Monday, December 31, 2012

NEW YEAR'S DAY MASS ONLINE - MARY MOTHER OF GOD - JAN. 1, 2013

The Octave Day of Christmas
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
Lectionary: 18


Reading 1 Nm 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Reading 2 Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Gospel Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

TODAY'S SAINT : JAN. 1 : MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Feast: January 1


Information:
Feast Day:January 1
The solemnity of the Mother of God, which now coincides with the octave-day of Christmas and the beginning of the new year, was probably assigned this day because of the influence of the Byzantine Church, which celebrates the synapsis of the most holy Theotokos on December 26. This is in accordance with the Eastern practice of honoring secondary persons on the day after the feast of the principal personage (in this case, the birth of Christ). The Coptic Church celebrates this feast on January 16, but in the West, as early as the fifth century, the feast was celebrated on the Sunday before Christmas, although in France it was celebrated on January 18 and in Spain on December 18. Even before Pope Sergius introduced four Marian feasts in the seventh century (the Birth of Mary, the Annunciation, the Purification and the Assumption), the octave day of Christmas was celebrated in Rome in honor of the Maternity of Mary. Later, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the feast of the Circumcision was added, although it had been introduced into Spain and France at the end of the sixth century and was later included in the Missal of Pope St. Pius V. The recent liturgical reform has restored the original Roman practice, which replaced the pagan feast of the New Year, dedicated to the god Janus, with this feast honoring the Mother of God.

A popular movement began in Portugal in the eighteenth century for a feast honoring Mary's maternity, and in 1914 the date of the feast was fixed at October 11. It was extended to the entire Latin Church in 1931, the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus. The restoration of the feast to January 1, which falls in the Christmas season and has an ecumenical significance, coincides with other anniversaries; for example, the octave day of Christmas, the circumcision of the Infant Jesus (assigned to the first Sunday of January); the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (which dates back to 1721); and the day for peace, introduced by Pope Paul VI.

In the encyclical Marialis Cultus (1974) Pope Paul VI states: "This celebration, assigned to January 1 in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the 'holy Mother . . . through whom we were found worthy . . . to receive the Author of life.' It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewed adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. For this reason . . . we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an observance that is gaining increasing support and is already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many" (no. 5).


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/solemnityofmary.asp#ixzz1iFrUNxIA

VATICAN : POPE : END OF YEAR HOMILY - MARY MOTHER OF GOD FEAST



Vatican Radio REPORT -   Below, please find the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily for Solemn First Vespers for the Feast of Mary the Mother of God (Monday, 31 Dec 2012):

Dear Cardinals,
Venerable brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Distinguished authorities,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I thank all of you who have chosen to participate in this liturgy of the last hour of the year of the Lord 2012. This “hour” bears a particular intensity and becomes, in a sense, a synthesis of all the hours of the year that is about to come to an end. I cordially greet the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, and especially the many people from the ecclesial community of Rome. In a special way I greet the Authorities present, beginning with the Mayor of the City, and thank them for choosing to share with us this moment of prayer and thanksgiving to God.

The “Te Deum” that we raise to the Lord this evening, at the end of a calendar year, is a hymn of thanksgiving that opens with the praise - "We praise you, O God, we proclaim you to be the Lord" - and ends with a profession of faith - "You are our hope, we will not be confounded forever." For all that came to pass over the course of the year, whether easy or difficult, barren or fruitful, we give thanks to God. The Te Deum, in fact, contains a profound wisdom, the wisdom that makes us say that, despite everything, there is good in the world, and this good is destined to triumph, thanks God, the God of Jesus Christ, who became incarnate, died, and rose again. Certainly, it is difficult, sometimes, to accept this profound reality, since evil makes more noise than the good: a brutal murder, the spread of violence, serious injustices make the news. Gestures of love and service, on the contrary, daily struggles endured with patience and fidelity are often left in the shadows. And this is why we cannot rely solely on the news if we want to understand the world and life. We must be able to remain in silence, in meditation, in calm and prolonged reflection; we must know how to stop and think. In this way, our mind can find healing from the inevitable wounds of daily life, can go deeper into the events that occur in our lives and in the world, and come to the knowledge that allows us to evaluate things with new eyes. Especially in the recollection of conscience, where God speaks to us, we learn to look truthfully at our own actions, even at the evil within us and around us, to begin a journey of conversion that makes us wiser and better, more capable of creating solidarity and communion, of overcoming evil with good. The Christian is a man of hope, even and especially in the face of the darkness that often exists in the world, not as a consequence of God’s plans, but because of the wrong choices of man, because the Christian knows that the power of faith can move mountains ( cf. Mt 17:20): the Lord can brighten even the deepest darkness.

