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Saturday, July 27, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SAT. JULY 27, 2013 - BREAKING NEWS SHARE - WYD

 2013










POPE FRANCIS AT WORLD YOUTH DAY MASS "CALLED BY GOD"

POPE FRANCIS SPEAKS TO BISHOPS "MYSTERIOUS HUMILITY OF HIS POWER - FULL TEXT

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 27: ST. PANTALEON

Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis today urged clergy, seminarians and religious to respond to the call of God, proclaim the Gospel and promote a culture of encounter in their lives and ministry. In his homily at mass Saturday at Rio de Janeiro’s Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, the Pope cited these three aspects of their vocation as essential to evangelization. The Holy Father is in Brazil for a week long visit to celebrate World Youth Day with young people from around the world.

In order to do this effectively, first, they must rekindle “an awareness of their divine vocation” – something “we often take for granted in the midst of our many daily responsibilities.” We were called by God, he reminded them and we are called to live a life in Christ to be effective apostles.

And that takes “faithfulness to a life of prayer,” the daily Eucharist, and “helping those most in need.”

Far from isolating ourselves, we are called to proclaim the Gospel to others wherever they may be – he said, “even if that means in our own country.”

Let us help our young people, he said, to realize that being missionary is what it means to be Christian. And no effort should be spared in their formation.

The Pope challenged religious to look “courageously…to pastoral needs, beginning in the outskirts, with those farthest away… those who do not…go to church.”

While “the culture of exclusion, of rejection is spreading,” religious must promote “a culture of encounter.” He invited them to go against the tide in a society where the elderly and children are “unwanted” and “there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the Street.” Encounter and communion are marks of our Christian faith, he said, and we must be “obsessive” about living these out.

Below, we publish the full text of his homily:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Seeing this Cathedral full of Bishops, priests, seminarians, and men and women religious from the whole world, I think of the Psalmist’s words from today’s Mass: “Let the peoples praise you, O God” (Ps 66). We are indeed here to praise the Lord, and we do so reaffirming our desire to be his instruments so that not only some peoples may praise God, but all. With the same parrhesia of Paul and Barnabas, we proclaim the Gospel to our young people, so that they may encounter Christ, the light for our path, and build a more fraternal world. I wish to reflect with you on three aspects of our vocation: we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel, and called to promote the culture of encounter.

1. Called by God – It is important to rekindle an awareness of our divine vocation, which we often take for granted in the midst of our many daily responsibilities: as Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (Jn 15:16). This means returning to the source of our calling. At the beginning of our vocational journey, there is a divine election. For this reason, a bishop, a priest, a consecrated man or woman, a seminarian cannot have a bad memory. He or she must safeguard that grace and never forget his or her first calling. We were called by God and we were called to be with Jesus (cf. Mk 3:14), united with him in a way so profound that we are able to say with Saint Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). This living in Christ, in fact, marks all that we are and all that we do. And this “life in Christ” is precisely what ensures the effectiveness of our apostolate, that our service is fruitful: “I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15:16). It is not pastoral creativity, or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness, but our being faithful to Jesus, who says insistently: “Abide in me and I in you” (Jn 15:4). And we know well what that means: to contemplate him, to worship him, to embrace him, especially through our faithfulness to a life of prayer, and in our daily encounter with him, present in the Eucharist and in those most in need. “Being with” Christ does not isolate us from others. Rather, it is a “being with” in order to go forth and encounter others. This brings to mind some words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “We must be very proud of our vocation because it gives us the opportunity to serve Christ in the poor. It is in the favelas, in the cantegriles, in the villas miseria, that one must go to seek and to serve Christ. We must go to them as the priest presents himself at the altar, with joy” (Mother’s Instructions, I, p. 80). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our true treasure. Let us try to unite our hearts ever more closely to his (cf. Lk 12:34).

2. Called to proclaim the Gospel – dear Bishops and priests, many of you, if not all, have accompanied your young people to World Youth Day. They too have heard the mandate of Jesus: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (cf. Mt 28:19). It is our responsibility to help kindle within their hearts the desire to be missionary disciples of Jesus. Certainly, this invitation could cause many to feel somewhat afraid, thinking that to be missionaries requires leaving their own homes and countries, family and friends. God asks us to be missionaries wherewe are, where He puts us! Let us help our young people to realize that the call to be missionary disciples flows from our baptism and is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. We must also help them to realize that we are called first to evangelize in our own homes and our places of study and work, to evangelize our family and friends. Let us help our young people, let us open our ears to their questions, they need to be listened to when in difficulty; of course patience is needed to listen, in confession and in spiritual direction. We need to know how best to spend time with them.
Let us spare no effort in the formation of our young people! Saint Paul uses a beautiful expression that he embodied in his own life, when he addressed the Christian community: “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you” (Gal 4:19). Let us embody this also in our own ministry! Let us help our young people to discover the courage and joy of faith, the joy of being loved personally by God, who gave his Son Jesus for our salvation. Let us form them in mission, in going out and going forth. Jesus did this with his own disciples: he did not keep them under his wing like a hen with her chicks. He sent them out! We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel! It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people! Let us courageously look to pastoral needs, beginning on the outskirts, with those who are farthest away, with those who do not usually go to church. They are the V.I.P.s invited to the table of the Lord... go and look for them in the nooks and crannies of the streets.

