Saturday, September 29, 2012


St. Jerome
Feast: September 30
Feast Day:
September 30
340-342, Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia
420, Bethlehem, Judea
Major Shrine:
Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome, Italy
Patron of:
archeologists; archivists; Bible scholars; librarians; libraries; schoolchildren; students; translators

Born at Stridon, a town on the confines of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about the year 340-2; died at Bethlehem, 30 September, 420.
He went to Rome, probably about 360, where he was baptized, and became interested in ecclesiastical matters. From Rome he went to Trier, famous for its schools, and there began his theological studies. Later he went to Aquileia, and towards 373 he set out on a journey to the East. He settled first in Antioch, where he heard Apollinaris of Laodicea, one of the first exegetes of that time and not yet separated from the Church. From 374-9 Jerome led an ascetical life in the desert of Chalcis, south-west of Antioch. Ordained priest at Antioch, he went to Constantinople (380-81), where a friendship sprang up between him and St. Gregory Nazianzus. From 382 to August 385 he made another sojourn in Rome, not far from Pope Damasus. When the latter died (11 December, 384) his position became a very difficult one. His harsh criticisms had made him bitter enemies, who tried to ruin him. After a few months he was compelled to leave Rome. By way of Antioch and Alexandria he reached Bethlehem, in 386. He settled there in a monastery near a convent founded by two Roman ladies, Paula and Eustochium, who followed him to Palestine. Henceforth he led a life of asceticism and study; but even then he was troubled by controversies which will be mentioned later, one with Rufinus and the other with the Pelagians.
The literary activity of St. Jerome, although very prolific, may be summed up under a few principal heads: works on the Bible; theological controversies; historical works; various letters; translations. But perhaps the chronology of his more important writings will enable us to follow more easily the development of his studies.
A first period extends to his sojourn in Rome (382), a period of preparation. From this period we have the translation of the homilies of Origen on Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Isaias (379-81), and about the same time the translation of the Chronicle of Eusebius; then the "Vita S. Pauli, prima eremitae" (374-379).
A second period extends from his sojourn in Rome to the beginning of the translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew (382-390). During this period the exegetical vocation of St. Jerome asserted itself under the influence of Pope Damasus, and took definite shape when the opposition of the ecclesiastics of Rome compelled the caustic Dalmatian to renounce ecclesiastical advancement and retire to Bethlehem. In 384 we have the correction of the Latin version of the Four Gospels; in 385, the Epistles of St. Paul; in 384, a first revision of the Latin Psalms according to the accepted text of the Septuagint (Roman Psalter); in 384, the revision of the Latin version of the Book of Job, after the accepted version of the Septuagint; between 386 and 391 a second revision of the Latin Psalter, this time according to the text of the "Hexapla" of Origen (Gallican Psalter, embodied in the Vulgate). It is doubtful whether he revised the entire version of the Old Testament according to the Greek of the Septuagint. In 382-383 "Altercatio Luciferiani et Orthodoxi" and "De perpetua Virginitate B. Mariae; adversus Helvidium". In 387-388, commentaries on the Epistles to Philemon, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to Titus; and in 389-390, on Ecclesiastes.
Between 390 and 405, St. Jerome gave all his attention to the translation of the Old Testament according to the Hebrew, but this work alternated with many others. Between 390-394 he translated the Books of Samuel and of Kings, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Esdras, and Paralipomena. In 390 he translated the treatise "De Spiritu Sancto" of Didymus of Alexandria; in 389-90, he drew up his "Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim" and "De interpretatione nominum hebraicorum." In 391-92 he wrote the "Vita S. Hilarionis", the "Vita Malchi, monachi captivi", and commentaries on Nahum, Micheas, Sophonias, Aggeus, Habacuc. In 392-93, "De viris illustribus", and "Adversus Jovinianum"; in 395, commentaries on Jonas and Abdias; in 398, revision of the remainder of the Latin version of the New Testament, and about that time commentaries on chapters xiii-xxiii of Isaias; in 398, an unfinished work "Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum"; in 401, "Apologeticum adversus Rufinum"; between 403-406, "Contra Vigilantium"; finally from 398 to 405, completion of the version of the Old Testament according to the Hebrew.
In the last period of his life, from 405 to 420, St. Jerome took up the series of his commentaries interrupted for seven years. In 406, he commented on Osee, Joel, Amos, Zacharias, Malachias; in 408, on Daniel; from 408 to 410, on the remainder of Isaias; from 410 to 415, on Ezechiel; from 415-420, on Jeremias. From 401 to 410 date what is left of his sermons; treatises on St. Mark, homilies on the Psalms, on various subjects, and on the Gospels; in 415, "Dialogi contra Pelagianos".
Characteristics Of St. Jerome's Work
St. Jerome owes his place in the history of exegetical studies chiefly to his revisions and translations of the Bible. Until about 391-2, he considered the Septuagint translation as inspired. But the progress of his Hebraistic studies and his intercourse with the rabbis made him give up that idea, and he recognized as inspired the original text only. It was about this period that he undertook the translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew.
