Friday, April 30, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: FRI. APRIL 30, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: CONCERT FOR FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIFICATE/OTHER VIS NEWS-
ASIA: INDIA: FUNERAL OF MURDERED PRIEST FR: BOMBACH-
AMERICA: CHILE: BOMB EXPLODES IN TEMUCO CHAPEL-
AFRICA: NIGERIA: 2 CHRISTIAN JOURNALISTS KILLED AT JOS-
AUSTRALIA: GANGLAND KILLER DENIED FULL MASS AT FUNERAL-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: GOLF TOURNAMENT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR HAITI-
IMAGE SOURCE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp
CONCERT FOR FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIFICATE
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Yesterday evening in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall Benedict XVI attended a concert marking the fifth anniversary of his pontificate offered by Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic. The concert, played by the Italian Youth Orchestra which is part of the Fiesole School of Music, included pieces by Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.
"The study of music", said the Pope at the end of the concert, "has great value in the process of educating the person, in that it has positive effects on the development of individuals, favouring their harmonious human and spiritual growth".
Praising the many years of experience of the Fiesole School of Music, he then observed how, "in the current social context, all educational efforts seem more arduous and problematic. Parents and teachers often speak of the difficulties they encounter in imparting the basic values of life and correct behaviour to new generations. This problematic situation affects both the school and the family, as well as the various agencies that operate in the field of education".
"Young people, though they live in different environments, share a sensibility towards the great ideals of life but face many difficulties when they seek to put them into practice", said the Holy Father. "We cannot ignore their needs and expectations, or the obstacles and threats they encounter. They feel drawn to authentic values such as the centrality of the person, human dignity, peace and justice, tolerance and solidarity. They also seek, sometimes in confused and contradictory ways, spirituality and transcendence in order to find balance and harmony.
"In this context", he added, "I am happy to observe that it is music that can open minds and hearts to the spiritual dimension and lead people to raise their eyes to heaven, to open themselves to absolute Goodness and Beauty which have their ultimate source in God. Likewise, the festive nature of song and music are a constant invitation for believers, and for all men and women of good will, to work so that humankind has a future rich in hope. Furthermore, ... the undertaking not 'to play alone', but to ensure that the various 'colours' of the orchestra - each maintaining its own characteristics - fuse together; the shared search for the best expression; all this is an excellent exercise, not only artistically and professionally, but also in overall human terms".
The Pope concluded his remarks by reiterating his thanks to the president of the Italian Republic for the concert, and asking everyone to pray that, "beginning the sixth year of my pontificate, I may always carry out my ministry as the Lord would wish".
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ECONOMIC LIFE SHOULD BE ORIENTED TO THE COMMON GOOD
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received participants in the sixteenth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is meeting between 30 April and 4 May to discuss the world economic crisis in the light of the ethical principles enshrined in the Church's social doctrine.
"The worldwide financial breakdown has", said the Holy Father addressing the group in English, "demonstrated the fragility of the present economic system and the institutions linked to it".
He continued: "Rather than a spiral of production and consumption in view of narrowly-defined human needs, economic life should properly be seen as an exercise of human responsibility, intrinsically oriented towards the promotion of the dignity of the person, the pursuit of the common good and the integral development - political, cultural and spiritual - of individuals, families and societies".
"In my Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate', I observed that 'the current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment'".
The Pope explained how "the Church, based on her faith in God the Creator, affirms the existence of a universal natural law. ... As part of the great heritage of human wisdom, the natural moral law, which the Church has appropriated, purified and developed in the light of Christian revelation, serves as a beacon guiding the efforts of individuals and communities to pursue good and to avoid evil, while directing their commitment to building an authentically just and humane society".
"Among the indispensable principles shaping such an integral ethical approach to economic life must be the promotion of the common good, grounded in respect for the dignity of the human person and acknowledged as the primary goal of production and trade systems, political institutions and social welfare. In our day, concern for the common good has taken on a more markedly global dimension. It has also become increasingly evident that the common good embraces responsibility towards future generations; intergenerational solidarity must henceforth be recognised as a basic ethical criterion for judging any social system.
"These realities point to the urgency of strengthening the governance procedures of the global economy, albeit with due respect for the principle of subsidiarity", added the Holy Father. "In the end, however, all economic decisions and policies must be directed towards 'charity in truth'".
This, Benedict XVI concluded, is because "without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation".
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POPE MEETS WITH VISITATORS OF LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today met with the five visitators of the Legion of Christ: Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. of Denver, U.S.A.; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Concepcion, Chile; Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain; Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi M.Sp.S. of Tepic, Mexico, and Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy.
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TELEGRAM FOR THE DEATH OF CARDINAL MAYER
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Fr. Notker Wolf, abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation, for the death today at the age of 98 of Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B., president emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
The late cardinal, writes the Pope, "leaves the indelible memory of an industrious life spent with mildness and rectitude in coherent adherence to his vocation as a monk and pastor, full of zeal for the Gospel and always faithful to the Church. While recalling his knowledgeable commitment in the field of the liturgy and in that of universities and seminaries, and especially his much appreciated service to the Holy See, first in the preparatory commission for Vatican Council II then in various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, I raise fervent prayers that the Lord may welcome this worthy brother into eternal joy and peace".TGR/ VIS 20100430 (170)
BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR MAY
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for May is: "That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended".His mission intention is: "That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care".
BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/ VIS 20100430 (80)
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff, Wales, as metropolitan archbishop of Southwark (area 3,000, population 440,000, Catholics 395,182, priests 439, permanent deacons 79, religious 792), England.
- Appointed Fr. Odilon Martinez Garcia of the clergy of the diocese of Toluca, Mexico, rector of the major diocesan seminary, as bishop of Atlacomulco (area 5,364, population 934,328, Catholics 917,794, priests 103, permanent deacons 1, religious 113), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Ana, Mexico in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1974.
- Appointed Fr. Rogatus Kimaryo C.S.Sp., apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the diocese of Same, Tanzania, as bishop of the same diocese (area 10,000, population 609,000, Catholics 71,722, priests 52, religious 53). The bishop-elect was born in Mkuu, Tanzania in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1987.
- Accepted the resignation from the apostolic vicariate of Kontagora, Nigeria, presented by Bishop Timothy Joseph Carroll S.M.A., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
INDIA: FUNERAL OF MURDERED PRIEST FR: BOMBACH
Asia News report. Fr Peter Bombach was killed with a pair of scissors, with a rope around his neck. The motive for the cold-blooded crime is still unknown. The priest lived in poverty near the sick, whom he urged to pray to Our Lady.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A priest who was "simple and very religious, who always did his best. Fraternally united to the priests of the diocese, he recited Vespers with the community. " This is how Fr. Solomon Rodrigues - pastor of St. Peter Koliwada and dean of the College Gonsalo Garcia – remembers the late Fr Peter Bombach. The priest, who was about to turn 74, was killed late last night in Baboola, one kilometre from the house of the bishop of Vasai, an ancient city near Mumbai (Maharashtra).
The brutal murder was committed with a pair of scissors inside the ashram of Nirashritashramata, the monastery he founded. The faithful remember him as a simple priest, who loved living in poverty, characterized by his simple lifestyle and eating habits. His mission took place among the poorest, without distinction of caste, creed or religion.
According to locals, Fr. Peter spent his time in penance, fasting and prayer. He prayed for the sick, and many local disabled people came to him asking for a prayer to help in the cure of their disease. He celebrated every day in the morning, reciting evening prayers at Vespers, which included many of the faithful. On Sundays he distributed medicines for minor illnesses, while the people gathered on Saturday to invoke the Holy Spirit. The name of his ashram can be translated as "Mother of the abandoned, who gives refuge."
His tortured body was found by the faithful who were waiting for the celebration of morning mass. When the priest did not appear, a local doctor decided to look for him, discovering the crime. In addition to the pair of scissors, he had a rope around his neck. The police have opened an investigation, starting with taking traces and fingerprints from the crime area. At the moment, the corpse of Father Peter is at NavGate hospital, where an autopsy has been performed.
The funeral was celebrated by Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado of Vasai, the auxiliary bishop of Mumbai Mgr. Percival Fernandes and Msgr. Francisco Correa, Chancellor of the Diocese of Vasai. Present the faithful and the local clergy, who wanted to bid Fr Peter farewell for one last time.
