Wednesday, April 10, 2013





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 Vatican City, 10 April 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father dedicated his catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience to the salvific importance of Jesus' resurrection. After traversing St. Peter's Square in the open-top car, greeting the thousands of persons applauding his appearance he said,

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good day!

in the last Catechesis we have focused on the event of the Resurrection of Jesus, in which women have played a special role. Today I would like to reflect on its meaning for salvation. What does the Resurrection mean for our lives? And why, without it, is our faith in vain? Our faith is based on the death and resurrection of Christ, just like a house built on foundations: if they give in, the whole house collapses. On the Cross, Jesus offered himself taking sins upon himself our and going down into the abyss of death, and in the Resurrection he defeats them, he removes them and opens up to us the path to be reborn to a new life. St. Peter expresses it briefly at the beginning of his First Letter, as we have heard: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you"(1:3-4).

The Apostle tells us that the Resurrection of Jesus is something new: we are freed from the slavery of sin and become children of God, that we are born to a new life. When does this happen to us? In the Sacrament of Baptism. In ancient times, it was normally received through immersion. Those to be baptized immersed themselves in the large pool within the Baptistery, leaving their clothes, and the bishop or the priest would pour water over their head three times, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then the baptized would emerge from the pool and put on a new vestment, a white one: they were born to a new life, immersing themselves in the death and resurrection of Christ. They had become children of God. In the Letter to the Romans Saint Paul writes: you " For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father! '"(Rom. 8:15). It is the Holy Spirit that we received in baptism that teaches us, leads us to say to God, "Father." Or rather, Abba Father. This is our God, He is a father to us. The Holy Spirit produces in us this new status as children of God, and this is the greatest gift we receive from the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. And God treats us as His children, He understands us, forgives us, embraces us, loves us even when we make mistakes . In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah said that even though a mother may forget her child, God never, ever forgets us (cf. 49:15). And this is a beautiful thing, beautiful!

However, this filial relationship with God is not like a treasure to be kept in a corner of our lives. It must grow, it must be nourished every day by hearing the Word of God, prayer, participation in the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist and charity. We can live as children! We can live as children! And this is our dignity. So let us behave as true children! This means that each day we must let Christ transform us and make us like Him; it means trying to live as Christians, trying to follow him, even if we see our limitations and our weaknesses. The temptation to put God to one side, to put ourselves at the center is ever-present and the experience of sin wounds our Christian life, our being children of God. This is why we must have the courage of faith, we must resist being led to the mentality that tells us: "There is no need for God, He is not that important for you". It is the exact opposite: only by behaving as children of God, without being discouraged by our falls, can we feel loved by Him, our life will be new, inspired by serenity and joy. God is our strength! God is our hope!

Dear brothers and sisters, we must first must firmly have this hope and we must be visible, clear, brilliant signs of hope in world. The Risen Lord is the hope that never fails, that does not disappoint (cf. Rom 5:5). God’s hope never disappoints!. How many times in our life do our hopes vanish, how many times do the expectations that we carry in our heart not come true! The hope of Christians is strong, safe and sound in this land, where God has called us to walk, and is open to eternity, because it is founded on God, who is always faithful. We should never forget this; God is always faithful! God is always faithful! Be risen with Christ through Baptism, with the gift of faith, to an imperishable inheritance, leads us to increasingly search for the things of God, to think of Him more, to pray more. Christianity is not simply a matter of following commandments; it is about living a new life, being in Christ, thinking and acting like Christ, and being transformed by the love of Christ, it is allowing Him take possession of our lives and change them, transform them, to free them from the darkness of evil and sin.

Dear brothers and sisters, to those who ask us our reasons for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15), let us point to the Risen Christ. Let us point to Him with the proclamation of the Word, but especially with our resurrected life. Let us show the joy of being children of God, the freedom he gifts us to live in Christ, who is true freedom, freedom from the slavery of evil, sin and death! In looking to our heavenly home, we will also have a new light and strength in our commitment and in our daily efforts. It is a precious service that we give to our world, which is often no longer able to lift its gaze upwards, it no longer seems able to lift its gaze towards God.
Vatican City, 10 April 2013 (VIS) – At the end of this morning's catechesis, the Holy Father made an appeal for those affected by the powerful earthquake in southern Iran, which has killed at least 37 people, injured hundreds more, and caused serious damage. “I pray for the victims,” the Pope said, “and express my nearness to those struck by this catastrophe. Let us pray for all our brothers and sisters in Iran.”
Vatican City, 10 April 2013 (VIS) – Among those present at this morning's general audience was a group from the St. Lawrence Athletic Club of Buenos Aires, Argentina, of which Pope Francis has been member number 88235N since 2008. The Holy Father gave a particularly warm greeting to “The Ravens”, as the team's fans are called, saying: “Ah, this is very important!”. He also greeted the Spanish-speaking pilgrims from Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and the other Latin American countries. At the same time he greeted the priests participating in a continuing education course at the Pontifical Spanish College in Rome.
Addressing the English-speaking pilgrims, he offered “prayerful good wishes” to the students of the NATO Defense College “that their service to international peace and cooperation be always fruitful”. Particularly addressing the groups of German students from Munster and Diessen, he thanked them for the music that they provided for the audience.
In conclusion, he spoke to the Italian pilgrims among whom were a group of employees from the IDI private clinic (Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, the Dermopathic Institute of the Immaculate), which is experiencing a severe labour crisis. “I hope,” the Pope said, “that a positive solution for such a difficult situation can be found as soon as possible.”


