VIS REPORTS: PRAYING TO THE FATHER IN ORDER TO HELP THOSE WHO SUFFER
VATICAN CITY, 14 DEC 2011 (VIS) - In his general audience this morning, the Holy Father dedicated his catechesis to Jesus' prayer in the context of His healing miracles, focusing particularly on the healing of the deaf man as narrated in the Gospel of St. Mark, and the raising of Lazarus.
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The healing of the deaf man "demonstrates that the cures worked by Jesus were connected with the intensity of His relationships, both with others and with the Father", the Pope said. "With a gesture the Lord touches the sick man's ears and tongue; that is, the sites of his infirmity. ... But the central point of the episode lies in the fact that Jesus, at the very moment He works the cure, directly seeks His relationship with the Father", by looking up to heaven. "The narrative shows, then, that human involvement with the sick man led Jesus into prayer. His unique relationship with the Father emerges once again, His identity as Only-begotten Son. In Him, through His person, the healing and beneficial action of God is made present among us".
The raising of Lazarus also highlights this aspect of Jesus' dual relationships, His concern for a suffering friend and His filial bond with the Father. "His sincere affection for His friend ... is expressed by the fact that Jesus was deeply moved at the sight of the suffering of Martha and Mary, and of all Lazarus' friends, and in His profoundly human tears as he approaches the grave", the Pope explained. At the same time, Christ interprets His friend's death "in relation to His own identity and mission, and the glorification awaiting Him. When He hears news of Lazarus sickness, He says: 'this illness does not lead to death: rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it'".
"The moment when Jesus prays directly to the Father before the tomb is the natural climax of the entire episode". According to John the Evangelist "Jesus looked upward and said, Father I thank you for having heard me". This phrase, Benedict XVI explained, "shows us that Jesus had not for a moment ceased His prayer for Lazarus' life. That prayer was continuous, indeed it strengthened Jesus' bond with His friend and, at the same time, confirmed His decision to remain in communion with the will of the Father, with His plan of love in which the sickness and death of Lazarus is the place in which the glory of God is made manifest".
Trusting in God's will
These episodes, said the Holy Father, help us to understand "that when we ask the Lord for something in prayer, we must not expect an immediate fulfilment of our requests, of our will; rather, we should entrust outsides to the will of the Father, reading events in the perspective of His glory, of His plan of love which is often a mystery to our eyes. Thus in our prayer, request, praise and thanksgiving should fuse together, even when it seems to us that God does not respond to our expectations. Abandoning ourselves to the love of God, which always precedes and accompanies us, is a fundamental principle in our dialogue with Him. ... Beyond anything that God may give us when we invoke Him, the greatest gift He can give us is His friendship, His presence, His love". The giver is more precious than the gift.
"The concern Jesus, true God and true man, feels for others, especially the needy and suffering, ... causes Him to turn to the Father. ... But the opposite is also true: communion with the Father, constant dialogue with Him, causes Jesus to be attentive to the real-life situations of man, to which He brings the consolation and love of God".
This profound bond between love for God and love for others must, the Pope concluded, also be part of our own prayers, which "open the door to God, teaching us how to abandon our own selves in order to come close to others, especially in moments of trial, bringing them consolation, hope and light".
At the end of his catechesis the Holy Father spoke in various languages to greet the more than 7,000 pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall. He expressed his particular appreciation to the people who had contributed to the restoration of the sculpture of "The Resurrection" by Pericle Fazzini, which adorns the Hall. "Following a period of painstaking efforts", he said, "today we have the joy of being able to admire this work of art and faith in all its original splendour".
Speaking then in Spanish, Benedict XVI addressed a delegation from the Mexican state of Puebla, expressing the hope that, "with God's help, I will soon be able to visit you in your country".
