Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Ephesians 6:

1 - 9

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise),
3 "that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ;
6 not in the way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men,
8 knowing that whatever good any one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
9 Masters, do the same to them, and forbear threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Psalms 145: 10 - 14

10 All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee!
11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,
12 to make known to the sons of men thy mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of thy kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.
Luke 13: 22 - 30

22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 And some one said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them,
24 "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, `Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, `I do not know where you come from.'
26 Then you will begin to say, `We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.'
27 But he will say, `I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!'
28 There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.
30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."


Vatican City, 31 October 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning Benedict XVI, continuing his catecheses on the subject of Catholic faith, began by posing certain important questions: "Is the nature of faith merely personal and individual? ... Do I live my faith alone?", he asked.
"Certainly, the act of faith is an eminently personal act", he told the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. "It is something which happens in the most intimate depths of my being and causes a change of direction, a personal conversion. ... But the fact that I believe is not the result of solitary reflection, ... it is the fruit of a relationship, a dialogue ... with Jesus which causes me to emerge from my 'I' ... and to open myself to the love of God the Father. It is like a rebirth in which I discover that I am united not only to Jesus but also to all those who have walked and continue to walk along His path. And this new birth, which begins with Baptism, continues throughout the course of a person's life.
"I cannot construct my personal faith in a private dialogue with Jesus", the Pope added, "because faith is given to me by God through a believing community which is the Church. And faith makes me part of a multitude of believers bound by a communion which is not merely sociological, but rooted in the eternal love of God. ... The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this very clearly: 'Believing is an ecclesial act. The Church's faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers'".
At the beginning of Christian history, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, "the nascent Church received the strength to accomplish the mission entrusted to her by the risen Lord: that of spreading the Gospel, the good news of the Kingdom of God, to the ends of the earth, and thus leading all men and women to meet Him, to the faith which saves. ... Thus began the journey of the Church, the community which carries this message though time and space, the community which is the People of God", whose members "do not belong to a particular social or ethnic group but are men and women from all nations and cultures. They are a 'catholic' people who speak new languages, who are open to welcoming everyone, beyond all confines, who break down all barriers".
"Ever since the beginning, then, the Church has been the place of faith, the place where faith is transmitted. ... The life of the Church, the announcement of the Word of God and the celebration of the Sacraments form an unbroken chain which has come down to us and which we call Tradition. This gives us the guarantee that what we believe is Christ's original message, as preached by the Apostles. ... It is in the ecclesial community that personal faith grows and matures".
In this context the Pope explained how, in the New Testament, the word "saints" is used to refer to Christians as a whole. "Certainly", he said, "not all of them had the qualities necessary to be declared saints by the Church". The name "saint" meant that "those who had faith ... in the risen Christ were called to become a point of reference for all the others, and to bring them into contact with the Person and Message of Jesus Who revealed the face of the living God. ... This also holds true for us. A Christian who allows himself to be guided and moulded by the faith of the Church, despite his weaknesses, limitations and difficulties, becomes a window open to the light of the living God, receiving this light and transmitting it to the world".
"The tendency, so widespread today, to relegate the faith to the private sphere contradicts its very nature. ... We need the Church in order for our faith to be confirmed and to experience the gifts of God together . ... In a world in which individualism seems to regulate dealings between people, making them ever more fragile, the faith calls us to be People of God, to be Church, bearers of the love and communion of God for the entire human race", the Holy Father concluded.
Vatican City, 31 October 2012 (VIS) - "Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding", said the Holy Father at the end of his catechesis during today's general audience.
Turning then to address Polish pilgrims, he noted that, "in the context of the month of the Rosary which is now coming to an end, and of All Saints' Day which we will celebrate tomorrow, let us thank God for the Year of Faith, and for the Synod of Bishops with the guidance it has given us vis-a-vis the new evangelisation".
Finally the Holy Father greeted rectors of Catholic universities, who are currently meeting in Rome, and expressed the hope that their pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles would reinforce their "sense of belonging to the Church".
Vatican City, 31 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Fr. Peter Parapullil, vicar general of the diocese of Jhansi, India, as bishop of the same diocese (area 29,418, population 8,233,914, Catholics 3,936, priests 54, religious 236). The bishop-elect was born in Perumanoor, India in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975. He studied in India and in Rome and has, among other roles, been active in pastoral care in parishes and missions, as well as working as procurator and rector of the Shrine of St. Jude in Jhansi. He succeeds Bishop Frederick D'Souza, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Pedro Vazquez Villalobos, vicar general of the diocese of San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, as bishop of Puerto Escondido (area 13,221, population 496,000, Catholics 450,000, priests 45, religious 53), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Huisquilco, Mexico in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1975. He has been active in pastoral care and is a member of presbyteral council and the college of consultors.
- Appointed Fr. Robert Herman Flock Bever of the clergy of the diocese of La Crosse, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of "La Santa Cruz" and formator of young clergy in the Bolivian archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Cochabamba (area 32,306, population 1,668,000, Catholics 1,534,000, priests 307, permanent deacons 28, religious 1,295), Bolivia The bishop-elect was born in Sparta, U.S.A., in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1982. He has worked in pastoral care, first in his American diocese then in Bolivia after moving there as a "fidei donum" priest in 1988.
- Appointed Fr. Rene Leigue Cesari of the clergy of the archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, pastor of the parish of "Nuestra Senora de Fatima" and director of studies at the major seminary of "San Lorenzo", as auxiliary of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (area 50,000, population 2,338,000, Catholics 1,842,000, priests 197, permanent deacons 5, religious 773). The bishop-elect was born in the "Comunidad Nuevo Horizonte", Bolivia in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1999. He has served as pastor in a number of different parishes




HURRICANE SANDY struck in 13 States in the USA, parts of the Caribbean and parts of Canada. The death toll from the storm is currently 122 people. With 67 from the Caribbean, 54 from the US and 1 from Canada.  The hardest hit was New York State. There is fires and flooding in many areas that are still causing damage. The damage is severe and the costs are rising. (Image source: GOOGLE)

Catholic Charities Stands Ready to Address Immediate
Community Needs Left by Hurricane Sandy

Local Agencies Able to Assess and Provide Resources in Aftermath of Storm

Alexandria, VA - Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), among the nation’s largest disaster response organizations, reported today that a major assessment of the impact and needs created by Hurricane Sandy is well underway, and that immediate service is being provided in partnership with other disaster organizations and state and local governments along the East coast.

Rev. Larry Snyder, President of CCUSA said, “We are the people on the ground before, during and long-after a disaster strikes, which puts us in a unique position to really understand a community’s needs and makes us an invaluable asset to first responders and our partners.”

CCUSA is receiving regular reports and updates from its agencies in New York, New Jersey, and all the way down the East coast—all of whom have been prepared for Sandy and stand ready in partnership with other responding agencies and local authorities to provide immediate relief and shelter to all impacted individuals and families. They will continue to do so until the lives of these individuals return to normal.

Samuel Chambers, Senior Vice President of CCUSA’s Disaster Response Operations said, “Many of these areas were also severely impacted by Hurricane Irene one year ago. Emotional & spiritual care will play a large role in the response and recovery phases.”

Since Hurricane Katrina, Catholic Charities USA and its network of agencies across the country has helped thousands of families recover from disasters, first as an early responder to the immediate needs and later helping people rebuild their lives. Relief and recovery services are provided at the local level by Catholic Charities agencies that provide critical services including emergency food, shelter, direct financial assistance, counseling, and support. These services are provided regardless of religion, race, creed, or socio-economic status.

