lord" - when he saw those crowds, he experienced joy. " When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced ": his is the joy of the evangelizer. It was, as Paul VI said, "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And this joy begins with a persecution, with great sadness, and ends with joy. And so the Church goes forward, as one Saint says - I do not remember which one, here - "amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of the Lord." And thus is the life of the Church. If we want to travel a little along the road of worldliness, negotiating with the world - as did the Maccabees, who were tempted, at that time - we will never have the consolation of the Lord. And if we seek only consolation, it will be a superficial consolation, not that of the Lord: a human consolation. The Church's journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken.

Let us think today about the missionary activity of the Church: these [people] came out of themselves to go forth. Even those who had the courage to proclaim Jesus to the Greeks, an almost scandalous thing at that time. Think of this Mother Church that grows, grows with new children to whom She gives the identity of the faith, because you cannot believe in Jesus without the Church. Jesus Himself says in the Gospel: " But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep." If we are not "sheep of Jesus," faith does not some to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance. And let us think of the consolation that Barnabas felt, which is "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And let us ask the Lord for this "parresia", this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward! Forward, bringing the name of Jesus in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, and, as St. Ignatius said, "hierarchical and Catholic." So be it. 



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
23 Apr 2013
Tim Fischer and the then Pope Benedict in 2011 before signing off as Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See in 2011
On the eve of  ANZAC day and the 98th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, former Ambassador to the Holy See and a former deputy prime minister, Tim Fischer told graduating students from the Australia Catholic University (ACU) that the nation's diggers were so seared by their experience both at Gallipoli and throughout the Great War that they went on to over-achieve.
Awarded a Honorary Doctorate, the highest award given by the university in recognition of his many achievements as an ambassador, politician, former leader of the National Party, author, broadcaster, farmer and for his ongoing contributions and dedication to public service, Mr Fischer used his address at today's graduation ceremony at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre to talk about core leadership and using the men of Gallipoli as both an example and an inspiration.
"Good better best, never let it rest, till your good is better and your better best," Mr Fischer said, quoting the iconic exhortation printed on the rear of each Furphy water cart used by the diggers at Gallipoli as well as by Australia's soldiers fighting in the Middle East, the Western Front and in France. "This is the language of 100 years ago to extol the pursuit of excellence and to strive to learn more," he said, agreeing that it might seem a little trite and light to today's young people and was not ACU's carefully constructed Latin phrase: Susum Corda meaning "Lift up your hearts."
Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer uses example of Gallipoli veterans to inspire ACU graduates
The messages may be expressed differently but their essential meaning was the same, he told the students, describing Gallipoli as a "great starting point for an examination of core leadership."
At this time each year, Australia and New Zealand salute the fallen. "But we should also from time to time dwell on the survivors of Gallipoli," he urged and named some of Australia's outstanding leaders who had been forged amidst the canon and gunfire of Gallipoli's beaches and other battles throughout the Great War.
Qantas co-founder, Hudson Fysh; aviation pioneers Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Sir Ross McPherson Smith, Sir George Jones and Charles Ulm were all Gallipoli veterans who went on to provide real leadership in developing aviation, he said. Lord Richard Casey, the last Governor of Bengal and Governor General of Australia was a Lieutenant at Gallipoli while Able Seaman Norman Gilroy who was at station on a ship off ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli in 1915, would go on to become Bishop of Port Pirie and later Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney.
"There are many more of interest," he said and reeled off names including those of military leaders at Gallipoli such as Sir Harry Chauvel, Sir Thomas Blamey, the great Sir John Monash and Leslie Morshead.
Mr Fischer then told students to flick forward and examine some modern leadership dimensions.
The example he chose in this instance was the oldest organisation in the world bar none, the Holy See, the Vatican headquarters of the nation city state and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st Century. Core leadership.
Tim Fischer during his years as Ambassador to the Holy See
"It is not for an ex-junior Ambassador to lay down the law and anyhow, Pope Francis is off to a flying start in this regard, recently appointing a powerful kind of Cardinal Cabinet of just eight which includes Cardinal Pell and Caritas' Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiago," he said.
Mr Fischer not only welcomed the diverse composition and creation of this Cabinet of Cardinals of Advice, but said leadership at all levels in Rome remained vital to ensure the Church was not overwhelmed by the forces of secularism or certain evil forces of extremism both from within Christianity and from other faiths.
"It was a masterstroke of pure core leadership when so-called conservative Pope Benedict XVI took the step he had long foreshadowed - for those of us who listened - and resigned in accord with precedent and Canon Law."
Gallipoli veteran Lord Casey went on to become Governor General of Australia
Pope Benedict XVI recognised that although doctors could keep him living for a long period yet, there was a big difference between staying alive in your ninth decade and being fit and well enough at this age to be able to lead the huge organisation of the Roman Catholic Church, he explained.
"Pope Francis has quickly laid down some markers, the objective of a poor church looking after the poor and dealing once and for all in clear cut terms with the world-wide issue of clergy sex abuse. He is also examining the Vatican Bank, studying key internal reports and the very structure of the Curia and the modus operandi of the Curia in the second decade of the 21st Century."
Mr Fischer said it was vital the Roman Catholic Church be driven by a headquarters that sees the Church as a true Universal Church and not a Universal Italian Church, and believed this was due not only to the dominant number of cardinals from Europe but by what he called "Italianate Geographic" nepotism which had become deeply entrenched at all levels from just below the level of the Pope to the doorkeeper at No 5 Via della Conciliazioni where many offices of the Curia are located.
My thoughts and prayers are with Pope Francis as he sets out with his Pontificate as the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first Argentinian and the first Jesuit Holy Father," he said then posed his own question of the graduating students crowded into the Darling Harbour Convention Centre.
Abel Seaman Norman Gilroy was at Gallipoli and later became Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney
"The core leadership of the graduates from Gallipoli who survived World War 1 contributed much to the fabric of Australia. What then are you going to contribute and how might you go about it?" he asked and then to spur them on, quoted the advice of his own father who repeatedly told him "if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well."
On accepting his honorary Doctorate, the always modest Mr Fischer thanked the University, ACU Chancellor,  General Peter Cosgrove and Vice Chancellor Professor Greg Craven for what he described as "the huge honour conferred on me."
"But I also congratulate all graduates this day here in Sydney, and say: well done!"
In extending his congratulations he also said that it was now that the expanded life and big leadership requirements would be descend on them and that their graduation was not so much an ending of a phase but the commencement of a whole new phase of their lives.