VATICAN CITY, 14 DEC 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Fr. Joao Santos Cardoso, coordinator of pastoral care and pastor of the parish of "Nossa Senhora das Gracias" in the archdiocese of Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil, as bishop of Sao Raimundo Nonato (area 39,316, population 193,000, Catholics 174,000, priests 23, religious 42), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Dario Meira, Brazil in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1986. He has worked in pastoral care in parishes in Brazil and Italy and, from 1992 to 1994, was rector of the major seminary of philosophy in the archdiocese of Vitoria da Conquista. He is regional vicar and coordinator of pastoral care for that archdiocese, and teaches philosophy in a number of universities.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, presented by Bishop John Martin Darko, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, appointing Archbishop Mathias Nketsiah of Cape Coast, Ghana, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of that diocese.
|Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly is pictured in 2007 at press conference to introduce his successor, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz. Archbishop Kelly, who led the Louisville Archdiocese for 25 years, died Dec. 14. (CNS file photo/Rick Musacchio)|
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CNS) -- Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, who led the Archdiocese of Louisville from 1982 until his retirement in 2007, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Dec. 14 at his home on the campus of Holy Trinity Church. He was 80.
Funeral arrangements were not announced immediately.
In a statement released shortly after Archbishop Kelly's death was announced, his successor, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, praised his brother bishop for his service to the archdiocese.
"With the death of Archbishop Thomas Cajetan Kelly, the local church of Louisville has lost a friend, a humble servant and a dedicated man of God," Archbishop Kurtz said. "Archbishop Kelly served for more than a quarter century as the archbishop of Louisville and remained active as archbishop emeritus for almost five years.
"In his 80 years of life, he has been thoroughly a priest of Jesus Christ, as a faithful Dominican, as a diplomat and administrator at the nunciature and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as metropolitan of the province of Louisville, as a true archbishop, and in these last days as a faithful parish priest."
Archbishop Kelly, possessed of twinkling Irish eyes and a comforting presence, led the archdiocese through periods of both triumph and tragedy. He was proud of the spiritual growth of the archdiocese, especially the Renew process that began in the 1980s shortly after he came to Louisville. He also took pride in the development of a strategic planning process -- also launched in the 1980s -- something he called "a very significant beginning in my time."
The saddest moment of his 25-year leadership of the archdiocese came, he said, with the eruption of the sexual abuse crisis in 2002. "It was," he noted, "a terrible time ... when victims came forward for healing and made us realize the terrible, terrible damage that had been done to them.
"We continue to seek and ask for their forgiveness," he said in 2007, "to pray that such terrible things may not happen ... again and to take every step conceivable to prevent that from happening."
Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer for the archdiocese, called Archbishop Kelly a "humble servant leader."
"Working with him, that's what you experienced," he said, "his humility and commitment to serve those in need."
The archbishop, Reynolds said, loved three things:
"He loved his cathedral and took pride in seeing it renovated and back as a beacon of life in this city," he said. "He loved planning and not just focusing on the present. And he loved the priesthood."
In fact, the night before he died, Reynolds noted, Archbishop Kelly concelebrated Mass at Holy Trinity Church, and preached. "It's remarkable, but he was preaching just half a day before his life ended," the chancellor said.
Archbishop Kelly "was committed to the poor, to Catholic education and to addressing injustice, whether through outreach to refugees or outreach to prisons," Reynolds noted. "Those are things he loved and that's what he did."
The retired archbishop was born in 1931 in Rochester, N.Y., and entered the Dominican order in 1951 after studying for two years at Providence College. He was ordained a priest in 1958 and received a licentiate in theology degree from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington in 1959. He also received a doctorate in canon law from the University of St. Thomas in Rome in 1962 and studied at the University of Vienna in Austria and at Cambridge University in England.
Joseph Duerr, retired editor of The Record, Louisville archdiocesan newspaper, recalled his 25-year history with Archbishop Kelly -- he covered both his 1982 installation as Archbishop of Louisville and the archbishop's retirement in 2007 -- and said what he most remembers about the archbishop is his scholarly nature.
"I think that his pastorate was marked by renewal and growth," Duerr recalled in a telephone interview Dec. 14. "One of the things that struck me about him personally is that he was very intelligent, a scholar. He was fully aware of having been general secretary of the bishops' conference before he came here. He was in touch with the many issues in the church nationally, and he brought that awareness with him when he came here."
But if asked to describe the late archbishop in one word, Duerr said, that word would be "scholar."
"That had a lot to do with his education in the Dominican community, and he brought that scholarly view of the church with him to Louisville," the retired editor said. "At the same time, he was very pastoral, too. He was never aloof from people, he very much identified with individuals and was open to them."
At the time of his installation as archbishop of Louisville, Archbishop Kelly told about 5,000 people who were gathered that February day in 1982 that "I am to be the servant of your faith."
