Friday, May 3, 2013





(Vatican Radio IMAGE-SHARE)
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Shortly before 5:00pm this afternoon, Pope Francis will go to receive Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who is returning to the Vatican after his two month stay at Castel Gandolfo.
Benedict XVI will leave Castel Gandolfo by helicopter around 4:30pm and will arrive some 20 minutes later at the Vatican heliport. From this afternoon on, the Pope emeritus will take up permanent residence at the “Mater Ecclesiae” convent, which has been recently restored. Joining him will be his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and the four women of the “Memores Domini” lay association who have been part of the Papal Household for years, cleaning and cooking. The monastery, built over 20 years ago at the bequest of Blessed John Paul II, has housed four different cloistered orders over the years: Poor Claires, Discalced Carmelites, Benedictine nuns, and Visitandine nuns.
In these past two months, Pope Francis and the Pope emeritus have spoken several times by telephone, such as on 19 March and 16 April, respectively Benedict XVI's saint's day and his birthday. The two also met on 23 March in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.I., respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, signed the message that, on the occasion of the feast of Vesakh, that dicastery annually sends to the followers of Buddhism.
Vesakh is a major Buddhist holy day that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. According to tradition, the historical Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment and passed away during the full moon of the month of May, thus Vesakh is a mobile feast, which this year falls on 24 or 25 May, depending on the country it is celebrated in. On those days, Buddhists visit local temples to offer the monks food and to hear the teachings of the Buddha, taking special care to meditate and to observe the eight precepts of Buddhism.
This year's message is entitled: “Christians and Buddhists: Loving, Defending, and Promoting Human Life”. Following is the letter in its entirety.
“On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings and good wishes to all of you, as you celebrate the feast of Vesakh which offers us Christians an occasion to renew our friendly dialogue and close collaboration with the different traditions that you represent.”
“Pope Francis, at the very beginning of his ministry, has reaffirmed the necessity of dialogue of friendship among followers of different religions. He noted that: 'The Church is […] conscious of the responsibility which all of us have for our world, for the whole of creation, which we must love and protect. There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy, and those who suffer, and to favour justice, promote reconciliation, and build peace' ('Audience with Representatives of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities and of the Different Religions', 20 March 2013). The Message of the World Day of Peace in 2013 entitled 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', notes that: 'The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend, and promote human life in all its dimensions—personal, communitarian, and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life' ('Message for the World Day of Peace' in 2013, n. 4).”
“I wish to voice that the Catholic Church has sincere respect for your noble religious tradition. Frequently we note a consonance with values expressed also in your religious books: respect for life, contemplation, silence, simplicity (cf. 'Verbum Domini', no. 119). Our genuine fraternal dialogue needs to foster what we Buddhists and Christians have in common especially a shared profound reverence for life.”
“Dear Buddhist friends, your first precept teaches you to abstain from destroying the life of any sentient being and it thus prohibits killing oneself and others. The cornerstone of your ethics lies in loving kindness to all beings. We Christians believe that the core of Jesus’ moral teaching is twofold; love of God and love of neighbour. Jesus says: 'As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love'. And again: 'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you' ('Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1823).The fifth Christian Commandment, 'You shall not kill' harmonizes so well with your first precept. 'Nostra Aetate' teaches that: 'the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions' (NA 2). I think, therefore, that it is urgent for both Buddhists and Christians on the basis of the genuine patrimony of our religious traditions to create a climate of peace to love, defend, and promote human life.”
“As we all know, in spite of these noble teachings on the sanctity of human life, evil in different forms contributes to the dehumanization of the person by mitigating the sense of humanity in individuals and communities. This tragic situation calls upon us, Buddhists and Christians, to join hands to unmask the threats to human life and to awaken the ethical consciousness of our respective followers to generate a spiritual and moral rebirth of individuals and societies in order to be true peacemakers who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions.”
“Dear Buddhist friends, let us continue to collaborate with a renewed compassion and fraternity to alleviate the suffering of the human family by fostering the sacredness of human life. It is in this spirit that I wish you once again a peaceful and joyful feast of Vesakh.”
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – On 13 April, the news that Pope Francis had established a group of eight cardinals to advise him on the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, “Pastor Bonus” was made public. The decision generated great interest and, at the same time, more than a few speculations. Yesterday, 1 May, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State, gave an interview on this topic to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, from which ample extracts are given below.
Osservatore Romano: Much speculation has been heard regarding the reform of the Curia: the balance of power, economic “super-ministers”, revolutions, etc...
Archbishop Becciu: "Actually, it is a little strange. The Pope has not yet met with the group of advisers who have been chosen and already advice is raining down. After having spoken with the Holy Father, I can say that, at this moment, it is absolutely premature to put forward any hypothesis about the future structure of the Curia. Pope Francis is listening to everyone but, in the first place, he will want to listen to those whom he has chosen as advisers. Following that, a project of reform of the 'Pastor Bonus' will be outlined, which will obviously have to follow its own process."
OR: Likewise, much has been said about the IOR, the Institute for Religious Works. Some have gone so far as to predict its elimination.
AB: "The Pope was surprised to see words attributed to him that he never said and that misrepresent his thoughts. The only mention about it was during a brief homily at the Santa Marta, made off the cuff, in which he passionately recalled how the essence of the Church consists in a story of love between God and human beings, and how the various human structures, the IOR among them, should be less important. His reference was a mention, motivated by the presence of some of the employees of the IOR at the Mass, in the context of a serious invitation to never lose sight of the essential nature of the Church."
OR: Should we expect that a restructuring of the current organization of dicasteries may not be imminent?
AB: "I don't know how to predict the timing. The Pope, in any case, has asked us all, the heads of dicasteries, to continue in our service, without, however, wanting to proceed for the moment in confirming any positions. The same holds for the members of the Congregations and the Pontifical Councils: the normal cycle of confirmations or nominations, which occur at end of five-year mandates, is for the moment suspended, and everyone continues in their assigned job 'until otherwise provided for' ('donec aliter provideatur'). This indicates the Holy Father's desire to take the time needed for reflection—and for prayer, we must not forget—in order to have the full picture of the situation."
OR: Regarding the group of advisers, some have argued that such a choice might put the Pope's primacy in question...
AB: It is a consultative, not a decision-making, body and I truly do not see how Pope Francis' choice might put the primacy in question. However, it is true that it is a gesture of great importance, which means to send a clear signal regarding the way in which the Holy Father would like to exercise his ministry. We must not forget the first task that has been assigned to the group of eight cardinals: to assist the pontiff in the government of the universal Church. I would not like for curiosity regarding the arrangement and the structures of the Roman curia to overshadow the profound meaning of Pope Francis' gesture.
OR: But isn't the expression “to advise” a little too vague?
AB: On the contrary, advising is an important task that is theologically defined in the Church and that finds expression on many levels. Think, for example, of the bodies participating in dioceses and parishes, or of councils of superiors, provincials, and generals in the Institutes of consecrated life. The function of advising must be interpreted in theological terms: from a worldly perspective we should say that a council without decision-making power is irrelevant but that would mean equating the Church to a business. Instead, theologically, advising has a function of absolute importance: helping the superior in the task of discernment, in understanding what the Spirit asks of the Church in a precise historical moment. Without this reference, for that matter, it wouldn't even be possible to understand the true meaning of the action of government in the Church.
Vatican City, 1 May 2013 (VIS) – The importance of work and contemplating Jesus, following Joseph and Mary's example, were the central themes of the Pope's first catechesis in the month of May, which coincided with the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Before the more than 70,000 persons gathered in St. Peter's Square for the general audience, the Pope explained that Jesus “enters into our history, comes among us, born of Mary by an act of God, but with the presence of St. Joseph, his legal father who cares for him and also teaches him his work … the trade of carpentry in his workshop in Nazareth, sharing with him the commitment, the fatigue, the satisfaction, and also the difficulties of every day. This reminds us of the dignity and importance of labour. The Book of Genesis narrates that God created man and woman, entrusting to them the task of filling and subduing the earth, which did not mean exploiting it but cultivating and safeguarding it, caring for it with their very labour.”
“Labour is part of God's plan of love. We are called to cultivate and safeguard all the goods of creation and, in this way, we participate in the act of creation! Labour is a fundamental element for the dignity of a person. … It makes us like God, who laboured and labours, who always acts. He gives us the capacity to maintain ourselves, our family, to contribute to the growth of our own nations. Here,” the pontiff added, “I am thinking of the difficulties that, in various countries, the world of labour and business encounters today. I am think of how many, and not just young persons, are unemployed,often because of an economistic conception of society that seeks selfish profit, outside the parameters of social justice.”
“I would like to invite all to solidarity, and encourage those responsible for public affairs to make every effort to give new impetus to employment. This means having care for the dignity of the person. Mostly I would like to say not to lose hope. Even St. Joseph had difficult moments, but he never lost trust and he knew how to overcome them with the certainty that God does not abandon us. “
After that exhortation, the Bishop of Rome referenced another troubling situation, “slave labour”, work that enslaves. “How many persons around the world are victims of this type of slavery in which the person is at the service of labour while it should be labour that offers service to the person so that they might have dignity. I ask our brothers and sisters in the faith and all men and women of good will to make a decisive choice against the trafficking of persons within which 'slave labour' figures.”
The Pope then touched upon the second theme of his catechesis, Jesus, who was Joseph and Mary's shared centre of attention in the silence of their everyday actions. The attitude of both is revealed in how the Virgin, as St. Luke narrates in his Gospel, “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” “In order to listen to the Lord, we need to learn how to contemplate him, to perceive his constant presence in our lives. We need to stop and dialogue with him, give him space with our prayer. … Let us remember the Lord more during our days!”
During this month of May, I would like to recall the important and the beauty of praying the Holy Rosary,” Francis continued, “contemplating the mysteries of Jesus, reflecting, that is, on the central moments of his life, so that, as for Mary and St. Joseph, He may be the centre of our thoughts, of our concerns, and of our actions. It would be beautiful if, above all during this month of May, we would recite together in our families, with our friends, and in our parishes, the Holy Rosary or some prayer to Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Praying together is a precious moment for making our family life and our friendship more steadfast! Let us learn to pray more in our families and as a family!”
“Let us ask St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary,” the Holy Father concluded, “to teach us to be faithful to our everyday commitments, to live our faith in our everyday actions, and to give more space to the Lord in our lives, to stop and contemplate his face.”
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
   - His Excellency Mr. Aleksander Avdeev, the new ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters,
   - Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, titular of Cluentum and president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and
   - His Excellency Mr. Jozef Dravecky, ambassador of the Slovak Republic, on his farewell visit.
This afternoon he is scheduled to receive Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
   - appointed Fr. Raymond Browne as bishop of Kerry (area 5,300, population 149,514, Catholics 143,300, priests 113, religious 215), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Athlone, Ireland in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1982. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and judicial roles, most recently as pastor in Ballagh and the Diocese of Elphin's designated contact for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) as well as for assistance for elderly and ill clergy. He succeeds Bishop William Murphy, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
   - gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Melkite Church of Archimandrite Nicolas Antipa, B.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Bosra e Hauran of the Greek-Melkites (Catholics 27,000, priests 22, religious 10), Syria. The archbishop-elect was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1971. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and academic roles, most recently as professor of Sacred Scripture at the Saint Paul Theological Institute of Harissa, Lebanon and at the Institute of Theological and Pastoral Studies of the archeparchy of Beirut of the Greek-Melkites, Lebanon.


John 15: 9 - 11

9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.


by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Kenneth Bae is defined by some sources as a "devout Christian" who, in his visits to the North as a tour operator, always sought to keep the evangelization of the people alive. The United States had requested his release: Now, according to some analysts, a deal could open up in exchange for humanitarian aid.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - North Korea's Supreme Court this morning sentenced U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labor.  Bae is referred to by the regime authorities of with the Korean name Pae Jun-ho, (right in the picture).  He has been charged with  "committing crimes against the state." This was reported by the official government KCNA news agency, which has not explained the crimes he is accused of.
Bae, a Korean tour operator, but with American citizenship, was arrested in November while he was with five tourists who had come to North Korea through the north-eastern port of Rajin. According to the South Korean newspaper Kookmin Ilbo, the authorities in Pyongyang found "sensitive information" on the hard disk of the computer of one of the members of the group.

But some sources also referred to Bae as a "devout Christian" who, in his travels to the North, carried on missionary work that may have attracted the attention of the authorities and resulted in his arrest and conviction. In North Korea, there is no religious freedom and the faithful are in last place in the social hierarchy.

The sentence is the harshest ever issued by the judicial authorities of the North against a foreign national. Usually those guilty of murder, rape or robbery, or the followers of any religion that does not bend to control and State atheism are sentenced to hard labor.

According to some analysts, this decision demonstrates the regime's "desperation". Led by the young Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang is trying to return to the negotiating table with the international community after the escalation of tension in recent months. The threats, the closure of the inter-Korean Kaesong industrial area and the movement of missiles on the east coast - capable of striking the United States and Japan - have further isolated the country, which has also lost the support of China.
On 29 April last, the U.S. had asked the Pyongyang regime for "the immediate release" of Bae and received no answer. For the Korea Herald, this case resembles that of two American journalists arrested in 2009, sentenced to 12 years hard labor and then released thanks to the intervention of Clinton (then U.S. Secretary of State), which in turn allowed delivery of humanitarian aid to resume.


National conference 'marks potential sea change' in reading of Bible | national Bible conference,Ushaw College, Bishop Peter Brignall (Wrexham), Bishops' Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, Bishop Keiran Conry, Fr Adrain Graffy, Ingelise McNulty, Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Evangelisation Team, Bishop Seamus Cunningham (Hexham and Newcastle) Bishop Edwin Regan

Bishop Peter Brignall
 A national Bible conference held at Ushaw College has been affirmed as beginning a 'sea change' in the Catholic Bible apostolate in England and Wales.
Bishop Peter Brignall (Wrexham) and member of the Bishops' Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, attended the Word of the Lord conference, 24 - 26 April, along with more than 70 delegates from across England and Wales.
He said: "This gathering is the first of its kind in a generation and as such marks a very significant moment, a potential sea change, in the profile and importance of the Bible in Catholic life in England and Wales. The Word of God lies at the heart of Catholic life and initiatives such as this conference are pivotal to encouraging others to read, study and pray with the Scriptures.
"The conference is one of a series of bible-focused initiatives that have been generated by a new working group established by the Bishops' Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis in partnership with Bible Society. It's hoped that more and more people will receive the invitation to listen to and proclaim, through many different means, God's Word, which is the Word of Life."
Among the speakers at the conference was former Master of the Dominican Order worldwide, Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, who highlighted the importance of listening, that entering into the conversation with God means listening to others, particularly to women and to the poor.
Dom Henry Wansbrough of Ampleforth Abbey, one of the leading Catholic Scripture scholars in England and Wales, gave an overview of how the biblical apostolate was embraced by Catholics before and after Vatican II.
Michelle Moran, President of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, invited those gathered to embrace the call of the Word to engage in the mission of the Church.
Group Chief Executive of Bible Society, James Catford, was also welcomed at the event and presented with an icon of Saint Mark in appreciation of the assistance provided by the Society to organise the conference. He said: "This conference represents an exciting next step in our journey together with the Scriptures. The themes of the conference have challenged us to consider afresh how we pass on God's word in the written scriptures, through the Arts and through the witness of our lives. It has been a timely invitation to 'be the word' for others."
The Conference was initiated by the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, in partnership with the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University, and Bible Society. One of the highlights of the conference was the launch of a new study guide, entitled The Word of the Lord, produced by the Department and published by the Catholic Truth Society. The guide is designed to assist reading of Pope Benedict's Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini which was issued in response to the Synod of Bishops on the Bible held in Rome in 2008. Delegates also visited Durham Cathedral and prayed at the tomb of the Venerable Bede, doctor of the Church, and patron of Scripture scholarship in these lands.
Fr Adrian Graffy, member of the Bishops' Scripture Working Group, which is an instrument of the Department, said: "The whole event was so energising. The delegates were so positive and the speakers excellent. In the Year of Faith it was an opportunity to deepen our appreciation of Scripture at the heart of the Church in this country and to make plans for the years ahead."
Ingelise McNulty, who attended as a member of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Evangelisation Team said: "I am lost for words. I really enjoyed the conference and it was so good to be there."
Bishop Seamus Cunningham (Hexham and Newcastle) and Bishop Edwin Regan (Emeritus Wrexham) were in attendance and a video message was played to delegates from Bishop Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton).



John Aloisi

Kairos Volume 24, Issue 7

Words Edwina Hall
Pictures Peter Casamento

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi is an Australian sporting hero who will always be remembered for kicking the penalty shot that saw the Socceroos advance to the World Cup in 2006, after 32 long years of waiting. He took time out of his busy schedule to reflect on the importance of faith and family in his life; for him, home is where the heart is.

JOHN Aloisi’s passion for soccer began early. Since his first game at the age of five, he has gone on to achieve huge success in the sporting arena.

Born in Adelaide, his introduction to soccer was kicking a ball around the backyard with his brother, former Australian soccer player Ross Aloisi, and, from the sidelines, watching his father coach the game that would one day become his own.

In 2005, John was immortalised as one of Australia’s greatest sporting heroes when he scored the decisive penalty against Uruguay in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification playoffs. This penalty shot, which took the Socceroos to the 2006 World Cup—the first time Australia had qualified since 1974—was voted one of the three greatest moments in Australian sporting history by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

John’s career on the football field is wide ranging and he has played in Europe’s three leading competitions: the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the Spanish Primera Liga, the only Socceroo to do so; nationally, he played for Adelaide City, Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart; and he played for Australia from 1997-2008.

John says that it is the versatility of the game that has sustained his love of soccer for so long.

‘When I was a kid, I just loved kicking the ball around and, as you get older, it’s a real technical and tactical game.

‘There are very few sports where you can dominate the opposition and still lose. It’s such an entertaining sport. As a player, I just loved scoring goals and winning games.’

Kicking the goal that secured Australia’s place in the 2006 World cup ‘was a massive high’, John said. ‘And playing in the World Cup was a dream come true because, as a kid, I always dreamed about playing for Australia, never having seen Australia play in a World Cup.’

John says that his transition from player to coach has been a good one. After playing with Melbourne Heart from 2010-11, he became coach of the junior side in 2011 and head coach of the A-League team in May last year.

He says he has enjoyed the challenge of both roles. ‘It’s completely different. As a player, you have to make sure that you look after yourself and that you do all the right things so you can prepare for the game,’ he said.

‘As a coach, you have to prepare over 20 players and also keep on top of everything else around the club. It’s very hard to switch off as there is always something that you have to do; but I really enjoy it, I enjoy the challenge.’

He says that he ‘loves that Melbourne Heart has a philosophy on the way we want to do things, not only as a team but as a club.'

‘We did say, when we first started the club, that we would help develop young players and fulfil their potential, help them one day play for Australia or go overseas and better themselves. We are always giving youngsters a go.’

In a season that has had its ups and downs, Melbourne Heart did not make the finals this year, but will no doubt use this as motivation next season.
‘We are trying to play a certain style of football. We won't always get the results at the moment from that, but we believe that in the future we will. And at home, especially, we are playing really entertaining football and the crowd really enjoys watching us too.’

Since 2005, the name ‘John Aloisi’ has become well known in most Australian households. Yet the glory that comes with success has not changed this gifted sportsman’s essential outlook on life, which he attributes to his family and his faith.

‘My parents, my wife and my family have always kept me grounded; they’ve made sure that I don’t forget where I come from,’ he said.

‘The most important thing for me is family, and no matter if you are really successful or you are having a hard time, you have always got them to turn to.

‘My number one priority in life is to make sure my family are happy and healthy.

‘My wife Angela and I have been married for 16 years. I’ve always wanted to have a family and be with someone I love. I was lucky to find Angela early in life.

‘Any spare time that I’ve got, I try to spend with my wife and our daughters Alisia, 11, Katia, 9, and Amaya, 6.’

John, who is a parishioner at Sacred Heart in Kew, was brought up a Catholic and said before the World Cup in 2006 that he had always called on his faith, ‘not just when I play, but every day—it’s an important part of my life’, a faith he continues to embrace.

‘I come from a Catholic upbringing, I was educated at Catholic schools and we always went to Mass every Sunday, which was a family tradition.

‘When I went overseas to Belgium, aged 16 to play for Standard Li├Ęge, it was tough going, and that’s where I really turned to religion. It helped me through tough times and it also helps me when things are going well.

‘When you are going through both good and bad things, you get people from the outside world sayings things, and I think that my faith helps me to switch off and ask God to help me through every challenge that I am facing.

‘I also thank God and Jesus for making sure that I appreciate when things are going well for me in life.

‘I will make sure that my kids believe in the Catholic faith and they are also going to a Catholic school where they will learn exactly what I learnt.’

When I asked John how he feels about being a source of inspiration to others, he replied: ‘I just try to be myself.

‘I am conscious that I am in the spotlight and that I act appropriately. I played soccer not so much to inspire other people but for myself because I loved the sport so much.

‘As a kid growing up, I was inspired by older players and when I used to see them and ask them for their autograph, that used to inspire me. When young kids come up to me, I’m more than happy to give them some advice or have a photo taken with them because I know how much it means to them.’

John’s parents and grandparents have been a constant source of inspiration in his life.

‘My grandfather arrived in Australia from Calabria in Italy on his own to raise money to make sure that he could bring his family out and consequently gave my family a life; I look to my grandparents a lot.

‘Also, my mum and dad have been an inspiration for me. They had five kids John is third in line, which isn’t always easy.’

As our conversation drew to a close, I was keen to know John Aloisi’s take on the correct term for his sport in Australia—soccer or football?

His down-to-earth reply was: ‘To be honest, I’m not too worried about it; as long as you are talking about the sport, that’s the main thing.’

A sport that John Aloisi’s influence has certainly raised to its rightful place in Australia.


Thursday, May 2, 2013


St. Athanasius
Feast: May 2

Feast Day:May 2
295 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died:2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt

San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
St. Athanasius, known as the "champion of orthodoxy," was  born about the year 297, in Alexandria. There is a tradition, related by Rufinus, that he first attracted the notice of Patriarch Alexander as he was playing at baptism on the seashore with other small boys. After watching young Athanasius perform the rite, the prelate called the boys to him and by questioning satisfied himself that the baptisms were valid. He then undertook to have these boys trained for the priesthood. Athanasius received an excellent education, not only in Christian doctrine, but also in Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, and jurisprudence. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and learned theology from teachers who had been confessors during the terrible persecutions under Maximian. In youth he appears to have formed friendships with several hermits of the desert, especially with the great Antony, whose biography he was to write. He was reader to the patriarch, and in 318 became his secretary. During this period he wrote a discourse, , in which he attempted an explanation of the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity.
In Egypt two strong and often divergent forces had early appeared in the Christian Church: the conservative hierarchy in Alexandria, represented by the patriarch or bishop, and the theologians of the schools, who cared little for tradition and stood for free reasoning on theological subjects. The leaders of the latter party had sometimes been obliged, like the famous Origen, to go into exile. There were also schisms over the distribution of authority in the Church and over doctrinal questions. It was probably about the year 323 that one Arius, a priest of the church of Baucalis, began to teach that Jesus, though more than man, was not eternal God, that he was created in time by the Eternal Father, and could therefore be described only figuratively as the Son of God. The patriarch demanded a written statement of these doctrines. With only two dissenting voices the bishops condemned them as heresy, and deposed Arius, together with eleven priests and deacons of Alexandria. Arius retired to Caesarea, where he continued to propagate his ideas, enlisting the support of Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates. In Egypt he had already won over many of the metaphysicians, as well as Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, and leader of a dissident group. Theology being the topic which most deeply engaged men's minds, the Arian controversy interested all classes of the population. The heretical propositions were publicized in the form of songs set to popular tunes, and these were chanted in the forums and carried by sailors from port to port.
Athanasius, as the patriarch's secretary, took a prominent part in this great Church struggle. It is probable that he even composed the encyclical letter announcing the condemnation of Arius. We know that he was present, as an attendant on Alexander, at the famous Council of Nicaea, summoned by the Emperor Constantine to determine matters of dogma. There the sentence against Arius was confirmed, and the confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed promulgated and subscribed. This gathering of churchmen influenced Athanasius deeply, and, as a modern writer has said, the rest of his life was a testimony to the divinity of the Saviour.
Shortly after this Alexander died, and Athanasius succeeded him, although he was not yet thirty. One of his first acts was a tour of his enormous diocese, which included the great monastic settlements, especially the Thebaid. He ordained a bishop for Abyssinia, where the Christian faith had recently been established. Yet in spite of his best efforts, there was strong opposition. The Meletians made common cause with the Arians, and the movement, temporarily discredited by the Council of Nicaea, was soon again rampant in Asia Minor and Egypt.
In 330 the Arian bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, returned from his exile and before long had persuaded the aging Constantine to write to Athanasius, bidding him readmit Arius into communion, in the interests of unity. Eusebius sent an ingratiating letter in defense of Arius, but Athanasius held to his conviction that the Church could have no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. Then Eusebius wrote the Egyptian Meletians urging them to impeach Athanasius for personal misconduct. They brought charges that he had levied a general tribute of linen for use in his own church, and made other petty accusations. At his trial before the emperor, Athanasius cleared himself and returned in triumph to Alexandria, bearing with him a letter of approval from Constantinople.
His enemies now accused him of having murdered a Meletian  bishop named Arsenius, and summoned him to attend a council at Caesarea. Knowing that his supposed victim was in hiding, Athanasius ignored the summons. In 335 an order came from Constantinople to appear before another assembly at Tyre, packed by his opponents and presided over by an Arian who had seized the see of Antioch. Realizing that his condemnation had been decided on, Athanasius abruptly left the council and took ship for Constantinople. There he accosted the emperor as a suppliant in the street and obtained an interview. So completely did he vindicate himself that Constantine summoned the bishops to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some unexplained reason, he suddenly changed his mind. Before the first letter arrived, a second was sent, confirming the sentence and banishing Athanasius to Treves. During this first exile, Athanasius kept in touch with his flock by letter.
In 337 Constantine died, shortly after his baptism by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and his empire was divided among his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans. Many of the exiled prelates were now recalled. One of the first acts of Constantine II, who had sovereignty over Britain, Spain, and Gaul, was to allow Athanasius to return to his see. Two years later Constantine II was to be killed in battle in Aquileia. The patriarch reentered Alexandria in seeming triumph, but his enemies were as relentless as ever, and Eusebius of Nicomedia had completely won over the Emperor Constantius, within whose portion of the empire Alexandria was situated. New scandals were invented and Athanasius was now accused of raising sedition, promoting bloodshed, and keeping for himself corn intended for the poor. A Church council which met at Antioch again deposed him, and ratified an Arian bishop for Alexandria.
In the midst of all this confusion a Cappadocian priest named Gregory was forcibly installed as patriarch of Alexandria by the city prefect, pagans and Arians having now joined forces against the Catholics. Confronted unceasingly by acts of violence and sacrilege, Athanasius betook himself to Rome to await the hearing of his case by the Pope. A synod was summoned, but the Eusebians who had proposed it failed to appear. The result was a complete vindication of Athanasius, a verdict afterwards endorsed by the Council of Sardica. Nevertheless he found it impossible to return to Alexandria until after the death of Gregory, and then only because Emperor Constantius, on the eve of a war with Persia, thought it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by restoring Athanasius to his see.
After an absence then of eight years, Athanasius was welcomed back to Alexandria in 346, and for three or four years there was comparative peace. But the murder of Constans in 350 removed the most powerful support of orthodoxy, and Constantius, once he found himself ruler of both West and East, set himself to crush the man he now regarded as a personal enemy. At Arles in 353 he obtained the condemnation of Athanasius from a council of Gallic bishops, who seem to have been kept in ignorance of the importance of the issues. Two years later at Milan he met with more opposition from the Italian bishops, but when with his hand on his sword he gave them their choice between condemnation of Athanasius and exile, by far the greater number yielded. The few stubborn bishops were exiled, including the new Pope Liberius. He was sent into isolation in Thrace until, broken in body and spirit, he too gave his consent to the Arian decrees. Athanasius held on for another year with the support of his own clergy and people. Then one night, as he was celebrating a vigil in the church of St. Thomas, soldiers broke in. Athanasius was instantly surrounded by his people, who swept him out into the safety of darkness; but for six years thereafter he had to live in hiding. His abounding energy now expressed itself in literary composition, and to this period are ascribed his chief writings, including a , three letters to Serapion, a defense of his position to Constantius, and a treatise on the synods of Rimini and Seleucia.
The death of Constantius in 361 was followed by another shift in the situation. The new emperor, Julian, a pagan, revoked the sentences of banishment enacted by his predecessors, and Athanasius returned once again to his own city. But it was only for a few months. Julian's plans for a reconquest of the Christian world could make little headway as long as the champion of the Catholic faith ruled in Egypt; he also considered it necessary to banish Athanasius from Alexandria as "a disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods." During this fourth exile, he seems to have explored the entire Thebaid. He was in Antinopolis when two hermits informed him of the death of Julian, who, it was later ascertained, at that moment was expiring in distant Persia, slain by an enemy's arrow.
The new emperor, Jovian, a soldier of Catholic sympathies, revoked the sentence of banishment and invited Athanasius to Antioch, to expound the doctrine of the Trinity. Jovian's reign lasted only a year, and his successor in the East, Valens, succumbed to Arian pressure in Constantinople and in May, 365, issued an order banishing again all orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and restored by his successors. Once more the worn and aged prelate was forced to flee. The ecclesiastical historian, Socrates, tells us that Athanasius hid himself this time in his father's tomb, but a better- informed writer says that he spent the months in a villa in a suburb of Alexandria. Four months later Valens revoked his edict, fearing possibly a rising of the Egyptians, who were determined to accept no other man as bishop. Joyfully they escorted him back. Athanasius had spent seventeen years in exile, but his last years were peaceful. He died in Alexandria on May 2, 373. His body was twice removed, first to Constantinople, and then to Venice.
While the theological controversies which marked this period  may seem both complex and remote, they were an important milestone in the history of the Church, Athanasius rendering an outstanding service. The statement of Christian doctrine known as the Athanasian Creed was probably composed during his life, but not actually by him. In his works there is deep spiritual feeling and understanding, and as Cardinal Newman said, he stands as "a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world."



O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you we raise our hearts and hands to ask your powerful intercession in obtaining from the compassionate heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace for which we now ask.
(Mention your request)

O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers for us will be graciously heard at the throne of God.
(The following is to be said seven times in honor of the seven joys and seven sorrows of Saint Joseph:)

O glorious Saint Joseph, through the love you bear for Jesus Christ, and for the glory of hs name, hear our prayers and grant our petitions.

This novena can be practiced at any time of year. It is particularly effective if done for the seven Sundays prior to the feast of Saint Joseph in honor of his seven sorrows and seven joys. Say this novena nine days in a row.

Prayer to St. Joseph, The Worker

O Glorious, St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, after your example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen. --Pope St. Pius X
  St. Joseph, today we honor you as Patron of Workers. We pray for the unemployed, underemployed, those who are working under stress and all those who labor daily. May you be our example of honorable work for God. St. Joseph and Brother Andre, hear our petitions (name them).

The next prayer (To You, O Blessed Joseph) and the Litany of St. Joseph carries a partial indulgence...
To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen. 

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster Father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph, most just,
Joseph, most chaste,
Joseph, most prudent,
Joseph, most valiant,
Joseph, most obedient,
Joseph, most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household, and prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.

O God, who in thy ineffable Providence did vouchsafe to choose St. Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Post a Comment