Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Syrian army troops and tanks this morning entered some parts of the coastal city of Banias in the north-west of the country, one of the cities were protests against the Assad regime have broken out in recent weeks.
Militants and activists argue that the communications and electricity were cut. There is no independent confirmation of the news or further reports. The militants say the tanks are heading towards the south of the city, the centre of protests. The crowd has formed human cordons to prevent the tanks advance into the area.
Since mid-March, there have been demonstrations demanding greater democracy and an end to the Assad dictatorship in power from the 70s in several Syrian cities.The government has promised to meet the demands of the activists, but has also unleashed a wave of arrests and violent clashes against the demonstrators. It is estimated that so far the police have killed at least 500 and arrested 2 thousand others. Yesterday, Friday, in a new "day of rage," another 21 people were killed in several cities, including Homs and Hama.
Campaigners fear what happened in Deraa could be repeated in Banyias. Deraa the city that gave birth to the protest movement suffered siege, arrests and killings from April 25 until May 5.Christians in Syria are looking with concern developments in the situation. In recent days, the Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory III Laham told AsiaNews that the protesters "are young people frustrated, but many say that among them are criminals and even fundamentalist Muslims who cry for jihad. For this we fear that giving way to violence will lead only to chaos "(see Syria: Melkite Patriarch on fears of a future of chaos and fundamentalism).
"Let me stress - continues the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli - that bombing is not an act dictated by social and moral conscience of the West or humanity in general. Bombing is always an immoral act. I respect the United Nations, I respect NATO, but I must also declare that war is immoral. If there are violations of human rights , I cannot use the same method to stop them. As a Christian I have to use peaceful methods, first of all dialogue."
"I remember that Pope John Paul II established diplomatic relations with Libya, while it was under embargo. This is to demonstrate that the method to solve the problems are not even embargoes and wars, but diplomatic dialogue, " concluded Bishop Martinelli, expressing full support regarding the comminication of the Episcopal Mixed Commission Mediterranean-Maghreb-Europe, on the war in Libya and on the issue of migrants
PARRAMATTA DIOCESE REPORT: The National Assocation of Deacons (NAD) will gather at St Leo’s College at the University of Queensland in Brisbane from 30 June to 3 July for its biennial conference.
Over four days of presentations, discussions, fellowship and worship, Deacons from across Australia will reflect on the conference theme: 'Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach'.
Archbishop of Brisbane, Most Rev John Bathersby DD, will be the principal celebrant at the opening Mass. Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, Most Rev Joseph Oudeman DD OFM Cap, will explore the first part of the rite: “Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you now are”. He will consider what this part of the rite means for the Deacon and for the Church.
Father Bill O’Shea, a former Rector of the Seminary and lecturer in Biblical Studies, will consider “Believe what you Read”, including aspects of Scriptural exegesis and the importance of engaging with prayer and scholarship in understanding the text of Scripture in the context of the faith of the Church.
Mrs Penny Carroll will address “Teach what you believe”, considering aspects of preaching and communication of the Word. Penny had been on the staff at St Paul’s Theological College for a number of years teaching in the area of pastoral ministry including homiletics, communication and group dynamics.
Deacon Gary Stone will consider “Practice what you teach” and reflect on the many ways in which a Deacon proclaims the Gospel through pastoral action, justice and witness. Deacon Gary has served in the army as both a soldier and chaplain and currently also serves with the Australian Federal Police as a chaplain. He has extensive experience with pastoral ministry and with projects in Timor Leste.
Deacon Anthony Gooley will consider “After ordination: what the Deacon could be”, reflecting on the possibilities for ministerial placement of Deacons offered by the Directory for the Ministry and Life of Deacons. Deacon Anthony has engaged with national and international research on diaconate and the theology which underpins it and has presented at conferences and seminars for a number of dioceses.
Each regional representative of NAD and the Eastern Churches representative will provide a written round up of all things diaconal. This will be complemented with NAD Chair Deacon Mark Powell and Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Diaconate Coordinator Deacon Paul Simmons both reporting from a national perspective.
The conference program welcomes participation from all interested in the Diaconate, including the spouse of Deacons, aspirants and all members of the clergy.For more information, visit http://www.ausdeacons.org.au/ or phone either Tim Shanahan on 07 5491 2011 or Russ Nelson on 0427 74 3534.
CNA REPORT: Christ in the City, a missionary ministry for young adults, is preparing to launch a year-long program for Catholics to serve the poor in Denver, Colorado.
“We found out that it was as powerful as mission trips overseas for the transformation of the lives of the missionaries themselves,” said Dr. Jonathan Reyes, president of Catholic Charities in Denver and co-founder of Christ in the City.
The program – beginning in August of this year – will teach young, Catholic adults what it means to be a missionary in the U.S., while focusing on the spiritual, intellectual and charitable formation of the participants.
With new training and formation, Christ in the City hopes participants will take what they learn and return to their own cities to serve the poor in their home states.
“Why it's different from a lot of programs is that it's intensely formative for the missionaries themselves,” Reyes told CNA.
“There is a lot of investment in their spiritual life, there's a lot of investment in their intellectual life. So it's the formation to take back, to be capable of doing this kind of work in any number of other places.”
Program director Yvonne Noggle noted that Christ in the City “serves people from the beginning of life to the end of life.”
She added that the charitable formation can include serving in a crisis pregnancy center with new or expecting mothers, working in a homeless shelter with the poor and hungry, or assisting Denver's Little Sisters of the Poor in caring for the elderly.
Reyes views the pilot program in 2010 as a success, saying that of the 45 students that participated, “pretty much all of them went back to their own communities and got involved.”
“The impact wasn't just here, but it was back where they had come from,” Reyes said. “So it isn't 'missionaries come have a nice experience,' its 'missionaries come have a nice experience and be trained to be able to do this in other places.' It doesn't end in a year, our goal is that it perdures in the missionaries themselves for the rest of their lives.”
Christ in the City hopes to repeat that success as it expands by offering an opportunity to its participants to live and serve in Denver for either a semester or a full year beginning Aug. 1.
“We're looking for college-aged Catholics between 19 and 25 years old,” said Noggle, adding that participants can be current students or recent graduates. “We've had people from Minnesota, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kansas, and all over, come to serve here.”
The missionaries' will be provided with food, shelter, and plenty of work assisting the poor in Denver. They will also be educated in service and leadership with classes, and will have an opportunity to immerse themselves into their Catholic faith and spirituality.
In a world full of distractions, Noggle says that Christ in the City offers something valuable to its participants: “two weeks or one year to devote their entire life to Christ.”
Christ in the City is still accepting applications for the semester and year long program, although Noggle said their roster “is nearly full.”
For more information, visit: http://www.christinthecitymissionaries.com
St. John of Beverley
Feast: May 7
This illustrious saint was born at Harpham, a village in the province of the Deiri, which comprised Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the rest of the kingdom of the Northumbers, on the south side of the Tyne; what lay beyond it being called Bernicia.
An earnest desire of qualifying himself for the service of God drew him young into Kent, where he made great progress in learning and piety, in the famous school of St. Theodorus, the archbishop, under the direction of the holy abbot Adrian.
Afterwards returning into his own country, he pursued the exercises of piety in the monastery of men under St. Hilda at Whithy; till in the beginning of the reign of king Alfred, upon the death of Eata, he was made bishop of Hagulstad, or Hexam. What time he had to spare from his functions he consecrated to heavenly contemplation; retiring for that purpose into the churchyard of St. Michael's, beyond the river Tyne, about a mile and a half from Hagulstad, especially during the forty days of Lent. He was accustomed to take with him some poor person, whom he served during that time.
Once in the beginning of a Lent, he took with him a dumb youth, who never had been able to utter one word, and whose head was covered with hideous scabs and scales, without any hair. The saint caused a mansion to be built for this sick youth within his enclosure, and often admitted him into his own cell. On the second Sunday he made the sign of the cross upon his tongue, and loosed it. Then. he taught him to say
Moreover, by the saint's blessing the remedies prescribed by a physician whom he employed, his head was entirely healed, and became covered with hair. When St. Wilfred returned from banishment, St. John yielded up to him the see of Hagulstad: but some time after, upon the death of Bosa, a man of great sanctity and humility, as Bede testifies, he was placed in the archiepiscopal chair of York. Venerable Bede, who received the holy orders of deacon and priest at his hands, gives ample testimony to his sanctity; and relates the instantaneous cure of the sick wife of a neighboring thane or lord, by holy water, and several other miracles performed by him, from the testimony of Bercthun, abbot of Beverley, and Herebald, abbot of Tinmouth, who had been eye-witnesses to several of them. St. John made frequent retirement his delight, to renew thereby his spirit of devotion, lest the dissipation of exterior employs should extinguish it.
He chose for his retreat a monastery which he had built at Beverley, then a forest, now a market-town, twenty-seven miles from York. This monastery, according to the custom of those times, he erected for the use of both sexes, and put it under the government of his disciple, Bercthun, or Brithun, first abbot of Beverley, then called Endeirwood, or wood of the Deiri. In 717, being much broken with age and fatigues, he resigned his bishopric to his chaplain, St. Wilfrid the, younger, and having ordained him bishop of York, he retired to Beverley, where he spent the remaining four years of his life in the punctual performance of all monastic duties. He died there the death of the just, on the 7th of May, 721. His successor governed the see of York fifteen years, was a great lover of the beauty of God's house and is named among the saints, April the 29th. The monastery of Beverley having been destroyed by the Danes, king Athelstan, who had obtained a great victory over the Scots by the intercession of St. John, founded in his honor, in the same place, a rich collegiate church of canons.
King Henry V. attributed to the intercession of this saint the glorious victory of Agincourt, on which occasion a synod, in 1416, ordered his festival to be solemnly kept over all England. Henschenius the Bollandist, in the second tome of May, has published four books of the miracles wrought at the relics of Saint John of Beverley, written by eye-witnesses. His sacred bones were honorably translated into the church by Alfric, archbishop of York, in 1037: a feast in honor of which translation was kept at York on the 25th of October.
On the 13th of September, (not the 24th, as Mr. Stevens says,) in 1664, the sexton, digging a grave in the church of Beverley, discovered a vault of freestone, in which was a box of lead, containing several pieces of bones, with some dust, yielding a sweet smell; with inscriptions, by which it appeared that these were the mortal remains of St. John of Beverley, as we read in Dugdale's History of the Collegiate Church of Beverley, who has transcribed them, p. 57. These relics had been hid in the beginning of the reign of king Edward VI. Dugdale and Stevens testify, that they were all reinterred in the middle-alley of the same church.
Alcuin had an extraordinary devotion to St. John of Beverley, and in his poem on the saints of York, published by Thomas Gale gives a long history of the miracles wrought by him from verse 1085 to 1215. Rabanus Maurus has placed Alcuin in his Martyrology on the 19th of May, and Henschenius on that day gives his life, and mentions several private Martyrologies in which his name
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnofbeverley.asp#ixzz1Lg78qitE
|John 6: 16 - 21|
|16||When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,|
|17||got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caper'na-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.|
|18||The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing.|
|19||When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened,|
|20||but he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."|
|21||Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.|