Friday, October 26, 2012


(IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE) On October 25 actor Christian Bale, of Batman fame, presented the blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng with an award at the annual gala of Human Rights First. Bale tried to visit Chen in 2011, while he was in China under house arrest. Bale was prevented and said, “What I really wanted to do was shake the man’s hand and say ‘thank you,’ and tell him what an inspiration he is.”
Chen escaped to the USA in May 2012.
 Chen was trying to stop forced abortions on women in China.
“He [Chen] had exposed a program of forced abortion and sterilization in Shandong. A program of forced abortion means that women are being dragged from their homes against their will. They are being forced to have abortions, sometimes late-term -- imagine that -- with some women reportedly dying in the process. Now this is true horror. And in this insane world, this man, Chen, who was helping these women -- who was living by some of the most simple, brave and universally admired values – values that we teach our children every day, and helping our fellow man – for this, this man was imprisoned and beaten for over four years.” VIDEO SHARED FROM YOUTUBE



A long-time parish priest of Moruya, Fr Bill Keating, has died. He was 87.
Fr Keating was ordained in 1951 for the Order of Friars Minor by Archbishop Daniel Mannix in Melbourne.
He was accepted into the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in 1959 and served at Cobargo, Young, Grenfell, Bega, Boorowa, Braddon, Fairbairn RAAF chaplaincy, Adaminaby, Narooma, Taralga and Moruya before retiring to his home in Bermagui in 2000. He was parish priest of Moruya from 1986 until his retirement.
The funeral Mass for Fr Keating will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, Moruya, on Monday. He will be buried at Moruya cemetery.



ELDORET, October 23, 2012 (CISA) –The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Prof. Karega Mutahi has urged voters countrywide to elect quality leaders in the coming General Election irrespective of their wealth status noting that previously only candidates who were wealthy were voted in a trend that should now come to an end.

“Any person can be elected a leader but we need quality leaders. You should not follow ‘political waves’ but rather seek quality. Forget about the three-piece-suit mode of election for with devolution it will no longer be tenable” he said.

Speaking on the election of county governors he said that “The Governor is overall in devolution. He or she cannot be elected by a wave if he cannot argue his/her case”
He urged citizens to play their part in supporting county governments by paying tax advising that ‘there is no right without responsibility. It cannot be haki yetu without wajibu wetu’. (Swahili for our rights without our responsibilities)
Prof. Mutahi noted that Devolution was greatly misunderstood by many and his ministry was out to rectify this.

“The ministry is spearheading a civic education on Devolution and Public Finance Management. This is aimed at equipping officers with the knowledge of new structures and systems in devolved governments. Phase one trained five officers per county who are being used to train 40 others in their respective counties who will in turn conduct training in all counties”

He was speaking during a national workshop at Sirikwa Hotel Eldoret, on “Devolution: The Promise of 2013 Elections during the Democratic Governance civil society Week. The Democratic Governance civil society Week is an initiative of Amkeni Wakenya, a UNDP led facility set up to promote democratic governance in Kenya.

Discussions centered on how best the citizens can prepare to usher in the County Governments as we approach the 2013 General Elections.
While opening the conference Mr Alfredo Teixiera, Deputy Country Director, Programmes UNDP urged the civil society to not only remain alert but be neutral and remain watchful. He also urged them to help make the promise of devolution a reality in Kenya.

Eldoret towns and its environs was one of the hot spots in the country during the infamous Post Election Violence witnessed after the 2007 General Elections.
The conference runs from October 22 to October 26, 2012.



Vatican City, 26 October 2012 (VIS) - The Vatican Museums in collaboration with the Polish television station TBA have produced a documentary film entitled "Art and Faith. 'Via Pulchtitudinis'", marking the 500th anniversary of the conclusion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Yesterday evening Benedict XVI attended a screening of the film in the Synod Hall and, at the end of the showing, pronounced some brief remarks in which he noted that, although this was not the first time the Vatican Museums had sought to highlight the bond between art and faith using the artistic heritage of the pontifical galleries, this documentary was special because it coincided with the Year of Faith.
"For many people", he said, "a visit to the Vatican Museums during their stay in Rome represents their deepest and sometimes only contact with the Holy See. Therefore, is it a good opportunity to learn about the Christian message. We could say that the artistic heritage of Vatican City constitutes a kind of great 'parable' through which the Pope speaks to men and women from all over the world - and therefore from many cultural and religious backgrounds - people who perchance never read a papal address or homily. ... The language of art is a language of parables, possessing a special kind of universal openness. The 'Via Pulchtitudinis' can open people’s minds and hearts to the eternal, raising them to the heights of God.
"I greatly appreciated the fact that the film makes repeated reference to the efforts of Roman Pontiffs to conserve and cherish artistic heritage, and to their efforts in modern times to renew the Church’s dialogue with artists", the Holy Father added. "The collection of modern religious art in the Vatican Museums is living proof of the fruitfulness of that dialogue. Indeed, ... the entire great structure of the Vatican Museums ... possesses a dimension which we could define as 'evangelising'".
On this subject the Holy Father recalled "the great sensibility to the dialogue between art and faith" shown by Blessed John Paul II. "Art and faith are two words which have accompanied the Church and the Holy See for 2000 years, two words which, today too, we must adopt in our efforts to announce the Gospel of God, Who is infinite Beauty and Love, to the men and women of our time".
Finally, the Pope expressed the hope that the documentary film would "arouse in many people the desire for a better understanding of that faith which is capable of inspiring so many works of art".
Vatican City, 26 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the final Message of the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was presented. The synodal assembly is taking place from 7 to 28 October and is examining the theme: "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith".
Participating in today’s press conference were Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, Italy and president of the Commission for the Message; Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carre of Montpellier, France, special secretary, and Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines, secretary of the Commission for the Message.
An English-language summary of the text, issued by the Synod, is given below.
"At the beginning of the document, the bishops recalled the evangelical passage from John which tells about the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well: this is the image of contemporary man with an empty vessel, who is thirsting and is nostalgic for God, and to whom the Church must turn to make the Lord present to him. And just like the Samaritan woman, who encounters Jesus, he can but become a witness of the proclamation of salvation and hope of the Gospel.
"Looking specifically at the context of new evangelisation, the Synod therefore reminds of the necessity to revive faith, which risks being made obscure in the context of today's cultures, also faced with the weakening of the faith by many baptised persons. The encounter with the Lord, which reveals God as love, can only come about in the Church, as the form of receptive community and experience of communion; from this, then, Christians become its witnesses also in other places. However, the Church reasserts that to evangelise one must be evangelised first of all, and sends out a plea - starting with herself - for conversion, because the weaknesses of Jesus' disciples weigh upon the credibility of the mission. Conscious of the fact that the Lord is the guide of history, and therefore that evil will not have the last word, the bishops invite Christians to overcome fear with faith and to look at the world with serene courage because, while full of contradictions and challenges, this is still the world God loves. Therefore no pessimism: globalisation, secularisation and the new scenarios of society, migration, even with the difficulties and suffering they entail, must be seen as opportunities for evangelisation, Because this is not a question of finding new strategies as if the Gospel was to be spread like a market product, but rediscovering the ways in which individuals come close to Jesus.
"The Message looks at the family as the natural place for evangelisation and reasserts that it should be supported by the Church, by politics and by society. Within the family, the special role of women is underlined and there is a reminder about the painful situation of divorced and remarried persons: while reconfirming the discipline which regards access to the Sacraments, it is reasserted that they are in no way abandoned by the Lord, and that the Church is the welcoming house for all. The Message also mentions consecrated life, witness of the ultra-earthly sense of human existence, and parishes as centres for evangelisation; it recalls the importance of permanent formation for priests and religious men and women and invites the laity (movements and new ecclesial realities) to evangelise, remaining in communion with the Church. New evangelisation finds welcome cooperation with other Churches and ecclesial communities, they too moved by the same spirit of proclamation of the Gospel. Special attention is focused on young persons in a perspective of listening and dialogue, to redeem and not mortify their enthusiasm.
"The Message then looks at dialogue, seen in many ways: with culture, which needs a new alliance between faith and reason; with education; with science which, when it does not close man in materialism, becomes an ally for the humanisation of life; with art; with the word of economy and work; with the ill and suffering; with politics, where an uninterested and transparent involvement towards the common good is asked for; with other religions. In particular, the Synod emphasises that inter-religious dialogue contributes to peace, refutes fundamentalism and denounces any violence against believers. The Message recalls the possibilities offered by the Year of Faith, by the memory of Vatican Council II and by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Finally, it indicates two expressions of a life of faith, which are especially meaningful for new evangelisation: contemplation, where silence allows for the better reception of the Word of God, and service to the poor, in the view of recognising Christ in their faces.
"In the last part, the Message looks at the Church in the various regions of the world and addresses a word of encouragement for the proclamation of the Gospel to each of them: to the Eastern Churches wishing to be able to practise faith in conditions of peace and religious freedom; to the African Church asking to develop evangelisation in the encounter of ancient and new cultures, calling then upon governments to cease conflicts and violence. The Christians of North America, who live in a culture with many expressions distant from the Gospel, must look towards conversion, to being open to welcoming immigrants and refugees. Latin America is invited to live the permanent mission to face today's challenges such as poverty, violence, even the new conditions of religious pluralism. The Church in Asia, even while being a small minority, often placed at the edges of society and persecuted, is encouraged and exhorted to the steadfastness of faith. Europe, marked by an even aggressive secularisation and wounded by past regimes, has nevertheless created a humanistic culture capable of giving a face to the dignity of man and to the building of the common good; today's difficulties therefore must not dishearten European Christians, but must be perceived as a challenge. Oceania is asked to feel once again the involvement of preaching the Gospel. Finally, the Message closes with trust in Mary, the Star of New Evangelisation".


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "In the north of Mali, all Christians were forced to flee" the complaint in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Fr. Laurent Balas, a missionary of the White Fathers, who spent six years in Gao in northern Mali before being appointed pastor of the Church of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda in Bamako. "My Gao successors were forced to flee," said Fr. Balas describing the conquest of the north of the Country in the spring of this year on behalf of the Islamic militias.
Christians fleeing from the north are welcomed by the families in the south in very precarious conditions, after having left all their belongings. "There are no refugee camps in the Country, but in neighboring Countries. The displaced have been 'absorbed' by the people. It is very difficult to say how many there are, " says the missionary.
In the north Islamist groups have imposed their radical interpretation of the Sharia even reaching the point of breaking into homes in search of unveiled women. In this case the unfortunate’s ear is cut. "Faced with this situation, the Muslims themselves are fleeing en masse, except that now, in the south, these families who flee put extra weight on other families who are already devasted. Therefore they go to the north, saying that they prefer to die in their own land," said the missionary.
But there is not only religious extremism at work in the north of Mali. Fr. Balas notes in fact that Islamist groups that have ties with drug traffickers, as demonstrated by a plane load of cocaine that recently crashed at an airport controlled by the Islamists. "Islamism is a screen that hides the trafficking of drugs and of possible searches of gold and oil," concludes the missionary. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2012)


Luke 12:

54 - 59

54 He also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens.
55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens.
56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
57 "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison.
59 I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."


As the Catholic Church celebrates the Year of Faith, the U.S. bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth is providing resources for families, including tips for keeping Sundays holy and centered on family, prayers and devotionals for the family, and ideas for building the presence of the Church in the home.
The resources are available online at include prayers for special occasions, guides for celebrating the Sacraments as a family, suggestions for praying as a married couple and reflections by Blessed Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston. Additional resources will be added throughout the Year of Faith.
"The Year of Faith is a wonderful opportunity for the entire Church, and especially for families, to be renewed in the joy of what it means to be faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus," said Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "Encountering Christ through prayer and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Penance, is essential for this renewal."
One resource, the Family Prayer for the Year of Faith, is available as a bilingual prayer card at
The Year of Faith began October 11 and will continue to November 24, 2013. The year commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
thanksgiving dinner family prayingHanding on the faith is a privileged and joyful task of parents, but it can seem daunting at times. That’s why the Year of Faith, which began Oct. 11, 2012, is such a blessing. During this time the whole Church focuses on nurturing the gift of faith we received at baptism. Dioceses and parishes have planned special activities, many designed for families. But there’s much that families can do, right in the home, to help members deepen their relationship with Christ. Below are a few suggestions to get started. Check back frequently, as more ideas will be added throughout the year.


Nurturing faith in the family through prayer, sacraments and catechesis:

Tips for keeping Sunday holy and family-oriented:
Celebrating the sacramental life of the Church as a family:
Prayers and Devotionals to learn and pray as a family:
Additional ideas and resources for strengthening faith in the family:


Located between Homs and Tartous in western Syria, the Monastery of Azeir continues to help Christians and Muslims, despite the fighting. What follows includes some excerpts from letters written by five Italian nuns living at the monastery posted online. Through simple actions like praying and gardening, the sisters have become a beacon of hope for Christians and Muslims devastated by the conflict.

Azeir (AsiaNews) - Amid the chaos of the Syrian civil war, when the main noise has been the sound of bombs going off and the screams of those they wounded, there are still some places where the prevailing hatred is held at bay. One of them is a Trappist monastery in the small Maronite village of Azeir, located in western Syria between the cities of Tartous and Homs. Five Italian nuns from the Monastery of Valserena (Pisa) call it home. Despite the fighting raging around them, they chose to stay in the country. "Despite our Italian nationality," said Sister Monica, superior of the Mother House, "and the resources we might have because of it, we are part of this community and cannot leave at a time of trial. Its fate is our fate."

In letters written over the past few months and posted on the monastery's website, the nuns describe the tragedies of the war and the suffering endured by the residents of the villages that surround them.

For the sisters, the monastery is a tangible sign of hope. "A place where God is worshiped in his real presence, both Eucharistic and Ecclesial, through prayers and brotherly communion, is a blessing for all."

However, "Our neighbours are discouraged," said one of the letters posted. "Even in our small village, civilians and young conscripts have been killed."

"The country," wrote another, "has become a battleground for adversaries that are bigger than Syria, people who came to fight in this land and this people to settle their own conflicts."

In each post, the Trappist nuns call on all Christians to pray for the Syrian population that welcomed them.

According to them, "people want justice, freedom, democracy but also jobs and a chance to go out with the family."

During the months of war, Muslims came to the monastery, not only to ask for basic items, but also for some comfort.

"Some young people began turning to us because they needed someone to help them think, grow and reflect," one nun said.

The nuns responded to such requests with their life, full of prayers and small actions, like growing vegetables in the garden and tending the orchard, which produces all sorts of fruit," another nun said.

Bearing witness in this simple fashion helps people have hope and stand up to hatred, mindful of the traditions of this land where Christians and Muslims have lived in peace for centuries.

"Our trust in man comes from Christian hope and it is stronger than all the horrors," Sister Monica wrote. "Christians are called to bear witness to it in the world. Since we have been called to Syria, why leave?"

Syria's civil war broke out in March 2011 in the wake of the Arab spring. Some 30,000 people have died since its start with almost a million forced from their homes. Some 200,000 have found refugee in neighbouring countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

After months of fighting and appeals by the pope and the United Nations for a ceasefire, UN and Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi announced today a possible truce for the Muslim festivity of the Eid al-Adha, which will be celebrated over the week-end.



Agenzia Fides report - On November 24, the city of Macas, capital of the province of Morona Santiago, will host a historic event: Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Saints, by mandate of Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the ceremony for the beatification of Sister Maria Troncatti, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, an Italian missionary who spent most of her life in Ecuador. According to information sent to Fides Agency, on the occasion of this event, in addition to the Salesian Superiors of Latin America and Ecuador, senior representatives of the Salesian Family and the Catholic Church will be present at the ceremony in the Latin American country.
In a very rare ceremony in Ecuador, Sister Maria Troncatti, a "full-time" missionary in the eastern part of the country, will be beatified. The city of Macas, Mendez and Sucúa owe everything they have today to the Salesians: Missionaries of St. John Bosco in fact laid the groundwork for the formation of the first settlers, including the education of the Shuar people.
Maria Troncatti was born in Brescia (Italy) in 1883 and in 1922 she left for the Salesian missions of eastern Ecuador. She died in a plane crash, a few blocks from the hospital she founded in Sucúa, on August 25, 1969. She was 86 years old, 65 of which she spent in consecration to God. Sister Maria had studied nursing in Italy and had served during the war. Then in Ecuador she dedicated herself to healing wounds and doing minor surgical operations, at a time when doctors were scarce, and technics were still unknown. With her sensitivity she prevented conflicts between the colonists and the people of the Shuar people. She conquered all with her serenity, humility, and meekness. Chunchi, El Pan, Mendez, Sucúa, Macas, Sevilla Don Bosco and Guayaquil recall the wise and holy woman, a well-prepared and caring nurse, to whom one went to for advice, a missionary wholly dedicated to the welfare of others. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2012)


Renewed violence exceeds June clashes
Daniel Wynn, Yangon
October 26, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Death toll hits 112 in fresh Rakhine unrest
Minority Muslim Rohingyas in displacement camps in Rakhine state
Renewed sectarian violence in Rakhine State has left at least 112 people dead since Sunday, said a local official.
Attacks between minority Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhists have caused the deaths of 51 men and 61 women from both sides with 72 people injured, said local government spokesman Win Myaing.
Hospital workers in Sittwe, the state capital, report a steady stream of wounded arriving from riot-hit towns and villages including Mrauk-U, an ancient temple site, and Kyaukphyu, where Chinese developers are building a new deep-water port and oil and gas pipelines.
The clashes were close to being under control by this morning after army reinforcements were brought into the worst-hit areas, said Win Myaing.
An estimated 6,000 people have fled their homes amid ongoing arson attacks.
“We were basically besieged by Rakhine [Buddhist] mobs and we had to leave our village for our lives,” said Khin Maung, a Rohingya from the town of Kyauktaw.
Newly displaced Rohingyas forced to flee their villages would be relocated to Maungdaw, a Rohingya-majority town near the border with Bangladesh, officials were quoted as telling local media.
“As the international community is closely watching Myanmar’s democratic transition, such unrest could tarnish the image of the country,” said a statement from the office of President Thein Sein, published in the state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper today.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday issued a statement calling on Myanmar authorities to take urgent and effective action to bring Rakhine state under control.
“The widening mistrust between the communities is being exploited by militant and criminal elements to cause large scale loss of human lives, material destruction, displaced families as well as fear, humiliation and hatred affecting the people from all walks of life,” Ban’s spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, said in the statement.
Nearly 100 people were killed and close to 70,000 people displaced following the first sectarian clashes in the area starting in June.
Authorities have forcefully segregated the two communities but tensions have been running high following recent Buddhist protests led by monks opposed to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation setting up a liaison office in Myanmar.
Muslim leaders in Yangon said earlier this week they would not celebrate the Eid holiday today in protest at a perceived lack of government protection.


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
Priest: "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
People:"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
Priest: "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
People: "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
The following prayer to be recited by both priest and people.
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)


St. Evaristus
Feast: October 26
Feast Day:
October 26

Date of birth unknown; died about 107. In the Liberian Catalogue his name is given as Aristus. In papal catalogues of the second century used by Irenaeus and Hippolytus, he appears as the fourth successor of St. Peter, immediately after St Clement. The same lists allow him eight years of reign, covering the end of the first and the beginning of the second century (from about 98 or 99 to about 106 or 107). The earliest historical sources offer no authentic data about him. In his "Ecclesiastical History" Eusebius says merely that he succeeded Clement in the episcopate of the Roman Church which fact was already known from St. Irenaeus. This order of succession is undoubtedly correct. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that Evaristus came of a Hellenic family, and was the son of a Bethlehem Jew. It also attributes to him the allotment of definite churches as to the Roman presbyters, and the division of the city into seven or deaconries; in this statement, however, the "Liber Pontificalis " arbitrarily refers to the time of Evaristus a later institution of the Roman Church. More trustworthy is the assertion of the "Liber Pontificalis" that he was laid to rest , near the tomb of St. Peter. The martyrdom of Evaristus, though traditional, is not historically proven. His feast occurs 26 Oct. The two decretals ascribed to him by Pseudo-Isidore are forged. SOURCE: