Tuesday, February 21, 2012

VATICAN : POPE CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR NEW CARDINALS AND OTHER NEWS



RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict held the traditional post-consistory audience today with newly created Cardinals and the pilgrims and family members accompanying them.

4 thousand people packed the Paul VI hall to hear the Holy Father’s greetings gathering in various delegations around the new Cardinals. Speaking first in Italian, Pope Benedict said “With great joy I meet you, relatives and friends of the newly created Cardinals, one day after the solemn celebration of the Consistory, in which these your beloved pastors were called to the College of Cardinals. This allows me the opportunity to extend my cordial greetings more directly and more intimately to all and, in particular, my congratulations and my best wishes to the new Cardinals. May the Consistory, an important and suggestive event, be for you all gathered here and for those who are related in various ways to the new Cardinals, a motive and incentive to gather with affection around them: May you feel ever closer to their hearts and their apostolic anxiety ; may you listen with lively hope to their words as Fathers and teachers. Be one with them and each other in faith and charity, to be more fervent and courageous witnesses of Christ”.

The Holy Father then proceeded to greet the various groups in different languages including English: “I am pleased to extend a warm greeting to the English-speaking Prelates whom I had the joy of raising to the dignity of Cardinal in Saturday’s Consistory: Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars (India); Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto (Canada); Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York (the United States of America); Cardinal John Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong (the People’s Republic of China); Cardinal Prosper Grech, O.S.A., Emeritus Professor of various Roman Universities and Consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.

He concluded: “I also extend a cordial welcome to the family members and friends who join them today. I ask you to continue to support the new Cardinals by your prayers as they take up their important responsibilities in the service of the Apostolic See”.
http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=564579
VIS REPORT: COMMUNIQUE ON THE PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF PERU
Vatican City, 21 February 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released this morning by the Holy See Press Office concerning the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
"This morning, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., met with Marcial Rubio Correa, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP).
"The secretary of State made reference to the assiduous and generous commitment shown by various members of the university in the formation of students, and the broad range of disciplines the PUCP offers to young people. Cardinal Bertone then informed Mr. Rubio Correa of the conclusions the Holy See has reached following intense dialogue and numerous meetings over the course of many years between the current grand chancellor, his predecessors and the university, and following the apostolic visit made to the university from 5 to 11 December 2011 by Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary.
"Those conclusions took particular account of the outcome of the apostolic visit and of the proposal presented by the rector at the end of that visit.
"The cardinal secretary of State informed Mr. Rubio Correa of the Holy See’s request that the statutes of the PUCP be regularised as soon as possible, adapting them to the Apostolic Constitution 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae' for the good of the PUCP itself and of the Church in Peru. Given the evident importance of safeguarding the Catholic identity of the university, the cardinal secretary of State requested that the competent academic authorities present the statutes for approval by Easter Sunday, 8 April, with the amendments indicated to the university on 16 July 2011.
"Finally, Cardinal Bertone expressed the hope that the academic community would accept these indications, so that the PUCP may increasingly dedicate itself to its mission of offering young people a solid formation, rooted in faithfulness to the Magisterium, as a guarantee of the great contribution the university is called to make to the country".





OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 21 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. George A. Sheltz of the clergy of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A., vicar general, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 23,257, population 5,811,010, Catholics 1,146,908, priests 427, permanent deacons 357, religious 687). The bishop-elect was born in Houston in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971. He has served as pastor of various parishes of his diocese, and as director of the Secretariat for Clergy and Chaplains.

TODAY'S GOSPEL ONLINE : TUES. FEB. 21, 2012

Mark 9: 30 - 37
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it;
31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."
32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him.
33 And they came to Caper'na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?"
34 But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest.
35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."
36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."

AMERICA : WHAT IS GRAS - SHROVE TUESDAY - CARNIVAL ?


by: Miriam Westen "Mardi Gras" is french for fat tuesday. This refers to the day before Ash Wednesday when the 40 days of Lent officially begins. "Mardi Gras", "Carnival" and "Shrove Tuesday" all involve celebrations of eating, drinking, dancing, etc. before the fasting of Lent. (image source: http://www.bourbonstreet-tokyo.com/contents/mardi_gras) Some celebrate the "Carnival" by joining in parades with elaborate costumes, festive music, dancing, and other activities.
Image for Royal couple visit Northern Ireland
Kate Middleton: Shrove Tuesday
The english word 'Shrove' refers to confessing of sins for Lent.  In parts of Europe the "Shrove Tuesday" is celebrated by flipping pancakes. (image source: http://www.ucfjourno.org/taxonomy/term/3)
"Carnival" means farewell to meat.
There are many cities world-wide that have historic and magnificent celebrations on this day. The most famous include cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans (Louisiana), Quebec City (Canada).
Historical roots in Jewish Tradition
The Jews also celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple with Hanukkah. When the re-dedication occurred there was a lighting of the lamps with pure oil that lasted for 8 days. To commemorate this the Jews eat latkes (potato pancakes),  made with lots of oil.
IRISH SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE RECIPE
Ingredients:
8oz all purpose/plain flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
2½ cups milk
2 tsp melted butter plus melted butter for cooking
Method:
Makes 12 pancakes
Sieve the flour into a large baking bowl, add the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs and beat well until smooth and lump free.
Add half the milk and the 2 tsp of butter, beat well. Add the remaining milk and stir.
Leave the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease a pancake pan or frying pan with a little melted butter, heat until very hot and add a ladle of batter to evenly and thinly coat the base of the pan. Cook until set and lightly golden. Flip over (if you are really brave try tossing the pancake in the air, great fun) and cook on the other side for approx 30 seconds.
Remove the pancake from the pan, place on a sheet of kitchen paper and keep warm. Continue as above until all the batter is used up.
(RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/Celebrate-Fat-Tuesday-or-Shrove-Tuesday-with-this-delicious-Irish-pancake-recipe-139804393.html#ixzz1n4N5C1tP)
Some traditions over the centuries have led to excessive indulgences during this day. Let us keep sober and remember the roots of the Lenten fast when Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. In the Gospels we find the story which is the reason for the fast; when Jesus "was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan; and he was with beasts, and the angels ministered to him." (Mark 1:13)

EUROPE : POLAND : CATHOLIC TOURISM - JPII MOBILE MUSEUM

THENEWS.PL REPORT:
The city of Krakow has outlined the programme of a campaign to promote itself as a major centre of religious tourism.
Promotional actions are planned for later in the year in Europe’s leading pilgrimage centres, including Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal, Loreto and San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy, as well as Madrid and Santiago di Compostela in Spain.
A mobile Museum of Pope John Paul II will visit all these places. An international conference on religious tourism as an element of cultural integration will additionally be held in Krakow in October 2013.
Currently, the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in the Kraków district of Łagiewniki attracts over 2 million visitors from almost 100 countries a year.
The southern city of Krakow also hosts many historic churches and places connected with the life and pastoral work of Pope John Paul II, who lived there for many years and served as bishop and cardinal. (mk/jb) http://thenews.pl/1/12/Artykul/90852,Krakow-promotes-religious-tourism

ASIA : CHINA - KOREA - MARCH TO SAVE 33 FLEEING JONG-UN REGIME

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
A demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in South Korea calls on Beijing not to repatriate a group of North Korean refugees who face death if they return home. For the first time, even actors choose to manifest.


Seoul (AsiaNews) - MPs, students, religious leaders and for the first time, some actors are marching in Seoul to ask the Chinese authorities not to repatriate 33 North Koreans fleeing the regime of Kim Jong-un, and currently held in prison in Changchun. The protest is being held in front of the Beijing embassy in South Korea: China must decide the refugees' fate by tomorrow.

The North Koreans were arrested on February 8 in Changchun and are currently detained in a prison of this city in northeastern China. According to some sources, at the time the group - with the help of a local organization - was trying to flee to South Korea often the safest route to flee from the North to the South is not the boundary between the two countries.

Among those asking for clemency for the group are Cha In-pyo and Lee Seong-mi, both well known South Korean actors. Cha's manager told the Daily NK: "After overnight consultations, my client decided to demonstrate against the repatriation of the North Koreans. He will march before the Chinese embassy." For his part, Lee said: "We know the pain of returnees: it would be impossible for me not to participate."

They are joined by Robert Park, a Korean Christian missionary with American citizenship. In an appeal published a few days ago, he writes: "If they come home they risk death. The Seoul government should take action immediately, blocking the return of these people and give them a home."

The situation for the 33 North Koreans is very dangerous. In January, the government of North Korea (fearing mass emigration in the situation of political instability that followed the death of Kim Jong-il and the succession of his son Kim Jong-un) announced increased penalties for those who leave the country. North Koreans can not leave the country without official permission. Those who do, and are suspected of being in touch with organizations linked to South Korea, might be sentenced to death.

China, for its part, considers all persons who illegally enter from North Korea the same as economic migrants, they do not consider the problem of human rights violations in the neighboring country nor take into account that these people may be asylum seekers. Although it signed the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, the Beijing government prevents UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from contacing North Koreans in China.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Seoul-marches-to-save-the-33-North-Koreans-who-fled-to-China-24031.html

AFRICA : NIGERIA : 6 EXPLOSIONS 30 OR MORE KILLED

Agenzia Fides REPORT - "The situation appears to have returned to calm, with the people who dedicate themselves to their normal activities" says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, the city in the north-Eastern part of Nigeria, where yesterday, February 20, eight members of the Boko Haram sect were killed in a clash with the Counter Terrorism Task Force (JTF). The clash occurred when a commando of Boko Haram attacked the market in Baga area of the city, causing, according to some sources, the death of 30 civilians. "We heard at least 6 bomb explosions," says the Bishop, who is not able to confirm the number of civilian deaths.
Maiduguri has long been one of the most affected by the activities of the sect, which is becoming bolder, as evidenced from the assault carried out on February 16 by a score of armed men in the prison of Koto Karfe, in central Nigeria, and they successfully, at the end of a bloody fight, helped at least 119 prisoners to escape.
"The Boko Haram sect continues to attack police stations and civilian targets, such as the Baga market," said Mgr. Doeme, confirming that Christians "are continuing to flee not only from Maiduguri but also from other areas of northern Nigeria, such as Damaturu ". "I call on Christians worldwide to pray for us, so that peace is restore in our country," concluded the Bishop of Maiduguri. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/2/2012)

AUSTRALIA : CARDIJN COMMUNITY - SOCIAL ACTION

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT:
Sunday 19 February 2012

23-02-p14-cardijn-350By Fiona Basile
Kairos Catholic Journal

'See, Judge and Act' are three words synonymous with former Belgian priest, bishop and cardinal, Joseph Cardijn (1882-1967). It was Cardinal Cardijn who founded the international Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement in Europe in 1925—which was later established in Australia in 1939—and whose social action principles continue to inspire young and old people to make a positive difference to the world around them.

And while Cardijn's principles and the YCW movement continue to serve, educate and represent young people in Australia today, there's now an associated movement specifically for adults which is gaining momentum.

Cardijn Community Australia (CCA) is a national group for adults who are inspired by Cardijn's social action principles in making a positive change. It was established in 2008 with many of its members already involved in some way with the Cardijn principles and the YCW movement in their youth.

Secretary of CCA David Moloney said, "The CCA provides an avenue for adults to make a positive difference in their communities."

"Cardijn's principles of 'see, judge and act' are a systematic and practical method of engaging people within their direct communities and also within the wider world.

"It is a methodology that can be applied to small parish groups, at whatever stage of development, which provides the framework for asking the deeper questions of their surrounds.

"The Cardijn method of inquiry begins with looking at the immediate circumstances of our lives and the lives of those around us. For Cardijn, 'the world on our doorsteps is a missionary field, a place that can be made whole through individual and collective action'.

"Having discovered the facts of our surrounds, we then make a Christian judgement, which then leads us to the actions we plan to carry out, or 'the responsibilities we shoulder' as Cardijn explained.

"Whether it's a youth group, or an elderly group, no matter what age you are, we're all called to action and to make a positive difference."

CCA hosted its first conference at its inception in Melbourne in 2008. This was followed by another conference and workshops in 2009 and 2010 in Adelaide. Its most recent conference was held last November in Melbourne and explored the means by which Cardijn's 'see judge act' method might be developed among adults in local parishes and elsewhere.

"Catholic parishes provide a strong platform for community leadership; a place to ask the question 'Who is my neighbour?'," said David.

The conference also celebrated the many achievements of the YCW, Young Christian Student, and National Catholic Girls movements in Australia. In Victoria these included initiating the credit cooperative movement, introducing 'pre-Cana' marriage education and pioneering some important road safety measures.

Speakers shared present-day experiences and some exciting initiatives, and attendees were given the opportunity to workshop an official Cardijn Training Manual which could be used by small parish groups throughout Australia.

David said, "The conference and the manual allow those interested to see what a 'social inquiry' looks like using the 'see judge act' methodology, and to find out how we can judge in the light of the Gospel and discover how common action can engage, empower and change.

"Together we can identify the issues at the heart of our local communities, and use the 'see judge act' method to explore how these themes might become a part of our mission as church.

"Looking to the future, it is hoped that the draft training manual will develop the Cardijn method among adults in parish and other settings. There's no reason why existing Church, prayer, social, scripture and social justice small groups couldn't integrate and use the Cardijn principles to help them take positive action."

CCA President Guido Vogels added, "Sharing reflection, prayer, action and Eucharist together in Cardijn groups is a means to personal transformation. We believe that the Cardijn method is also an excellent vehicle for the 'New Evangelisation', the focus of the international Church."

For more information about CCA, contact
David Moloney on dmo74189@bigpond.net.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
or see www.cardijncommunityaustralia.org.

See What's On for details on upcoming Cardijn workshops in Melbourne.

Photo: Participants in the 2011 Cardijn Community Conference held in Melbourne. Photo supplied by David Moloney.

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 21 : ST. PETER DAMIAN

St. Peter Damian
BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: February 21


Information:
Feast Day:February 14
Born:
988, Ravenna
Died:February 22, 1072, Faenza
Peter, surnamed of Damian, was born about the year 988 in Ravenna, of a good family, but reduced. He was the youngest of many children, and, losing his father and mother very young, was left in the hands of a brother who was married, in whose house he was treated more like a slave, or rather like a beast, than one so nearly related; and when grown up, he was sent to keep swine. He one day became master of a piece of money, which, instead of laying it out in something for his own use, he chose to bestow in alms on a priest, desiring him to offer up his prayers for his father's soul. He had another brother called Damian, who was arch-priest of Ravenna, and afterwards a monk; who, taking pity of him, had the charity to give him an education. Having found a father in this brother, he seems from him to have taken the surname of Damian, though he often styles himself the Sinner, out of humility. Those who call him De Honestis confound him with Peter of Ravenna, who was of the family of Honesti. Damian sent Peter to school, first at Faenza, afterwards at Parma, where he had Ivo for his master. By the means of good natural parts and close application, it was not long before he found himself in a capacity to teach others, which he did with great applause, and no less advantage by the profits which accrued to him from his professorship. To arm himself against the allurements of pleasure and the artifices of the devil, he began to wear a rough hair shirt under his clothes, and to inure himself to fasting, watching, and prayer. In the night, if any temptation of concupiscence arose, he got out of bed and plunged himself into the cold river. After this he visited churches, reciting the psalter whilst he performed this devotion till the church office began. He not only gave much away in alms, but was seldom without some poor person at his table, and took a pleasure in serving such, or rather Jesus Christ in their persons, with his own hands. But thinking all this to be removing himself from the deadly poison of sin but by halves, he resolved entirely to leave the world and embrace a monastic life, and at a distance from his own country, for the sake of meeting with the fewer obstacles to his design. While his mind was full of these thoughts, two religious of the order of St. Benedict belonging to Font-Avellano, a desert at the foot of the Apennine in Umbria, happened to call at the place of his abode; and being much edified at their disinterestedness, he took a resolution to embrace their institute, as he did soon after. This hermitage had been founded by blessed Ludolf about twenty years before St. Peter came thither, and was then in the greatest repute. The hermits here remained two and two together in separate cells, occupied chiefly in prayer and reading. They lived on bread and water four days in the week: on Tuesdays and Thursdays they ate pulse and herbs, which every one dressed in his own cell: on their fast days all their bread was given them by weight. They never used any wine (the common drink of the country) except for mass, or in sickness: they went barefoot, used disciplines, made many genuflections, struck their breasts, stood with their arms stretched out in prayer, each according to his strength and devotion. After the night office they said the whole psalter before day. Peter watched long before the signal for matins, and after with the rest These excessive watchings brought on him an insomnia, or wakefulness, which was cured with very great difficulty. But he learned from this to use more discretion He gave a considerable time to sacred studies, and became as well versed in the scriptures and other sacred learning as he was before in profane literature.
His superior ordered him to make frequent exhortations to the religious, and as he had acquired a very great character for virtue and learning, Guy, Abbot of Pomposia, begged his superior to send him to instruct his monastery, which consisted of a hundred monks. Peter stayed there two years, preaching with great fruit, and was then called back by his abbot, and sent to perform the same function in the numerous abbey of St. Vincent, near the mountain called Pietra Pertusa, or the Hollow Rock. His love for poverty made him abhor and be ashamed to put on a new habit, or any clothes which were not threadbare and most mean. His obedience was so perfect that the least word of any superior, or signal given, according to the rule of the house, for the performance of any duty made him run that moment to discharge, with the utmost exactness, whatever was enjoined. Being recalled home some time after, and commanded by his abbot, with the unanimous consent of the hermitage, to take upon him the government of the desert after his death, Peter's extreme reluctance only obliged his superior to make greater use of his authority till he acquiesced. Wherefore, at his decease, in 1041, Peter took upon him the direction of that holy family, which he governed with the greatest reputation for wisdom and sanctity. He also founded five other numerous hermitages; in which he placed priors under his inspection. His principal care was to cherish in his disciples the spirit of solitude, charity, and humility. Among them many became great lights of the church. He was for twelve years much employed in the service of the church by many zealous bishops, and by four popes successively, namely, Gregory VI, Clement II, Leo IX, and Victor II. Their successor, Stephen IX, in 1057, prevailed with him to quit his desert, and made him Cardinal-bishop of Ostia. But such was his reluctance to the dignity that nothing less than the pope's threatening him with excommunication, and his commands, in virtue of obedience, could induce Peter to submit.
Stephen IX dying in 1058, Nicholas II was chosen pope, a man of deep penetration, of great virtue and learning, and very liberal in alms, as our saint testifies, who assisted him in obliging John, Bishop of Veletri, an anti-pope, set up by the capitaneos or magistrates of Rome, to quit his usurped dignity. Upon complaints of simony in the church of Milan, Nicholas II sent Peter thither as his legate, who chastised the guilty. Nicholas II dying, after having sat two years and six months, Alexander was chosen pope, in 1602. Peter strenuously supported him against the emperor, who set up an anti-pope, Cadolaus, Bishop of Parma, on whom the saint prevailed soon after to renounce his pretensions in a council held at Rome; and engaged Henry IV, King of Germany, who was afterwards emperor, to acquiesce in what had been done, though that prince, who in his infancy had succeeded his pious father Henry III, had sucked in very early the corrupt maxims of tyranny and irreligion. But virtue is amiable in the eyes of its very enemies, and often disarms them of their fury. St. Peter had, with great importunity, solicited Nicholas II for leave to resign his bishopric, and return to his solitude; but could not obtain it. His successor, Alexander II, out of affection for the holy man, was prevailed upon to allow it, in 1062, but not without great difficulty, and the reserve of a power to employ him in church matters of importance as he might have occasion hereafter for his assistance. The saint from that time thought himself discharged, not only from the burden of his flock, but also from the quality of superior, with regard to the several monasteries the general inspection of which he had formerly charged himself with, reducing himself to the condition of a simple monk.
In this retirement he edified the church by his penance and compunction, and laboured by his writings to enforce the observance of discipline and morality. His style is copious and vehement, and the strictness of his maxims appears in all his. works, especially where he treats of the duties of clergymen and monks. He severely rebuked the Bishop of Florence for playing a game at chess. That prelate acknowledged his amusement to be a faulty sloth in a man of his character, and received the saint's remonstrance with great mildness, and submitted to his injunction by way of penance, namely, to recite three times the psalter, to wash the feet of twelve poor men, and to give to each a piece of money. He shows those to be guilty of manifold simony who serve princes or flatter them for the sake of obtaining ecclesiastical preferments. He wrote a treatise to the bishop of Besanzon, against the custom which the canons of that church had of saying the divine office sitting; though he allowed all to sit during the lessons. This saint recommended the use of disciplines whereby to subdue and punish the flesh, which was adopted as a compensation for long penitential fasts. Three thousand lashes, with the recital of thirty psalms, were a redemption of a canonical penance of one year's continuance. Sir Thomas More, St. Francis of Sales, and others testify that such means of mortification are great helps to tame the flesh and inure it to the lab ours of penance; also to remove a hardness of heart and spiritual dryness, and to soften the soul into compunction. But all danger of abuses, excess, and singularity is to be shunned, and other ordinary bodily mortifications, as watching and fasting, are frequently more advisable. This saint wrote most severely on the obligations of religious men,4 particularly against their strolling abroad; for one of the most essential qualities of their state is solitude, or at least the spirit of retirement. He complained loudly of certain evasions, by which many palliated real infractions of their vow of poverty. He justly observed: "We can never restore what is decayed of primitive discipline; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair such breaches. Let us not draw upon ourselves so base a reproach; but. let us faithfully transmit to posterity the examples of virtue which we have received from our forefathers." The holy man reconciled discords, settled the bounds of the jurisdiction of certain dioceses, and condemned and deposed in councils those who were convicted of simony. He notwithstanding tempered his severity with mildness and indulgence towards penitents where charity and prudence required such a condescension. Henry IV, King of Germany, at eighteen years of age, began to show the symptoms of a heart abandoned to impiety, infamous debauchery, treachery, and cruelty. He married, in 1066, Bertha, daughter to Otho, Marquess of Italy, but afterward, in 1069, sought a divorce by taking his oath that he had never been able to consummate his marriage. The Archbishop of Mentz had the weakness to be gained over by his artifices to favour his desires, in which view he assembled a council at Mentz. Pope Alexander II forbad him ever to consent to so enormous an injustice, and pitched upon Peter Damian for his legate to preside in that synod, being sensible that a person of the most inflexible virtue, prudence, and constancy was necessary for so important and difficult an affair, in which passion, power, and craft made use of every engine in opposition to the cause of God. The venerable legate met the king and bishops at Frankfort, laid before them the orders and instructions of his holiness, and in his name conjured the king to pay a due regard to the law of God, the canons of the church, and his own reputation, and seriously reflect on the public scandal of so pernicious an example. The noblemen likewise all rose up and entreated his majesty never to stain his honour by so foul an action. The king, unable to resist so cogent an authority, dropped his project of a divorce; but, remaining the same man in his heart, continued to hate the queen more than ever.
St. Peter hastened back to his desert of Font-Avellano. Whatever austerities he prescribed to others he was the first to practice himself, remitting nothing of them even in his old age. He lived shut up in his cell as in a prison, fasted every day, except festivals, and allowed himself no other subsistence than coarse bread, bran, herbs, and water, and this he never drank fresh, but what he had kept from the day before. He tortured his body with iron girdles and frequent disciplines, to render it more obedient to the spirit. He passed the three first days of every Lent and Advent without taking any kind of nourishment whatsoever; and often for forty days together lived only on raw herbs and fruits, or on pulse steeped in cold water, without touching so much as bread, or any thing which had passed the fire. A mat spread on the floor was his bed. He used to make wooden spoons, and such like useful mean things, to exercise himself at certain hours in manual labour. Henry, Archbishop of Ravenna, having been excommunicated for grievous enormities, St. Peter was sent by Pope Alexander II, in quality of legate, to adjust the affairs of the church. When he arrived at Ravenna, in 1072, he found the unfortunate prelate just dead, but brought the accomplices of his crimes to a sense of their guilt, and imposed on them a suitable penance. This was his last undertaking for the church, God being pleased soon after to call him to eternal rest, and to the crown of his labours. Old age and the fatigues of his journey did not make him lay aside his accustomed mortifications, by which he consummated his holocaust. In his return towards Rome, he was stopped by a fever in the monastery of our Lady without the gates of Faenza, and died there on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks were reciting matins round about him. He passed from that employment which had been the delight of his heart on earth to sing the same praises of God in eternal glory, on the 22nd of February, 1072, being fourscore and three years old. He is honoured as patron at Faenza and Font-Avellano on the 23rd of the same month.




source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpeterdamian.asp#ixzz1n2mqLnHe

VATICAN : POPE : UNITY A DIVINE GIFT AND OTHER NEWS


UNITY IN THE CHURCH IS A DIVINE GIFT WHICH MUST BE DEFENDED
Vatican City, 20 February 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the twenty-two new cardinals created in the recent consistory, accompanied by members of their families and other faithful who had come with them to Rome. The Pope spoke to each group in its own language, concluding with some words in Italian addressed to them as a whole. (image source: radio vaticana)
Speaking French he said that "our society, which experiences moments of uncertainty and doubt, has need of Christ's clarity. May each Christian bear witness with faith and courage, and may the imminent period of Lent favour a return towards God".
Turning then to address the groups as a whole, the Holy Father highlighted how the creation of new cardinals "is an opportunity to reflect upon the universal mission of the Church in the history of man. In human affairs, which are often agitated and confused, the Church is always alive and present, bringing Christ: light and hope for all humankind. Remaining united to the Church and to the message of salvation she bears, means anchoring ourselves in truth, reinforcing a sense of true values, remaining serene whatever happens.
"I exhort you, then", the Pope added in conclusion, "always to remain united to your pastors, and to the new cardinals, in order to be in communion with the Church. Unity in the Church is a divine gift which must be defended and developed. I entrust you, dear brother cardinals, and the faithful accompanying you, to the protection of the Mother of God and of the Apostles Peter and Paul".





POPE TELLS NEW CARDINALS TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE JOY OF CHRIST’S LOVE
Vatican City, 19 February 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at a Eucharistic concelebration with the twenty-two cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. At the beginning of the ceremony, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, addressed a greeting to the Pope in the name of all the new cardinals.
Extracts from the Holy Father's homily are given below:
"In the second reading that we have just heard, St. Peter exhorts the “elders” of the Church to be zealous pastors, attentive to the flock of Christ. These words are addressed in the first instance to you. ... The new dignity that has been conferred upon you is intended to show appreciation for the faithful labour you have carried out in the Lord’s vineyard, to honour the communities and nations from which you come and which you represent so worthily in the Church, to invest you with new and more important ecclesial responsibilities and finally to ask of you an additional readiness to be of service to Christ and to the entire Christian community. This readiness to serve the Gospel is firmly founded upon the certitude of faith".
"Today’s Gospel passage presents Peter, under divine inspiration, expressing his own firm faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the promised Messiah. In response to this transparent profession of faith, which Peter makes in the name of the other Apostles as well, Christ reveals to him the mission He intends to entrust to him, namely that of being the “rock”, the visible foundation on which the entire spiritual edifice of the Church is built. ... This Gospel episode ... finds a further and more eloquent explanation in one of the most famous artistic treasures of this Vatican Basilica: the altar of the Chair. After passing through the magnificent central nave, and continuing past the transepts, the pilgrim arrives in the apse and sees before him an enormous bronze throne that seems to hover in mid air, but in reality is supported by the four statues of great Fathers of the Church from East and West. And above the throne, surrounded bytriumphant angels suspended in the air, the glory of the Holy Spirit shines through the oval window. ... It represents a vision of the essence of the Church and the place within the Church of the Petrine Magisterium.
"The window of the apse opens the Church towards the outside, towards the whole of creation, while the image of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove shows God as the source of light. But there is also another aspect to point out: the Church herself is like a window, the place where God draws near to us, where He comes towards our world. The Church does not exist for her own sake, she is not the point of arrival, but she has to point upwards, beyond herself, to the realms above. The Church is truly herself to the extent that she allows the Other, with a capital “O”, to shine through her - the One from Whom she comes and to Whom she leads. The Church is the place where God “reaches” us and where we “set off” towards Him: she has the task of opening up, beyond itself, a world which tends to become enclosed within itself, the task of bringing to the world the light that comes from above, without which it would beuninhabitable.
"The great bronze throne encloses a wooden chair from the ninth century, which was long thought to be St. Peter’s own chair and was placed above this monumental altar because of its great symbolic value. It expresses the permanent presence of the Apostle in the Magisterium of his successors. St. Peter’s chair, we could say, is the throne of truth which takes its origin from Christ’s commission".
"The chair of Peter evokes another memory: the famous expression from St. Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Romans, where he says of the Church of Rome that she “presides in charity”. In truth, presiding in faith is inseparably linked to presiding in love. Faith without love would no longer be an authentic Christian faith. ... The word “charity”, in fact, was also used by the early Church to indicate the Eucharist. ... Therefore, to “preside in charity” is to draw men and women into a Eucharistic embrace - the embrace of Christ - which surpasses every barrier and every division, creating communion from all manner of differences. The Petrine ministry is therefore a primacy of love in the Eucharistic sense, that is to say solicitude for the universal communion of the Church in Christ. And the Eucharist is the shape and the measure of this communion, a guarantee that it will remain faithful to the criterion of thetradition of the faith.
"The great Chair is supported by the Fathers of the Church". They "represent the whole of the tradition, and hence the richness of expression of the true faith of the holy and one Church. This aspect of the altar teaches us that love rests upon faith. Love collapses if man no longer trusts in God and disobeys Him. Everything in the Church rests upon faith: the Sacraments, the liturgy, evangelisation, charity. Likewise the law and the Church’s authority rest upon faith. The Church is not self-regulating, she does not determine her own structure but receives it from the word of God, to which she listens in faith as she seeks to understand it and to live it. ... The Sacred Scriptures, authoritatively interpreted by the Magisterium in the light of the Fathers, shed light upon the Church’s journey through time, providing her with a stable foundation amid the vicissitudes of history.
"After considering the various elements of the altar of the Chair, let us take a look at it in its entirety. We see that it is characterised by a twofold movement: ascending and descending. This is the reciprocity between faith and love. ... A selfish faith would be an unreal faith. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ and enters into the dynamic of love that finds its source in the Eucharist, discovers true joy and becomes capable in turn of living according to the logic of this gift. True faith is illumined by love and leads towards love, leads on high, just as the altar of the Chair points upwards towards the luminous window, the glory of the Holy Spirit, which constitutes the true focus for the pilgrim’s gaze as he crosses the threshold of the Vatican Basilica. ... God is not isolation, but glorious and joyful love, spreading outwards and radiant with light".
"The gift of this love has been entrusted to us, to every Christian. It is a gift to be passed on to others, through the witness of our lives. This is your task in particular, dear brother cardinals: to bear witness to the joy of Christ’s love".





CATHEDRA OF PETER IS A SIGN OF CHRIST'S AUTHORITY, BASED ON FAITH AND LOVE
Vatican City, 19 February 2012 (VIS) - Following this morning's concelebration of the Eucharist with the twenty-two cardinals created in Saturday's consistory, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father reminded people that "this Sunday is a particularly joyful one here in the Vatican, because of yesterday's consistory in which I created twenty-two new cardinals. This morning I had the joy of concelebrating the Eucharist with them in St. Peter's Basilica, over the tomb of the Apostle whom Jesus called to be the 'rock' upon which to build His Church. I therefore invite you all to pray for these our venerable brothers, who are now more deeply committed to collaborating with me in guiding the universal Church, and to bearing witness to the Gospel even unto the sacrifice of their lives. This is the significance of their red garments: the colour of blood and of love".
Benedict XVI also recalled the fact that yesterday's consistory took place against the backdrop of the Feast of the Cathedra of St. Peter, which had been brought forward to this Sunday to ensure it did not coincide with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The cathedra, the Pope explained, "is the seat reserved for the bishop. ... The Cathedra of St. Peter ... is the symbol of the special mission that Peter and his successors have to feed the flock of Christ and to keep it united in faith and charity. ... This particular duty devolves upon the community of Rome and its Bishop because it was in this city that the Apostles Peter and Paul spilt their blood, along with many other martyrs. Thus we return to the witness of blood and charity. The Cathedra of Peter is a sign of authority: the authority of Christ which is founded upon faith and love".
In conclusion, the Holy Father entrusted the new cardinals to the protection of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Church, that she might "help me and my collaborators to work tirelessly for the unity of the People of God, and to announce the message of salvation to all people, humbly and courageously performing the service of truth in charity".





OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 20 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Timothy Costelloe S.D.B., auxiliary of Melbourne, Australia, as archbishop of Perth (area 427,377, population 1,681,142, Catholics 415,633, priests 266, permanent deacons 15, religious 615), Australia. He succeeds Archbishop Barry James Hickey, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Dresden - Meissen, Germany, presented by Bishop Joachim Friedrich Reinelt, upon having reached the age limit.

AMERICA : ACTRESS TURNED NUN AT OSCARS

by Miriam Westen
Mother Dolores Hart, age 73, Benedictine Nun, and former Hollywood star will be at the Oscars this February. She is the Abbess at Abbey of Regina Laudis, located in Bethlehem, Conn. Her recent film documentary God Is the Bigger Elvis, has been nominated in the best documentary short category and premieres April 5 on HBO.
Hart`s co-stars have included Elvis Presley (Loving You, 1957) and Montgomery Clift (Lonelyhearts, 1958). Dolores Hart was the first film star to kiss Elvis Presley. In 1959 she was an Oscar presenter. She performed in several more films in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1963 she was engaged to Don Robinson and was ready to sign a high salary contract with a studio.  But she gave it all up for a greater love Jesus.

In 1961 she played St Clare in Francis of Assisi opposite Bradford Dillman. She met Pope John XXIII. She said to him: "I'm Dolores Hart, the actress playing Clare." The Pontiff replied: "No, you are Clare!" 

She remains a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is the only nun who can vote at the Oscars.
The Abbey of 38 nuns is self-sufficient and has its own 400 acre farm. 
Reverend Mother Dolores Hart became Prioress of the Abbey in 2001.
As the world focuses on fame and money, Mother Dolores is an example of forsaking all for the greatest love of all Jesus Christ. Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.`(Matt. 22:37)
Here is an excerpt from her 1961 film St. Francis of Assis

ASIA : NEPAL : WOMAN BURNED ALIVE - WITCHCRAFT ACCUSATION

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by Kalpit Parajuli
Thegani Devi Yadav, 40, supported two children and in-laws with her work. The government provides compensation and punishes the culprits. A famous healer and magician, tied her and set her on fire with the help of some villagers. Human rights activists explain that "it is a very common practice" and the legacy of a society "dominated by Hinduism."


Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - A Nepalese woman was burned to death on charges of witchcraft. A terrible story, which has shaken the conscience of a country where - human rights activists explain - the traditional influence of Hinduism is still alive and women are excluded. The government has promised compensation for the family of around 10 thousand Euros, to ensure the education of children and promises to punish those responsible for a crime, which "happens very frequently," only that "today the cases emerge" with more ease than ever before.

The victim is Thegani Devi Yadav, a widow of 40 years, mother of two children - a boy of 12 years and a girl of 9 - who, through her work at a building site, also took care of her in-laws guaranteeing them two meals per day. The woman was originally from Chitwan district, 150 km from the capital Kathmandu and was killed for "witchcraft". She was accused of this by a famous healer and expert in magic arts, named Guruwa, who burned her alive with the help of his cousin and other villagers.

An eyewitness named Ram Bahadur Tharu confirms that "[she] was tied up and burned alive", while "strongly rejecting the charges and pleaded for her life." The incident has raised controversy and condemnation of the National Commission for Human Rights, over an "inhuman" act against someone who was "poor and marginalized". Activist Sharmila Sharma points the finger at "traditional society dominated by Hinduism" and confirms that similar cases occur frequently, but "in the past were hidden by society itself" and the police "did not intervene in time to stop the crimes ".

Interviewed by AsiaNews Dan Bahadur Chaudhari, Minister for Women, Children and Welfare, said he was "saddened" by the tragic event and confirms that "the law does not do enough" because "for many years the traditional Hindu practice recognized witchcraft" . "In many villages, several women - he adds - suffer from this terrible practice and ask for it to be repressed with the appropriate standards." Nepalese society, in fact, is still inspired by the Hindu religion and sees women as the "second class" sex, more so if widows. For this a reform of the laws is needed and policies that promote equality between men and women as well as an end to discrimination against minorities and the marginalized.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Nepali-widow-burned-alive,-accused-of-witchcraft-24018.html

AFRICA : MAURITANIA : 12 MILLION AT RISK OF DROUGHT

Agenzia Fides REPORT - The majority of the inhabitants of Douerara, a small town located about 800 kilometers east of Nouakchot, the capital of Mauritania, live in an area surrounded by sand and rocks in Sahel. Because of the drought, since early February, nearly six months before the expected arrival of the next rains, the population do not have food, crops have been destroyed and people are forced to buy rice on credit, but has neither meat or milk. In addition to Mauritania, other Sahel countries like Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and northern regions of Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal, are in the same plight. According to humanitarian agencies, twelve million people suffer severe food insecurity and hunger. Mauritania, which has the very few drinking water reserves in the world, is one of the nations most affected. A third of the population is already at risk of hunger. According to nutrition experts of the local health department of Kiffa, a small town in the south-west, the situation is very serious, especially for younger children. Every week more and more people come to the clinic for help. Insufficient milk and food, and people constantly struggle to survive, especially younger children. Food crisis can cause the death concerning 60% of malnourished children, but the figure for this year could be even greater, because the region has not yet recovered from the severe drought of 2010. Sahel is a region in permanent crisis, living the state of chronic food insecurity. Even during a "normal" year half of all children under 5 years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition. Statistics exceed the threshold of 10%, the limit state of emergency. To aggravate the situation in Mauritania and other countries of the region, there has been the dramatic rise in food prices, while those of livestock, which constitutes the main value in the region has dropped dramatically. On roads one sees skeletons of cattle that died of hunger or thirst. The southern region of Hodh el Gharbi, is one of the hardest hit of Mauritania. The population’s health is deteriorating rapidly. Since 2000, the crops have continuously decreased due to scarce rainfall which have become increasingly unpredictable. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 21/2/2012)

EUROPE : IRELAND : WELCOMING THE NEW NUNCIO MARTIN

IRISH BISHOP'S CONFERENCE REPORT:
Words of Welcome from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
In our ceremony this morning we call to mind Archbishop Brown’s mission as the representative of the Holy See in Ireland: his task is to witness among us, within the Church and within society in Ireland, to the mission of the successor of Peter – a mission to foster deeper communion in the life of the Church and to foster communion, harmony and peace in the human family that is so often fragmented.
We wish you God’s blessing as you begin your ministry. We wish you personally fulfilment and happiness and we assure you of a warm welcome and support. We welcome the help of Pope Benedict in leading our wounded Church towards repentance and healing. We desire to work together to build a different, more humble Church, but also a renewed Church, confident of the contribution of the teaching of Jesus Christ for the Ireland of tomorrow.
Some have noted that Archbishop Brown is an American and a native English speaker, as if that were something new. Archbishop Brown is actually the fourth Apostolic Nuncio to come to us from the United States. The first Nuncio in Dublin, Archbishop Paschal Robinson, though a native of Dublin grew up in the United States and worked there as a journalist before becoming a priest. Archbishop Gerald O’Hara, who was Nuncio in the 1950’s, and Archbishop Joseph McGeough, who was here in the 1960’s were also both Americans. Archbishop Emanuel Gerada, born in Malta and Nuncio in the 1970’s was also a native English speaker.
What unites us here this morning and what distinguishes your ministry is not our native language or our ancestry but the common Catholic faith we profess in Jesus Christ and our common commitment to ensure that the Church of Jesus Christ be truly a sign of the unity of humankind bound together through the presence of God’s love among us.
The Holy See and Ireland have deep-rooted links, which go back long into our history. Irish people have profound bonds of affection for the Holy See. The diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Ireland have been fruitful in fostering the interests of Ireland, of the Holy See and of our common interests in the good of the human family. International relations and diplomacy are concerned not just with the political and economic challenges of the day, no matter how vital, but with the fundamental values and aspirations of people which must then shape relations between peoples and States and in this context the Holy See plays a vital role.
Homily of Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio
Dia libh go léir!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is an honour and a joy for me to celebrate Holy Mass with you this morning here in this historic Pro-Cathedral. I am deeply grateful to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his kind invitation and for his very gracious welcome. I would like to begin by thanking the priests, as well as the men and women religious here today, and the many members of different Catholic organizations and associations. In a particular way, I am grateful for the presence of representatives of other Christian communities. I thank the representative of the Lord Mayor for coming and the members of the diplomatic community, my colleagues. I am appreciative also of the presence of a representative of the Government of Ireland, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and all the other public authorities here present. Thank you for welcoming me.
This Mass is my first public celebration of the Church’s liturgy since I was received by the President of Ireland last Thursday, and delivered to him the Letter from Pope Benedict XVI appointing me as Nuncio – which is the first public act of any new ambassador. I was grateful for the very warm welcome accorded me by the President and by the members of the Government who were there with him.
Having presented my credentials to the President, I must say that I can think of no better way of marking the beginning of my service in this country than by celebrating Mass in this place, the Pro-Cathedral of this diverse and dynamic Archdiocese. I stand before you this morning as someone who represents various realities: I am the descendent of men and women of Ireland, who emigrated from this island, possessing little more than the treasure of their Catholic faith, which they, through the generations, have passed on to me. Were it not for the faith of Ireland, I would not be a Catholic today. I am someone who worked for many years in the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Catholic Church, where I had the privilege of working with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI; I am a newly-ordained Bishop of the Catholic Church and as such, with all my limitations and defects, a successor of the Apostles.
This morning, however, I stand before you principally as the representative of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of the Apostle Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. In his name, I greet you all and I bring you his best wishes for all the people of Ireland, for the government, and all the members of the diplomatic community. As I mentioned, I have worked for many years very closely with the Holy Father and I can tell you from my personal experience that he has always had – and he continues to have – a great love for the people of Ireland and a high regard for the Catholic Church in Ireland, with its history of missionary richness and tenacious faith. Pope Benedict knows as well that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland. Again I speak from my own experience when I tell you that Pope Benedict was scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations. He felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to. From the beginning, Pope Benedict was resolute and determined to put into place changes which would give the Church the ability to deal more effectively with those who abuse trust, as well as to provide the necessary assistance to those who had been victimized. Pope Benedict has been relentless and consistent on this front, and I assure you that he will continue to be.
In our Gospel for today’s Mass, Jesus encounters a paralyzed man who is brought to him in Capernaum. The friends or family of this man bring him to Jesus in order to be healed physically. Indeed, they go to great trouble in carrying their friend to Jesus, lowering him down from the open roof above. Yet the curious thing about this miracle story is that Jesus does not heal the man from his paralysis in his first exchange with him. Instead, he says to him: “My child, your sins are forgiven”. The scribes who were present take exception to these words of the Lord. They accuse him of blasphemy, because only God can forgive sins. The Lord is aware of their thoughts (as he is aware of ours), and says to his critics: “But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”, he turns to the paralytic and says: “I order you, get up, pick up your stretcher and go off home”. At that moment the paralyzed man stands up, picks up his stretcher and leaves the house, walking through the crowd. Pope Benedict himself commented on this Gospel passage during his Angelus talk in February 2009, and he explained that this “Gospel account shows that Jesus has the power not only to heal a sick body but also to forgive sins; indeed, the physical recovery is a sign of the spiritual healing that his forgiveness produces. Sin is effectively a sort of paralysis of the spirit from which only the power of God’s merciful love can set us free, allowing us to rise again and continue on the path of goodness”.
The reality of physical paralysis is used by the Lord as a way of teaching us what sin (which we can understand as separation from God or as rejection of God’s path for us) does to the human person. It is not the case at all that Jesus is saying that the physical paralysis of the man before him was caused by that man’s sin; instead, paralysis and subsequent healing become visible signs of the invisible reality of the effects of the Lord’s grace in our lives. Sin should not be understood primarily as a breaking of a rule or as violating the regulations. Sin is not, in the first instance, something legal. Sin is better understood as separating ourselves from God, who is life itself, or rejecting God’s path for us, the path that gives us life and grace, spiritual energy. And so, paralysis becomes an appropriate visual symbol of the spiritual state produced by sin, by this separation from God. Sin, of course primarily affects individuals. It is a spiritual disease which afflicts us, which can paralyze us. It is the encounter with Christ which begins to heal us of this infirmity, and that encounter, for us, takes place in his Church, which is his body, through our proper and fruitful reception of the sacraments, principally the Holy Eucharist. One of the most ancient texts of the Church, written just several decades after the death and resurrection of the Lord, the Letter of Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians, speaks of the Holy Eucharist as medicine, “the medicine of immortality”.
But this separation from God or this rejection of the kind of life that he proposes for us is not only a reality that affects us as individuals. It also affects our relationships with others and the wider community. The Church herself is wounded by the sins of her members. And just as sin produces a kind of spiritual paralysis in the individual, a radical lack of the spiritual energy which is grace, so too there can be a kind of spiritual paralysis in sections of the Church, where that energy seems to have disappeared, enthusiasm is dissipated, liturgical life grows cold. When this happens in the Church, in a certain sense, we need to do exactly what an individual does – come again into the presence of the Lord, of Christ himself, so that he can heal and restore us to life. The Church, my friends, does not live because of offices, committees and structures (as important as these may be). She lives by the presence of Jesus Christ – our way, our truth and our life. And his presence is experienced in many ways, but most powerfully in his word and in his sacraments – above all, in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
We need to deepen our understanding of this reality and this is the reason for the important gathering which will soon take place “close to home” we might say – here in the cosmopolitan city of Dublin. I refer, of course, to the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress which will be held from June 10th to the 17th of this year, a very significant event not only for the Catholic Church in Ireland, but for the universal Church. It has been carefully and creatively organized and prepared. What is the point of such a gathering? It is to renew our faith in the reality which is at the absolute center of Catholic life – the real presence of Christ himself in the Eucharist. Ultimately, it is renewed faith and love for the Lord in the Eucharist that will renew our lives and renew the life of the Church. It is his true presence in the Eucharist which can heal our own spiritual paralysis, which fills us with light and joy, which gives meaning to our lives, and which prepares us for the life of the world to come.
It is a great joy for me to be in Ireland, beginning my time here as Pope Benedict’s representative, especially in this year of the International Eucharistic Congress. Something new is indeed happening. I am convinced that the Lord is preparing something beautiful for his Church. May I ask your support and your prayers for my mission, as I thank you from the heart for being here with me today. Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, to intercede for us and for Ireland as we strive to follow her son more closely.

AUSTRALIA : NEW ARCHBISHOP OF PERTH : TIMOTHY COSTELLOE

ARCHDIOCESE OF PERTH REPORT:
By: B Spinks Photo: Supplied
Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Costelloe SDB DD of Melbourne has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to succeed Archbishop Barry James Hickey as ninth Bishop of Perth and sixth Archbishop of Perth.

VIDEO: To watch footage of today's press conference, visit:

www.thefaith.org.au


Pope Benedict XVI made the official announcement in Rome at noon today.
Archbishop Hickey endorsed the appointment and choice of Archbishop-designate Costelloe as his successor.
“We are delighted with the choice of Bishop Tim Costelloe to be the new Catholic Archbishop of Perth,” Archbishop Hickey said.
“He has my blessings on his daunting task, which is at one time a burden and a privilege,” he said.
Archbishop-designate Costelloe said he was very grateful to the Holy Father for showing such confidence in appointing him Archbishop of Perth.
He said he takes up the position “with a sense of gratitude and humility, and also a certain trepidation”.
Archbishop-designate Costelloe, who was ordained a Bishop in 2007, will lead the Catholic Church in the Perth Archdiocese after gaining several years’ experience serving the Church in the Archdiocese of Melbourne and as a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
Archbishop-designate Costelloe is no stranger to Perth.
He spent four years in the mid to late nineties based as parish priest at St Joachim’s in Victoria Park and as religious superior of the Salesian community based in Victoria Park and Kelmscott.
While based in Perth, the then Fr Costelloe was also lecturing in systematic theology at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.
He accompanied Archbishop Hickey to the Synod of Oceania in 1998 as one of Archbishop Hickey’s two theological experts.
Archbishop-designate Costelloe will officially take possession of the Archdiocese on 21 March 2012 during a Solemn Mass and Liturgical Reception in St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth.
This news of a successor comes after a 10-month wait for Archbishop Hickey who handed in his letter of resignation following Church protocol on the occasion of his 75th birthday in April last year.
The Pope accepted this letter ‘nunc pro tunc’ (Latin: now for then), meaning that Archbishop Hickey was required to continue as Archbishop of Perth until a successor was announced, at which time, he could then effectively retire.
The Pope has also appointed Archbishop Hickey as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Perth until his successor takes possession of the Archdiocese.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MON. FEB. 20, 2012

Mark 9: 14 - 29
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them.
15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him.
16 And he asked them, "What are you discussing with them?"
17 And one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit;
18 and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able."
19 And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me."
20 And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood.
22 And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us."
23 And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes."
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again."
26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead."
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?"
29 And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."