Saturday, July 20, 2013




THE LATEST edition of TIME magazine displays Pope Francis with the headline, "The People's Pope." However, this is only on the European, Asian, African and South American Editions. Both editions show black with white silhouettes. This is probably a play on racism.The Trayvon Martin case has dominated the North American media. Here, a young man, age 17, was shot and killed by a Hispanic security man. The American public has come out in protest over the not-guilty verdict of the Hispanic George Zimmerman. They say that his force against the Afro-American youth was due to racial stereotyping and that he deserved punishment for this murder. However, supporters of Zimmerman say he acted in self defense against the youth who incited the violent encounter.The Time magazine reporter, Ishaan Tharoor, wrote the article on Pope Francis. Here is an excerpt from "A Pope for the Poor" 

Brazil may prove to be a showcase for the powers of this humble Pope and the fresh face he is putting on the ancient papacy. In this, the most populous of Catholic countries on the most Catholic of continents, he faces in microcosm the challenges the church is confronted with around the world: the magnetism of Protestant evangelism and the temptations of secular culture. And it is in this enormous Latin American nation that the Pope of the poor may just begin to have the destabilizing influence that John Paul II had in Eastern Europe: to turn the tide against the rivals of the church and re-establish its primacy in places where it once held incontestable sway.(Image source: GOOGLE/ TIME/SPAZIANI/VEASEY )


Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis on Friday tweeted his best wishes to World Youth Day pilgrims, many of whom are en route or already arrived in the host city, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Many of you have already arrived in Rio and many more are just arriving,” he wrote via his @pontifex handle on the micro-blogging platform. He added, “We will see one another there in only three days.” More than three hundred thousand people are registered for the event, with organisers preparing for as many as two and a half million visitors.   

Fr. Michael Rogers, SJ is the coordinator of English-language WYD initiatives for the Society of Jesus in the US and a member of the lead committee for the international English-language welcome centre in Brazil, which will be the hub of English-language catechesis and prayer during the first four days of WYD events, starting Tuesday, July 22nd. Fr. Rogers, SJ, told Vatican Radio that host city Rio de Janeiro is already beginning to feel the effects of the pilgrim swell. “The city is already beginning to fill up, and you can see the green WYD pilgrim packs everywhere,” he said, adding, “I think it is going to be a wonderful four days at the centre and two days out in the field.”

Pope Francis, asked Benedict XVI for his prayers, as he gets ready to fly to Latin America.
The last time the Pope met with his predecessor was back on July 5th,  when together, they welcomed a new statue of St. Michael Archangel at the Vatican Gardens.

This time around, Pope Francis decided to visit Benedict XVI to ask for his prayers, as he prepares for his trip to Brazil. During their meeting, they first prayed together in the chapel and afterward they talked for about 30 minutes. The Pope gave Ratzinger, the official World Youth Day booklet as well as the event's official medal. (SHARED FROM ROMEREPORTS)


World Youth Day 2013 - Official Prayer

O Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world and chose men and women, through Him, with Him and in Him, to proclaim the Good News to all nations. Grant us the graces 
necessary so that joy may shine in the faces of all young people, the joy of being, by the power 
of the Holy Spirit, the evangelists the Church needs in the Third Millennium. 

O Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado 
welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You brought us by the Holy Spirit to an 

encounter of sonship with the Father. Young people, who are fed by Eucharist, hear You in 

Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to run the paths of the 

world missionary-disciples of the New Evangelization.  

O Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of 
Your Love, send Your Light to all young people so that, driven by their experience of World 
Youth Day, they may bring to the four corners of the world faith, hope and charity, becoming 
great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.  


Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 108

Reading 1              GN 18:1-10A

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
“Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.”
The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.”

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
“Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.”
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.

They asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He replied, “There in the tent.”
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”

Responsorial Psalm                           PS 15:2-3, 3-4, 5

R. (1a) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
One who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Reading 2                    COL 1:24-28

Brothers and sisters:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Gospel          LK 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”


St. Lawrence of Brindisi
Feast: July 21
Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi -- or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer -- was his father's name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark's and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins under the name of Brother Lorenzo, and, after his preofession, made his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Padua. Owing to his wonderful memory he mastered not only the principal European languages, but also most of the Semitic tongues. It was said he knew the entire original text of the Bible. Such a knowledge, in the eyes of many, could be accounted for only by supernatural assistance, and, during the process of beatification, the examiners of the saint's writings rendered the following judgment: "Vere inter sanctos Ecclesiae doctores adnumerari potest."
Such unusual talents, added to a rare virtue, fitted Brother Lorenzo for the most diverse missions. When still a deacon he preached the Lenten sermons in Venice, and his success was so great that he was called successively to all the principal cities of the peninsula. Subsequently, thanks to his numerous journeys, he was enabled to evangelize at different periods most of the countries of Europe. The sermons he left fill no less than eight folio volumes. He adopted the method of preaching in favour with the great Franciscan missionaries, or rather with apostolic workers of all times, who, aiming primarily to reach men's hearts and convert them, always adapt their style of discourse to the spiritual needs of their hearers. Brother Lorenzo held successively all the offices of his order. From 1596 to 1602 he had, as general definitor, to fix his residence in Rome. Clement VIII assigned him the task of instructing the Jews; thanks to his knowledge of Hebrew and his powerful reasoning, he brought a great number of them to recognize the truth of the Christian religion. His saintliness, combined with his great kindliness, completed the preparing of the way for the grace of conversion. His success in Rome caused him to be called to several other cities, where he also baptized numerous Jews. At the same time he was commissioned to establish houses of his order in Germany and Austria. Amid the great difficulties created by the heretics he founded the convents of Vienna, Prague, and Graz, the nuclei of three provinces. At the chapter of 1602 he was elected vicar-general. (At that time the Order of Capuchins, which had broken away from the Observants in 1528 and had an independent constitution, gave its first superior the title of vicar-general only. It was not until 1618 that Pope Paul V changed it to that of minister general). The very year of his election the new superior began the visitation of the provinces. Milan, Paris, Marseilles, Spain, received him in turn. As his coming was preceded by a great reputation for holiness, the people flocked to hear him preach and to receive his blessing. His administration characterized by wise firmness and fatherly tenderness, was of great benefit to the order. At the Chapter of 1605 he refused to undertake for a second term the government of his brethren, but until his death he was the best adviser of his successors.
It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. "Forward!" he cried, showing them the crucifix, "Victory is ours." The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo.
Having resigned his office of vicar-general in 1605, he was sent by the pope to evangelize Germany. He here confirmed the faith of the Catholics, brought back a great number to the practice of virtue, and converted many heretics. In controversies his vast learning always gave him the advantage, and, once he had won the minds of his hearers, his saintliness and numerous miracles completed their conversion. To protect the Faith more efficaciously in their states, the Catholic princes of Germany formed the alliance called the "Catholic League". Emperor Rudolph sent Lorenzo to Philip III of Spain to persuade him to join the League. Having discharged this mission successfully, the saintly ambassador received a double mandate by virtue of which he was to represent the interests of the pope and of Madrid at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League. He was thus, much against his wishes, compelled to settle in Munich near Maximilian. Besides being nuncio and ambassador, Lorenzo was also commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and spiritual director of the Bavarian army. He was also chosen as arbitrator in the dispute which arose between the princes, and it was in fulfillment of this rtle that, at the request of the emperor, he restored harmony between the Duke of Mantua and a German nobleman. In addition to all these occupations he undertook, with the assistance of several Capuchins, a missionary campaign throughout Germany, and for eight months travelled in Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate.
Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold anunusually intense inner life. In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies. After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary's name that he worked his miracles, and his favourite blessing was: "Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria." Having withdrawn to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, Lorenzo was hoping to enjoy a few days of seclusion, when he was requested by the leading men of Naples to go to Spain and apprise Philip III of the conduct of Viceroy Ossuna. In spite of many obstacles raised by the latter, the saint sailed from Genoa and carried out his mission successfully. But the fatigues of the journey exhausted his feeble strength. He was unable to travel homeward, and after a few days of great suffering died at Lisbon in the native land of St. Anthony (22 July, 1619), as he had predicted when he set out on his journey. He was buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares of Villafranca.
The process of beatification, several times interrupted by various circumstances, was concluded in 1783. The canonization took place on 8 December, 1881. With St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, and Blessed John Duns Scotus, he is a Doctor of the Franciscan Order.
The known writings of St. Lorenzo of Brindisi comprise eight volumes of sermons, two didactic treatises on oratory, a commentary on Genesis, another on Ezechiel, and three volumes of religious polemics. Most of his sermons are written in Italian, the other works being in Latin. The three volumes of controversies have notes in Greek and Hebrew. [Note: In 1959 Pope John XXIII proclaimed St. Lorenzo da Brindisi a Doctor of the Universal Church.]




Nation's most famous pilgrimage site owes much to President Xi Jinping
<p><span lang="EN-US">Our Lady of Rosary Church in the Rosa Mystica Sanctuary of Fuzhou </span></p>
Our Lady of Rosary Church in the Rosa Mystica Sanctuary of Fuzhou
  • reporter, 
  • Southeastern China’s most famous pilgrimage site wouldn’t be here today had it not been for an act of kindness 20 years ago by Xi Jinping, the new Chinese president.
The Rosa Mystica Sanctuary in Fuzhou diocese is a large, white, eye-catching complex built on a hillside near the coastal city of Changle.
Managed by 10 nuns, the holy site receives more than 10,000 Chinese pilgrims and foreign visitors each year.
It developed from a small compound which Bishop Joseph Zheng Changcheng of Fuzhou built in his hometown in 1993 to live out the remainder of his life. However, the bishop's little project almost failed to get off the ground. 
Sister Zheng Wenying, who is in charge of the sanctuary, said the site was threatened by a government ban on illegal religious venues during its construction.
“Xi Jinping, then Fujian’s Communist Party Committee Deputy Secretary who oversaw religious affairs, showed great understanding and respect toward the elderly bishop, so the government approved the shrine in 1996,” she told The government also granted tax exemptions and simplified procedures for examining and approving construction of new buildings at the sanctuary.
Since then, new structures have been added to the complex, including a church, gardens, statues and carvings that depict the Stations of the Cross, the mysteries of the Rosary and angels in various poses.
On July 13, the shrine celebrated its 20th anniversary. Unfortunately, celebrations, which included a Marian procession, were cut short by Typhoon Soulik, which swept across Taiwan and hit Fujian head on.
About 2,000 people from Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan and Zhejiang provinces packed the hilltop of Our Lady of Rosary Church to attend a solemn Mass in the morning before the weather set in.
During the celebration, the pilgrims commemorated the late Bishop Zheng, whose ashes were interred under an altar in front of a memorial building dedicated to him.
This two-story building houses 20,000 books on Chinese culture, philosophy, Christianity and other religions. Many of the books are original editions that survived the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and were collected by Bishop Zheng.
The Vatican-approved and government-recognized prelate died in 2006 without fulfilling his wish to reconcile “open” and “unregistered” Catholics in his diocese.
The open community in Fuzhou diocese has not had a bishop since then, while the unregistered community, which has a strong presence in the area, has been divided into two hostile factions for several years.
The split has been caused by a power struggle between the underground bishop and the apostolic administrator.
Sister Zheng said it was painful to see Church communities divided and attacking each other.
“How can we spread the Gospel when we fail to bear witness to the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?” she lamented.
Despite the disputes, the nun said unregistered Catholics are friendly towards the sanctuary and often come on pilgrimages, which would have pleased the late bishop.
The sanctuary’s popularity continues to grow. Construction of a new and bigger hostel to accommodate more pilgrims, and facilities to conduct retreats and training course are already underway.
Some 20 years on both the sanctuary and its savior, Xi Jinping, have gone on to bigger things.


Kairos, Volume 24 Issue 12

Dr Gerard O'Shea
EARLY in the 20th century, the great Italian educator, Maria Montessori, began a new way of thinking about education. Instead of making up clever theories, she thought it would be better to observe children very closely to see if she could work out how they could learn best.

One aspect of her observations, however, does not receive much attention from contemporary educationalists. Montessori noticed something that many attentive parents and teachers of early childhood have seen as well. She claimed that children from the ages of three to six years seemed to be in a natural ‘sensitive period’ for religious faith. In other words, just as children of this age have an extraordinary capacity for learning a language, so too do they have a deep interest in the concrete aspects of religion.

The way these insights have been adapted by Sofia Cavalletti and those who promote the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has been presented several times in Kairos over the past few years. But how does this apply to helping young children to pray? Is there some simple key for helping parents and teachers in developing this aspect of the child’s relationship with God?

It is obvious to those who deal with young children that their primary focus is on individual things and people in the real world around them. They are fascinated with all of creation and are capable of taking in a vast amount through their senses. Young children want to see, touch, hear, smell and even taste all they see around them. According to Cavalletti, all of this interest in the real world has an effect on them, as well as an important purpose. It brings forth a kind of wonder, a joy and serenity that is hard to explain, but observers of young children have seen it on their faces many times.

