Friday, August 30, 2013

NOVENA FOR BIRTH OF VIRGIN MARY - DAY 2 - PLENARY INDULGENCE

To all faithful Christians who, in private or public, in church or in their own houses, shall keep any of the following Novenas, in preparation for the principal feasts of most holy Mary, Pope Pius VII., at the prayer of several holy persons, granted, by Rescripts issued through his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar, Aug. 4 and Nov. 24, 1808, and Jan. 11, 1800 (all of which are kept in the Segretaria of the Vicariate) -
i. An indulgence of 300 days, daily.
ii. A plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin ac cording to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

IN PREPARATION FOR THE FEAST OF OUR LADY’S NATIVITY.


(Beginning Aug. 30.)

Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

TRANSLATION.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

i. So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honour from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria.

ii. We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria.

iii. We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria.

iv. We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria.

v. We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria.

vi. We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria.

vii. We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria.

viii. We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria.

ix. We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Saviour of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria.

PRAYER

O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favour in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death. Sit nomen Mariae mel in ore, melos in aure, et jubilus in corde. Amen. Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.

V. Nativitas tua, Dei Genitrix Virgo.
R. Gaudium annuntiavit universo mundo.

Oremus.
Famulis tuis, quaesumus Domine, coelestis gratiae munus impertire: ut quibus Beata Virginis partus extitit salutis exordium, nativitatis ejus votiva solemnitas pacis tribuat incrementum.

Oremus.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

TRANSLATION.

V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God.
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.

Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through, &c.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

TODAY' S SAINT: AUG. 31: ST. RAYMOND NONNATUS: DIED 1240

St. Raymond Nonnatus
CARDINAL AND MERCEDARIAN
Feast: August 31

Information: Feast Day: August 31

Born: 1204, La Portella, Comarca of Segrià, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon
Died: August 31, 1240, Cardona, Province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon
Canonized: 1657, Rome by Pope Alexander VII
Patron of: Childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women
Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was taken from the womb of his mother after her death, hence his name. Of noble but poor family, he showed early traits of piety and great talent. His father ordered him to tend a farm, but later gave him permission to take the habit with the Mercedarians at Barcelona, at the hands of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Raymond made such progress in the religious life that he was soon considered worthy to succeed his master in the office of ransomer. He was sent to Algiers and liberated many captives. When money failed he gave himself as a hostage. He was zealous in teaching the Christian religion and made many converts, which embittered the Mohammedan authorities. Raymond was subjected to all kinds of indignities and cruelty, was made to run the gauntlet, and was at last sentenced to impalement. The hope of a greater sum of money as ransom caused the governor to commute the sentence into imprisonment. To prevent him from preaching for Christ, his lips were pierced with a red-hot iron and closed with a padlock. After his arrival in Spain, in 1239, he was made a cardinal by Gregory IX. In the next year he was called to Rome by the pope, but came only as far as Cardona, about six miles from Barcelona, where he died. His body was brought to the chapel of St. Nicholas near his old farm. In 1657 his name was placed in the Roman martyrology by Alexander VII. He is invoked by women in labour and by persons falsely accused. The appendix to the Roman ritual gives a formula for the blessing of water, in his honour, to be used by the sick, and another of candles.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : SAT. AUG. 31, 2013

Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 430


Reading 1         1 THES 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
On the subject of fraternal charity
you have no need for anyone to write you,
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more,
and to aspire to live a tranquil life,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands,
as we instructed you.

Responsorial Psalm                          PS 98:1, 7-8, 9

R. (9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Gospel                           MT 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

POPE FRANCIS CALLS CARLO MARTINI "PROPHET OF PEACE"

Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis on Friday met with Father Carlo Casalone , provincial of the Society of Jesus for Italy, who was accompanying members of the "Fondazione Carlo Maria Martini" on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of the famous Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, who died on August 31, 2012. The foundation was established to preserve his legacy.

During the brief meeting, Pope Francis recounted his memories of the late Cardinal, in particular his address on faith and justice during the 1974 General Congregation of the Jesuits.

Pope Francis called him a prophet of peace, and encouraged the Foundation in its work, recalling the duty of children to their fathers. He called Cardinal Martine a father in the Church, not only for his diocese, but for countless people. 

“We, at the ends of the world,” said Pope Francis, “received from him a great contribution to biblical knowledge, but also because of his spirituality and life of faith, were nourished by the Word of God.”

