Sunday, November 25, 2012


St. Siricius

Feast: November 26
Feast Day:
November 26
26 November, 399

Born about 334; died 26 November, 399, Siricius was a native of Rome; his father's name was Tiburtius. Siricius entered the service of the Church at an early age and, according to the testimony of the inscription on his grave, was lector and then deacon of the Roman Church during the pontificate of Liberius (352-66). After the death of Damasus, Siricius was unanimously elected his successor (December, 384) and consecrated bishop probably on 17 December. Ursinus, who had been a rival to Damasus (366), was alive and still maintained his claims. However, the Emperor Valentinian III, in a letter to Pinian (23 Feb., 385), gave his consent to the election that had been held and praised the piety of the newly-elected bishop; consequently no difficulties arose. Immediately upon his elevation Siricius had occasion to assert his primacy over the universal Church. A letter, in which questions were asked on fifteen different points concerning baptism, penance, church discipline, and the celibacy of the clergy, came to Rome addressed to Pope Damasus by Bishop Himerius of Tarragona, Spain. Siricius answered this letter on 10 February, 385, and gave the decisions as to the matters in question, exercising with full consciousness his supreme power of authority in the Church (Coustant, "Epist. Rom. Pont.", 625 sq.). This letter of Siricius is of special importance because it is the oldest completely preserved papal decretal (edict for the authoritative decision of questions of discipline and canon law). It is, however, certain that before this earlier popes had also issued such decretals, for Siricius himself in his letter mentions "general decrees" of Liberius that the latter had sent to the provinces; but these earlier ones have not been preserved. At the same time the pope directed Himerius to make known his decrees to the neighbouring provinces, so that they should also be observed there. This pope had very much at heart the maintenance of Church discipline and the observance of canons by the clergy and laity. A Roman synod of 6 January, 386, at which eighty bishops were present, reaffirmed in nine canons the laws of the Church on various points of discipline (consecration of bishops, celibacy, etc.). The decisions of the council were communicated by the pope to the bishops of North Africa and probably in the same manner to others who had not attended the synod, with the command to act in accordance with them. Another letter which was sent to various churches dealt with the election of worthy bishops and priests. A synodal letter to the Gallican bishops, ascribed by Coustant and others to Siricius, is assigned to Pope Innocent I by other historians (P.L., XIII, 1179 sq.). In all his decrees the pope speaks with the consciousness of his supreme ecclesiastical authority and of his pastoral care over all the churches.
Siricius was also obliged to take a stand against heretical movements. A Roman monk Jovinian came forward as an opponent of fasts, good works, and the higher merit of celibate life. He found some adherents among the monks and nuns of Rome. About 390-392 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Jovinian and eight of his followers were condemned and excluded from communion with the Church. The decision was sent to St. Ambrose, the great Bishop of Milan and a friend of Siricius. Ambrose now held a synod of the bishops of upper Italy which, as the letter says, in agreement with his decision also condemned the heretics. Other heretics including Bishop Bonosus of Sardica (390), who was also accused of errors in the dogma of the Trinity, maintained the false doctrine that Mary was not always a virgin. Siricius and Ambrose opposed Bonosus and his adherents and refuted their false views. The pope then left further proceedings against Bonosus to the Bishop of Thessalonica and the other Illyrian bishops. Like his predecessor Damasus, Siricius also took part in the Priscillian controversy; he sharply