LEON STEPNIAK, a Polish priest, died on April 9,2013 at the age of 100. He was the oldest survivor of the Dachau concentration camp. Stepniak was arrested by the Gestapo in 1940 in Klebowiec, Poland. Fr. Leon then spent 5 years in the Nazi camp in south eastern Germany. This was the first concentration camp opened in 1933. He was released at the end of World War II. Fr. Leon made a speech at the camp many years later saying that it should be a sign of reconciliation. From the year 1933-1945 around 32,000 people were killed at the camp. Many Christians were emprisoned at this camp including about 3,000 priests and bishops.

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by Melani Manel Perera
The teenage girl grew up in Marc Sri, a facility open to elderly and children in need. She has no arms, lives in a wheelchair and yet was able to learn to use the computer and hold a pen with her right foot. "Sometimes it is hard," she said, "but you should always try to see the beauty of what you receive, and be yourself."

Kalutara (AsiaNews) - Dulanjali Ariyathilake is 17 years old and successfully passed her exams the last semester. She wants to be a graphic designer. Her life and her dreams are like those of any other teenage girls her age in Sri Lanka. However, she is not really "like any other girl." Dulanjali lives in fact in a wheelchair because she was born without arms and her legs are much shorter than average. "God," she told AsiaNews, "taught me how to use my legs and my feet as if they were my own hands. Although that is the way I am, I am happy with my life, with the love I receive from the people I love, learning new things every day."
Dulanjali lives at the Marc Sri in Karukurunda (Kalutara District, Western Province), a Catholic facility that has welcomed seniors and children in need for over 30 years. After she was born, her father brought her to Rita Perera, founder of the house, to take care of her.
"I am happy my father gave me to mummy Rita," she explained, "because otherwise I would not have had so many opportunities to improve my life. I feel fortunate to have received the love of mummy Rita and daddy Julian." Daddy Julian, as she calls Fr Julian Tissera, is the facility's spiritual director.
At the facility, Dulanjali is known as dhoni, "daughter". Over the years, she has learnt to use her feet as if they were hands. In fact, "With the fingers of the left foot I can hold pen, pencil, and use the computer."
She spends her days in a wheelchair, which she can manoeuvre on her own thanks to special commands. She is happy with her independence. Only in the evening, when she has to go to sleep, does she need someone to help her lie down in bed.
When she thinks about Dulanjali, Marc Sri director Rita Perera feels "very happy. We want to help her achieve all her desires, pass upcoming school exams and become a graphic designer."
Set up about 30 years ago, the facility includes 11 homes for people varying in age and sex, from new-born babies to 95-year olds.
"God's love gives us the strength to run the place," Perera said. "Sometimes we get donations, sometimes food and basic necessities. However, we do not have a steady income or property to pay expenses".
"Sometimes," Dulanjali said, "I feel sad looking at myself and my friends. They are beautiful. They help me a lot when we are in school. But this sadness I feel does not last. I try to think about the good things in my life, about the gifts, talents and opportunities God gave me. I always try to enjoy the finer things in life. And I want the same thing for my younger brothers and sisters (the other residents). You should always try to see the beautiful in what we receive, and be yourself."




France: Flash mob for religious freedom | Bishop Gregory Elias Tabe, Archbishop of Damascus, Mgr Arturo Gonzallez Amador, Bishop of Santa Clara,Sister Bounmy, flash mob, Notre Dame Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral
 One person in two lives in a country where religious freedom is not respected. More than 200 million Christians suffer grave restrictions and sometimes even risk their lives to practice their faith. To say all this to the world, more than 300 young people plan a 'flash mob' for religious freedom in the centre of Paris, in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame on 12 April.
This initiative is promoted by the French section of Aid to the Church in Need. It will be followed by the 'Night of the Witness', now in its fifth year, in which clergy, religious and laypeople from around the world converge on Paris, for an evening of prayer and testimony.
Among the speakers there will be Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja in Nigeria. Msgr Ignace Joseph III Younan, Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, Bishop Gregory Elias Tabe, Archbishop of Damascus, Syria, Mgr Arturo Gonzallez Amador, Bishop of Santa Clara in Cuba and Sister Bounmy, Religious of Charity in Laos.
For more information about Notre Dame Cathedral, visit their beautiful website (which has a nice children's section):
Source: Fides