CHILE: BOMB EXPLODES IN TEMUCO CHAPEL
CNA report. Assailants detonated a bomb in the Chapel of Lourdes at the convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in the city of Temuco, Chile. The bomb exploded early on Tuesday morning causing damage to the chapel as well as a neighboring house.
Bishop Manuel Camilo Vial of Temuco went to the site to assess the damage and express his solidarity with the sisters. They reported that the bomb destroyed windows, doors and pews in the chapel and caused a fire that had to be extinguished by firefighters.
Bishop Vial lamented the incident and expressed his support to the sisters who operate a home for poor children and work with Mapuche women.
An economic assessment of the damage has not yet been completed, and local police are investigating the incident. Fox News reports that a group, “Native Orchestral Chaos Three,” left pamphlets claiming responsibility for the bomb.
NIGERIA: 2 CHRISTIAN JOURNALISTS KILLED AT JOS
Christian Today report: The killing of Christians in Jos, Plateau state in Nigeria continued over the weekend with two journalists and five other persons falling victim to Muslim youth gangs.
Nathan S. Dabak, an assistant editor at a newspaper of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) called The Light Bearer, and Sunday Gyang Bwede, a reporter at the publication, were stabbed to death on Saturday (April 24) at Gado-Bako in Jos North Local Government Area along with an unidentified motorcyclist.
“The staff of the church were murdered in cold blood by some Hausa Muslim youths,” the Rev. Pandang Yamsat, president of COCIN, told Compass today. “This is clear because they have been using the hand phones of the deceased journalists and boasting that they are the ones that killed them.”
The young Muslim men have been boldly answering calls to the cell phones of the deceased journalists, he said; when a friend of Dabak called his cell phone number, an unknown voice responded, “We have killed all of them – you can do your worst!”
Dabak, 36, and the 39-year-old Bwede had left their office on Saturday morning and were on their way to interview local politician Bulus Kaze when they fell into the hands of young Muslim men, Yamsat said.
The church started a search for the two Christians that day but did not discover their bodies until about noon on Sunday at the mortuary of Jos University Teaching Hospital, he said. He added that the church was eagerly waiting for results of a police investigation.
“The security team of the church has been communicating with the police, but they are yet to make any headway on this unfortunate incident,” he said.
Burial of the slain journalists is scheduled for Friday (April 30).
In his statement on Monday (April 26), Yamsat lamented that “while efforts have been tailored towards the return of peace to the state by the military Special Task Force, it is regrettable that the state is confronted with a spate of killings.”
“The church is still mourning the death of its pastor and his wife killed in Boto, Bauchi state,” Yamsat said, in reference to the April 13 kidnapping and murder of the Rev. Ishaku Kadah, 48, and his 45-year-old wife Selina. “It is sad that it should again be left to face another brutal murder of two of their staff.”
The state branch of the Nigerian Union of Journalists also condemned the circumstances that led to the death of the two journalists, expressing deep concern over what it described as “a series of attacks on its members in recent times in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties.”
Four other Christians also were killed on Saturday (April 24) in the Dutse Uku district of Jos’ Nasarawa Gwom area in a revenge attack following the discovery of the corpse of a teenage Muslim who had been missing. Their names were not released at press time.
The four Christians reportedly died, three of them stabbed to death, when hundreds of Muslim youths rampaged throughout the area in protest.
Earlier, police reportedly exhumed eight bodies from shallow graves in a predominantly Christian village near Jos. The discovery of the bodies brought to 15 the number of corpses found in three days in an area fraught with Muslim aggression that has left hundreds of Christians dead.
Jos has become a flash-point for ethnic and religious tensions in Plateau state, which is located between Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and Christian south. Previously hundreds of Christian villagers were struck with machetes and burned to death on March 7 in Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Rastat, three villages in Jos South and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas.
On March 17, Muslim Fulani herdsmen assaulted two Christian villages in Plateau state, killing 13 persons, including a pregnant woman and children. In attacks presumably over disputed property but with a level of violence characteristic of jihadist method and motive, men in military camouflage and others in customary clothing also burned 20 houses in Byei and Baten villages, in the Riyom Local Government Area of the state, about 45 kilometers (29 miles) from Jos.
On Jan. 17, two pastors and 46 other Christians were killed in an outbreak of violence in Jos triggered when Muslim youths attacked a Catholic church. Police estimated over 300 lives were lost in subsequent clashes, in which 10 church buildings were burned.
GANGLAND KILLER DENIED FULL MASS AT FUNERAL
Cath News report: Gangland killer Carl Williams has been denied a full mass at his funeral to be held this morning at St Therese's Catholic Church in Essendon.
Williams' daughter Dhakota was baptised at the grand, red-brick church, and funerals were held there for his mother Barbara and underworld rivals Mark and Lewis Moran, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Williams was beaten to death with the stem of an exercise bike in the day room of his maximum-security unit at Barwon Prison, near Geelong, last week.
He will be buried at Keilor Cemetery, not far from the graves of his mother and his former henchman, Andrew "Benji" Veniamin.
Williams' estranged wife Roberta is expected to lead the eulogies. Her son, Tye Stephens, has been refused leave from jail - where he is serving a sentence for robbery - to attend the funeral.
ENGLAND: GOLF TOURNAMENT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR HAITI
Catholic Herald report. The parish of St John Fisher in Shepperton, Middlesex, hosted the first Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor Golf Tournament on a sunny Saturday, April 17.
The event at Silvermere golf course in Surrey was used to raise over £2,500 for Cafod.
Fr Peter-Michael Scott, parish priest at St John Fisher, said Haiti was the primary reason for setting up the tournament and, as Shepperton is surrounded by golf courses, a golf contest seemed an obvious idea for a fund-raising event.
“We approached His Eminence and asked how he would feel having a golf tournament named after him in aid of Cafod and he said it was a fantastic idea.”
He said St John Fisher was only a small parish and so £2,500 was a tidy sum. Most of the money was raised through local businesses sponsoring the golf day. Businesses also generously provided free services, advertising, posters and equipment. The Cardinal is known for his love of games, and rugby especially. These days he enjoys a game of golf.
“The Cardinal’s such an easy character to deal with,” Fr Scott said. “He was a joy to work with.”
Golfing enthusiasts were split into two teams competing for the Cardinal Cormac Cup. Although the Cardinal’s team made a good score, it was the host team of St John Fisher parish who won the tournament.
Fr Scott has announced that next year’s Cardinal Cormac Golf Tournament in aid of Cafod will take place on Saturday May 7 2011 at Silvermere golf club, Surrey.
To play or sponsor a hole, email Sadie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a young man the Cardinal, who is 6ft 3in, played for Prior Park in Bath and had six years with the Vatican Lions before giving rugby up at the age of 28.
In retirement he is a keen amateur golfer. Speaking about the hobbies he pursues in his spare time, the Cardinal said in 2007: “I like reading very much, particularly biography and history. I listen to music.
“I used to play the piano a lot though not as much nowadays. I also like a bit of exercise and an occasional game of golf and a good walk. For the rest, it is always good to meet family and friends.”
Fr Peter-Michael Scott works for the archdiocese of Westminster and advises Archbishop Nichols on healthcare chaplaincy.
John Fisher Catholic parish is a lively church which is 73 years old and seeks to witness the Gospel to the people of Shepperton. “Prayer, Partnership, Pilgrimage, and Panto” sums up what the parish is all about. Holy Mass is at the centre of parish life. But there is also a unique pantomime every year put on by the youth group.
St. Pius V
POPE AND REFORMER
Feast: April 30
Information: Feast Day: April 30
Born: 17 January 1504 at Bosco, diocese of Alessandria, Lombardy, Italy
Died: 1 May 1572 in Rome, Italy
Canonized: 22 May 1712 by Pope Clement XI
Patron of: Bosco Marengo, Italy
He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, instead of distributing his bounty at haphazard like his predecessors. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had displayed as a monk and a bishop. His piety was not diminished, and, in spite of the heavy labours and anxieties of his office, he made at least two meditations a day on bended knees in presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In his charity he visited the hospitals, and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor, and embraced the lepers. It is related that an English nobleman was converted on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers. He was very austere and banished luxury from his court, raised the standard of morality, laboured with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy, obliged his bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety. He diminished public scandals by relegating prostitutes to distant quarters, and he forbade bull fights. He enforced the observance of the discipline of the Council of Trent, reformed the Cistercians, and supported the missions of the New World. In the Bull "In Coena Domini" he proclaimed the traditional principles of the Roman Church and the supremacy of the Holy See over the civil power.