condemned the episcopal accusers of Priscillian, who had brought the matter before the secular court and had prevailed upon the usurper Maximus to condemn to death and execute Priscillian and some of his followers. Maximus sought to justify his action by sending to the pope the proceedings in the case. Siricius, however, excommunicated Bishop Felix of Trier who supported Ithacius, the accuser of Priscillian, and in whose city the execution had taken place. The pope addressed a letter to the Spanish bishops in which he stated the conditions under which the converted Priscillians were to be restored to communion with the Church.
According to the life in the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 216), Siricius also took severe measures against the Manichæans at Rome. However, as Duchesne remarks (loc. cit., notes) it cannot be assumed from the writings of the converted Augustine, who was a Manichæan when he went to Rome (383), that Siricius took any particular steps against them, yet Augustine would certainly have commented on this if such had been the case. The mention in the "Liber Pontificalis" belongs properly to the life of Pope Leo I. Neither is it probable, as Langen thinks (Gesch. der röm. Kirche, I, 633), that Priscillians are to be understood by this mention of Manichæans, although probably Priscillians were at times called Manichæans in the writings of that age. The western emperors, including Honorius and Valentinian III, issued laws against the Manichæans, whom they declared to be political offenders, and took severe action against the members of this sect (Codex Theodosian, XVI, V, various laws). In the East Siricius interposed to settle the Meletian schism at Antioch; this schism had continued notwithstanding the death in 381 of Meletius at the Council of Constantinople. The followers of Meletius elected Flavian as his successor, while the adherents of Bishop Paulinus, after the death of this bishop (388), elected Evagrius. Evagrius died in 392 and through Flavian's management no successor was elected. By the mediation of St. John Chrysostom and Theophilus of Alexandria an embassy, led by Bishop Acacius of Beroea, was sent to Rome to persuade Siricius to recognize Flavian and to readmit him to communion with the Church.
At Rome the name of Siricius is particularly connected with the basilica over the grave of St. Paul on the Via Ostiensis which was rebuilt by the emperor as a basilica of five aisles during the pontificate of Siricius and was dedicated by the pope in 390. The name of Siricius is still to be found on one of the pillars that was not destroyed in the fire of 1823, and which now stands in the vestibule of the side entrance to the transept. Two of his contemporaries describe the character of Siricius disparagingly. Paulinus of Nola, who on his visit to Rome in 395 was treated in a guarded manner by the pope, speaks of the urbici papæ superba discretio, the haughty policy of the Roman bishop (Epist., V, 14). This action of the pope is, however, explained by the fact that there had been irregularities in the election and consecration of Paulinus (Buse, "Paulin von Nola", I, 193). Jerome, for his part, speaks of the "lack of judgment" of Siricius (Epist., cxxvii, 9) on account of the latter's treatment of Rufinus of Aquileia, to whom the pope had given a letter when Rufinus left Rome in 398, which showed that he was in communion with the Church. The reason, however, does not justify the judgment which Jerome expressed against the pope; moreover, Jerome in his polemical writings often exceeds the limits of propriety. All that is known of the labours of Siricius refutes the criticism of the caustic hermit of Bethlehem. The "Liber Pontificalis" gives an incorrect date for his death; he was buried in the cæmeterium of Priscilla on the Via Salaria. The text of the inscription on his grave is known (De Rossi, "Inscriptiones christ. urbis Romæ", II, 102, 138). His feast is celebrated on 26 November. His name was inserted in the Roman Martyrology by Benedict XIV.


Pope Benedict celebrates Mass for the feast of Christ the King 

Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in St Peter's Basilica this morning to mark the final Sunday of the liturgical year - the solemnity of Christ the King. Concelebrating with the Pope were the six new cardinals who received their red hats at the consistory on Saturday.
Homily of the Holy Father
Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Your Eminences,
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today’s Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe, the crowning of the liturgical year, is enriched by our reception into the College of Cardinals of six new members whom, following tradition, I have invited to celebrate the Eucharist with me this morning. I greet each of them most cordially and I thank Cardinal James Michael Harvey for the gracious words which he addressed to me in the name of all. I greet the other Cardinals and Bishops present, as well as the distinguished civil Authorities, Ambassadors, priests, religious and all the faithful, especially those coming from the Dioceses entrusted to the pastoral care of the new Cardinals.

In this final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to celebrate the Lord Jesus as King of the Universe. She calls us to look to the future, or more properly into the depths, to the ultimate goal of history, which will be the definitive and eternal kingdom of Christ. He was with the Father in the beginning, when the world was created, and he will fully manifest his lordship at the end of time, when he will judge all mankind. Today’s three readings speak to us of this kingdom. In the Gospel passage which we have just heard, drawn from the account of Saint John, Jesus appears in humiliating circumstances – he stands accused – before the might of Rome. He had been arrested, insulted, mocked, and now his enemies hope to obtain his condemnation to death by crucifixion. They had presented him to Pilate as one who sought political power, as the self-proclaimed King of the Jews. The Roman procurator conducts his enquiry and asks Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” (Jn 18:33). In reply to this question, Jesus clarifies the nature of his kingship and his messiahship itself, which is no worldly power but a love which serves. He states that his kingdom is in no way to be confused with a political reign: “My kingship is not of this world … is not from the world” (v. 36).

Jesus clearly had no political ambitions. After the multiplication of the loaves, the people, enthralled by the miracle, wanted to take him away and make him their king, in order to overthrow the power of Rome and thus establish a new political kingdom which would be considered the long-awaited kingdom of God. But Jesus knows that God’s kingdom is of a completely different kind; it is not built on arms and violence. The multiplication of the loaves itself becomes both the sign that he is the Messiah and a watershed in his activity: henceforth the path to the Cross becomes ever clearer; there, in the supreme act of love, the promised kingdom, the kingdom of God, will shine forth. But the crowd does not understand this; they are disappointed and Jesus retires to the mountain to pray in solitude (cf. Jn 6:1-15). In the Passion narrative we see how even the disciples, though they had shared Jesus’ life and listened to his words, were still thinking of a political kingdom, brought about also by force. In Gethsemane, Peter had unsheathed his sword and began to fight, but Jesus stopped him (cf. Jn 18:10-11). He does not wish to be defended by arms, but to accomplish the Father’s will to the end, and to establish his kingdom not by armed conflict, but by the apparent weakness of life-giving love. The kingdom of God is a kingdom utterly different from earthly kingdoms.

That is why, faced with a defenceless, weak and humiliated man, as Jesus was, a man of power like Pilate is taken aback; taken aback because he hears of a kingdom and servants. So he asks an apparently odd question: “So you are a king?” What sort of king can such a man as this be? But Jesus answers in the affirmative: “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” (18:37). Jesus speaks of kings and kingship, yet he is not referring to power but to truth. Pilate fails to understand: can there be a power not obtained by human means? A power which does not respond to the logic of domination and force? Jesus came to reveal and bring a new kingship, that of God; he came to bear witness to the truth of a God who is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8,16), who wants to establish a kingdom of justice, love and peace (cf. Preface). Whoever is open to love hears this testimony and accepts it with faith, to enter the kingdom of God.

We find this same perspective in the first reading we heard. The prophet Daniel foretells the power of a mysterious personage set between heaven and earth: “Behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (7:13-14). These words present a king who reigns from sea to sea, to the very ends of the earth, possessed of an absolute power which will never be destroyed. This vision of the prophet, a messianic vision, is made clear and brought to fulfilment in Christ: the power of the true Messiah, the power which will never pass away or be destroyed, is not the power of the kingdoms of the earth which rise and fall, but the power of truth and love. In this way we understand how the kingship proclaimed by Jesus in the parables and openly and explicitly revealed before the Roman procurator, is the kingship of truth, the one which gives all things their light and grandeur.

In the second reading, the author of the Book of Revelation states that we too share in Christ’s kingship. In the acclamation addressed “to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”, he declares that Christ “has made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father” (1:5-6). Here too it is clear that we are speaking of a kingdom based on a relationship with God, with truth, and not a political kingdom. By his sacrifice, Jesus has opened for us the path to a profound relationship with God: in him we have become true adopted children and thus sharers in his kingship over the world. To be disciples of Jesus, then, means not letting ourselves be allured by the worldly logic of power, but bringing into the world the light of truth and God’s love. The author of the Book of Revelation broadens his gaze to include Jesus’ second coming to judge mankind and to establish forever his divine kingdom, and he reminds us that conversion, as a response to God’s grace, is the condition for the establishment of this kingdom (cf. 1:7). It is a pressing invitation addressed to each and all: to be converted ever anew to the kingdom of God, to the lordship of God, of Truth, in our lives. We invoke the kingdom daily in the prayer of the “Our Father” with the words “Thy kingdom come”; in effect we say to Jesus: Lord, make us yours, live in us, gather together a scattered and suffering humanity, so that in you all may be subjected to the Father of mercy and love.

To you, dear and venerable Brother Cardinals – I think in particular of those created yesterday – is is entrusted this demanding responsibility: to bear witness to the kingdom of God, to the truth. This means working to bring out ever more clearly the priority of God and his will over the interests of the world and its powers. Become imitators of Jesus, who, before Pilate, in the humiliating scene described by the Gospel, manifested his glory: that of loving to the utmost, giving his own life for those whom he loves. This is the revelation of the kingdom of Jesus. And for this reason, with one heart and one soul, let us pray: Adveniat regnum tuum – Thy kingdom come. Amen.

Pope creates six new Cardinals (full text) 

(IMAGE SOURCE: ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS) Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI created six new Cardinals on Saturday in an Ordinary Public Consistory for the purpose here at the Vatican. The six new “Princes of the Church” are: Archbishop James M. Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household; His Beatitude, Bechara Boutros Raï, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch in Lebanon; His Beatitude, Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum in India and head of the Syro-Malankara Church; Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria; Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogotá, Colombia; and Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in the Philippines. The Cardinals are the “Clergy of Rome”. They are responsible for electing the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope: the Successor to St. Peter, and Vicar of Christ on Earth – the universal Pastor of the universal Church. Pope Benedict XVI took the universality of the Church as the theme of his allocution to the participants in the Consistory, focusing the meaning of the word, “Catholic” – “A word,” he said, “which indicates an essential feature of the Church and her mission.” Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father's allocution.


“I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
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. Much could be said on this subject and various different approaches could be adopted: today I shall limit myself to one or two thoughts.
The characteristic marks of the Church are in accordance with God’s plan, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities” (no. 811). Specifically, 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” (Mt 15:24), 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. When he saw the faith of the centurion at Capernaum, Jesus cried out: “I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 8:11). 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” (Mk 10:33), as in the Gospel passage that we have just heard. The expression “Son of Man”, in the language of Jewish apocalyptic literature inspired by the vision of history found in the book of the prophet Daniel (cf. 7:13-14), calls to mind the figure who appears “with the clouds of heaven” (v. 13). This is an image that prophesies a completely new kingdom, sustained not by human powers, but by the true power that comes from God. 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. The Second Vatican Council expresses this succinctly in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium: “All men are called to belong to the new people of God. Therefore this people, while remaining one and unique, is to be spread throughout the whole world and through every age, so that the design of God's will may be fulfilled” (no. 13). Hence the universality of the Church flows from the universality of God’s unique plan of salvation for the world. 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 its origins, then, the Church is oriented kat’holon, it embraces the whole universe. The Apostles bear witness to Christ, addressing people from all over the world, and each of their hearers understands them as if they were speaking his native language (cf. Acts 2:7-8). 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” (Acts 1:8). 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 like yeast oriented 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” (Mk 16:15); “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). With these words, Jesus sends the Apostles to all creation, so that God’s saving action may reach everywhere. But if we consider the moment of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, we see that the disciples are still closed in their thinking, looking to the restoration of a new Davidic kingdom. They ask the Lord: “will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). How does Jesus answer? He answers by broadening their horizons 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. And when the Apostles speak of the Church, they are not referring to a community of their own, but to the Church of Christ, and they insist on the unique, universal and all-inclusive identity of the Catholica that is realized in every local church. The Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, she reflects in herself the source of her life and her journey: the unity and communion of the Trinity.
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.
I cordially greet the official Delegations of the different countries, the bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful of the various diocesan communities and all those who share in the joy of the new members of the College of Cardinals – their family, friends and co-workers. The new Cardinals, who represent different dioceses around the world, are henceforth associated by a special title with the Church of Rome, and in this way they reinforce the spiritual bonds that unite the whole Church, brought to life by Christ and gathered around the Successor of Peter. At the same time, today’s rite expresses the supreme value of fidelity. Indeed, the oath that you are about to take, venerable brothers, contains words filled with profound spiritual and ecclesial significance: “I promise and I swear, from now on and for as long as I live, to remain faithful to Christ and his Gospel, constantly obedient to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church”. And when you receive the red biretta, you will be reminded that it means “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”. Whereas the consignment of the ring is accompanied by the admonition: “Know that your love for the Church is strengthened by your love for the Prince of the Apostles”.
In these gestures and the words that accompany them, we see an indication of the identity that you assume today in the Church. From now on, you will be even more closely and intimately linked to the See of Peter: the titles and deaconries of the churches of Rome will remind you of the bond that joins you, as members by a very special title, to this Church of Rome, which presides in universal charity. Particularly through the work you do for the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, you will be my valued co-workers, first and foremost in my apostolic ministry for the fullness of catholicity, as Pastor of the whole flock of Christ and prime guarantor of its doctrine, discipline and morals.
Dear friends, let us praise the Lord, who “with manifold gifts does not cease to enrich his Church spread throughout the world” (Oration), and reinvigorates her in the perennial youth that he has bestowed upon her. To him we entrust the new ecclesial service of these our esteemed and venerable Brothers, that they may bear courageous witness to Christ, with a lively growing faith and unceasing sacrificial love.



