Sunday, October 31, 2010
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Commenting on this Sunday’s Gospel story of the call of the sinner, Zacchaeus, with the faithful gathered beneath his window in St Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI said God excludes no one, neither rich nor poor, Zacchaeus.God does not let himself be conditioned by our human prejudices, but sees in each one of us a soul to save – and he is especially attracted by those, who are considered to be lost and who so consider themselves to be.Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, has shown this immense mercy, which does not diminish the gravity of sin, but always aims to save the sinner, to offer him the chance for redemption, for conversion. Also at the Angelus, the Pope recalled the beatification in Romania on Saturday, of Bishop Bogdanffy Szilard, who was imprisoned, tortured and eventually martyred by Communists.“His testimony” - said Pope Benedict - now comforts those who in the present day are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.After the Angelus, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English.I would now like to offer a word of greeting to all the English-speaking visitors presents at today’s Angelus prayer! In the liturgy of the word this morning, Our Lord tells us that he “has come to seek out and save those who were lost”. May we always know our need for God and embrace his will for us, in love and humility. May God abundantly bless you and your loved ones!
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: Christians in the UK have been invited to place lights in their windows tonight as a sign that they are followers of Christ. The initiative is called Night of Light and is the inspiration of Damian Stayne, the founder of the Catholic community, Cor et Lumen Christi. He explained: "The Night of Light is an international initiative to reclaim Halloween as a joyful Christian celebration. In many countries around the world children’s celebrations are being organised, as are prayer gatherings, with people putting a light in their window to visibly witness to neighbours and friends."He added: "The evening of 31st October is called Halloween ('All Hallows Eve') and is the vigil (beginning) of the Feast of All Saints - the feast in which Catholics celebrate the glory of God in His saints, the victory of light over darkness in the lives of God's holy ones in heaven. Jesus is the “Light of the World”. The saints lived by that light, and became a beacon in their own generation. Everyone is called by Jesus to live out this vocation - to be the “Light of the world” for others today."Making faith visibleArchbishop Vincent Nichols recently wrote in his Pastoral Letter to the diocese: "Making faith visible is so much a part of the invitation the Holy Father has extended to us all.’ Participating in the Night of Light is offered as one way of responding to that invitation.As participants are able, suggested key elements of the Night of Light include: Attending a vigil Mass for the Feast of All SaintsTaking part in a night of Adoration of the Blessed SacramentProviding treats and fun for children in celebration of All Saints and the Light of Christ; Placing a light in your window (safely) as a sign to passers-by that yours is a Christian household and Christ is your light.Wearing something white, such as a scarf. A sign of hopeAlthough the Night of Light has run previously, this year in partnership with the Home Mission Desk of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales it is being offered as a way of following up the Visit of the Holy Father to the UK.Bishop Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton), Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: "Halloween is now the biggest commercial festival after Christmas and Easter, and it is time we reminded Christians of what it really is. The celebration of feast days is an important part of our Catholic culture. On the evening of 31 October why not do something to make your faith respectfully seen and heard? Light a candle or display publicly another kind of light, for example, perhaps alongside animage of Christ. This could be a powerful way in which we can show people that we have hope in someone other than ourselves. The light will provoke questions and is a way that people can be signposted to goodness. I encourage everyone to participate."Additional ideas and resources to celebrate the night can be found on: http://www.nightoflight.org/It follows news that copies of the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt’s, ‘Light of the World’ have been given to every parish in England and Wales as part of the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK; a reflection sheet to be used with the image can be found at: http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/legacySOURCE http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=17019
Sri Lankan Church workers, along with human rights activists and the state president, appeal to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to commute the death sentence imposed upon housemaid Rizana Nafeek.
“Only His Royal Highness the King has the power to pardon her,” said Father George Sigamoney, Caritas Sri Lanka national director, who has campaigned justice for Nafeek’s case since 2007.
The appeals come after the Saudi Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Nafeek’s parents against the death sentence imposed by a high court.
Rizana Nafeek was sentenced to death last week after being declared guilty of killing a four-month-old baby of her Saudi employer in 2005.
According to reports, 17-year–old Nafeek went to Saudi Arabia with a fake ID that put her age at 23 and was employed as a housemaid in 2005.
Nafeek claimed the baby left under her care choked to death after she fed him, but her employers accused her of strangling the child.
In his letter thanking Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for appealing to the King of Saudi regarding Nafeek’s case, Father Sigamoney also addressed the plight of Sri Lankan housemaids and urged to review labor rules to avoid tragedies such as Nafeek’s.
“There should have some restrictions on foreign employment agencies who handle inexperienced housemaids who are not aware of the Middle East countries’ language, culture and laws,” the priest added.
Sri Lanka receives over three billion US dollars every year from nearly 1.5 million Sri Lankan expatriate workers in the Middle East, a vast majority working as housemaids.
Dear Friends of Life,
I invite you to join the Masses for Life Project which I, as a lay person have started this year.I hope to involve many people in this prayer movement for the protection of human life—especially that of unborn children. Every day they are being killed by abortion, and they have noright to life under Canadian Law.
I will be accepting donations towardsstipends for Masses (the stipend for one announced Mass is twenty dollars.) The suggesteddonation is five dollars, although any amount is appreciated. The requested Masses for Pro-Lifeintentions will be celebrated mostly at St. Margaret’s.
Each Mass will be announced in the bulletin when possible and all who have made donationswill be encouraged to participate in the Mass, our most powerful prayer.
You may mail or deliver your May donation to me at any time throughout this month. Anyremaining money will be used towards the pamphlets distributed by Pro-Life counselors oppositethe 960 Lawrence Ave. W. abortuary in their outreach to the women who come there.
Please pray that this initiative for Life will bear great fruit. Thank you for your assistance withthe Masses for Life Project.
Clare KavanaghMasses for Life Project Director
8 Quilter Rd. North York, ON M2N 6H1416 225 2091 / firstname.lastname@example.org
A police spokeswoman said a drug-related incident at the college was reported to police on Tuesday afternoon but she was unable to confirm the number of students involved due to the complexity of the incident, reports The Courier-Mail.
"The CPIU will be investigating because there are children involved," she said.
The school called in police and sent a letter home to parents after a number of students were allegedly found using marijuana.
The Catholic Education Archdiocese of Brisbane confirmed in a statement that a number of students had been disciplined for drug use allegations.
"The police investigation is ongoing and no further comment will be made until its completion.'' http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23987
Ivory Coast is preparing to vote, after several postponements, for the new head of state. The presidential elections, which were supposed to have taken place in 2005, will be held Sunday, October 31. The main candidates are the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, Henri Konan Bédié, and Alassane Ouattara.On October 18, Archbishop Jean Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan, issued a message calling on Ivorians to "reject violence as a form of expression. If the electoral contest is legitimate, this can in no way lead to acts of vandalism."In the message sent to Fides, Archbishop Kutwa says he is concerned about the climate of tension fueled by some media campaigns, “every day we see an increased aggressiveness in the press.”The Archbishop of Abidjan then reminds journalists of their obligation to inform the public properly and not become tools of political struggle.The message also claims that "a certain political opinion and the media have often presented an erroneous profile of the politician and a superficial and dangerous image of his career. In effect, politics is often represented as a struggle undertaken to obtain, at any price, an honorable place, a source of considerable advantages. In this perspective, of course, all means are justified for reaching one's own goals."Faced with this situation, Archbishop Kutwa warns the faithful not to fall victim to provocations and speculation "when information is given, regardless of where it comes from, it is rarely neutral. The election periods are filled with rumors, tendentious interpretations of words and gestures. It is difficult to bring out the truth from these attempts of intoxication. However, only the truth frees man and makes him grow. Systematic lying in order to gain power makes man vulnerable."After acknowledging the efforts made by the Forces de Défense et de Sécurité (FDS, the National Armed Forces) and the Forces Armées des Forces Nouvelles (FAFN, who since 2002 control the north-west of the country) to create a joint command center to ensure the security of the elections, Archbishop Kutwa concludes by making an appeal to politicians to lead a political struggle through peaceful means thinking about the greater good of the nation and future generations. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27707&lan=eng
Feast: October 31
924 in Swabia
31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (modern Austria)
1052 by Pope Leo IX
apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; stomach diseases; strokes
Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.
After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.
St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.
St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.
ued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.
Because the whole world before thee is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground.
But thou art merciful to all, for thou canst do all things, and thou dost overlook men's sins, that they may repent.
For thou lovest all things that exist, and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made, for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.
How would anything have endured if thou hadst not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved?
Thou sparest all things, for they are thine, O Lord who lovest the living.
Wisdom 12: 1 - 2
For thy immortal spirit is in all things.
Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass, and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin, that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord.
Psalms 145: 1 - 2, 8 - 11, 13 - 14
I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever.
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee!
They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.
2 Thessalonian 1: 11 - 12
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,
so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren,
not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
Luke 19: 1 - 10
He entered Jericho and was passing through.
And there was a man named Zacchae'us; he was a chief tax collector, and rich.
And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature.
So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchae'us, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today."
So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."
And Zacchae'us stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold."
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."
Saturday, October 30, 2010
SMH.COM.AU REPORT: SWIEBODZIN, Poland: At 36 metres tall, it will tower imperiously over this town in western Poland. But the giant statue of Jesus under construction has divided Polish Catholics and led to charges of megalomania against the Catholic Church.
The structure is being built on a 16-metre-high hill in Swiebodzin. Locals claim it will be taller - just - than the 80-year-old Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, now the world's tallest statue of Jesus.
The main body of the Polish Jesus is 33 metres high - a metre for each year he lived - and is topped with a three-metre metal crown of thorns.
The project has split Polish society: some are expressing pride, others derision, while many practising Catholics are calling for it to be abandoned. The chief building inspector has received threats, including a brick through his car window.
Supporters of the project, which is being led by local priest Sylwester Zawadzki, hope the statue will attract pilgrims from across the country, turning the economically downtrodden town into a ''second Czestochowa'', a reference to Poland's most popular pilgrimage site, home of the Black Madonna shrine.
The 400-tonne statue has been five years in the making. Originally, Father Zawadzki wanted a ''small garden sculpture'', but over time his ambitions have grown.