To support our efforts and help restore desperately needed hope, please call 1-800-919-9338 or visit our website at to see how you can help.
For regular updates, you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


A virtual cemetery has opened for All Saints' Day  
Catholic Church News Image of Filipinos go online for Day of the Dead
The homepage of the virtual cemetery
The observance of Undas, or Day of the Dead, is a major family affair in the Philippines. In honor of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2, tombs are cleaned and repainted, candles are lit and flowers are offered.
It is also a public holiday and, traditionally, Filipino families spend a night or two in the cemetery near their relatives’ tombs, playing card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing.
But what about the large diaspora of Filipinos who are too far away to visit their loved ones’ resting places?
Enter the internet.
On Tuesday, the country’s bishops reactivated a virtual cemetery: Undas Online.
The website, introduced last year, has a “Prayer Request” button where visitors can list the names of the dead they want to pray for. With another click, they can also make a visit to the virtual cemetery, where they can spend time in quiet reflection. The site also offers suitable prayers to be recited there.
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, media office director of the bishops’ conference, said the service is for Filipinos who work abroad and for them to feel that they are also in the cemetery on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“That’s the purpose of the photos of the cemetery, so that our overseas workers can pray for their departed loved ones by just looking at the photos,” he said.
The service received 20,000 requests and garnered “positive feedback” last year from Filipinos around the world, he added.
Also included on the site are podcasts and catechesis on the liturgical meaning of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Msgr. Quitorio, however, said Filipinos in the country are still encouraged to visit cemeteries, oratories and churches to physically visit the tombs of their dear departed.



Cardinal calls for better understanding of causes of crime | Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2012 Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture, Allen Hall Seminary, 'Faith and the Criminal Justice System'

Cardinal Cormac - image Marcin Mazur
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor gave the 2012 Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture today , 30th October, at Allen Hall Seminary, on 'Faith and the Criminal Justice System'. The full text follows.
I have always had a certain sympathy for men and women in prison. This is not because I condone their crimes but when talking to them I realise there are so many aspects to their present condition. I also remember the Lord’s wonderful words about the last judgement in Matthew’s Gospel: Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help? (Mt. 25:45). Somehow, prisoners are very dear to the Lord’s heart and the way we minister to them is of enormous importance.
The teaching of the second Vatican Council says that, ‘Without exception, we are to recognise the innate dignity of every human being as somebody made in the image and likeness of God.’ This, of course, includes the 87,000 people held in the prisons of England and Wales, today.
In his letter “for the jubilee in Prisons” on the occasion of the Holy Year 2000, Pope John Paul ll said: “Those in prison look back with regret or remorse to the days when they were free and they experience their time now as a burden which never seems to pass. In this difficult situation, a strong experience of faith can greatly help in finding the inner balance which every human being needs.” What does this Faith say about prisoners? Pope Benedict XVl visited Rebibbia prison in Rome, recently and said this to the prisoners: “I’ve come simply to tell you that God loves you. Wherever there is a hungry person, a foreigner, a sick person or a prisoner, there is Christ himself who is awaiting our visit and our help.”
Some eight years ago, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference published a Report on Criminal Justice matters, called ‘A Place of Redemption.’ We launched it in Brixton prison. Although the statistics have changed, it is still a very important document, containing a Christian view on Punishment and Prison. I recommend anyone involved in our Criminal Justice process, to read this Report. It doesn’t make comfortable reading though, because it challenges us all to pray, to reflect and to be somehow involved in the world of Crime, Punishment, Justice and Mercy. The heart of the document is based on Catholic Social Teaching and the concept of The Common Good. Every individual is created in the image of God. Every human person is the clearest reflection of God that we have. As the 1996 document on ‘The Common Good’ puts it:
“We believe each person possesses a basic dignity that comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment, not from race or gender, age or economic status.”
Then the document spells out how we should view our prison system: “The test therefore of every institution or policy is whether it enhances or threatens human dignity and indeed human life itself.......This insight has a number of ramifications. It is important to remember that it applies as much to victims as to the prisoner. It also bears upon our responsibilities as well as our rights: the ‘Imago Die’, the ‘Image of God’ constitutes the basis of obligations to others – for we all carry the obligation to see God in all others, recognising and honouring them – irrespective of wealth, power, prestige, utility or behaviour....Mercy must reveal to us that a new possibility for being human resides in that ‘image of God’” in each person.
This must also mean that a penal policy which is “essentially or primarily punitive is also unacceptable – for it does not fully respect that the human person remains always open to the possibility of mercy as the necessary complement to justice and to the fulfilment of social relations.”
Is our prison system primarily punitive? Deprivation of liberty is punishment itself and surely is only appropriate for adults who have committed very serious or violent crimes. However, for those in prison, this time must be well spent with opportunities for rehabilitation. The then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, in 1910 said that the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilisation of any Country .
Let’s look at a few statistics which might help us to discover how punitive is our own Criminal Justice system:
39% of children in custody have been on the child protection register or have experienced neglect or abuse. 71% have been involved with, or in the care of Social Services prior to imprisonment.
Over half the women in prison have suffered domestic violence; over 30% have been sexually abused.
50% of the men and women in prison ran away from home as children. Shouldn’t we try to better understand why people commit crime? I suspect that better understanding would lead to less punishment and a clearer connection between Criminal Justice and Social policy.
Our politicians use hard words in describing our approach to justice, the media tend to also do the same. The Prison Service is now asked to reduce its budget by 23%.
In 2004, when we launched ‘A Place of Redemption’, the prison population stood at about 75,000. In the last 8 years it has increased by about 12,000. In the last two decades, it has doubled! This is not because of significantly more crime but because we have become more punitive – increasing the length of sentences, introducing mandatory sentences and seeking imprisonment earlier for those who in the past would have received a fine or told to do Community Service.
Over 80 of our prisons are overcrowded. There is a great deal of violence and self-harm in our prisons with around 80% suffering some form of mental illness. Only 36% of released former Offenders go into Education, Training or Employment and many are homeless and in debt, on leaving prison. 47% of all adults are reconvicted within one year, rising to 57% for those serving sentences of less than 12 months and almost 70% for those under 18 years of age.
On the positive side, there is a 45% drop in the number of children and young people being sent to custody in the Youth Justice system, with a 1000 fewer young people in custody today than 10 years ago. Community Sentences are reducing reoffending rates better than custodial sentences. Nonetheless, the Government’s 46 page consultation document, uses the word ‘punitive’ 42 times and refers to ‘punishment’ on 48 occasions. We need to restore an emphasis on Rehabilitation and Reform, rather than
Where do people of Faith stand in all this? We live in a society where most people do not want to know about prison. People of Faith, too, are indeed influenced by this attitude. However, the Church has a long history of being alongside those in prison. Today, for example, we have a record number of Catholic Prison chaplains, working in the prisons of England and Wales - 180 Priests, Deacons, Religious and Lay-people. They work alongside other chaplains and in partnership with the Prison Service.
Our presence isn’t just motivated by our social concern but by the values of the Gospel. There is a Gospel imperative which demands our attention. “I was in prison and you visited me,” or you didn’t! That is what the Lord will say to us on Judgement Day!
Sometimes, good things happen in prison. Sometimes prisoners take the few opportunities that exist, to address the issues behind their offending behaviour and are able to move forward positively in their lives. Many people in prison, in their pain and sense of failure open their hearts to God, like never before, and discover the God of tenderness and compassion, who is slow to anger and rich in mercy.
I would like to draw your attention to another area on which rehabilitation and reform depend, that is the support that people leaving prison, really need. All the statistics available indicate that people leaving prison, who receive support and encouragement from others, on the outside, are much more likely to break the cycle of re-offending. Without anyone to care, former Offenders tend to drift back to old neighbourhoods and to old patterns of behaviour. Jobs, Training and Housing are vitally important pathways that lead to Change. But even more crucial is the actual presence of another living human being alongside, who understands the struggle, who refuses to condemn and recognises the innate value and worth of the Child of God who has just left prison.
There are many excellent schemes that offer that necessary support which is needed by our brothers and sisters on discharge from prison.
Sometimes, sadly, Christian People of Faith have been slow to be involved in such schemes, even though the words of the Lord are so clear. We all need to examine our consciences.
May I commend to you especially, ‘Basic Caring Communities’, which is an initiative of PACT. Basic Caring Communities asks for volunteers from among Christian Churches and provides initial and on-going training and supervision for volunteers who accompany former Offenders for the first few crucial months following release from prison. A small group of four volunteers forms around a core member, offering daily contact, if so wished.
Then, once a week, the whole little group come together, over a cup of tea and a piece of cake to enjoy each other’s company and to talk about the ups and downs of life. This can actually be the first time ever that someone leaving prison has experienced a real sense of belonging, of being heard, of being valued and supported. This experience of being treated with respect and kindness is not mere sympathy. It is not a soft way of treating people who have committed crime. In fact, it is a care which has strict boundaries and which challenges the core member to change and to help themselves.
Nonetheless, it is an unconditional and tender and wise way of accompanying people on leaving prison. There is already considerable evidence indicating that Basic Caring Communities is a most effective way of reducing re-offending. I recommend to all our Catholic parishes this scheme, as an excellent way of fulfilling the Lord’s words “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.”
Source: Archbishops House


