EUROPE: ENGLAND: CHURCH QUESTIONS REFUSAL TO SAVE A LIFE -
AFRICA: NIGERIA: BISHOPS HOPE TO USE MEDIA IN FORMATION OF RELIGIOUS -
ASIA: VIETNAM: CENTER FOR ELDERLY WOMEN-
Radio Vaticana reports that the Church has five new Saints. A French woman who dedicated her life to care of the elderly and abandoned, a tireless Dominican preacher, a Trappist Cistercian Oblate monk and mystic, a Polish bishop and defender of the faith and a Belgian missionary who gave himself to the lepers on the margins of 19th century society. Sunday was a day of celebration here at the Vatican, for these five people, who in Pope Benedict XVI’s own words show us that in gifting ourselves totally to Christ, in going against the trend we can reach perfection.Thousands converged on St Peters basilica for the ceremony, from Spain, Poland, Belgium and Hawaii, the overspill filling St Peter’s Square waving their flags, holding aloft their banners. They watched closely as, Archbishop Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Angelo Amato read the names of those to be inscribed on the role of saints. They listened intently as Pope Benedict in his homily delivered in various languages;telling us all that although their examples are from a distant past their witness is still relevant today.He spoke of Oblate monk Rafael Arnaiz Baron, who died aged 27 after leaving a comfortable life to follow Christ, and the French religious Mary of the Cross, engaged in assisting the elderly who today, Benedict XVI recalled, "suffer multiple poverty and loneliness, being sometimes even abandoned by their families".But the greatest part of his homily was given to the humble figure of a Belgian missionary priest who left his home at 23, bound for the island of Molokai off the west coast of the great continent of America. An island that during the 18th was a colony of lepers. He was Damiaan Jozef de Veuster. Today he is Hawaii’s first saint.“Not without fear and loathing – said the Pope - he made the choice to go to the island of Molokai in the service of lepers who were there, abandoned by all, so he exposed himself to the disease from which they suffered. With them he felt at home. The servant of the Word became a suffering servant, leper with the lepers, during the last four years of his life”Pope Benedict concluded “Their perfection, in the logic of a faith sometimes humanly incomprehensible, subsides in their no longer focusing on themselves, but in choosing to go against the trends of the time living according to the Gospel”Following mass the Pope made his way to the raised dias before St Peter’s square for the midday angelus prayer. In comments in French and English he asked for prayers to help guide the success of the ongoing Synod of Bishops for Africa and then he a very special greeting for a particular group of pilgrims all the way from the Land of the rising Sun: “I also greet the group of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I pray that the world may never again witness such mass destruction of innocent human life”. Then as the tapestries bearing the images of the newly proclaimed saints were unfurled in the autumn breeze to adorn the façade of the basilica, Pope Benedict took his leave:“May these new saints accompany you with their prayers and inspire you by the example of their holy lives” (SOURCE: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=324616
ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT RECIEVES AWARD FROM ENVOY INSTITUTE
“It is not simple to look after elderly people. We have to be patient and bear with them because they are like children,” said Sister Mary Martin Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa from the Missionaries of Charity of Christ congregation, a local Religious community.
Sister Hoa, who heads the Center for Elderly People, a home for women in Ho Chi Minh City, said half the residents there suffer paralysis and stay in bed most of the time. Only four are strong enough to help prepare meals and wash clothes.
Sister Hoa, 50, and another 11 nuns work from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ever day to serve the center’s 60 women who are aged 60-102. The nuns clean the rooms, bathe the women, wash their clothes, provide health care, feed them and bring the wheelchair bound to the chapel for prayers.
Sister Hoa recalled that once a resident threw feces at her as she was trying to bathe the woman. Some residents have hit and shouted at nuns, while others have spat food at them.
Sister Hoa, who started working at the center 10 years ago, said many residents who have such negative attitudes had been “neglected or abused by their relatives or others.”
Father Paul Nguyen Van Khi, who founded the center near Tan Thong church in the city’s Cu Chi district, said many residents have no children, homes or money and feel lonely. “They really need love and care from others.”
The center opened in 1988 and provides accommodation and food for elderly women who had been abandoned by their families. The women come from the city and the neighboring provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An and Tien Giang.
Residents UCA News spoke to said they are grateful for the nuns’ care, although they did not fully appreciate it at first.
One 74-year-old woman recalled how she used to vent her anger at the nuns when she first arrived. At the time she thought no one loved her.
“My only son forced me to leave home,” she said. However, “after living here for one year, I have found true love from others and have changed my attitude.”
Agnes Nguyen Thi Kim Chi, who used to sleep on sidewalks seven years ago, said, “I am very happy to live here. I am given accommodation, food and health care.” She added, “I might have died without this center.”
Rita Lam Tieu Nhi, another resident, said she has made many friends since coming here in 2004. “I am loved and much respected here,” she shared. The 63-year-old said she helps the nuns to clean the center and wash clothes of the other residents.
Father Khi said he spends one hour a day visiting and talking with those women. “I bring them joy just by shaking their hands, smiling at them or talking about their health.”
The priest said the center’s monthly operating costs are 32 million dong (US$1,800) which comes from donations by benefactors and local Catholics. About 300 local families donate at least 5,000 dong each a month, he said.
According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam has around 8 million elderly people, nearly 10 percent of the population. Many of them have to work for a living.
BISHOP URGES REPEAL OF LAW BILL
CathNews reports that Bishop of Sale Christopher Prowse urges the repealing of the year old Victorian Abortion Law Reform Bill, which ignores the "fundamental human right to life of the unborn."
"These tiniest Victorians seemed to have a minority of parliamentarians who spoke up on their behalf. Their silent scream continues," Bishop Prowse said, in criticism of the debate in the lead up to the Bill's passing.
"The discussion was confused and largely superficial," he said in a statement released to coincide with the first anniversary of the law passed by the State Parliament.
"Abortion promoters and pro-choice parliamentary groups trumpeted their secularist arguments in apparent collusion. Huge representations from religious groups and others voicing grave concerns at the legislation seemed to be dismissed to the periphery."
"The immoral laws resulting from such a facile public debate have now left so many of us in the fine State of Victoria deeply disturbed. This first anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008 will only increase in many the depth of our troubled communal conscience.
"However difficult it may be, such new laws must be repealed." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=16992
Feast: October 11
IN the year 304, Tarachus, Probus, and Andronicus, differing in age and nationality, but united in the bonds of faith, being denounced as Christians to Numerian, Governor of Cilicia, were arrested at Pompeiopolis, and conducted to Tharsis. They underwent a first examination in that town, after which their limbs were torn with iron hooks, and they were taken back to prison covered with wounds. Being afterwards led to Mopsuestia, they were submitted to a second examination, ending in a manner equally cruel as the first. They underwent a third examination at Anazarbis, followed by greater torments still. The governor, unable to shake their constancy, had them kept imprisoned that he might torture them further at the approaching games. They were borne to the amphitheatre, but the most ferocious animals, on being let loose on them, came crouching to their feet and licked their wounds. The judge, reproaching the jailers with connivance, ordered the martyrs to be despatched by the gladiators.
TODAY'S MASS READINGS: 28 TH SUN. IN ORDINARY TIME: YEAR B
Wisdom 7: 7 - 11
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases.
All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.
Psalms 90: 12 - 17
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on thy servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as thou hast afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.
Let thy work be manifest to thy servants, and thy glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
Hebrews 4: 12 - 13
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Mark 10: 17 - 30
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth."
And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.