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR PEACE IN SYRIA

Agenzia Fides REPORT - A week of prayer for peace in Syria begins today, August 30, and will last until September 6 in the 17 countries where the work of pontifical right "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACS) is present. As explained in a note sent to Fides by the French office of ACS, the week was scheduled for October, but recent events have anticipated the week: "We cannot wait. The time to pray for peace for Syrian people is now. Our brothers and sisters in Syria need it more than ever", explains the note. The campaign, which includes a specific Daily intention, joins the incessant prayer for peace and to avoid a military intervention on behalf of Western countries, that continues in all the Christian communities in Syria, as amply documented by Fides Agency (see Fides 29/08/2013) .
The prayer released by ACS and destined to the faithful around the world, invokes God for "a peaceful future for Syria, based on justice for all" and reads: "God of mercy, hear the cry of the Syrian people, comfort those who are suffering because of the violence, console those who mourn their dead, convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms, protect those who are committed to peace. God of hope, inspire leaders to choose peace instead of violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies". (PA) 

A FOSTER FATHER'S STORY - A REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN AUSTRALIA

periences of Mark's Life

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
30 Aug 2013
Many children of all ages will delight spending time with their fathers on Sunday
Father's Day was celebrated a few days early this week when four-year-old Katie's pre-school held a cupcake afternoon for Dads. Sydney businessman Mark* had no intention of missing such an important occasion and taking time off work, joined in the fun with Katie and all the other dads and their kids.
"Katie loves pre-school and has made some great friends there," he says and proudly recounts how his daughter can already write her own name, count up to 10 and is showing a real talent for drawing.
"Her motor skills are really good," he says.
The father of 12-year-old Caitlin as well as Dad to outgoing young Katie, Mark makes no distinction between his two daughters. As far as he's concerned they are both his girls, and with unconditional love, humour, laughter, kindness, commonsense, the ability to listen and when needed, to step in when one of them crosses the line, he is raising them to become strong, independent well-educated young women.
Mark's wife Melissa is equally devoted to her daughters and has created a warm, stable and happy family home where they are both thriving and growing in confidence and ability.
For Katie home has not always been this secure or this stable. Her birth parents may have loved her, but their ability to care for her and their other three children put Katie, her twin sisters and her older brother's emotional and physical wellbeing at risk.
"Most parents love their kids very much but for complex and different reasons find they are unable to take care of them," says Andree Borc, CatholicCare's Manager for the Professional Support of Children.
While every effort is made to return children in out-of-home care to their biological parent or parents, when this is not possible, kinship alternatives are examined to find out if they can be cared for by aunts or uncles or grandparents, she says.
But in some cases this may not be an option and for Katie and her siblings, the NSW Children's Court ultimately decided the four youngsters should be placed into permanent out of home care with dedicated and committed foster families.
Which is how Mark and Melissa became Katie's "Mum" and "Dad" and how two other families who are also part of CatholicCare's foster family program, took over as loving parents to Katie's twin sisters and her eight-year-old brother.
Like Katie, who is the youngest of the four, the children will remain in foster permanent care with the same families until they turn 18.
"But we hope she'll stay much longer than that and that Katie will be part of our lives for the rest of her life as well as ours," Mark says.
While three different families are now raising the four youngsters, the children see each other on a regular basis.
"We were all together to celebrate Katie's brother's eighth birthday this month and we get together for days out as often as possible to ensure Katie and her brother and twin sisters can share their lives and grow up together as part of one big extended family," Mark says.
CatholicCare, the welfare agency arm of the Archdiocese of Sydney, has more than 84 dedicated foster families across Sydney who provide out of home care to vulnerable children. Some of these children who range in age from babies and toddlers to teenagers are in need of emergency or temporary care. Other foster families offer mid-term care of a year or so while others such as Mark and Melissa offer permanent care to youngsters like Katie, raising them from childhood through to adulthood.
Foster fathers as important as mothers when it comes to out-of-home care
Trained by CatholicCare, closely monitored and supported, these families not only open their homes to children in need but their hearts as well.
Although most of us think in terms of foster mothers, Andree Borc points out the role played by fathers in out of home care is equally important. A significant number of children in foster care come from dysfunctional or broken homes or single mother households where they have had few if any strong and reliable male role models, she says.
But foster families don't only need a strong supportive Dad but a Dad who is as committed to foster care as his wife.
"There has to be a dual commitment and the couple's own children should be involved in the decision as well," Andree says pointing out that it is not enough that the mother in the household wants to do this and that everyone in the family has to be on side."
Mark agrees with her and his advice to any family thinking of becoming an out of home carer to a foster child or children to consider the decision very carefully first and to find out all the information they can.
"This must be an educated decision with everyone in the family consulted," he advises.
The family should also discuss whether they will offer emergency and temporary care, short to mid term care or like he and Melissa offer to take on foster care of a child or children on a long-term permanent basis.
Katie joined Mark's family on 29 June 2012, three weeks and one day after her third birthday and the 14 months since her new Dad insists "have been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life."
Despite this, Mark and Melissa's decision to become a CatholicCare foster family came about more by accident than design.
"After we had Caitlin, my wife experienced a couple of complications which meant we could have no more children of our own. We'd always wanted more children so in 2006 we put our names down at CatholicCare to adopt a baby. After five years of waiting, there was a change in foster care with permanent out of home care approved for certain children to ensure long term stability and to stop them being bounced from family to family. We put out names into the CatholicCare foster family pool as well," he says.
The idea of adopting a baby had long since given way to a young boy or girl to love, care for and raise as their own.
"We were in our 30s when we put our names down to adopt and in our 40s when Katie arrived and I think the fact she was three years old, if anything was a help," he says,pointing out that she was not only almost toilet trained but there were no broken nights of bottle feeds every four hours or the other challenges of a newborn.
Since her arrival, Katie has brought joy to the entire family, he says and has developed a great relationship with her big sister Caitlin."The two girls get on really well together but like all siblings, one moment they're schmoozing and cuddling and best of mates and the next arguing and disagreeing over something and pushing one another away," he says laughing.
Children of foster parents frequently form strong relationships with the new addition to the family
Next year Katie will follow in Caitlin's footsteps with a faith based education, first as a  student at the local parish primary school and then at the area's Catholic high school.
Katie's transition into her new family has been remarkably smooth, doubtless helped by the fact Melissa took a year off work to care for her new daughter as well as the continuing relationship with the little girl's twin sister and elder brother. But her evident happiness, constant laughter and curiosity is also due in a large part to her Dad who is immensely proud of his two daughters and their achievements.
But while Mark is a devoted Dad to his girls, don't think for a moment he's a push over.
"I've ended up as the family disciplinarian," he says explaining that the role fell to him because at a height of six foot one and a big deep voice "I can pull them into line a bit more easily when they need it."
This Sunday Mark will spend Father's Day with his own father, his father in law, together with Melissa and the couple's two large extended families. And front and centre of the celebrations will be outgoing Katie and her adored big sister Caitlin.
To find out more about CatholicCare's foster family programs call 02 8709 9333 or log on to www.fosterkids.com.au
Katie's name and Mark and Melissa's surnames have not been given to protect their privacy.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

