VATICAN: POPE: INVITATION TO PRAY FOR PEACE-
AMERICA: USA: BENEDICTINE COLLEGE CHOOSES NEW PRESIDENT-
AUSTRALIA: WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS MAKE RELIGION MANDATORY-
Taking a cue from the passage of St Paul in this Sunday’s liturgy, the so-called "hymn of charity”, the Pope stressed that "Paul shows us the 'path' to perfection. This - he says - does not consist in possessing exceptional qualities: speaking new languages, knowing all mysteries, having wonderful faith or carrying out heroic gestures. Rather it consists in charity - agape - that is in true love, what God has revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Charity is the ‘greatest gift’, which gives value to everything else, but it 'does not boast, it is not swollen with pride,' indeed, it 'rejoices in the truth' and the good of others. Who really loves 'does not seek his own interests', he 'takes no account of evil received', he 'bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things' (cf. 1 Cor 13:4-7). Eventually, when we meet face to face with God, all the other gifts will be less; the only one that will remain forever is charity, because God is love and we shall be like Him, in perfect communion with Him. "
"For now - he continued - while we are in this world, charity is the badge of a Christian. It is the synthesis of his whole life for what he believes and what he does. For this reason, at the beginning of my pontificate, I wanted to dedicate my first Encyclical to the theme of love: Deus Caritas Est. As you recall, this encyclical is composed of two parts, which correspond to the two aspects of love: its meaning, and therefore its implementation. Love is the essence of God himself, it is the sense of creation and history, it is the light that gives goodness and beauty to every human existence. At the same time, love is, so to speak, the 'style' of God and he who believes, it is the behaviour of those who, responding to the love of God, lays down his own life as a gift of self to God and to neighbour. In Jesus Christ these two aspects form a perfect unity: He is Love Incarnate. This love is revealed to us fully in Christ crucified. "
Many themes were touched upon by Benedict XVI, after the Marian prayer. The Holy Land as well as those suffering from leprosy. "The last Sunday of January - he said - is the World Day of Leprosy Suffers. One thinks immediately of Father Damien de Veuster, who gave his life for these brothers and sisters, and who last October, I declared a saint. To his celestial protection I commend all the people who unfortunately are still suffering from this disease, as well as health workers and volunteers who devote themselves so there might be a world without leprosy. I greet in particular the Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau”.
"Today - he said then - it also celebrates the second day of intercession for peace in the Holy Land. In communion with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Custody of the Holy Land, I unite myself spiritually in prayer with the many Christians from all over the world, while I warmly greet those who are gathered here for this occasion. "A message of peace - added the Pope – is also brought to us by the boys and girls of Catholic Action Rome." Traditionally, they conclude the month of January with the "Peace Caravan" and the end of the audience two of them are invited to the Papal apartments from where they release two doves from the window, a symbol of peace.
A thought, finally, for those who are losing their jobs, with the statement that "this situation requires a great sense of responsibility on the part of all: employers, workers, governments. “
“I never had an agenda to convert but [only] for them to experience the love of God”, the 72-year-old priest told UCA News after accepting the award.
Working with Mangyan people was a “journey” the priest said brought him fulfillment. Walking up to 19 hours to visit the cultural communities to say Masses was no sacrifice, he said.
The German priest arrived in Manila in 1967 after studying anthropology and special courses in addition to philosophy and theology.
Father Dinter said this helped him “get a wider view and grasp” of cultures and languages.
In 1969, he became the first rector of the St. Augustine Major Seminary before serving as Divine Word Provincial Superior for six years.
He began fulltime work with the Mangyan in 1986. That was the highlight of his ministry, he says.
Father Dinter was appointed coordinator of the Mangyan Mission, a Church-based non-governmental organization in Mindoro Oriental, in 1988.
He says education was the most valuable development of the mission.
On February 1989, the Mangyan Mission called 39 Mangyan to plan programs to address their own needs. They identified insecurity over land ownership, preserving their culture, health care, building community, education and earning a livelihood as major issues.
The priest helped collect 36,000 signatures from churchgoers in 1996 to support Mangyan people’s right to their ancestral land and to practice their traditions.