Archdiocese unites with schools for Anti-Poverty Week

Wednesday 31 October 2012

By Kristen Toohey

“IT’s not every day a person is given the opportunity to experience an event that can potentially change their life. The opportunity to watch the film, The Human Experience, has inspired us. The documentary sparked a flame within us; we want to go out into the world and try to make a change. As students we are the future leaders of the world and we have the capability to change the world!”

This was the reaction of Year 11 students, Joanne Tissera and Alexandra Thurn, from Catholic Regional College Melton, after they viewed the multi-award winning film by two Catholic filmmakers, The Human Experience, a film that continues to inspire people across the globe to consider the plight of those less fortunate.

As part of Anti-Poverty Week 2012, the Communications Office at the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne arranged public screening licenses and DVD’s of The Human Experience to be available to Catholic secondary schools throughout Melbourne.

Religious Education & Faith Development Coordinator at Catholic Regional College Melton took up the opportunity and said, “Numerous classes at our school have viewed the film and it has created much introspection and discussion.”

Joanne Tissera and Alexandra Thurn, also had this to say about the impact of the film:

The Human Experience opened our eyes to poverty and hurt throughout the world. It is unbelievable to see the positive attitude of those so much less fortunate. Most of the people we saw have been living in unfortunate situations for years, yet they have a smile that could light up a room. The people throughout the documentary were happy to share their story.

“We don't realize how far a little smile or wave can travel. Something little like that can make someone's day. The people from the documentary have taught us to be positive no matter what, because there is always someone else out there that is worse off than us.

“As much as we hate to admit it, most of us take life for granted. It is almost assumed that living until tomorrow is a given. This documentary was enlightening, it reminded us to be happy with every single day of our lives and has truly shown us that it is never too late to help out in a big or small way.

“The world is a big place, but we feel that even if we help in one way or another, whether that be as small as buying a homeless person a snack or helping out in a soup kitchen; we have made a difference and together we can change the world, one step at a time.”

DVD’s and free public screening licenses for The Human Experience continue to be available to Catholic schools throughout Melbourne or to catechists or chaplains working in government high schools. For more information contact Kristen Toohey on or 9926 5778.



KADUNA, October 30, 2012 (CISA) -At least eight people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing during Mass at a Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria on Sunday 27. A vehicle smashed through a wall into the church and exploded, ripping a hole in the roof and destroying nearby homes.
The attack took place at St Rita’s church in the Malali neighbourhood of the city. Members of the choir are among those who died.

The Archbishop of Kaduna, Mgr Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso said the attack was: “A cowardly, barbarous and horrible act that any ordinary person can only condemn. It is unthinkable that anyone is able to commit such actions, but unfortunately it happens,”
President Goodluck Jonathan promised to “redouble” his government’s efforts to tackle terrorism and violence. He called the attack part of an “unfortunate and unacceptable trend that threatens the peace and stability of our nation”.

The action has not been claimed, but it has all the hallmarks of the Boko Haram Islamist group which have attacked many churches.
Media sources report a number of reprisal attacks by Christians on property. “I have no direct knowledge of retaliation actions – said Mgr Ndagoso – but as soon as the news about episodes of revenge on behalf of Christians spread, I immediately launched an appeal via radio to calm and peace. Unfortunately one cannot control everyone.”

“The situation is now calm, the police and the army control the streets. Even in the area of the attack the population is dedicated to their normal activities, ” said the Archbishop to Fides and concluded: “the President of the Assembly, who is a Muslim, condemned the attack, today we will see if other Muslim leaders will join in condemning this brutal act.”


In honor of the YEAR OF FAITH - JCE news will be showing some of the TOP Catholic movies of all time - view new episodes each day. Tune in for PART VI of St. Francis - tomorrow.



St. Wolfgang
Feast: October 31
Feast Day:
October 31
924 in Swabia
31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (modern Austria)
1052 by Pope Leo IX
Patron of:
apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; stomach diseases; strokes

Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.
After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.
St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.
St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.
ued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of Vespers in the Sistine Chapel at 6 p.m. tomorrow, 31 October, to commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of the ceiling painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.
Pope Julius II, who entrusted the decoration of the vault (1100 square metres) to the sculptor of the Pieta, celebrated the completion of the work with the solemn rite of Vespers on All Saints' Day, 31 October 1512.
Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - A Mass is due to be celebrated this afternoon in Venice to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani, who was patriarch of that city from 1969 to 1978. The pontificate of John Paul I, who became known as "the Smiling Pope", lasted only 33 days from 26 August to 28 September 1978. The process for his beatification began in 2003.
The Venetian commemoration will consist of a Mass at 6 p.m. in Saint Mark's Basilica, presided by Patriarch Francesco Moraglia, who will concelebrate with bishops of the Triveneto Episcopal Conference. This will be followed at 8.30 p.m. by a concert of religious music organised by the Procurator of Saint Mark's Basilica, the Polish Institute in Rome and the "Capella Cracoviensis" of Krakow. During the intervals, there will be readings of texts by John Paul I.
The programme of the concert will be dedicated to two of the most important exponents of the Venetian school of the seventeenth century: Giovanni Gabrieli, composer, organist and choir master of Saint Mark's Basilica, the four-hundredth anniversary of whose death falls this year, and Mikolak Zielenski, composer, organist and choir master linked to the Collegiate of Lowicz, see of the Polish primate.
Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - "The Holy See and Croatia: twenty years of intense relations” was the theme of a conference held yesterday in the Vatican to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia.
Speaking at the event Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, recalled that “in the year 879, in the same month of June in which modern Croatia annually celebrates its independence, Pope John VIII addressed a letter to Prince Branimir informing him that he had raised prayers to the Lord in order that 'principatum terrenum, quem habes, prospere et securiter reggere possis'. … These strong ties between Croatia and the Holy See have not diminished over the centuries. On several occasions throughout history, and in difficult circumstances, Croatians have demonstrated their fidelity to the Gospel and to Peter's Successor”.
He remarked, “During Croatia's millennium-long history, the last twenty years have been among the most difficult and, at the same time, crucial for its future, especially those immediately following its independence. However the challenges persist, and today Croatians must ask themselves about the values upon which they intend to build their lives as individuals, and the life of the nation as a whole”.
“Although the Church and the political community work at different levels and are independent from one other, both serve the same people who are, at one and the same time, faithful members of the Church and citizens of the State. This means that there is ample space for dialogue and co-operation, in the service of the dignity of all men and women. At the heart of mutual co-operation, in fact, lies our shared commitment to the common good and to the promotion of spiritual and moral values, which give Croatian society its solid foundations.
"I wish to conclude by expressing the hope that the Republic of Croatia will continue to progress in both material and, above all, spiritual terms”, said the archbishop. "In particular I hope that, when Croatia's aspiration to full integration into the European Union is achieved, the country will reinforce its identity and thus act as leaven bringing good to other States”.
Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli on 20 September at the age of 77.
- Bishop Patrick Augustine Kalilombe, emeritus of Lilongwe, Malawi on 23 September at the age of 79.
- Bishop Michel Kuehn, emeritus of Chartres, France on 18 September at the age of 88.
- Bishop Albert Henry Ottenweller, emeritus of Steubenville, USA on 23 September at the age of 96.
- Bishop Michael Vincent Pascal Rowland, emeritus of Dundee, South Africa on 23 September at the age of 83.
- Archbishop Bruno Schettino of Capua, Italy on 21 September at the age of 71.
- Bishop Roman Danylak, apostolic administrator emeritus "sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Toronto of the Ukrainians, Canada, on 7 October at the age of 81.
- Archbishop Antonio Maria Mucciolo, emeritus of Botucatu, Brazil, on 29 September at the age of 89.
- Bishop Jose Rodrigues de Souza, emeritus of Juazeiro, Brazil, on 9 September at the age of 86.
Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Rodolfo Beltran, apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe, Philippines, as bishop of San Fernando de La Union (area 1,493, population 775,000, Catholics 667,000, priests 42, permanent deacons 5, religious 122), Philippines.
- Appointed Bishop Guillermo Martin Abanto Guzman, auxiliary of Lima, Peru, as military ordinary of Peru.


In honor of the YEAR OF FAITH - JCE news will be showing some of the TOP Catholic movies of all time - view new episodes each day. Tune in for PART Vof St. Francis - tomorrow.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
30 Oct 2012

Palliative care brings peace dignity and comfort to the terminally ill and their families
Palliative Care is one of the fastest growing, most dynamic fields of medicine and is constantly evolving to bring peace, dignity and comfort to the terminally ill in the final days or months of their lives, says Dr Jovina Graham.
Dr Graham graduated from the University of Sydney in 2010. She hopes to specialise in palliative care and is currently working as a junior doctor and resident at the Calvary Hospice, Kogarah.
"Palliative care has only been around for the past four decades. But since its development as a specific field of medicine, there has been a massive amount of research and more and more doctors and nurses are being trained in this important field," she says.
With the advances in palliative care not only in pain-management but in relief of other symptoms, psychological care, physiotherapy and the overall emotional and physical wellbeing of patients who are terminally ill, men and women of all ages are finding peace and tranquillity in their final days.
Their families are also being given much needed support at this time.
But should read: At 28, Dr Graham who spent part of her residency at St George's Hospital during which time she spent many months in the geriatric ward tending to elderly patients many of whom were near death and suffering delirium or dementia, firmly believes there is no place in medicine for euthanasia.

Dr Jovina Graham is completing her residence at Calvary Hospice, Kogarah. Photography courtesy Catholic Weekly
"Whether voluntary or involuntary, euthanasia in all its forms should never be legalised," she says firmly adding that with the advances in palliative care which continue to evolve and improve, any pain and physical suffering can be eliminated and any fears and emotional turmoil discussed and alleviated.
Much of her work as a resident physician at Calvary Hospice involves talking at length to each of her patients and helping them come to terms with their approaching deaths.
"A big part of ward rounds at Calvary is talking to patients and working through any suffering they may have whether physical or existential," she says.
In a number of aged care facilities, the elderly suffering a terminal illness and having no family or friends to visit them, frequently decide in their acute loneliness there is nothing to live for. But this is not the case when palliative care is available, Dr Graham says.
What research studies have found is that palliative care may also extend life.
While the aim of this form of care is neither to shorten nor prolong life, a recently study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people with lung cancer who were treated early with palliative care survived up to two months longer than those who underwent aggressive medical care in their final months.
While palliative care still needs far more in terms of state and federal funding, particularly in rural and regional areas where there are few palliative care facilities or specialist doctors and nurses, city hospices are increasingly able to provide outreach services.

Dr Jovina Graham describes palliative care as one of most dynamic and evolving medical specialties
"In country areas practitioner nurses are also being trained in palliative care and eventually we hope every Australian who needs palliative care will be able to access this form of care," says Dr Graham.
But NSW continues to lag behind and currently needs at least 22 more palliative care doctors and 200 nurses to catch up with those working in other states across the country.
Catholic hospitals, as is often the case when it comes to medical care in NSW, have helped lead the way in palliative care and the establishment of hospices. One of the oldest hospices in Sydney is the Sacred Heart hospice at Darlinghurst which is part of St Vincents and Mater Health.
Another is Calvary Hospice at Kogarah which Dr Graham says is specifically engineered to be a calm and beautiful place for the terminally ill to spend their final weeks or months.
"There are lovely gardens and beautiful music including harpists who come in to play for patients. And for those who don't have families or friends, we have volunteers to visit and help make them feel cared for and loved. There are also pastoral care workers who are on hand to talk to patients and be with them in quiet prayer."
According to Dr Graham, the patients at Calvary hospice no matter what their age are calm and happy and rather than wanting to end their lives, want to live every moment of whatever is left to them.
But she is concerned that despite the advances in palliative care and the number of palliative care facilities on the increase across the state, euthanasia is once again on the political agenda, this time with the NSW Government announcing it will hold a conscience vote on the issue when Parliament resumes in 2013.
"If we start seeing euthanasia as part of the medical arsenal there would be no motivation to find new ways to control pain or to help patients deal with the approach of death," she warns.

Modern medications and the multi disciplines of palliative care help ensure quality of life and death with dignity
Even in nations such as the Netherlands where voluntary euthanasia is legal, most people still do not choose to die this way. In the Netherlands assisted suicide accounts for less than 2.0% of all deaths, while those opting for euthanasia in Oregon, where it is also legal, account for less than 0.2%.
Another concern is that once euthanasia is made legal, many of the elderly who become infirm feel duty bound to end their lives so they are not a burden to their children.
"Studies in the Netherlands and other countries repeatedly show this is what is happening. But even more concerning is that many assisted suicides where it is now legal are taking place without permission," Dr Graham says. "The most recent government-sanctioned study into assisted suicide in the Netherlands has revealed that 23% of these deaths by euthanasia were not properly reported and went ahead without permission."
The legalisation of euthanasia presents an ethical dilemma to all Australians, and particularly for doctors and the medical profession, she says.
"Who are we to judge if a patient's life is no longer worth living? Life is a gift and as doctors our aim and sole motivation is to do all we can to help a patient and make them as comfortable as possible."


by André Azzam
These are bishops Amba Raphael and Amba Tawadraus and hegumen Rouphail Afa Mina. On November 4 the next pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church will be chosen from among these. Three days of fasting and prayer ahead of the election. André Azzam

Cairo (AsiaNews) - The election in Cairo yesterday to choose a successor to Pope Shenouda III identified the three names from five candidates. They are: Amba Raphael, 52, bishop in charge of the parishes of central Cairo, who received 1980 votes; Tawadraus Amba, 60, bishop of Behaira, south-east of Alexandria, who received 1623, the abbot Rouphail Afa Mina, 70, of Mari Mina monastery and student of the patriarch Kyrillos VI, the predecessor of the deceased patriarch, who received 1530.

In total 2412 voters took part: of these, 2400 are part of the Holy Synod, Faith Denomination Council and Religious Endowments Council, as well as a group of nuns and lay people representing all the dioceses in Egypt and abroad. To these were also added five representatives of the Ethiopian Church and seven moderators.

The elections were held at the monastery of Amba Rouaiss, Abbasseyya, a suburb in the center of Cairo, home to the great Saint Mark's cathedral, See of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in which Pope Shenouda III received Pope John Paul II in February 2000.

The results were released by CTV Channel, the official television channel of the Coptic Church, at 9 pm. The two monks of the monastery of Dayr al Syrian Souriani, hegumen Pachômios and hegumen Seraphim - the other two candidates in the running - received 380 and 305 votes respectively. These two were also the youngest candidates, at 53 and 49.

Next Sunday, November 4, a grand ceremony will be held in Saint Mark's cathedral with a solemn mass and the extraction of one of the three candidates names. The name will be picked out by will a young deacon two or three years old, who blindfolded, will draw one of the three pieces of paper, each bearing candidate's name.

The names of the three finalists are certainly not a surprise, both in terms of the two bishops and the eldest of the trio, the 70 hegumen Rouphail Afa Mina. In recent months they have revealed a sound unity of vision and a spirit alien to competition for the succession of Shenouda III. In fact Amba Raphael pointed to Amba Tawadraus for election and wanted to withdraw, but his request was denied by the electoral commission.

Amba Raphael, who was formerly a doctor and surgeon, is known as "the ascetic bishop." He is supported by Amba Moussa, bishop in charge of youth ministry, who was also his teacher, and many other bishops, among whom the dean Amba Mikhail, Bishop of Assiout for over 60 years. He is highly regarded by the congregations of the ten churches in downtown Cairo, is very private and not a fan of speaking to media, very confident in spirituality.

Amba Tawadraus, a former pharmacist, is committed to the unification of all the churches and, in particular, the Coptic diaspora scattered around the world. He was nominated by Amba Raphael and six other bishops including Amba Souryal, Bishop of Melbourne in Australia. He is fluent English.

The abbot Rouphail Afa Mina was the personal secretary of the late Pope Kyrillos VI's predecessor, Pope Shenouda, before becoming monk at the monastery of Mari Mina, south-west of Alexandria, from where Pope Kyrillos also hailed. He is known as the "beloved monk" or "grace of graces" or the "lion of the desert". Author of 25 books on spirituality and rituals as well on many saints, he is supported by all the bishops who were monks in St Mina monastery, among whom Amba Ermeya, Pope Shenuda's main secretary, who has good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. He believes strongly in collegiality. He was distanced a little by Pope Shenuda because of some disagreement between Shenuda and late Pope Kyrillos. He is renowned for his openness and belief in ecumenism, as well as his eagerness for good relations with Islam

Three years ago, on the 28th of October 2009, the late Pope Shenuda insisted during one of his speeches on the importance of the altar drawing of lots, explaining that this element of the choice of the Pope of Alexandria is vital "because it marks that the choice of the Patriarch is really the choice of God". All Egypt and mainly all the Christian communities in the country . - all the churches have asked believers to observe three day fasting starting on the 1st of November - ahead of the final choice next Sunday and intensive prayers for the right man and future leader to lead the church during the current delicate situation in Egypt.



Agenzia Fides REPORT - Thousands of Catholics gathered on Sunday, October 28, at the "Centro de los Heroes" for the opening of the Year of Faith. Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, urged to pray for the country, so that it is able to come out from the stressful situation that it is in with energy and denounced the cruelty of men towards women (see Fides 15/09/2012). He also asked the government to increase aid to the hundreds of families affected by Hurricane Sandy which has caused enormous damage in the Caribbean area (see Fides 29/10/2012).
"You all know, as I do, that there is a lot of tension in the country at the moment. But we still want to report crimes, and the wickedness of many men who kill women," said the Cardinal. In a statement sent to Fides Agency one reads his words, "a lot of things annoy us, but this makes us feel sick. A country that has a tradition of 500 years of Christian faith today cannot live this way. I think this Year of Faith can help all of us live the Christian faith intensely , on the basis of the Gospel preached by Jesus Christ."
Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez spoke at the end of the "Mariana March," which began at 3 pm from Piazza Juan Baron and arrived at the "Centro de los Heroes", where he presided over the Eucharist concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishops in Santo Domingo. The March, which lasted two hours, crossed the main street with more than 40 decorated carts for the traditional feast of Our Lady. The faithful of the 204 parishes throughout the province were present and people came from all over the country. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 30/10/2012)



               THE NEWS.PL REPORT:  
An archbishop has warned that the growing popularity of Halloween risks 'spiritual damage' to young people in Poland.
As much of the western world prepares for Halloween parties and celebrations on Wednesday, Metropolitan Archbishop Andzej Dzięga of the north-western Szczecin-Kamień dioceses sent a letter to be read out to congregations on Sunday warning against introducing a “world of darkness, including devils, vampires and demons” to school kids in the name of “fun”.
“It is with growing sadness that we see in the last few years a trend of so-called Halloween celebrations growing in Poland. I am particularly concerned about such initiatives [being introduced] in school, where only mature attitudes should shape the social, intellectual and spiritual growth of the younger generation,” writes the archbishop.
“This kind of fun, tempting children like candy, also poses the real possibility of great spiritual damage, even destroying spiritual life,” he adds, warning of the dangers of "irresponsible and anti-Christian fun."
Halloween is also the “promotion of paganism” and a “culture of death” he claims.
American-style Halloween parties have grown in popularity in Poland since the fall of communism and religious figures fear that it is competing with the Roman Catholic All Saints' Day on 1 November, when family’s graves are decorated with wreaths and small lanterns. (pg)
source: PAP


Luke 13:

 18 - 21

18He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
19It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
20And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
21It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
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!
Luke 13: 18 - 21

18He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
19It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
20And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
21It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."


St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Feast: October 30
Feast Day:
October 30
July 25, 1532, Segovia
October 31, 1617
6 September, 1887
Major Shrine:

Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of "Christian Perfection", who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From thattime he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order. Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to theporter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known "Little Office of the Immaculate Conception", and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized. He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as "Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez" (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-daylife; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that "the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree"; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.

Monday, October 29, 2012



Vatican City, 29 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Zoran Milanovic, prime minister of the Republic of Croatia. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
The cordial discussions enabled a productive exchange of opinions on the challenges the country finds itself having to face during the current economic crisis, as well as on issues of mutual interest within the framework of bilateral relations. On this subject, mention was made of a conference to be held this afternoon marking the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations. As regards the well-known case of Dajla, the two parties agreed to resolve the question as soon as possible, in the spirit of traditional friendship between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia.
Finally, the Holy See reiterated its support for Croatia's legitimate aspirations to full European integration, and consideration was given to the regional situation, with particular reference to the situation of Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Vatican City, 29 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, presented the Pope's Message for the ninety-ninth World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which falls on 13 January 2013 and will have as its theme: "Migrations: Pilgrimage of Faith and Hope".
"Today the phenomenon of migration is striking for the vast number of people involved", said Cardinal Veglio. "Suffice it, for example, to read the International Organisation for Migration's World Migration Report 2011, which estimates a total of 214 million international migrants". To these must be added internally displaced persons, who numbered around 740 million in 2010. "Adding the two figures together, we see that nearly one billion human beings, a seventh of the global population, is today experiencing some form of migration", the cardinal said.
"On their existential pilgrimage towards a better future, migrants carry with them feelings of faith and hope, even if they are not yet aware exactly what they are searching for. To say that they are trying only to improve their economic or social situation would be to over simplify the issue. ... It is true that not all migrants - even if they have a profound faith that, in migrating, God will be at their side - consider their journey as a movement towards God; i.e., a journey animated by faith. Nonetheless, it is precisely the people who do not yet know that they can discover God Who stretches out his hand to them, who may experience (and especially in countries of ancient Christian tradition) the genuine goodness of many ecclesial institutions who welcome and help them.
"It is, in fact, here in the immense context of migration", the president of the pontifical council added, "that the Church is called to show her maternal solicitude without distinction. In his message, the Holy Father identifies two channels for activity, which are not parallel but complementary. On the one hand is the more tangible element which, we could say, is more easily identifiable by the mass media and takes form in 'the creation of programmes aimed at meeting emergencies'. ... This is the most immediate form of attention. ... The second element, more laborious and less 'media friendly' because it often requires a change of mentality, is: ... supporting and accompanying the integration of migrants into their new socio-cultural surroundings".
Cardinal Veglio then went on to point out that the message for this World Day is being presented soon after the Pope's journey to Lebanon. "Thus", he said, "our gaze can turn specifically to the countries of the Middle East where the presence of Christian migrants, among believers of other religions, has a significant role in creating the very special identity of that region. ... And this is true not only of the Middle East, but of the entire world. The phenomenon of migration obliges us to encounter different lifestyles and different cultures, stimulating the creation of new relationships".
"The Church plays an important role in the process of integration", the cardinal concluded. "She does this by accentuating the centrality and dignity of the person, emphasising the protection of minorities and appreciation for their cultures; the contribution of migration to universal peace; the ecclesial and missionary dimension of migration, and the importance of dialogue and encounter within civil society, the ecclesial community and different confessions and religions. Moreover, in her efforts to resolve the human, social and religious problems of emigration, the Church does not fail to give this increasingly significant phenomenon a distinctly humanist and Christian imprint".
Archbishop Kalathiparambil focused his remarks on the issue of refugees, highlighting the growing difficulties they face in seeking asylum. He made particular mention of the restrictive measures imposed by certain States "to hinder access to their territories", such as "the requirement of visas, sanctions applied to transporters, and lists of safe countries of origin. These measures", he said, "have encouraged the activities of smugglers and traffickers, and led to dangerous sea crossings during which far too many human lives have already been lost".
The archbishop went on: "All this comes about despite the international community's obligation to protect refugees and asylum seekers, out of respect for the Declaration and the spirit of human rights, refugees' rights and international humanitarian law. Access to requesting asylum comes first and foremost; this also includes such primary needs as food, shelter, clothing and medical assistance, but also the right to work and free movement. It cannot be over emphasised that asylum seekers find themselves having to travel beyond the frontiers of their own countries, and it is their right not to possess valid travel or identity documents".
Vatican City, 29 October 2012 (VIS) - "Migrations: Pilgrimage of Faith and Hope" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is celebrated every year on 13 January. The text of the English-language version of the Message, given below, is dated from the Vatican, 12 October 2012.
"The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the Pastoral Constitution 'Gaudium et Spes', recalled that 'the Church goes forward together with humanity'; therefore 'the joys and the hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts'. The Servant of God Paul VI echoed these words when he called the Church an 'expert in humanity' , as did Blessed John Paul II when he stated that the human person is 'the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission... the way traced out by Christ himself'. In the footsteps of my predecessors, I sought to emphasise in my Encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate' that 'the whole Church, in all her being and acting - when she proclaims, when she celebrates, when she performs works of charity - is engaged in promoting integral human development'. I was thinking also of the millions of men and women who, for various reasons, have known the experience of migration. Migration is in fact 'a striking phenomenon because of the sheer numbers of people involved, the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community', for 'every migrant is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance'.
"For this reason, I have chosen to dedicate the 2013 World Day of Migrants and Refugees to the theme 'Migrations: pilgrimage of faith and hope', in conjunction with the celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and the sixtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution 'Exsul Familia', and at a time when the whole Church is celebrating the Year of Faith, taking up with enthusiasm the challenge of the new evangelisation.
"Faith and hope are inseparable in the hearts of many migrants, who deeply desire a better life and not infrequently try to leave behind the 'hopelessness' of an unpromising future. During their journey many of them are sustained by the deep trust that God never abandons his children; this certainty makes the pain of their uprooting and separation more tolerable and even gives them the hope of eventually returning to their country of origin. Faith and hope are often among the possessions which emigrants carry with them, knowing that with them, 'we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey'.
"In the vast sector of migration, the Church shows her maternal concern in a variety of ways. On the one hand, she witnesses the immense poverty and suffering entailed in migration, leading often to painful and tragic situations. This inspires the creation of programmes aimed at meeting emergencies through the generous help of individuals and groups, volunteer associations and movements, parochial and diocesan organisations in cooperation with all people of good will. The Church also works to highlight the positive aspects, the potential and the resources which migrations offer. Along these lines, programmes and centres of welcome have been established to help and sustain the full integration of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees into a new social and cultural context, without neglecting the religious dimension, fundamental for every person’s life. Indeed, it is to this dimension that the Church, by virtue of the mission entrusted to her by Christ, must devote special attention and care: this is her most important and specific task. For Christians coming from various parts of the world, attention to the religious dimension also entails ecumenical dialogue and the care of new communities, while for the Catholic faithful it involves, among other things, establishing new pastoral structures and showing esteem for the various rites, so as to foster full participation in the life of the local ecclesial community. Human promotion goes side by side with spiritual communion, which opens the way 'to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the only Saviour of the world'. The Church always offers a precious gift when she guides people to an encounter with Christ, which opens the way to a stable and trustworthy hope.
"Where migrants and refugees are concerned, the Church and her various agencies ought to avoid offering charitable services alone; they are also called to promote real integration in a society where all are active members and responsible for one another’s welfare, generously offering a creative contribution and rightfully sharing in the same rights and duties. Emigrants bring with them a sense of trust and hope which has inspired and sustained their search for better opportunities in life. Yet they do not seek simply to improve their financial, social and political condition. It is true that the experience of migration often begins in fear, especially when persecutions and violence are its cause, and in the trauma of having to leave behind family and possessions which had in some way ensured survival. But suffering, great losses and at times a sense of disorientation before an uncertain future do not destroy the dream of being able to build, with hope and courage, a new life in a new country. Indeed, migrants trust that they will encounter acceptance, solidarity and help, that they will meet people who sympathise with the distress and tragedy experienced by others, recognise the values and resources the latter have to offer, and are open to sharing humanly and materially with the needy and disadvantaged. It is important to realise that 'the reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty'. Migrants and refugees can experience, along with difficulties, new, welcoming relationships which enable them to enrich their new countries with their professional skills, their social and cultural heritage and, not infrequently, their witness of faith, which can bring new energy and life to communities of ancient Christian tradition, and invite others to encounter Christ and to come to know the Church.
"Certainly every state has the right to regulate migration and to enact policies dictated by the general requirements of the common good, albeit always in safeguarding respect for the dignity of each human person. The right of persons to migrate - as the Council’s Constitution 'Gaudium et Spes', No. 65, recalled - is numbered among the fundamental human rights, allowing persons to settle wherever they consider best for the realisation of their abilities, aspirations and plans. In the current social and political context, however, even before the right to migrate, there is need to reaffirm the right not to emigrate, that is, to remain in one’s homeland; as Blessed John Paul II stated: 'It is a basic human right to live in one’s own country. However this rights become effective only if the factors that urge people to emigrate are constantly kept under control'. Today in fact we can see that many migrations are the result of economic instability, the lack of essential goods, natural disasters, wars and social unrest. Instead of a pilgrimage filled with trust, faith and hope, migration then becomes an ordeal undertaken for the sake of survival, where men and women appear more as victims than as agents responsible for the decision to migrate. As a result, while some migrants attain a satisfactory social status and a dignified level of life through proper integration into their new social setting, many others are living at the margins, frequently exploited and deprived of their fundamental rights, or engaged in forms of behaviour harmful to their host society. The process of integration entails rights and duties, attention and concern for the dignified existence of migrants; it also calls for attention on the part of migrants to the values offered by the society to which they now belong.
"In this regard, we must not overlook the question of irregular migration, an issue all the more pressing when it takes the form of human trafficking and exploitation, particularly of women and children. These crimes must be clearly condemned and prosecuted, while an orderly migration policy which does not end up in a hermetic sealing of borders, more severe sanctions against irregular migrants and the adoption of measures meant to discourage new entries, could at least limit for many migrants the danger of falling prey to such forms of human trafficking. There is an urgent need for structured multilateral interventions for the development of the countries of departure, effective countermeasures aimed at eliminating human trafficking, comprehensive programmes regulating legal entry, and a greater openness to considering individual cases calling for humanitarian protection more than political asylum. In addition to suitable legislation, there is a need for a patient and persevering effort to form minds and consciences. In all this, it is important to strengthen and develop understanding and cooperation between ecclesial and other institutions devoted to promoting the integral development of the human person. In the Christian vision, social and humanitarian commitment draws its strength from fidelity to the Gospel, in the knowledge that 'to follow Christ, the perfect man, is to become more human oneself'.
"Dear brothers and sisters who yourselves are migrants, may this World Day help you renew your trust and hope in the Lord who is always at our side! Take every opportunity to encounter him and to see his face in the acts of kindness you receive during your pilgrimage of migration. Rejoice, for the Lord is near, and with him you will be able to overcome obstacles and difficulties, treasuring the experiences of openness and acceptance that many people offer you. For 'life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by – people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way'.
"I entrust each of you to the Blessed Virgin Mary, sign of sure hope and consolation, our 'guiding star', who with her maternal presence is close to us at every moment of our life. To all I affectionately impart my Apostolic Blessing".
Vatican City, 28 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at a celebration of the Eucharist with Synod Fathers for the closure of the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which began on 7 October and has been examining the theme: "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith". Extracts from the Holy Father's homily are given below.
"The whole of Mark’s Gospel is a journey of faith, which develops gradually under Jesus’ tutelage. The disciples are the first actors on this journey of discovery, but there are also other characters who play an important role, and Bartimaeus is one of them. His is the last miraculous healing that Jesus performs before His passion, and it is no accident that it should be that of a blind person, someone whose eyes have lost the light. We know from other texts too that the state of blindness has great significance in the Gospels. It represents man who needs God’s light, the light of faith, if he is to know reality truly and to walk the path of life. It is essential to acknowledge one’s blindness, one’s need for this light, otherwise one could remain blind for ever.
"Bartimaeus, then, at that strategic point of Mark’s account, is presented as a model. He was not blind from birth, but lost his sight. He represents man who has lost the light and knows it, but has not lost hope: he knows how to seize the opportunity to encounter Jesus and he entrusts himself to Him for healing. ... And when Jesus calls him and asks what he wants from Him, he replies: 'Master, let me receive my sight!' ... In the encounter with Christ, lived with faith, Bartimaeus regains the light he had lost, and with it the fullness of his dignity: he gets back onto his feet and resumes the journey, which from that moment has a guide, Jesus, and a path, the same that Jesus is travelling".
"St. Augustine, in one of his writings, makes a striking comment. ... 'Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, had fallen from some position of great prosperity, and was now regarded as an object of the most notorious and the most remarkable wretchedness, because, in addition to being blind, he had also to sit begging'. ... This interpretation ... invites us to reflect on the fact that our lives contain precious riches that we can lose, and I am not speaking of material riches. From this perspective, Bartimaeus could represent those who live in regions that were evangelised long ago, where the light of faith has grown dim and people have drifted away from God, no longer considering Him relevant for their lives. These people have therefore lost a precious treasure, they have “fallen” from a lofty dignity - not financially or in terms of earthly power, but in a Christian sense - their lives have lost a secure and sound direction and they have become, often unconsciously, beggars for the meaning of existence. They are the many in need of a new evangelisation, that is, a new encounter with Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, Who can open their eyes afresh and teach them the path".
"The new evangelisation applies to the whole of Church life. ... I would like here to highlight three pastoral themes that have emerged from the Synod. The first concerns the Sacraments of Christian initiation. It has been reaffirmed that appropriate catechesis must accompany preparation for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The importance of Confession, the Sacrament of God’s mercy, has also been emphasised. ... In fact it has often been said that the real protagonists of the new evangelisation are the saints: they speak a language intelligible to all through the example of their lives and their works of charity.
"Secondly, the new evangelisation is essentially linked to the 'Missio ad Gentes'. The Church’s task is to evangelise, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ. During the Synod, it was emphasised that there are still many regions in Africa, Asia and Oceania whose inhabitants await with lively expectation, sometimes without being fully aware of it, the first proclamation of the Gospel. So we must ask the Holy Spirit to arouse in the Church a new missionary dynamism, whose protagonists are, in particular, pastoral workers and the lay faithful".
"A third aspect concerns the baptised whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism. ... Such people are found in all continents, especially in the most secularised countries. The Church is particularly concerned that they should encounter Jesus Christ anew, rediscover the joy of faith and return to religious practice in the community of the faithful. Besides traditional and perennially valid pastoral methods, the Church seeks to adopt new ones, developing new language attuned to the different world cultures, proposing the truth of Christ with an attitude of dialogue and friendship rooted in God Who is Love".
"Bartimaeus, on regaining his sight from Jesus, joined the crowd of disciples, which must certainly have included others like him, who had been healed by the Master. New evangelisers are like that: people who have had the experience of being healed by God, through Jesus Christ. ... Let us put away, then, all blindness to the truth, all ignorance and, removing the darkness that obscures our vision like fog before the eyes, let us contemplate the true God".
Vatican City, 28 October 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, after presiding at Mass for the closure of the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.
The Pope began by mentioning the Synod. "For three weeks", he said, "we have discussed the realities of new evangelisation for the transmission of Christian faith. The entire Church was represented and, therefore, involved in this activity which, with God's grace, will not fail to bring forth fruit. First and foremost, however, a Synod is always a time of strong ecclesial communion and for this reason, together with you, I wish to thank God Who has once again allowed us to experience the beauty of being Church, and of being Church today in this world, as it is, in the midst of this humanity with all its weariness and its hopes".
The Holy Father then went on to refer to the "significant fact" that the Synod coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and with the beginning of the Year of Faith. "Turning our minds back to Blessed John XXIII, to Servant of God Paul VI, and to the period of the Council ... helped us to recognise that new evangelisation is not an invention of our own, but a dynamic that began to develop in the Church in the 1950s, when it became clear that even countries of ancient Christian tradition had become, so to speak, 'mission lands'. Thus emerged the need for a renewed announcement of the Gospel in secularised societies, in the dual certainty that, on the one hand, only He, Jesus Christ, is the true novelty that responds to the needs of man at all times and, on the other that His message needs to be suitably transmitted in changing social and cultural environments".
The intense efforts of the Synod Fathers led to "a commitment to the spiritual renewal of the Church in order to spiritually renew the secularised world. Such renewal will come about with the rediscovery of Jesus Christ, of His truth and His grace, of His 'face', at once human and divine, upon which shines the transcendent mystery of God".
After praying the Angelus, the Pope launched an appeal for Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, devastated by a hurricane which recently struck the Caribbean region leaving numerous dead and forcing many people to flee their homes. "I wish to give assurances of my closeness, and of my concern for those who have been struck by this natural disaster", he said. "At the same time, I invite everyone to pray and show solidarity in order to alleviate the suffering of the victims' families, and to help the many thousands who have suffered damage".
The Holy Father concluded by mentioning the inhabitants of the Italian regions of Basilicata and Calabria, which have been affected by a series of earthquakes in recent days.
Vatican City, 27 October 2012 (VIS) - During the twenty-second and final General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops, during which the participants voted on the final list of propositions, Benedict XVI addressed some brief remarks to the Synod Fathers.
"In the context of the discussion of the Synod of Bishops on 'The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith', and as the conclusion of a period of reflection on the themes of seminaries and catechesis, ... I have decided to transfer jurisdiction for seminaries from the Congregation for Catholic Education to the Congregation for the Clergy, and jurisdiction for catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation", the Pope announced.
"The relative documents - in the form of an Apostolic Letter 'Motu Proprio' defining the respective fields of competence - will follow", he said. "We pray to the Lord that He may accompany these three dicasteries of the Roman Curia in their important mission, with the collaboration of the entire Church.
"Since I am already speaking", the Holy Father added, "I would also like to express my cordial best wishes to the new cardinals. I chose to call this little consistory in order to complete the consistory of February, within the context of new evangelisation. It is a gesture towards the universality of the Church, showing that the Church is the Church of all peoples, that she speaks all languages, that she is always the Church of Pentecost; not the Church of one continent, but the universal Church. My intention was to express this universality of the Church. It will also be a fine expression of this Synod. I have found it truly edifying consoling and encouraging to see here the mirror of the universal Church, with her suffering, threats, dangers and joys, her experiences of the Lord's presence, even in difficult situations.
"We have seen how even today the Church lives and grows. ... And even if she faces headwinds yet does she feel above all the breath of the Holy Spirit, which helps us and shows us the right way. Thus, with renewed enthusiasm, I believe, we are on our journey and can thank God for having given us this truly catholic meeting", the Pope concluded.
VATICAN CITY, 27 October 2012 (VIS) - The following English-language declaration was issued this morning by the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".
"The Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' takes this occasion to announce that, in its most recent official communication (6 September 2012), the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X has indicated that additional time for reflection and study is needed on their part as they prepare their response to the Holy See’s latest initiatives.
"The current stage in the ongoing discussions between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity follows three years of doctrinal and theological dialogues during which a joint commission met eight times to study and discuss, among other matters, some disputed issues in the interpretation of certain documents of Vatican Council II. Once these doctrinal dialogues were concluded, it became possible to proceed to a phase of discussion more directly focused on the greatly desired reconciliation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X with the See of Peter.
"Other critical steps in this positive process of gradual reintegration had already been taken by the Holy See in 2007 with the extension of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to the Universal Church by the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' and in 2009 with the lifting of the excommunications. Just a few months ago, a culminating point along this difficult path was reached when, on 13 June 2012, the Pontifical Commission presented to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X a doctrinal declaration together with a proposal for the canonical normalisation of its status within the Catholic Church.
"At the present time, the Holy See is awaiting the official response of the superiors of the Priestly Fraternity to these two documents. After thirty years of separation, it is understandable that time is needed to absorb the significance of these recent developments. As Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI seeks to foster and preserve the unity of the Church by realising the long hoped-for reconciliation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X with the See of Peter - a dramatic manifestation of the 'munus Petrinum' in action - patience, serenity, perseverance and trust are needed".
Vatican City, 29 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Vatican City, 27 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Archbishop Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue: Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, Japan; Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman O.C.D. of Baghdad of the Latins, Iraq; Archbishop Daniel J. Bohan of Regina, Canada; Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation; Bishop Michel Dubost C.I.M. of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes, France; Bishop Angelito R. Lampon O.M.I., apostolic vicar of Jolo, Philippines; Bishop Francesco Biasin of Barra do Pirai-Volta Redonda, Brazil; Bishop Joseph Chusak Sirisut of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand; Bishop Sebastian Francis Shah O.F.M., auxiliary of Lahore, Pakistan; Bishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria, coadjutor of El-Obeid, Sudan; Bishop Tomo Vuksic, military ordinary of Bosnia Herzegovina, and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria.
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and president of Caritas Internationalis; Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Belem do Para, Brazil; Archbishop Paolo Pezzi F.S.C.B. of the archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow; Bishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi S.V.D. of Niigata, Japan, and vice president for Asia of Caritas Internationalis; Msgr. Peter Neher, president of "Deutscher Caritasverband" (Germany); Fr. Francesco Antonio Soddu, national director of Caritas Italy; Baron Johannes Nepomuk Heereman Von Zuydtwyck, executive director of Aid to the Church in Need; Carolyn Y. Woo, president of Catholic Relief Services - U.S.C.C.(U.S.A), Maritza Sanchez Abiyud, director of Caritas Cuba.
- Appointed Michel Roy, secretary of Caritas Internationalis, as consultor of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
- Appointed Fr. Pasquale Cascio of the clergy of the diocese of Teggiano - Policastro, Italy, pastor and professor of Sacred Scripture, as archbishop of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi - Conza - Nusco - Bisaccia (area 1,290, population 84,000, Catholics 83,400, priests 65, permanent deacons 5, religious 101), Italy. The archbishop-elect was born in Castelcivita, Italy in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1983. He has worked in pastoral care and in teaching.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Brindisi - Ostuni, Italy, presented by Archbishop Rocco Talucci, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Ramon Alberto Rolon Guespa of the clergy of the archdiocese of Nueva Pamplona, Colombia, rector of the the major archdiocesan seminary of "Santo Tomas de Aquino", as bishop of Monteria (area 14,500, population 1,647,000, Catholics 1,565,000, priests 107, religious 185), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Arboledas, Colombia in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984. He has served as pastor in a number of parishes.
- Appointed Bishop Ryszard Kasyna, auxiliary of Gdansk, Poland, as bishop of Pelplin (area 12,890, population 780,800, Catholics 731,000, priests 588, permanent deacons 1, religious 298), Poland.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Pemba, Mozambique, presented by Bishop Ernesto Maguengue, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, appointing Fr. Fernando Domingos Costa C.P. as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.