The Year of Faith, which the Church is living, should arouse in the heart of each believer a greater awareness that the encounter with Christ is the source of true life and a solid hope. Faith in Jesus allows a constant renewal of goodness and of the ability to rise from the quicksand of sin and to begin anew. In the Word made flesh is possible, to rediscover the true identity of man, who finds himself destined for the infinite love of God and called to a personal communion with Him. This truth, that Jesus Christ came to reveal, is the certainty that drives us to face with confidence the year we are about to begin.

The Church, which has received from her Lord the mission to evangelize, knows well that the Gospel is for all people, especially the younger generations, to quench that thirst for truth that everyone carries in his heart and that is often obscured by all those things that occupy life. This apostolic commitment is all the more necessary when the faith risks being obscured in cultural contexts which hinder its personal roots and its social presence. Rome, too, is a city where the Christian faith must be proclaimed again and again and witnessed in a credible manner. On the one hand, there is the growing number of believers of other religions, the difficulties parish communities have in attracting young people, the spread of lifestyles marked by individualism and moral relativism; on the other, the quest, in so many people, for a sense of their own existence and for a hope that will not disappoint, that cannot leave us indifferent. Like the Apostle Paul (cf. Rom 1:14-15) all the faithful of this city should consider themselves under obligation of the Gospel towards the other inhabitants!

For this reason, for several years now, our Diocese has been committed to highlighting the missionary dimension of ordinary pastoral care, so that the faithful, supported especially by the Sunday Eucharist, can become disciples and coherent witnesses of Jesus Christ. Christian parents, who are for their children the primary educators in the faith, are called in a special way to this coherence in their lives. The complexity of life in a great city like Rome and in a culture that often seems indifferent to God, demands that we not leave fathers and mothers alone in so crucial a task, but rather that we support and accompany them in their spiritual life. In this regard, I encourage those who work in family ministry to implement the pastoral activities that emerged from the last Diocesan Convention, dedicated to baptismal and post-baptismal pastoral care. It requires a generous commitment to develop the paths of spiritual formation that after the baptism of children will go with the parents in order to keep the flame of faith alive, offering concrete suggestions so that, from an early age, the Gospel of Jesus will be announced. The emergence of groups of families, in which the Word of God is heard and the experiences of Christian life are shared helps to strengthen the sense of belonging to the ecclesial community and to grow in friendship with the Lord. It is also important to build a relationship of cordial friendship with those of the faithful who, after having baptized their child, distracted by the demands of everyday life, do not show great interest in living this experience: they will be able to experience the love of the Church, as a caring mother, stands by them to promote their spiritual life.

In order to proclaim the Gospel and to allow those who still do not know Jesus, or have abandoned Him, to cross again the threshold of faith and live in communion with God, it is essential to know in depth the meaning of the truths contained in the Profession of Faith. The commitment to a systematic training of pastoral workers, which for some years now has taken place in the various prefectures of the Diocese of Rome, is a valuable tool that must be pursued with commitment in the future, in order to form lay people who know how to echo the Gospel in every house and in every room, even in those listening centres that have brought so much fruit since the time of the city Missions. In this respect, the “Dialogues in the Cathedral,” which have been held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for some years, constitute a particularly appropriate experience to encounter the City and to dialogue with those who seek God and truth, and who are inquiring into the into the great questions of human existence.

As in the past, so today the Church of Rome is called to announce and to tirelessly witness to the riches of the Gospel of Christ. It must do so also by supporting the many people living in situations of poverty and marginalization, as well as families in need, especially when they have to assist sick and disabled people. I hope very much that the Institutions at various levels will not allow their activities to cease, so that all citizens might have access to what is essential to a dignified life.

Dear friends, on the last night of the year that is coming to an end, and at the threshold of the new, let us praise the Lord! Let us show to “He who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1:8) repentance and asking for forgiveness for their offenses, as well as the sincere thanks for the countless benefits granted by the divine goodness. In particular, we give thanks for the grace and truth that have come to us through Jesus Christ. In Him the fullness of all human time is placed. The future of every human being is kept safe in him. In Him, the fulfilment of the hopes of the Church and of the world comes true. Amen.

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 15

IN HONOR OF THE YEAR OF FAITH - JCE NEWS WILL BE SHOWING SOME OF THE TOP CATHOLIC MOVIES OF ALL TIME. TUNE IN FOR THE NEXT PART OF ST. RITA- TOMORROW

STATISTICS PASTORAL WORKERS KILLED IN 2012

Agenzia Fides REPORT - Once again this year, Fides publishes an annual document of all the pastoral workers who lost their lives in a violent manner over the course of the last 12 months. According to information in our possession, during 2012, 12 pastoral care workers were killed, almost all priests: 10 priests, 1 religious sister, 1 lay person.
For the fourth consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral workers killed is AMERICA, bathed with the blood of 6 priests. Following is AFRICA, where 3 priests and 1 religious sister were killed. ASIA, where 1 priest and 1 religious sister were killed. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 29/12/2012)

ASIA : INDIA : ORISSA : THOUSANDS OF HINDUS ATTEND CATHOLIC MASS

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT
by Nirmala Carvalho
For Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, such an event is unprecedented in the history of the troubled state of Orissa. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics and Hindus brought flowers and candles to the Baby Jesus in all the parishes of the state. In his New Year message, the archbishop stresses the importance of young people in spreading and bearing witness to the message of Christ among the nations.


Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of thousands of Christians and Hindus took part in Midnight Mass in the parishes of Kandhamal, Bubhaneshwar and other districts in Orissa. For Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, "the level of participation is unprecedented in the history of the Church in Orissa". Interviewed by AsiaNews, the prelate said that "sense of peace, festivity and prayer was palpable in the churches."

Catholics and non-Christians came to Mass with their families. Hundreds of children brought flowers and candles, which they placed before crèches to pay homage to the Baby Jesus. In light of the anti-Christian pogroms by Hindu extremists in 2007 and 2008 that left hundreds dead, this is extraordinary fact.

"God came to earth to be with us," the archbishop noted. "Slowly, non-Christians are recognising that." For the prelate, the large crowd is a sign that Christ brings together people from all nations.

"A young Italian woman attending the Mass asked me why there were so many people," he said. "Because they want to share the joy of Jesus," he answered.

"Looking at all these people, I realised that I am not a pastor for Christians alone. All the people in my archdiocese belong to my flock. On 25 December, the Baby Jesus spoke to everyone with the simplicity of his presence, telling everyone: 'I am here!'"

In his message for 2012, Mgr Barwa thanked the civilian administration for protecting religious buildings during Christmas celebrations.

"All that we are and all that we have is God's gift," the archbishop said. "The New Year, 2013, the Year of Faith, is God's gift to us who are privileged. I hope the New Year will be rich in opportunities to work together and that it may bring hope, harmony and communion in Orissa."

For the archbishop, youth and children are the backbone of Orissa's Christian community. Through education to deepen faith in Jesus, they can be agents of social change and true messengers of Christ in a society divided by hatred and violence.SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : DEC. 31, 2012

John 1: 1 - 18
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2He was in the beginning with God;
3all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
8He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
11He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
15(John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'")
16And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

TODAY'S SAINT : DEC. 31 : ST. SYLVESTER - POPE

St. Sylvester
POPE
Feast: December 31


Information:
Feast Day:December 31
Died:31 December 335 at Rome, Italy
Patron of:Feroleto Antico, Italy
St Sylvester, whom God appointed to govern his holy church in the first years of her temporal prosperity and triumph over her persecuting enemies, was a native of Rome and son to Rufinus and Justa. According to the general rule with those who are saints from their cradle, he received early and in his infancy the strongest sentiments of Christian piety from the example, instructions, and care of a virtuous mother, who for his education in the sound maxims and practice of religion, and in sacred literature, put him young into the hands of Charitius, or Carinus, a priest of an unexceptionable character and great abilities. Being formed under an excellent master, he entered among the clergy of Rome and was ordained priest by Pope Marcellinus, before the peace of the church was disturbed by Diocletian and his associate in the empire. His behaviour in those turbulent and dangerous times recommended him to the public esteem, and he saw the triumph of the cross by the victory which Constantine gained over Maxentius within sight of the city of Rome, on the 28th of October 312. Pope Melchiades dying in January 314, St. Sylvester was exalted to the pontificate, and the same year commissioned four legates, two priests, and two deacons to represent him at the great council of the Western church, held at Arles in August, in which the schism of the Donatists, which had then subsisted seven years, and the heresy of the Quartodecimans were condemned, and many important points of discipline regulated in twenty-two canons. These decisions were sent by the council before it broke up, with an honourable letter, to Pope Sylvester, and were confirmed by him and published to the whole church. The general council of Nice was assembled against Arianism in 325. Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret say that Pope Sylvester was not able to come to it in person on account of his great age, but that he sent his legates. Gelasius of Cyzicus mentions that in it "Osius held the place of the Bishop of Rome, together with the Roman priests Vito and Vincentius." These three are named the first in subscriptions of the bishops in the editions of the acts of that council and in Socrates, who expressly places them before Alexander, patriarch of Alexandria, and Eustathius, patriarch of Antioch. St. Sylvester greatly advanced religion by a punctual discharge of all the duties of his exalted station during the space of twenty-one years and eleven months; and died on the 31st of December 335. He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla. Pope Sergius II translated his body and deposited it under the altar in a church dedicated to God in his memory. Mention is made of an altar consecrated to God in his honour at Verona, about the year 500; and his name occurs in the ancient Martyrology called St. Jerome's, published by Florentinius, and in those of Bede, Ado, Usuard, &c. Pope Gregory IX, in 1227, made his festival general in the Latin church; the Greeks keep it on the 10th January.

After a prodigious effusion of Christian blood almost all the world over, during the space of three hundred years, the persecuting kingdoms at length laid down their arms and submitted to the faith and worship of God crucified for us. This ought to be to us a subject of thanksgiving. But do our lives express this faith? Does it triumph in our hearts? It is one of its first precepts that in all our actions we make God our beginning and end, and have only his divine honour and his holy law in view. We ought, therefore, so to live that the days, hours, and moments of the year may form a crown made up of good works, which we may offer to God. Our forgetfulness of him who is our last end, in almost all that we -do, calls for a sacrifice of compunction at the close of the year; but this cannot be perfect or acceptable to God unless we sincerely devote our whole hearts and lives to his holy love for the time to come. Let us therefore examine into the sources of former omissions, failures, and transgressions, and take effectual measures for our amendment and for the perfect regulation of all our affections and actions for the future, or that part of our life which may remain.



SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsylvester.asp#ixzz1iF2KhU00

VATICAN : POPE : PRAYER FOR FAMILIES IN THE WORLD


Vatican Radio REPORT This Sunday, as tens of thousands thronged St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI marked the Feast of the Holy Family with a special prayer for “all the families of the world”: That parents “seriously concern” themselves with their children’s education, that they realise that every child is “an incomparable gift from God”, and that they are neither “friends nor masters” of their children’s lives but “guardians” of this gift.

Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Angelus address this feast of the Holy Family.


"Dear brothers and sisters!

Today is the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy the passage from Luke’s Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go to Jerusalem for the Passover with the twelve-year-old Jesus. The first time Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was forty days after his birth, when his parents had offered "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" (Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of poor. "Luke, whose Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor and poverty, makes it clear ... that Jesus' family was counted among the poor of Israel; he helps us to understand that it was there among them where the fulfillment of God’s promise matured" ( The Infancy Narratives, 96). Today Jesus is in the Temple again, but this time he has a different role, which involves him in the first person. He undertakes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Law (Ex 23.17, 34.23 ff) together with Mary and Joseph, although he was not yet in his thirteenth year: a sign of the deep religiosity of the Holy Family. But when his parents return to Nazareth, something unexpected happens: he, without saying anything, remains in the City. For three days, Mary and Joseph search for him and find him in the Temple, speaking with the teachers of the Law (Lk 2: 46 ,47), and when they ask him for an explanation, Jesus tells them they have no cause to wonder, because that is his place, that is his home, with the Father, who is God (The Infancy Narratives 143). "He – Origen writes - professes to be in the temple of his Father, the Father who has revealed Himself to us and of which he says he is the Son" (Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 18, 5).

Mary and Joseph’s concern for Jesus is the same as every parent who educates a child, introduces them to life and to understanding reality. Today, therefore, we should say a special prayer to the Lord for all the families of the world. Imitating the Holy Family of Nazareth, may parents seriously concern themselves about the growth and education of their children, so that they may mature as responsible and honest citizens, without ever forgetting that faith is a precious gift to be nourished in their children through personal example. At the same time we pray that every child is welcomed as a gift from God, is sustained by the love of the father and mother in order to advance as the Lord Jesus "in wisdom and age and favour before God and man " (Lk 2: 52). The love, loyalty and dedication of Mary and Joseph are an example for all Christian couples who are neither the friends nor masters of their children’s lives, but the guardians of this incomparable gift from God.

The silence of Joseph, the just man (cf. Mt 1:19), and the example of Mary who kept all things in her heart (cf. Lk 2:51), causes us to enter into the mystery full of faith and humanity of the Holy family. I wish for all Christian families to live in the presence of God with the same love and the same joy as the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer. Today the Church throughout the world celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. May Jesus, Mary and Joseph bring greater love, unity and harmony to all Christian families, that they in their turn may be a firm example to the communities in which they live. May God bless you and your dear families!

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

CATHOLIC RECIPE BOOK : CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE FOR NEW YEAR'S


1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup Milk (or semi-sweet) Chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons of Butter
2 packages of Cream Cheese (250 grams each) melted
3 Eggs
1. Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of pie plate
2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until blended. Then add eggs and beat on low until blended. Pour over crust.
3. Mix in Chocolate Chips
4. Bake 35-50 minutes or until centre is almost set.
5. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
6. Top with 1 tin of Fruit Pie Filling - flavor of your choice - ie. Cherry

IF YOU HAVE A RECIPE TO SHARE PLEASE EMAIL jesuscaritasest@gmail.com
Blessed New Year's!