3. Called to promote the culture of encounter – Unfortunately, in many places, generally in this economic humanism that prevails in the world, the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading. There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the street. At times, it seems that for some people, human relations are regulated by two modern “dogmas”: efficiency and pragmatism. Dear Bishops, priests, religious and you, seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide. Let us not reject this gift of God which is the one family of his children. Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity... this is a word that in this culture is being hidden away, as if it was a swear word... solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human.

Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter! Permit me to say that we must be almost obsessive in this matter. We do not want to be presumptuous, imposing “our truths”. What must guide us is the humble yet joyful certainty of those who have been found, touched and transformed by the Truth who is Christ, ever to be proclaimed (cf. Lk 24:13-35).

Dear brothers and sisters, we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel and called to promote with courage the culture of encounter. May the Virgin Mary be our exemplar. In her life she was “a model of that motherly love with which all who join in the Church’s apostolic mission for the regeneration of humanity should be animated” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 65). Let us ask her to teach us to meet Jesus every day, let us ask her to encourage us to go out to meet our many brothers and sisters who are on the edges and are thirsty for God but do not have anyone to announce Him; let us ask her not to throw us out of home, but to encourage us to leave home; in this way we will be disciples of the Lord. 

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

POPE FRANCIS SPEAKS TO BISHOPS "MYSTERIOUS HUMILITY OF HIS POWER - FULL TEXT


Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Francis had a joyful but challenging message for the Bishops of Brazil today.

As part of World Youth Day festivities, the Holy Father took the opportunity to meet with the world’s largest episcopate. Pope Francis thanked the Bishops for allowing him to speak as “one among friends”. For that reason, he said, he spoke in his native Spanish, in order “to better express what I carry in my heart.”

Pope Francis spoke first about the miracle of Aparecida, the miracle at the heart of Brazil’s religious history. “Aparecida offers us a perennial teaching about God and about the Church.” Recalling the events of the miraculous discovery of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary by a group of poor fisherman, he noted that God always enters clothed in poverty, in littleness.”

He noted, too, that, from the beginning, “God’s message was one of restoring what was broken, reuniting what had been divided.”

But Aparecida also reminds us about the need to embrace mystery. Too often, he said, we reduce mystery to rational explanations; we must wait for God to reveal the mystery for us.

There is much we can learn from Aparecida, the Pope said, “about a Church which makes room for God’s mystery; a Church which harbours that mystery in such a way that it can entice people, attract them.”

“Dear Brothers,” he reminded the Bishops, “the results of our pastoral work do not depend on a wealth of resources, but on the creativity of love.”

The Holy Father went on to speak about the great love the Bishops of Rome have always had for Brazil, recalling especially the care of Blessed John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II for their nation. He went on to speak about the Gospel story of Emmaus, and the two disciples who left Jerusalem after the Crucifixion, only to encounter Jesus on their way. “We need a Church,” he said, unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation.” And he asked, “Are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?”

Pope Francis concluded his remarks by emphasizing several challenges facing “the beloved Church of Brazil.” He highlighted the need for formation, of Bishops, priests, religious, and laity. He called, too, for collegiality and solidarity within the Episcopal Conference, calling for a true unity in diversity. And the Holy Father noted that the Church has a permanent missionary aspect, joined to the need for pastoral conversion.

He spoke, too, about the role of the Church in society. “In the context of society, there is only one thing the Church quite clearly demands: the freedom to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, even when it runs counter to the world, even when it goes against the tide.”

Finally, Pope Francis spoke about the Amazon Basin as a litmus test for Church and society in Brazil. “I would like to invite everyone to reflect on what Aparecida said about the Amazon Basin, its forceful appeal for respect and protection of the entire creation which God has entrusted to man, not so that it can be indiscriminately exploited, but rather made into a garden.”

The Pope concluded his remarks: “Dear brother Bishops, I have attempted to offer you in a fraternal spirit some reflections and approaches for a Church like that of Brazil, which is a great mosaic made up of different pieces, images, forms, problems and challenges, but which for this very reason is an enormous treasure. The Church is never uniformity, but diversities harmonized in unity, and this is true for every ecclesial reality.”

Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s address to the assembled Bishop:
Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Brazil
Address of the Holy Father
Meeting with the Bishops of Brazil
Rio de Janeiro – Archbishop’s House, 28 July 2013

Dear Brothers,

How good it is to be here with you, the Bishops of Brazil!

Thank you for coming, and please allow me to speak with you as one among friends. That’s why I prefer to speak to you in Spanish, so as to express better what I carry in my heart. I ask you to forgive me.

We are meeting somewhat apart, in this place prepared by our brother, Archbishop Orani Tempesta, so that we can be alone and speak to one another from the heart, as pastors to whom God has entrusted his flock. On the streets of Rio, young people from all over the world and countless others await us, needing to be reached by the merciful gaze of Christ the Good Shepherd, whom we are called to make present. So let us enjoy this moment of repose, exchange of ideas and authentic fraternity.

Beginning with the President of the Episcopal Conference and the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, I want to embrace each and every one of you, and in a particular way the Emeritus Bishops.

More than a formal address, I would like to share some reflections with you.