RIP IRISH POET SEAMUS HEANEY - NOBEL PRIZE WINNER

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
Seamus Heaney RIP | Seamus Heaney, Archbishop Eamon Martin

Seamus Heaney 2009 - Wiki images
The Nobel Prize winning Irish poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died today, after a short illness. Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and has been described as Ireland's greatest writer since Yeats. He was 74 years old.
Born in April 1939, in Co Derry, Northern Ireland, Seamus was the eldest of nine children. He is survived by his wife Marie, and children Christopher, Michael and Catherine Ann. His family have requested privacy at this time.
Heaney was educated at St Columb's College in Derry, a Catholic boarding school, and later at Queen's University Belfast, before making his home in Dublin. During his  career he held prestigious posts at Oxford University and at Harvard in the US. He was an honorary fellow at Trinity College Dublin and last year was bestowed with the Seamus Heaney Professorship in Irish Writing at the university, which he described as a great honour.
His world-renowned poetry first came to public attention in the mid-1960s with his first major collection, Death Of a Naturalist, published in 1966. As the troubles took hold later that decade, his experiences were seen through the darkened mood of his work. His childhood and youth also played out in the poetry he wrote in later years.  In December 2011, he donated his personal literary notes to the National Library of Ireland,  joining the ranks of Irish literary master James Joyce and fellow Nobel winner WB Yeats.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, and a former president of Saint Columb's College, said in his tribute today: "We were all quietly ambushed by sadness at the announcement today of the death of Seamus Heaney RIP, Ireland's foremost poet. Honoured on the world stage, our Nobel Laureate was always at heart a quiet Irish man who wrote our story without rhetoric. In his work he observed ordinary country people going about their ordinary lives.
"His father, his mother, his aunts, his neighbours were Seamus's quiet heroes as he became ours. Anthologised for primary and secondary students for decades, his poetry excavated the past and found coordinates for the present. He saw history as our story - the story of ordinary humankind.
"Seamus Heaney was a poet of compassion, a great teacher and a gentle man in every sense. My prayers today are with his beloved wife Marie, his sons Christopher, Michael and his daughter Catherine Anne.
May he rest in peace.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis"
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NOVENA FOR NATIVITY OF VIRGIN MARY - DAY 1 - PLENARY INDULGENCE

To all faithful Christians who, in private or public, in church or in their own houses, shall keep any of the following Novenas, in preparation for the principal feasts of most holy Mary, Pope Pius VII., at the prayer of several holy persons, granted, by Rescripts issued through his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar, Aug. 4 and Nov. 24, 1808, and Jan. 11, 1800 (all of which are kept in the Segretaria of the Vicariate) -
i. An indulgence of 300 days, daily.
ii. A plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin ac cording to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

IN PREPARATION FOR THE FEAST OF OUR LADY’S NATIVITY.


(Beginning Aug. 30.)

Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

TRANSLATION.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

i. So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honour from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria.

ii. We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria.

iii. We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria.

iv. We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria.

v. We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria.

vi. We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria.

vii. We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria.

viii. We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria.

ix. We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Saviour of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria.

PRAYER

O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favour in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death. Sit nomen Mariae mel in ore, melos in aure, et jubilus in corde. Amen. Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.

V. Nativitas tua, Dei Genitrix Virgo.
R. Gaudium annuntiavit universo mundo.

Oremus.
Famulis tuis, quaesumus Domine, coelestis gratiae munus impertire: ut quibus Beata Virginis partus extitit salutis exordium, nativitatis ejus votiva solemnitas pacis tribuat incrementum.

Oremus.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

TRANSLATION.

V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God.
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.

Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through, &c.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

TODAY'S SAINT: AUG. 30: ST. PAMMACHIUS, DIED 409


St. Pammachius, Roman Senator and builder of the Church of SS John and Paul.
ROMAN SENATOR
Feast: August 30
Information: Feast Day: August 30
Born: 340
Died: 409 at Rome
Roman senator, d. about 409. In youth he frequented the schools of rehetoric with St. Jerome. In 385 he married Paulina, second daughter of St. Paula. He was probably among the viri genere optimi religione præclari, who in 390 denounced Jovinian to Pope St. Siricius (Ambrose, Ep. xli). When he attacked St. Jerorme's book against Jovinian for prudential reasons, Jerome wrote him two letters (Epp. xlviii-ix, ed. Vallarsi) thanking him; the first, vindicating the book, was probably intended for publication. On Paulina's death in 397, Pammachius became a monk, that is, put on a religious habit and gave himself up to works of charity (Jerome, Ep. lxvi; Paulinus of Nola, Ep. xiii). In 399 Pammachius and Oceanus wrote to St. Jerome asking him to translate Origen's "De Principiis", and repudiate the insinuation of Rufinus that St. Jerome was of one mind with himself with regard to Origen. St. Jerome replied the following year (Epp. lxxxiii-iv). In 401 Pammachius was thanked by St. Augustine (Ep. lviii) for a letter he wrote to the people of Numidia, where he owned property, exhorting them to abandon the Donatist schism. Many of St. Jerome's commentaries on Scripture were dedicated to Pammachius. After his wife's death Pammachius built in conjunction with St. Fabiola (Jerome, Epp. lxvi, lxxvii), a hospice at Porto, at the mouth of the Tiber, for poor strangers. The site has been excavated, and the excavations have disclosed the plan and the arrangement of this only building of its kind. Rooms and halls for the sick and poor were grouped around it (Frothingham, "The Monuments of Christian Rome," p. 49). The church of SS. John and Paul was founded either by Pammachius or his father. It was anciently known first as the Titulus Bizantis, and then as the Titulus Pammachii. The feast of Pammachius is kept on 30 August.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpammachius.asp