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 14

IN HONOR OF THE YEAR OF FAITH - JCE NEWS WILL BE SHOWING SOME OF THE TOP CATHOLIC MOVIES OF ALL TIME. TUNE IN FOR THE NEXT PART OF ST. RITA- TOMORROW

EUROPE : ARCHBISHOP LETTER ON THE FAMILY

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
 
Birmingham: Archbishop Longley on Feast of the Holy Family | Birmingham: Archbishop Longley on Feast of the Holy Family

Archbishop Longley, picture by Peter Jennings
The following Pastoral Letter by the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, is being read in all churches and chapels throughout the Archdiocese of Birmingham, on the Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday, 30 December 2012 
Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom
This beautiful Christmas feast of the Holy Family offers us a welcome moment to pause. After our celebration of Christmas itself and as we journey towards the Epiphany we are like the wise men following the star. We need to reflect on what we have seen and to search for its deeper meaning in our lives. The birth of our Saviour, the Incarnation of the Word of God, reveals the hidden wisdom of God and his eternal purposes for humanity.
The Christmas story bears a profound message that is meant not only for Christian believers but for all men and women who are open to the truth. It is a message that is presented to us in the simple life of a humble family beginning at Bethlehem and continuing in Nazareth. This Holy Family can help us to understand God’s inner life of love and self-giving and can show us some of the values that underpin the gift of human life itself.
Our faith teaches us, through the insights of Holy Scripture that we have been created in the image and likeness of God. In ourselves we reflect something of the goodness, beauty and creativity of Almighty God. In our relationships with others we mirror something of the inner life of the Blessed Trinity, the eternally loving relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even though the image of God within us has become distorted and obscured by sin, Jesus our Saviour is restoring that image through the work of redemption first seen at Christmas.  The bonds of love that hold Jesus, Mary and Joseph together as the Holy Family formed the first human relationships that the Word-made-flesh would know. It is God’s will that we should live in loving family relationships in a way that reveals something of the inner life of the Trinity. It is not by chance that Jesus comes to know the love of a human father and mother within his family - it is his heavenly Father's plan.
The complementary love of father and mother is a precious gift that we should wish for every child. We know that many single parents courageously and generously look after their children and often struggle to give them a fine up-bringing. If it had not been for the understanding of St Joseph, our Lady herself might have had to face the difficulties of being a single parent. Even so, the experience of growing up with our father and mother to teach and guide, to console and love us unconditionally is an invaluable blessing in life.
The Government’s intention to legislate for same-sex marriage would undermine this Christian view of the family. Government policy cannot foresee the full consequences, for the children involved or for wider society, of being brought up by two mothers without a father’s influence or by two fathers without a mother's influence. We first learn about diversity and acquire a respect for difference through the complementarity of our parents.
In this Year of Faith it is important that we try to communicate to others, with clarity and confidence, the truths that come to us through Jesus Christ and his Church. The teaching of Christ recognises the union of man and woman in marriage as part of God's plan. lt also echoes his own experience of the life he shared with Mary and Joseph at Nazareth.
Last October the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization reflected on some of the challenges we face in our own society and encouraged us to strengthen our voice in the public forum. In our own country, where the Christian teaching on marriage is accused by a vociferous minority of being behind the times, we must patiently and courteously insist that the wisdom of Christ is good news for every age and for all people.
We are not claiming to be better than others, since we have the same struggle as everyone else to live a good life. But we have received in Christ a light to show us the way and a mission to share that light with others. St Paul urges us to teach each other and advise each other, in all wisdom.
May the lives of our families reflect the values of the Kingdom which we strive to share with others. On the threshold of a New Year may the Holy Family of Nazareth inspire and encourage us to be true to Christ and to be his faithful witnesses in the world and in our own family homes.
I pray that you and your family may be richly blessed this Christmastide and as the coming year unfolds.
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS

AMERICA : FAMILY THE DOMESTIC CHURCH - FREE RESOURCES

CCCB RELEASE

The family, the domestic Church
Following the recommendations of the former Ad Hoc Committee on Life and Family of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Bishops of Canada at their October 2011 Plenary Assembly adopted a plan to implement a national pastoral initiative for life and family. The initiative includes a number of possible elements that individual Bishops may decide to use in their dioceses as part of their ongoing pastoral planning. 
lifeandfamilyimageIn his December 2011 letter, the CCCB President, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, invited the Bishops to discuss in each of their dioceses how such a pastoral plan could be implemented during 2013, with 2012 to serve as a preparatory year. As proposed, the various elements include: strategies for formation; the promotion of life and family; outreach for life; programs for youth and the elderly; and collaboration with ecclesial movements and new communities. These options can be adapted and implemented by the Bishops in their respective dioceses, according to their evolving pastoral needs, diocesan resources, and local priorities.
In addition to developing its own resource materials “to build a culture of life and a civilization of love,” the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) is assisting the CCCB in developing possible documentation that can be part of the diocesan pastoral plan. The documents and activities proposed by the CCCB for possible use are listed below, for downloading and printing free of charge, or for adapting as needed.
Dioceses and Church organizations are also invited to exchange and share their own life and family materials or activities. The CCCB would be happy to assist by adding these to this webpage. Suggestions can be submitted to gensec@cccb.ca.
FREE RESOURCES CLICK LINKS BELOW - 

ASIA : INDONESIA : CHRISTIANS ATTACKED ON CHRISTMAS EVE

UCAN NEWS REPORT
Worshippers pelted with excreta at Christmas Eve service
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
Indonesia
2012-12-26 12:49:00
Catholic Church News Image of
HKBP Philadelphia members celebrate Christmas outside the presidential palace
About 200 Protestants from the Batak Society Christian Church (HKBP) Philadelphia in West Java were attacked by Muslims as they gathered to attend a Christmas Eve service on Monday.
Church members, who are involved in a dispute with local officials after being denied a permit to build a place of worship in Bekasi district, had gathered for the service on land where they hope to build their church.
“Hundreds of Muslims threw rotten eggs, dung and plastic bags full of urine at us,” Reverend Palti Panjaitan, a leader of the Protestants, told ucanews.com yesterday.
He said the congregation was forced to flee and hold its service in the compound of a police station.
HKBP Philadelphia was denied permission to build a church in the district after submitting an application in 2007.
In December 2009, district authorities also banned the congregation from worshipping at the proposed site, but in July last year the Supreme Court ruled in their favor, saying they were eligible for a permit.
The permit has still to be issued.
Congregation members and activists who tried attending the service later criticized police for not doing anything to prevent the attack.
“They stood by and did nothing,” Panjaitan said.
Maruli Tua Rajagukguk from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute said he found the situation difficult to understand.
“Police personnel seemed unconcerned that the congregation was attacked so arbitrarily,” he said.
The country’s Religious Affairs Minister, Suryadharma Ali, however criticized HKBP Philadelphia for trying to hold the service, saying the congregation should wait for the building permit to be issued by local authorities.
"The permit hasn’t been issued yet, so wait for it. Don’t create disturbances which can lead to misunderstandings,” he said.
A similar incident also occurred in May when the Protestants tried to celebrate Ascension Day.
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE - DEC. 30, 2012 - FEAST OF HOLY FAMILY

Dec 30, 2012 - Feast of Holy Family

sirach 3: 2 - 7, 12 - 14

2For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
3Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
4and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
5Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard.
6Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother;
7he will serve his parents as his masters.
12O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
13even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him.
14For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you;
Psalms 128: 1 - 5
1Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!
2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4Lo, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
5The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
Colossians 3: 12 - 21

12Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,13forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.18Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.19Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.21Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Luke 2: 22 - 40

22And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.27And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,29"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;30for mine eyes have seen thy salvation31which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;34and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,37and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.39And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

TODAY'S SAINT : THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY




CHURCHYEAR REPORT: The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the family unit and the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The feast usually falls on the Sunday after Christmas. If Christmas is a Sunday, then the feast is celebrated on December 30th. In 2011, the feast falls on December 30th.

Basic Facts

Liturgical Color(s): White
Type of Holiday:Feast Day; Holy Day of Obligation (if on a Sunday)
Time of Year: The Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day; If both are Sundays, the feast is celebrated on December 30
Duration: One Day
Celebrates/Symbolizes: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Alternate Names: Holy Family Sunday
Scriptural References: Matthew 2:13-23; Luke 2:1-24, Psalm 128, Colossians 3:12-21.

Introduction

The Holy Family is the name given to the family unit of Jesus: The Divine Son of God Jesus, his mother Mary, and his foster-father Joseph. We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the Canonical Scriptures. They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, and the finding of Jesus in the temple. Various non-canonical works, including the
Infancy Gospel of Thomas, try to fill in the blanks. However, even though these apocryphal works may contain some truth from oral tradition, they have been deemed unworthy of canonical status because of the way they present Jesus. While the exact details of the day-to-day life of the Holy Family may be unknown, we can still learn a lot from the stories we do have.
Devotion to the Holy Family is a recent development, but one that naturally grows out of a love for Jesus and his family. The cult of the Holy Family grew in popularity in the 17th century, and several religious congregations have been founded under this title. The Holy Family also became portrayed in popular art of the period. On October 26, 1921 the Congregation of Rites (under Pope Benedict XV) inserted the Feast of the Holy Family into the Latin Rite general calendar. Until then it had been celebrated regionally (see History below). Popes before and including Benedict XV (especially Leo XIII) promoted the feast as a way to counter the breakdown of the family unit. Today the Church celebrates the Feast on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day (Known as the Feast of Mary Mother of God in the Catholic Church). If both Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Sundays, no Sunday exists between the two dates, so the Church celebrates the Holy Family Feast on December 30th. If the feast falls on the 30th, attendance is not obligatory. Up until 1969, the Holy Family feast was kept on the first Sunday after the Epiphany. It was transferred to its current date in 1969.

The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the "domestic church" or the "church in miniature." St. John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a "family church," and in doing so, we sanctify the family unit. Just how does one live out the Church in the family? The best way is by making Christ the center of family and individual life. Ways to do this include: reading scripture regularly, praying daily, attending Mass at least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, imitating the actions of the Holy Family, going to confession frequently, and so forth, all done together as a family unit. In addition to cultivating positive actions, the Church understands that various actions and behaviors are contrary to God's Divine plan for the family, and these should be avoided. These include abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, polygamy, embryonic stem-cell research, divorce, spousal abuse, child abuse, and co-habitation. Catholic Teaching is that a marriage must be open to children. Anything artificial that prevents this is contrary to divine law, although spacing births for a just reason is permitted (and may be licitly accomplished through "natural family planning"). Also, poverty, lack of health care, rights violations, government intrusion in the life of communities and families, and other justice concerns must be addressed by faithful Christians because of the negative effect these conditions have on the family unit. St. Paul gives us some advice on family life in Colossians 3:12-21:
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (RSV).
The Holy Family feast is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families. We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit, and to evaluate our own family life. What ways may it be improved? What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do? Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighborhoods, and communities.

History

In 1643 Louis and Barbe d'Ailleboust came to Canada in order to devote their lives to the welfare of the natives there. After her husband had passed away, Barbe, with the assistance of the Jesuit Father Chaumonot, founded the Confraternity of the Holy Family. The confraternity and devotion to the Holy Family spread all over Canada and had the effect of promoting good morals. Monsignor François de Laval invited her to Quebec, and gave her the general management if the confraternity, which still exists today. In 1675, the now Bishop de Laval had a little book printed in Paris instructing the members of the confraternity as to virtuous practices. Bishop de Laval also established the feast of the Holy Family, and had a mass and office drawn up which are proper to the Diocese of Québec. The feast was later added in 1921 to the General calendar of the Western Rite as a way to counteract the breakdown of the family. http://www.churchyear.net/holyfamily.html

 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

MOVIE - BECKET - STARRING PETER O'TOOLE - WATCH


In honor of the Feast of St. Thomas Becket JCE News is sharing the entire film BECKET. This Hollywood production stars the award winning Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.
St. Thomas Becket

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND MARTYR

Feast: December 29
1118 - 1170 AD
Becket was in conflict with King Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.

VATICAN : POPE : SPRINGS OF TRUST IN GOD - MESSAGE TO TAIZE YOUTH

Vatican Radio REPORT/IMAGE-  This Saturday an estimated 40 thousand young people gathered around Pope Benedict XVI above the tomb of St Peter for a vigil of prayer at year’s end. They are the young men and women of Europe’s Taizé Community on their annual ‘pilgrimage of trust on earth’ and they had come to Rome to receive Pope Benedict’s blessing for their New Year’s ‘resolution’: To uncover the wellsprings of trust in God in today’s world.

Below, please find the text of the Holy Father’s address to the European meeting of the Taizé Community and the greeting to the Holy Father of Br. Alois, leader of the Community.

