Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Vatican City, 8 July 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, his first Sunday at Castelgandolfo, the Pope emerged onto the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below. He remarked on today's reading from St. Mark's Gospel concerning the refusal of the people of Nazareth to recognise the divinity of Jesus, and the scandal provoked by the fact that "the carpenter, the son of Mary" who had lived among them, should preach like a prophet.
In this context, the Holy Father mentioned the phrase "Nemo propheta in patria", meaning no one is a prophet in his own land. This, he said, "is understandable because their human familiarity made it hard for them to go further and open themselves to the divine dimension. It was difficult for them to believe that this son of a carpenter was the Son of God", while Jesus Himself drew on the example of the prophets of Israel who were likewise disdained. Because of this spiritual closure in Nazareth, "Jesus 'could do no deeds of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them'. Indeed, the miracles of Christ were not a show of power, but signs of God's love, which is realised wherever it finds reciprocity in the faith of man".
"The astonishment and scandal of His fellow citizens was met with amazement on the part of Jesus. In a certain sense, He too was scandalised. Although He knew that no prophet is accepted in his own land, yet His own people's closure of heart was something obscure and impenetrable to Him. How was it possible that they did not recognise the light of Truth? Why did they not open to the goodness of God Who chose to share our humanity?. The man Jesus of Nazareth is the transparency of God, God dwells in Him fully and, while we always seek other signs, other prodigies, we do not realise that the true sign is Him, God made flesh. He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God contained in a human heart and a human face".
After praying the Angelus the Pope greeted French-speaking pilgrims saying: "During the summer do not take a vacation from God; pray and go to Sunday Mass".
He then addressed some words to Polish faithful, particularly participants in a pilgrimage organised by the Family of Radio Maria to the shrine of Jasna Gora where they are praying "for the homeland, families and freedom of expression". He also greeted members of the "Work of the New Millennium" Association who are meeting in Lublin with followers of other religions and who this evening will gather to pray for peace in the former concentration camp of Majdanek. "I participate spiritually in these initiatives", the Pope said, "and implore goodness and peace for the world, for Poland and for each one of you".

Vatican City, 9 July 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI this morning made a private visit to the "Ad Gentes Centre" of the Missionaries of the Divine Word, located in the village of Nemi. It was in that building, then called the International Centre of the Society of the Divine Word, that the Vatican Council II Commission on Missions met from 29 March to 3 April 1965. Among the participants was a young theologian and expert of the conciliar assembly, Joseph Ratzinger.
The Holy Father left Castelgandolfo by car at 11.30 a.m. and was welcomed on his arrival at Nemi by Fr. Heinz Kuluke, superior general elect; Fr. Antonio Pernia superior general, and Fr. Giancarlo Girardi, procurator general. The Holy Father then moved on to the chapel to meet with the 150 participants in the general chapter of the order and the community of the Mother House in Rome. After adoring the Blessed Sacrament, and listening to a welcome address from Fr. Pernia, the Pope made some brief remarks.
Having completed his visit, Benedict XVI returned to the Apostolic Palace.

Vatican City, 7 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of Ischia, Italy, presented by Bishop Filippo Strofaldi, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
- Appointed Msgr. Sebastian Francis, vicar general of the diocese of Melaka-Johor, Malaysia, as bishop of Penang (area 46,855, population 6,500,000, Catholics 66,000, priests 46, religious 97), Malaysia. The bishop-elect was born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1977. He studied in Rome and has been active in pastoral care and in education. He succeeds Bishop Antony Selvanayagam, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, as pontifical legate to the consecration of the cathedral of the diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, due to take place on 9 September.




National conference to support ministry to faith enquirers | National Executive of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Network, faith enquirers
Around 50 diocesan and parish representatives gathered from across England and Wales recently to explore how best to support and accompany people who are seeking meaning and purpose in their lives, and making enquiry as a first step in the process of becoming a Catholic.

Organised by the National Executive of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Network, the focus of the conference, on 4 – 6 July at the High Leigh Conference centre in Hertfordshire, was ‘Opening the doors of faith: Equipping the Team for the Period of Inquiry’. During the three-day event attendees were invited to reflect on the Bible story of the Road to Emmaus (Luke’s Gospel, 24: 13 - 36) and to identify what they could learn from Christ and the disciples, in relation to their own ministry to faith enquirers.

