Saturday, November 24, 2012


Nov 25, 2012 - Feast of Christ the King

Daniel 7: 13 - 14

13As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him,
14He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Psalms 93: 1 - 2, 5
1The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
2thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting.
5Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore. Revelation 1: 5 - 8
5and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.7Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
John 18: 33 - 37
33Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
34Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"
35Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?"
36Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."
37Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."


St. Catherine of Alexandria
Feast: November 25
Feast Day:
November 25
287, Alexandria, Egypt
305, Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Patron of:
Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights

From the tenth century onwards veneration for St. Catherine of Alexandria has been widespread in the Church of the East, and from the time of the Crusades this saint has been popular in the West, where many churches have been dedicated to her and her feast day kept with great solemnity, sometimes as a holy-day of obligation. She is listed as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of mankind among the saints in Heaven; she is the patroness of young women, philosophers, preachers, theologians, wheelwrights, millers, and other workingmen. She was said to have appeared with Our Lady to St. Dominic and to Blessed Reginald of Orleans; the Dominicans adopted her as their special protectress. Hers was one of the heavenly voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.
Artists have painted her with her chief emblem, the wheel, on which by tradition she was tortured; other emblems are a lamb and a sword. Her name continues to be cherished today by the young unmarried women of Paris.
Yet in spite of this veneration, we have few facts that can be relied on concerning Catherine's life. Eusebius, "father of Church history," writing around the year 320, had heard of a noble young Christian woman of Alexandria whom the Emperor ordered to come to his palace, presumably to become his mistress, and who, on refusing, was punished by banishment and the confiscation of her estates. The story of St. Catherine may have sprung from some brief record such as this, which Christians writing at a later date expanded. The last persecutions of Christians, though short, were severe, and those living in the peace which followed seem to have had a tendency to embellish the traditions of their martyrs that they might not be forgotten.
According to the popular tradition, Catherine was born of a patrician family of Alexandria and from childhood had devoted herself to study. Through her reading she had learned much of Christianity and had been converted by a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Child. When Maxentius began his persecution, Catherine, then a beautiful young girl, went to him and rebuked him boldly for his cruelty. He could not answer her arguments against his pagan gods, and summoned fifty philosophers to confute her. They all confessed themselves won over by her reasoning, and were thereupon burned to death by the enraged Emperor. He then tried to seduce Catherine with an offer of a consort's crown, and when she indignantly refused him, he had her beaten and imprisoned. The Emperor went off to inspect his military forces, and when he got back he discovered that his wife Faustina and a high official, one Porphyrius, had been visiting Catherine and had been converted, along with the soldiers of the guard. They too were put to death, and Catherine was sentenced to be killed on a spiked wheel.
When she was fastened to the wheel, her bonds were miraculously loosed and the wheel itself broke, its spikes flying off and killing some of the onlookers. She was then beheaded. The modern Catherine-wheel, from which sparks fly off in all directions, took its name from the saint's wheel of martyrdom. The text of the of this illustrious saint states that her body was carried by angels to Mount Sinai, where a church and monastery were afterwards built in her honor. This legend was, however, unknown to the earliest pilgrims to the mountain. In 527 the Emperor Justinian built a fortified monastery for hermits in that region, and two or three centuries later the story of St. Catherine and the angels began to be circulated.
1 Alexandria, the great Egyptian city at the mouth of the Nile, was at this time a center of both pagan and Christian learning. Its Christian activities centered around the great church founded, according to tradition, by the Apostle Mark, with its catechetical school, the first of its kind in Christendom.
2 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, who lived through all the vicissitudes of the years before and succeeding the Edict of Toleration and died about 340, wrote the first history of the Church.
3 Maxentius was one of several rival emperors who struggled for mastery during the first dozen years of the fourth century. Like the others, he tried to crush what he considered the dangerous institution of the Catholic Church. Some historians are of the opinion that Catherine suffered under his father, Maximian.