by Weena Kowitwanij
In Thailand, caring for senior citizens (11 per cent of the population) is becoming a major issue. At present, only hospitals can provide the necessary services but at three times the cost of nursing homes. For this reason, Mgr Sirisut has thought about a specialised facility that would provide care without distinctions of religion.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - The Diocese of Chaiyaphum, in northeastern Thailand, has undertaken a project for senior citizens in a country that is increasingly aging (like in Europe) because of a declining birth rate. Bishop Joseph Chusak Sirisut, who is the behind the initiative, enlisted the support of the St Camillo Foundation to build a nursing home for the elderly called 'Ratchasima Home'. Originally inspired by the Jubilee of the Elderly celebrated on 17 September 2000, an initiative dear to the Blessed John Paul II, the project is now reality, albeit one still struggling to provide care of the elderly because of economic and social challenges.
"Seniors in Chaiyaphum are forced to go to St Mary's Hospital for assistance," said Mgr Sirisut. Here they have to "pay a monthly fee of more than 30,000 Bath" (slightly more than a thousand dollars) for care in a facility that has few beds. Since not all seniors are sick, a nursing home would reduce costs by one-third compared to those of a hospital," the prelate explained.
In 2012, this led to the construction of a senior citizen centre called "Ratchasima Home" in an area of ​​over 28,000 m2. The partnership with the St Camillus Foundation was crucial. The latter joined the initiative after the bishop met Fr Giovanni Contarin, head of the Catholic Committee on HIV/AIDS in Thailand, which donated 20 million of Bath (almost US$ 700,000).
The project is divided into three phases, the first of which will be completed by the end of next year and will provide fifty beds for the elderly. The second and third phases will depend on donations and locally and internationally raised funds.
The initial design consists of six two-storey buildings over a total area of ​​11,000 m2. It will be open to seniors "of any religion or way of life," said Mgr Sirisut, president of the Bishops' Commission for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue.
According to the National Economics and Social Development Board, seniors constitute 11.2 per cent of Thailand's 64 million people, one of the highest proportions in all of Asia. Thus, Thailand is an increasingly aging society. In 2008, seniors numbered 7.4 million. By 2020, they are expected to be17.7 million.
Suicide is a particularly serious problem in this age group, especially in the 70 to 74 group, followed by those between 80 and 84. Psychophysical stress, death of a spouse, loneliness and lack of hope are among the reasons that lead to suicide with seniors feeling as "a burden" for their children.


Agenzia Fides REPORT "It was a terrible thing, the blast was felt in a radius of more than three kilometers. We are all on alert, even if the authorities are busy to restore security," says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, where yesterday 23 April, a car bomb hit the French embassy. Two security officers were injured while the embassy was seriously damaged.
Mgr. Martinelli is also saddened by the death of two nuns in a road accident. "These two nuns of the Little Sisters of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, Sister Janine-Olga and Sister Therese-Suzanne respectively of Italian and French nationalities, were killed in a car crash outside Tripoli last night," says the Apostolic Vicar. In the incident two other religious were injured.
"They were two nuns who had donated their entire life to serving in Libya. It is a great loss for us. I am really heartbroken but we continue our work by relying on the Lord," concluded Mgr. Martinelli. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


John 10: 22 - 30

22It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
23it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
24So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me;
26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
28and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30I and the Father are one."


St. George
Feast: April 23

Feast Day:April 23
Born:between ca. AD 275 and 281, Nicomedia, Bithynia, modern-day northwestern Turkey
Died:April 23, 303, Lydda, Palestine
Major Shrine:Church of Saint George, Lod
Patron of:agricultural workers; Amersfoort, Netherlands; Aragon; archers; armourers; Beirut, Lebanon; Bulgaria; butchers; Cappadocia; Catalonia; cavalry; chivalry; Constantinople; Corinthians; Crusaders; England; equestrians; Ethiopia; farmers; Ferrara; field workers; Genoa; Georgia; Gozo; Greece; Haldern, Germany; Heide; herpes; horsemen; horses; husbandmen; knights; lepers and leprosy; Lithuania; Lod; Malta; Modica, Sicily; Moscow; Order of the Garter; Palestine; Palestinian Christians; Piran; plague; Portugal; Portuguese Army; Portuguese Navy; Ptuj, Slovenia; Reggio Calabria; riders; saddle makers; Scouts; sheep; shepherds; skin diseases; soldiers; syphilis; Teutonic Knights
St George is honoured in the Catholic Church as one of the most illustrious martyrs of Christ. The Greeks have long distinguished him by the title of The Great Martyr, and keep his festival a holiday of obligation. There stood formerly in Constantinople five or six churches dedicated in his honour, the oldest of which was always said to have been built by Constantine the Great, who seems also to have been the founder of the church of St. George, which stood over his tomb in Palestine. Both these churches were certainly built under the first Christian emperors. In the middle of the sixth age, the Emperor Justinian erected a new church in honour of this saint at Bizanes, in Lesser Armenia: the Emperor Mauritius founded one in Constantinople. It is related in the life of St. Theodorus of Siceon that he served God a long while in a chapel which bore the name of St. George, had a particular devotion to this glorious martyr, and strongly recommended the same to Mauritius when he foretold him the  empire. One of the churches of St. George in Constantinople, called Manganes, with a monastery adjoining, gave to the Hellespont the name of the Arm of St. George. To this day is St. George honoured as principal patron, or tutelar saint, by several Eastern nations, particularly the Georgians. The Byzantine historians relate several battles to have been gained, and other miracles wrought, through his intercession. From frequent pilgrimages to his church and tomb in Palestine, performed by those who visited the Holy Land, his veneration was much propagated over the West. St. Gregory of Tours mentions him as highly celebrated in France in the sixth century. St. Gregory the Great ordered an old church of St. George, which was fallen to decay, to be repaired. His office is found in the sacramentary of that pope and many others. St. Clotildis, wife of Clovis, the first Christian king of France, erected altars under his name; and the church of Chelles, built by her, was originally dedicated in his honour. The ancient life of Droctovaeus mentions, that certain relics of St. George were placed in the church of St. Vincent, now called St. Germaris, in Paris, when it was first consecrated. Fortunatus of Poitiers wrote an epigram on a church of St. George, in Mentz. The intercession of this saint was implored especially in battles and by warriors, as appears by several instances in the Byzantine history, and he is said to have been himself a great soldier. He is, at this day, the tutelar saint of the republic of Genoa; and was chosen by our ancestors in the same quality under our first Norman kings. The great national council, held at Oxford in 1222, commanded his feast to be kept a holiday of the lesser rank throughout all England. Under his name and ensign was instituted by our victorious king, Edward III, in 1330, the most noble Order of knighthood in Europe, consisting of twenty-five knights besides the sovereign. Its establishment is dated fifty years before the knights of St. Michael were instituted in France by Louis XI; eighty years before the Order of the Golden Fleece, established by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy; and one hundred and ninety years before the Order of St. Andrew was set up in Scotland by James V. The emperor Frederic IV instituted, in 1470, an Order of knights in honour of St. George; and an honourable military Order in Venice bears his name.
The extraordinary devotion of all Christendom to this saint is an authentic proof how glorious his triumph and name have always been in the church. All his acts relate that he suffered under Diocletian at Nicomedia. Joseph Assemani shows, from the unanimous consent of all churches, that he was crowned on the 23rd of April. According to the account given us by Metaphrastes, he was born in Cappadocia, of noble Christian parents. After the death of his father he went with his mother into Palestine, she being a native of that country, and having there a considerable estate, which fell to her son George. He was strong and robust in body, and having embraced the profession of a soldier, was made a tribune, or colonel, in the army. By his courage and conduct he was soon preferred to higher stations by the Emperor Diocletian. When that prince waged war against the Christian religion, St. George laid aside the marks of his dignity, threw up his commission and posts, and complained to the emperor himself of his severities and bloody edicts. He was immediately cast into prison, and tried, first by promises, and afterwards put to the question and tortured with great cruelty; but nothing could shake his constancy. The next day he was led through the city and beheaded. Some think him to have been the same illustrious young man who tore down the edicts when they were first fixed up at Nicomedia, as Lactantius relates in his book, On the Death of the Persecutors, and Eusebius in his history. The reason why St. George has been regarded as the patron of military men is partly upon the score of his profession, and partly upon the credit of a relation of his appearing to the Christian army in the holy war, before the battle of Antioch. The success of this battle proving fortunate to the Christians, under Godfrey of Bouillon, made the name of St. George more famous in Europe and disposed the military men to implore more particularly his intercession. This devotion was confirmed, as it is said, by an apparition of St. George to our king, Richard I, in his expedition against the Saracens; which vision being declared to the troops, was to them a great encouragement, and they soon after defeated the enemy. St. George is usually painted on horseback and tilting at a dragon under his feet; but this representation is no more than an emblematical figure, purporting that by his faith and Christian fortitude he conquered the devil, called the dragon in the Apocalypse.
Though many dishonour the profession of arms by a licentiousness of manners, yet, to show us that perfect sanctity is attainable in all states, we find the names of more soldiers recorded in the Martyrologies than almost of any other profession. Every true disciple of Christ must be a martyr in the disposition of his heart, as he must be ready to lose all, and to suffer anything, rather than to offend God. Every good Christian is also a martyr, by the patience and courage with which he bears all trials. There is no virtue more necessary, nor of which the exercise ought to be more frequent, than patience. In this mortal life we have continually something to suffer from disappointments in affairs, from the severity of the seasons, from the injustice, caprice, peevishness, jealousy, or antipathy of others; and from ourselves, in pains either of mind or body. Even our own weaknesses and faults are to us subjects of patience. And as we have continually many burdens, both of our own and others, to bear, it is only in patience that we are to possess our souls. This affords us comfort in all our sufferings and maintains our souls in unshaken tranquillity and peace. This is true greatness of mind and the virtue of heroic souls. But, alas! every accident ruffles and disturbs us; and we are insupportable even to ourselves. What comfort should we find, what peace should we enjoy, what treasures of virtue should we heap up, what an harvest of merits should we reap, if we had learned the true spirit of Christian patience! This is the martyrdom and the crown of every faithful disciple of Christ.



St. Adalbert of Prague
Feast: April 23

Feast Day:April 23
Born:939, Libice nad Cidlinou, Bohemia
Died:997, Truso (ElblÄ…g) or Kaliningrad Oblast
Patron of:Bohemia; Poland; Prussia
Born 939 of a noble Bohemian family; died 997. He assumed the name of the Archbishop Adalbert (his name had been Wojtech), under whom he studied at Magdeburg. He became Bishop of Prague, whence he was obliged to flee on account of the enmity he had aroused by his efforts to reform the clergy of his diocese. He betook himself to Rome, and when released by Pope John XV from his episcopal obligations, withdrew to a monastery and occupied himself in the most humble duties of the house. Recalled by his people, who received him with great demonstrations of joy, he was nevertheless expelled a second time and returned to Rome. The people of Hungary were just then turning towards Christianity. Adalbert went among them as a missionary, and probably baptized King Geysa and his family, and King Stephen. He afterwards evangelized the Poles, and was made Archbishop of Gnesen. But he again relinquished his see, and set out to preach to the idolatrous inhabitants of what is now the Kingdom of Prussia. Success attended his efforts at first, but his imperious manner in commanding them to abandon paganism irritated them, and at the instigation of one of the pagan priests he was killed. This was in the year 997. His feast is celebrated 23 April, and he is called the Apostle of Prussia. Boleslas I, Prince of Poland, is said to have ransomed his body for an equivalent weight of gold. He is thought to be the author of the war-song, "Boga-Rodzica", which the Poles used to sing when going to battle.

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