Caroline Dollard, Convenor of the National RCIA Network, said: “As a prelude to the Year of the Faith, the Network wanted to affirm the Church’s vision of the Rite, and in particular, the first stage, as an integral framework for parish evangelisation – offering a warm, hospitable, generous accompaniment of enquirers, encouraging those first stirrings of faith, as together we meet and engage with the person of Jesus Christ and what he is offering. The conference organising team have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiastic response from everyone who came and took part. The spirit of joy was tangible.”

Six workshops were offered at the conference, which aimed to offer practical insights in relation to working with faith enquirers at parish level: ‘Sharing experiences with First Holy Communion parents and faith enquiry’; ‘A presentation of the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s new resource for Baptism based on the RCIA journey’; ‘How to work an effective RCIA in a group of parishes’; ‘Wisdom on prayer in the Period of Enquiry’; ‘Exploring how the Year of Faith can benefit parish mission’.
Attendee, Canon Tom McHugh, from St Joseph’s Parish in Kent, said: “This was a truly refreshing experience for me. I have been part of the RCIA Network since the early 1980s. Now a new generation is animating people, who are ministering at grassroots in parishes, to draw on the wisdom of the RITE and to allow it to inform pastoral practice at every level of initiation, children as well as adults. Now more than ever we value the encouragement and support of our Bishops, particularly as we prepare to enter the Year of Faith, and it is good to see the ways in which Network is developing relationships with Bishops’ Conference Departments at national, diocesan and parish level.”
Meanwhile fellow attendee, Frances Massey, from Our Lady of Lourdes and St Peter Chanel Parish in Hull, said: “The conference was a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and learn from others who are involved in the RCIA.”
Fr Michael Keogh from St Patrick’s in Thornaby said: “It’s put new heart into the vision of RCIA and given all of us great encouragement for the future.”


UCAN NEWS REPORT: Statement discourages further 'gestures' by China that could threaten future dialogue
Alessandro Speciale, Vatican City
Vatican City
July 10, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Excommunication for illicit Harbin bishop
The Vatican today announced the excommunication of illicitly ordained Fr Yue Fusheng of Harbin
The Holy See announced in a statement today the automatic excommunication of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng, illicitly ordained bishop of Harbin on Friday, while a Vatican spokesman urged Chinese authorities to show more clearly their intention to maintain open dialogue with Rome.
Fr Yue has “automatically incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law,” the statement said, adding that “on several occasions he had been asked not to accept episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate.”
The statement said as well the bishops who took part in the ordination “have exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church” and “must give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony.”
The statement follows a heated exchange last week between Rome and Beijing in which the Holy See warned the fate of the Catholic Church in China would be imperiled by further illicit ordinations.
Chinese authorities quickly dismissed the warning as “outrageous” and expressed their intention to continue self-election and self-ordination, and that outside interference threatened the healthy development of the Church in China.
Speaking to reporters today, Fr Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, characterized the current state of relations with China as “not wholly conducive to constructive and serene dialogue.”
Fr Lombardi said the Vatican was sensitive to distinguishing the political and religious dimensions of the issue, a point on which there appeared to be a “difference of interpretation.” He added that episcopal ordinations “solely pertain to the religious authority of the Church.”
Today’s statement further noted that the Vatican trusted in “the concrete willingness of the Government Authorities of China to dialogue with the Holy See” and discouraged any future actions that would jeopardize relations.
Fr Lombardi emphasized this point, saying: “If gestures that go against dialogue continue, the government’s desire will not be apparent.”
Meanwhile, the Vatican described the ordination of Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai with papal mandate as “encouraging and is to be welcomed,” while also noting that the presence of illicitly ordained clergy at the ceremony “was inappropriate” and against “lawful episcopal ordination.”
Bishop Ma was ordained on Saturday, but local Church sources say that a group of unidentified persons took him away shortly after the ceremony, during which he announced he would step down as vice chair of the local government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) and as standing member in the national CPA.
Bishop Ma has since been prevented from assuming his official duties.
Vatican sources told ucanews.com today that any further comment on Bishop Ma’s whereabouts or status would only put him at greater risk.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: Revealed in report by Nepalese Embassy in Riyadh. Since 2000 more than 3 thousand Nepalese migrant workers have died. One in every 162 people.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In 12 years over 3 thousand Nepalese migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have died because of their poor working conditions and exploitation. Of a total of 484,701 migrants in the Arab country, the average is 1 in every 162. The shocking findings were revealed in a report by the Nepalese Embassy in Riyadh, which identifies the abuse of black market alcohol a major cause of deaths. Udaya Raj Pandev, Nepal's ambassador to Saudi Arabia and promoter of the study, explains that to withstand the grueling and demeaning working conditions, thousands of workers give in to the vice of alcohol circumventing bans in force in the Muslim country. According to the diplomat, over 30 people die each month due to alcoholism. Many of them come home exhausted, drink and die in their sleep. Another factor is accidents in the workplace.
Due to the severe economic crisis, every year thousands of people leave the country in search of a job. Unlike the Philippines, which has a proliferation of agencies in foreign countries, in Nepal people prefer to start with a tourist visa and find work on site with family and friends. This, however, prevents the state from protecting its citizens in case of accidents in a foreign country, increasing the percentage of illegal immigrants and the criminal business of human trafficking. The are over 50 destinations for Nepalese migrants. Topping the list, Qatar (68.844), Saudi Arabia (44,741) and Malaysia (31,157).
Mahdendra Pandev president of Parvasi Nepali Coordination Comitee, for years denouncing the appalling conditions of Nepalese migrants in Islamic countries, states that "workers need training and an orientation period before leaving the country." The activist urges the government to create employment agencies that force Saudi Arabia and other states to respect minimum standards of safety in the workplace, where in many cases it verges on slavery. Exploitation is worsened by the total absence of justice for immigrants charged with crimes. To date, over 200 Nepalese citizens are detained in Saudi custody awaiting trial. Many of them do not even know the reasons for their detention and are not entitled to a lawyer or an interpreter.

In total there are about 7 million migrant workers abroad, especially in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. They are employed in construction and heavy industry, but also as caretakers and domestic workers. Many leave the country to feed their families and foreign workers have become a major resource in the economy of the small Himalayan country. With their remittances migrants account for almost 40% of the state budget.



Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Church in Brazil is preparing for its third National Missionary Congress (3 CMN) which will take place from July 12 to 15 in Palmas (TO) and will count on the participation of over 600 people from around the country. The Congress shall have the slogan "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (Jn 20:21), and the theme will be: "Missionary Disciple: from Brazil to a secular and multicultural world in the light of the II Vatican Council."
"We are encouraged and challenged to do our part as a missionary Church. To reflect together on our journey in this secular and multicultural world, we promote 3 CMN," wrote Father Camilo Pauletti, National Director of the PMS in Brazil and Executive Chairman of the Congress in a note sent to Fides Agency.
Regarding the participants, "each diocese has a reserved number of seats in proportion to its size, to achieve the goal of 600 delegates. The Archdiocese of Palmas will have 40 seats to host the event," said Father Fabio Gleiser, executive Secretary of 3CMN. To accommodate all these people, provide them with accommodation and meals, the organization of Congress counts on the collaboration of all the parishes in the city of Palmas. To the 600 people registered to participate in the 3CMN the Diocesan Missionary Councils (COMIDIs), the Institutions and missionary Organizations engaged in the missionary animation of the local Churches and members of some of the 17 regions of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference (CNBB), through the Regional Missionary Council (COMIRE) have to be added. (CE)


Matthew 16: 24 - 27
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
27 For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.


Sts. Rufina and Secunda
Feast: July 10

Roman martyrs best known for the apocryphal Acts, which recount their martyrdoms. According to the Acta, they were Roman sisters, the daughters of a Roman senator. When their fiances gave up the Christian faith, Rufina and Secunda would not deny Christ. both were soon arrested and beheaded during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian (r. 253-260). They were buried on the Via Aurelia, at the Santa Rufina.

source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/R/strufina_secunda.asp#ixzz1RhlQu0vx


Vatican City, 10 July 2012 (VIS) - "A wonderful memory, perhaps my fondest memory of the entire council." With these words yesterday, the Holy Father recalled his time at the center of the Divine Word Missionaries in Nemi 47 years ago when he was one of the young expert theologians charged with preparing the decree on the Church's missionary activity for Vatican Council II.
Benedict XVI thanked the Society of the Divine Word for having given him the possibility to return to the "Ad Gentes" Center after more than four decades and to recall that, at the time of the Council, he was living "in the center of Rome, at the Santa Maria del Anima seminary, with all the noise [of the city], which is also nice. But being here in the green countryside, having this glimpse of nature and also this fresh air, was beautiful in itself. Then there was the companionship of so many great theologians, with the important and wonderful task of preparing the decree on missions".
Benedict XVI's meeting with the 150 participants of the Society of the Divine Word's general chapter as well as members of the community's mother house in Rome was very warm. The Holy Father recalled that the order's superior general at the time was Fr. Johannes Schutte. "He had suffered greatly in China where he was convicted and expelled from the country. He was full of missionary zeal, of the need to bring a new impetus to the missionary spirit and I was alongside him. I was a very young and not very important theologian;I didn't know why they had invited me but, for me, it was a great gift".
"Fulton Sheen was also there, fascinating us with his afternoon speeches, and Father Congar, and the great missionaries of Leuven. It was a spiritual enrichment for me, a great gift. The decree was not very controversial. There was this controversy, which I have never really understood, between the schools of Leuven and Munster: was the main scope of the mission the 'implantatio Ecclesiae' or the 'Evangelii' announcement? But everything converged in the one spirit of the need to bring the light of the Word of God, the light of God's love, to the world and to give new joy to this proclamation".
"Thus in those days was born a good and beautiful decree that was accepted almost unanimously by all the Council Fathers. It was complemented very well for me by 'Lumen Gentium' because in it we find a Trinitarian ecclesiology that begins, above all, from the classical idea of the 'bonum diffusivum sui', the good that carries with it the need to communicate, to give itself, a good that cannot be locked within itself. The good, this same good, is essentially 'communicatio'. This is already apparent in the Trinitarian mystery, as God is in Himself, and is spread throughout salvation history and in our need to give others the good that we have received".
"Remembering all this I have often thought of those days in Nemi, which were an essential part of the experience of the Council for me. I am pleased to see your society flourishing - your father general has spoken of six thousand members in many countries and nations. Clearly, missionary zeal is still alive and it lives only if there is the Gospel's joy, if we experience the good that comes from God and that wants to and must communicate itself. Thank you for your missionary zeal".
In closing, the Holy Father wished the Verbites all the blessings of the Lord and "much inspiration" during their chapter general. "May the same inspiring power of the Holy Spirit that accompanied us almost visibly in those days be again present among you and help you to find the path for your society as well as for the Gospel mission 'ad gentes' for the following years. Thank you all and may the Lord bless you. Pray for me as I pray for you".

Vatican City, 10 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta, O. Cist., of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the death of Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales, archbishop emeritus of the same archdiocese. Cardinal Araujo Sales, who had a "long life dedicated to the Church in Brazil", died late last night at the age of 91.
In the text of his telegram Benedict XVI recalls the cardinal's three decades as archbishop of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro and his almost seventy years of priesthood, which were distinguished for "showing to all the path of truth in charity and service".

Vatican City, 10 July 2012 (VIS) - Following is the communique released this morning on the episcopal ordination of the Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng in Harbin and the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai.
"With regard to the episcopal ordination of the Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng, which took place in Harbin (Province of Heilongjiang) on Friday 6 July 2012, the following is stated:
1) The Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng, ordained without pontifical mandate and hence illicitly, has automatically incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. Consequently, the Holy See does not recognize him as Bishop of the Apostolic Administration of Harbin, and he lacks the authority to govern the priests and the Catholic community in the Province of Heilongjiang.
The Reverend Yue Fusheng had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate, and on several occasions he had been asked not to accept episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate.
2) The Bishops who took part in the illicit episcopal ordination and have exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church, must give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony.
3) Appreciation is due to those priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who prayed and fasted for a change of heart in the Reverend Yue Fusheng, for the holiness of the Bishops and for the unity of the Church in China, particularly in the Apostolic Administration of Harbin.
4) All Catholics in China, pastors, priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful, are called to defend and safeguard that which pertains to the doctrine and tradition of the Church. Even amid the present difficulties, they look to the future with faith, comforted by the certainty that the Church is founded on the rock of Peter and his Successors.
5) The Apostolic See, trusting in the concrete willingness of the Government Authorities of China to dialogue with the Holy See, hopes that the said authorities will not encourage gestures contrary to such dialogue. Chinese Catholics also wish to see practical steps taken in this direction, the first among which is the avoidance of illicit celebrations and episcopal ordinations without pontifical mandate that cause division and bring suffering to the Catholic communities in China and the universal Church.
The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed. The presence of a bishop who is not in communion with the Holy Father was inappropriate and shows a lack of consideration for a lawful episcopal ordination".
Vatican City, 10 July 2012 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed Bishop Pedro Mario Ossandon Buljevic as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile (area 9,132, population 5,905,000, Catholics 4,098,000, priests 801, permanent deacons 332, religious 2978), Chile. The bishop, who is titular of La Imperial, was formerly auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Concepcion, Chile.



Almost 5,000 in attendance, applause interrupts ceremony several times
Homilist Archbishop Chaput stresses when state curtails freedom it undercuts itself
Future activities include texting campaign (Text 'freedom' or 'libertad' to 377377)

WASHINGTON—A crowd of almost 5,000 people filled the 3,500-seat capacity of Washington's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, July 4. The Mass in the nation's capital was the closing bookend liturgy of the June 21-July 4 Fortnight for Freedom.
The Fortnight opened with another overflow Mass at Baltimore's historic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrated by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, June 21.
Dioceses nationwide included local events to stress religious freedom during the two-week period, from special prayers and liturgies to processions, educational forums and picnics.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington celebrated the Mass at the Washington shrine, with 180 priest concelebrants.Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia preached the homily and stressed that freedom comes from God.
"Real freedom isn't something Caesar can give or take away," he said. "He can interfere with it; but when he does, he steals from his own legitimacy." (The full homily is found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/upload/Fortnight-Closing-Mass-Archbishop-Chaput-Homily.pdf)
At the start of the celebration Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, read a message from Pope Benedict XVI, sent through the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
"The Holy Father encourages the American Catholic community, and young people in particular, to continue to bring the wisdom and insight born of their faith to the task of building a society worthy of America's highest moral and constitutional principles," it said. (The full message is found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/upload/Bertone-Cardinal-Papal-message-for-July-4-Mass.pdf)
The Fortnight was called for by the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty last April as the signature spiritual and educational event for the launch of a campaign to highlight threats to religious liberty both in the United States and abroad.
On-going events include a text campaign, where those who would participate text "Freedom" or "Libertad" to 377377 to receive regular updates on the ongoing efforts to promote and protect religious freedom. One of the first updates sent to participants in the text campaign noted that the Affordable Healthcare Act is flawed because it compels religious institutions to pay for services it opposes morally, such as female sterilization and contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs.
Specific U.S. threats to religious liberty cited by the bishops include not only the HHS mandate but also threats to Catholic foster care and adoption services, unjust state immigration laws, discrimination against small church congregations, against Catholic humanitarian services, against Christian students on campus and forcing religious groups to host same-sex marriage and civil-union ceremonies (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/current-threats-to-religious-liberty-bulletin-insert-summer-2012.cfm).
Recent threats abroad include assaults in churches in Iraq, Nigeria and Kenya.


Archbishop Forte farewelled with an honorary doctorate

Tuesday 10 July 2012

LAST night, international guest speaker Archbishop Bruno Forte, spoke on the topic of "The New Evangelisation: A challenge and a promise,” at the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Read Archbishop Forte's speech: “The New Evangelisation: A challenge and a promise."
At the conclusion of the evening Archbishop Forte who is a renowned European theologian, member of the Papal International Theological Commission and Bishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, was awarded an honorary Doctorate from ACU.

Archbishop Forte's public lecture yesterday, was the last of his speaking engagements for his Melbourne tour.

Photo by Tiffany Orbien


by Paul N. Hung
People take part in peaceful demonstrations and prayer vigils across the country. Their thoughts also go to the Communist Party, urging its leaders to respect religious freedom because without it, development in Vietnam is impossible.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - More than 10,000 Catholics and non-Catholics prayed for the victims of the attack against the community of Con Cuông (Vinh Diocese) and for the many young Catholics arrested and held in custody. Their action comes in the wake of the violent attack on 1 July, which casts a dark shadow on religious freedom in Vietnam. Despite constitutional guarantees, the latter is increasingly violated by the authorities, especially true in rural areas, where a religious revival is underway, especially among Christians, after decades of atheistic and Communist indoctrination.