Vatican City, 24 November 2012 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Basilica at 11 a.m. today, Benedict XVI celebrated an ordinary public consistory for the creation of six new cardinals: James Michael Harvey, Bechara Boutros Rai O.M.M., Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Ruben Salazar Gomez and Luis Antonio G. Tagle. Following the new appointments the College of Cardinals will be composed of 211 members of whom 120, being under the age of eighty, are eligible to vote in a conclave for the election of a new Pope.
After the opening prayer and the proclamation of the Gospel, the Holy Father pronounced his homily, following which he solemnly pronounced the the formula of creation of the new cardinals, their names and the diaconate or presbyteral order to which they have been assigned. The new cardinals then recited the Creed and swore their faithfulness and obedience to the Pope and his successors.
Each new cardinal then knelt before the Pope to received his biretta. The Pope said "you must be ready to conduct yourselves with fortitude, even to the shedding of your blood, for the increase of the Christian faith, for the peace and well-being of the people of God". He then also consigned to them a ring, saying, "Know that with the love of the Prince of the Apostles your love for the Church is reinforced", and he assigned to each one a titular or diaconate church in Rome as a sign of their participation in the Holy Father's pastoral care of Rome. The Pope then handed over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assigned the title or diaconate and exchanged an embrace of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals also exchanged such a sign among themselves. The rite concluded with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
Extracts from Benedict XVI's homily are given below:
"'I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church'. … These words, which the new Cardinals are soon to proclaim in the course of their solemn profession of faith, come from the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed, the synthesis of the Church’s faith that each of us receives at baptism. Only by professing and preserving this rule of truth intact can we be authentic disciples of the Lord. In this consistory, I would like to reflect in particular on the meaning of the word 'catholic', a word which indicates an essential feature of the Church and her mission. … What makes the Church catholic is the fact that Christ in His saving mission embraces all humanity. While during His earthly life Jesus’ mission was limited to the Jewish people, 'to the lost sheep of the house of Israel' from the beginning it was meant to bring the light of the Gospel to all peoples and lead all nations into the kingdom of God".
"This universalist perspective can be seen, among other things, from the way Jesus applied to Himself not only the title 'Son of David', but also 'Son of Man'. … Jesus takes up this rich and complex expression and refers it to Himself in order to manifest the true character of His Messianism: a mission directed to the whole man and to every man, transcending all ethnic, national and religious particularities. And it is actually by following Jesus, by allowing oneself to be drawn into His humanity and hence into communion with God, that one enters this new kingdom proclaimed and anticipated by the Church, a kingdom that conquers fragmentation and dispersal.
"Jesus sends His Church not to a single group, then, but to the whole human race, and thus He unites it, in faith, in one people, in order to save it. … This universal character emerges clearly on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fills the first Christian community with His presence, so that the Gospel may spread to all nations, causing the one People of God to grow in all peoples. … From that day, in the 'power of the Holy Spirit', according to Jesus’ promise, the Church proclaims the dead and risen Lord 'in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth'. The Church’s universal mission does not arise from below, but descends from above, from the Holy Spirit: from the beginning it seeks to express itself in every culture so as to form the one People of God. Rather than beginning as a local community that slowly grows and spreads outwards, it is directed towards a universal horizon, towards the whole: universality is inscribed within it.
"'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation'; 'make disciples of all nations'. With these words, Jesus sends the Apostles to all creation, so that God’s saving action may reach everywhere ... and giving them both a promise and a task: He promises that they will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and He confers upon them the task of bearing witness to Him all over the world, transcending the cultural and religious confines within which they were accustomed to think and live, so as to open themselves to the universal Kingdom of God. At the beginning of the Church’s journey, the Apostles and disciples set off without any human security, purely in the strength of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel and the faith. This is the yeast that spreads round the world, enters into different events and into a wide range of cultural and social contexts, while remaining a single Church. Around the Apostles, Christian communities spring up, but these are 'the' Church which is always the same, one and universal, whether in Jerusalem, Antioch, or Rome".
"Situated within the context and the perspective of the Church’s unity and universality is the College of Cardinals: it presents a variety of faces, because it expresses the face of the universal Church. In this Consistory, I want to highlight in particular the fact that the Church is the Church of all peoples, and so she speaks in the various cultures of the different continents. She is the Church of Pentecost: amid the polyphony of the various voices, she raises a single harmonious song to the living God".
Vatican City, 24 November 2012 (VIS) - Given below are the names of the six new cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI in this morning's consistory, and the titular or diaconate churches assigned to each:
- Cardinal James Michael Harvey, diaconate of San Pio V a Villa Carpegna.
- Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai O.M.M.
- Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, title of San Gregorio VII.
- Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, title of San Saturnino.
- Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, title of San Gerardo Maiella.
- Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, title of San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle.
Vatican City, 24 November 2012 (VIS) - This evening the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Vatican City, 24 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
- Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, and Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles, U.S.A., as members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
- Fr. William Crean of the clergy of the diocese of Kerry, Ireland, pastor of Cahersiveen and vicar forane, as bishop of Cloyne (area 3,440, population 164,500, Catholics 161,600, priests 118, religious 203), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Tralee, Ireland in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1976. He studied in Ireland and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and has held a number of pastoral roles.
- Msgr. Krzysztof Jakub Wetkowski of the clergy of the archdiocese of Gniezno, Poland, vicar general, as auxiliary of Gniezno (area 8,122, population 669,431, Catholics 651,692, priests 539, religious 328). The bishop-elect was born in Gniezno in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1988. Among other posts he has worked as professor of canon law, master of ceremonies of the cathedral and judge of the metropolitan tribunal.
- Fr. Michael John Zielinski O.S.B. Oliv, as bureau chief at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
- Fr. Edmondo Caruana O. Carm., official of the Vatican Publishing House, as bureau chief of the editorial office of the same organisation





Archbishop Mennini celebrated Mass for inmates at Feltham Young Offenders Institution yesterday
By ANNA PULLICINO on Thursday, 22 November 2012
Archbishop Mennini celebrates Mass at Feltham (Photo: Mazur/
Archbishop Mennini celebrates Mass at Feltham (Photo: Mazur/
Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, visited Feltham Young Offenders Institution just outside of London yesterday to celebrate Mass for inmates during Prisons Week.
In his homily, the Italian nuncio urged the audience to “waste a little time on prayer” every day.
Reminiscing on his childhood, Archbishop Mennini said: “When I was young, I remember how often my mother used to watch from the window of our apartment, when all I wanted to do was play football, daydream or chat with my friends, and she would call to me and remind me that I needed to study and that I should stop wasting my time.
“Her words have stayed with me till now but, in a different context, I should like to suggest that you should deliberately try to waste a little time each day – waste it with God in quiet prayer,” he said.
“It is this way you will come to know ever more deeply his love for you and discover ‘the will of his Father in heaven’.”
The archbishop presented himself as a “representative of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI” who himself visited a prison near Rome during the Holy Season of Lent this year.
Addressing the difficulties faced by the inmates, the archbishop applauded the chaplains for their “help and encouragement” during a “difficult but very challenging and hopeful time in your lives. The task is an important and very worthwhile one.”
He concluded by asking the congregation to “please pray for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI and for me, his representative, and be assured that I will pray for you too”.
The Mass was celebrated on the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Agenzia Fides REPORT РHis Exc. Mgr. Prosper Kontiebo, Burkinabé Camillian, since February 11, 2012 is the Pastor of the new Diocese of Tenkodogo, in the south of Ouagadougou. This is the fourth Bishop in the 400 years of history of the Order founded by St. Camillus, who arrived here on October 12, 1966 with three of his young religious. The following is a testimony of the Bishop, sent to Fides Agency by Camillian Father Felice Ruffini.
"We were in the week of the 32nd Sunday of this year 2012, and in my head I could still hear the Gospel which I commented: Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents, (cf. Mk 12: 41-44). Well ... what do you want me to say? - Writes Mgr. Kontiebo - Jesus was right again .... as usual. "
After this reflection, the Bishop adds his testimony of life. "Since his appointment as Bishop I went to visit my elderly grandmother, who lives in a village in Africa. I gave her a detailed account of the long and solemn celebrations during which I was consecrated Pastor of a Christian community in the south of the Country, with its festivities which for days involved thousands of people. During the long conversation, having heard that soon I would go to Rome to meet the Pope in St. Peter’s, she stood up and from a box pulled out 250 CFA francs, equal to 0.38 euro, which does not provide a rich meal but sufficent, and while putting the money in my hands, said: 'It is not for you .... but when you are in S. Peter’s put them in the box that is at his feet .... it is for the Pope." " This is a story of a Church in our days, these days, tormented yes, but always illuminated by a great light of hope," concludes Fr. Ruffini. (FR/AP) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2012 )


by Xin Yage
The international version has come out, dubbed in English, of the feature film dedicated to Msgr. Albertus Soegijapranata, the first indigenous bishop. The director: he is not only a religious leader, but an author, philosopher and guide in a period of upheaval. For the producer of "Soegija", the bishop fought for unity in the diversity of cultures and faiths.

Taipei (AsiaNews) - A few days ago there also came out the international version - dubbed in English - of the Indonesian film "Soegija", shown for the first time on June 7 in Jakarta and focusing on one of the founding fathers of the nation. It concerns Msgr. Albertus Soegijapranata, the first native to be ordained bishop of the local Catholic Church (see AsiaNews06/07/2012Central Java: world premiere of Soegija, documentary film on the bishop and "national hero"). The film's official premier (click here to see the trailer) was also attended by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, together with senior state officials; now the film, which focuses on the values ​​of national identity, independence and coexistence between different religions, has made its entrance into Taiwan, raising the universal values ​​of "humanity and brotherhood."
Interviewed by AsiaNews during the Taiwan stage, the film's director Garin Nugroho explained that "the figure of Soegijapranata attracted me at first because he was the leader of a religious world; he was the first Indonesian bishop, appointed during the period of the Second World War, which swept through Europe and then Asia." In addition, he was "a writer, a thinker, the editor of a Catholic magazine of that time. He was also", the director continued, "a speaker with rare diplomatic skills that revealed the political dimension inside him. And finally, the film shows Soegijapranata's role in preserving values ​​and embodying them in his leadership in the midst of all these upheavals."
As the executive producer of the film Y.I. Iswarahadi affirms, "the film 'Soegija' is intended as a reference and as a reflection on the nation, on humanity and the faith of the Indonesian people: with regard to the concept of nation, we want to learn the spirit of Soegijapranata who fought for safety and welfare, peace and unity." The bishop raised "the social welfare and dignity of those who suffered," and on the subject of faith taught to "integrate our faith into our lives," as "a true nation" and not just in "the interest of our group."
"This film chooses two transitional moments in the life of Soegijapranata", the director continues in his account to AsiaNews. "The first occurs in Semarang, during the Japanese occupation. The second is in Yogyakarta, when he accompanies the leaders of Indonesian independence. At that time, the capital had been moved to Yogyakarta. He went through these two great transitions related to economic, social, political, and cultural problems on local and international levels." Nirwan Dewanto, the actor who plays Soegijapranata, emphasized the bishop's support for the emerging "new republic," an element "present in his writings and in his speeches. He was an active supporter of this republic. His phrase 'one hundred percent Catholic and one hundred percent Indonesian' I think was taken up by other religious leaders" according to "the principles of a nation's struggle for the freedom of its people."
The film is multicultural, representing the different ethnic groups of the country concentrated at the time in Yogyakarta, the Chinese community, and the two forces of external aggression: the Japanese and the Dutch. The ethnic Chinese actress Olga Lydia, "mother" of the small Ling Ling in the film, says that "the Indonesians and the Chinese are both victims of war, regardless of ethnicity or their religion: the true enemy is the war, the violence itself." Having cost more than a million and a half dollars, the film is considered an "epic movie" by Indonesian standards; many simple people, desirous of bringing to the fore the figure of the first bishop of Indonesian nationality, contributed to its making. The international cooperation, as well as actors from different countries, also emerge in the production: the photography was entrusted to a Malaysian expert in the industry, Teoh Gay Hian, who filmed digitally with Arriflex cameras, as well as in post-production which took place in Thai studios in Bangkok.



Year of Faith


Luke 20: 27 - 40

27There came to him some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection,28and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother.29Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children;30and the second31and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died.32Afterward the woman also died.33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife."34And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage;35but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage,36for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.37But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.38Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him."39And some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well."40For they no longer dared to ask him any question.