The Mangyan Mission is now part of the South Central Group of the Episcopal Council on Indigenous Program supported by the government’s education department and “adopted” by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Commission on Indigenous People, Father Dinter said.
The award was made by the International Catholic Missionary Congregation of Priests and Brothers and Saint Jude Catholic school.
It is part of the congregation’s commemoration of its centennial in the country (1909-2009).
CNA report: St. Vincent College of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the United States’ oldest Benedictine college, has announced it has chosen as its next president Br. Norman W. Hipps, OSB, a mathematics professor and administrator.
Br. Norman, a Benedictine monk, is presently the college’s executive vice president and dean of the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, the college reported in a press release.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as President of Saint Vincent College and I formally accept this appointment with gratitude and humility,” Br. Norman said at a news conference.
He said that for more than 160 years the college has served students by offering an education that prepares students to make a living and also prepares them “how to live.”
“This philosophy of education combines the basics necessary for success in a profession with the creative, life-affirming values of the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts tradition. We will continue to build on our strong academic programs, as well as our community that makes it possible for us to grow in learning and in love.”
Br. Norman thanked outgoing President Jim Towey for his leadership and said they would work together during the transition.
The monk also thanked his fellow Benedictine brothers, alumni and benefactors for their support.
Towey said he was excited for Br. Norman and the college.
“Br. Norman has been a big part of Saint Vincent College’s success and it is fitting that his decades of leadership on this campus culminate in this appointment,” he commented.
Archabbot Douglas of the St. Vincent Benedictines explained that after a review of candidates it was decided a “superior candidate” was available within the community. He said Br. Norman will pursue the college’s mission with an emphasis on enhancing its financial resources and academic reputation.
J. Christopher Donahue, chair of the college’s board of directors, praised as “unparalleled” Br. Norman’s leadership and administrative skills, his love for the college and his ability to win supporters.
“Furthermore, his endless patience, his wisdom, outstanding educational background and experience, and his demonstrated commitment to community service and to the values and teachings of the Catholic tradition, bring together in one unique individual all of the qualities needed to take Saint Vincent College confidently into the future,” Donohue commented.
Br. Norman professed simple vows with the St. Vincent Benedictines in 1963 and made his solemn vows in 1966. He has served on the faculty of St. Vincent’s College since 1972 and has filled many administrative roles.
His community outreach includes work in small business programs, drug and alcohol abuse prevention projects, and science and math education efforts.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from St. Vincent College in 1966, he pursued graduate studies in theology at St. Vincent Seminary. At Northwestern University he earned a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1972 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1976.
Br. Norman is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.
The most recent two presidents of St. Vincent’s College have been laity. With Br. Norman, the college returns to having a president who is a member of the Benedictine Order.(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/st._vincent_college_chooses_benedictine_monk_mathematician_as_new_president/
Cath News report: Catholic schools in Western Australia are making it mandatory for Year 12 students to sit a Tertiary Entrance Exam religion subject.
Students already studying courses like physics and chemistry will have an extra three-hour exam to cram for, reports The Sunday Times. Non-religious students "will be forced to rigorously study Catholic values" to get into university, the paper said.
The report attributes the the idea to make all the students sit a religion exam to Archbishop Barry Hickey.
Catholic Education Office of WA director Ron Dullard conceded the decision had upset some parents.
"Initially, there was some concern," he said. "I don't think the parents totally understood the implications that it actually does count towards their (child's) TEE and university entrance - and the fact that, irrespective of whether they were doing the exam, they still had to devote that amount of time as part of the policy of their Catholic education obligation to religion anyway."
The subject Religion and Life was designed to be non-denominational by the Curriculum Council so that students from every school could study it, the report adds. (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=19101
Locals said that unknown armed gunmen opened fire at each other at Harardere town and caused the deaths of two traditional elders who were round where the fire exchange happened as they were trying to negotiate gunmen who were fighting adding that most of the people in town had expressed shocking about the murdering.
The murderers escaped instantly as they shot the elders who were trying to solve the two men according the reports from Harardere town on Saturday morning in Mudug region and it is unclear the main aim of the two sides' gun battle.
On the other hand tense situation between the Somali pirates has risen at Hobyo district, a stronghold of the pirates in Mudug region in north Somalia.