But he went too far in his reaction against the ideas of his time, and is open to reproach for not having sufficiently appreciated the Septuagint. This latter version was made from a much older, and at times much purer, Hebrew text than the one in use at the end of the fourth century. Hence the necessity of taking the Septuagint into consideration in any attempt to restore the text of the Old Testament. With this exception we must admit the excellence of the translation made by St. Jerome. His commentaries represent a vast amount of work but of very unequal value. Very often he worked exceedingly rapidly; besides, he considered a commentary a work of compilation, and his chief care was to accumulate the interpretations of his predecessors, rather than to pass judgment on them. The "Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim" is one of his best works. It is a philological inquiry concerning the original text. It is to be regretted that he was unable to continue, as had been his intention, a style of work entirely new at the time.
Although he often asserted his desire to avoid excessive allegory, his efforts in that respect were far from successful, and in later years he was ashamed of some of his earlier allegorical explanations. He himself says that he had recourse to the allegorical meaning only when unable to discover the literal meaning. His treatise, "De Interpretatione nominum hebraicorum", is but a collection of mystical and symbolical meanings. Excepting the "Commenta rius in ep. ad Galatas", which is one of his best, his explanations of the New Testament have no great value. Among his commentaries on the Old Testament must be mentioned those on Amos, Isaias, and Jeremias. There are some that are frankly bad, for instance those on Zacharias, Osee, and Joel. To sum up, the Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes. In the first place, he was very careful as to the sources of his information. He required of the exegete a very extensive knowledge of sacred and profane history, and also of the linguistics and geography of Palestine. He never either categorically acknowledged or rejected the deuterocanonical books as part of the Canon of Scripture, and he repeatedly made use of them.
On the inspiration, the existence of a spiritual meaning, and the freedom of the Bible from error, he holds the traditional doctrine. Possibly he has insisted more than others on the share which belongs to the sacred writer in his collaboration in the inspired work. His criticism is not without originality. The controversy with the Jews and with the Pagans had long since called the attention of the Christians to certain difficulties in the Bible. St. Jerome answers in various ways. Not to mention his answers to this or that difficulty, he appeals above all to the principle, that the original text of the Scriptures is the only one inspired and free from error. Therefore one must determine if the text, in which the difficulties arise, has not been altered by the copyist. Moreover, when the writers of the New Testament quoted the Old Testament, they did so not according to the letter but according to the spirit. There are many subtleties and even contradictions in the explanations Jerome offers, but we must bear in mind his evident sincerity. He does not try to cloak over his ignorance; he admits that there are many difficulties in the Bible; at times he seems quite embarrassed.
Finally, he proclaims a principle, which, if recognized as legitimate, might serve to adjust the insufficiencies of his criticism. He asserts that in the Bible there is no material error due to the ignorance or the heedlessness of the sacred writer, but he adds: "It is usual for the sacred historian to conform himself to the generally accepted opinion of the masses in his time" (P.L., XXVI, 98; XXIV, 855).
Among the historical works of St. Jerome must be noted the translation and the continuation of the "Chronicon Eusebii Caesariensis", as the continuation written by him, which extends from 325 to 378, served as a model for the annals of the chroniclers of the Middle Ages; hence the defects in such works: dryness, superabundance of data of every description, lack of proportion and of historical sense. The "Vita S. Pauli Eremitae" is not a very reliable document. The "Vita Malchi, monachi" is a eulogy of chastity woven through a number of legendary episodes. As to the "Vita S. Hilarionis", it has suffered from contact with the preceding ones. It has been asserted that the journeys of St. Hilarion are a plagiarism of some old tales of travel. But these objections are altogether misplaced, as it is really a reliable work.
The treatise "De Viris illustribus" is a very excellent literary history. It was written as an apologetic work to prove that the Church had produced learned men. For the first three centuries Jerome depends to a great extent on Eusebius, whose statements he borrows, often distorting them, owing to the rapidity with which he worked.
His accounts of the authors of the fourth century however are of great value. The oratorical consist of about one hundred homilies or short treatises, and in these the Solitary of Bethlehem appears in a new light. He is a monk addressing monks, not without making very obvious allusions to contemporary events. The orator is lengthy and apologizes for it. He displays a wonderful knowledge of the versions and contents of the Bible. His allegory is excessive at times, and his teaching on grace is Semi-pelagian. A censorious spirit against authority, sympathy for the poor which reaches the point of hostility against the rich, lack of good taste, inferiority of style, and misquotation, such are the most glaring defects of these sermons. Evidently they are notes taken down by his hearers, and it is a question whether they were reviewed by the preacher.
The correspondence of St. Jerome is one of the best known parts of his literary output. It comprises about one hundred and twenty letters from him, and several from his correspondents. Many of these letters were written with a view to publication, and some of them the author even edited himself; hence they show evidence of great care and skill in their composition, and in them St. Jerome reveals himself a master of style. These letters, which had already met with great success with his contemporaries, have been, with the "Confessions" of St. Augustine, one of the works most appreciated by the humanists of the Renaissance. Aside from their literary interest they have great historical value. Relating to a period covering half a century they touch upon most varied subjects; hence their division into letters dealing with theology, polemics, criticism, conduct, and biography. In spite of their turgid diction they are full of the man's personality. It is in this correspondence that the temperament of St. Jerome is most clearly seen: his waywardness, his love of extremes, his exceeding sensitiveness; how he was in turn exquisitely dainty and bitterly satirical, unsparingly outspoken concerning others and equally frank about himself.
The theological writings of St. Jerome are mainly controversial works, one might almost say composed for the occasion. He missed being a theologian, by not applying himself in a consecutive and personal manner to doctrinal questions. In his controversies he was simply the interpreter of the accepted ecclesiastical doctrine. Compared with St. Augustine his inferiority in breadth and originality of view is most evident. His "Dialogue" against the Luciferians deals with a schismatic sect whose founder was Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia. The Luciferians refused to approve of the measure of clemency by which the Church, since the Council of Alexandria, in 362, had allowed bishops, who had adhered to Arianism, to continue to discharge their duties on condition of professing the Nicene Creed. This rigorist sect had adherents almost everywhere, and even in Rome it was very troublesome. Against it Jerome wrote his "Dialogue", scathing in sarcasm, but not always accurate in doctrine, particularly as to the Sacrament of Confirmation. The book "Adversus Helvidium" belongs to about the same period. Helvidius held the two following tenets:
—Mary bore children to Joseph after the virginal birth of Jesus Christ;—from a religious viewpoint, the married state is not inferior to celibacy.
Earnest entreaty decided Jerome to answer. In doing so he discusses the various texts of the Gospel which, it was claimed, contained the objections to the perpetual virginity of Mary. If he did not find positive answers on all points, his work, nevertheless, holds a very creditable place in the history of Catholic exegesis upon these questions. The relative dignity of virginity and marriage, discussed in the book against Helvidius, was taken up again in the book "Adversus Jovinianum" written about ten years later. Jerome recognizes the legitimacy of marriage, but he uses concerning it certain disparaging expressions which were criticized by contemporaries and for which he has given no satisfactory explanation. Jovinian was more dangerous than Helvidius. Although he did not exactly teach salvation by faith alone, and the uselessness of good works, he made far too easy the road to salvation and slighted a life of asceticism. Every one of these points St. Jerome took up. The "Apologetici adversus Rufinum" dealt with the Origenistic controversies. St. Jerome was involved in one of the most violent episodes of that struggle, which agitated the Church from Origen's lifetime until the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553). The question at issue was to determine if certain doctrines professed by Origen and others taught by certain pagan followers of Origen could be accepted. In the present case the doctrinal difficulties were embittered by personalities between St. Jerome and his former friend, Rufinus. To understand St. Jerome's position we must remember that the works of Origen were by far the most complete exegetical collection then in existence, and the one most accessible to students. Hence a very natural tendency to make use of them, and it is evident that St. Jerome did so, as well as many others. But we must carefully distinguish between writers who made use of Origen and those who adhered to his doctrines. This distinction is particularly necessary with St. Jerome, whose method of work was very rapid, and consisted in transcribing the interpretations of former exegetes without passing criticism on them. Nevertheless, it is certain that St. Jerome greatly praised and made use of Origen, that he even transcribed some erroneous passages without due reservation. But it is also evident that he never adhered thinkingly and systematically to the Origenistic doctrines. Under these circumstances it came about that when Rufinus, who was a genuine Origenist, called on him to justify his use of Origen, the explanations he gave were not free from embarrassment. At this distance of time it would require a very subtle and detailed study of the question to decide the real basis of the quarrel. However that may be, Jerome may be accused of imprudence of language and blamed for a too hasty method of work. With a temperament such as his, and confident of his undoubted orthodoxy in the matter of Origenism, he must naturally have been tempted to justify anything. This brought about a most bitter controversy with his wily adversary, Rufinus. But on the whole Jerome's position is by far the stronger of the two, even in the eyes of his contemporaries. It is generally conceded that in this controversy Rufinus was to blame. It was he who brought about the conflict in which he proved himself to be narrow-minded, perplexed, ambitious, even timorous. St. Jerome, whose attitude is not always above reproach, is far superior to him. Vigilantius, the Gascon priest against whom Jerome wrote a treatise, quarrelled with ecclesiastical usages rather than matters of doctrine. What he principally rejected was the monastic life and the veneration of saints and of relics. In short, Helvidius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius were the mouthpieces of a reaction against asceticism which had developed so largely in the fourth century. Perhaps the influence of that same reaction is to be seen in the doctrine of the monk Pelagius, who gave his name to the principal heresy on grace: Pelagianism. On this subject Jerome wrote his "Dialogi contra Pelagianos". Accurate as to the doctrine of original sin, the author is much less so when he determines the part of God and of man in the act of justification. In the main his ideas are Semipelagian: man merits first grace: a formula which endangers the absolute freedom of the gift of grace. The book "De situ et nominibus locorum hebraicorum" is a translation of the "Onomasticon" of Eusebius, to which the translator has joined additions and corrections. The translations of the "Homilies" of Origen vary in character according to the time in which they were written. As time went on, Jerome became more expert in the art of translating, and he outgrew the tendency to palliate, as he came across them, certain errors of Origen. We must make special mention of the translation of the homilies "In Canticum Canticorum", the Greek original of which has been lost.


Vatican Radio REPORTS:  Pope Benedict XVI greeted the religious and civil authorities of Castel Gandolfo on Saturday morning in the Apostolic Palace in the resort town where Pope Benedict XVI spent the summer months. Pope Benedict said the period at Castel Gandolfo had been one of study, prayer and rest, during which he noted with admiration the care and concern of all involved in giving assistance and hospitality to him, his colleagues, and all the guests and Pilgrims who travel to the resort town to meet him. The Holy Father had thanks and greetings for the bishop of Albano, Marcello Semeraro, for the pastor of Castel Gandolfo, and for the religious communities and lay groups, in the area: he invited them all to continue to make him feel their spiritual closeness even after his departure, as they have during his stay. Pope Benedict also thanked the civil authorities of Castel Gandolfo in the person of the Mayor, Maurizio Colacchi, promising to pray for him, for his colleagues in government and for the entire community, especially for families in need and for the sick. The Pope had special thanks for the police and military forces that provide security and transportation during his stay at the Papal summer retreat. These include the Corps of Papal Gendarmes, the Italian State Police, the Swiss Guard and the 31st Squadron of the Italian Air Force. The Pope prayed that the Lord might reward them all with abundant heavenly gifts, and watch over them and their families.

(Vatican Radio) – The trial against former Papal butler, Paolo Gabriele and Secretary of State employee Claudio Sciarpelletti opened on Saturday, during which the Vatican Court ruled that the accused will be tried separately on charges of aggravated theft of private documents and aiding and abetting a crime, respectively.