Miguel Pro was born January 13, 1891, at Guadalupe Zacatecas, Mexico. From his childhood, high spirits and happiness were the most outstanding characteristics of his personality. The loving and devoted son of a mining engineer and a pious and charitable mother, Miguel had a special affinity for the working classes which he retained all his life.At 20, he became a Jesuit novice and shortly thereafter was exiled because of the Mexican revolution. He traveled to the United States, Spain, Nicaragua and Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925. Father Pro suffered greatly from a severe stomach problem and when, after several operations his health did not improve, in 1926 his superiors allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the religious persecution in the country.

The churches were closed and priests were in hiding. Father Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor of Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many disguises to carry out his secret ministry. In all that he did, he remained filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King, and obedient to his superiors.
Falsely accused in a bombing attempt on the President-elect, Pro became a wanted man. He was betrayed to the police and sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.
On the day of his death, Father Pro forgave his executioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold, and died proclaiming "Long Live Christ the King!"
Christ the King, by the intercession of Blessed Miguel Pro, I beg you to answer my prayers. Give me the grace and the strength necessary to follow your heroic example and to live my Catholic faith in spite of all temptations and adversities. Amen.


China's enormous wealth does not reach the weaker sections of the population: in Bijie a scavenger discovers 5 corpses between 7 and 13 years of age. They slept in the trash near a construction site to avoid the night chill, they died of carbon monoxide poisioning.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A scavenger of the southwestern city of Bijie (Guizhou Province) found five street children dead in a dumpster. According to the local press, which reported the news yesterday, the children had taken refuge in the garbage to find refuge from the night cold: they allegedly have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. They were all between 7 and 13. Authorities are currently trying to discover the victims' identity: three have been identified, for the other two there is still no confirmation.
According to local witnesses, the group had chosen the dumpster - 1.5 meters high by 1.3 meters wide - as a refuge from the cold but also as a home for at least the past couple of days. Nearby there is a construction site that emits heat especially at night, when the temperature drops to 6 degrees Celsius.
In recent days, the five had been seen playing with a ball made of trash on the streets in the area: some internet users have criticized the victims' parents, while others have blamed the local government.
According to some, China's economic growth, much-lauded during the last Communist Congress, fails to reach the most vulnerable populations and stops at party officials and large and medium-sized capitalists, who are increasingly numerous but still not comparable the majority of the population.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The event is scheduled for Tuesday, November 27. On that day, a delegation of the Catholic Churches in Egypt will visit Patriarch Tawadros II, crowned Pope of the Coptic Orthodox on Sunday, November 18. "On that occasion" Bishop Kyrillos William of Assiut, Patriarchal Vicar of the Catholic Copts assures Fides Agency - we will consult each other and coordinate our actions in front of the emergency that is hitting our Country."
The constitutional decrees with which President Morsi has expanded his powers continue to raise protests and unrest in the great North African Country. Tahrir Square was again filled with protesters against what is perceived as an attack on the rising Egyptian democracy. "Morsi’s followers," Bishop Kyrillos explains to Fides "claim that these measures are necessary in order to safeguard the path of revolution. But all the others talk about a drift towards dictatorship and say that President Morsi wants to become a new Pharaoh."
Last week, representatives of the Christian community confirmed their withdrawal from the Constituent Assembly, in response to the pressures in action to orientate in an Islamist sense the constitutional Egyptian charter. Yesterday the forfeit announced by Coptic presidential adviser Shamir Morcos sparked uproar, hitherto considered a valuable intermediary between the Morsi Presidency and the Coptic community. "Morcos" says to Fides Agency Bishop Kyrillos "was assistant to the President for the democratization of the Country. The reasons for his retirement are eloquent: Morcos said that the recent decrees of the President, adopted without any consultation, sabotaged that very process of development of democracy that he should have monitored, reducing his role to a purely decorative function. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2012).


