He will deliver a post-synodal exhortation to the Bishops who recently visited the Vatican.
The 150th anniversary of Benin's evangelization will be celebrated. He will also honor the life and work of local Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, who served as the Dean of the College of Cardinals during John Paul II's pontificate.
Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A court in Rasht (northern province of Gilan) has sentenced the evangelical pastor Yusef Nadarkhani to death for being a "Zionist traitor" and having committed "crimes against national security". Governor-General Gholam-Ali Rezvani announced the sentences through the Fars agency, specifying that "this is not a religious issue, because in our system no one can be executed for having changed his faith ". However, Mohammad Ali Dadkhan, the pastor's lawyer, has rejected the statements of the governor, stating that his client will be executed for apostasy.
The lawyer says that is the first time that the authorities have spoken of "crimes against national security" regarding his client. "At the time of sentencing - he explains - the judges spoke of apostasy, making no mention of other crimes. These new charges have to be reviewed. "
Yusef Nadarkhani, 32, converted to Christianity at age 19 and became pastor of a small evangelical church called Church of Iran. Arrested in October of 2009, he was sentenced to death for apostasy according to sharia (Islamic law), which provides for the reversal of the sentence if he returns to Islam. On appeal in July last year, the Iranian Supreme Court overturned the decision, returning case to court in Rasht (Nadarkhani’s hometown) which yesterday upheld the death sentence.
Several Western countries have condemned the sentence against Nadarkhani and have requested his release. Among these, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France and Poland.
HOLY APOSTLES WEBSITE: Holy Apostles College & Seminary is a regionally accredited, co-educational Catholic college located in historic Cromwell, Connecticut. We welcome and serve lay commuter students, distance learning students, as well as seminarians.We offer undergraduate, graduate, and seminary degrees in philosophy & theology, in on-campus, on-line, and blended formats.
Holy Apostles College and Seminary is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges,the nation’s oldest regional accrediting agency, which evaluates more than 250 degree-granting colleges, universities and other institutions in the six-state region. In 2006 Holy Apostles was reaccredited for the maximum 10 years.
Accreditation means that Holy Apostles’ programs, operations, finances and objectives have undergone a thorough peer review and been found to meet or exceed the minimum standards set for academic institutions.
Accreditation is extremely important to any student who may wish to transfer credits earned at Holy Apostles to another college or university, or to use a degree earned at Holy Apostles as the basis for advanced study at another institution.
Accreditation, however, does not guarantee that all credits earned at Holy Apostles will automatically be accepted at another institution if a student transfers.
Other colleges and universities reserve the right to evaluate the content of courses being transferred to ensure that those courses deal with the same subject matter as courses taught at those other institutions. Similarly, Holy Apostles does not automatically accept all credits submitted for transfer by incoming students but reserves the right to evaluate their content first.
Holy Apostles College and Seminary is Approved by The Cardinal Newman Society. Holy Apostle's commitment to fostering a strong sense of Catholic identity is recognized in the second edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College as a Recommend Catholic College.
Holy Apostles was also named in the 2010-2011 edition of the National Catholic Register’s Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. In the same year, we received "honorable mention" in First Things magazine as one of the new, up-coming colleges to consider.
CONTACT:Holy Apostles College & Seminary - 33 Prospect Hill Road Cromwell, CT 06416-2027, USA
ALLAFRICA REPORT: Luc Van Kemenade
28 September 2011
Tens of millions of people in Ethiopia celebrated their annual Meskel eve on Tuesday, an Orthodox Christian festival that landmarks the discovery of the "true cross" of Jesus Christ by Saint Helena and the end of the rainy season.
In Addis Ababa the streets are strewn with fresh, yellow-coloured, daisies, called Meskel flowers in Ethiopia's national language Amharic, turning the capital city into a colourful bouquet.On every corner people dressed in white, pile wood, grasses and daisy flowers into pyramid-like bundles, called demera to make into bonfires later.
Ethiopians are honouring Saint Helena's discovery of Jesus' crucifix in Israel in the fourth century. Helena, who was the first Christian empress of Rome, is believed to have given the right wing of the cross as a gift to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
The flank is buried near a monastery in Wollo in Ethiopia's northern highlands, says the church. Ethiopia has a population of over 80 million people, almost half of which are Orthodox Christians.
The heart of the celebration can be found Meskel Square in Addis Ababa's town centre. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians dressed in elegant robes flock to the slopes of the square to attend a mass led by the Ethiopian patriarch Abune Pawlos.Priests and deacons clap, sing and parade to the sound of large drums. Crowd members, often held back by policemen, sing, pray and hold up their eucalyptus candles, turning the stairs into a carpet of light.