The first came to mind when I visited the shrine of Aparecida. There, at the foot of the statue of the Immaculate Conception, I prayed for you, your Churches, your priests, men and women religious, seminarians, laity and their families and, in a particular way, the young people and the elderly: these last are the hope of a nation; the young, because they bring strength, idealism and hope for the future; the elderly because they represent the memory, the wisdom of the people.

1. Aparecida: a key for interpreting the Church’s mission 
In Aparecida God gave Brazil his own Mother. But in Aparecida God also offered a lesson about himself, about his way of being and acting. A lesson about the humility which is one of God’s essential features, part of God’s DNA. Aparecida offers us a perennial teaching about God and about the Church; a teaching which neither the Church in Brazil nor the nation itself must forget.

At the beginning of the Aparecida event, there were poor fishermen looking for food. So much hunger and so few resources. People always need bread. People always start with their needs, even today.

They have a dilapidated, ill-fitted boat; their nets are old and perhaps torn, insufficient.

First comes the effort, perhaps the weariness, of the catch, yet the results are negligible: a failure, time wasted. For all their work, the nets are empty.

Then, when God wills it, he mysteriously enters the scene. The waters are deep and yet they always conceal the possibility of a revelation of God. He appeared out of the blue, perhaps when he was no longer expected. The patience of those who await him is always tested. And God arrived in a novel fashion, since he can always reinvent himself: as a fragile clay statue, darkened by the waters of the river and aged by the passage of time. God always enters clothed in poverty, littleness.

Then there is the statue itself of the Immaculate Conception. First, the body appeared, then the head, then the head was joined to the body: unity. What had been broken is restored and becomes one. Colonial Brazil had been divided by the shameful wall of slavery. Our Lady of Aparecida appears with a black face, first separated, and then united in the hands of the fishermen.

Here there is an enduring message which God wants to teach us. His own beauty, reflected in his Mother conceived without original sin, emerges from the darkness of the river. In Aparecida, from the beginning, God’s message was one of restoring what was broken, reuniting what had been divided. Walls, chasms, differences which still exist today are destined to disappear. The Church cannot neglect this lesson: she is called to be a means of reconciliation.

The fishermen do not dismiss the mystery encountered in the river, even if it is a mystery which seems incomplete. They do not throw away the pieces of the mystery. They await its completion. And this does not take long to come. There is a wisdom here that we need to learn. There are pieces of the mystery, like the stones of a mosaic, which we encounter, which we see. We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly. The Church also has to learn how to wait.

Then the fishermen bring the mystery home. Ordinary people always have room to take in the mystery. Perhaps we have reduced our way of speaking about mystery to rational explanations; but for ordinary people the mystery enters through the heart. In the homes of the poor, God always finds a place.

The fishermen “bundle up” the mystery, they clothe the Virgin drawn from the waters as if she were cold and needed to be warmed. God asks for shelter in the warmest part of ourselves: our heart. God himself releases the heat we need, but first he enters like a shrewd beggar. The fishermen wrap the mystery of the Virgin with the lowly mantle of their faith. They call their neighbours to see its rediscovered beauty; they all gather around and relate their troubles in its presence and they entrust their causes to it. In this way they enable God’s plan to be accomplished: first comes one grace, then another; one grace leads to another; one grace prepares for another. God gradually unfolds the mysterious humility of his power.

There is much we can learn from the approach of the fishermen. About a Church which makes room for God’s mystery; a Church which harbours that mystery in such a way that it can entice people, attract them. Only the beauty of God can attract. God’s way is through enticement, allure. God lets himself be brought home. He awakens in us a desire to keep him and his life in our homes, in our hearts. He reawakens in us a desire to call our neighbours in order to make known his beauty. Mission is born precisely from this divine allure, by this amazement born of encounter. We speak about mission, about a missionary Church. I think of those fishermen calling their neighbours to see the mystery of the Virgin. Without the simplicity of their approach, our mission is doomed to failure.

The Church needs constantly to relearn the lesson of Aparecida; she must not lose sight of it. The Church’s nets are weak, perhaps patched; the Church’s barque is not as powerful as the great transatlantic liners which cross the ocean. And yet God wants to be seen precisely through our resources, scanty resources, because he is always the one who acts.

Dear brothers, the results of our pastoral work do not depend on a wealth of resources, but on the creativity of love. To be sure, perseverance, effort, hard work, planning and organization all have their place, but first and foremost we need to realize that the Church’s power does not reside in herself; it is hidden in the deep waters of God, into which she is called to cast her nets.

Another lesson which the Church must constantly recall is that she cannot leave simplicity behind; otherwise she forgets how to speak the language of Mystery. Not only does she herself remain outside the door of the mystery, but she proves incapable of approaching those who look to the Church for something which they themselves cannot provide, namely, God himself. At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people. Without the grammar of simplicity, the Church loses the very conditions which make it possible “to fish” for God in the deep waters of his Mystery.

A final thought: Aparecida took place at a crossroads. The road which linked Rio, the capital, with São Paulo, the resourceful province then being born, and Minas Gerais, the mines coveted by the courts of Europe, was a major intersection in colonial BrazilGod appears at the crossroads. The Church in Brazil cannot forget this calling which was present from the moment of her birth: to be a beating heart, to gather and to spread.

2. Appreciation for the path taken by the Church in Brazil
The Bishops of Rome have always had a special place in their heart for Brazil and its Church. A marvellous journey has been accomplished. From twelve dioceses during the First Vatican Council, it now numbers 275 circumscriptions. This was not the expansion of an organization or a business enterprise, but rather the dynamism of the Gospel story of the “five loaves and two fish” which, through the bounty of the Father and through tireless labour, bore abundant fruit.

Today I would like to acknowledge your unsparing work as pastors in your local Churches. I think of Bishops in the forests, travelling up and down rivers, in semiarid places, in the Pantanal, in the pampas, in the urban jungles of your sprawling cities. Always love your flock with complete devotion! I also think of all those names and faces which have indelibly marked the journey of the Church in Brazil, making palpable the Lord’s immense bounty towards this Church.

The Bishops of Rome were never distant; they followed, encouraged and supported this journey. In recent decades, Blessed John XXIII urged the Brazilian Bishops to draw up their first pastoral plan and, from that beginning a genuine pastoral tradition arose in Brazil, one which prevented the Church from drifting and provided it with a sure compass. The Servant of God Paul VI encouraged the reception of the Second Vatican Council not only in fidelity but also in creativity (cf. the CELAM General Assembly in Medellin), and decisively influenced the self-identity of the Church in Brazil through the Synod on evangelization and that basic point of reference which is the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi. Blessed John Paul II visited Brazil three times, going up and down the country, from north to south, emphasizing the Church’s pastoral mission, communion and participation, preparation for the Great Jubilee and the new evangelization. Benedict XVI chose Aparecida as the site of the Fifth CELAM General Assembly and this left a profound mark on the Church of the whole continent.

The Church in Brazil welcomed and creatively applied the Second Vatican Council, and the course it has taken, though needing to overcome some teething problems, has led to a Church gradually more mature, open, generous and missionary.

Today, times have changed. As the Aparecida document nicely put it: ours is not an age of change, but a change of age. So today we urgently need to keep putting the question: what is it that God is asking of us? I would now like to sketch a few ideas by way of a response.

3. The icon of Emmaus as a key for interpreting the present and the future
Before all else, we must not yield to the fear once expressed by Blessed John Henry Newman: “… the Christian world is gradually becoming barren and effete, as land which has been worked out and is become sand”. We must not yield to disillusionment, discouragement and complaint. We have laboured greatly and, at times, we see what appear to be failures. We feel like those who must tally up a losing season as we consider those who have left us or no longer consider us credible or relevant.

Let us read once again, in this light, the story of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-15). The two disciples have left Jerusalem. They are leaving behind the “nakedness” of God. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day (vv. 17-21). Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Perhaps the Church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas, perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions; perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age. It is a fact that nowadays there are many people like the two disciples of Emmaus; not only those looking for answers in the new religious groups that are sprouting up, but also those who already seem godless, both in theory and in practice.

Faced with this situation, what are we to do?

We need a Church unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a Church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren, fruitless soil, incapable of generating meaning.

A relentless process of globalization, an often uncontrolled process of urbanization, have promised great things. Many people have been captivated by the potential of globalization, which of course does contain positive elements. But many also completely overlook its darker side: the loss of a sense of life’s meaning, personal dissolution, a loss of the experience of belonging to any “nest” whatsoever, subtle but relentless violence, the inner fragmentation and breakup of families, loneliness and abandonment, divisions, and the inability to love, to forgive, to understand, the inner poison which makes life a hell, the need for affection because of feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness, the failed attempt to find an answer in drugs, alcohol, and sex, which only become further prisons.

Many, too, have sought shortcuts, for the standards set by Mother Church seem to be asking too much. Many people think: “the Church’s idea of man is too lofty for me, the ideal of life which she proposes is beyond my abilities, the goal she sets is unattainable, beyond my reach. Nonetheless – they continue – I cannot live without having at least something, even a poor imitation, of what is too lofty for me, what I cannot afford. With disappointed hearts, they then go off in search of someone who will lead them even further astray.

The great sense of abandonment and solitude, of not even belonging to oneself, which often results from this situation, is too painful to hide. Some kind of release is necessary. There is always the option of complaining: however did we get to this point? But even complaint acts like a boomerang; it comes back and ends up increasing one’s unhappiness. Few people are still capable of hearing the voice of pain; the best we can do is to anaesthetize it.

Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night” contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a Church which realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return. But we need to know how to interpret, with courage, the larger picture.

I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable of warming hearts? A Church capable of leading people back to Jerusalem? Of bringing them home? Jerusalem is where our roots are: Scripture, catechesis, sacraments, community, friendship with the Lord, Mary and the apostles… Are we still able to speak of these roots in a way that will revive a sense of wonder at their beauty?

Many people have left because they were promised something more lofty, more powerful, and faster.

But what is more lofty than the love revealed in Jerusalem? Nothing is more lofty than the abasement of the Cross, since there we truly approach the height of love! Are we still capable of demonstrating this truth to those who think that the apex of life is to be found elsewhere?

Do we know anything more powerful than the strength hidden within the weakness of love, goodness, truth and beauty?

People today are attracted by things that are faster and faster: rapid Internet connections, speedy cars and planes, instant relationships. But at the same time we see a desperate need for calmness, I would even say slowness. Is the Church still able to move slowly: to take the time to listen, to have the patience to mend and reassemble? Or is the Church herself caught up in the frantic pursuit of efficiency? Dear brothers, let us recover the calm to be able to walk at the same pace as our pilgrims, keeping alongside them, remaining close to them, enabling them to speak of the disappointments present in their hearts and to let us address them. They want to forget Jerusalem, where they have their sources, but eventually they will experience thirst. We need a Church capable of accompanying them on the road back to Jerusalem! A Church capable of helping them to rediscover the glorious and joyful things that are spoken of Jerusalem, and to understand that she is my Mother, our Mother, and that we are not orphans! We were born in her. Where is our Jerusalem, where were we born? In Baptism, in the first encounter of love, in our calling, in vocation.

We need a Church capable of restoring citizenship to her many children who are journeying, as it were, in an exodus.

4. Challenges facing the Church in Brazil
In the light of what I have said above, I would like to emphasize several challenges facing the beloved Church in Brazil.

Formation as a priority: Bishops, priests, religious, laity

Dear brothers, unless we train ministers capable of warming people’s hearts, of walking with them in the night, of dialoguing with their hopes and disappointments, of mending their brokenness, what hope can we have for our present and future journey? It isn’t true that God’s presence has been dimmed in them. Let us learn to look at things more deeply. What is missing is someone to warm their heart, as was the case with the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:32).

That is why it is important to devise and ensure a suitable formation, one which will provide persons able to step into the night without being overcome by the darkness and losing their bearings; able to listen to people’s dreams without being seduced and to share their disappointments without losing hope and becoming bitter; able to sympathize with the brokenness of others without losing their own strength and identity.

What is needed is a solid human, cultural, effective, spiritual and doctrinal formation. Dear brother Bishops, courage is needed to undertake a profound review of the structures in place for the formation and preparation of the clergy and the laity of the Church in Brazil. It is not enough that formation be considered a vague priority, either in documents or at meetings. What is needed is the practical wisdom to set up lasting educational structures on the local, regional and national levels and to take them to heart as Bishops, without sparing energy, concern and personal interest. The present situation calls for quality formation at every level. Bishops may not delegate this task. You cannot delegate this task, but must embrace it as something fundamental for the journey of your Churches.

Collegiality and solidarity in the Episcopal Conference
The Church in Brazil needs more than a national leader; it needs a network of regional “testimonies” which speak the same language and in every place ensure not unanimity, but true unity in the richness of diversity.

Communion is a fabric to be woven with patience and perseverance, one which gradually “draws together the stitches” to make a more extensive and thick cover. A threadbare cover will not provide warmth.

It is important to remember Aparecida, the method of gathering diversity together. Not so much a diversity of ideas in order to produce a document, but a variety of experiences of God, in order to set a vital process in motion.

The disciples of Emmaus returned to Jerusalem, recounting their experience of meeting the risen Christ. There they came to know other manifestations of the Lord and the experiences of their brothers and sisters. The Episcopal Conference is precisely a vital space for enabling such an exchange of testimonies about encounters with the Risen One, in the north, in the south, in the west… There is need, then, for a greater appreciation of local and regional elements. Central bureaucracy is not sufficient; there is also a need for increased collegiality and solidarity. This will be a source of true enrichment for all.

Permanent state of mission and pastoral conversion
Aparecida spoke about a permanent state of mission and of the need for pastoral conversion. These are two important results of that Assembly for the entire Church in the area, and the progress made in Brazil on these two points has been significant.

Concerning mission, we need to remember that its urgency derives from its inner motivation; in other words, it is about handing on a legacy. As for method, it is essential to realize that a legacy is about witness, it is like the baton in a relay race: you don’t throw it up in the air for whoever is able to catch it, so that anyone who doesn’t catch it has to manage without. In order to transmit a legacy, one needs to hand it over personally, to touch the one to whom one wants to give, to relay, this inheritance.

Concerning pastoral conversion, I would like to recall that “pastoral care” is nothing other than the exercise of the Church’s motherhood. She gives birth, suckles, gives growth, corrects, nourishes and leads by the hand … So we need a Church capable of rediscovering the maternal womb of mercy. Without mercy we have little chance nowadays of becoming part of a world of “wounded” persons in need of understanding, forgiveness, love.

In mission, also on a continental level, it is very important to reaffirm the family, which remains the essential cell of society and the Church; young people, who are the face of the Church’s future; women, who play a fundamental role in passing on the faith. Let us not reduce the involvement of women in the Church, but instead promote their active role in the ecclesial community. By losing women, the Church risks becoming sterile.

The task of the Church in society
In the context of society, there is only one thing which the Church quite clearly demands: the freedom to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, even when it runs counter to the world, even when it goes against the tide. In so doing, she defends treasures of which she is merely the custodian, and values which she does not create but rather receives, to which she must remain faithful.

The Church claims the right to serve man in his wholeness, and to speak of what God has revealed about human beings and their fulfilment. The Church wants to make present that spiritual patrimony without which society falls apart and cities are overwhelmed by their own walls, pits, barriers. The Church has the right and the duty to keep alive the flame of human freedom and unity.