Thank you, dear Brother Alois, for your warm words, full of affection.
Dear young people, dear pilgrims of trust, welcome to Rome!
You have come in great numbers, from all over Europe and from other continents, to pray at the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. In fact, in this city both shed their blood for Christ. The faith that motivated these two great apostles of Christ is the same that compelled you to start out on this journey. During the year that is about to begin, you are proposing to uncover the well springs of trust in God in order to live it in your everyday life. It gladdens me that in this way, you have embraced the aims of the Year of Faith which began in October.
This is the fourth European meeting to be held in Rome. On this occasion, I would like to repeat the words my predecessor, John Paul II to young people during your third Meeting in Rome: "The Pope feels deeply committed together with you all on this pilgrimage of trust on earth ... I too am called to be a pilgrim of trust in the name of Christ". (30 December 1987).
ENGLISH
Just over seventy years ago, Brother Roger established the Taizé Community. Thousands of young people from all over the world continue to go there to seek meaning for their lives. The Brothers welcome them to share in their prayer and provide them with an opportunity to experience a personal relationship with God. It was to support these young people on their journey to Christ that Brother Roger had the idea of starting a “pilgrimage of trust on earth”.
A tireless witness to the Gospel of peace and reconciliation, ardently committed to an ecumenism of holiness, Brother Roger encouraged all those who passed through Taizé to become seekers of communion. We should listen in our hearts to his spiritually lived ecumenism, and let ourselves be guided by his witness towards an ecumenism which is truly interiorized and spiritualized. Following his example, may all of you be bearers of this message of unity. I assure you of the irrevocable commitment of the Catholic Church to continue seeking the paths of reconciliation leading to the visible unity of Christians. And so this evening I greet with special affection those among you who are Orthodox or Protestants.
FRENCH
Today, Christ is asking you the same question he asked his disciples, "Who am I to you?". Peter, at whose tomb we are gathered at this moment, replied: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt 16:15-16). His whole life became a concrete answer to this question. Christ also wants to receive a response from each of you born of a deep inner freedom and not of compulsion or fear. In responding to that question your life will find its strongest meaning. The text of the Letter of St. John that we have just heard helps us understand with great simplicity how to respond: "What we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another" (3:23). Have faith and love God and others! What could be more exciting? What could be more beautiful?
During these days in Rome, let this Yes to Christ grow in your hearts, above all by taking advantage of the long moments of silence that are an integral part of your community prayers, after having listened to the Word of God. This Word, says the Second Letter of Peter, is "like a lamp shining in a dark place," which you do well to be attentive to "until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" (1.19). You have to understand: if the morning star must arise in your hearts it is because it is not always present there. Sometimes the evil and suffering of the innocent create doubt and confusion in you. And saying Yes to Christ can become difficult. But these doubts do not make you non-believers! Jesus did not reject the man in the Gospel who shouted: "I do believe, help my unbelief!" (Mk 9:24).

GERMAN
So that you do not lose faith during this battle, God never leaves you alone and isolated. He gives us all the joy and comfort of the communion of the Church. During your stay in Rome, thanks to the generous hospitality of many parishes and religious communities, you are undergoing a new experience of being Church. On your return home, to your various countries, I invite you to discover that God is making you all co-responsible for His Church, in all the variety of vocations. This communion which is the Body of Christ needs you and you all have a place in it. Starting with your gifts, from what is specific to each of you, the Holy Spirit forms and breathes life into this mystery of communion which is the Church, in order to convey the Good News of the Gospel to the world today.
POLISH
Together with silence, song has an important place in your community prayers. In these days the songs of Taizé fill the basilicas of Rome. Song is a support and incomparable expression of prayer. Singing to Christ, you open yourselves to the mystery of His hope. Do not be afraid to precede the dawn in praise of God, you will not be disappointed.
Dear young friends, Christ does not remove you from the world. He sends you there where His light is missing, so that you may bring it to others. Yes, you are all called to be small lights to those around you. With your attention to a more equitable distribution of the goods of the earth, with your commitment to justice and a new human solidarity, you will help those around you to better understand how the Gospel leads us to God and at the same time to others. So, with your faith, you will contribute to uncovering the wellsprings of trust on earth.

Be full of hope. God bless you, your family and friends!


Greeting to the Holy Father by Brother Alois
Most Holy Father,
Today a significant milestone in our “pilgrimage of trust on earth” is taking place. We have come from all over Europe and from other continents too, from various Church affiliations. What unites us is stronger than what divides us: one baptism and the same Word of God unite us. We have come here this evening to celebrate this unity around you, a unity which is real even if it is not yet fully realized. It is when we turn together towards Christ that it grows deeper.
Brother Roger left a legacy to our community—his desire to communicate the Gospel to young people in particular. He was deeply aware that the divisions between Christians are a barrier to handing on the faith. He opened paths of reconciliation that we have not yet finished exploring. Inspired by his testimony, there are very many people who want to anticipate reconciliation by their lives, to live already as people who are reconciled.
Reconciled Christians can become witnesses to peace and communion, bearers of a new solidarity among human beings.
Seeking a personal relationship with God is the basis of this approach. This ecumenism of prayer does not encourage a facile tolerance. It promotes a mutual listening which is demanding, and a true dialogue.
Praying here tonight, we cannot forget that the last letter written by Brother Roger, just before his violent death, was addressed to you, Holy Father, to tell you that our community wanted to walk in communion with you. Nor can we forget how, after his tragic death, your support was invaluable to encourage us to move forward. So I would like to express once again the deep affection of our hearts for your person and for your ministry.
Finally, I would like to bring the witness to hope of the many young Africans with whom we met a month ago at Kigali, Rwanda. They came from 35 countries, including Congo, North Kivu, to undertake a pilgrimage of reconciliation and peace. The great vitality of these young Christians is a promise for the future of the Church.
These young Africans wanted us to bring back a sign of their hope, sorghum seeds, so that they could grow in Europe. Can I take the liberty, Holy Father, of giving you, from them, a small traditional Rwandan basket called “agaseke” with some of these seeds of hope from Africa? Perhaps they could be planted in the Vatican gardens and blossom there?

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA