Sunday, February 10, 2013






RADIO VATICANA REPORT: In his remarks at the weekly Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the call of the first disciples, the subject of Sunday’s Gospel. The Holy Father noted that when the Lord calls someone to follow Him, God is more concerned about the faith of the one called than about his personal qualities or abilities.

While the call of St. Peter and the other disciples was in many ways unique, the Pope said, his experience is “representative of the call of every apostle of the Gospel.” We must never grow discouraged, he said, “in proclaiming Christ to all people, even to the ends of the earth.”

Sunday’s Gospel, said Pope Benedict, can be seen especially as a reflection on the vocation to the priesthood or the religious life. Such a call is the work of God. “The human person is not the author of his own vocation,” the Pope explained. A vocation “is a response to a divine call.” He prayed “this Word of God might revive in us and in our Christian communities courage, confidence, and enthusiasm in proclaiming and witnessing to the Gospel.

Following the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father recalled those in the Far East who are celebrating the lunar new year. “Peace, harmony, and gratitude to Heaven are the universal values that are celebrated on this happy occasion,” he said. And he prayed for all those celebrating the new year, that their hopes for a happy and prosperous life would be fulfilled.

Pope Benedict also called attention to the celebration of the annual World Day of the Sick, taking place tomorrow on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. “With prayer and affection I will be close to all the sick,” he said. And he said he would be spiritually united to all those who will gather tomorrow at the Marian Shrine of Altötting, Germany, for the solemn commemoration of the World Day of the Sick.

Finally, Pope Benedict concluded his weekly address with greetings in various languages for pilgrims and visitors from around the world:

“I am pleased to greet all the visitors present at today’s Angelus, especially the young people of Saint Patrick’s Evangelisation School, London. In today’s Gospel, the crowds press round Jesus, ‘listening to the word of God.’ May we too listen attentively to Jesus’ words, as He calls us, like Simon Peter, to go out fearlessly and draw others to Christ. God bless you and your loved ones!”

Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father's Angelus address: 

Dear brothers and sisters!

In today's liturgy, the Gospel according to Luke presents the story of the calling of the first disciples, with an original version that differs from that of the other two Synoptics, Mark and Matthew (cf. Mk 1:16-20, Mt 4:18-22). The call, in fact, was preceded by the teaching of Jesus to the crowd and a miraculous catch of fish, carried out by the will of the Lord (Lk 5.1 to 6). In fact, while the crowd rushes to the shore of Lake Gennesaret to hear Jesus, He sees Simon discouraged because he has caught nothing all night. First Jesus asks to get into Simon's boat in order to preach to the people standing a short distance from the shore; then, having finished preaching, He commands Simon to go out into the deep with his friends and cast their nets (cf. v. 5). Simon obeys, and they catch an incredible amount of fish. In this way, the evangelist shows how the first disciples followed Jesus, trusting him, relying on His Word, all the while accompanied by miraculous signs. We note that, before this sign, Simon addresses himself to Jesus, calling Him “Master” (v. 5), while afterwards he calls Him “Lord” (v. 7). This is the pedagogy of God’s call, which does not consider the quality of those who are chosen so much as their faith, like that of Simon that says: “At your word, I will let down the nets” (v. 5).

The image of the fish refers to the Church’s mission. St. Augustine says in this regard, “Twice the disciples went out to fish at the Lord’s command: one time before the Passion and the other after the Resurrection. In the two scenes of fishing, the entire Church is depicted: the Church as it is now and as it will be after the resurrection of the dead. Now it gathers together a multitude, impossible to number, comprising the good and the bad; after the resurrection, it will include only the good” (Speech 248.1). The experience of Peter, certainly unique, is nonetheless representative of the call of every apostle of the Gospel, who must never be discouraged in proclaiming Christ to all men, even to the ends of the world. Above all, today’s text is a reflection on the vocation to the priesthood and the consecrated life. It is the work of God. The human person is not the author of his own vocation; it is a response to divine call. Human weakness should not be afraid if God calls. It is necessary to have confidence in His strength, which acts in our poverty; we must rely more and more on the power of his mercy, which transforms and renews.

Dear brothers and sisters, may this Word of God revive in us and in our Christian communities the courage, confidence and enthusiasm in proclaiming and witnessing to the Gospel. Failures and difficulties do not lead to discouragement: it is our task to cast our nets in faith—the Lord will do the rest. We must trust, too, in the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Apostles. To the Lord's call, she, well aware of her own smallness, answered with total confidence: “Here I am.” With her maternal help, let renew our willingness to follow Jesus, Master and Lord.

After the Angelus

Today, the various peoples of the Far East celebrate the Lunar New Year. Peace, harmony, and gratitude to Heaven are the universal values ​​that are celebrated on this happy occasion and are desired by all to build their own family, society and nation. I hope that that those Peoples will be able to fulfill their aspirations for a happy and prosperous life. I send a special greeting to the Catholics of those countries, that in this Year of Faith they will be guided by the wisdom of Christ.

Tomorrow, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, is also the World Day of the Sick. The solemn celebration will take place at the Marian Shrine of Altötting in Bavaria. With prayer and affection I will be close to all the sick and I unite myself spiritually to those who gather in the Sanctuary, who are particularly dear to me.


I am pleased to greet all the visitors present at today’s Angelus, especially the young people of Saint Patrick’s Evangelisation School, London. In today’s Gospel, the crowds press round Jesus, “listening to the word of God”. May we too listen attentively to Jesus’ words, as he calls us, like Simon Peter, to go out fearlessly and draw others to Christ. God bless you and your loved ones!





guimond(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Most Reverend Arthé Guimond, Archbishop Emeritus of Grouard-McLennanAlberta, died on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, in Saint-AlbertAlberta, at the age of 81. Archbishop Guimond was born on May 22,1931, in St. François-Xavier des Hauteurs, Quebec. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan on June 23, 1957. Following his ordination to the priesthood, he did pastoral work in the Archdiocese for four years.
Archbishop Guimond was extensively involved in education. He taught at the Collège universitaire de Hearst in Ontario; the San Francisco archdiocesan seminary; Newman Theological College, Edmonton; the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; and Saint Boniface Seminary in Manitoba. From 1975 to 1987 he served as a theologian on what was then the pastoral team of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He returned to the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan almost 30 years later, serving as pastor of Fairview and then Peace River, from 1987 to 1998, and also as Vicar General, from 1996 to 1998. Archbishop Guimond had been diocesan administrator of the Archdiocese, from 1998 to 2000, following the death of the Most Reverend Henri Goudreault, O.M.I., in July 1998. He was appointed Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan by Blessed John Paul II in June 8, 2000. His resignation as Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan was accepted by the Holy Father in November 2006, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 for Bishops.
As member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served as a member, from 2001 to 2003, as Chairman of the former Commission for Christian Education of the French Sector. 
His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Basilica, Edmonton, on Friday, February 15, at 10:30 am, with the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the CCCB, presiding. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, McLennan, on Friday, February 22, at 7:30 pm, with Archbishop Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R., presiding.



This year's St Vincent de Paul Society doorknock appeal, with a target of $350,000, was launched at lunchtime today in Garema Place, Canberra, by former Governor-General Sir William Deane.
He urged Canberrans to "hear the knock, open the door, do what you can to help the disadvantaged".
Sir William said those who experienced "the utter desolation of homelessness" in our cities tended to be invisible to most of the community.
The focus of Canberrans in the centenary year of the city should be on their community, "and we all agree that community means all of our community".
In the last financial year, nearly 37,000 people were helped by the society in the Canberra-Goulburn region. More than $1.3 million was given in assistance, including food and utility and rent payments.
For the first time, the doorknock will be run in Goulburn and Batemans Bay.
To register to be a doorknock volunteer go to

Sir William Deane launches the doorknock appeal, watched by St Vincent de Paul Society archdiocesan president Mr Frank Brassil.



The Christian mother of five was convicted of blasphemy in 2009 and sentenced to death
Alessandro Speciale, Vatican City
A high-ranking Vatican prelate has written to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari asking for the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death under the country’s controversial blasphemy law.
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, vice dean of the College of Cardinals, called for a “gesture of clemency” for Bibi, 42, who was sentenced in 2009 and has been jailed ever since.
He said Zardari’s pardon of Bibi would have “an enormous significance and would greatly promote dialogue and reconciliation between Muslims and Christians.”
He added: “In my long life, I have always worked to help Christians and Muslims live together as brothers, ever since Blessed John Paul asked me to organize the historical meeting for peace in Assisi on October 27, 1986.”
On that occasion, leaders from the world's religions met for the first time in St. Francis' hometown at the invitation of a pope.
“We can’t continue ignoring each other or, worse, fighting each other,” he concluded in the letter.
Cardinal Etchegaray’s is the latest appeal from the international community on behalf of Bibi, whose story has captured headlines since her detention and brought further scrutiny on Pakistan’s blasphemy legislation, which rights groups say is often used unjustly to settle political scores or target religious minorities.
In January, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi appealed to the Pakistan government through the Italian embassy in Islamabad to release Bibi.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - An Election Commission that is indeed "independent, autonomous and neutral" is what the religious denominations of the Democratic Republic of Congo through their spokesman, don Donatien Shole, Deputy Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Congo ask for.
The leaders of the various religious denominations in the country met in Kinshasa on 1 February. At the end of the meeting don Shole reported the recommendations made during the debate on the law that revises the composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
"We call on the President of the Republic, who has the power to refer the law to the Parliament for further discussion, to take account of the profound aspiration of the Congolese people who want a truly independent, autonomous and neutral INEC," said the priest.
Religious leaders point out that the current INEC had been criticized during the presidential and legislative elections of 2011, in which numerous irregularities were found.
On 12 December 2012, the National Assembly had adopted a law amending the composition of INEC. The text states that the new Electoral Commission is made up of two bodies: the Office of Presidency and the Plenary Assembly. The latter is composed of 13 members (6 of the Presidential Majority, 4 of the opposition and 3 of civil society). According to the religious denominations this text that has no significant progress. 