Education, health, social harmony are pressing concerns in Brazil. The Church has a word to say on these issues, because any adequate response to these challenges calls for more than merely technical solutions; there has to be an underlying view of man, his freedom, his value, his openness to the transcendent. Dear brother Bishops, do not be afraid to offer this contribution of the Church, which benefits society as a whole.

The Amazon Basin as a litmus test for Church and society in Brazil
There is one final point on which I would like to dwell, which I consider relevant for the present and future journey not only of the Brazilian Church but of the whole society, namely, the Amazon Basin. The Church’s presence in the Amazon Basin is not that of someone with bags packed and ready to leave after having exploited everything possible. The Church has been present in the Amazon Basin from the beginning, in her missionaries and religious congregations, and she is still present and critical to the area’s future. I think of the welcome which the Church in the Amazon Basin is offering even today to Haitian immigrants following the terrible earthquake which shook their country.

I would like to invite everyone to reflect on what Aparecida said about the Amazon Basin, its forceful appeal for respect and protection of the entire creation which God has entrusted to man, not so that it be indiscriminately exploited, but rather made into a garden. In considering the pastoral challenge represented by the Amazon Basin, I have to express my thanks for all that the Church in Brazil is doing: the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon Basin established in 1997 has already proved its effectiveness and many dioceses have responded readily and generously to the appeal for solidarity by sending lay and priestly missionaries. I think Archbishop Jaime Chemelo, a pioneer in this effort, and Cardinal Hummes, the current President of the Commission. But I would add that the Church’s work needs to be further encouraged and launched afresh. There is a need for quality formators, especially professors of theology, for consolidating the results achieved in the area of training a native clergy and providing priests suited to local conditions and committed to consolidating, as it were, the Church’s “Amazonian face”.

Dear brother Bishops, I have attempted to offer you in a fraternal spirit some reflections and approaches for a Church like that of Brazil, which is a great mosaic made up of different pieces, images, forms, problems and challenges, but which for this very reason is an enormous treasure. The Church is never uniformity, but diversities harmonized in unity, and this is true for every ecclesial reality.

May the Virgin of Aparecida be the star which illumines your task and your journey of bringing Christ, as she did, to all the men and women of your immense country. Just as he did for the two lost and disillusioned disciples of Emmaus, he will warm your hearts and give you new and certain hope. 

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

POPE FRANCIS MEETS WITH LEADERS "THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION" - TEXT/VIDEO

Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Francis met with leading members of Brazilian society on Saturday and stressed the importance of constructive dialogue, saying this was essential at the present moment. “Between selfish indifference and violent protest," he said, "there is always another possible option, that of dialogue.” The Pope also called for more inclusive and humanistic economic and political process, eliminating “forms of elitism” and eradicating poverty.

In his address to the political, diplomatic, cultural, religious, academic and business leaders of Brazil the Pope paid tribute to the country’s distinct cultural tradition, looked at their joint responsibility for building the future, and stressed the need for constructive dialogue in facing the present moment. He told the leaders that the future demands of us a humanistic vision of the economy and a politics capable of ensuring greater and more effective participation on the part of all. This, he continued, is the road that we are called to travel.

The Pope went on to say that anyone exercising a role of leadership needs to keep hope alive even in the face of disappointments, and be generous even without apparent results. He said leaders make decisions in the present but should always have an eye to the future, reflecting on the consequences of our decisions.

Pope Francis concluded his address by pointing to something which he considers essential for facing the present moment: constructive dialogue. A country grows when constructive dialogue occurs between its many rich cultural components. The Pope revealed that when leaders in various fields ask him for advice, his response is always the same: "Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue!" This, he said, is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow. He said fraternal relations between people and cooperation in building a more just society are not some vague utopia but the fruit of a concerted effort on the part of all, in service of the common good.

Please find below the full text of Pope Francis' discourse to the people in roles of leadership:

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good day.

I thank God for the opportunity to meet such a distinguished representation of the political, diplomatic, cultural and religious, academic and business leaders of this immense country of Brazil.

I would like to speak to you in your own beautiful Portuguese language, but in order to express more clearly what I carry in my heart, I prefer to speak in Spanish. Please forgive me!

I greet all of you most heartily and I express to you my gratitude. I thank Don Orani and Mr Walmyr Júnior for their kind words of welcome, of introduction and of witness. In you I see both memory and hope: the memory of your country’s history and identity, and the hope of this country which is open to the light radiating from the Gospel, it will continue to develop in full respect for the ethical principles grounded in the transcendent dignity of the person.

Memory of the past and hope for the future meet in the present that is not a juncture without history and without promise, but a moment in time which challenges us to gather wisdom and put it to good use in building the future. In every nation, those in positions of responsibility are called to face the future, as the Brazilian thinker Alceu Amoroso Lima once said, “with the calm gaze of one who knows how to see the truth”. I would like to share with you three aspects of this calm, serene and wise “gaze”: first, the distinctiveness of your cultural tradition; second, joint responsibility for building the future; and third, constructive dialogue in facing the present moment.

1. It is right first, to esteem the dynamic and distinctive character of Brazilian culture, with its extraordinary ability to integrate a variety of elements. The common “feeling” of a people, the foundations of its thought and creativity, the basic principles of its life, the criteria with which it assesses priorities and ways of acting, all rest, are founded and develop according to an integral vision of the human person.

This vision of man and of life so typical of the Brazilian people has also been nourished by the Gospel, by faith in Jesus Christ, in the love of God and brotherhood with our neighbour. The richness of this nourishment can render fruitful a cultural process that is true to Brazilian identity and a constructive process that can build a better future for all.

A process that promotes an integral humanism and the culture of encounter and relationship: this is the Christian way of promoting the common good, the joy of living. Here, faith and reason unite, the religious dimension and the various aspects of human culture – art, science, labour, literature… Christianity combines transcendence and incarnation; for its capacity to always revitalize thought and life, in the face of the threat of dissatisfaction and disillusionment which can creep into hearts and spread in the streets.

2. A second element which I would like to mention is responsibility for society. This calls for a certain kind of cultural, and hence political, paradigm. We are the ones responsible for training new generations, to help them to be knowledgeable in economic and political affairs, and solidly grounded in ethical values. The future demands the duty to rehabilitate politics, to rehabilitate politics, which is one of the highest forms of charity. The future demands a humanistic vision of the economy and a politics capable of ensuring greater and more effective participation on the part of all, eliminating forms of elitism and eradicating poverty. This is the road that we are called to travel: to see that basic needs are met and that human dignity, brotherhood and solidarity are guaranteed on every level. In the days of prophet Amos, God’s frequent warning was already being heard: “They sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals – they … trample down the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and push the afflicted out of the way” (Am 2:6-7). The outcry, the call for justice, continues to be heard even today.

senza vedere risultati, ma mantenendo viva la speranza, con quella costanza e coraggio che nascono dall'accettazione della propria vocazione di guida e leadership”.


Anyone exercising a role of leadership needs to have practical goals and to seek specific means to attain them. At the same time, there is always the risk of disappointment, resentment and indifference, if our plans and goals do not materialize. The dynamic virtue of hope inspires us to keep pressing on, to employ all our energies and abilities on behalf of those for whom we work, accepting results, making it possible to strike out on new paths, being generous even without apparent results, yet keeping hope alive with the constancy and courage that are born from the acceptance of one’s vocation as a guide and as a leader.

It is a characteristic of leadership to make the most just decision after having considered all the options from the standpoint of personal responsibility and concern for the common good. This is the way to go to the heart of the evils of a society and to overcome them, also with the boldness of courageous and free actions. It is our responsibility, with all its limitations, to understand all of reality, observing, pondering, evaluating, in order to make decisions in the present but with an eye to the future, reflecting on the consequences of our decisions. To act responsibly is to see one’s own actions in the light of other people’s rights and God’s judgement. To preserve this ethical sense appears today as an unprecedented historic challenge. We must search for it, we must insert it into society itself. Beyond scientific and technical competence, the present situation also demands a sense of moral obligation expressed in a social and deeply fraternal exercise of responsibility.

3. To fill out this reflection, in addition to an integral humanism which respects cultural distinctiveness and fraternal responsibility, I consider essential for facing the present moment: constructive dialogue. Between selfish indifference and violent protest there is always another possible option: that of dialogue. Dialogue between generations, dialogue with the people, because we are all people, the capacity to give and receive, while remaining open to the truth. A country grows when constructive dialogue occurs between its many rich cultural components: popular culture, university culture, youth culture, art, technology, economic culture, family culture and media culture, when they are in dialogue with each other. It is impossible to imagine a future for society without a significant contribution of moral energies within a democratic order which will always be tempted to remain caught up in the interplay of vested interests. A basic contribution in this regard is made by the great religious traditions, which play a fruitful role as a leaven of society and a life-giving force for democracy. Peaceful coexistence between different religions is favoured by the laicity of the state, which, without appropriating any one confessional stance, respects and esteems the presence of the religious dimension in society, while fostering its more concrete expressions.


When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. I call this attitude of openness and availability without prejudice, social humility, and it is this that favours dialogue. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone. Today, either we stand together with the culture of dialogue and encounter, or we all loose, we all loose; from here we can take the right road that makes the journey fruitful and secure.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank you for your attention. Please accept these words as an expression of my concern as Pastor of the Church and of my respect and affection for the Brazilian people. Fraternal relations between people, and cooperation in building a more just society – these are not some vague fantasy, but the fruit of a concerted effort on the part of all, in service of the common good. I encourage you in your commitment to the common good, a commitment which demands of everyone wisdom, prudence and generosity. I entrust you to our Heavenly Father, asking him, through the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida, to pour out his gifts on each of you, on your families and on your communities and workplaces. And I ask God to bless you with all of my heart. Thank you very much.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

YOUTH FROM AUSTRALIA AT WORLD YOUTH DAY IN BRAZIL

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
26 Jul 2013
It is probably true to say a pilgrim's life is not a salubrious one - but then it is not supposed to be really.
It is also true to say the 1800 pilgrims in South America for World Youth Day have been doing it pretty tough, and rough.
However everyone of them will tell you it has been one fantastic experience. The wet weather, muddy mission projects, interesting diets, transportation challenges and, probably worst of all the fickle internet connections,
fade into insignificance when the overall picture is considered.
This has been one powerful experience for them.
With their youth leaders, teachers, bishops, priests and religious travelling with them the pilgrims have given of themselves working in the shanty towns of Lima, Peru. Building stairways, a sporting field or chapel, the pilgrims
have toiled hard to contribute to the poor communities. And the smiles on the faces of the villagers, especially the children, has been reward enough.
Now they have joined hundreds of thousands of other pilgrims from around the world  and :Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro for the 28th World Youth Day.
The rain continues, venues have been changed but the enthusiasm is not dampened as they gather on the famous Copacabana for celebration and prayer.
Below is  a link to an article written by a recent UNDA Graduate, Kiara Pirola, who is supporting the Archdiocese with a communications initiative called Catholic Talk. Kiara  is in  Rio for WYD2013 and has written of her experience.
Most of the pilgrims bed down at 'Aussie Central' opposite Copacabana
Bishop Julian Porteous, our cameraman Daniel Saban and CEO of Salt & Light Television Fr Tom Rosica meeting up
Kiara Pirola with young friend she met while on mission in Peru
Cardinal George Pell giving a Catechesis in Rio
Cardinal Pell celebrating Mass at Rio Cathedral
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

ANTI-LIFE PROTESTERS ATTACK CATHEDRAL IN CHILE

Agenzia Fides REPORT- The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, has condemned the attack against the Cathedral of Santiago which took place on Thursday evening during the celebration of the feast of the city, the commemoration of St. James. "I wish to express our absolute condemnation and rejection to these types of acts, because it means not respecting other people’s rights", said Piñera. 
On Thursday evening, about 5,000 people marched through the center of Santiago to ask for "free abortion". A group of protesters entered the Metropolitan Cathedral, interrupted the Mass, wreaked havoc, destroyed a part of the church, painted side altars and tried to burn the pews of the church. 
"I spoke with the archbishop of Santiago to express our full solidarity and ratify the government’s commitment regarding freedom of religion, freedom of worship and the protection of the unborn", said the Chilean President. 
The mayor of Santiago, Carolina Toha, told reporters that she "is not a believer", but held that "the people who were in the cathedral at that time, were attacked for no apparent reason and this is not acceptable". Toha was among those who attended the Mass celebrated by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago, Mgr. Ricardo Ezzati, on the feast of St. James, the patron saint of the city. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 27/07/2013)

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : SAT. JULY 27, 2013

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 400


Reading 1            EX 24:3-8

When Moses came to the people
and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD,
they all answered with one voice,
“We will do everything that the LORD has told us.”
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and,
rising early the next day,
he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar
and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then, having sent certain young men of the children of Israel
to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice young bulls
as peace offerings to the LORD,
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
“This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his.”

Responsorial Psalm             PS 50:1B-2, 5-6, 14-15

R. (14a) Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
and fulfill your vows to the Most High;
Then call upon me in time of distress;
I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me.”
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Gospel               MT 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 27: ST. PANTALEON


St. Pantaleon
MARTYR
Feast: July 27


Information:
Feast Day:July 27
Died:305
Patron of:against consumption, against tuberculosis bachelors, doctors, physicians, torture victims
Martyr, died about 305. According to legend he was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and had been instructed in Christianity by his Christian mother, Eubula. Afterwards he became estranged from Christianity. He studied medicine and became physician to the Emperor Maximianus. He was won back to Christianity by the priest Hermolaus. Upon the death of his father he came into possession of a large fortune. Envious colleagues denounced him to the emperor during the Diocletian persecution. The emperor wished to save him and sought to persuade him to apostasy. Pantaleon, however, openly confessed his faith, and as proof that Christ is the true God, he healed a paralytic. Notwithstanding this, he was condemned to death by the emperor, who regarded the miracle as an exhibition of magic. According to legend, Pantaleon's flesh was first burned with torches; upon this Christ appeared to all in the form of Hermolaus to strengthen and heal Pantaleon. The torches were extinguished. After this, when a bath of liquid lead was prepared, Christ in the same form stepped into the cauldron with him, the fire went out and the lead became cold. He was now thrown into the sea, but the stone with which he was loaded floated. He was thrown to the wild beasts but these fawned upon him and could not be forced away until he had blessed them. He was bound on the wheel, but the ropes snapped, and the wheel broke. An attempt was made to behead him, but the sword bent, and the executioners were converted. Pantaleon implored heaven to forgive them, for which reason he also received the name of Panteleemon (the all-compassionate). It was not until he himself desired it that it was possible to behead him.
The lives containing these legendary features are all late in date and valueless. Yet the fact of the martyrdom itself seems to be proved by a veneration for which there is early testimony, among others from Theodoret (Graecarum affectionum curatio, Sermo VIII, "De martyribus", in Migne, P. G., LXXXIII 1033), Procopius of Caesarea (De aedificiis Justiniani I, ix; V, ix), and the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (Acta SS., Nov., II, 1, 97). Pantaleon is venerated in the East as a great martyr and wonderworker. In the Middle Ages he came to be regarded as the patron saint of physicians and midwives, and became one of the fourteen guardian martyrs. From early times a phial containing some of his blood has been preserved at Constantinople. On the feast day of the saint the blood is said to become fluid and to bubble. Relics of the saint are to be found at St. Denis at Paris; his head is venerated at Lyons. His feast day is 27 July, also 28 July, and 18 February.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpantaleon.asp#ixzz1TJZmUYHs

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