Residents said that more armed vehicles could be seen pouring into the town adding that most of the people in the area expressed concern about the violence between the two sides and the possibility of heavy fighting that breaks out in the town. (source; http://allafrica.com/stories/201001300011.html
The Congress, organized by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation for England and Wales (CYMFed), has as its theme “We have set our hope on the living God.” Over 700 youth leaders, chaplains, teachers and priests have registered to attend.
Headline speakers at the Congress are Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, who is former Master of the Dominicans, and Abbot Christopher Jamison, a television host and author.
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols will deliver the closing exhortation at the final liturgy, CYMFed reports.
Other keynote speakers include Bob and Maggie McCarty, an American couple involved with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. Their vision helped shape the creation of the CYMFed.
The event’s master of ceremonies will be David Wells, director of education for the Diocese of Plymouth.
Fr. Dominic Howarth, Chair of CYMFed, said the Congress is “delighted with the range and caliber of the speakers, and with the support from the bishops.”
“It is the first time for many years that there has been a national event on this scale for those working with young people in our Church, and we hope it marks the beginning of a fresh revitalisation of national Catholic Youth Ministry, to complement and strengthen the wonderful work happening in many places locally.”
The results of a wide-ranging survey will be presented at the Congress. It explored young Catholics’ understanding of their world and their faith and also examined the perceptions of the Church among Mass goers and those Catholics who do not attend church.
The research was commissioned for CYMFed by the Young Christian Workers (YCW), the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Danny Curtin, YCW President, will present the research with Abbot Christopher.
Curtin said it was “illuminating’ to discover how young people understand and practice their faith. He predicted the results will “transform” many people’s approach to working with young Catholics.
“Although there are challenges in our research, it is also an opportunity of hope; hope for the Church to learn from our own young people, and hope that young people will be best served by us as youth ministers.”
Over 700 tickets have been sold for the event, whose website is at http://www.cymfed.org.(source/: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/young_catholic_life_is_focus_of_britains_upcoming_youth_ministry_congress/
St. John Bosco
FOUNDER OF THE SALESIAN SOCIETY
Feast: January 31
August 16, 1815, Castelnuovo, Piedmont, Italy
January 31, 1888, Turin, Italy
April 1, 1934, Rome by Pope Pius XI
The Tomb of St John Bosco - Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy
Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people
"In his life the supernatural became the natural and the extraordinary the ordinary." So spoke Pope Pius XI of the beloved Don Bosco, renowned for his educational pioneering and his affectionate care for the fatherless. Born Giovanni Melchior Bosco in 1815, the future saint was the youngest son of a peasant farmer in the hamlet of Becchi, in the Piedmont district of north Italy. He lost his father at the age of two and was brought up by a devoted and industrious mother, Margaret Bosco, who had a hard struggle maintaining the home and the three children, all of them boys. A dream that little Giovanni had at the age of nine revealed to him his vocation. He seemed to be surrounded by a mob of fighting and swearing children whom he tried in vain to pacify, at first by arguments and then by hitting them. Suddenly there appeared a mysterious woman who said: "Softly, softly . . . if you wish to win them! Take your shepherd's staff and lead them to pasture." Even as she spoke, the children were transformed first into wild beasts and then into gentle lambs. From that time on, the boy thought, it was his clear duty to lead and help other boys. He began with those of his own village, teaching them the Catechism and bringing them to church. As an inducement, he would amuse them first with acrobatic and conjuring tricks, at which he became very clever. One Sunday morning when an itinerant juggler and gymnast was holding the children spellbound by his performance, young John challenged him to a competition and beat him at his own tricks. Then he marched off to church, followed by his admiring audience. It was more or less by chance that this talented boy learned to read. He was staying with an aunt who was servant to the priest, and when the priest was told of John's ambition, he taught him gladly. But John didn't want to stop with reading and writing; he wished to study for the priesthood. Many difficulties had to be overcome before he could even begin his preliminary studies. When, at sixteen, he entered the seminary at Chieri, he was so poor that money for his maintenance and his clothes had to be supplied by charity. The village mayor contributed a hat, one friendly person gave him a cloak, and another a pair of shoes. People were eager to help a boy who was himself so eager and ambitious. After his ordination as deacon, he attended the theological school at nearby Turin, finding time to continue his volunteer work with homeless or neglected boys. Having won the approbation of his superiors for what he was doing, he began to gather around him regularly on Sunday afternoons a band of these waifs and young apprentices.
