Thursday, July 26, 2012


Vatican Radio REPORT  Participants at the Congress of the World Conference of Secular Institutes have wrapped up a meeting that not only looked ahead with a renewed Executive Council and President, it also looked back at the past 60 years or so of the Conference's history.

That is, since Pope Pius XII in 1947 promulgated the Apostolic Constitution that gave a theological and juridical basis to an experience that matured in the previous decades and recognized in Secular Institutes one of the innumerable gifts with which the Holy Spirit accompanies the Church on her journey and renews her down through all the ages.

As noted in the address of Pope Benedict XVI to the International Symposium of of Secular Institutes in 2007: "That juridical act was not the goal but rather the starting point of a process that aimed to outline a new form of consecration: the consecration of faithful lay people and diocesan priests, called to live with Gospel radicalism precisely that secularity in which they are immersed by virtue of their state of life or pastoral ministry".

And Pope Benedict also sent his greetings and his encouragement to the just ended Assisi Conference which saw the participation of some 190 Secular Institures from all over the world.
Shared from Radio Vaticana


Vatican City, 26 July 2012 (VIS) - Beginning in the month of August, two priests will be assigned to attend to visitors to the Vatican Museums. They will be available to dialogue with the visitors and to offer them, should they wish, spiritual advice and assistance.
As Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, explains in an article in the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper, "there is nothing institutional or pretentious about the initiative. The priests will simply be on hand with a table and two chairs at two strategic points on the normal itinerary visitors follow, and anyone who wishes may approach them to exchange a few words, or to reflect together".
"The Vatican Museums", Bishop Sciacca goes on, "are an 'unicum' among the world's great cultural institutions. They are a precious casket in which, thanks to their wisdom and love of 'beauty', the Roman Pontiffs have gathered together what are perhaps the most exalted works that human genius has produced over the course of the centuries. ... And the Museums are not afraid to show that they, in fact, represent a way through which the good news of God-made-man can be announced to the world". The Museums "welcome everyone, whatever their beliefs or origins, while reminding each of them - through a statue, a piece of gold, a painting or a fresco - of the goal for which we were created".

Vatican City, 26 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Paul Pallath as head of the office dealing with procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination, at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.


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In Gdansk, Poland a statue of Pope John Paul II was unveiled along side a statue of former President Ronald Reagan on Saturday, July 14, 2012.  The bronze statues, each over 2 meters high, were erected in the President Ronald Reagan Park. The statues reflect a picture taken by the Associated Press photographer Scott Steward in 1987. Both are credited as helping to end communism in Poland.
Ronald Reagan's son Michael commented on the statues saying, "One of the most important weapons in the arsenal of the struggle for freedom is memory. The individuals who transcend the hustle and bustle of everyday life in order to remember are another. Their vision is not just of the past to be honored; it is of the future. Only firmly anchored in the past do we know who we are in the present to be able to boldly march toward the future." (


by Nirmala Carvalho
Since 2012, 20 incidents perpetrated in the State by ultra-nationalist Hindus. The latest victims are six Pentecostal Christian families (Gadag district) and an evangelical community (Bijapur district), attacked in the privacy of their homes. False accusations of forced conversion trigger violence.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - There have been 20 incidents of violence against Christians in Karnataka since 2012. The script says Sajan George, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), is always the same: "systematic attacks against the Christian community; blatant invasions of privacy by Hindu extremists in the sacred intimacy of homes, physical and verbal violence against a helpless and inoffensive community ". According to the president of the GCIC, they are "serious violations of the rights of every Indian citizen, and a debasement of human dignity of Christians." To stop these incidents, the Protestant leader has also appealed to Pranab Mukherjee, India's new president, to "protect and defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution." In his speech yesterday at the official inauguration, the newly elected head of state has promised to act as guarantor and guardian of the Indian Charter.

The last two attacks date to July 22. In the first case, the victims are six families of Gypsy Church, a Pentecostal Church of Gadag district. A dozen activists of the Sangh Parivar raided the home of a Christian, during a prayer service. Hindu nationalists have beaten and insulted those present, accusing them of practicing forced conversions. Three faithful - Lokappa Badagar, Sagarappa Bagadar and Kamalavva Badagar - were seriously injured and admitted to a local hospital. Meanwhile, Hindus have registered a complaint with the police in Gadag, declaring that Christians were practicing forced conversions.

Two days later, activists of the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, Sangh Parivar affiliates) urged the police to detain the six families. The agents arrested 14 Christians, and then released them the next morning. However, the police have opened an investigation into the families.

The second incident happened in the village of Muddebehal (Bijapur district), against the Evangelical Church of Salvation Rev. Manjappa Byadagi. Led by a man named Ashok, activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) raided the church, beating the faithful and destroying the Bibles. After the attack, the Hindus paid a man to declare that he was forced to convert to Christianity. Recording the false testimony in a video, the activists phoned the police to report the Muddebehal Christians. At that point, the inspector Basavaraj Lamani arrested pastor Byadgi, his wife, young son and one church member. After a day of detention, the officers released the four Christians, but ordered them to stop their prayer services.