Last night, many Catholic communities, including Cầu Rầm, Bội Đà, Thuận Giang, Ngọc Long, Văn Hạnh, and Redemptorists in Saigon and Hanoi organised prayer vigils in their respective parishes on behalf of young Catholics arrested and jailed by the authorities.

People also prayed for the Communist Party, that it might understand the import of its actions, and respect once again human rights as well as build peace and seek a balanced development for the country.

A few days ago, ordinary Vietnamese showed their solidarity towards Catholics in Con Cuông. On Friday, every parish in Vinh Diocese organised a peaceful protest. Banners were raised. One said, "In opposition to the authorities in Con Cuông, officials and armed people who have violated Vietnamese law and beat up priests and believers".

The following evening, parishes in Vinh Diocese, also lighted candles on behalf of their brothers and sisters, victims of aggression, and for all those who have been persecuted fighting for justice.



Agenzia Fides REPORT - The construction of the first multi-storey school in the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya has just been finished. Over 1500 children in the camp of Dagahaley will have the opportunity to study. It was necessary to build this new school because of the influx of refugees who arrived in Dadaab. The project was co-funded by UNHCR, the Italian Cooperation and AVSI that, for the completion of the work, had to deal with situations of great difficulty due to a new kind of threat: terrorism. Although kidnappings and sudden explosions have become a common thing in Dadaab, the AVSI team was able to complete the project successfully carrying out one of the finest schools in the area. On July 3 activities started in the school complex consisting of 29 classrooms, a center for early childhood, a library and a kitchen. Next to the primary school Dagahaley, AVSI finished another storey building consisting of 8 classrooms that are located in one of the most crowded schools in the Dadaab complex, Illyes, a primary school which is attended by more than 3000 children.
These buildings are the first in Dadaab to be two-story buildings, and provide quality education to thousands of children. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 09/07/2012)


Olympics: Peace Garden opened in Welwyn Garden City | 2012 Olympics, Our Lady's Parish in Welwyn Garden City, Peace Garden, Pax Christi Icon of Peace,Anne Keller, Rosa Rawashima and Anne Stapleton, Pat Gaffney

Rosa Rawashima,Anne Keller and Anne Stapleton
As part of the project to create a circle of prayer for peace around London for the 2012 Olympics, Our Lady's Parish in Welwyn Garden City have made a Peace Garden. This was opened on Friday 6 July following a Mass of welcome for their week-long programme with the Pax Christi Icon of Peace.
Three parishoners, Anne Keller, Rosa Rawashima and Anne Stapleton, a Pax Christi member, had the vision for the Peace Garden.
Work began in April 2012 with a team of volunteers from the parish. The Peace Garden will be a place for all to come to learn and experience the meaning of peace, aided by the design and symbols in the garden. They also hope that it will be a place where peace is celebrated and where those who contribute to peace, unity and forgiveness may be remembered.
The garden has a specially designed Peace Plaque and in several places, words of peace in different languages, contributed by members of the parish. One of the flowerbeds is created with colours that form the rainbow. There is an Olive tree and a Peacemaker rose together with healing herbs and many features designed to make the
garden bird and animal friendly!

Among other things, the Icon will be present in a prayer tent during the civic celebration to mark the Olympic Torch coming through Welwyn; it will be taken to Welwyn Station where a parish choir will sing peace songs to commuters; it will be visit six schools in Welwyn and the Coptic Bishop Angaelos from Stevenage will lead a meditation on Icons.
Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi spoke with Fr Norbert Fernandes, the parish priest, about the week-long programme with the Pax Christi Icon of peace. She said: "This is one of the most creative programmes we have seen to date. We are very impressed that the Catholic community in Welwyn have worked so well with civic, ecumenical and other faith communities in promoting the 100 days of Peace message to the whole of Welwyn Garden City."


Matthew 9: 18 - 26
18 While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.
20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment;
21 for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well."
22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well.
23 And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult,
24 he said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him.
25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
26 And the report of this went through all that district.