The trial is linked to the leaking of the Holy Father’s personal and private documents to Italian press, which first came to light in March last. Emer McCarthy reports Listen: RealAudioMP3

The opening session was preceded by a consultation in Council Chambers among the three presiding judges that lasted over an hour, during which they discussed pre-trial requests presented by the defense.

46 year-old Gabriele was present at the session. Sciarpelletti was represented by his attorney. Nine of the thirteen witnesses called to testify were present. The Pope’s personal secretary Msgr. Georg Gänswein was among those absent because of prior official commitments. Eight journalists where also present to follow court proceedings.

The trial itself got underway in the small Vatican Courtroom, when President of the Vatican Tribunal, Giuseppe dalla Torre, read the list of charges. Attorneys for the defence then presented their clients pleas.

Sciarpelletti attorney’s Gianluca Benedetti began by filing a “not guilty” plea for his client who was absent – according to the lawyer - due to unspecified "unexpected reasons”. Benedetti noted the lesser gravity of the charge against his client and presented a motion for a separate trial, which was accepted by the Court. This will take place at a later unspecified date.

The judges then proceeded to throw out requests presented by Paolo Gabriele’s defense attorney Cristiana Arru. She had asked the Court to allow as evidence the results of a separate investigation by the Commission of Cardinals, convoked earlier this year by Pope Benedict XVI, to investigate the broader implications of the leaks.

The Court ruled that the results of the investigation were reserved to Pope Benedict and cannot be counted as evidence. Judge dalla Torre emphasized that trial evidence will be solely based on the results of the investigation carried out in Vatican City State by Vatican City State police and prosecutors.

The Court also rejected the pre-trial plea for a ruling on "Sub secreto pontificio"; in short evidence that is subject to Pontifical secret. The Court observed that this is not part of the criminal code of Vatican City State.

Instead the Court confirmed the legality of the installation of cameras near Gabriele’s house by Vatican police and upheld Arru’s request for the removal from the body of evidence of two interrogations of Paolo Gabriele which had been conducted by the head of the Vatican Police Domenico Giani, without the presence of a lawyer.

Other objections raised by Arru are pending; such as the issue of the 82 boxes of different sizes, seized in Gabriele’s house as well as objections relating to the way the search was carried out.

The trial has been adjourned until Tuesday, when Paolo Gabriele is due to take the stand. Should he be found guilty he could face up to a maximum four years in prison.


John 1: 47 - 51
47 Jesus saw Nathan'a-el coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
48 Nathan'a-el said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
49 Nathan'a-el answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
50 Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these."
51 And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."


Patriarch Bechara Rai rejects the existing system, which refers to the majority system established in 1960, and calls for a reform that grants the vote to expatriates. He calls for "respect" for the election date scheduled for the spring of 2013. Meanwhile, the March 8 and March 14 factions bring battle over reform into the open.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Lebanese Church is calling for a new electoral system ahead of the parliamentary vote next year, which gives greater assurance of "representation" to Christians and allows "even expatriates" to express their preference. A statement released yesterday by the Patriarch Bechara Rai, at the end of the Maronite Bishops monthly meeting in Beirut. At the same time, he rejects the current system which does not protect all the souls that make up the country and calls for "respect" for the election date, scheduled for the spring of 2013.

The appeal of the Maronite leadership comes at a time of bitter political battle on the future electoral law, with the two main parties (the rival factions of March 8, linked to the Shiite movement Hezbollah, and the March 14, close to the former prime minister Hariri) divided on the way forward. At the center of debate is a bill approved by the executive last month, which aims to divide Lebanon into 13 medium-large districts, with a system of proportional representation.

In contrast, the mechanism currently in force, adopted in September 2008 in anticipation of the vote in June 2009, refers instead to the electoral law of 1960, which according to Bechara Rai, does not guarantee a fair representation of Christians. It is characterized by a majority system and by the division of Lebanon into numerous small size constituencies, corresponding largely to districts (Qada ').

This week, the battle has intensified, with the proposal of Christian parties of the faction of the March 14 to create small election districts t, a project rejected by the rival March 8 and progressive social Party, led by Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druze faction.

"The Lebanese people - Patriarch Rai warned - both residents and those who live abroad, look with renewed hope to the work of Parliament" that it may approve a new Law that "ensures a true representation of all citizens." The Maronite bishops hope "priority" will be given to the law, as the "time factor" is working against "reforms long invoked by the Lebanese people."



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Plenary_2012_013(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Catholic Bishops of Canada were in Plenary Assembly this week, since 24 September, at the Hotel Mont-Gabriel, Sainte-Adèle, Quebec. This morning, they welcomed the Honourable Jason Kenney, federal Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Minister Kenney responded to questions from the Bishops on immigration as well as to their concerns about refugees. The meeting of the Plenary Assembly closed at noon today.
Plenary_2012-008Yesterday, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop Emeritus of Montreal. The evening included a special reception honouring Canada’s two resident Cardinals, Cardinal Turcotte and His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto. Cardinal Collins was elevated to the College of Cardinals during the Consistory held in Vatican City on 18 February 2012.
In March 2012, the Holy Father accepted Cardinal Turcotte’s resignation as Archbishop of Montreal. He had offered his resignation after attaining the age of 75 in 2011. Cardinal Turcotte was responsible for the Archdiocese of Montreal for 22 years. Throughout these years, he was also an ex officio member of the CCCB Permanent Council, and served as President of the Conference from 1997 to 1999. As a member of the College of Cardinals, he has held appointments to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.


ADDIS ABABA, September 28, 2012 (CISA) –Sudan President Omer Al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit inked a cooperation agreement committing their countries to the implementation of eight other agreements signed in a ceremony held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, which has been hosting their marathon talks since Sunday, September 22; one day after the countries missed a UN deadline for the conclusion of negotiations.
Defense ministers of both countries, John Kong Nyuon of South Sudan and his counterpart Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussain, preceded the two presidents by signing an agreement on security arrangements which will pave the way for the establishment of a demilitarized buffer zone with a depth of 10 kilometers along the unmarked 1,800-km common border.
Beside the security arrangements agreement, the other seven deals include the following: an Agreement on Banking, which aims to enhance cooperation in the management of monetary policy, an Agreement on Border Issues, which deals with the demarcation of common borders, an Agreement on Post-Service Benefits, which addresses the situation of workers who served on both sides of the borders before secession, an Agreement on Trade, which mainly deals with regulation of trade, an Agreement on Certain Economic Matters, which deals with assets, liabilities and debt, an Agreement on Oil, which deals with the management of oil resources and exportation, and an Agreement of Nationals, which grants citizens of both countries the four freedoms of movement, ownership, work and residence in the other country.
Al-Bashir said that Sudan is committed to implementing the agreements signed and promised to “open a new page” in the relations between Khartoum and Juba in order to enhance the deep ties between the people of the two countries.
He further declared his commitment to opening the borders between the two countries and facilitating cross-border trade and movement of citizens “but in accordance with the international law”
The Sudanese leader hailed the agreements as a role model of the ability of Sudanese and Africans to resolve differences through dialogue and described Kiir as “a partner in peace”
For his part, Salva Kiir described the signing as “a great day in history of the region”, saying it ended a long conflict between the two countries.
Kiir however did little to disguise his frustration at the absence of a deal on Abyei, blaming Khartoum’s rejection of an AUHIP proposal for holding a referendum in the oil-producing region.
Sudan and South Sudan agree on the principle that Abyei’s status should be determined via a referendum but they disagree on the issue of who can vote, with Juba persisting that only the area’s indigenous population of Dinka Ngok should be allowed to vote and Khartoum saying that the Arab nomadic tribe of al Messriyah, who reside in Abyei for few months a year to graze their cattle, should also be allowed to vote.
“Unfortunately my brother Al-Bashir and his government rejected the proposal in its totality” he said.
Meanwhile, South Sudan chief negotiator Pagan Amum has expected that the production of oil would resume by the end of the year. “We’ve already began the preparations. I think the oil will start pumping by the end of the year” he said on Thursday September 27.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
28 Sep 2012

Nauru's people are warm, generous and caring
The Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart has established a community centre on Nauru to support the welfare of asylum seekers held in detention on the island.
The Parish priest of Nauru, Father Tatieru Ewenteang MSC along with the Island's three Sisters of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart together with a retired German priest have mobilised the local population to assist with acts of kindness to the 150 men currently held there, with a further 1300 men, women and children expected to arrive over the next few months.

"The refugees need to be welcomed and given care and assistance beyond 'the system,' and we can do this by supplying clothing, toys, food, medicine, the use of phones to call their families as well as opening our schools and social facilities for their use," says Father Fr Adrian Meaney, Director of the MSC Mission Office Australia.
Fr Adrian Meaney MSC
Fr Meaney has spent considerable time on Nauru working alongside the three religious sisters and the Island's Parish priest.
"The people of Nauru are a warm and generous people," he says. "I was on the Island in 2002 when asylum seekers were first sent to Nauru. Most wore no shoes and I will never forget how the women of Nauru without any prompting, saw their bare feet and immediately took off the thongs they were wearing and gave them to the refugees," he says.
While many Australians argue the rights and wrongs of sending people who are already traumatised after escaping persecution and civil war to a remote Pacific island, Fr Adrian says the focus of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart is on the welfare of the detainees.

Asylum seeker children will be welcome at Nauru's Catholic primary school and high school
"Acts of kindness can do far more than arguments over the right and wrongs and condemning governments and politicians. At the end of the day, it is kindness not who is right or wrong that matters," Fr Adrian says.
The Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Australia has already sent $10,000 to Nauru to be used to help support and improve day to day life for the detainees and plans to send more over the coming weeks.
Rather than shipping extras such clothing, food, toys or medicine or whatever else might be needed from Australia, Fr Adrian says it is better for the Island's economy that items are purchased locally on the Island. This also means there is no problem with storage at the Australian end and whatever is needed can be quickly delivered to the detainees rather than having to rely on infrequent flights in and out of Nauru.

Christ the King Catholic Church Nauru where asylum seekers are made welcome
While living on Nauru, detainees no matter what their faith, are given a warm welcome at Nauru's Catholic Church. Many enjoy the calm and quiet of Sunday worship at the local Catholic Church and also appreciate being able to use the parish phone to call their families after Mass.
While no children have so far been sent to Nauru from Christmas Island, the Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen insists minors will not be exempt.
When children and their families finally do arrive later this year, Fr Adrian says they will be welcome to attend Nauru's Catholic primary schools as well as the local Catholic high school.
Catholics account for 32% of Nauru's population of 9,000.
To donate funds to assist in the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees held on Nauru to be used to purchase clothing, toys for children, school books, food, medicine and the cost of overseas telephone calls, goto


September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels. Here are three novenas to the archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and ST. Raphael.
Novena to St. Michael the Archangel

Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value on my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).

St. Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy Will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.

Novena to St. Gabriel the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

St. Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the "Angel of the Incarnation," because God has specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a tender and devoted Mother, more like your own.

I venerate you also as the "strength from God," because you are the giver of God's strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God's faithful and to teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions, renew my courage, comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in His agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.

St. Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (Mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God-Made-Man and for His blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God's holy Will.

Pray for us, St. Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Almighty and ever-living God, since You chose the Archangel Gabriel from among all the Angels to announce the mystery of Your Son's Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who honor him on earth may feel the benefit of his patronage in heaven. You live and reign for ever. Amen.

Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel
Novena Dates September 21 - 29, Feast Day September 29

Holy Archangel Raphael, standing so close to the throne of God and offering Him our prayers, I venerate you as God's special Friend and Messenger. I choose you as my Patron and wish to love and obey you as young Tobiah did. I consecrate to you my body and soul,all my work, and my whole life. I want you to be my Guide and Counselor in all the dangerous and difficult problems and decisions of my life.

Remember, dearest, St. Raphael, that the grace of God preserved you with the good Angels in heaven when the proud ones were cast into hell. I entreat you, therefore, to help me in my struggle against the world, the spirit of impurity, and the devil. Defend me from all dangers and every occasion of sin. Direct me always in the way of peace, safety, and salvation. Offer my prayers to God as you offered those of Tobiah, so that through your intercession I may obtain the graces necessary for the salvation of my soul. I ask you to pray that God grant me this favor if it be His holy Will: (Mention your request).

St. Raphael, help me to love and serve my God faithfully, to die in His grace, and finally to merit to join you in seeing and praising God forever in heaven. Amen.