Thursday, November 15, 2012


St. Albert the Great
Feast: November 15
Feast Day:
November 15
1206, Lauingen, Bavaria
November 15, 1280, Cologne, Holy Roman Empire
1931 by Pius XI
Major Shrine:
St. Andreas in Cologne
Patron of:
medical technicians; natural sciences; philosophers; scientists; students

He was known as the "teacher of everything there is to know," was a scientist long before the age of science, was considered a wizard and magician in his own lifetime, and became the teacher and mentor of that other remarkable mind of his time, St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Albert the Great was born in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany; his father was a military lord in the army of Emperor Frederick II. As a young man Albert studied at the University of Padua and there fell under the spell of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the Dominican who made the rounds of the universities of Europe drawing the best young men of the universities into the Dominicans.
After several teaching assignments in his order, he came in 1241 to the University of Paris, where he lectured in theology. While teaching in Paris, he was assigned by his order in 1248 to set up a house of studies for the order in Cologne. In Paris, he had gathered around him a small band of budding theologians, the chief of whom was Thomas Aquinas, who accompanied him to Cologne and became his greatest pupil.
In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg; when he resigned after three years, he was called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. In his latter years, he resided in Cologne, took part in the Council of Lyons in 1274, and in his old age traveled to Paris to defend the teaching of his student Thomas Aquinas.
It was in Cologne that his reputation as a scientist grew. He carried on experiments in chemistry and physics in his makeshift laboratory and built up a collection of plants, insects, and chemical compounds that gave substance to his reputation. When Cologne decided to build a new cathedral, he was consulted about the design. He was friend and adviser to popes, bishops, kings, and statesmen and made his own unique contribution to the learning of his age.
He died a very old man in Cologne on November 15,1280, and is buried in St. Andrea's Church in that city. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. His writings are remarkable for their exact scientific knowledge, and for that reason he has been made the patron saint of scientists.
Thought for the Day: St. Albert the Great was convinced that all creation spoke of God and that the tiniest piece of scientific knowledge told us something about Him. Besides the Bible, God has given us the book of creation revealing something of His wisdom and power. In creation, Albert saw the hand of God.
From "The Catholic One Year Bible": Since we have a kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts, and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.—Hebrews 12:28-29


Vatican City, 14 November 2012 (VIS) - Three ways to knowing God (the world, the human being and the faith) provided the theme for Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall.
The Holy Father began by explaining that "God's initiative always precedes any initiative on the part of man, and, even on our journey towards Him, it is He Who first illuminates and guides us, while always respecting our freedom. ... God never tires of seeking us, He is faithful to the man He created and redeemed, and He remains close to us because He loves us. This is a certainty which must accompany us every day".
"We know that today the faith faces no lack of difficulties and trials, and its often poorly understood, contested and rejected. ... In the past, in the West, in a society held to be Christian, the faith was the environment in which people moved. Reference and adherence to God were, for most people, part of their daily lives, and it was those who did not believe who felt the need to justify their incredulity. In our world the situation had changed, and believers have to be increasingly able to give reasons for their faith. ... Our own times have seen the emergence of a phenomenon which is particularly dangerous for the faith. There exists, in fact, a form of atheism, which we define as 'practical', in which the truths of faith and religious ritual are not denied but are simply held to be irrelevant to daily existence, detached from life, useless. Often, then, people believe in God superficially but live as if He did not exist. In the final analysis, however, such a lifestyle turns out to be even more destructive, because it leads to indifference towards the faith and towards the question of God.
"The fact is", the Holy Father added, "that separation from God reduces man to a single horizontal dimension. This reduction was one of the fundamental causes of the totalitarian systems which had such tragic consequences last century, and of the crisis of values we are currently witnessing. Obscuring the reference to God has also obscured the ethical horizon".
Faced with this situation the Church, "faithful to Christ's mandate, never ceases to affirm the truth about man and his destiny", said the Pope. Yet, he asked, "what responses is the faith called to give - with 'mildness and respect' - to atheism, scepticism and indifference to the vertical dimension, so that the men and women of our time may continue to question themselves about the existence of God, and follow the paths that lead to Him? I would", he said, "like to mention some of these paths, which derive both from a natural process of reflection and from the power of the faith itself. They are: the world, man, and faith".
Referring to the first of these paths - the world - the Pope expressed the view that "we must recover and restore to modern man the chance to contemplate the creation, its beauty and structure. The world is not some shapeless mass; rather, the more we know it, the more we discover its wonderful mechanisms, the more we see a design, a creative intelligence. Albert Einstein said that the laws of nature reveal 'an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection'".
To explain the second path - the human being - Benedict XVI quoted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, saying: 'With his openness to truth and beauty, his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his conscience, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about God's existence'".
Turning finally to consider the faith, the Pope noted how "believers are united to God, open to His grace and to the force of charity. ... Their faith is not afraid to show itself in daily life, it is open to a dialogue which expresses profound friendship for all men and women, and is able to bring the light of hope to our need for redemption, happiness and future life. Faith means meeting God Who speaks and works in history. ... A single Christian or a community who are diligent and faithful to the project of the God Who first loved us, are a great help to people experiencing indifference or doubt about His existence and action".
Nowadays, "many people have a limited concept of Christian faith, which they identify as a mere system of beliefs and values, and not as the truth of God revealed throughout history in order to communicate directly with mankind. … In reality, at the basis of all doctrine and values is the encounter between man and God in Jesus Christ. Christianity, rather than a moral or ethical code, is first and foremost the experience of love in welcoming Christ", Benedict XVI concluded.
Vatican City, 14 November 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a message in the name of the Holy Father to the presidents of the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies, Renato Schifani and Gianfranco Fini, to commemorate ten years since Blessed John Paul II's visit to the parliament.
"The public session of 14 November 2002 in the Hall of Montecitorio constitutes a memorable page in the history of relations between Italy and the Holy See, an event enriched by the authoritative presence of the venerable figure of the Blessed Pontiff, who greatly desired the meeting in spite of his precarious health".
"Ten years on, in a social context rendered more difficult by the consequences of the economic crisis already predicted at the time, it is necessary to recall his invitation to seek nourishment in the vital lymph of Christianity which inspires the social and cultural identity of Italy, and its mission in Europe and the world. Even in the most difficult times, this spiritual and ethical heritage continues to provide sufficient resources to renew people's consciences and lead them towards the common good, especially those called to sit in parliament.
"The Supreme Pontiff therefore hopes that constant collaboration between Italy and the Holy See, and between the State and the Church, will continue to support the progress of Italy, in particular families in their their primary educational and social role, and all citizens, especially in matters of civil responsibility".
Vatican City, 14 November 2012 (VIS) - The Vatican Publishing House and Rizzoli Publications today announced that the book "L'Infanzia di Gesu", the third volume of Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI's trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth, will be presented to the press on 20 November. The book is due to appear in English with the title "Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives".
The book will be presented at 11 a.m. in the Pius X Room (Via dell'Ospedale 1, Rome), and the speakers will include Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Maria Clara Bingemer, professor of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Fr. Giuseppe Costa S.D.B., director of the Vatican Publishing House, and Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, who will act as moderator.
Vatican City, 14 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Fr. Darci Jose Nicioli, C.SS.R., rector of the National Sanctuary of Aparecida, Brazil, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Aparecida (area 1,300, population 198,000, Catholics 167,800, priests 102, permanent deacons 2, religious 363). The bishop-elect was born in Jacutinga, Brazil in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1986. He studied in Campinas, Sao Paulo and Rome, and has held a number of academic and pastoral posts.
- Msgr. Jose Avelino Bettencourt, nunciature councillor, as chief of protocol of the Secretariat of State. He was born in the Azores, Portugal, in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1993. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1999, and has served in the apostolic nunciature of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.


In honor of the YEAR OF FAITH - JCE news will be showing some of the TOP Catholic movies of all time. Tune in for the next PART of St. Bernadette of Lourdes- tomorrow.



Bishop Soto Announces Half A Million Dollars To Victims Of Hurricane Sandy, New National Strategic Grant Program

November 14, 2012
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops, has approved a grant of half a million dollars to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast of the United States. CCHD will also launch a national strategic grant program to address poverty-related issues across the country.
Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the bishops' CCHD subcommittee, announced the moves November 13, during the annual Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore.
The grant to Hurricane Sandy victims will support "people coming together to reorganize the fabric of their communities" and to "build a resilient support system for those most vulnerable to natural calamities, the poor," Bishop Soto said.
The national strategic grant program is an "innovative approach to poverty" that will complement CCHD's regular, diocesan-oriented support to community initiatives across the country. The CCHD subcommittee approved more than $2 million over the next few years to address systemic causes of poverty and empower communities to implement lasting solutions.
"Before our eyes today, immigrants are exploited, the criminal justice system sucks our youth into its steely and broken logic, labor is weakened, families are torn apart by poverty and children bear the consequences, women without hope are tempted to abortion, homes are foreclosed, pensions robbed, the poor are denied access to credit and our natural resources are exploited. This is real poverty," Bishop Soto said on the need for the new national focus.


Cardinal Pell

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
15 Nov 2012
As you would be aware, the Cardinal recently joined with all the Bishops in welcoming the announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances of child sexual abuse.
The scope of the inquiry will extend to the response to the problem of child sexual abuse not only in the context of the Catholic Church but also in other religious organisations, not-for-profits and government organisations. There will be consultation with victims and institutions regarding terms of reference which are anticipated to be finalised by the end of the year.
On Tuesday, after numerous requests, the Cardinal hosted an extended media conference.
The Cardinal welcomed the opportunity of the Royal Commission to help victims, to clear the air and to separate fact from fiction.
In the media conference and in statements subsequently, the Cardinal made the following key points:
• Victims have an absolute entitlement to justice and he is pleased that victims and victims' groups have welcomed the Royal Commission.
• The Catholic Church in Australia has been serious in attempting to eradicate the enormously painful and important problem of sexual abuse, particularly since the national Towards Healing procedures were adopted in 1996. Unfortunately, the Church has been unable to convince all the public of this commitment or how effective we have been.
• In an attempt to make its response clear to all, the Archdiocese has recently published its procedures for responding to sexual abuse and these procedures have been met with wide approval (both within the Church and externally). A copy is available A Royal Commission is an opportunity to have these procedures of the Archdiocese and broader Church assessed. Any recommended improvements to Towards Healing and other Church procedures will be welcomed.
• As has been often reported, the Cardinal did not consider an inquiry restricted to the Catholic Church, proposed by some, to be appropriate - because there is no evidence to suggest this terrible problem is restricted to the Catholic Church. He welcomed the fact that the Commission will consider the problem more broadly as it has occurred in institutions across Australian society.
• The Cardinal explained he was not in any way seeking to deny the extent of wrongdoing in the Catholic Church but he objected to it being exaggerated with the Catholic Church being considered to be the only organisation where such abuse has occurred - the "only cab in the rank".
Accurate Statistics Needed
• The Cardinal calls for the New South Wales authorities to confirm (or otherwise) the accuracy of the statistics which appeared in the media on Wednesday, 14 November on the number of cases of child abuse dealt with by the police each year and the number of prosecutions. This should assist all to better understand in which institutions such conduct is occurring, and whether the cases that are being dealt with concern historical abuse or more recent cases. It would be very helpful to know how many offences by Catholic clergy have been dealt with by the authorities since the new procedures were introduced in 1996.
• The Cardinal has raised the issue of whether the police may need additional resources. He hopes the focus on historical offences, as important as it is, has not diverted resources from investigations of current offences.
• The Cardinal said that smearing, intentional or unintentional, is to be rejected. Generalised statements about "cover ups" and moving people around are misleading. This may have occurred at some places and at some times but it is untrue to suggest this practice is widespread and regularly occurring - it is, in fact, totally against the Towards Healing procedures. Any specific evidence of such wrongdoing should be brought to the attention of the police to be investigated.
• The Archdiocese of Sydney does not require complainants to enter into deeds of release (unless they wish to do so for personal reasons). Any deeds of release that have been used (for instance, if legal proceedings are settled) do not silence victims from telling their stories of abuse.
Seal of Confession
• Debate on the seal of confession is a diversion given the immense problems the community confronts.
• Church teaching is clear. The seal of confession has been explicitly inviolable for more than a thousand years.
• The law of the land is also clear. Section 116 of the Australian Constitution protects religious freedom. This separation of Church and State provides an essential protection for religious communities from Government interference in questions of belief and religious discipline and practice.
• In addition, confessional privilege is not "medieval" or "abhorrent", it is, in fact, specifically recognised in Section 127 of the 1995 Commonwealth Evidence Act. In a similar way to the protections from disclosure available for clients in respect of their communications with their lawyers, this Act protects a member of the clergy from being forced to divulge details revealed in a religious confession and even the fact that a confession has been heard.
• As Archbishop, the Cardinal does not hear the confessions of his priests (expect in an emergency), just as the Rector of a seminary is forbidden to hear the confessions of his seminarians. A priest who suspects the sacrament of penance will be abused by the penitent should not hear such a confession. Any absolution is dependent on genuine personal repentance, a commitment to suitable restitution and a firm "purpose of amendment" to sin no more.
Referral of Allegations
• In response to an enquiry from the media, the Cardinal explained that, as Archbishop of Sydney, his authority is limited to the Archdiocese and his position of Cardinal, while it affords moral authority, does not extend his authority beyond Sydney. As such, where there is misconduct in another diocese or in a religious order, it is a matter for the relevant bishop or provincial to address. Notwithstanding this, if allegations come to the attention of the Cardinal, they are referred to the Professional Standards Office to be notified to the police, as well as being referred to the appropriate Church authority to be addressed.
• The Cardinal and the Archdiocese will cooperate fully with the Royal Commission and the Cardinal will, of course, give evidence if asked to do so.
• In light of the upcoming Royal Commission an Archdiocesan spokesperson will respond as appropriate, but sparingly.
Further updates on the Royal Commission will be provided from time to time. Details will always be available on the Archdiocesan website
In the meantime, if you require any further information please contact our communications team at


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Kenyan government has decided to assign the army to the police in the hunt for the gang responsible for the murder of police officers on November 10, in the village of Baragoi in the north of the Country (see Fides 13/11/2012 ). The attackers, a gang of rustlers, whom the police were hunting, killed at least 24 policemen and eight reservists of the police, but according to other sources the victims among the police are about 40. The estimates are complicated by the fact that there are still dispersed agents, some of whom have been found alive.
The approximately 100 police were hunting a gang of ethnic Turkana who in mid-October had captured 500 head of cattle from farmers of the Samburu tribe. On October 30, 12 Samburu farmers were killed in an attempt to recover their cattle. The massacre had led the police to launch a massive operation to chase them, which ended with an even more serious massacre. According to the Kenyan press the Turkana people are leaving the area for fear of getting involved in the military offensive. Sources of the Diocese of Marsabit contacted by Fides Agency have not been able to confirm the news on the flight of the population, but claim that the tension in the area is still high. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/11/2012)



Woman shot in the head as she left church

A female church worker was shot in the head and killed yesterday outside the main Catholic church in Bongao town, capital of the southwestern province of Tawi-Tawi.
Police reports said Conchita “Ching” Francisco, a 62-year-old school principal, was shot in the head after attending evening Mass.
Oblates of Mary Immaculate missionary Priest Jun Mercado said Francisco was about to take a ride on a motorcycle when assailants shot her. The gunmen remain unidentified.
“She died instantly,” Mercado wrote in a Facebook post. “Earlier, she led the rosary and was the commentator at Mass.”
He added that he arrived at the parish convent at around 6 pm “only to be met by a murder.”
Aside from helping out in the parish church, Francisco also worked as principal at the Mindanao State University in the town.
Police said they are looking into a motive for the killing.


Middlesborough: Canon Louis Collingwood has died | Middlesbrough, Canon Louis Collingwood

Canon Louis Collingwood

Middlesbrough has announced the death of a  much-loved priest. Canon Louis Collingwood died at 3.15pm on Tuesday 13 November 2012 in hospital.
Canon Collingwood was born in Hull on 11th January 1921. In those days there was a junior seminary at Ushaw College and he entered at 16 years of age. He was subsequently ordained for the Diocese of Middlesbrough in St Joseph’s Church, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, along with the late Canon Bob Carson and Father Tony Barry, on 13th April 1947. From his ordination Louis served only one curacy which lasted 19 years in St Alphonsus, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough.
During this time he was chaplain to the now demolished North Ormesby Hospital and simultaneously he was Diocesan chaplain to the Catholic Nurses Guild, which in those days was a National Body, and took a prominent lead in the spiritual, ethical and medical issues and was highly regarded in its influence for good in the nation’s wellbeing.
After a short spell as chaplain to the French Convent in Hull, Father Louis received his first appointment as parish priest at St Bernadette’s, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, where he remained until 1970, whereupon he became the parish priest for the newly opened parish of St Alban’s, Redcar. Spending 11 years in St Alban’s, he followed Monsignor Peter Storey at St Francis, Acklam, Middlesbrough, as parish priest where he stayed until his retirement from formal active ministry in 1997. It was during this latter assignment he became a member of the Cathedral Chapter of Canons and simultaneously for eight years Dean in the locality.
Throughout his life Canon Collingwood had an avid love of sport, indeed from his younger days he is still remembered as a very useful, hard-tackling team player in various football teams. His playing days over, he continued his interest at a spectator level - particularly as a season ticket holder at Ayresome Park. He was parish priest to the great Wilf Mannion who lived then in Redcar and, during his retirement years, Canon Collingwood concelebrated the Requiem Mass of Wilf in St Mary’s Cathedral. He kept in close contact with his priestly family and until his health began to fail was a regular on the golf course.
The Diocese expresses our appreciation to God for his 91 years - and especially his 65 years of generous priestly service among us. It would be remiss were we not to acknowledge the love and devotion of Louis Collingwood’s close friends who visited him in his retirement years, and especially in the twilight weeks of his earthly life. To his remaining nephews and nieces and extended family members and many friends, we extend our prayerful sympathy.
Canon Collingwood’s mortal remains will be received into St Mary’s Cathedral at 6.30pm on Thursday 22 November, and Bishop Terence will be chief celebrant at his Requiem Mass at 12 noon on Friday 23 November. He requested that he be buried with his brother in St Joseph’s RC Cemetery.


Titus 3: 1 - 7

1Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work,
2to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another;
4but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
5he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,
6which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Psalms 23: 1 - 6

1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Luke 17: 11 - 19

11On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Sama'ria and Galilee.12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance13and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."14When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;16and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.17Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"19And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."


St. Lawrence O'Toole
Feast: November 14
Feast Day:
November 14
1128, Castledermot, Kildare, Ireland
November 14, 1180, Normandy, France
1225 by Pope Honorius III
Major Shrine:
St Lawrence's church in Chorley, England

Confessor, born about 1128, in the present County Kildare; died 14 November, 1180, at Eu in Normandy; canonized in 1225 by Honorius III.
His father was chief of Hy Murray, and his mother one of the Clan O'Byrne. At the age of ten he was taken as a hostage by Dermot McMurrogh, King of Leinster. In 1140 the boy obtained permission to enter the monastic school of Glendalough; in that valley-sanctuary he studied for thirteen years, conspicuous for his piety and learning. So great was his reputation in the eyes of the community that on the death of Abbot Dunlaing, early in 1154, he was unanimously called to preside over the Abbey of St. Kevin. Dermot, King of Leinster, married Mor, sister of St. Lawrence, and, though his character has been painted in dark colours by the native annalists, he was a great friend to the Church. He founded an Austin nunnery, of the reform of Aroaise, in Dublin, with two dependent cells at Kilculliheen (County Kilkenny) and at Aghade (County Carlow), in 1151. He also founded an abbey for Cistercian monks at Baltinglass, and an abbey for Austin canons at Ferns.
St. Lawrence, through humility, declined the See of Glendalough in 1160, but on the death of Gregory, Archbishop of Dublin (8 October, 1161), he was chosen to the vacant see, and was consecrated in Christ Church cathedral by Gilla Isu (Gelasius), Primate of Armagh, early in the following year. This appointment of a native-born Irishman and his consecration by the successor of St. Patrick marks the passing of Scandinavian supremacy in the Irish capital, and the emancipation from canonical obedience to Canterbury which had obtained under the Danish bishops of Dublin. St. Lawrence soon set himself to effect numerous reforms, commencing by converting the secular canons of Christ Church cathedral into Aroasian canons (1163). Three years later he subscribed to the foundation charter of All Hallows priory, Dublin (founded by King Dermot), for the same order of Austin canons. Not content with the strictest observance of rules, he wore a hair shirt underneath his episcopal dress, and practised the greatest austerity, retiring for an annual retreat of forty days to St. Kevin's cave, near Glendalough. At the second siege of Dublin (1170) St. Lawrence was active in ministration, and he showed his political foresight by paying due deference to Henry II of England, during that monarch's stay in Dublin. In April, 1178, he entertained the papal legate, Cardinal Vivian, who presided at the Synod of Dublin. He successfully negotiated the Treaty of Windsor, and secured good terms for Roderic, King of Connacht. He attended the Lateran Council in 1179, and returned as legate for Ireland. The holy prelate was not long in Dublin till he deemed it necessary again to visit King Henry II (impelled by a burning charity in the cause of King Roderic), and he crossed to England in September of that year. After three weeks of detention at Abingdon Abbey, St. Lawrence followed the English King to Normandy. Taken ill at the Augustinian Abbey of Eu, he was tended by Abbot Osbert and the canons of St. Victor; before he breathed his last he had the consolation of learning that King Henry had acceded to his request.


Vatican City, 13 November 2012 (VIS) - "The Hospital, Setting for Evangelisation: a Human and Spiritual Mission" is the theme of the twenty-seventh international conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care which will be held from 15 to 17 November in the Vatican's New Synod Hall. At the end of the conference, participants are due to be received in audience by Benedict XVI.
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the dicastery, and Fr. Augusto Chendi M.I., under secretary, presented the aims of the conference at the Holy See Press Office this morning.
"Go, teach and heal the sick, is Jesus' mandate", said Archbishop Zimowski, "upon which are based two of the most fundamental activities of His Church: the proclamation of the Word and the care of the sick. … In the light of the current Year of Faith and the recent thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, hospitals, as important places for evangelisation, ... today constitute a crossroads of cultures and religions, areas where the apostolate of mercy, as defined by Blessed Pope John Paul II, finds exalted expression".
He observed, "In industrialised countries, aside from the grave economic and financial crises which have struck a number of nations and led to a drastic review of health services, serious challenges exist, beginning with the preservation of the identity of Catholic hospitals and other health centres, and the maintenance of their specific role of 'subsidiarity'. This must be achieved without in any way diminishing the importance of fundamental issues such as full respect for life from conception to natural end; the humanisation of healthcare (which means showing full respect for patients, their identity and life experiences); palliative care, etc.".
With regard to those countries facing greater economic hardships, the archbishop spoke of grave difficulties in accessing basic healthcare, and recalled that "people often die on account of a lack of basic medicines costing just a few dollars, as in the case of anti-malarial treatments". He also emphasised the scarcity of basic diagnostic instruments and specialised training for healthcare personnel, due primarily to "the lack of opportunities" for further study, usually for economic reasons. He also noted that "the few resources available to hospitals in the poorest regions must be used for the benefit of the population without discrimination on the basis of faith or ethnic origin, in accordance with the Word, the teachings of the Church and the spirit and history of missions".
He concluded, "What unites large urban hospitals and the small rural clinics … is the relationship between patients and healthcare workers, … the fact that they belong to the Universal Catholic Church, and necessarily adhere to her principles and teachings".
In his address, Fr. Chendi announced that the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Workers, on the occasion of the next World Day of the Sick (11 February 2013) will publish a manual, translated into various languages and valid for the whole of the Liturgical Year. The new volume will offer patients and all those involved in their physical and spiritual care a point of reference for theological reflection, pastoral care and prayer.
"Our intention in entrusting this manual to the Church, and to the world of healthcare, parishes and voluntary work, is to create a communion of grace, prayer and mutual charity", he said. "This, we hope will help us see in the mystery of suffering ... the concrete and daily testimony of those who bring good to the sick, and who bring good through their own sickness. In this way such people bear a valid witness to the faith which, from the sickbed and close to those who suffer, is an important source of evangelisation and hope".
Vatican City, 13 November 2012 (VIS) - Made public today was the final document of the First Integrated Meeting on the Pastoral Care of the Road/Street for the Continent of Africa and Madagascar, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples in collaboration with the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People of Tanzania. The event was attended by bishops, priests, religious and lay people from thirty-one African countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Congo R.D., Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The meeting - which was held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in September and had as its theme "Jesus came up and walked by their side" - examined all aspects of life of the road/street including: road security, voluntary and forced prostitution, trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation, street children, and human rights especially with respect to the human dignity of women, young girls and children.
Among the conclusions they reached, the participants recognised that Africa "is a continent where millions of people, either willingly or unwillingly, are daily on the move, thus transforming African roads and streets into privileged place of evangelisation and education". They also noted how "the road/street in Africa and Madagascar, which facilitates daily life, human and inter-cultural communications, also poses serious danger to life, facilitates the exploitation of human persons and contributes to the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. These negative aspects often arise from irregular long hours of work, lack of rest, lack of spiritual guidance, corruption and organised criminality".
In order to combat such phenomena the document makes a number of recommendations including the creation of special offices in episcopal conferences and dioceses for education and formation programmes to promote awareness about street women/young girls and street children, long-distant truck drivers and road security, and about practices which undermine human dignity and endanger life. The document also suggests "the inculturation of the Gospel as a priority in all national and diocesan pastoral programmes in order to liberate women, young girls and children", and the lobbying of "African governments to exercise law and order to protect the dignity and life of innocent women/young girls and children at risk on the continent".
The participants also identify a number of general actions to be taken, including collaboration with episcopal conferences on other continents with a view to coordinating efforts to prevent trafficking in women/young girls/children for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation; the development of networking in order to assist victims through ecclesial/interfaith collaboration at national, regional and continental level, and the formation of mobile chaplains and lay ministers with adequate preparation and the skills necessary to minister to people on the road".


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