In his homily at the installation Mass, he told his church that he was thinking "of the unborn and the incessant destruction of human life."
"Too many members of the human family ... are subject to conditions that are offensive to their life, to their dignity and to the aspirations that are rightfully theirs," he said in his homily.
Respect for life "embraces many issues," he said in a 1999 article in The Record. "Poverty, malnutrition, hunger, war, sexual exploitation, the arms trade, abortion, racism, unchecked individualism and materialism, capital punishment and euthanasia all contribute to a 'throw-away' society and to tremendous suffering."
Archbishop Kelly also stressed lay ministry and he "reinvigorated the Catholic Conference of Kentucky in his years as archbishop," Duerr noted. "Education was another thing he stressed, as was life-long formation. Then you had the restoration of the cathedral during his time ... but the notion of renewal and growth touched all aspects of his pastorate."http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1104902.htm
Shop owners Adnan Elia Jakmakji and Raghad al Tawil were gunned down last night. Their two children are wounded but survived. They were in their car when it was ambushed. Source tells AsiaNews that Christians are concerned ahead of Christmas.
Mosul (AsiaNews) – The Christian community in Mosul has been the victim of another targeted murder. The city in northern Iraq has seen a long series of bloody attacks against minority Christians. A local source, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that last night “a Christian man and his wife were gunned down” but their two children who were with them survived. A few days ago, Muslim extremist groups, egged on by a local imam, attacked Christian shops in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan. Beginning on 2 December and for several days, dozens of shops were torched and at least 30 people wounded in Dohok.
In yesterday’s ambush, Adnan Elia Jakmakji, 34, and his wife Raghad al Tawil, 25, were killed in their car in the 17 July neighbourhood, east of the city. Their two children were with them. The two died instantly whilst the children were wounded. The latter’s life is not in danger.
According to early reports, the armed group ambushed the family, firing many bullets at the car. The attackers then fled the scene, undisturbed, without leaving any traces.
The family owns a small shop but it is unclear whether the murder was linked somehow to their business. Funerals will be held tonight in the Immaculate Chaldean Church in Mosul.
“Right now, security is getting worse,” the source said, “and Christians are concerned in view of the upcoming Christmas celebrations.”
The Christian community in northern Iraq has been the victim of a war between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds for control over the region’s huge oil reserves.
The US pullout, to be completed by the end of the year, could cause further instability and violence.
ARCHDIOCESE OF PERTH REPORT: Article: by B Spinks, Photos: Supplied
The first Redemptorist to be ordained in Perth in 24 years took place on 3 December at North Perth monastery when Archbishop Barry Hickey ordained Fr Joseph Anh Do CSsR, 36, to the priesthood.
It was marked by a joyous gathering of Redemptorists, their lay partners in mission and their friends from all over Australia, but also from Vietnam, New Zealand and Indonesia.
Arriving in Australia in 2006, the then-seminarian Joseph Anh Do was one of the first young students to come to Australia from Vietnam at the request of the Australian province of the Redemptorist congregation.
Fr Joseph was born in Bien Hoa, 40 km away from Ho Chi Minh City in 1975, the same year the Vietnam War ended between communist North Vietnam and non-communist South Vietnam.
He grew up the sixth child in a family of nine and is the fifth child in the family to receive a religious vocation.
His eldest brother is married with three children; two of his younger siblings are married and one more is engaged.
Three of his sisters have joined the Dominican order and are based in Vietnam with their congregation.
But only his older brother who is also a Dominican, Fr Do Tuan Linh OP, and father, Do Cong Sing were able to come to his ordination.
His mother could not make the ordination for health reasons.
Fr Joseph was looking forward to the priesthood. He said he was looking forward to embarking on the next part of his faith journey and mission journey, and serving God through the people in spiritual direction and in administering the sacraments.
Fr Anh Do’s first appointment is to the North Perth Redemptorist monastery.
|Luke 7: 18 - 23|
|18||The disciples of John told him of all these things.|
|19||And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?"|
|20||And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, `Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'"|
|21||In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight.|
|22||And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.|
|23||And blessed is he who takes no offense at me."|
St. John of the Cross
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, FOUNDER, GREAT MYSTICAL THEOLOGIAN
Feast: December 14