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
23 Nov 2012
The Sisters of the Missionaries of God's Love have an average age of just 28
Last weekend the Sisters of the Missionaries of God's Love (MGL) gathered in Canberra for a Mass to celebrate their jubilee year and to mark 25 years since the founding of one of Australia's youngest and most dynamic religious congregations.
"The first of us took our vows on 13 December 1987 and this is usually the date we remember each year. But as this is our Jubilee year and an important anniversary not only for us but for the MGL Congregation of Priests and Brothers as well as our Disciples of Jesus community and all our friends and supporters, we decided with everyone so busy in the lead up to Christmas to hold the celebration mass earlier in November so everyone could be there," Sister Patti Jo Crockett said.
The Jubilee Mass was held at St Benedict's Church, Narrbundah, Canberra last Saturday and was celebrated by the Australian founder of the Missionaries of God's Love, Father Ken Barker.
Ordained in 1974, Fr Ken spent two years as an assistant parish priest before travelling to the US where he obtained his Ph.D in religious education at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. It was during his time in the US that Fr Ken first felt the impact of the fast-growing charismatic renewal movement.
Returning to Australia where he was appointed assistant priest to St Christopher's Cathedral in Canberra, as well as Diocesan Youth Minister, Fr Ken discovered the charismatic renewal movement was also emerging in Australia.
After joining the Disciples of the Jesus Covenant, a charismatic movement in the ACT, Fr Ken was approached independently by three members of the community telling him they wished to become priests.
Sister Patti Jo Crockett at the Jubilee Mass of the MGL Sisters in Canberra last weekend
Fr Ken prayed on this matter for more than a year and says it gradually became clear to him that the Lord wanted him to form a brotherhood to live a life of poverty as Jesus had, to help the poor and to evangelise young people. The brotherhood would have a special love for the Virgin Mary and be dedicated to the heart of Christ and in 1986 the Missionaries of God's Love came into being.
Based in a suburban house in Canberra, the movement grew and by the following year, an MGL sisterhood was also established. With the same vows of poverty and dedication to the heart of Jesus, the Sisterhood's mission was also focussed not only on helping the poor, but on evangelisation with a strong involvement with young people and youth groups.
The Sisters work closely with young adult and high school ministries, offer pastoral care and spiritual direction, support and work alongside Australia's Indigenous peoples and operate an outreach program for people living on the margins and in government housing complexes.
"The evangelisation spirit of our movement is central and we have always been strong and bold in our approach, moving out to where people are rather than waiting for them to come to us," Sister Patti Jo explains.
She says early on Fr Ken recognised the need for evangelisation and from the start the sisters, like their priests and brothers of MGL, were very active in reaching out to people as part of their ministry.
"Much of what we do is what we call evangelisation by friendship," she says adding that in this way the Sisters and members of the Disciples of Jesus make friends with young people and by helping them tune into a relationship with God, bring them the great gift of faith and the joy of a faith-filled life.
With their focus on helping and being involved with young people, the MGL Sisters have played a key role at  World Youth Day gatherings not only in Sydney in 2008 but at Madrid last year. There are also plans for a contingent of sisters to attend next year's WYD in Rio.
At a time when many of the older more traditional orders and congregations are no longer attracting vocations from young people seeking a religious life and commitment to Christ, MGL continues to grow. The brotherhood has more than 15 priests with more than 25 in formation while the MGL sisters now have 14 who have taken their vows with two novices currently in training along with three pre-novitiates. A further two will join the congregation early next year.
Father Ken Barker with concelebrants at the Jubilee Mass of the MGL Sisters
Sr Patti Jo describes the increasing number of young women wishing to follow their heart and God's call as "a great blessing."
At present the Sisters have a Mission House at Quaker's Hill in Sydney, a Formation House in Canberra as well as an Extended Formation House in Melbourne.
"It never ceases to amaze me how unexpected, mysterious yet gracious is God's ways of bringing about His purposes," says Sr Patti Jo and in celebrating the congregation's Jubilee Year, recalls the quarter of a century of "lived experience of the rich with which God has gifted us as Missionaries of God's Love.
"Above all we want to honour the creative work of the Holy Spirit, drawing, calling, shaping us in a particular gracing for the work of the kingdom of God, in and for our world today."
To find out more about the Missionaries of God's Love and their work, the Community of the Disciples of Jesus and both the brotherhood and sisterhood, log on to



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YouCast - first Catholic youth ministry podcast in UK | YouCast - first Catholic youth ministry podcast in UK
MYMission: Middlesbrough Diocesan Youth Mission Team have begun YouCast, the first Catholic Youth Ministry Podcast in the UK aimed at all those who work with young people in a Catholic setting.
Two episodes of the podcast, which launched earlier this month, are now available and have been very well received, with large download stats for the UK and even downloads in the US and Japan.
The ethos behind the podcast is simple - let's tell as many youth ministers as much about what is going on in the field of Catholic youth ministry as possible. This just may help us all get to know each other and each other's work a little better, it may inform our own work, allow us to develop our own understanding and spirituality, and feed us as we try to help young people in their relationship with God and the Church.
Fr Paul Farrer STB, Diocesan Youth Chaplain, writes: "Originally, we wanted to simply reach our fellow youth ministers in the Diocese of Middlesbrough but when we began to talk about the possibility of a podcast many other people expressed an interest. The result is YouCast.
Please check out YouCast at or subscribe to the feed with feed burner or your iTunes software at:
We also welcome your input to future episodes - we can't keep YouCast as it was imagined to be without you. Let us know what is going on or better still, record a little piece yourself and email it up to us at
Episode 1 - Year of Faith
Deacon Vincent Purcell - Adult Formation Officer for the Diocese of Middlesbrough
Margaret Rees - Co-ordinator of School Chaplaincy for the Diocese of Middlesbrough
Fr Dermott Donnelly - Chair of CYMFed, Catholic Youth Ministry Federation
Jack Regan of
Fr Christopher Jamieson OSB - Director of the National Office for Vocation
The InReality Youth Ministry Team of the Diocese of Hallam

with the main focus on the Year of Faith as well as a look at Vocation Voices.
Episode 2 - Advent and Christmas

Bishop Terry Drainey - Bishop of Middlesbrough
Fr Robert Barron -
Deacon Vincent Purcell - Adult Formation Officer for the Diocese of Middelsbrough
John Toryusen - Director, Southwark Catholic Youth Service
Sue McDonald - Director, Salesian Youth Ministry
Jack Regan -
Tony Mowbray - Manager, Middlesbrough Football Club
Mark Proctor - First Team Coach, Middlesbrough Football Club
Chris Tomlinson - Olympic Long Jumper, Team GB

with the focus on Advent and Christmas resources, the Year of Faith, Vatican II and
World Youth Day at Home

Please download the podcasts, subscribe to the feed and spread the word. YouCast will be available on iTunes soon.