12 - 14: The Road Less Travelled Art Exhibition (COSSAG)

The Cathedral of St Stephen Art Group (COSSAG) Brisbane invites you to "The Road Less Traveled". An exhibition of Contemporary Religious Art and Traditional Icons by Michael Galovic.
One of the leading Australian iconographers of international note, Michael will share his insights and knowledge about religious art and icons on the opening night. COSSAG collaborates proudly with Michael, a graduate from the Belgrade Academy of Arts, to offer an opportunity for the viewing of a body of work rarely exhibited in Australia.
Where:   Francis Rush Centre
               227 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane
When:   Opening on Friday 12 April at 6.00pm
              The display then continues Saturday 13 April (9am - 5pm)
              and Sunday 14 April (9am - 3.30pm)
All original works are for sale, as well as a range of unique iconic greeting cards, A3 size posters, brochure and book "Icons +Art:Michael Galovic", the first and still the only publication on icons done by an Australian in this country. The Artist will be available all throughout this exhibition.
Free entry
Cathedral Car Park is available - enter through Charlotte Street.
YouTube:  Michael Galovic


John 3:
 16 - 21

16For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
18He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.


St. Fulbert
Feast: April 10

Feast Day:April 10
Born:between 952 and 962
Died:10 April 1028 or 1029
Bishop, b. between 952 and 962; d. 10 April, 1028 or 1029. Mabillon and others think that he was born in Italy, probably at Rome; but Pfister, his latest biographer, designates as his birthplace the Diocese of Laudun in the present department of Gard in France. He was of humble parentage and received his education at the school of Reims, where he had as teacher the famous Gerbert who in 999 ascended the papal throne as Sylvester II. In 990 Fulbert opened a school at Chartres which soon became the most famous seat of learning in France and drew scholars not only from the remotest parts of France,  but also from Italy, Germany, and England. Fulbert was also chancellor of the church of Chartres and treasurer of St. Hilary's at Poitiers. So highly was he esteemed as a teacher that his pupils were wont to style him "venerable Socrates". He was a strong opponent of the rationalistic tendencies which had infected some dialecticians of his times, and often warned his pupils against such as extol their dialectics above the teachings of the Church and the testimony of the Bible. Still it was one of Fulbert's pupils, Berengarius of Tours, who went farthest in subjecting faith to reason. In 1007 Fulbert succeeded the deceased Rudolph as Bishop of Chartres and was consecrated by his metropolitan, Archbishop Leutheric of Sens. He owed the episcopal dignity chiefly to the influence of King Robert of France, who had been his fellow student at Reims. As bishop he continued to teach in his school and also retained the treasurership of St. Hilary. When, about 1020, the cathedral of Chartres burned down, Fulbert at once began to rebuild it in greater splendour. In this undertaking he was financially assisted by King Canute of England, Duke William of Aquitaine, and other European sovereigns. Though Fulbert was neither abbot nor monk, as has been wrongly asserted by some historians, still he stood in friendly relation with Odilo of Cluny, Richard of St. Vannes, Abbo of Fleury, and other monastic celebrities of his times. He advocated a reform of the clergy, severely rebuked those bishops who spent much of their time in warlike expeditions, and inveighed against the practice of granting ecclesiastical benefices to laymen.
Fulbert's literary productions include 140 epistles, 2 treatises, 27 hymns, and parts of the ecclesiastical Office. His epistles are of great historical value, especially on account of the light they throw on the liturgy and discipline of the Church in the eleventh century. His two treatises are in the form of homilies. The first has as its subject: Misit Herodes rex manus, ut affligeret quosdam de ecclesia, etc. (Acts 12:50); the second is entitled "Tractatus contra Judaeos" and proves that the prophecy of Jacob, "Non auferetur sceptrum de Juda", etc. (Genesis 49:10), had been fulfilled in Christ. Five of his nine extant sermons are on the blessed Virgin Mary towards whom he had a great devotion. The life of St. Aubert, bishop of Cambrai (d. 667), which is sometimes ascribed to Fulbert, was probably not written by him. Fulbert's epistles were first edited by Papire le Masson (Paris,1585). His complete works were edited by Charles de Villiers (Paris, 1608), then inserted in "Bibl. magna Patrum" (Cologne,16l8) XI, in "Bibl. maxima Patri." (Lyons, 1677), XVIII, and with additions, in Migne, P.L., CXLI, 189-368.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

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