Feb 10, 2013 - 5th Sun Ordinary Time

Isaiah 6: 1 - 2, 3 - 8

1In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.2Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.3And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.5And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"6Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar.7And he touched my mouth, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven."8And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
Psalms 138: 1 - 5, 7 - 8

1I give thee thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing thy praise;
2I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word.
3On the day I called, thou didst answer me, my strength of soul thou didst increase.
4All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, for they have heard the words of thy mouth;
5and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou dost preserve my life; thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand delivers me.
8The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; thy steadfast love, O LORD, endures for ever. Do not forsake the work of thy hands.1 Corinthians 15: 1 - 11

1Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand,2by which you are saved, if you hold it fast -- unless you believed in vain.3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me.11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.Luke 5: 1 - 11

1While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes'aret.2And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.3Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.4And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."5And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets."6And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,7they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken;10and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb'edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men."11And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.


St. Scholastica
Feast: February 10

Feast Day:February 10
480, Nursia, Italy
Patron of:convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain
This saint was sister to the great St. Benedict. She consecrated herself to God from her earliest youth, as St. Gregory testifies. Where her first monastery was situated is not mentioned; but after her brother removed to Mount Cassino she chose her retreat at Plombariola, in that neighbourhood, where she founded and governed a nunnery about five miles distant to the south from St. Benedict's monastery. St. Bertharius, who was Abbot of Cassino three hundred years after, says that she instructed in virtue several of her own sex. And whereas St. Gregory informs us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, his sister must have been their abbess under his rule and direction. She visited her holy brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went out with some of his monks to meet her at a house at some small distance. They spent these visits in the praises of God, and in conferring together on spiritual matters. St. Gregory relates a remarkable circumstance of the I last of these visits. Scholastica having passed the day as usual in singing psalms and pious discourse, they sat down in the evening to take their refection. After it was over, Scholastica, perhaps foreknowing it would be their last interview in this world, or at least desirous of some further spiritual improvement, was very urgent with her brother to delay his return till the next day, that they might entertain themselves till morning upon the happiness of the other life. St. Benedict, unwilling to transgress his rule, told her he could not pass a night out of his monastery, so desired her not to insist upon such a breach of monastic discipline. Scholastica finding him resolved on going home, laying her hands joined upon the table, and her head upon them, with many tears, begged of Almighty God to interpose in her behalf. Her prayer was scarce ended when there happened such a storm of rain, thunder, and lightning, that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could set a foot out of doors. He complained to his sister, saying, "God forgive you, sister; what have you done?" She answered, "I asked you a favour, and you refused it me; I asked it of Almighty God, and he has granted it me." St. Benedict was therefore obliged to comply with her request, and they spent the night in conferences on pious subjects, chiefly on the felicity of the blessed, to which both most ardently aspired, and which she was shortly to enjoy. The next morning they parted, and three days after St. Scholastica died in her solitude. St. Benedict was then alone in contemplation on Mount Cassino, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he saw the soul of his sister ascending thither in the shape of a dove. Filled with joy at her happy passage, he gave thanks for it to God, and declared her death to his brethren, some of whom he sent to bring her corpse to his monastery, where he caused it to be laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself. She must have died about the year 543. Her relics are said to have been translated into France, together with those of St. Bennet, in the seventh century, according to the relation given by the monk Adrevald.1 They are said to have been deposited at Mans, and kept in the collegiate church of St. Peter in that city, in a rich silver shrine. In 1562 this shrine was preserved from being plundered by the Huguenots as is related by Chatelain. Her principal festival at Mans is kept a holyday on the 11th of July, the day of the translation of her relics. She was honored in some places with an office of three lessons, in the time of St. Louis, as appears from a calendar of Longchamp written in his reign.

Louis of Granada, treating on the perfection of the love of God, mentions the miraculous storm obtained by St. Scholastica to show with what excess of goodness God is always ready to hear the petitions and desires of his servants. This pious soul must have received strong pledges and most sensible tokens of his love, seeing she depended on receiving so readily what she asked of him. No child could address himself with so great confidence to his most tender parent. The love which God bears us, and his readiness to succour and comfort us, if we humbly confess and lay before him our wants, infinitely surpasses all that can be found in creatures. Nor can we be surprised that he so easily heard the prayer of this holy virgin, since at the command of Joshua he stopped the heavens, God obeying the voice of man! He hears the most secret desires of those that fear and love him, and does their will: if he sometimes seems deaf to their cries, it is to grant their main desire by doing what is most expedient for them, as St. Austin frequently observes. The short prayer by which St. Scholastica gained this remarkable victory over her brother, who was one of the greatest saints on earth, was doubtless no more than a single act of her pure desires, which she continually turned toward, and fixed on her beloved. It was enough for her to cast her eyes interiorly upon him with whom she was closely and inseparably united in mind and affections, to move him so suddenly to change the course of the elements in order to satisfy her pious desire. By placing herself, as a docile scholar, continually at the feet of the Divine Majesty, who filled all the powers of her soul with the sweetness of his heavenly communications, she learned that sublime science of perfection in which she became a mistress to so many other chaste souls by this divine exercise. Her life in her retirement, to that happy moment which closed her mortal pilgrimage, was a continued uniform contemplation, by which all her powers were united to and transformed into God.