Adults can feel this way too, but we are less likely to be attracted to simple things like a snail crossing the path or a spider spinning its web. To feel this way, adults would probably need to be standing in a place like a viewing platform looking towards the Twelve Apostles standing majestically amid the crashing waves of Bass Strait at sunset.

This wonder, claims Cavalletti, is God’s natural way of drawing children to himself. They are meant to perceive the hand of God in the beautiful works of his creation. Wonder is drawn forth from them when they ‘attentively gaze at reality’. But what does this have to do with encouraging young children to pray? It is precisely this attentive gaze at reality, this focus on what is real, that is the starting point for the child’s prayer—something that children enter into with natural ease.

For some years, I struggled with helping my own children to begin their life of prayer. I recall being very earnest about this and trying to teach them to repeat prayers after me. I hope that this effort was not wasted and I like to believe that God made up for my own deficiencies, but there was a much better way waiting for me, and I regret that I only discovered Cavalletti’s insights later in life.

It is now one of my great joys to go into prep classrooms early in the year and see how easy it is to get them to pray. It consists of one simple question: ‘What would you like to thank God for?’ This simple question unlocks a floodgate! For much of their young lives, they have been looking and wondering about the wonderful things God has made, and they are more than ready to give thanks.

Once the process starts, it is difficult to stop. The starting point for prayer is in fact the gratitude they feel for being in a beautiful world. Once this process starts, the relationship of prayer is under way. By natural degrees, it will lead further—the God who is thanked can also be praised, then asked for other good things and so forth.

It seems to me that this is also the starting point for adults who find the relationship of prayer to be difficult and dry. Perhaps we also need to learn that the relationship we have with God starts with an act of gratitude for what we have. This is certainly something that children have taught me, and is something for which I continue to be grateful.

Dr Gerard O’Shea is senior lecturer in religious education at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Melbourne and has worked with children for many years as a teacher, principal and more recently as a catechist with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Victoria.

Shared from Archdiocese of Melbourne

Prayer and young children


Shokcing: A baby girl pronounced dead at birth 'came back to life' three hours later on the altar of a hospital chapel, picturedA BABY GIRL was pronounced dead at birth and placed on the altar of the hospital Chapel. 3 hours later the grandmother came to take the baby when she began to move. Yasmin Gomes was placed in a box in the Chapel in Londrina, South Brazil by the nurse. Elza Silva, the grandmother, is reported to have said, "At first I couldn't believe it, we couldn't accept that it could happen." The hospital records show that the baby was born alive but pronounced dead at 11am as it was unable to breath. Many efforts were made by a team of hospital staff to revive the baby. A death certificate was issued by Dr. Aurelio Filipak in the Lincoln Graca hospital. The mother is Jennifer da Silva Gomes, age 22, and the father Cleverson Carlos Gomes, age 26, expressed their joy after seeing the baby. "'Then we saw that she was breathing. We hugged each other and started to shout, 'she's alive, she's alive'. It was a miracle." It was the Nurse Ana Claudia Oliveira who asked to place the baby in the Church; she washed and dressed the baby who had already turned blue. The doctor Filipak is quoted as saying, "'In 20 years of medicine, I have never witnessed anything like this.' (File/Image share g1 globo basil/Daily Mail)


KIRK CAMERON - former star of the hit sitcom "Growing Pains" has made a new Christian Film. However, it was under a ban by Facebook and Youtube. The ban has since been lifted due to viewer reaction. Here is the film's description:Join Kirk in his inspiring investigation into the moral origins of good and evil, their inspirational value and their historical significance to us today. UNSTOPPABLE promises to bring families and communities together with a big picture view of how we can live victorious lives in the face of adversity, changing our world for good. Broadcast LIVE from Liberty University, the evening will begin with special guest appearances PLUS a special introduction from Kirk, as he shares his heart for UNSTOPPABLE, which he calls his "most personal project ever."  "Unstoppable" will premiere Sept. 24 at Virginia's Liberty University and be broadcast simultaneously in select theaters.(Shared from Facebook Page of Kirk Cameron)


A magnificent motion picture based on a true story. Old John was a truly God-fearing man, a good influence for any boy. Bates the butler envisioned falling heir to some of Lord Asbury's estate. However Lord Asbury's death caused a succession of unanticipated events which bring the movie to a stunning climax, Running Time 65 minutes. An Evangelical Outreach Ltd Production, Released by Ken Anderson Films. SHARED FROM YOUTUBE
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