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Monday, May 20, 2013

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POPE FRANCIS "STRONG PRAYER IS NEEDED....TO ASK FOR A MIRACLE" AND LATEST FROM VATICAN
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*CHURCHES SET ON FIRE AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ATTACKED IN EGYPT
*TODAY'S SAINT : MAY 20 : ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA
*TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MON. MAY 20, 2103
*WATCH THE LIFE OF ST. DAMIEN MOLOKAI PART 10 - FREE MOVIE
*WEEK OF HOPE - ECCLESIA IN EUROPA FROM COMECE BISHOPS
*GREAT GRACE CONFERENCE ON VATICAN II - VITAL ROLE OF LAITY
*FR. THOMAS WILLIAMS OF LEGIONARIES ASKS TO LEAVE PRIESTHOOD TO BE WITH SON - PLEASE PRAY
Vatican Radio REPORT  Courageous, humble and strong prayer can accomplish miracles: this was Pope Francis’ message at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta.

The Pope was commenting on Monday’s Gospel passage which recounts the disciples failure to heal a child; Jesus himself must intervene and laments the disbelief of those present. Responding to the child’s father’s pleas for help He says “everything is possible to one who has faith ". Pope Francis noted that often those who love Jesus don't risk much on believing in him nor entrust themselves completely to Him:

"But why this disbelief? I believe that it is [when] the heart will not open, when the heart is closed, when the heart wants to have everything under control". It is a heart, then, that "does not open" and does not "give control of things to Jesus" - said the Pope - and when the disciples ask him why they could not drive the spirit out of the boy, the Lord replies that the "this kind can only come out through prayer. " "All of us - he said – carry a little bit of a disbelief, within." Strong prayer is needed, humble and strong prayer that enables Jesus to carry out the miracle. Prayer to ask for a miracle, to ask for an extraordinary action - he continued – must be an involved prayer, a prayer that unites us all”. To further underline his point, the Holy Father told the story of a young child in Argentina who at only 7 years of age fell ill and was given only a few hours to live by doctors. Her father, an electrician, a "man of faith," started “acting like madmen - said the Pope - and in that state of madness “took a bus to the Marian Shrine of Lujan, 70 km away”. "He finally arrived after 9 pm, when everything was closed. And he began to pray to Our Lady, with his hands gripping the iron fence. And he prayed, and prayed, and wept, and prayed ... and that’s the way he remained all night long. But this man was struggling: he was struggling with God, he struggled with God Himself to heal his daughter. Then, at 6 in the morning, he went to the bus station, took the bus and arrived home, in the hospital at 9 am, more or less. And he found his wife weeping. And he thought the worst. “What’s happened? I do not understand, I do not understand! What has happened? '. 'Well, the doctors came and they told me that the fever is gone, she is breathing well, that there is nothing! They will leave her for two days more, but I do not understand what happened! This still happens, eh? Miracles do happen”.
But we need to pray with our hearts concluded the Pope:"A courageous prayer, that struggles to achieve a miracle, not prayers of courtesy, 'Ah, I will pray for you,' I say an Our Father, a Hail Mary and then I forget. No: a courageous prayer, like that of Abraham, who struggled with the Lord to save the city, like that of Moses who held his hands high and tired himself out, praying to the Lord, like that of many people, so many people who have faith and pray with faith. Prayer works wonders, but we have to believe! I think we can make a beautiful prayer ... and tell Him today, all day long, 'Lord, I believe, help my unbelief' ... and when people ask ask us to pray for the many people who suffer in wars, all refugees, all of these dramas that exist right now, pray, but with your heart to the Lord: 'Do it!', but tell Him: 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief 'that is also in my prayers. Let us do this today. "

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
POPE FRANCIS: BE OPEN TO GOD'S SURPRISES
Vatican City, 19 May 2013 (VIS) – The Mass that Pope Francis celebrated this morning in St. Peter's Square in front of over 200,000 people was the concluding event of the two days of pilgrimage for the ecclesial movements, communities, and lay associations to Rome as part of the Year of Faith celebrations. In his homily, Francis noted that, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, “we contemplate and re-live in the liturgy the outpouring of the Holy Spirit sent by the Risen Christ upon his Church; an event of grace which filled the Upper Room in Jerusalem and then spread throughout the world.”
“Newness,” he said, “always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme, and plan our lives ... This is also the case when it comes to God. ... It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives ... We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, He brings newness—God always brings newness—and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel. This is not a question of newness for novelty’s sake, the search for something new to relieve our boredom ... The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to 'God’s surprises'? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God’s newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new? We would do well to ask ourselves these questions all through the day.”
“The Holy Spirit,” the pontiff continued, “would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. ... Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality, and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. ... Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community, and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are very dangerous! When we venture beyond the Church’s teaching and community ... and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ.”
In his last point, the Pope observed that “early theologians used to say that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind which fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and self-referential, closed in on herself; He impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the goodness of the Gospel ... The Holy Spirit is the soul of mission. The events that took place in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago are not something far removed from us; they are events which affect us and become a lived experience in each of us. The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the beginning, a beginning which endures. ... It is the Paraclete, the 'Comforter', who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel! The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and urges us toward the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus Christ.”
CELEBRATION OF PENTECOST IN UPPER ROOM UNDER HEAVEN
Vatican City, 19 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of the Mass celebrating the Solemnity of Pentecost for the movements, new communities, and lay associations, the Holy Father prayed the Regina Coeli with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
This “renewed Pentecost,” the Pope said, “has transformed St. Peter's Square into an Upper Room under the heavens. We have re-lived the experience of the nascent Church, praying with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In the diversity of these charisms we have experienced the beauty of unity, of being one. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who always creates unity in the Church anew.”
The bishop of Rome thanked the ecclesial movements, communities, and associations, calling them “a gift and a wealth for the Church” and especially thanking them for having come from Rome and so many parts of the world to gather together. “Always carry with you the strength of the Gospel! Do not be afraid! Always have joy and passion for communion in the Church! May the Risen Lord be always with you and Our Lady protect you!”
At the end of the Regina Coeli, the Pope recalled in his prayers the population of Emilia Romagna in northern Italy who, at this time last year, suffered an earthquake, also praying for the Italian Federation of Associations of Volunteers in Oncology.
 
ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS: THE CHURCH CANNOT BE LOCKED WITHIN ITSELF
Vatican City, 18 May 2013 (VIS) – Today and yesterday, events for ecclesial movements of new lay communities and associations to reflect on the theme “I Believe! Increase our Faith!” were held in Rome as part of the Year of Faith. Over 120,000 people were gathered in St. Peter's Square this afternoon when the Pope arrived at 5:30pm and, after greeting the pilgrims, initiated the Pentecost Vigil.
After the opening welcome by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, the image of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani was brought in a procession to the centre of the square and then enthroned. After a series of readings, songs, and testimonials, Pope Francis answered four questions asked by representatives of the movements. Following are the questions with a summary of the Holy Father's answers.
Q: “How were you able to achieve certainty of faith in your life, and what path can you indicate to us so that each one of us can overcome our fragility of faith?”
A: “I have had the good fortune to grow up in a family where the faith was lived in a simple and concrete manner ... The first proclamation is in the home, within the family, right? And this makes me think of the love of so many mothers and so many grandmothers in the transmission of the faith. … We do not find our faith in the abstract, no! It is always a person who preaches it to us, who tells us who Jesus is, who gives us the faith, who gives us the first announcement. … But there is a very important day for me: September 21, 1953. I was almost 17. It was the 'Students' Day'.... Before going to the festival, I went to my parish and met a priest I did not know, but I felt the need to confess. … After confession I felt that something had changed. I was not the same. I felt a voice call me: I was convinced that I had to become a priest. This experience of faith is important. We say that we must seek God, go to him to ask for forgiveness ... but when we go, He is already waiting for us. He is the first one there! ... And this creates wonder in the hearts of those who do not believe, and this is how faith grows! With an encounter with a Person, with an encounter with the Lord.”
Regarding fragility: “Fragility’s biggest enemy curiously enough, is fear. But do not be afraid! We are weak, we know it but He is stronger! If you are with him, then there is no problem! A child is fragile—I see many today—but they are with their fathers and their mothers so they are safe! We too are safe with the Lord; we are secure. Faith grows with the Lord, out of the very hands of the Lord.”
Q: The second question concerned the challenge of evangelization and what the movements should do to put the task have been called to into practice.
A: “I will say just three words. First: Jesus. … If we move forward with planning and other things, beautiful things indeed, but without Jesus, then something is wrong. Jesus is the most important thing. … The second word is prayer. Look at the face of God, but above all ... know that you are being looked at in return. … And third, 'witness'. … the faith can only be communicated through witness and that is through love. Not with our ideas, but by living the Gospel in our own lives, which the Holy Spirit brings to life within us. … Not so much speaking, but speaking through the way you live: the consistency of your life … which means living Christianity as an encounter with Jesus that leads me towards others and not as a social fact. Socially this how we are. Are we Christians? Wrapped up in ourselves? No, not that. Witness!”
Q: The third question was how to live as “a poor Church, for the poor”.
A: “First of all, the main contribution we can make is to live the Gospel. The Church is not a political movement or a well-organized structure: That is not her. … The Church is the 'salt of the earth, the light of the world’. She is called to make the leaven of the Kingdom of God present in society and do it first by witness, her witness of fraternal love, solidarity … When you hear some say that solidarity is not a value, that it's a 'basic attitude' that needs to disappear ... this is wrong! … Moments of crisis, such as the one we are experiencing ... are not only an economic crisis, not a cultural crisis. It is a crisis of humanity: it is humanity that is in crisis. And what can be destroyed is mankind! But mankind is the image of God!”
“In this time of crisis we can't just worry about ourselves, can't get wrapped up in loneliness or discouragement … Please do not get locked away in yourselves! That is a danger: locking ourselves away inside our parish, among our friends, in our movement, with people who think the same way we do ... But you know what is happening? When the Church becomes closed up in itself it gets sick. ,,, The Church must go out from herself. Where? Towards the boundaries of existence, whatever those might be, but get out. Faith is an encounter with Jesus and we must do the same as Jesus, meet others. .… We have to bring about encounter. We have to make our faith a 'culture of encounter' and of friendship, a culture wherein we find brothers and sisters, where we can talk even with those who do not think like us, even with those with which have a different faith … Everyone has something in common with us: they are made in the image of God! … We must go out to meet with everyone without negotiating about the faith we belong to.”
“And another important point: we must go out to meet the poor. … Today, imagine, all the children who don't have something to eat is not news. This is serious. We cannot stay calm! We cannot become starch-pressed Christians, those Christians who are too highly educated, who speak of theological issues over tea, calmly. No! We must become courageous Christians and go out in search of those who are the flesh of Christ. … Poverty, for us Christians, is not a sociological or philosophical or cultural category. No. It is a theological category. I would say, perhaps, the first category, because God, the Son of God, humbled himself, became poor to walk along the road with us. This is our poverty: the poverty of the flesh of Christ; the poverty that has brought us the Son of God with his Incarnation.”
Q: The fourth question was: How can we help our brothers and sisters if there is little we can do to change the socio-political climate they are living under?
A: “Two virtues are needed to proclaim the Gospel: courage and patience. They are in the Church of patience. They suffer and there are more martyrs today than in the early centuries of the Church. … It should be noted that many times these conflicts do not have a religious origin. Often there are other causes of a social and political nature and unfortunately, religious affiliations are used like fuel to the fire. A Christian must always know how to respond to evil with good, although it is often difficult. We must try to make them feel—these brothers and sisters of ours—that we are deeply united ... to their situation, that we know that they are Christians who have 'entered a state of patience'. … they experience the limits, the very limits, between life and death. And for us, this experience should lead us to promote religious freedom for all: for everyone! Every man and woman should be free in their religious confession, whatever it may be. Why? Because that man and that woman are children of God.“
The vigil ended with the profession of faith, prayer intentions, and the singing of the Regina Coeli.
 
 
 
CHRISTIANS AND BUDDHISTS: INNER PEACE, PEACE AMONG PEOPLES
Vatican City, 20 May 2013 (VIS) – “Inner Peace, Peace Among Peoples” was the theme of the fourth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in collaboration with the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Italy. The participants, coming from Italy, Japan, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and India, reaffirmed the need of mutual responsibility to maintain or to restore peace and to contribute to friendship and solidarity among persons and peoples.
“In both the Christian and Buddhist journeys,” a communique released today states, “inner freedom, purification of the heart, compassion, and the gift of self are the essential conditions for the inner peace of the individual as well as for social peace. In spite of differences, both Buddhist and Christian ethical teaching on respect for life is a search for common good based on loving kindness and compassion. The participants expressed that dialogue between Buddhists and Christians be strengthened to face new challenges such as threat to human life, poverty, hunger, endemic diseases, violence, war, etc., which belittle the sanctity of human life and poison peace in human society.“
 
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 20 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
nine prelates from the Sicilia Region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
   - Archbishop Salvatore Gristina of Catania,
   - Archbishop Salvatore Pappalardo of Siracusa,
   - Archbishop Calogero La Piana, S.D.B., of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela,
   - Bishop Ignazio Zambito of Patti,
   - Bishop Paolo Urso of Ragusa,
   - Bishop Salvatore Muratore of Nicosia,
   - Bishop Antonio Stagliano of Noto,
   - Bishop Calogero Peri, O.F.M. Cap., of Caltagirone, and
   - Bishop Antonino Raspanti of Acireale.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, and
Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.
This afternoon in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel he is scheduled to receive nine prelates from the Sicilia Region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
   - Cardinal Paolo Romeo, archbishop of Palermo and apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the eparchy of Piana degli Albanesi (of the Italo-Albanians), with the auxiliary of Palermo:
   - Bishop Carmelo Cuttitta, titular of Novi,
   - Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento,
   - Archbishop Michele Pennisi of Monreale,
   - Archbishop Alessandro Plotti, emeritus of Pisa and apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Trapani,
   - Bishop Vincenzo Manzella of Cefalu,
   - Bishop Mario Russotto of Caltanissetta,
   - Bishop Domenico Mogavero of Mazara del Vallo, and
   - Msgr. Giovanni Bongiovanni, diocesan administrator of Piazza Armerina.
On Saturday, 18 May, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
   - Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk, apostolic nuncio to Liberia and titular of Otriculum, and
   - Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
 
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 20 May 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye as archbishop of Singapore, (area 639, population 5,076,700, Catholics 189,094, priests 144, religious 417). Archbishop Goh, previously coadjutor of that same archdiocese, succeeds Archbishop Nicholas Chia Yeck Joo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
On Saturday, 18 May, the Holy Father appointed:
   - Bishop Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente as patriarch of Lisbon (area 3,735, population 2,235,000, Catholics 1,869,000, priests 604, permanent deacons 79, religious 1,507), Portugal. Bishop Macario do Nascimento Clemente, previously of Porto, Portugal, currently serves as the vice president of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He succeeds Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same patriarchy the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
   - Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach as apostolic nuncio to the Solomon Islands. Archbishop Banach, titular of Memphis, is also apostolic nuncio to Papua New Guinea.
   - Bishop Jozef Piotr Kupny as archbishop of Wroclaw (area 8,850, population 1,200,300, Catholics 1,153,600, priests 858, religious 1,204), Poland. Archbishop-elect Kupny, previously auxiliary of Katowice and titular of Vanariona, was born in Dabrowka Wielka, Lodz Voivodeship, Poland, in 1956, was ordained to the priesthood in 1983, and received episcopal ordination in 2005. He was recently elected a member of the permanent council of the Polish Episcopal Conference and is president of the Council for Social Questions and delegate to Catholic Movements and Associations. He succeeds Archbishop Marian Golebiewski, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.