The latest worries are about safety after a crane collapsed when builders tried to position the head, crushing a builder's foot. Sceptics said it was a sign of God's disapproval. When the priest suffered a heart attack, the same claim was made.
Building experts have voiced concerns the foundations are not deep enough. ''We'll give it 20 years, maximum, then it'll fall apart,'' one building expert told Polish media.
Tewatta (AsiaNews) - Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith has officially opened the cause for the beatification and canonization of Cardinal Thomas Coorey, during a Eucharistic celebration hosted yesterday in the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatta (Archdiocese of Colombo).
Cardinal-designate Ranjith celebrated the function with the Papal Nuncio Joseph Spiteri, Archbishops Emeritus Nicholas Marcus and Oswald Gomis, Fr. Clement Waidayasekara and Fr. Nicholas Senanayake. Nearly 200 nuns and priests of the archdiocese attended the mass. All the relatives of Mgr. Cooray were present, along with large crowds of faithful - some two thousand people - from the Archdiocese of Colombo. Mass was celebrated in three languages: Sinhala, Tamil and English. During the homily Archbishop Owald Gomis, who worked closely with Cardinal Cooray in the past, said that "today is a day to be written in gold in the history of Sri Lanka." He recalled the simple and exceptional holiness, the deep faith and courage of Card. Cooray.
Card. Coorey, who was born in 1901 in Periyamulla (Negombo), was ordained priest in Rome in 1929 in the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In 1947 he was appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo. "To serve, not to be served" was his motto: In 1950 he founded the minor seminary, focusing his commitment on the missionary formation of young seminarians. In addition, under his leadership the Church in Sri Lanka found ways and means to bring religious education to schools.
In 1940, the beginning of World War II, Archbishop Jean Marie Masson made a vow to build a shrine in Tewatta in honor of Our Lady, if the country was spared the ravages of war. Card. Coorey kept this vow and began to build the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka.
At the end of his homily, Mgr. Gomis said: "Today we gathered to thank the Lord for the life and commitment committed of Cardinal Thomas Cooray. And we pray God to bestow the necessary blessings for his beatification and canonization”.
Thomas Cooray was appointed cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1965. President of the Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka for 30 years, he retired from office in 1976. The Cardinal passed away in 1988, and his remains are buried in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in the basilica built by him. Card. Cooray’s is the first Sinhalese for whom a cause for beatification and canonization has been opened. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Cause-for-the-beatification-and-canonization-of-card.-Thomas-Coorey-opens-19867.html
Still, Joffe admits that he finds “immense beauty” and “immense truths” in religion. He also sees no conflict between his agnosticism and his latest film project, “There Be Dragons.”
The film is based on the life of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, a Spanish priest who founded the lay Catholic movement known as Opus Dei. The film will be released in theaters in Spring 2011.
“Just because I’m agnostic, I would be a fool if I dismissed somebody because he was a saint,” Joffe said. He added that he actually finds himself steered in the opposite direction, convinced that “things of great interest to every human being” are bound to be discovered in the life of “a hero of the Church.”
Written and directed by Joffe, “There Be Dragons” is not the first time the British filmmaker has explored religious territory. His 1986 directorial effort, “The Mission,” starred Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons as Jesuits in 18th-century Latin America.
Nine years after its release, “The Mission” was included in a Vatican-compiled list of 45 “great films.” The film also won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and earned Joffe his second Academy Award nomination for best director. He had previously been nominated two years earlier for 1984’s “The Killing Fields.”
Joffe’s latest film, “There Be Dragons,” is set during the Spanish Civil War of the mid- to late 1930s, a period the director describes as “the seminal moment in Josemaria’s life.” Joffe said the film expresses the Spanish saint’s deeply held belief that God can be found in everyday life – even during a civil war – and that everyone can be a saint.
“There Be Dragons” is not intended to be the cinematic equivalent of a “poster” or “user’s manual” for Opus Dei, Joffe said. But viewers also should not expect a retread of the lurid conspiracy theories propagated by “The Da Vinci Code” and its film adaptation.
“I think Dan Brown (the author of “The Da Vinci Code”) misused Opus Dei … in a rather unpardonable way,” Joffe said. “I hope, in some ways, this movie will set the balance straight, but that’s not the objective of the movie. I just think it’s maybe a byproduct.”
While “There Be Dragons” would seem to have built-in appeal for Catholic viewers, Joffe believes that it will speak to a much larger audience, including those who do not believe in God or subscribe to any particular faith. He revealed that an atheist character, who figures prominently in the film, is shown to experience “a profoundly religious moment.”
“I think there’s going to be much to find, because there’s all of life expressed in this movie,” Joffe said. “I think Catholics and other religious people, and agnostics and atheists alike will find the human experience there, very clearly and rather beautifully expressed by the actors.” http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/agnostic-filmmaker-tells-st.-josemaria-escrivas-story/
Most respondents preferred Church or not-for-profit aged care, according to a study that was part of the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, reports The Catholic Weekly.
The study, based on interviews with 1400 people, found only 16 per cent of people think families and relatives are best suited to deliver care to the elderly. The government should provide for it, 53 percent said.
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) chief executive officer Martin Laverty said the report's findings that families prefer Church and charitable aged care services come as no surprise.