After taking Holy Orders, his first appointment was assistant chaplain of a home for girls, founded by the Marchesa Barolo, a wealthy and philanthropic woman. This post left Don Bosco free on Sundays to devote himself to his group of boys. He set up for them a sort of combined Sunday School and recreation center on grounds belonging to the Marchesa, which he called "the festive Oratory." But the Marchesa quickly withdrew her permission, because the boys were, naturally, noisy and unruly, and sometimes even made so bold as to pick the flowers in the garden. For more than a year the group was regarded as a nuisance and sent from pillar to post. No property owner was able to put up with them for long. When at last Don Bosco was able to hire an old shed as a meeting place, and the future seemed promising, the Marchesa delivered herself of an ultimatum. He must choose between giving up the boys—who now numbered several hundred—or resigning his post at the girl's orphanage. Don Bosco promptly resigned, to devote himself wholly to the boys.
In the midst of these anxieties, he was prostrated by a severe attack of pneumonia that came near ending his life. As soon as he had recovered, he went to live in some poor rooms adjoining a new Oratory, or gathering place, with his mother as housekeeper. For ten years this good woman served as his adjutant and loyal helper, extending her motherly care over all the waifs and strays her son brought to her. Don Bosco now applied himself to consolidating his work and planning for the years to come. A night school which had been opened the previous year took shape, and as the Oratory was soon overcrowded, he opened two more youth centers in other parts of Turin. About the same time he began housing a few destitute boys. His next step was to build for his flock a small church which he placed under the patronage of his favorite saint, Francis de Sales. With that completed, he started to build a home for his steadily growing family. No one knew just how he managed to raise the money for these various projects, but his natural persuasiveness had much to do with it.
Those enrolled as boarders in the school were of two sorts: young apprentices and craftsmen, and other youths of more than average intelligence in whom Don Bosco discerned future helpers, with, possibly, vocations to the priesthood. At first they attended classes outside, but, as more teachers were enlisted, academic and technical courses were given at the house. By 1856 a hundred and fifty boys were in residence; there were four workshops, including a printing shop, and four Latin classes, with ten young priests as instructors; all this in addition to the oratories with their five hundred children. He cultivated in all of them a taste for music, and he was a believer in the therapeutic value of play. Don Bosco's understanding of young people, their needs, and their dreams, gave him great influence. He could manage them without punishment. "I do not remember to have used formal punishment," he wrote, "and with God's grace I have always obtained-and from apparently hopeless children-not alone what duty exacted but what my wish simply expressed." With an approach that seems quite modern, he planned programs that combined play, song, study, prayer, and manual work. He knew that straight academic learning was not enough. "Knowledge gives more power in the exercise of good or evil," he said, "but alone it is an indifferent weapon, lacking guidance."
Don Bosco's outgoing personality made him popular as a preacher, and there were many demands on his time to speak to various congregations. As a third form of activity, in the few hours that remained to him, he wrote useful and popular books for boys. In that day there was almost no attractive reading matter written especially for young people, and Don Bosco set himself to fill this need. He wrote stories based on history, and sometimes popular treatises on the faith. Often he toiled far into the night, until, in later life, his failing eyesight compelled him to give up writing.
A plan for some sort of religious order, to carry on the work when he had passed away, had long been in Don Bosco's mind, and at last he felt he had the strong nucleus of helpers that was required. "On the night of January 26, 1854, we were assembled in Don Bosco's room," writes one of the men present. "Besides Don Bosco, there were Cagliero, Rocchetti, Artiglia, and Rua. It was suggested that with God's help we should enter upon a period of practical works of charity to help our neighbors. At the close of the period, we might bind ourselves by a promise which could subsequently be transformed into a vow. From that evening, the name of Salesian was given to all who embarked on that form of apostolate." The name of course honored the great bishop of Geneva, St. Francis de Sales. It was not a propitious time for launching a new order, for in all its history Piedmont had never been so anti-clerical. The Jesuits and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart had been expelled, many convents suppressed, and laws were being passed curtailing the rights of religious orders. The statesman Urbano Rattazzi, one of those most responsible for the anti-clerical legislation, was deeply interested in popular education. As a resident of Turin, Rattazzi was familiar with Father John's activities, and, on meeting him by chance one day, urged him to found a society to further his valuable work, promising the support of the government.
The project grew, and in 1858 John went to Rome, taking with him the rules of the institution. From Pope Pius IX he received preliminary approbation. Sixteen years later he obtained full sanction, together with permission to present candidates for Holy Orders. The new society grew rapidly. Within five years there were thirty-nine Salesians; at the time of the founder's death there were eight hundred, and by 1929 the number had increased to about eight thousand. One of Father John's dreams was realized when he sent his first missionaries to the bleak and faraway land of Patagonia; other areas of South America were soon the scene of missionary endeavor. He lived to see twenty-six houses started in the New World and thirty-eight in the Old.
His next great work was the foundation in 1862 of an order of women to do for poor girls what the Salesians were doing for boys. The original group consisted of twenty-seven young women to whom he gave the name of Daughters of St. Mary Auxiliatrix, the Helper. The organization now numbers many thousands, with elementary schools in Italy, Brazil, and Argentina. To supplement the work of these two congregations, Father John organized his outside lay helpers into a new kind of Third Order, which he called Salesian Cooperators. They were men and women of all classes who pledged themselves to assist in practical ways the educational labors of the Salesians.
Any account of the life of this saint would be incomplete without some mention of his achievements as a builder of churches. His first little church of St. Francis de Sales soon proved inadequate, and he undertook the construction of a much larger building. This he finished in 1868, dedicating it to St. Mary the Helper. Later he found means to put up another spacious and much-needed church in a poor quarter of Turin, and this he placed under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist. But the immense effort of money-raising had left Don Bosco weary and depleted. He was not allowed time to recover his strength before another task was put before him. During the last years of Pope Pius IX, a project had been formed of building at Rome a church in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Pius himself had donated money to buy the site. His successor, Leo XIII, was eager for the work to be carried forward, but there was difficulty in raising funds. It was suggested to the Pope that this was something that Don Bosco did better than anyone else, and when he was asked to undertake it, he accepted the challenge.
After obtaining a considerable sum in Italy, Don Bosco went to France, where devotion to the cult of the Sacred Heart was particularly intense at this time. He was successful in his appeals, money came flowing in, and the early completion of the church was assured. As the day appointed for its consecration drew near, he was sometimes heard to murmur that if there were any delay, he would not live to witness it. Two years before the doctors had said that this generous-hearted man had worn himself out and that complete retirement offered the only chance of prolonging his life. Don Bosco had the joy of living a few months beyond the consecration of the church, which took place on May 14, 1887. He said one Mass before the new high altar.
Later in the year it became plain that his days were numbered; he gradually weakened, and on the morning of January 31, 1888, he died in his home city of Turin. Forty thousand persons came to the church to do honor to Don Bosco, and the entire city turned out as his remains were borne to their resting place. His memory was cherished and his work carried on by his followers. Not many years had elapsed before a movement was begun for his beatification. He was declared Venerable by Pope Pius X in 1907, beatified by Pius XI in 1929, and canonized by him in 1934. Don Bosco exemplified a new trend in the treatment of children, anticipating in some respects the practices of modern psychologists. Intuitively he knew that the loving care and attention of a wise, interested adult was essential to the healthy growth of every child, and he gave his very best to those children who had the least. (source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnbosco.asp
4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
17 But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.
18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land.
19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you."
1 In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
2 In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me!
3 Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6 Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of thee.
15 My mouth will tell of thy righteous acts, of thy deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come, I will praise thy righteousness, thine alone.
17 O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds.
1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 13
4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Luke 4: 21 - 30
And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, `Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Caper'na-um, do here also in your own country.'"
And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.
But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli'jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land;
and Eli'jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar'ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli'sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na'aman the Syrian."
When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.
But passing through the midst of them he went away.