But the great thought and the constant preoccupation of his pontificate seems to have been the struggle against the Protestants and the Turks. In Germany he supported the Catholics oppressed by the heretical princes. In France he encouraged the League by his counsels and with pecuniary aid. In the Low Countries he supported Spain. In England, finally, he excommunicated Elizabeth, embraced the cause of Mary Stuart, and wrote to console her in prison. In the ardour of his faith he did not hesitate to display severity against the dissidents when necessary, and to give a new impulse to the activity of the Inquisition, for which he has been blamed by certain historians who have exaggerated his conduct. Despite all representations on his behalf he condemned the writings of Baius, who ended by submitting.
He worked incessantly to unite the Christian princes against the hereditary enemy, the Turks. In the first year of his pontificate he had ordered a solemn jubilee, exhorting the faithful to penance and almsgiving to obtain the victory from God. He supported the Knights of Malta, sent money for the fortification of the free towns of Italy, furnished monthly contributions to the Christians of Hungary, and endeavoured especially to bring Maximilian, Philip II, and Charles I together for the defence of Christendom. In 1567 for the same purpose he collected from all convents one-tenth of their revenues. In 1570 when Solyman II attacked Cyprus, threatening all Christianity in the West, he never rested till he united the forces of Venice, Spain, and the Holy See. He sent his blessing to Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, recommending him to leave behind all soldiers of evil life, and promising him the victory if he did so. He ordered public prayers, and increased his own supplications to heaven. On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 Oct., 1571, he was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out, "A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army". He burst into tears when he heard of the victory, which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it never recovered. In memory of this triumph he instituted for the first Sunday of October the feast of the Rosary, and added to the Litany of Loreto the supplication "Help of Christians". He was hoping to put an end to the power of Islam by forming a general alliance of the Italian cities Poland, France, and all Christian Europe, and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died of gravel, repeating "O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!" He left the memory of a rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity. He was beatified by Clement X in 1672, and canonized by Clement XI in 1712.
John 14: 1 - 6
1 "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
4 And you know the way where I am going."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. APRIL 29, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ROMAN MISSAL TO BE PUBLISHED SOON-
ASIA: INDIA: FR. PETER BOMBACHA MURDERED IN BOMBAY-
AMERICA: USA: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS DISTRIBUTS WHEELCHAIRS FOR HAITI-
EUROPE: GERMANY: 2 NEW FILMS FROM AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED
AFRICA: SOMALIA: 21 DIE IN VIOLENT FIGHTING-
AUSTRALIA: BISHOP ASKS FOR JUSTICE AMONG WORKERS´ WAGES-
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ROMAN MISSAL TO BE PUBLISHED SOON
VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Pope had lunch yesterday in the Vatican's Casina Pio IV with members and consultors of "Vox Clara", an advisory committee for questions concerning the celebration of the Roman Rite in English.
Following the luncheon the Holy Father, himself speaking English, thanked "Vox Clara" for the work it has done "over the last eight years, assisting and advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise. Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from bishops' conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world". "I thank the superiors and officials of the congregation for their daily, painstaking work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God", he said. Benedict XVI went on: "I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication. ... Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of His people". Going on then to identify a new task, that of "preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful", the Pope pointed out that "many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world".
"Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere", the Holy Father concluded.
IMAGE SOURCE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: NATIONAL RECONCILIATION
VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - Jean-Pierre Hamuli Mupenda, the new ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, today presented his Letters of Credence to Benedict XVI, reaffirming his country's desire to strengthen its ties with the Holy See. In his own address to the diplomat, the Pope spoke of his satisfaction at the move, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of Congo's independence, and expressed the hope that this commemoration may represent a "new starting point".
"Over recent years your country has gone through particularly difficult and tragic moments", said the Holy Father. "Blind and pitiless violence has afflicted a large part of the population, ... especially women, young people and children, whose dignity has been constantly flouted by the violation of their rights. ... The Catholic Church, herself wounded in many of her members and structures, wishes to favour interior healing and fraternity".
"The 2008 Goma agreement and international accords, especially the 'Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region', are necessary, but it is even more vital to lay the foundation for their implementation. Little by little, the badly-frayed fabric of society must be mended, helping the first natural form of society, which is the family, and consolidating interpersonal relations among Congolese people on the foundation of integral education, which is a source of peace and justice".
"I invite the public authorities to do everything in their power to end the state of war which, unfortunately, still persists in certain areas of the country, and to dedicate themselves to the social reconstruction of the nation, while respecting fundamental human rights. Peace is not just the absence of conflict, it is also a gift and a task that involves obligations for both citizens and the State".
The Pope also called upon the international community, "involved in various degrees in the successive conflicts that have afflicted the Congo, to mobilise and make an effective contribution to reinstating peace and legality".
"After so much suffering, your country needs to start resolutely down the path of national reconciliation", the Holy Father told the ambassador. "Your bishops have declared this anniversary year as a year of grace, renewal and joy, a year of reconciliation to rebuild a Congo of solidarity, prosperity and unity".
"One of the best ways to achieve this objective is by promoting the education of the young", said Pope Benedict. "The Congolese want their children to have a good education, but the immediate costs have to be met by families and this is a heavy, sometimes impossible, burden". Expressing his trust that a solution will be found to this question, he stressed the fact that "if the State helps parents by guaranteeing the regular payment of teachers, it will be making an investment useful for everyone".
"It is essential that children and young people be educated with patience and constancy, especially those who were deprived of schooling and taught how to kill. They must be inculcated, not only with knowledge that will be useful in adult life, but also with solid moral and spiritual bases that will help them to reject the temptation to violence and resentment, and to chose justice and truth instead. Within the limits of her powers the Church can, through her educational structures, contribute to and augment the structures of the State".
"The great natural wealth that God gave your land and that has, alas, become a source of greed and unbridled profit for many people inside and outside your country, would easily enable ... the people to emerge from poverty and provide for their food and health security. ... This requirement of justice, promoted by the State, would consolidate national reconciliation and peace, and enable the population to live a peaceful life, which is a necessary condition for their prosperity".
Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by calling on Congolese Catholics to be "generous witnesses of God's love, and to contribute to the construction of a united and fraternal country in which everyone can feel that they are fully loved and respected".
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PROMOTE THE UNITY AND WELL-BEING OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received prelates from Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.
Speaking English the Pope referred to the bishops' five-yearly reports, telling them of his pleasure at their efforts "to preach the Gospel at confirmations, in your visits to parishes, when meeting with groups of priests, religious or lay people and in your pastoral letters".
"Strive to build", he went on, "vibrant and expansive communities of men and women strong in their faith, contemplative and joyful in the liturgy, and well instructed on 'how to live in the way that pleases God'. In an environment marked by divorce and polygamy, promote the unity and well-being of the Christian family built on the Sacrament of Marriage. Initiatives and associations dedicated to the sanctification of this basic community deserve your full support. Continue to uphold the dignity of women in the context of human rights and defend your people against attempts to introduce an anti-birth mentality disguised as a form of cultural progress.
"Your mission also requires that you give attention to the adequate discernment and preparation of vocations and to the ongoing formation of priests, who are your closest collaborators in the task of evangelisation", he added. "Continue to lead them by word and example to be men of prayer, sound and clear in their teaching, mature and respectful in their dealings with others, faithful to their spiritual commitments and strong in compassion towards all in need. Likewise do not hesitate to invite missionaries from other countries to assist the good work being done by your clergy, religious and catechists".
The Holy Father went on: "I appreciate in a special way the assistance you offer to refugees and immigrants and I urge you to seek, when possible, pastoral co-operation from their countries of origin. The struggle against poverty must be carried out with respect for the dignity of all concerned by encouraging them to be the protagonists of their own integral development. Much good can be done through small-scale community engagements and microeconomic initiatives at the service of families. In developing and sustaining such strategies, improved education will always be a decisive factor".
"You rightly encourage people in positions of authority to lead in the struggle against corruption by calling attention to the gravity and injustice of such sins. In this regard, the spiritual and moral formation of lay men and women for leadership, through specialised courses in Catholic Social Doctrine, is an important contribution to the common good".
Benedict XVI commended the bishops "for your attention to the great gift which is peace. I pray that the process of reconciliation in justice and truth, which you have rightly supported in the region, may produce lasting respect for all God-given human rights and defuse tendencies to retaliation and vengeance.
"In your service to peace continue to promote dialogue with other religions, especially with Islam, so as to sustain the existing good relations and forestall any form of intolerance, injustice or oppression, detrimental to the promotion of mutual trust. Working together in the defence of life and in the struggle against disease and malnutrition will not fail to build understanding, respect and acceptance. Above all, a climate of dialogue and communion must characterise the local Church. By your own example", the Pope concluded, "lead your priests, religious and lay faithful to grow in understanding and cooperation, in listening to one another and in sharing initiatives".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiberg im Breisgau, Germany, president of the German Bishops' Conference; Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, and Bishop of Anton Losinger, auxiliary of Augsburg.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Benjamin Castillo Plascencia of Tabasco, Mexico, as bishop of Celaya (area 8,768, population 1,604,015, Catholics 1,463,583, priests 232, religious 66), Mexico.
- Appointed Fr. John Baptist Jung Shin-chul, professor and chancellor of the Catholic University of Incheon, Korea, and diocesan director for vocations, as auxiliary of the diocese of Incheon (area 1,282, population 4,294,000, Catholics 427,960, priests 268, religious 906). The bishop-elect was born in Incheon-si in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1993.
- Elevated the apostolic prefecture of Quetta (area 347,188, population 8,096,251, Catholics 29,355, priests 13, religious 19), Pakistan, to the rank of apostolic vicariate, with the same name and territorial configuration as before. He appointed Fr. Victor Gnanapragasam O.M.I., apostolic prefect of Quetta, as apostolic vicar of the new ecclesiastical circumscription, The bishop-elect was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1940 and ordained a priest in 1966.
INDIA: FR. PETER BOMBACHA MURDERED IN BOMBAY
Asia News report: The murder took place late at night. Motive for killing unknown. He was known by everyone and very good to people of every creed and caste.Bombay (AsiaNews) - A priest was killed late last night in Baboola, one kilometer from the house of the bishop of Vasai, an ancient town near Mumbai (Maharashtra).
The motive for the murder is unknown. The priest, fr. Peter Bombacha, was about to turn 74 years old and was loved and respected by all. Monsignor Felix Machado, archbishop of Vasai, arrived on the scene of the crime this morning. Shocked and saddened at the sight of the slain priest, he told AsiaNews: "Fr. Peter was a priest full of faith, serving the Church and the people without discrimination of caste or creed, he forgot himself to serve the most poor and abandoned.
"When a man answers the call - he added - his life belongs completely to God and the people .... Even in a death, as tragic and painful as that of Fr Peter, a priest belongs to God ... His life and his death will be fruitful for the Church and for India. "
USA: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS DISTRIBUTS WHEELCHAIRS FOR HAITI
The first distribution took place at the University of Miami / Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, a press release from the Knights reported. The Catholic fraternal order is working in partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission and the HHS Foundation.
“Though time has dimmed the memory of the tragic earthquake in Haiti for many who live elsewhere, the physical suffering of those injured in the earthquake and here in Port-au-Prince continues in a very real way,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “We are grateful for the opportunity to give the gift of mobility to those who need it most, and who otherwise would be condemned to lives of isolation and hopelessness.”
“Today, I can think of no group more in need than those who lost everything – including their mobility – in this terrible tragedy,” he continued.
Anderson added that the Knights were founded in 1882 to help those most in need.
Wheelchair donations are among the Knights’ most well known charitable programs. In the past decade they have distributed thousands of wheelchairs in countries including Afghanistan, Mexico, Panama, Cuba and Jordan.
Veterans’ Administration medical centers around the U.S. have also been sites of distributions.
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Knights raised more than $500,000 for relief efforts.
GERMANY: 2 NEW FILMS FROM AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED
Kath net report: A movie about Father Werenfried van Straaten and a documentary about Pope Benedict XVI., created by a Russian Orthodox Fernsehteam
Relief and works the worldwide Catholic Agency "Church in need" is offering 2 movies on the occasion of Catholic Orthodox ecumenism. Offered free of charge a documentary about the founder in the year 2003 of "Church in need", Father Werenfried van Straaten. During this journey in 1992 he was with the former Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexij II. The collapse of communism was father Werenfried and his work at the request of Pope John Paul II. The reconciliation between Catholic and Orthodox Church has become an important task. So he recalled how after the second world war to the love between the "enemies of yesterday", father Werenfried set up after the fall of the wall to overcome the Church split between East and West.
As a second movie to the theme, "Church in need" offers a documentary about Pope Benedict XVI. which was created by a Russian Orthodox Fernsehteam. It shows the life of the Pope from the perspective of Orthodox Christians and is presented and commented. Pope Benedict XVI addressed at the end of the film. with a greeting message directly to the Russian people.
Both DVDs can be ordered free of charge from "Church in need": www.kirche-in-not.de/shop
SOMALIA: 21 DIE IN VIOLENT FIGHTING
All Africa report: Fighting between African Union troops, Somali government forces, pro-government militiamen on one side and Al-Shabaab and its allies on the other end killed at least 21 people Wednesday and injured over 70 others in the Somali capital within the last 24 hours, said medical workers and witnesses.
Yesterday, at laest 16 people were killed in the continuing violence that has gripped Mogadishu.
Twelve people were killed in the north district of Hamarweyne where several mortars traded between the warring sides landed, according to witnesses.
"It was terrifying and left us with great worries. I have seen several dead bodies and injured ones," said Raho Suleyman, one of the people who were caught in the crossfire.
Several wounded people were admitted at Mogadishu's main Medina hospital, where according to medics, five of them died from their injuries.
The violence concentrated mainly near the main Bakara market in the capital where fighters from pro-government militia Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama faced off with their arch-rivals Al-Shabaab.
On the other hand, a suicide car bomb targeted on AMISOM base in Mogadishu Tuesday triggered another round of violence, claiming the lives of civilians.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, saying it was retaliation for the killing of two top al-Qaida leaders in Iraq. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri were killed last week during an Iraqi-U.S. military raid in northern Iraqi city of Tikrit.
However, the Al-Qaeda-inspired group put the blame of civilian casualties on AMISOM.
The claims were immediately refuted by government officials.
Civilians have suffered greatly as a result of clashes between the warring sides fighting for control of bullet-riddled Mogadishu.
The weak Western-backed Somali government is battling a powerful Islamist insurgency that erupted early 2007 and is determined to unseat it. The impoverished Horn of Africa country has not had a functioning government for nearly 20 years.
BISHOP ASKS FOR JUSTICE AMONG WORKERS´ WAGES
SOCIAL JUSTICE MEDIA RELEASE:
Australia Fair? A nation at the crossroads Australia is at the crossroads according to the Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Christopher Saunders, who has issued a Pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker (1 May).Comparing the circumstances of the richest and poorest Australians following the global financial crisis, he says, ‘How we respond to the needs of the poorest individuals and families will characterise the spirit of the nation.‘Over the past decade, minimum wages have fallen further behind average weekly earnings. Safety net wages, even when supplemented by family benefits, have not prevented families falling into poverty or coming close to it.
‘In 2009, the Australian Fair Pay Commission imposed a wage freeze on 1.6 million safety net workers with the aim of preventing job loss and promoting economic recovery. This burden has not been carried proportionally by the average income earner, and still less by those at the highest levels of the wealth spectrum.
‘While the lowest paid workers endure a pay freeze for the sake of Australia’s economic interests, the Productivity Commission recently dismissed suggestions of pay caps or reduced tax concessions on executive remuneration on the grounds that this “could damage our national economic interests”’, Bishop Saunders said.
Drawing on Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical, ‘Charity in Truth’, the Bishop highlights the need for long-term development with adequate protections for low paid and unemployed workers.
‘Equity and justice must be built into the operation of the market and not remain just an afterthought. The market must not be a place where the strong subdue the weak. The minimum wage decision that Fair Work Australia makes in June will be a critical test of this nation’s fairness,’ Bishop Saunders concluded.
The Pastoral Letter can be downloaded at: http://www.acsjc.org.au/
For further information:
Bishop Christopher Saunders
Chairman, ACSJC Tel: 0418 260 155
St. Catherine of Siena
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, DOMINICAN MYSTIC, AND PAPAL ADVISER
Feast: April 29
Information: Feast Day: April 29
Born: 25 March 1347 at Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 29 April 1380
Canonized: July 1461 by Pope Pius II
St. Catherine was born at Sienna, in 1347. Her father, James Benincasa, by trade a dyer, was a virtuous man; and though blessed with temporal prosperity, always chiefly solicitous to leave to his children a solid inheritance of virtue, by his example, and by deeply instilling into them lessons of piety. Her mother, Lapa, had a particular affection for this daughter above her other children; and the accomplishments of mind and body with which she was adorned made her the darling and delight of all that knew her, and procured her the name of Euphrosyna. She was favored by God with extraordinary graces as soon as she was capable of knowing him. She withdrew very young to a solitude a little out of the town, to imitate the lives of the fathers of the desert. Returning after some time to her father's house, she continued to be guided by the same spirit. In her childhood she consecrated her virginity to God by a private vow. Her love of mortification and prayer, and her sentiments of virtue, were such as are not usually found in so tender an age. But God was pleased to put her resolution to a great trial. At twelve years of age, her parents thought of engaging her in a married state. Catherine found them deaf to her entreaties that she might live single; and therefore redoubled her prayers, watching, and austerities, knowing her protection must be from God alone. Her parents, regarding her inclination to solitude as unsuitable to the life for which they designed her, endeavored to divert her from it, and began to thwart her devotions, depriving her in this view of the little chamber or cell they had till then allowed her. They loaded her with the most distracting employments, and laid on her all the drudgery of the house, as if she had been a person hired into the family for that purpose. The hardest labor, humiliations, contempt, and the insults of her sisters, were to the saint a subject of joy; and such was her ardent love of crosses, that she embraced them in all shapes with a holy eagerness, and received all railleries with an admirable sweetness and heroic patience. If any thing grieved her, it was the loss of her dear solitude. But the Holy Ghost, that interior faithful master, to whom she listened, taught her to make herself another solitude in her heart; where, amidst all her occupations, she considered herself always as alone with God; to whose presence she kept herself no less attentive than if she had no exterior employment to distract her. In that admirable Treatise of God's Providence, which she wrote, she saith, "that our Lord had taught her to build in her soul a private closet, strongly vaulted with the divine providence, and to keep herself always close and retired there; he assured her that by this means she should find peace and perpetual repose in her soul, which no storm or tribulation could disturb or interrupt." Her sisters and other friends persuaded her to join with them in the diversions of the world, alleging, that virtue is not an enemy to neatness in dress, or to cheerfulness; under which soft names they endeavored to recommend the dangerous liberties of worldly pastimes and vanities. Catherine was accordingly prevailed upon by her sister to dress in a manner something more genteel; but she soon repented of her compliance, and wept for it during the remainder of her life, as the greatest infidelity she had ever been guilty of to her heavenly spouse. The death of her eldest sister, Bonaventura, soon after confirmed her in those sentiments. Her father, edified at her patience and virtue, at length approved and seconded her devotion, and all her pious desires. She liberally assisted the poor, served the sick, and comforted the afflicted and prisoners. Her chief subsistence was on boiled herbs, without either sauce or bread, which last she seldom tasted. She wore a very rough hair-cloth, and a large iron girdle armed with sharp points, lay on the ground, and watched much. Humility, obedience, and a denial of her own will, even in her penitential austerities, gave them their true value. She began this course of life when under fifteen years of age. She was moreover visited with many painful distempers, which she underwent with incredible patience; she had also suffered much from the use of hot baths prescribed her by physicians. Amidst her pains, it was her constant prayer that they might serve for the expiation of her offences, and the purifying her heart. She long desired, and in 1365, the eighteenth year of her age, (but two years later, according to some writers,) she received the habit of the third order of St. Dominic, in a nunnery contiguous to the Dominicans' convent. From that time her cell became her paradise, prayer her element, and her mortifications had no longer any restraint. For three years she never spoke to any one but to God and her confessor. Her days and nights were employed in the delightful exercises of contemplation: the fruits whereof were supernatural lights, a most ardent love of God, and zeal for the conversion of sinners. The old serpent, seeing her angelical life, set all his engines at work to assault her virtue. He first filled her imagination with the most filthy representations, and assailed her heart with the basest and most humbling temptations. Afterwards, he spread in her soul such a cloud and darkness that it was the severest trial imaginable. She saw herself a hundred times on the brink of the precipice, but was always supported by an invisible hand. Her arms were fervent prayer, humility, resignation, and confidence in God. By these she persevered victorious, and was at last delivered from those trials which had only served to purify her heart. Our Saviour visiting her after this bitter conflict, she said to him: "Where west thou, my divine Spouse, while I lay in such an abandoned, frightful condition." "I was with thee," he seemed to reply. "What!" said she, "amidst the filthy abominations with which my soul was infested!" He answered: "They were displeasing and most painful to thee. This conflict therefore was thy merit, and the victory over them was owing to my presence." Her ghostly enemy also solicited her to pride, omitting neither violence nor stratagem to seduce her into this vice; but invincible humility was a buckler to cover her from all his fiery darts. God recompensed her charity to the poor by many miracles, often multiplying provisions in her hands, and enabling her to carry loads of corn, oil, and other necessaries to the poor, which her natural strength could not otherwise have borne. The greatest miracle seemed her patience in bearing the murmurs, and even the reproaches, of these ungrateful and importunate people. Catherine dressed, and served an old woman named Tocca. infected to that degree with a leprosy, that the magistrates had ordered her to be removed out of the city, and separated from all others. This poor wretch nevertheless made no other return to the tender charity of the saint, but continual bitter complaints and reproaches; which, instead of wearying out her constancy, only moved the saint to show her still greater marks of sweetness and humility. Another, whose infectious cancer the saint for a long time sucked and dressed, published against her the most infamous calumnies; in which she was seconded by a sister of the convent. Catherine bore in silence the violent persecution they brought upon her, and continued her affectionate services till, by her patience and prayers, she had obtained of God the conversion of both these enemies, which was followed by a retraction of their slanders.
The ardent charity of this holy virgin made her indefatigable in laboring for the conversion of sinners, offering for that end continual tears, prayers, fasts, and other austerities, and thinking nothing difficult or above her strength. All her discourses, actions, and her very silence, powerfully induced men to the love of virtue, so that no one, according to pope Pius II., ever approached her who went not away better. Nannes, a powerful turbulent citizen, being brought to our saint to be reclaimed, all she could say to him to bring him to a right sense of his duty was of no effect; upon which she made a sudden pause in her discourse, to offer up her prayers for him: they were heard that very instant, and an entire change was wrought in the man, to which his tears and other tokens bore evidence. He accordingly reconciled himself to all his enemies, and embraced a most penitential life. When he afterwards fell into many temporal calamities, the saint rejoiced at his spiritual advantage under them, saying, God purged his heart from the poison with which it was infected by its inveterate attachment to creatures. Nannes gave to the saint a stately house which he possessed within two miles of the city. This, by the pope's authority, she converted into a nunnery. We omit the miraculous conversion of James Tholomei and his sisters, of Nicholas Tuldo, and many others; particularly of two famous assassins going to die with blasphemies in their mouths, and in transports of rage and despair, who were suddenly converted in their last moments, on the saint's praying for them, confessed their crimes to a priest with great signs of repentance, and appeared thoroughly resigned to the punishment about to be inflicted on them. A pestilence laying waste the country in 1374, Catherine devoted herself to serve the infected, and obtained of God the cure of several; amongst others, of two holy Dominicans, Raymund of Capua, and Bartholomew of Sienna. The most hardened sinners could not withstand the force of her exhortations to a change of life. Thousands flocked from places at a distance in the country to hear or only to see her, and were brought over by her words or example to the true dispositions of sincere repentance. She undertook a journey to Monte Pulciano to consecrate to God two of her nieces, who there took the religious veil of Saint Dominic: and another journey to Pisa, by order of her superiors, at the earnest suit of the citizens. She there restored health to many in body, but to a far greater number in soul. Raymund of Capua and two other Dominicans were commissioned by pope Gregory XI., then residing at Avignon, to hear the confessions at Sienna, of those who were induced by the saint to enter upon a change of life; these priests were occupied, day and night, in hearing the confessions of many who had never confessed before; besides those of others who had acquitted themselves but superficially of that duty. While she was at Pisa, in 1375, the people of Florence and Perugia, with a great part of Tuscany, and even of the Ecclesiastical State, entered into a league against the holy see. The news of this disturbance was delivered to Catherine by Raymund of Capua, and her heart was pierced with the most bitter sorrow on account of those evils, which she had foretold three years before they came to their height. The two furious factions of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, who had so disturbed and divided the state of Florence, then a powerful commonwealth, united at last against the pope, to strip the holy see of the lands it possessed in Italy. The disturbance was begun in June, 1373, and a numerous army was set on foot: the word Libertas, written on the banner of the league, was the signal. Perugia, Bologna, Viterbo, Ancona, and other strongholds, soon declared for them. The inhabitants of Arezzo, Lucca. Sienna, and other places, were kept within the bounds of duty by the prayers, letters, and exhortations of St. Catherine, and generously contemned the threats of the Florentines. Pope Gregory XI., residing at Avignon, wrote to the city of Florence, but without success. He therefore sent the cardinal Robert of Geneva, his legate, with an army, and laid the diocese of Florence under an interdict. Internal divisions, murders, and all other domestic miseries amongst the Florentines, joined with the conspiracy of the neighboring states, concurred to open their eyes, and made them sue for pardon. The magistrates sent to Sienna to beg St. Catherine would become their mediatrix. She could not resist their pressing entreaties. Before she arrived at Florence, she was met by the priors or chiefs of the magistrates; and the city left the management of the whole affair to her discretion, with a promise that she should be followed to Avignon by their ambassadors, who should sign and ratify the conditions of reconciliation between the parties at variance, and confirm every thing she had done. The saint arrived at Avignon on the 18th of June, 1376, and was received by the pope and cardinals with great marks of distinction His holiness, after a conference with her, in admiration of her prudence and sanctity, said to her: "I desire nothing but peace. I put the affair entirely into your hands; only I recommend to you the honor of the church." But the Florentines sought not peace sincerely, and they continued to carry on secret intrigues to draw all Italy from its obedience to the holy see. Their ambassadors arrived very late at Avignon, and spoke with so great insolence, that they showed peace was far from being the subject of their errand. God suffered the conclusion of this work to be deferred in punishment of the sins of the Florentines. by which means St. Catherine sanctified herself still more by suffering longer amidst a seditious people.
The saint had another point no less at heart in her journey to Avignon. Pope John XXII., a Frenchman, born at Cahors, bishop, first of Frejus, then of Avignon, lastly of Porto, being made pope in 1314, fixed his residence at Avignon, where John's successors, Benedict XII., Clement VI.. Innocent VI., and Urban V., also resided. The then pope Gregory XI., elected in 1370, continued also there. The Romans complained that their bishops had for seventy-four years past forsaken their church, and threatened a schism. Gregory XI. had made a secret vow to return to Rome; but not finding this design agreeable to his court, he consulted the holy virgin on this subject, who answered: "Fulfil what you have promised to God." The pope, surprised she should know by revelation what he had never discovered to any person on earth, was immediately determined to carry his good design into execution. The saint soon after left Avignon. We have several letters written by her to him, to press him to hasten his return; and he shortly after followed her, leaving Avignon on the 13th of September, in 1376. He overtook the saint at Genoa, where she made a short stay. At Sienna, she continued her former way of life, serving and often curing the sick, converting the most obstinate sinners, and reconciling the most inveterate enemies, more still by her prayers than by her words. Such was her knowledge of heavenly things, that certain Italian doctors, out of envy, and with the intent to expose her ignorance, being come to hold a conference with her, departed in confusion and admiration at her interior lights. The same had happened at Avignon, some time before, where three prelates, envying her credit with the pope, put to her the most intricate questions on an interior life, and many other subjects; but admiring her answers to all their difficulties, confessed to the pope they had never seen a soul so enlightened, and so profoundly humble as Catherine. She had many disciples: among others, Stephen, son of Conrad, a senator of Sienna. This nobleman was reduced by enemies to the last extremity. Seeing himself on the brink of ruin, he addressed himself to the saint, who, having first made a thorough convert of him from the world and its vanities, by her prayers miraculously, on a sudden, pacified all his persecutors, and calmed their fury. Stephen, from that time, looked upon as dust all that he had formerly most passionately loved and pursued; and he testified of himself, that by her presence, and much more by her zealous discourses, he always found the divine love vehemently kindled in his breast, and his contempt of all earthly things increased. He became the most fervent among her disciples, made a collection of all her words as oracles, would be her secretary to write her letters, and her companion in her journeys to Avignon, Florence, and Rome; and at length, by her advice, professed himself a Carthusian monk. He assisted at her death, and wrote her life at the request of several princes; having been witness of her great miracles and virtues, and having experienced often in himself her spirit of prophecy, her knowledge of the consciences of others, and her extraordinary light in spiritual things.
St. Catherine wrote to pope Gregory XI., at Rome, strongly exhorting him to contribute by all means possible to the general peace of Italy. His holiness commissioned her to go to Florence, still divided and obstinate in its disobedience. She lived some time in that factious place, amidst daily murders and confiscations, in frequent dangers of her own life many ways; in which she always showed herself most undaunted, even when swords were drawn against her. At length she overcame that obstinate people, and brought them to submission, obedience, and peace, though not under Gregory XI., as Baillet mistakes, but his successor, Urban VI., as her contemporary historian informs us. This memorable reconciliation was effected in 1378; after which Catherine hastened to her solitary abode at Sienna, where her occupation, and, we may say, her very nourishment, was holy prayer: in which intercourse with the Almighty, he discovered to her very wonderful mysteries, and bestowed on her a spirit which delivered the truths of salvation in a manner that astonished her hearers. Some of her discourses were collected, and compose the treatise On Providence, under her name. Her whole life seemed one continual miracle; but what the servants of God admired most in her, was the perpetual strict union of her soul with God. For, though obliged often to converse with different persons on so many different affairs, and transact business of the greatest moment, she was always occupied on God, and absorbed in him. For many years she had accustomed herself to so rigorous an abstinence, that the blessed eucharist might be said to be almost the only nourishment which supported her. Once she fasted from Ash Wednesday till Ascension-day, receiving only the blessed eucharist during that whole time. Many treated her as a hypocrite, and invented all manner of calumnies against her; but she rejoiced at humiliations, and gloried in the cross of Christ as much as she dreaded and abhorred praise and applause. In a vision, our Saviour is said one day to have presented her with two crowns, one of gold and the other of thorns, bidding her choose which of the two she pleased. She answered: "I desire, O Lord, to live here always conformed to your passion, and to find pain and suffering my repose and delight." Then eagerly taking up the crown of thorns, she forcibly pressed it upon her bead. The earnest desire and love of humiliations and crosses was nourished in her soul by assiduous meditation on the sufferings of our divine Redeemer. What, above all things, pierced her heart was scandal, chiefly that of the unhappy great schism which followed the death of Gregory XI. in 1378, when Urban VI. was chosen at Rome, and acknowledged there by all the cardinals, though his election was in the beginning overawed by the Roman people, who demanded an Italian pope. Urban's harsh and austere temper alienated from him the affections of the cardinals, several of whom withdrew; and having declared the late election null, chose Clement VII., with whom they retired out of Italy, and resided at Avignon. Our saint, not content to spend herself in floods of tears, weeping before God for these evils of his church, wrote the strongest and most pathetic letters to those cardinals who had first acknowledged Urban, and afterwards elected another; pressing them to return to their lawful pastor, and acknowledge Urban's title. She wrote also to several countries and princes in his favor, and to Urban himself, exhorting him to bear up cheerfully under the troubles he found himself involved in, and to abate somewhat of a temper that had made him so many enemies, and mollify that rigidness of disposition which had driven the world from him, and still kept a very considerable part of Christendom from acknowledging him. The pope listened to her, sent for her to Rome, followed her directions, and designed to send her, with St. Catherine of Sweden, to Joan, queen of Sicily, who had sided with Clement. Our saint grieved to see this occasion of martyrdom snatched from her, when the journey was laid aside on account of the dangers that were foreseen to attend It. She wrote however to queen Joan: likewise two letters full of holy fire to the king of France, also to the king of Hungary, and others, to exhort them to renounce the schism.
We pass over the ecstasies and other wonderful favors this virgin received from heaven, and the innumerable miracles God wrought by her means. She has loft us, besides the example of her life, six Treatises in form of a dialogue, a Discourse on the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, and three hundred and sixty-four Letters, which show that she had a superior genius, and wrote perfectly well. While she was laboring to extend the obedience of the true pope, Urban VI., her infirmities and pains increasing, she died at Rome on the 29th of April, in 1380, being thirty-three years old. She was buried in the church of the Minerva, where her body is still kept under an altar. Her skull is in the Dominicans' church at Sienna, in which city are shown her house, her instruments of penance, and other relics. She was canonized by pope Pius II. in 1461. Urban VIII. transferred her festival to the 30th of this month.
John 13: 16 - 20
16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
18 I am not speaking of you all; I know whom I have chosen; it is that the scripture may be fulfilled, `He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'
19 I tell you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives any one whom I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me."
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. APRIL 28, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: PRIESTS: LIVE A LIFE COHERENT WITH THE SACRAMENT RECEIVED-
AMERICA: USA: GOVERNOR DECLARES DAY OF PRAYER FOR TORNADO VICTIMS-
ASIA: VIETNAM: GOVERNMENT TRIES TO REMOVE ARCHBISHOP-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: BOOKIE PAYS FOR REFURBISHMENT OF CHURCH-
AUSTRALIA: GOVERNMENT & CHURCH LOOKING FOR RESOLUTION-
AFRICA: ZAMBIA: CHURCH TO HOST MISSIONARY CONGRESS IN OCTOBER-
PRIESTS: LIVE A LIFE COHERENT WITH THE SACRAMENT RECEIVED
VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to two Italian priests: St. Leonardo Murialdo (1828-1900) and St. Giuseppe Benito Cottolengo (1786-1842), "exemplary in the commitment to God and witness of charity which, in the Church and for the Church, they showed towards their needy brothers and sisters".
St. Leonardo Murialdo, having overcome a profound spiritual crisis in his youth, became a priest of St. John Bosco who appreciated him greatly. Thanks to Don Bosco, Fr. Murialdo "came into contact with the serious problems of the poorer classes, ... maturing a profound social, educational and apostolic sensibility which led him to dedicate himself independently to initiatives in favour of young people", the Pope explained."In 1873 he founded the Congregation of St. Joseph, which from its beginnings had as its apostolic goal the formation of young people, especially the poor and abandoned". In this context the Holy Father highlighted how "the central nucleus of Leonardo Murialdo's spirituality was his certainty of the merciful love of God: a Father Who is always good, patient and generous, Who reveals the greatness and immensity of his mercy through forgiveness". St. Leonardo, "highlighting the greatness of the mission of priests, 'who must continue the work of redemption', ... always recalled, both to himself and his confreres, the responsibility of living a life coherent with the Sacrament received".
"The same spirit of charity" marked the life and work of St. Giuseppe Benito Cottolengo, founder of the "Little House of Divine Providence". This saint, "from his childhood showed great sensibility towards the poor". Following years of fruitful priestly ministry, his meeting with a young sick woman, mother of five children, whom he assisted on her deathbed, changed the course of his life.
"The Lord always places signs on our path, guiding us according to His will to what is truly good for us", said Benedict XVI. From that moment Giuseppe Cottolengo "used all his capacities ... to create initiatives in support of the most needy. He involved scores of collaborators and volunteers in his enterprise, ... so as to face and overcome difficulties together. Each person in that Little House of Divine Providence had a specific task. ... The healthy and the sick all shared the same daily burden. Even religious life was organised over time in accordance with particular needs and requirements".
"For the poor and needy", Giuseppe Cottolengo always defined himself as "the labourer of Divine Providence", the Holy Father recalled.
"These two priest saints", the Pope concluded, "lived their ministry by totally giving their lives to the poorest, the most needy, the last. The profound root, the eternal source of their activity was always their relationship with God, drawing from His love in the profound conviction that it is not possible to exercise charity save by living with Christ in the Church. May their intercession and example continue to illuminate the ministry of the many priests who give themselves generously for God and for the flock entrusted to them, and help everyone to give themselves joyfully and generously to God and to others".
AG/ VIS 20100428 (530)
FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH: REFLECTING ON THE MEANING OF WORK
VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - Among his remarks at the end of today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled how this Saturday 1 May marks the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, "guardian of the Holy Family and patron of all men who earn their living through their work.
"May this day be an opportunity for deeper reflection on the meaning of work and its proper place in family life. I entrust those of you present here, and all workers, to the protection of St. Joseph".
ADEQUATE PASTORAL CARE FOR MIGRANTS
VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., in the Pope's name, to Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, for the eighth European Congress on Migration, taking place in the Spanish city of Malaga from 27 April to 1 May.
In the telegram the Holy Father greets organisers and participants in the meeting, which has as its theme "Overcoming Fears and Outlining Prospects". He encourages them to continue their efforts to ensure adequate pastoral care for people suffering the consequences of abandoning their own country, and find themselves without a land of reference.He likewise "exhorts them to co-ordinate initiatives and plans to ensure that the light of the Gospel reaches everyone and, with it, the firm hope to see recognition for their rights and a guarantee for their possibilities to live a life dignified in all aspects".TGR/ VIS 20100428 (170)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Launay Saturne of the clergy of the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, dean of studies at the major inter-diocesan seminary "Notre-Dame d'Haiti", as bishop of Jacmel (area 2,700, population 526,192, Catholics 342,716, priests 36, religious 53), Haiti. The bishop-elect was born in Delatte, Haiti in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1991.
USA: GOVERNOR DECLARES DAY OF PRAYER FOR TORNADO VICTIMS
CBN report. Clean-up is underway in several southern states after deadly tornadoes ripped through the region.
At least 12 people were killed and more than 100 homes destroyed. It is being called the worst natural disaster in the region since hurricane Katrina.
Gov. Haley Barbour has declared Tuesday a day of prayer for Mississippi residents who suffered storm damage.
"I was devastated. I never seen anything like this before - not this close to home where I actually have friends people I knew that were hurt and just totally dismayed by all this," Mississippi resident Tabatha Stewart said.
"We've got five confirmed dead we got injured we don't know the count on that I just ask everyone to pray for the lost and the people that are hurting right now," Choctaw County Sheriff Cloyd Halford said.
Salvation Army volunteers have been offering food, water and aid to survivors who are grateful to be alive.
"I do know some of the people that have been taken to the Lord out of our neighborhood," tornado survivor Douglas Miller said. "For those, they're at peace. For those of us left here, we have each day left to be grateful for. We've got a lot of work yet to do."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is assessing the damage in the region.
VIETNAM: GOVERNMENT TRIES TO REMOVE ARCHBISHOP
Asia News report: Deputy minister of information’s comments reveal this belief. He has instructed the state media to not cover the eventual removal of the archbishop, "as if it were an internal affair of Catholics." His statements have raised fears of those who see the appointment of a coadjutor in Hanoi as an agreement between the Holy See and the authorities.
Of course these statements have reinforced the fears of those who have seen the appointment of Mgr. Peter Nguyen Van Nhon, President of the Conference of Bishops, as coadjutor to the Archbishop of Hanoi, as a step towards replacing Mgr. Kiet. In Catholic circles, it is believed that the Holy See succumbed to government pressure by agreeing to remove Archbishop Kiet - something long requested by the authorities - in exchange for the establishment of diplomatic relations and a papal visit to Vietnam. This despite the fact that Archbishop Kiet and his office have released several statements on the appointment of Mgr. Van Nhon, which Mgr. Kiet has greeted as "great news", inviting the faithful of Hanoi to "thank God and the Holy See for having sent him to serve the archdiocese and support my frail health."
So, on April 9, interviewed by Radio Free Asia, Fr Matthew Vu Khoi Phung, superior of the Redemptorists of Hanoi, expressed "great concern" because "the Hanoi authorities have repeatedly asked for the transfer of the Archbishop. And Father John Nghi, Director of VietCatholic News, has declared that it "is really a great challenge to be able to allay the concerns of the people and regain their confidence, without being subject to reasonable criticism. It will take time and sincere efforts of Church leaders to recover what was lost in the people's trust for the Church ".. The same agency reports that a poll among Catholics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City showed "a widespread sense of disappointment" and "anxiety" because it seems to them that the Vatican wants to sacrifice the aspirations of the faithful in exchange for diplomatic relations. (EN)
ENGLAND: BOOKIE PAYS FOR REFURBISHMENT OF CHURCH
Cath News report. A new bookie-branded "Paddy Power Sin Bin" confessional at a UK Church has been praised by the parish priest as "thought-provoking".
The bookmaker is paying for expensive refurbishment work at St Etheldreda's Church in Newmarket, said Sky News Online. The new confession box has green curtains branded in the corporate logo of the bookmaker and the words "Sin Bin" on the outside.
Parish priest Father Michael Griffin said: "You should never look a gift horse in the mouth."It's thought-provoking and maybe it will result in a few more people dropping in to say, 'Hello.'"
Newmarket is the home of British flat racing and the church has long been seeking ways of building a better relationship with its racing community, said the report.
Paddy Power said: "It's a bit different but it's getting everyone talking."
Worshippers at morning Mass discussed its arrival with one man hailing the idea as "brilliant" and an elderly woman saying: "Judge not lest you be judged yourself."
GOVERNMENT & CHURCH LOOKING FOR RESOLUTION
Cath News report: Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Mark Coleridge has released a statement saying the Government and the Church are significantly closer to reaching a deal over the Calvary Public Hospital.
ABC reports that the archbishop made the remarks after meeting with the government on Tuesday, saying there were financial and technical issues to resolve, but all the parties have agreed it would be good to reach a resolution as soon as possible.
Archbishop Coleridge's opposition to the previous plan by the ACT Government to buy the hospital for $77 million was at the time blamed by media reports for sinking that deal.
He has said that he wanted a guarantee the hospital would be run under Catholic values
ZAMBIA: CHURCH TO HOST MISSIONARY CONGRESS IN OCTOBER
CISA report: Lusaka April 23 –the Church in Zambia will host a Missionary Congress from October 13 to 16.
According to Fr Bernard Makadani Zulu, National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies in Zambia, the Missionary Congress is organized by the local Bishops Conference, in collaboration with the Pontifical Mission Societies and religious institutes, in a report to Fides
“The Church in Zambia is over 100 years old. This is not a small achievement. It certainly calls for a time reflect on the missionary experience of the Church over these years and especially today,” says Fr Zulu.
“The Mission Congress intends to bring together 100 participants - priests, religious and laity - to celebrate our being missionary church, reflect on our missionary journey, and to look to the future, see the missionary challenges, and find our way ahead following up on the Second African Synod.” He added
“The Missionary Congress will be an animation session to orient the ecclesial community towards missionary cooperation, and thus have every diocese, institute, organization and every person in the Church be involved in the missionary efforts,” The National director says.
The PMS Director continues: “It will also be an opportunity to enhance our bond as evangelizers and reflect on the universal missionary cooperation, to widen our horizons beyond our local situation and feel part of the universal efforts to preach the Good News to the ends of the earth.”
“We pray that this pastoral initiative will help increase cooperation, including a diversification beyond the celebration of the mission days. We would love to animate the people of God so that they become aware of their missionary responsibility and their role in the promotion of the missionary initiatives,” concludes Fr Zulu.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Feast: April 28
Information:Feast Day: April 28
Born: October 4, 1922, Magenta, Italy
Died: April 28, 1962, Monza, Italy
Canonized: May 16, 2004 by Pope John Paul II
Patron of: mothers, physicians, preborn children
She diligently dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, while, at the same time, applying her faith in generous apostolic service among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and the poor.
While working in the field of medicine—which she considered a "mission" and practiced as such—she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the "very young" and, at the same time, expressed her joie de vivre and love of creation through skiing and mountaineering. Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected on her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself "to forming a truly Christian family."
She became engaged to Pietro Molla and was radiant with joy and happiness during the time of their engagement, for which she thanked and praised the Lord. They were married on 24 September 1955 in St. Martin's Basilica in Magenta, and she became a happy wife. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi; in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.
In September 1961, towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence. The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.
A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child—I insist on it. Save the baby." On the morning of 21 April 1962 Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of 28 April, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of "Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you," the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her funeral was an occasion of profound grief, faith and prayer. The body of the new blessed lies in the cemetary of Mesero (4 km. from Magenta).
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized as a saint on May 16, 2004. Gianna's husband Pietro and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony.
St. Louis de Montfort
CONFESSOR, MARIAN DEVOTEE, FOUNDER
Feast: April 28
Information:Feast Day: April 28
Born: 31 January 1673 at Montfort-La-Cane, Brittany, France
Died: 1716 at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sovre, France
Canonized: 1947 by Pope Pius XII
Missionary in Brittany and Vendee; born at Montfort, 31 January, 1673; died at Saint Laurent sur Sevre, 28 April, 1716.
Grignion's extraordinary influence was especially apparent in the matter of the calvary at Pontchateau. When he announced his determination of building a monumental calvary on a neighbouring hill, the idea was enthusiastically received by the inhabitants. For fifteen months between two and four hundred peasants worked daily without recompense, and the task had just been completed, when the king commanded that the whole should be demolished, and the land restored to its former condition. The Jansenists had convinced the Governor of Brittany that a fortress capable of affording aid to persons in revolt was being erected, and for several months five hundred peasants, watched by a company of soldiers, were compelled to carry out the work of destruction. Father de Montfort was not disturbed on receiving this humiliating news, exclaiming only: "Blessed be God!"
This was by no means the only trial to which Grignion was subjected. It often happened that the Jansenists, irritated by his success, secure by their intrigues his banishment form the district, in which he was giving a mission. At La Rochelle some wretches put poison into his cup of broth, and, despite the antidote which he swallowed, his health was always impaired. On another occasion, some malefactors hid in a narrow street with the intention of assassinating him, but he had a presentiment of danger and escaped by going by another street. A year before his death, Father de Montfort founded two congregations -- the Sisters of Wisdom, who were to devote themselves to hospital work and the instruction of poor girls, and the Company of Mary, composed of missionaries. He had long cherished these projects but circumstances had hindered their execution, and, humanly speaking, the work appeared to have failed at his death, since these congregations numbered respectively only four sisters and two priests with a few brothers. But the blessed founder, who had on several occasions shown himself possessed of the gift of prophecy, knew that the tree would grow. At the beginning of the twentieth century the Sisters of Wisdom numbered five thousand, and were spread throughout every country; they possessed forty-four houses, and gave instruction to 60,000 children. After the death of its founder, the Company of Mary was governed for 39 years by Father Mulot. He had at first refused to join de Montfort in his missionary labours. "I cannot become a missionary", said he, "for I have been paralysed on one side for years; I have an affection of the lungs which scarcely allows me to breathe, and am indeed so ill that I have no rest day or night." But the holy man, impelled by a sudden inspiration, replied, "As soon as you begin to preach you will be completely cured." And the event justified the prediction. Grignion de Montfort was beatified by Leo XIII in 1888.
St. Peter Chanel
PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA
Feast: April 28
Information: Feast Day: April 28
Born: July 12, 1803, Cuet, near Belley, France
Died: April 28, 1841, Futuna Island
Canonized: 12 June 1954, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine: Futuna
Patron of: Oceania
St. Peter Chanel's death bears witness to the ancient axiom that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians." He is the first martyr from Oceania, that part of the world spread over the south Pacific, and he came there as the fulfillment of a dream he had had as a boy.
Peter was born in 1803 in the diocese of Belley, France. At the age of seven, he was a shepherd boy, but the local parish priest, recognizing something unusual in the boy, convinced his parents to let him study, in a little school the priest had started. From there Peter went on to the seminary, where it was said of him: "He had a heart of gold with the simple faith of a child, and he led the life of an angel."
He was ordained a priest and assigned to a parish at Crozet. In three years he had transformed the parish. In 1831, he joined the newly founded Society of Mary, since he had long dreamed of being a missionary; but for five years he was assigned to teach at the seminary in Belley. Finally, in 1836, his dream was realized, and he was sent with other Marists to the islands of the Pacific. He had to suffer great hardships, disappointments, frustration, and almost complete failure as well as the opposition of the local chieftain. The work seemed hopeless: only a few had been baptized, and the chieftain continued to be suspicious and hostile. Then, when the chief's son asked for baptism, the chief was so angry that he sent warriors to kill the missionary.
Peter's violent death brought about the conversion of the island, and the people of Futuna remain Catholic to this day. Peter Chanel was beatified in 1889 and canonized in 1954.
Thought for the Day: Success or failure is often not completely in our hands, and sometimes we have to face what seems almost certain failure. But success is not required of us, only fidelity. St. Peter Chanel's work ended in his own death in the face of what seemed total failure. Out of that failure, God brought about the success Peter was seeking.
From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . "Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He has come back to life again! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee . . . that he would rise again the third day?"—Luke 24:5-7
John 12: 44 - 50
44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
45 And he who sees me sees him who sent me.
46 I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
47 If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
48 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me."