"It's well known that many Church and charitable aged care providers deliver top quality care, in a manner that best meets the needs of older Australians," he said.
"Catholic aged care services who focus on pastoral and spiritual care provide support to older Australians that commercial operations cannot."
Yet he warned there are alarming consequences arising from the study's finding that few people believe families and relatives are best suited to caring for the aged.
"Only five per cent of older Australians live in a residential aged care home," Mr Laverty said. Similar numbers live in retirement homes. The remaining older population, or 90 percent, have no need to enter formal aged care. They live in their own homes, or live with their families.
"In order to remain living in their own homes, older Australians very often need support of family members or relatives. Family or friend support is key to independent living. But if only 16 percent think this support is the role of family, we face a growing community challenge." http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23986
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
CONFESSOR AND LAY BROTHER
Feast: October 30
July 25, 1532, Segovia
October 31, 1617
6 September, 1887
Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of "Christian Perfection", who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From thattime he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order. Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to theporter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known "Little Office of the Immaculate Conception", and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized. He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as "Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez" (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-daylife; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that "the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree"; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.
One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,
"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;
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.
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.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Friday, October 29, 2010
AsiaNews REPORT - On holiday in Lubango, the priest drowned after being swept away by a strong current. Originally from the United States, 53, in the Philippines since 1998. A life to devoted to others and serving the people of God
Manila Father Steven Baumbusch, 53, rector of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) seminary in Tagaytay, died yesterday, in the Philippines.
He had left for a short holiday with the seminarians and had gone to visit Fr. Bossi and Fr. Carrara the island of Lubang. Yesterday afternoon he went for a swim: beautiful weather and a calm sea. An expert swimmer, along with a couple of seminarians they swam away from the shore where they encountered a strong current. The seminarians were able to return with some difficulty to calmer waters. But then they realized that Fr. Steven was not with them. This morning a fisherman found his lifeless body.
Father Steven was born December 23, 1956 in Columbus, Ohio (USA). In 1970 he entered the PIME seminary in Newark. He later said the years were essential for him and that he was deeply inspired by the example of Father Cesare Colombo and his work among the lepers in Burma (now Myanmar).
On 25 June 1983 he was ordained a priest in his hometown. For six years he taught at the seminary in Newark. He was then appointed superior of the Region of the United States, also dealing with the formation of seminarians.
He co-founded the mission of PIME in Cuanacaxtitlan, Mexico, where the Mixtec people live.
In 1998 he was assigned to the region of the Philippines, initially Columbio mission on the island of Mindanao, then Paranaque (Manila metropolitan area) in the parish of Mary Queen of the Apostles.
In May 2009 he was appointed rector in Tagaytay, south of Manila.
He loved to say that "your life will have more meaning and fulfillment the more you give yourself to others. You can change the world and the lives of the people of God. "
Another priest has been murdered in Brazil: Father Josenir Morais, age 48, pastor of the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Fortaleza, State of Ceara (CE). The crime occurred on the morning of October 25, near the city of São Luís do Curu (77 km from Fortaleza), where he had attended a celebration. According to the police, the priest was killed by a single shot to the heart while he was at the wheel of his car. He lost control of the vehicle, veered off the road.and crashed into a traffic sign.According to the director of Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza, Fr Gilson Soares, as there were no signs of a bullet on the outside of the car, it is suspected that the priest was shot while the vehicle was stopped on the road, perhaps by someone whom he had given a ride. Fr Josenir's body, after examination by the coroner, was brought to his parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where the funeral was presided by Archbishop Antonio José Aparecido Tosi Marques of Fortaleza.Father Josenir Morais Santana was ordained a priest on July 1, 1995 and, according to the Archdiocese of Fortaleza, "was known for his simplicity, his joy that won everyone over, even those who were far away from the community. He was also known for his priestly commitment, his dynamism and creativity. He was very expressive and always encouraged the community to live the teachings of Jesus and His love for the poor." http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=17009
The association said Gaudi, the architect who designed Barcelona's Church of the Holy Family, could be beatified on June 10, 2016, after the association presents a 1,200 page biography on the architect in Rome next spring.
The author of the biography, Josep Maria Tarragona, noted during a press conference that the document will be used by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to determine if Gaudi’s devotion and the miracles that have taken place through his intercession are sufficient for his beatification.
Two miracles cited in the biography have yet to be examined by the Vatican congregation. The first surrounds the cure of Spanish man from Canet de Mar who suffered from stomach ulcers. The second is related to the case of a woman from the town of Reus, Spain who lost her sight but later regained it after praying for Gaudi's intercession.
The association noted that the Pope's Nov. 7 visit to Barcelona to dedicate Gaudi's Church of the Holy Family will not accelerate the architect's cause for beatification.
"You can understand any change in people's lives is going to cause an uncomfortableness and anxiety," Bishop Joseph Grech told The Catholic Weekly. "On a human level, any change will do that."
"I would hope though people can have some compassion and understanding for the challenges that confront asylum-seekers."
He said the government is obliged to provide the necessary assistance so that the local community "will not experience hardship and strain on local services".
The report said immigration officials were jeered as they tried to reassure residents at a recent public meeting in the Adelaide Hills that having the asylum-seekers in their communities would be a positive and rewarding experience.
Residents fear schools could be overwhelmed and crime could rise. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23985
Lusaka The local Church, in cooperation with the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Zambia and the religious institutes in the country, has organized the First Missionary Congress in Zambia, held October 13 to 16. According to reports sent to Fides by Fr. Bernard Makadani, National Director of the PMS in Zambia, the purpose of Congress was to "reflect on the Church's missionary experience over the course of these 119 years since the first missionaries arrived in Zambia, as well as on our reality and the challenges of today's mission.”“Around 80 priests, religious and lay faithful, met at the Christian Brothers’ Centre in Lusaka from the 13th to 16th October 2010 to reflect, celebrate and plan for the future of Mission in Zambia,” says Fr. Makadani.At the end of the encounter, a declaration was published reaffirming the missionary commitment of the local Church. “The Mission is first of all God’s Mission,” the document says. Then “God’s Mission becomes our Mission,” and thus, “the missionary torch has been handed over to us,” write the Congress participants.“We are challenged to be more rooted in our Catholic identity, through ongoing faith formation at all levels and an adequate catechesis leading to a personal encounter with Christ,” the document affirms. Catholics should become “authentic witnesses” of Christ, living their faith in communion, “like a family,” learning to “read the signs of the times.”The Congress participants have determined various challenges to the mission: the change of religious context, which becomes more pluralistic; the social-economic context changes, “with its positive and negative developments,” that require greater teaching of the Church's Social Doctine; and social changes, whose “rapid changes and outside influences bring about a confusion of values.”
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
One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.
And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.
And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?"
But they were silent. Then he took him and healed him, and let him go.
And he said to them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a sabbath day?"
And they could not reply to this.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Asia News report: Brother Philip, vice principal at Holy Cross School in Whitefield, is currently in hospital recovering from a beating he received last Saturday. The religious tells AsiaNews that he has forgiven his attackers but that he wants guarantees for Christian missionaries who serve Indian society.Mumbai (AsiaNews) – In Karnataka, Christians are increasingly the target of Hindu extremists because their schools allow members of the lowest castes to study, Brother Phillip Noronha told AsiaNews. The religious is a missionary and vice principal of Holy Cross School in Whitefield (Bangalore). At present, he is in hospital recovering from the wounds he received when he was beaten up in front of his school last Saturday.
“Their intent was to humiliate me, bring discredit to our Holy Cross School and malign the good name of Christian missionaries,” he said. Yet, this has “strengthened my vocation as a religious brother and strengthened my resolve to impart value based education, following the teachings of Christ. [. . .] I am a Brother of the Holy Cross, and Christ allowed me a small taste of his cross”.
After accusing him of sexual misconduct, a mob of some 500 Hindus dragged him out of the school, where he was struck, kicked and caned. All this occurred as cameras from three local TV stations taped the event. Whitefield Police Inspector B N Gopalakrishna was among those who took part in the attack.
According to a preliminary assessment, the beating and accusations were orchestrated by the parents of two Hindu students attending the 10th grade in Holy Cross School. They and others want to seize land owned by the school to benefit a Hindu temple that was recently built nearby. However, for the Catholic religious, the issue is not only the land, but also the very presence of missionaries in the area.
“Through our services and programmes for the poor, the local ruling class can no longer exploit poor people. Education gives the poor and the marginalised independence, and the dominant bourgeoisie is trying to resist [changes] through such acts,” he said.
According to Brother Philip, exploiting badly paid farm workers is good business for members of the upper castes, who “cannot tolerate the empowerment of the poor and marginalised and thus attack all those (like the Christian missionaries) who bring about social change,” he explained.
“I have forgiven those who attacked me and tried to malign me,” he added. “Justice, however, must follow its course. The vice principal of Holy Cross School has in fact filed a complaint with police, which followed up with a First Information Report (FIR).
Ultimately, the brother hopes that Christian missionaries who serve society can receive the same protection guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
TIMES OF MALTA REPORT:
Bishop Emeritus Nikol Cauchi has been transferred to Mater Dei Hospital after having suffered cardiac problems yesterday.
The 81-year-old former Bishop of Gozo was hospitalised yesterday evening and was in a critical but stable condition.
He was treated in the cardiac unit of the Gozo General Hospital before being flown to Mater Dei Hospital this morning.
Bishop Mgr Mario Grech was among those who visited him yesterday and urged the faithful to pray for him.
Mgr Cauchi's family has asked for his privacy to be respected.
Mgr Cauchi was born at the family home in Gharb on March 2, 1929.
After his ordination in 1952, he studied sociology and philosophy in Rome before being appointed parish priest in Fontana. He was named as the Apostolic Administrator for Gozo in 1967 and was thus effectively in charge of the diocese - before taking over as Bishop of Gozo from the ailing Bishop Joseph Pace in 1972.
He held the position until stepping down in January 2006 and since then has kept his hands full with writing, teaching and broadcasting.
See interview with Mgr Cauchi at
WASHINGTON (October 26, 2010) — Members of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States approved by unanimous consent on October 17 the dialogue’s final report on "The Hope of Eternal Life." The 65-page report represents the fruit of the dialogue's four-and-a-half-year study. It explores issues related to the Christian's life beyond death, such as the communion of saints, resurrection of the dead, and final judgment, as well as historically divisive issues such as purgatory, indulgences, and prayers for the dead. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sponsored this 11th round of talks. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) was invited to participate in the conversation. Although they were represented in the dialogue, the final report was only agreed to on the Lutheran side by the ELCA.This most recent round of dialogue began in December 2005, but Catholics and Lutherans have been in formal dialogue in the United States since 1965. The choice of topic emerged from principles of life-after-death developed in the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” which the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church signed October 31, 1999, in Augsburg, Germany. This investigation “has resulted in another substantial contribution to the ecumenical endeavors of the participating churches,” said the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, Lutheran co-chair and retired secretary of the ELCA.The report was finalized at the dialogue's meeting October 13-17 at St. Paul’s College in Washington, and will be made public November 15, when it is presented to the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB.As reflected in the forthcoming report, the churches in the dialogue declared together, “Life does not end in death. God in Christ offers everyone the hope of eternal life.” At the same time, representatives of the participating churches acknowledged the possibility of eternal loss by those who refuse God’s mercy, in spite of God’s desire for the salvation of all. As one of the agreements declares, “We can entrust the judgment of our lives to the one who died for our trespasses and rose for our justification.” “The careful precision brought to this past meeting of the dialogue by the members, and their knowledge of history, have been a great blessing for all of us,” Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, Catholic co-chair of the dialogue, said. "Simply tracing the unfolding practices which have marked our respective Lutheran or Catholic prayers on the occasion of the death of a believer brought light to our conversation.” The topic took a poignant turn during the course of this round with the deaths of two of the dialogue’s original members. Assumptionist Father George Tavard, who had been a peritus at Vatican II, died on August 13, 2007, and Dr. John H. P. Reumann, a well known Lutheran New Testament scholar, died on June 6, 2008. Each served continuously on the dialogue since 1965 and made important contributions to all of the dialogue’s ten agreed statements. They also offered early contributions to what emerged as the final text of this 11th round.The report was written in a tone to provide a resource for study by pastors as well as lay members since the topic holds deeply personal and pastoral dimensions for all members of the participating churches.Additional Catholic participants in the dialogue include Margaret O'Gara, Ph.D., University of St. Michael's College, Toronto; Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmyer, professor emeritus, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; Christian Brother Jeffrey Gros, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee; Father James Massa, USCCB staff; Christian David Washburn, Ph.D, Saint Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota; Jesuit Father Jared Wicks, John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio; and Sister Susan Wood, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Marquette University, Milwaukee. Lutheran members include The Rev. Winston D. Persaud, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa; Michael J. Root, Ph.D., professor of systematic theology and dean, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.; Rev. Dr. Lowell Almen, co-chair of the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue; Rev. Stephen J. Hultgren, assistant professor, Department of Theology, Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y.; Rev Theodore W. Asta, associate to the bishop (ecumenism and administration), New England Synod–ELCA; Rev. Marcus J Miller, president of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.; Rev. Paul Schreck, ELCA staff.Information regarding the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue is at http://www.usccb.org/seia/lutheran.shtml. http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-189.shtml
“The people have not received practically any of the money raised to help them," Fides has been told by local church sources (which for security reasons asked not to be cited) in Sange, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where on July 3 more than 300 people died from the explosion of a tanker loaded with fuel (see Fides 03/07/2010)."There are at least 2,000 people without a home and about 350-400 still in the hospital recovering from burns caused by the fire that followed the explosion of the tanker," the sources said Fides."Despite promises by the authorities and the collection of funds at the government level throughout Congo, families who have lost their homes in the blast received only 3 metal sheets each, to rebuild a decent home, when it takes at least 40,” explain our sources."The 10 parishes in the local area have collected a thousand dollars that was used for treatment of patients most in need and for other urgent needs," the sources of Fides add.The tragedy happened on the main street of the village, when the tanker capsized after hitting another oncoming vehicle from the opposite direction. "The wreckage of the truck is still there and work to make the road safer has not started. Another incident similar to that of July could happen again," concludes the sources of Fides. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27692&lan=eng
The recommendation, contained in the 102-page independent report by Dr Sue Knight and three colleagues at the University of South Australia, says the State Government could adopt the ethics classes model used in the recent 10-week trial if it decides to establish the classes, said The Catholic Weekly.
Jude Hennessy, director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in the Wollongong diocese, said he was "very disappointed" by the findings of Dr Knight's report.
"The terms of reference review were so narrow that it was quite obvious that the Government already had an outcome in mind," he said.
"My concerns about this were heightened even more when right in the middle of Dr Knight's review period, Education Minister Firth again invited the media to a Sydney primary school to heap praise on the ethics classes.
"It sent all the wrong signals to providers of SRE who were given assurances that this would be a valid, thorough review process." http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23971
Feast: October 28
Cana or Canaan
Abyssinians claim he was crucified in Samaria; Lipsius says he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia; Moses of Chorene writes that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Iberia; many locations claim to have relics including Toulouse, France, and Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
relics claimed by many places, including Toulouse; Saint Peter's Basilica
curriers; sawyers; tanners
St Simon is surnamed the Canaanean or Canaanite, and the Zealot, to distinguish him from St. Peter, and from St. Simeon, the brother of St. James the Less, and his successor in the see of Jerusalem. From the first of these surnames some have thought that St. Simon was born at Cana, in Galilee: certain modern Greeks pretend that it was at his marriage that our Lord turned the water into wine. It is not to be doubted but he was a Galilean. Theodoret says, of the tribe either of Zabulon or Nepthali. Hammond and Grotius think that St. Simon was called the Zealot, before his coming to Christ, because he was one of that particular sect or party among the Jews called Zealots, from a singular zeal they possessed for the honour of God and the purity of religion. A party called Zealots were famous in the war of the Jews against the Romans. They were main instruments in instigating the people to shake off the yoke of subjection; they assassinated many of the nobility and others in the streets, filled the temple itself with bloodshed and other horrible profanations, and were the chief cause of the ruin of their country. But no proof is offered by which it is made to appear that any such party existed in our Saviour's time, though some then maintained that it was not lawful for a Jew to pay taxes to the Romans At least if any then took the name Zealots, they certainly neither followed the impious conduct nor adopted the false and inhuman maxims of those mentioned by Josephus in his history of the Jewish war against the Romans.
St. Simon, after his conversion, was zealous for the honour of his Master, and exact in all the duties of the Christian religion; and showed a pious indignation toward those who professed this holy faith with their mouths, but dishonoured it by the irregularity of their lives. No further mention appears of him in the gospels than that he was adopted by Christ into the college of the apostles. With the rest he received the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, which he afterwards exercised with great zeal and fidelity. If this apostle preached in Egypt, Cyrene, and Mauritania, he returned into the East; for the Martyrologies of St. Jerome, Bede, Ado, and Usuard place his martyrdom in Persia, at a city called Suanir, possibly in the country of the Suani, a people in Colchis, or a little higher in Sarmatia, then allied with the Parthians in Persia; which may agree with a passage in the Acts of St. Andrew, that in the Cimmerian Bosphorus there was a tomb in a "rot, with an inscription importing that Simon the Zealot was interred there. His death is said in these Martyrologies to have been procured by the idolatrous priests. Those who mention the manner of his death say he was crucified. St. Peter's Church on the Vatican at Rome and the Cathedral of Toulouse are said to possess the chief portions of the relics of SS. Simon and Jude.
Feast: October 28
Saint Peter's, Rome, Rheims, Toulouse, France
lost causes, desperate situations, hospitals
The apostle St. Jude is distinguished from the Iscariot by the surname of Thaddaus, which signifies in Syriac praising or confession (being of the same import with the Hebrew word Judas), also by that of Lebbaeus, which is given him in the Greek text of St. Matthew. St. Jude was brother to St. James the Less, as he styles himself in his epistle; likewise of St. Simeon of Jerusalem, and of one Joses, who are styled the brethren of our Lord, and were sons of Cleophas and Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin.
This apostle's kindred and relation to our Saviour exalted him not so much in his Master's eyes as his contempt of the world the ardour of his holy zeal and love, and his sufferings for his sake. It is not known when and by what means he became a disciple of Christ, nothing having been said of him in the gospels before we find him enumerated in the catalogue of the apostles. After the last supper, when Christ promised to manifest himself to every one who should love him, St. Jude asked him why he did not manifest himself to the world? By which question he seems to have expressed his expectation of a secular kingdom of the Messias. Christ by his answer satisfied him that the world is unqualified for divine manifestations, being a stranger and an enemy to what must fit souls for a fellowship with heaven; but that he would honour those who truly love him with his familiar converse, and would admit them to intimate communications of grace and favour.
After our Lord's ascension and the descent of the Holy Ghost, St. Jude set out, with the other great conquerors of the world and hell, to pull down the prince of darkness from his usurped throne; which this little troop undertook to effect armed only with the word of God and his Spirit. Nicephorus, Isidore, and the Martyrologies tell us that St. Jude preached up and down Judea, Samaria, Idumaa, and Syria; especially in Mesopotamia. St. Paulinus says that St. Jude planted the faith in Libya. This apostle returned from his missions to Jerusalem in the year 62, after the martyrdom of his brother, St. James, and assisted at the election of St. Simeon, who was likewise his brother. He wrote a catholic or general epistle to all the churches of the East, particularly addressing himself to the Jewish converts, amongst whom he had principally laboured. St. Peter had written to the same two epistles before this, and in the second had chiefly in view to caution the faithful against the errors of the Simonians, Nicholaits, and Gnostics. The havoc which these heresies continued to make among souls stirred up the zeal of St. Jude, who sometimes copied certain expressions of St. Peter, and seems to refer to the epistles of SS. Peter and Paul as if the authors were then no more. The heretics he describes by many strong epithets and similes, and calls them wandering meteors which seem to blaze for a while but set in eternal darkness. The source of their fall he points out by saying they are murmurers, and walk after their own lusts. The apostle puts us in mind to have always before our eyes the great obligation we lie under of incessantly building up our spiritual edifice of charity, by praying in the Holy Ghost, growing in the love of God, and imploring his mercy through Christ. From Mesopotamia St. Jude travelled into Persia. Fortunatus and the western Martyrologists tell us that the apostle St. Jude suffered martyrdom in Persia; the Menology of the Emperor Basil and some other Greeks say at Arat or Ararat, in Armenia, which at that time was subject to the Parthian empire, and consequently esteemed part of Persia. Many Greeks say he was shot to death with arrows: some add whilst he was tied on across. The Armenians at this day venerate him and St. Bartholomew for the first planters of the faith among them.
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God.
And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;
Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,
and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,
and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
BRIDGET OF SWEDEN, CO-PATRONESS OF EUROPE VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), whom John Paul II proclaimed as co-patroness of Europe, was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience held this morning in St. Peter's Square. The life of the saint, born in at Finister in Sweden, may be divided into two periods. During the first period she lived as a happily married woman and mother of eight children. She also began to study Sacred Scripture and, together with her husband, adopted the lifestyle of the Third Order of St. Francis. She also gave generously to the poor and founded a hospital. This first period of Bridget's life, said the Pope, "helps us to appreciate what we could define today as authentic 'conjugal spirituality'. Christian couples can follow the path of sanctity together, upheld by the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage. ... May the Holy Spirit arouse the sanctity of Christian couples, so as to show the world the beauty of marriage lived according to the Gospel values of love, tenderness, mutual support, fruitfulness in the generation and education of children, openness and solidarity towards the world, and participation in the life of the Church". With Bridget's widowhood began the second period of her life. She rejected a second marriage in order to concentrate on "union with the Lord through prayer, penitence and works of charity. ... Having distributed all her goods to the poor, and although she never underwent religious consecration, she moved to the Cistercian convent of Alvastra". There she began to receive the divine revelations which, differing greatly in content and style, would accompany her for the rest of her life. "The value of St. Bridget's 'Revelations', which have been the subject of some doubt, was defined by the Venerable John Paul II in his Letter 'Spes aedificandi' where he wrote that the Church 'recognised Bridget's holiness without ever pronouncing on her individual revelations, [and] has accepted the overall authenticity of her interior experience'". Pope Benedict went on: "Reading these Revelations we are challenged by many important questions. For example, she frequently describes ... the Passion of Christ, ... seeing therein the infinite love of God for mankind. ... Mary's painful maternity, which made her Mediator and Mother of Mercy, is another oft recurring theme of the Revelations". St. Bridget was firmly convinced that "all charisms are destined to build the Church. It was for this reason that many of her revelations were addressed, in the form of sometimes severe admonitions, to the believers of her time including the political and religious authorities, to live their Christian lives coherently. But she always did this with an attitude of respect and complete faithfulness towards Church Magisterium, and especially towards the Successor of the Apostle Peter". In 1349 Bridget left Sweden never to return, travelling to Rome to participate in the Jubilee Year 1350 and to ask the Pope to approve the rule of her religious order, which she intended should be made up of monks and nuns under the authority of an abbess, and dedicated to the Blessed Saviour. "This must not surprise us", said the Holy Father. "During the Middle Ages there were religious orders in which a female branch and a male branch practiced the same monastic rule under the direction of an abbess. In the great Christian tradition the woman is recognised as having her own dignity and - following the example of Mary, Queen of the Apostles - her own place in the Church which, though not coinciding with the ordained priesthood, is equally important for the spiritual growth of the community". Bridget also made pilgrimages to Assisi and the Holy Land. She died in 1373 and was canonised by Boniface IX in 1391. Her sanctity, characterised by the multiplicity of her gifts and experiences, "makes her an outstanding figure in the history of Europe", because she "bore witness to how deeply Christianity has permeated the life of all the peoples of this continent. "By proclaiming her as co-patroness of Europe", Pope Benedict added in conclusion, "Pope John Paul II expressed the hope that St. Bridget - who lived in the fourteenth century when Western Christianity had still not been wounded by division - may intercede effectively with God to obtain the longed-for grace of full unity among all Christians, ... and to ensure that Europe may always nourish itself from its Christian roots". At the end of today's audience the Holy Father received a delegation from the European Court of Auditors.AG/ VIS 20101027 (760)IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA
APPEAL TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR INDONESIA, BENIN VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Following his catechesis at today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope launched the following appeal: "In the last few hours another terrible tsunami has struck the coasts of Indonesia, which has also suffered a volcanic eruption, leaving many dead and missing. I express my deepest sympathy to the families of the victims for the loss of their loved ones, and give assurances of my closeness in prayer to all the Indonesian people. "I also remain close to the dear people of Benin, who have suffered continuous floods which have left many people homeless and living in unhygienic and unsanitary conditions. Upon the entire nation I invoke the blessing and comfort of the Lord. "I call upon the international community to strive to supply the aid necessary to alleviate the distress of the people who have suffered these disasters".OP/ VIS 20101027 (160)
HOLY SEE CONDEMNS DEATH PENALTY AGAINST TARIQ AZIZ VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following declaration yesterday afternoon: "The Catholic Church's position on the death penalty is well known. It is hoped, therefore, that the sentence against Tariq Aziz will not be implemented, precisely in order to favour reconciliation and the reconstruction of peace and justice in Iraq after the great sufferings the country has experienced. As concerns the possibility of a humanitarian intervention, the Holy See is not accustomed to operate publicly but through the diplomatic channels at its disposal".