Thursday, October 31, 2013



Pope Francis was speaking Catholic families from around the world who had gathered in St Peter's Square, for the Year of Faith, when a six-year old orphan boy Carlos gave him a big hug. 
No one could get Carlos to leave Pope Francis. The Holy Father patted Carlos on the head, smiled and continued talking to the 150,000 people gathered.
Carlos, was born and abandoned in Colombia and adopted by an Italian family last year. He sat in his chair until the Pope finished.
According to reports, Carlos' adopted mother said she was as surprised to see Carlos on the stage.
"The blessing our son receives goes out to all the abandoned children in this world," she said.
"Just another display of the Pope and his kindness."


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Thursday in St Peter’s Basilica, inside the St Sebastian Chapel where Blessed Pope John Paul II is buried.

Every Thursday morning, a group of Polish worshippers takes part in a Mass celebrated in the St Sebastian Chapel. This week, the Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis himself. In his homily, the Pope focused on the love of God, and on two powerful images illustrating the two different ways in which this love might be received.

On the one hand, he said, we have the certainty of the apostle Paul: “no one can separate me from the love of Christ”. Paul lived through persecution, through illness, through betrayal, but the love of Christ was always at the centre of his life. On the other hand, Pope Francis continued, we have the sadness of Jesus as he looks upon Jerusalem, the unfaithful. And the heart of Jesus wept for this city that didn’t understand the love of God, for this love that was not received.

Pope Francis contrasted the two images – Paul, who feels he is a sinner, but finds strength in the love of God, and Jerusalem, with its people who don’t accept the love of God, or worse, who half accept it, depending on their own convenience. So let us ask ourselves, Pope Francis concluded – do I have a strong love, like Paul, or do I have a tepid heart, like Jerusalem?



Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Catholic community of Colon (Panama) is appalled by the death of the priest Anibal Gomez (67 years old), of Spanish origin, whose body was found around 1pm (local time) yesterday, 30 October, at the entrance of the Bishop emeritus’ house, His Exc. Mgr. Carlos María Ariz Bolea, C.M.F. , who was not at home. According to local sources of Fides Agency, it is believed that the reason for the murder was robbery, as the priest had bruises, had been tied and died due to a large stab.
The criminal incident occurred in the Davis area in Colon, a city considered particularly violent because of rampant crime. Father Anibal Gomez was the parish priest in the parish of Mary Mother of God, which is located in the Jose Denominatore Bazan area, formerly Fort Davis. A priest in the area, father Teofilo Rodriguez, told the local press: "We are concerned about the level of violence we have reached, a man of God was beaten to death. We found him with numerous injuries on his body and his face disfigured by the blows".
The Archbishop of Panama, His Exc. Mgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., expressed his great sorrow with regards to the priest’s death and the concern for such violence: "It happened in broad daylight, we all have to reflect and we must all work together to stop the violence and murders that are taking place". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 31/10/2013)


NAIROBI, October 25, 2013(CISA) -Josephine Kulea Leseita, the 2013 UN in Kenya award winner has called for action to promote girl child education in Kenya.
Speaking after receiving the award at the UN offices in Nairobi during the celebration of the UN day on October 24, Ms Kulea called for collective responsibility by all stakeholders to promote girl child education and shun from retrogressive cultural practices.
“We are lucky to come from a country where laws and policies are against harmful cultural practices and are very clear both in the Children Act 2001 and the constitution of this country. However, it is not enough to pass these laws, they need to be implemented”, said Ms Kulea
Ms Kulea is a child rights activist working in Isiolo and Samburu County and is the founder of the Samburu Girls Foundation.
Her work of rescuing girls from early forced marriage, harmful beading practices and Female Genital Mutilation and taking them to join school was featured in a documentary aired by one of the local Kenyan Television station, NTV, called the Beads of Bondage.
Kulea, a qualified nurse is married with three children, one adopted.
She started her mission to rescue girls from who faced dangers of forced marriages and other harmful practices in 2008.She has rescued over 1000 girls in her mission.
The United Nations in Kenya award was started in 2002 as the collective UN family of agencies honor to an individual or institutions for succeeding to bring to public notice significant issues related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which are sustainable and serve as an inspiration to all Kenyans in keeping with the ideals of the UN.
The selection of the winner is made after extensive consultations and voting and through formal endorsements by the Heads of the UN agencies.
No cash is however, given to the winner of the award except for a commemorative plaque presented during the UN day celebrations.
Some of the previous winners of the award include Gudliye Farm (2012), Ms Pamela Achieng’ Sombe-Nurse-Duru, Kadero in Nyanza province(2011), Mr Abbas Gullet, Secretary General Kenya Red Cross (2007).


by Melani Manel Perera
Tamil and Sinhalese kids from all of the country's districts took part in a special 'Youth Day'. For many, it was their first pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin at Tewatta. Our Lady of Lanka is the island nation's protectress.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "It is a blessing for all of us young people being able to pray together at the feet of Our Lady of Lanka," said a Tamil youth from northern Sri Lanka. For the first time in his life, he and his peers from other ethnic groups, made a pilgrimage to the country's national shrine. Some 5,000 Catholic kids from every district of the island nation took part in this special event, organised by the National Youth Federation. Set on 19 October, the Youth Day's theme was 'Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," (Mt, 28:19)
The day began with a prayer service in front of the ancient cave that houses the statue of Our Lady. The youths followed this with ​​a procession. Walking in groups divided according to dioceses, they showed the "typical" colours of their parishes and posters dedicated to the Virgin. Along the way, some of them sang hymns.
At the end of the procession, everyone recited the Hail Mary in Tamil and Sinhalese. After the special prayer, Mgr Thomas Savundaranayagam, bishop of Jaffna, blessed them.
In front of the shrine, the kids read an intention: "Help us Amma [Mother] to look for the right solution to the problems we face at this stage of our lives. Beloved Amma, be with us and sustain us always so that we can remain strong in our love for God, when we face setbacks, when we pray for our mistakes, when we are vulnerable.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Berni Fernando, president of the Katana parish youth group (Diocese of Colombo), and Nisansala Madhushani, from the Diocese of Ratnapura, said they were "very happy to have had this great opportunity. It was a real blessing for us [to see] so many young people from the north and the south together for a single purpose . . . .  It was a great show of unity."
The Shrine of Our Lady of Lanka is located in Tewatta Basilica. It was commissioned by Jean-Marie Masson, then archbishop of Colombo.
In 1940, the bishop made a vow that if the island was spared the horrors of war, he would build a church to the Virgin. In 1946, he obtained the Vatican's permission to build it and dedicate it to Our Lady of Lanka.
Pope Pius XII in 1948 proclaimed the Blessed Mother as protectress of Sri Lanka. The site's first stone was laid on 4 February 1951. Pope Pius XII blessed the statue of the Virgin Mary, which was brought to the island nation in 1952.

In 1974, all of the country's bishops, led by Cardinal Thomas Cooray, took part in the shrine's Mass of consecration.






St. Wolfgang
Feast: October 31
Feast Day:
October 31
924 in Swabia
31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (modern Austria)
1052 by Pope Leo IX
Patron of:
apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; stomach diseases; strokes

Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.
After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.
St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.
St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.
ued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.


Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 482

Reading 1              ROM 8:31B-39

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm                 PS 109:21-22, 26-27, 30-31

R. (26b) Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
in your generous mercy rescue me;
For I am wretched and poor,
and my heart is pierced within me.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Help me, O LORD, my God;
save me, in your mercy,
And let them know that this is your hand;
that you, O LORD, have done this.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD,
and in the midst of the throng I will praise him,
For he stood at the right hand of the poor man,
to save him from those who would condemn his soul.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Gospel                 LK 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”