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
25 Jul 2012

Roadshow"s Sr Julian DellaFranca and Sr Julianne Murphy
with young students from St Michael's Primary
at Bassandean, WA
During her trip across Australia as part of the Travelling Sisters Roadshow, Sister Julianne Murphy visited one primary school where after speaking of the great work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, she discussed the legacy of Australia's first saint and how grants from the Mary MacKillop Foundation helped change lives.
"I thought I had got the point across fairly well managing to highlight the great name of Mary MacKillop and how she and now the Foundation had changed many lives," she says.
But a five-year-old boy in the front row quickly put her straight.
"That's nothing," he said. "Jesus changed water into wine!"
Sr Julianne bursts out laughing. "The wonderful thing about children is you never know what they are going to say next and whenever something like this happens it takes all my self control to keep a straight face."
The South Australian-born Sister of St Joseph made an epic journey across the country last year in her brightly-coloured van visiting 107 schools and meeting with an estimated 28,400 children. She also visited many of the towns and communities where grants of up to $10,000 from the Mary MacKillop Foundation are supporting community-based self-help life and changing initiatives.
The Sisters Travelling Roadshow was created as a way to talk to children across Australia as well as their families, and help them cope and rebuild after the devastating floods that swept across Queensland, NSW and Victoria. The Roadshow also provided a way to help children deal with WA's devastating bushfires or Queensland's Cyclone Yasi.

Sr Julianne and children join in a rousing cheer
for Mary MacKillop
"Even children not directly affected by these natural disasters were impacted," Sr Julianne explains and relates how just watching television footage of these events can create worry and stress.
A teacher for more than 20 years at schools in South Australia's sprawling Port Pirie Diocese, Sr Julianne understands and loves children, and finds driving the length and breadth of Australia for the second year in a row "stimulating, exciting and fascinating."
"What continues to amaze me is how even in the smallest and most remote corners of Australia, everyone seems to have heard of Mary MacKillop and are keen to know more," she says.
Last year's Roadshow was originally intended to end after nine months of travelling, culminating on 17 March , the first anniversary of the canonisation of the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
However demand from schools became so great, that not only was last year's Roadshow extended by more than a month, but this year Sr Julianne found herself back on the road again.
"This year the Roadshow also included Tasmania which missed out last year and it was a wonderful few weeks, especially as I was able to meet the recipients of two of the latest grants given by the Mary MacKillop Foundation," she says.

the newly painted bus for 2012's Travelling Roadshow
One was a young Aboriginal girl who was given a Student Tertiary Scholarship by the Foundation enabling her to study for a degree in psychology at the University of Hobart. The other was a grant to the Migrant Women's Centre in Hobart which supports refugee and migrant women settle into their new lives in Australia.
"The Roadshow has also given me a chance to spread the word about the Foundation and how community groups or individuals can apply for the grants for projects that will make a difference," Sr Julianne says.
On the road since March this year, Sr Julianne has visited schools, towns and cities across Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. During this time she has clocked up 15500 kilometres, met with more than 15,600 children and visited 66 schools.
"Schools across the country we missed last year, flooded us with invitations. But what was unusual is that the invitations not only came from Catholic schools but from state schools as well," she says.
Sr Julianne admits she was initially surprised government schools would allow a religious group such as herself and the sisters accompanying her into their classrooms to talk about St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her legacy.

Youngsters at schools across Australia not only meet
Sr Julianne but also her Mary MacKillop puppet
"But public schools see her as an historical figure active in social justice," she says adding that across Australia there is a growing and deepening awareness of the legacy of Mary MacKillop.
"People from all walks of life and faith have taken her to their hearts," she says.
The next leg of Sr Julianne's journey will take her from Holbrook on to Wagga Wagga and Wyalong then Canberra and Goulburn, Kiama and finally to Sydney on 6 August.
She will spend more than a week visiting schools across the city and then it will be on to Orange, Dubbo, Nyngan, Bourke, Dunedoo, Muswellbrook before heading north.
By September Sr Julianne and her Travelling Roadshow will be in Queensland and a train will take her and the van to Townsville where she'll head west to Mt Isa and outback Australia.
"The Roadshow was set to end in late Ocrtober but there are so many bookings it now looks like we'll still be going throughout most of November," she says.


MOMBASA, July 23, 2012 (CISA) – Catholic journalists from Africa today began a four day workshop on The Role of the Media in Peace Building, conflict resolution and good governance.
The conference organized by L’Union Catholique Africaine de la Presse (UCAP) is being held in Mombasa, Kenya and has brought together journalists from: Kenya, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia among other African countries.
Archbishop Boniface Lele of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa while officially opening the conference challenged the journalists to strive to assist the continent promote peace among her people.
He urged them to monitor the movement of arms and emerging issues that result into conflict and help fuel fully fledged wars.
Archbishop Lele appealed to the Catholic journalists to foster a Christian way by their communication in the digital arena.
The Archbishop said the Church was concerned with the emergence of the internet as a network for communication.
“The social networks has not only changed the way we communicate, but communication itself , so much that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation,” he said.
“The speed at which information can travel today has reduced the world into a “global village”, he stressed.
He urged the journalists to encourage their bishops to come out and help in reconciling people in areas where there are conflicts.
A key speaker Joseph Warungu who worked for BBC for nearly 20 years noted that the Agenda setting role of the media has been hijacked by the politician and the media has become a follower; recording events not anticipating and preparing for them.
He urged the journalists to get back control of the agenda, the message and play their role in ensuring lasting peace and sustainable development.
The four-day workshop is also attended representative from the Vatican, the Catholic News Agency and The Catholic Media Council (CAMECO).


Matthew 13: 16 - 17
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
17 Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.


St. Anne
Feast: July 26

Feast Day:July 26
Patron of:Housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners
Of St. Anne we have no certain knowledge. She is not mentioned in the New Testament, and we must depend on apocryphal literature, chiefly the Protoevangelium of James, which dates back only to the second century.

In this document we are told that Anne, wife of Joachim, was advanced in years and that her prayers for a child had not been answered. Once as she prayed beneath a laurel tree near her home in Galilee, an angel appeared and said to her, "Anne, the Lord hath heard thy prayer and thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world." Anne replied, "As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life " And thus Anne became the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The devotion of St. Anne was known in the East in the fifth century, but it was not diffused in the West until the thirteenth. A shrine at Douai, in northern France, was one of the early centers of the devotion. In 1382 her feast was extended to the whole Western Church, and she became very popular, especially in France. Her two most famous shrines are at St. Anne d'Auray in Brittany and at St. Anne-de Beaupre in the province of Quebec.

She is patroness of housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners. Her emblem is a door. St. Anne has been frequently represented in art, and the lovely face depicted by Leonardo da Vinci comes first to mind in this connection. The name Anne derives from the Hebrew Hannah, meaning "grace."

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St. Joachim
Feast: July 26

Feast Day:July 26
Patron of:Fathers, Grandparents
Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If we were to obey the warning of St. Peter Damian, we should consider it a blameable and needless curiosity to inquire about those things that the Evangelists did not deem it advisable to relate, and, in particular, about the parents of the Blessed Virgin (Serm. iii de Nativ. B.M.V.). Tradition nevertheless, grounded on very old testimonies, very early hailed Saints Joachim and Anne as the father and mother of the Mother of God. True, this tradition seems to rest ultimately on the so-called "Gospel of James", the "Gospel of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary", and the Pseudo-Matthew, or "Book of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Childhood of the Saviour"; and this origin is likely to rouse well-founded suspicions. It should be borne in mind, however, that the apocryphal character of these writings, that is to say, their rejection from the canon, and their ungenuineness do not imply that no heed whatever should be taken of some of their assertions; side by side, indeed, with unwarranted and legendary facts, they contain some historical data borrowed from reliable traditions or documents; and difficult though it is to distinguish in them the wheat from the tares, it would be unwise and uncritical indiscriminately to reject the whole. Some commentators, who believe that the genealogy given by St. Luke is that of the Blessed Virgin, find the mention of Joachim in Heli (Luke, iii, 23; Eliachim, i.e. Jeho-achim), and explain that Joseph had, in the eyes of the law, become by his marriage the son of Joachim. That such is the purpose and the meaning of the Evangelist is very doubtful, and so is the identification proposed between the two names Heli and Joachim. Neither can it be asserted with certainty, in spite of the authority of the Bollandists, that Joachim was Heli's son and Joseph's brother; nor, as is sometimes affirmed, from sources of very doubtful value, that he had large possessions in herds and flocks. Much more interesting are the beautiful lines in which the "Gospel of James" describes how, in their old age, Joachim and Anne received the reward of their prayers to obtain issue. Tradition has it that the parents of the Blessed Virgin, who, apparently, first lived in Galilee, came later on to settle in Jerusalem; there the Blessed Virgin was born and reared; there also they died and were buried. A church, known at various epochs as St. Mary, St. Mary ubi nata est, St. Mary in Probatica, Holy Probatica, St. Anne, was built during the fourth century, possibly by St. Helena, on the site of the house of St. Joachim and St. Anne, and their tombs were there honoured until the close of the ninth century, when the church was converted into a Moslem school. The crypt which formerly contained the holy tombs was rediscovered on 18 March, 1889.

St. Joachim was honoured very early by the Greeks, who celebrate his feast on the day following the Blessed Virgin's birthday; the Latins were slow to admit it to their calendar, where it found place sometimes on 16 Sept. and sometimes on 9 Dec. Assigned by Julius II to 20 March, the solemnity was suppressed some fifty years later, restored by Gregory XV (1622), fixed by Clement XII (1738) on the Sunday after the Assumption, and finally raised to the rank of double of the second class by Leo XIII (1 Aug., 1879).