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRI. AUG. 29, 2013

Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 429


Reading 1                1 THES 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God–
and as you are conducting yourselves–
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

This is the will of God, your holiness:
that you refrain from immorality,
that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself
in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion
as do the Gentiles who do not know God;
not to take advantage of or exploit a brother or sister in this matter,
for the Lord is an avenger in all these things,
as we told you before and solemnly affirmed.
For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.
Therefore, whoever disregards this,
disregards not a human being but God,
who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Responsorial Psalm                             PS 97:1 AND 2B, 5-6, 10, 11-12

R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD loves those who hate evil;
he guards the lives of his faithful ones;
from the hand of the wicked he delivers them.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Gospel                             MT 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

POPE FRANCIS DISCUSSES SYRIA WITH KING OF JORDAN

(Vatican Radio) Peace and stability in the Middle East was the focus of Pope Francis’ meeting with the king of Jordan, Abdullah II.

The Holy Father on Thursday morning received in audience the Jordanian king and his wife, Queen Rania in the Vatican, along with a small delegation from Jordan. After exchanging cordial greetings with the king and queen, the Holy Father met with them privately for about 20 minutes before greeting the rest of the delegation.

Following the meeting with the pope, King Abdullah and several members of his delegation sat down with Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

Several themes were touched upon throughout the morning, including the negotiations which have resumed between Israelis and Palestinians, and on the question of Jerusalem.

Particular attention was given to the crisis in Syria. It was said that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option for putting an end to the conflict and the violence which every day claims many lives, including the helpless civilian population.

Also during meetings, King Abdullah was commended for his commitment in the field of interreligious dialogue, including next month’s conference in Amman which will focus on the challenges Christians will have to face in the Middle East during this period of socio-political transformation.

Finally, acknowledgement was given for the positive contribution that Christian communities bring to the local society, of which they are an integral part.

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

CHINESE WOMAN FORCED TO ABORT AT 9 MONTHS

ASIA NEWS REPORT
Lili Zeng underwent induced labour, and a lethal injection was made on the child's skull. In spite of all this, he was born alive, only to die in his mother's arms. The woman's husband forced the operation on her after he left her. He already had a son from a previous marriage. Women's Rights Without Frontiers slams what happened.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - A Chinese woman was forced to abort in the ninth month of her pregnancy because of her former husband's vindictiveness. In her own words, she was treated "as if I were a pig waiting to be slaughtered". In the end, she watched her child terminated, dying in her arms after birth.
This is the horrific story of Lili Zeng, a young mother from Xinfeng County (in the rich southern province of Guangdong); just another victim of China's one-child policy.
Her experience is told by Women's Rights Without Frontiers, a non-governmental organisation led by Reggie Littlejohn who has been fighting to save innocent lives in China for years.
Zeng's tragedy began in 2011. When she became pregnant, her husband left her. Having had another son from his first wife, he signed a consent form to force an abortion on his current wife.
Under Chinese law, abortion may be imposed by force if one spouse does not want to have children. What is more, already having a child is sufficient ground to stop a pregnancy.
For Chinese authorities, the husband's desertion and Zeng's opposition were not enough to stop them.
For the woman, her husband's consent to the abortion was due to his first wife's vindictiveness. In the end, red tape delayed everything until the ninth month, when Zeng was forcibly confined to a hospital for the abortion.
At such a late date, this kind of operation is a very risky, painful and completely unjustified. Zeng said she felt "as if I were a pig waiting to be slaughtered."
Despite the lethal injection in the skull and the labour pains caused by drugs, the child was born alive but died in his mother's arms shortly after.
Zeng said that she has attempted suicide three times after her release from hospital. Fortunately, they failed each time. Now she wants justice and is going through official channels like her local of Family Planning Office.
"If you want to blame someone, please blame the [One-Child] Policy, or your husband," said one of the officials after being solicited extensively for an explanation.
"If he had not agreed to sign the form, no doctor would have dared to inject the induced labour needle into your body. Lili Zeng . . . if you continue to send text messages or call to berate me, I will definitely find someone to deal with you," he told her.
For Reggie Littlejohn, "Our hearts break for Ms Zeng [. . .].  Her experience dramatically demonstrates the connection between forced abortion and China's astronomical female suicide rate:  590 women a day end their lives in China.

Her situation "shows that-even when a woman is pregnant with her first child-if it is her husband's second child, she can be forcibly aborted.  We strongly condemn forced abortion under China's One Child Policy and demand that the Chinese government put a stop to these atrocities immediately."
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

TODAY'S SAINT: AUG. 29: BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST


The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist
Feast: August 29
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was called by God to be the forerunner of His divine Son. In order to preserve his innocence spotless, and to improve the extraordinary graces which he had received, he was directed by the Holy Ghost to lead an austere and contemplative life in the wilderness, in the continual exercises of devout prayer and penance, from his infancy till he was thirty years of age. At this age the faithful minister began to discharge his mission. Clothed with the weeds of penance, be announced to all men the obligation they lay under of washing away their iniquities with the tears of sincere compunction; and proclaimed the Messias, Who was then coming to make His appearance among them. He was received by the people as the true herald of the Most High God, and his voice was, as it were, a trumpet sounding from heaven to summon all men to avert the divine judgments, and to prepare themselves to reap the benefit of Vie mercy that was offered them. The tetrarch Herod Antipas having, in defiance of all laws divine and human, married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was yet living, St. John the Baptist boldly reprehended the tetrarch and his accomplice for so scandalous an incest and adultery, and Herod, urged on by lust and anger, cast the Saint into prison. About a year after St. John had been made a prisoner, Herod gave a splendid entertainment to the nobility of Galilee. Salome, a daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod by her dancing, insomuch that he promised her to grant whatever she asked. On this, Salome consulted with her mother what to ask. Herodias instructed her daughter to demand the death of John the Baptist, and persuaded the young damsel to make it part of her petition that the head of the prisoner should be forthwith brought to her in a dish. This strange request startled the tyrant himself; he assented, however, and sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison, with an order to bring his head in a charger and present it to Salome, who delivered it to her mother. St. Jerome relates that the furious Herodias made it her inhuman pastime to prick the sacred tongue with a bodkin. Thus died the great forerunner of our blessed Saviour, about two years and three months after his entrance upon his public ministry, about a year before the death of our blessed Redeemer.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. AUG. 29, 2013

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lectionary: 428/634

Reading 1          1 THES 3:7-13
We have been reassured about you, brothers and sisters,
in our every distress and affliction, through your faith.
For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you,
for all the joy we feel on your account before our God?
Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person
and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.
Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus
direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase
and abound in love for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm                          PS 90:3-5A, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (14) Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Gospel               MK 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

POPE FRANCIS CELEBRATES MASS FOR AUGUSTINE ORDER - VIDEO

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass for
 the start of Chapter General for the Order of St. Augustine, who will elect their prior general for the next six years.   

The Pope arrived by car to the Basilica of St. Augustine at Campo di Marzio, near Piazza Navonna. 
The Pope lead the celebration Mass at the Church of Saint Augustine in Rome. The occasion marked the opening of the Order’s 184th General Chapter. 

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. AUG. 28, 2013

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 427


Reading 1         1 THES 2:9-13

You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
how devoutly and justly and blamelessly
we behaved toward you believers.
As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and insisting
that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Responsorial Psalm                PS 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12AB

R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light”–
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Gospel                    MT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

ATTACKS ON CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS AND ORPHANAGES IN EGYPT

ASIA NEWS REPORT
In a raid that followed Morsi's ouster, Islamists particularly raged against children's toys. The facilities were also open to children from rural Muslim families.


Minya (AsiaNews) - With at least 20 attacks against churches, Christian schools and orphanages, Minya Governorate is the part of ​​Egypt where Islamists struck with greatest violence and brutality.
"The Islamists", one resident said, "burnt and destroyed everything. Their goal was to erase all the traces of a Christian presence; even the orphanages were looted and destroyed."
After storming the Prince Tadros el-Shatbi Church, the armed Islamic extremists turned their attention to two homes for disadvantaged children located near the parish church, residents said.
They stole church offerings, clothes, and children's games before torching the entire building. The fire lasted over 5 hours.
"Fortunately," the source said, "the children were taken to safety before the arrival of the Islamists."
Like other Christians sites, the two homes that housed hundreds of orphans are now a pile of rubble.
The criminals did not only destroy the two orphanages but also the homes of some families working for the orphanages as well as a nearby art gallery that sold objects and artefacts made by orphans to raise money.
Shurkri Huzayn, 40, is the orphanage guard. He, too, grew up as an orphan at the facility. He witnessed the Salafist attack.
"What kind of people are they? Even unbelievers would not attack an orphanage," he said.
Islamists raged particularly against anything that symbolised the Christianity and modernity, including computers.
After they left the building, the terrorists burnt nearby shops and schools, such as the St Joseph Coptic School, which is run by nuns, a pharmacy and a restaurant. Anti-Christian graffiti were sprayed on the walls along a road.
A few days after the massacre, the guard said that Copts wrote a message on the wall of the orphanage in response to the militants' insults that read, "Despite of what you did, we ask God to forgive you," and "God exists."
According to a teacher at St Joseph, the attack will have a major impact on Christians' daily life.

"The teachers," she noted, "do not know when the school year will start. The school is open to Christians and Muslims and has taught hundreds of children from rural areas, many of whom were housed in the two orphanages."
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

17 KILLED IN REFUGEE ACCIDENT IN UGANDA

(Agenzia Fides) - 17 deaths, 30 seriously injured, another twenty slightly injured. This is the toll of a serious road accident in Uganda whose victims are Congolese refugees who fled from Kamango, in the territory of Beni (in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) because of the fighting between the regular army of Kinshasa and the Ugandan rebels of the ADF-NALU.
According to a note sent to Fides Agency by the Provincial Coordination of Civil Society of North Kivu, the accident occurred on August 26 on the main road Bubukwanga-Kyangwari in the Ugandan district of Bundibugyo. The bus was carrying 92 Congolese refugees that the Ugandan government had decided to move from Bubukwanga (town close to the border and close to Kamango) to Kyangwari, which is considered a safer place because it is far from the border.
Of the 92 persons transported by bus, only 21 were not injured, while the 30 seriously injured are in coma.
The coordination of the Civil Society of North Kivu has launched an appeal to the Congolese government in order to provide all necessary support to the injured and a proper burial for the victims.
According to UNICEF, more than 66,000 Congolese, 37,000 of whom are children, have fled to Uganda because of the violence of the ADF-NALU (Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda), a Ugandan rebel coalition that has laid its bases on the Congolese territory. In July, the town of Kamango was at the center of fighting between the rebels of the ADF-NALU and the Congolese army. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/08/2013)

SISTERS OF CHARITY CELEBRATE 175 IN AUSTRALIA

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
27 Aug 2013
Governor of NSW Professor Marie Bashir launched the Sisters of Charity's commemorative book celebrating 175 years of service
The Sisters of Charity were the first nuns to arrive in Australia. Travelling from Ireland at the request of Bishop Polding four young professed religious and one novice landed at Botany Bay 175 years ago. Setting foot on Australian soil on New Year's Eve 1838, the Sisters of Charity went on to become Australia's undisputed leaders in healthcare, education, medical research, aged care and support for the disabled.
Founders of St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst together with St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and hospitals in Toowoomba, Lithgow and Cootamundra, in the 1980s the Sisters of Charity were among the first to nurse those infected with HIV/AIDs and in more recent times have been at the forefront of advances in palliative care.
This month as the Sisters of Charity of Australia begin 12 months of celebrations to mark 175 years of their mission and ministries in Australia, they have produced an impressive book to commemorate this important milestone.
While paying tribute to the Sisters' long rich history in Australia, Impelled by Christ's Love 175 Years Serving In Australia puts its main focus not on the past but on the here and now, and on the Congregation's wide-ranging and on-going mission in a world vastly different from the colonial outpost with its convicts and dirt-encrusted streets that greeted the five Irish nuns back in 1838.
Launched on the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary, Patron Saint of the Sisters of Charity, by the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir, the handsome volume represents many months of meticulous research, interviews and hard work.
Written by the Sisters of Charity of Australia's Congregational historian, Sr Moira O'Sullivan aided by a dedicated team of religious as well as lay volunteers, the book gives a fascinating insight into the past, present and future of one of the nation's best known and beloved Congregations.
Sisters of Charity Foundation developed an eight day swim program for Afghan refugee children and their families
But the book is just one of several celebratory initiatives planned for the next 12 months, with a special liturgy set to take place in Sydney on New Year's Eve this year when Australia's 156 Sisters of Charity will gather to mark the exact date of the founding of their mission in Australia.
"Although Bishop Polding asked our founder, Mary Aikenhead to send religious women from the Congregation in Ireland to help support and minister to Australia's female convicts held in Parramatta gaol, and we retain close links to Ireland's Sisters of Charity, in the 1840s we became a separate Congregation," explains Sister Annette Cunliffe, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity of Australia.
Sr Annette says this landmark anniversary year is an opportunity for the Sisters of Charity not only to give thanks to God but to all the "wonderful men and women who support and have supported us over many, many years."
"The year is also a time to look ahead to the future with hope and trust," she says and points out that just as the world has changed and new demands and needs emerged, the mission and ministries of the Sisters have also undergone change.
While continuing to be leaders in healthcare, research, education, aged care, community service, prison ministries and working in rural and remote areas as well as supporting and ministering to Australia's Indigenous peoples, the Sisters have expanded their work through the Sisters of Charity Foundation and the Mary Aikenhead Ministries.
The Foundation established in the 1990s supports a variety of programs and in 2011-2012 funded 44 projects and distributed more than $365,890 to make a difference to men and women as well as groups such as Youth at Risk, Refugees, the Disabled, the Prison-affected and the down and out and disadvantaged.
The Foundation also supports the House of Welcome which provides accommodation, safety and transition into their new life in Australia for refugees, offers transport to help asylum seekers and refugees obtain access to necessary agencies in their first bewildering weeks or months, and works closely with the Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association which offers support to Afghan refugee children, youth and other new arrivals to Australia in the Auburn area.
Sr Moira O'Sullivan, author of the book with Governor Bashir and the Rev Michael Giffin
As part of this initiative, the Sisters of Charity Foundation has developed and sponsors an eight day swimming program for children and other new arrivals, providing a way to meet others, socially engage and have fun.
The Foundation also set up and supports Homeless Healthcare and has joined forces to with the Bourke Street Bakery to help fund the Bakery's program to train and give employment outcomes to refugees and asylum seekers.
"The idea is to give 'seed' money that makes a difference to ventures by individuals or community groups," Sr Annette says and gives as an example a man who during the recent long drought in Western NSW collected cans of food and other essentials to give to those doing it tough on the land.
"He had collected a large amount of canned goods but had trouble meeting the cost of petrol needed to get the items to those who needed them most. That's when we stepped in and paid for his petrol so the program could continue," she says.
Another example is the case of a young woman with an intellectual disability who for the past decade has found independence and built her confidence and self esteem by delivering 3600 newspapers and real estate brochures each month around her local suburb in Canberra. Last year when her delivery trolley was about to collapse, the Foundation provided her with a brand new one.
Another important recent initiative is the Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarships Scheme. Established last year to enable men and women who have been in foster or out of home care the opportunity of a tertiary education.
For the thousands of children brought up in foster or out of home care, once they turn 18 they are given $1000 by the Department of Community Services and most find themselves suddenly there on their own to try to make the best of it.
Little wonder only 2.8% of all those brought up in out of home care in Australia attempt to go on to university.
"We are helping to change this," says Sr Annette.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation funded a new delivery trolley to enable a Canberra woman with disabilities to continue working
In 2012 thanks to formalized partnerships with the University of Notre Dame and the Australian Catholic University, the Foundation was able to offer scholarships at these two highly regarded universities. Since then the Foundation entered into additional partnerships and this year was also able to also offer scholarships for study at the University of Sydney, University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne as well as ACU and UNDA.
Although numbers of those entering religious life has declined in Congregations across Australia, the Sisters of Charity has a large and growing laity who have committed themselves to working with the poor and have embraced founder Mary Aikenhead's vow to give service to the poor as well as her admonition "to make ourselves extensively useful."
"Being poor is not only about a lack of money. Being poor can mean being poor in spirit, being ill, being emotionally poor and for the aged, being poor simply because of all the things lost by being elderly and frail," Sr Annette explains.
Now as the Sisters prepare for 12 months of celebrations to mark 175 years of serving and ministering to countless generations of Australians, Sr Annette is convinced they can look forward with confidence to another 175 years of service "impelled by the love of Christ."
"None of us knows our future but we know and trust in God," she says.
To order a copy of "Sisters of Charity of Australia 1838-2013: 175 Years Impelled by Christ's Love" log on tohttp://www.sistersofcharity.org.au/wp-content/uploads/175-Years-Book-Order-Form.pdf or go to the Sisters website atwww.sistersofcharity.org.au
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY