At the heart of the Holy Father’s remarks to the bishops, however, was a threefold warning and encouragement for the bishops: against the temptations of the spirit of the age and mores of society, and for the strength to be authentic witnesses to the Gospel, especially as regards the basic structure and life of the family – noting that the bishops have made marriage and family as the pastoral priorities of their current three-year cycle of pastoral initiatives. The Pope called on the bishops to help couples acquire the necessary human and spiritual maturity to take their mission as Christian spouses and parents responsibly, reminding them that their spousal love should be lived as it is: unique and indissoluble as the covenant between Christ and his Church. “This precious treasure,” said Pope Benedict, “is to be safeguarded at all costs.”
The second major area of concern for the Holy Father was the danger, especially among the recently baptised, of a heart still divided between Christianity and African traditional religions. Noting that many people do not hesitate to resort to practices incompatible with Christian faith and morals in order to deal with life’s trials, the Pope Benedict condemned as abominable the practice of witchcraft, which often leads to the marginalization and even murder of children and the elderly. “Mindful that human life is sacred in all its phases and situations,” he said, “continue, dear bishops, to raise your voice in favor of their victims.”
Finally, the Holy Father mentioned the tangible remnants of tribalism in the attitudes of ethnic communities that tend to be closed, and not to accept people from other parts of the nation. The Pope expressed his appreciation to those of the bishops who accepted a pastoral mission outside the confines of their language or regional group, and he thanked the priests and the people who welcomed and helped them. Then, offering affectionate greetings to all the members of their local Churches, and entrusting the whole Church in Angola and Sao Tomé to the protection of the Virgin Mary, Pope Benedict imparted his Apostolic Blessing.
AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY REPORT: Ave Maria University is a vibrant university located in beautiful southwest Florida. It is an academic institution that pledges faithfulness to the teachings of the Church and is committed to offering one of the finest classical liberal arts curricula available, as well as opportunities for specialized study in all of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Ave Maria University began as Thomas S. Monaghan’s dream to build an institution of Catholic higher education that would be faithful to the Magisterium and could produce the future faithful educators, leaders, and mentors that our challenged society needs. Through his initial financial donation of $250 million, in partnership with a generous donation of land from the Barron Collier Family in Southwest Florida, the dream began to take shape.
The United States leads the world in higher education, with more than 4,000 institutions of the most diverse kind—State, private, secular, and religious. The Catholic Church in America came late to the table in establishing colleges and universities, but by 1960 there were some 230 institutions, mainly founded by religious orders. Since then, the total number has hardly changed. The growth of older Catholic colleges and universities has often been accompanied by a degree of secularization. In a number of these institutions, the Catholic identity has become quite attenuated, with many (and in some cases most) of the faculty non-Catholic or hostile to the Church.
In the 40 plus years since the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic population has increased by some 50 percent. Much of that growth has occurred outside the traditional Catholic enclaves in the cities of the northeast and midwest, as Catholics followed the burgeoning economies of the southeast and the west. Yet the religious orders, many suffering a drastic fall-off in vocations, did not respond to these demographic changes with new institutions in areas of growing Catholic population. Indeed, the last Catholic institution inaugurated as a university was in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1963.
By the time Mr. Monaghan began his dream, it was evident that higher education needed a fresh, faithful voice. It can well be argued that, if for no other reason, a Catholic university is essential to the transmittal of the faith to successive generations. "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." —Proverbs 22:5-7 The role Ave Maria University intends to fill is not merely catechesis (although that has been woefully deficient in other institutions), but rather the ongoing reflection of theologians and philosophers on the integration of the truths of the faith with the social, cultural, economic, and political developments in society. This is perhaps the single most vital task for Catholic academicians: to explicate the truths of the faith, and measure against them the evolving societal propositions or practices in politics, the arts, the economy, etc. Two hundred or more years ago, those practices included slavery, laissez faire capitalism, and child labor. Fifty or more years ago, they included Marxism, Nazism, and Freudianism. Today they include abortion, fetal research, cloning, same-sex "marriage," moral relativism, and world terrorism. It is the graduates of Ave Maria University who will become the Catholic intellectuals needed to bring the truths of the faith to bear on these issues.
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142
Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Oct. 25 the nuncio to India, Msgr. Salvatore Penncchio, unveiled a statue dedicated to John Paul II, in the church dedicated to Blessed in K Channasandra Horamavu, in the suburbs of Bangalore. The Archdiocese of Bangalore is the first all over the country to have a church dedicated to Blessed John Paul II, a missionary Pope, raised to the altars May 1, 2011. John Paul II visited India on two occasions. In 1986 and 1999, covering the country from north to south, and paying homage at Gandhi’s shrine.
The statue, in bronze, is 2.6 meters high and weighs 375 kg. It 'was cast in Bangkok. John Paul II is represented in cassock as Pope, and at his feet are two national symbols, the peacock and lotus flower. The ceremony was attended Msgr. Bernard Moras, archbishop of Bangalore, all 13 bishops from Karnataka, and bishops from the Diocese of Chikmagalur, Mysore, Belgaum, Bellary, Shimoga, Belthangady, Bhadravathi, Mangalore, Mandya, Puttur, Karwar and Gulbarga. The nuncio also said that his hope is that the process of canonization of Pope John Paul II will proceed expeditiously.