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CHURCHES SET ON FIRE AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ATTACKED IN EGYPT


ASIA NEWS REPORT
The two attacks targeted the church of St. Mary in a suburb of Alexandria and that of the small village of Menpal in Upper Egypt. In subsequent clashes one person died following a heart attack.



Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptian Coptic community faces a new escalation of attacks by Islamists. On 17 May, two churches were attacked with Molotov cocktails in the district of Dakhela, west of Alexandria, Egypt, and Menpal in Upper Egypt.
In Alexandria over 20 thousand Muslims attacked the church of St. Mary setting fire to the entrance of the building and shattering windows. A man died of a heart attack in the attack. In response to the violence, hundreds of Copts left their homes to create a human wall around the building. According to witnesses some Islamists armed with pistols and knives fired on the crowd, causing some injuries.

At the origin of the clashes is a dispute between two neighbors. Basem Ramzy Michael, a Coptic Christian, is reported to have behaved inappropriately towards the sister of Alloshy Hamada, a Muslim with a criminal record. In a short time the dispute between the two erupted into a sectarian clash.
A similar incident occurred last May 13, in the village of Menbal, Matay district, north of the province of Minya, where a Muslim mob stormed the church called the Tadros el-Mashreki and assaulted one person inside. The assailants threw stones at the building, looted Christian shops nearby and burned cars. The Coptic minority has been threatened with expulsion from the village. Once again the violence was sparked by a trivial quarrel between two young people. Some young Muslims are reported to have made advances to a group of Coptic girls, as they entered the church. Irritated at having been ignored the group waited for the young Christian girls to leave the Church and threw bags filled with urine at them. The young people were rescued by some Christians peers who have started a heated argument with Muslims. As in other cases, the news spread across the village. In a short time a crowd of Islamists rallied in front of the church, forcing young people to take refuge inside.
Ehab Ramzy, a Coptic Christian, prosecutor in the province and former member of parliament, said Menbal has a Muslim majority, while Manshiet Menbal, 10 kilometers away, has Coptic majority. "The Christians of the two villages - he explains - have nothing to do with the fight that took place in Manshiet Menbal. The young people were attacked just because they are Christian." Two young Muslim men were arrested by police in Menbal. In the coming days there will be a reconciliation meeting between the two communities. "Now - he adds - the security forces are trying to arrest some young Copts. They have become a bargaining chip to seek reconciliation."
AsiaNews sources underline that the attacks against the Coptic community are now a daily occurrence and are being ignored by the police, who because of the climate of chaos, let communities resolve disputes among themselves, although this can result in dead or wounded. The most serious incident took place on April 7 in front of the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, where a group of Islamists attacked funerals of four Christians killed in sectarian clashes that took place on April 5 in the district of Khosous, on the outskirts of the capital, with stones and Molotov cocktails. The assault, which took place before the eyes of the police, left two dead and over 80 injured. A church building caught fire.
 
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT


TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MON. MAY 20, 2103



Mark 9: 14 - 29


14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them.
15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him.
16 And he asked them, "What are you discussing with them?"
17 And one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit;
18 and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able."
19 And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me."
20 And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood.
22 And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us."
23 And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes."
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again."
26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead."
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?"
29 And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."



WATCH THE LIFE OF ST. DAMIEN MOLOKAI PART 10 - FREE MOVIE





Part 10 of the life story of St. Molokai shared from Youtube 



WEEK OF HOPE - ECCLESIA IN EUROPA FROM COMECE BISHOPS


COMECE release: Presentation


unknownTen years ago, on 29 June 2003, Pope John Paul II published the papal exhortation Ecclesia in Europa.The bishops of COMECE decided to organise a special Week of Hope to mark the tenth anniversary of Ecclesia in Europa, the papal exhortation published on 29 June 2003 by Pope John Paul II.  Today, in the light of the current crisis, scepticism and doubt sometimes seem to dominate . However, looking back to what we have achieved in Europe,  we should all remain hopeful Europeans. In the year of European citizenship, we encourage you to transmit your hopes through your work and personal commitment to European citizens by joining the Week of Hope, from 23-27 June at the heart of the European Quarter.

www.comece.eu/Week4hope facebook page: www.facebook.com/Ecclesia.in.Europa

Twitter account:
Ecclesia.in.Europa @Ecclesia_Europa

Download the leaflet in PDF


GREAT GRACE CONFERENCE ON VATICAN II - VITAL ROLE OF LAITY


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 May 2013



Professor Anne Hunt Executive Dean of Theology and Philosphy at ACU
One important and ongoing legacy of the Second Vatican Council is the recognition of the universal call to holiness and the Council's vision for the vital role of the laity in the Church, says Professor Anne Hunt, Doctor of Theology and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.
"Almost every document has something to say about the laity, beginning with Sacrosanctum Concilium, which called for full, conscious and active participation by all people in liturgical celebration," she says and describes the "rediscovery of the people of God as one reality, a mutuality of hierarchy and laity in which all are called to holiness,: as one of the most profound insights of Vatican II.
"This recognition of the laity was a remarkable aspect of Vatican II. It had never happened before. Also remarkable during the second session of Vatican II was the decision to decision to appoint some members of the laity as auditors," she says.
Among the auditors chosen from the laity was Australian, Rosemary Goldie who would go on to become the most highly-placed woman in the Vatican's hierarchy when she was appointed Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council of the Laity by Pope Paul VI. Rosemary Goldie died in 2010 aged 94 but her achievements and long service to the Vatican will be remembered and celebrated by her longtime friend and well known historian Father Ed Campion at the Great Grace Conference Dinner on Wednesday evening, 22 May at Dockside, Darling harbour.  


Prior to becoming Pope, Blessed John Paul II was one of the great scholars and teachers from Vatican II
Professor Hunt says the ground breaking teachings of the Second Vatican Council and its four sessions, which began under Pope John XXIII and concluded in late 1965, and its call for the full involvement and active participation of the laity in the life of the Church, continue to resonate 50 years later.
But to achieve and implement the full vision of the Council still has a way to go, she says.
A keynote speaker at this week's Great Grace Conference: Receiving Vatican II Today, Professor Hunt will not only document what has been achieved so far and what is still to be realised.
Professor Hunt will deliver her address: "A Council for the Laity? The Vision of Vatican II in Empowering the Lay Faithful" on Wednesday morning, 22 May on the third day of the Conference which begins tonight following mass at St Mary's Cathedral at 5.30 pm.
Following mass, His Eminence Cardinal George Pell will deliver a public address entitled "Vatican II: Yesterday's Council for Tomorrow's World," to which all are welcome. He will give the address at St Mary's Cathedral at 7pm and will explore the ongoing he ongoing relevance of the Second Vatican Council not only today but into the future.

Pope Paul VI's Nostra Aetate from Vatican II a wonderful model for interfaith dialogue and respect
For Professor Hunt and the eight other internationally renowned keynote speakers who will address the conference, offers the 450 plus participants from across Australia a unique chance to deepen their understanding of the ground-breaking teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

Professor Hunt says Vatican II remains one of the remarkable events in the life of the Church and was responsible for a great outpouring of the spirit of the Church.
"There have been lively discussions over interpretations of the teachings of Vatican II over the past 50 years and these will probably continue for the next 100 to 200 years," she predicts with a smile,  pointing out that 50 years in the 2000 year history of the Church is "no time at all."
Professor Hunt sees the Conference not only as an important and significant gathering for Catholic students, academics, the laity as well as parishes and the clergy, but believes there is special resonance in the fact that the Conference is being held in the 50th anniversary of the start of Vatican II in the current year, the Year of Grace.
She is also proud of her own university, ACU, as co-sponsor of Conference with the Archdiocese of Sydney.
"Being part of the Church is not simply about sharing beliefs and values, it is also about demonstrating publicly our support of key events in the life of the Church," explains ACU Vice-Chancellor, Greg Craven, adding that The Great Grace: Receiving Vatican II Today is a major conference not only for its recognition and celebration of the importance of the Second Vatican Council, but for its rich contribution to Catholic intellectual tradition.


Rosemary Goldie in her office at the Vatican as Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council of the Laity
Among the other keynote speakers at the Conference will be Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellet PSS, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Rome; Archbishop Allen Vigneron from Detroit; Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rome; Professor Tracey Rowland, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family; Dr Austen Ivereigh and Jack Valero, Catholic Voices; Professor Anthony Kelly CssR, Professor of Theology at ACU and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Brisbane.
In addition, the four day conference will feature 24 workshops from tomorrow, 21 May. These will cover a wide range of subjects ranging from "the Call to Co-Responsibility: Lay Leadership in the Church to We Weren't There, Vat II for Generations X, Y and Next and including such contemporary issues as Same Message, New Way: the Communicating Church of Digital Age and Griefs and Hopes: How the Church has fared since Vatican II.
Professor Hunt says she intends to hear every one of the key note speakers and attend several of the workshops.
"This is a Conference that will inspire, excite and motivate everyone who participates," she says.
To view the entire four day program go to www.thegreatgrace.org.au.
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney


FR. THOMAS WILLIAMS OF LEGIONARIES ASKS TO LEAVE PRIESTHOOD TO BE WITH SON - PLEASE PRAY


Dear Readers we ask you to pray for Fr. Thomas Williams of the Legionaries of Christ.
Official Release of Legionaries:
Last May, it was revealed that Fr Thomas Williams LC fathered a child a number of years ago.  In that light, the Legion asked Fr Thomas to take a year for prayer and penance, to discern his future course in the light of God’s will.
Following that time, Fr Thomas has written to the Holy Father to request dispensation from the obligations of his ministry.
The Legion and Regnum Christi are grateful for the many contributions Fr Thomas made during his time with the congregation.  We continue to accompany him with our prayers and fraternal support wishing him the best in the years ahead.
Fr John Connor LC has published a reflection on Regnum Christi Live. (SEE BELOW)
Yours in Christ,
Jim Fair, Director of Communications, Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi (Image source: BING)

Blog release by Fr. John Connor friend of Fr. Thomas Williams:
Roughly a year ago, I heard the news that our brother Legionary Fr Thomas Williams LC fathered a child a number of years ago. As a result, Fr Thomas discontinued his public ministry and took a year for prayer and penance to discern his future course in the light of God’s plan.
Fr Thomas, after much prayerful reflection and discernment, has written to the Holy Father to request dispensation from the obligations of his ministry.
Such decisions are not easy. We all balance success and failure, joy and sorrow in our lives. None of us escapes sin and the need to ask forgiveness.
I have known Fr Thomas well for the better part of a decade. I have appreciated and enjoyed his friendship, his wisdom and counsel and I deeply respect his decision about his future. After recently finishing spiritual exercises he wrote me saying “I came to the serene conviction that what God expects of me now is to devote myself to caring for my child and his mother. By responsibly and lovingly accepting the consequences of my actions, I will continue to serve God and his Church. I know I should be with my son and try to be the kind of father he needs.”
I have complete confidence that Fr Thomas will continue to be a valuable instrument in God’s plan and positively influence many, many people for the good of Christ’s Kingdom. I hope all of you will join me in praying for the success of Fr Thomas in his new life.
Excerpt from last year's press release of Fr. Thomas Williams:
Fr. Thomas Williams, LC, PhB, ThD of the Legionaries of Christ apologized for his misconduct on Wednesday, May 15, 2012. He is a famous priest of National Catholic Registrar, Zenit News, and television appearances on NBC,CBS and Sky News. He has 14 books published.
The Legionaries has been sadly disgraced due to some immoral conduct of the deceased founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The order has taken serious action to reprimand these members. Let us pray for the Order of the Legionaries that has done much good despite the sinful behaviour in some members. We are all sinners in the eyes of God; all must repent and do good despite the sin in our lives. Let us also pray for all victims of abuse; for healing and a restoring of the love of God in their hearts.
His personal website has ceased to operate. He was ordered to take a year leave from public ministry. Fr. Williams is living with his parents and undergoing cancer treatments.
http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/05/america-fr-thomas-williams-famous.html



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