In the grand finale of the celebration, the patriarch sets fire to a giant demera at the centre of the square, symbolising the way Saint Helena was said to have found the cross that Jesus was crucified on. According to the legend the smoke from a fire guided her in the right direction.
Once the fire is lit, there is no way to hold back the frenzied crowd. People storm into the square to dance around the bonfire and then reach into the ash to draw small crosses on their foreheads.
ICN REPORT: To celebrate the first anniversary of the Beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman, and the 2010 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain. A Blessed Sacrament Procession will take place through central London tomorrow, 1 October.
Participants will gather at Westminster Cathedral at 1.15pm. The procession leaves at 1.30pm, via Ambrosden Avenue, Francis Street, Vincent Street, Horseferry Road and Lambeth Bridge arriving at St George’s Cathedral Southwark at 2.30pm approximately, for Benediction. All are welcome.
A message from the Cathedral says: "Come and honour the Blessed Sacrament, and witness to the reality of the presence of Christ in London."
Source: Archbishops' House
PERTH DIOCESE REPORT: Article and Photographs by Brdiget Spinks, posted by Fr R Cross
A new evangelisation initiative known as ‘The Faith Centre’ has opened in Perth to reach out to the world beyond the Church.
On 28th September, Archbishop Hickey opened the Centre in response to the call of Pope Benedict XVI to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in this age of
"OUR AIM IS TO BE MISSIONARIES OF THE 21ST CENTURY” Archbishop Hickey said.
“People caught up in the emptiness of the secularism of today are searching for
meaning, and fulfilment, but find none.
“They need the saving and healing word of Jesus Christ.
“We hope to introduce them to the person of Jesus and be witnesses ourselves to His love and truth,” he said.
DISCALCED CARMELITE MYSTIC, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: October 1
January 2, 1873, Alençon, France
September 30, 1897, Lisieux, France
May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse, Lisieux, France
AIDS sufferers; aviators; bodily ills; florists; France; illness; loss of parents; missionaries; tuberculosis
The spread of the cult of St. Therese of Lisieux is one of the impressive religious manifestations of our time. During her few years on earth this young French Carmelite was scarcely to be distinguished from many another devoted nun, but her death brought an almost immediate awareness of her unique gifts. Through her letters, the word-of-mouth tradition originating with her fellow-nuns, and especially through the publication of Histoire d'un ame, Therese of the Child Jesus or "The Little Flower" soon came to mean a great deal to numberless people; she had shown them the way of perfection in the small things of every day. Miracles and graces were being attributed to her intercession, and within twenty-eight years after death, this simple young nun had been canonized. In 1936 a basilica in her honor at Lisieux was opened and blessed by Cardinal Pacelli; and it was he who, in 1944, as Pope, declared her the secondary patroness of France. "The Little Flower" was an admirer of St. Teresa of Avila, and a comparison at once suggests itself. Both were christened Teresa, both were Carmelites, and both left interesting autobiographies. Many temperamental and intellectual differences separate them, in addition to the differences of period and of race; but there are striking similarities. They both patiently endured severe physical sufferings; both had a capacity for intense religious experience; both led lives made radiant by the love of Christ.
The parents of the later saint were Louis Martin, a watchmaker of Alencon, France, son of an army officer, and Azelie-Marie Guerin, a lacemaker of the same town. Only five of their nine children lived to maturity; all five were daughters and all were to become nuns. Francoise-Marie Therese, the youngest, was born on January 2, 1873. Her childhood must have been normally happy, for her first memories, she writes, are of smiles and tender caresses. Although she was affectionate and had much natural charm, Therese gave no sign of precocity. When she was only four, the family was stricken by the sad blow of the mother's death. Monsieur Martin gave up his business and established himself at Lisieux, Normandy, where Madame Martin's brother lived with his wife and family. The Guerins, generous and loyal people, were able to ease the father's responsibilities through the years by giving to their five nieces practical counsel and deep affection.
The Martins were now and always united in the closest bonds. The eldest daughter, Marie, although only thirteen, took over the management of the household, and the second, Pauline, gave the girls religious instruction. When the group gathered around the fire on winter evenings, Pauline would read aloud works of piety, such as the Liturgical Year of Dom Gueranger. Their lives moved along quietly for some years, then came the first break in the little circle. Pauline entered the Carmelite convent of Lisieux. She was to advance steadily in her religious vocation, later becoming prioress. It is not astonishing that the youngest sister, then only nine, had a great desire to follow the one who had been her loving guide. Four years later, when Marie joined her sister at the Carmel, Therese's desire for a life in religion was intensified. Her education during these years was in the hands of the Benedictine nuns of the convent of Notre-Dame-du-Pre. She was confirmed there at the age of eleven.
In her autobiography Therese writes that her personality changed after her mother's death, and from being childishly merry she became withdrawn and shy. While Therese was indeed developing into a serious-minded girl, it does not appear that she became markedly sad. We have many evidences of liveliness and fun, and the oral tradition, as well as the many letters, reveal an outgoing nature, able to articulate the warmest expressions of love for her family, teachers, and friends.
On Christmas Eve, just a few days before Therese's fourteenth birthday, she underwent an experience which she ever after referred to as "my conversion." It was to exert a profound influence on her life. Let her tell of it—and its moral effect—in her own words: "On that blessed night the sweet infant Jesus, scarcely an hour old, filled the darkness of my soul with floods of light. By becoming weak and little, for love of me, He made me strong and brave: He put His own weapons into my hands so that I went on from strength to strength, beginning, if I may say so, 'to run as a giant."' An indelible impression had been made on this attuned soul; she claimed that the Holy Child had healed her of undue sensitiveness and "girded her with His weapons." It was by reason of this vision that the saint was to become known as "Therese of the Child Jesus."
The next year she told her father of her wish to become a Carmelite. He readily consented, but both the Carmelite authorities and Bishop Hugonin of Bayeux refused to consider it while she was still so young. A few months later, in November, to her unbounded delight, her father took her and another daughter, Celine, to visit Notre-Dame des Victoires in Paris, then on pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee of Pope Leo XIII. The party was accompanied by the Abbe Reverony of Bayeux. In a letter from Rome to her sister Pauline, who was now Sister Agnes of Jesus, Therese described the audience: "The Pope was sitting on a great chair; M. Reverony was near him; he watched the pilgrims kiss the Pope's foot and pass before him and spoke a word about some of them. Imagine how my heart beat as I saw my turn come: I didn't want to return without speaking to the Pope. I spoke, but I did not get it all said because M. Reverony did not give me time. He said immediately: 'Most Holy Father, she is a child who wants to enter Carmel at fifteen, but its superiors are considering the matter at the moment.' I would have liked to be able to explain my case, but there was no way. The Holy Father said to me simply: 'If the good God wills, you will enter.' Then I was made to pass on to another room. Pauline, I cannot tell you what I felt. It was like annihilation, I felt deserted.... Still God cannot be giving me trials beyond my strength. He gave me the courage to sustain this one."
Therese did not have to wait long in suspense. The Pope's blessing and the earnest prayers she offered at many shrines during the pilgrimage had the desired effect. At the end of the year Bishop Hugonin gave his permission, and on April 9, 1888, Therese joined her sisters in the Carmel at Lisieux. "From her entrance she astonished the community by her bearing, which was marked by a certain majesty that one would not expect in a child of fifteen." So testified her novice mistress at the time of Therese's beatification. During her novitiate Father Pichon, a Jesuit, gave a retreat, and he also testified to Therese's piety. "It was easy to direct that child. The Holy Spirit was leading her and I do not think that I ever had, either then or later, to warn her against illusions.... What struck me during the retreat were the spiritual trials through which God wished her to pass." Therese's presence among them filled the nuns with happiness. She was slight in build, and had fair hair, gray-blue eyes, and delicate features. With all the intensity of her ardent nature she loved the daily round of religious practices, the liturgical prayers, the reading of Scripture. After entering the Carmel she began to sign letters to her father and others, "Therese of the Child Jesus."
In 1889 the Martin sisters suffered a great shock. Their father, after two paralytic strokes, had a mental breakdown and had to be removed to a private sanitarium, where he remained for three years. Therese bore this grievous sorrow heroically.
On September 8, 1890, at the age of seventeen, Therese took final vows. In spite of poor health, she carried out from the first all the austerities of the stern Carmelite rule, except that she was not permitted to fast. "A soul of such mettle," said the prioress, "must not be treated like a child. Dispensations are not meant for her." The physical ordeal which she felt more than any other was the cold of the convent buildings in winter, but no one even suspected this until she confessed it on her death-bed. And by that time she was able to say, "I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me."
In 1893, when she was twenty, she was appointed to assist the novice mistress, and was in fact mistress in all but name. She comments, "From afar it seems easy to do good to souls, to make them love God more, to mold them according to our own ideas and views. But coming closer we find, on the contrary, that to do good without God's help is as impossible as to make the sun shine at night."
In her twenty-third year, on order of the prioress, Therese began to write the memories of her childhood and of life at the convent; this material forms the first chapters of Histoire d'un ame, the History of a Soul. It is a unique and engaging document, written with a charming spontaneity, full of fresh turns of phrase, unconscious self-revelation, and, above all, giving evidence of deep spirituality. She describes her own prayers and thereby tells us much about herself. "With me prayer is a lifting up of the heart, a look towards Heaven, a cry of gratitude and love uttered equally in sorrow and in joy; in a word, something noble, supernatural, which enlarges my soul and unites it to God.... Except for the Divine Office, which in spite of my unworthiness is a daily joy, I have not the courage to look through books for beautiful prayers. . . . I do as a child who has not learned to read, I just tell our Lord all that I want and he understands." She has natural psychological insight: "Each time that my enemy would provoke me to fight I behave like a brave soldier. I know that a duel is an act of cowardice, and so, without once looking him in the face, I turn my back on the foe, hasten to my Saviour, and vow that I am ready to shed my blood in witness of my belief in Heaven." She mentions her own patience humorously. During meditation in the choir, one of the sisters continually fidgeted with her rosary, until Therese was perspiring with irritation. At last, "instead of trying not to hear it, which was impossible, I set myself to listen as though it had been some delightful music, and my meditation, which was
In 1894 Louis Martin died, and soon Celine, who had of late been taking care of him, made the fourth sister from this family in the Carmel at Lisieux. Some years later, the fifth, Leonie, entered the convent of the Visitation at Caen.
Therese occupied herself with reading and writing almost up to the end of her life. That event loomed ever nearer as tuberculosis made a steady advance. During the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, 1896, she suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage. Although her bodily and spiritual sufferings were extreme, she wrote many letters, to members of her family and to distant friends, as well as continuing Histoire d'un ame. She carried on a correspondance with Carmelite sisters at Hanoi, China; they wished her to come out and join them, not realizing the seriousness of her ailment. She had a great yearning to respond to their appeal. At intervals moments of revelation came to her, and it was then that she penned those succinct reflections that are now repeated so widely. Here are three of them that give the flavor of her mind: "I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth." "I have never given the good God aught but love, and it is with love that He will repay." "My 'little way' is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender."
A further insight is given us in a letter Therese wrote, shortly before she died, to Pere Roulland, a missionary in China. "Sometimes, when I read spiritual treatises, in which perfection is shown with a thousand obstacles in the way and a host of illusions round about it, my poor little mind soon grows weary, I close the learned book, which leaves my head splitting and my heart parched, and I take the Holy Scriptures. Then all seems luminous, a single word opens up infinite horizons to my soul, perfection seems easy; I see that it is enough to realize one's nothingness, and give oneself wholly, like a child, into the arms of the good God. Leaving to great souls, great minds, the fine books I cannot understand, I rejoice to be little because 'only children, and those who are like them, will be admitted to the heavenly banquet.’"
In June, 1897, Therese was removed to the infirmary of the convent. On September 30, with the words, "My God . . . I love Thee!" on her lips she died. The day before, her sister Celine, knowing the end was at hand, had asked for some word of farewell, and Therese, serene in spite of pain, murmured, "I have said all . . . all is consummated . . . only love counts."
The prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague, wrote in the convent register, alongside the saint's act of Profession: ". . . The nine and a half years she spent among us leave our souls fragrant with the most beautiful virtues with which the life of a Carmelite can be filled. A perfect model of humility, obedience, charity, prudence, detachment, and regularity, she fulfilled the difficult discipline of mistress of novices with a sagacity and affection which nothing could equal save her love for God...."
The Church was to recognize a profound and valuable teaching in 'the little way'—connoting a realistic awareness of one's limitations, and the wholehearted giving of what one has, however small the gift. Beginning in 1898, with the publication of a small edition of Histoire d'un ame, the cult of this saint of 'the little way' grew so swiftly that the Pope dispensed with the rule that a process for canonization must not be started until fifty years after death. Almost from childhood, it seems, Therese had consciously aspired to the heights, often saying to herself that God would not fill her with a desire that was unattainable. Only twenty-six years after her death she was beatified by Pope Pius XI, and in the year of Jubilee, 1925, he pronounced her a saint. Two years later she was named heavenly patroness of foreign missions along with St. Francis Xavier.
Saint Therese of Lisieux, Virgin. Celebration of Feast Day is October 1.
17The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!"18And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.19Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.20Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."21In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.22All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."23Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see what you see!24For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."