The nuncio, in his homily, recalled the figure of John Paul II: "The Pope was a missionary; he visited so many countries, and came twice to India. His words were: Be not afraid cast your nets into the deep for a batter catch. "Archbishop Pennacchio urged Indians not to be afraid to welcome Christ into their lives, and imitate him. Archbishop Moras was appointed bishop by John Paul II, first in Belgaum and then to Bangalore.
CATH NEWS REPORT: A compelling and confronting new book, Big Porn Inc, was recently launched in both Melbourne and Perth. The publishers, editors, some of the Australian contributors and those endorsing the book spoke of the launch of this book as a “landmark publication”, writes Anna Krohn (pictured) on the Catholic Women's League website.
“Big Porn Inc: exposing the harms of the global pornography industry” (published by Spinifex) is a sharply up-to-the-nano-second analysis of and protest against the “colonization” of the world’s markets, cultures and interpersonal relationships by exponentially violent, dehumanized and dehumanizing pornography.
The book has been edited by the social commentator and writer, Melinda Tankard Reist (Collective Shout) and the Perth-based social justice academic, Dr Abigail Bray. The editors have gathered together into a persuasive and unified front, 40 diverse contributions which include commentary, research, strategy and moving first-hand narrative from those hurt by porn.
Big Porn Inc. includes papers from a world-wide and multi-cultural array of men and women, activists, sociologists, political scientists and psychologists who pursue the trail from brutality, trafficking, child abuse, female objectification, self-harm, and a tidal wave of misogyny back to electronically pervasive and industrialised porn.
Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, added his strong commendation of the book. He said that much of the contemporary media, advertising industry and “huge industries who are considered respectable” are collaborators in the perpetration of the“dark desires” which are wrapped around the “look, the style and the attitudes” of porn. Pornography, he said “brings prostitution into every home.At the Melbourne launch, women’s researcher and Spinifex publisher Dr Renate Klein commented upon the parallel “pornification” of mainstream fashion, music and advertising cultures with the explicit degradation of women, children, teenagers, boys and animals in porn influenced behaviour.
Feast: October 29
St Narcissus was born towards the close of the first century, and was almost fourscore years old when he was placed at the head of the church of Jerusalem, being the thirtieth bishop of that see. Eusebius assures us that the Christians of Jerusalem preserved in his time the remembrance of several miracles which God had wrought by this holy bishop, one of which he relates as follows. One year, on Easter-eve, the deacons were unprovided with oil for the lamps in the church, necessary at the solemn divine office that day. Narcissus ordered those who had care of the lamps to bring him some water from the neighbouring wells. This being done, he pronounced a devout prayer over the water; then bade them pour it into the lamps, which they did, and it was immediately converted into oil, to the great surprise of the faithful. Some of this miraculous oil was kept there as a memorial at the time when Eusebius wrote his history. The veneration of all good men for this holy bishop could not shelter him from the malice of the wicked. Three incorrigible sinners, fearing his inflexible severity in the observance of ecclesiastical discipline, laid to his charge a detestable crime, which Eusebius does not specify. They confirmed their atrocious calumny by dreadful oaths and imprecations; one wishing he might perish by fire, another that he might be struck with a leprosy, and the third that he might lose his sight, if what they alleged was not the truth. Notwithstanding these protestations, their accusation did not find credit; and some time after the divine vengeance pursued the calumniators. The first was burnt in his house, with his whole family, by an accidental fire in the night; the second was struck with a universal leprosy; and the third, terrified by these examples, confessed the conspiracy and slander, and by the abundance of tears which he continually shed for his sins, lost his sight before his death.
Narcissus, notwithstanding the slander had made no impression on the people to his disadvantage, could not stand the shock of the bold calumny, or rather made it an excuse for leaving Jerusalem and spending some time in solitude, which had long been his wish. He spent several years undiscovered in his retreat, where he enjoyed all the happiness and advantage which a close conversation with God can bestow. That his church might not remain destitute of a pastor, the neighbouring bishops of the province after some time placed in it Pius, and after him Germanion, who dying in a short time was succeeded by Gordius. Whilst this last held the see, Narcissus appeared again, like one from the dead. The whole body of the faithful, transported at the recovery of their holy pastor, whose innocence had been most authentically vindicated, conjured him to reassume the administration of the diocese. He acquiesced; but afterwards, bending under the weight of extreme old age, made St. Alexander his coadjutor. St. Narcissus continued to serve his flock, and even other churches, by his assiduous prayers and his earnest exhortations to unity and concord, as St. Alexander testifies in his letter to the Arsinoites in Egypt, where he says that Narcissus was at that time, about one hundred and sixteen years old. The Roman Martyrology honours his memory on the 29th of October.
If we truly respect the church as the immaculate spouse of our Lord, we will incessantly pray for its exaltation and increase, and beseech the Almighty to give it pastors according to his own heart, like those who appeared in the infancy of Christianity. And, that no obstacle on our part may prevent the happy effects of their zeal, we should study to regulate our conduct by the holy maxims which they inculcate; we should regard them as the ministers of Christ; we should listen to them with docility and attention; we should make their faith the rule of ours, and shut our ears against the language of profane novelty. SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/stnarcissus.asp
|Luke 14: 1, 7 - 11|
|1||One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.|
|7||Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,|
|8||"When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him;|
|9||and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.|
|10||But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.|
|11||For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."|