Friday, January 18, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Benedict XVI will launch his first tweets in Latin on Sunday, January 20. More than 1,200 people had signed up to his Twitter account: “@Pontifex_ln” within the first few hours of Thursday’s announcement. 

Latin becomes the ninth language in which papal Tweets are available, following English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic. In Latin, Pope Benedict describes Twitter “Pagina publica breviloquentis” and his first tweet in the language reads: “Tuus adventus in paginam publicam Summi Pontificis Benedicti XVI breviloquentis optatissimus est” or: “Your entrance onto the public (Twitter) page of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI is very welcome.” Pope Benedict has gained more than 2.5 million followers since officially launching his @Pontifex handle in December.




WASHINGTON—The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities called on Catholics to participate in "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," January 19-27, to mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.
"Our nation greatly needs our prayers and personal sacrifices," said Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston. "The evil of abortion inflicts unimaginable pain, but Jesus offers us healing and renewal."
The full text of Cardinal O'Malley's statement follows:
On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
January 16, 2013
January 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court rulingsRoe v. Wade and Doe v. BoltonWithout grounding in the Constitution, law or human rights, these decisions have made it legal for the past forty years in the United States to end the life of an unborn childSince then fifty-five million children never had the chance to be born. The scope of this loss is staggering, yet the Court and many in our society relegate it to a matter of personal choice. (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE)
As part of the ongoing response to innocent children's lives being taken with the protection of the law, the U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a major pastoral initiative calling for prayer and penance to promote and build a culture of life, marriage and religious liberty.
The initiative includes "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage" from January 19 to 27, 2013. I invite Catholics in the United States to join me in this novena. It includes daily prayer intentions for the healing and conversion of our nation, for elected officials who support abortion, and for all people whose lives have forever been changed by an abortion. The novena is available through social media, text messaging and email, to be helpful for youth and other pilgrims traveling to pro-life events and marches and for those wishing to participate from their parishes and homes.
Our nation greatly needs our prayers and personal sacrifices. The evil of abortion inflicts unimaginable pain, but Jesus offers us healing and renewal. He came not to condemn us, but to free us from the burden of the wrongs we have done so that all might be saved. His Divine Mercy knows no limits; we need only to ask his forgiveness. If you know of anyone suffering from the effects of an abortion experience, please encourage them to seek help.
It is our hope and prayer that our defense of human life and religious freedom, our witness to the dignity of each and every human person, our compassionate service and our prayers calling on the infinite love and mercy of God will spark a renewal of love and commitment to the true good of others. Only a love that seeks to serve those most in need, whatever the personal cost to ourselves, is strong enough to overcome a culture of death and build a civilization worthy of human beings created in God's image.
 NOTE: For more information: On the Supreme Court's abortion decisions: . . . To receive daily prayers and reflections for the novena and learn how to promote them in your parish or organization:
To see the help available after an abortion:


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
18 Jan 2013
Bishop Julian Porteous
Bishops, priests and parishioners from across Sydney are mourning the loss of author, historian and dedicated priest, Father John McSweeney who died at Westmead Hospital on Wednesday, 16 January after suffering a fall. Irish-born Fr John was 93 years old.
"As a young priest I had the privilege of working with Fr John McSweeney for six years in the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, Kingsgrove. I learnt so much from this wise and apostolic priest," says Bishop Julian Porteous who served as assistant parish priest during the time Fr John was Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima in Kingsgrove NSW.
"Fr John was first and foremost a pastor. He came to Kingsgrove with a desire to advance the faith of the people and build a strong Christian community in the parish. He regularly invited guest preachers and teachers to the parish. He organized missions and renewal programs. He kept abreast of pastoral ideas from around the world.  He sought to find ways to build up the parish and inspire the people  to live the Christian life. He encouraged me to work with youth and was instrumental in assisting me conduct a Youth Mission in the parish which produced much fruit," he recalls.
Bishop Terence Brady with the late Fr John McSweeney at Fr John's farewell from Kingsgrove Parish last year. Picture courtesy of the Catholic Weekly
Bishop Julian also remembers Fr John organising weekly parish staff meetings each Tuesday morning to discuss the work of the week and to look at ways to strengthen parish life.
"He was always open to new ideas and prepared to try new things and openly consulted on his plans. He was a pastor who loved and cared for his people. He would do door-to-door visitation in the early evenings and kept this up as a regular habit. He was hospitable and open to parishioners and priests alike. Presbytery life was open and friendly."
Bishop Julian, Episcopal Vicar of Evangelisation and Renewal for the Archdiocese of Sydney paid  tribute to Fr John and the generosity and dedication with which he served the Archdiocese of Sydney for almost seven decades.
"The people of Kingsgrove in particular will mourn his passing," he says.
Fr John McSweeney's biography of Fr John Therry
Fr John was born and grew up in County Cork. He entered All Hallows College Dublin as a seminarian, and in 1944 arrived in Australia as a "missionary priest."
However his missionary work soon after took him off to Japan where he worked as a pastor during the post-war days assisting the allies in the reconstruction of Japan.
It was on his return to Australia that he resumed service with the Archdiocese of Sydney before taking up his long-term role as Kingsgrove parish priest.
During his long life and dedicated service with the Archdiocese of Sydney, Fr John not only served as parish priest at Our Lady of Fatima, Kingsgrove for 27 years but after his retirement in 1993, continued to be involved with the life of the parish as Pastor Emeritus and regularly celebrated Sunday Mass.
At the thanksgiving Mass in July last year to farewell Fr John who finally stepped down as Pastor Emeritus after 37 years with the Kingsgrove Parish, Bishop Terence Brady, Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Sydney recalled his time when he also served as assistant parish priest at Our lady of Fatima when Fr John was parish priest, as well as the even earlier time when the pair first met.
Fr John McSweeney with retired Bishop David Cremin at the launch of Bishop Cremin's biography.
"I would have met John McSweeney when he was a young Irish priest and I was still a boy," Bishop Brady said and recalled the late priest's commitment to Kingsgrove and determination to take on any problems of the parish.
"He's such a good pastor and loves people and never ran away from challenges," the Bishop told those who attended the farewell Mass, which included many of those who were parishioners at Our Lady of Fatima when Fr John was first appointed back in 1976.
After his retirement more than 20 years ago, he not only continued his work with the parish but researched and wrote several important books including "Call me David!" a biography of the Archdiocese's now retired Auxiliary Bishop, the Most Rev David Cremin, "Light of Other Days" which explored the Feast of St Francis Xavier and "A Meddling Priest: John Joseph Therry" which charted the early history of Sydney and the Irish priest's influence on the founding of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Our Lady of Fatima Kingsgrove where Fr John McSweeney served for 37 years
Fr John Therry was a fellow countryman and the biography garnered high praise when it was launched in 2000 with Fr Edmund Campion, Emeritus Professor of History at the Catholic Institute of Sydney saying readers of the book would profit from "John McSweeney's wise reflections."
"Fr Therry is at the heart of the Australian story and to understand him is to understand what came afterwards," Fr Campion said at the time.
A portrait of Fr John McSweeney by artist Janet Selby which was entered in the Archibald Prize was later purchased and presented to the nonogenerian priest as a gift at his farewell last year. 
Yesterday Bishop Emeritus, David Cremin paid tribute to his biographer and friend, describing him as a "wonderful priest who reached out to everyone."
Details of Fr John's funeral have yet to be announced.
A Vigil Mass for Fr John McSweeney will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Kingsgrove at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 29 January.
This will be followed on Wednesday, 30 January with a funeral Mass to be held at 11.00 am at the Kingsgrove Church. Cardinal George Pell will be the Celebrant.



CAIRO, January 18, 2013 (CISA) -A building in a village south west of Cairo housing a reception hall and nursery was destroyed on Wednesday January 16 by a mob following a rumour that it was a church.
According toWataniNewspaper, around 5,000 Islamist extremists armed with hammers axes and old electricity poles descended on the building in Fanous Village in Tamia District and razed the structure to the ground.
The building was owned by a Coptic society affiliated to Mar-Girgis (St George’s) Church and had been erected on land donated to the church by a Coptic villager. Construction began two months ago, after all official permissions had been secured. The first floor had been completed and the second floor was under construction when the attack occurred.
According to Coptic villagers, the violence was preceded by calls from local mosques to defend Muslims against Christians who were building a church. The attack is said to have occurred despite an earlier meeting between the village mayor and Muslim and Christian elders, at which it was agreed that only the second floor of the building would be demolished.
Security services arrived after the social services building had already been demolished. A report was filed with the police by local Copts, accompanied by priests from St George’s Church, but so far no one has been arrested. Coptic residents in Fanous village are reportedly staying indoors for fear of further attacks on their homes and businesses.
A representative of the Maspero Coptic Youth Organization told the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) that the Coptic Church had warned the security services of the possibility of orchestrated sectarian violence in Tamia District and neighbouring areas, which are home to a large Islamist population.
Andrew Johnston, Advocacy Director at Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said: “The incident in Fanous Village follows a chronic pattern of injustice that has contributed to the emergence of a culture of impunity with regards to sectarian violence. Once again a falsehood has been used to stoke religious sentiment, resulting in wanton destruction that the security services have failed to prevent. The Egyptian government is seeking to restore international confidence in the nation and improve its image amongst investors. However, in order to progress and be respected as a thriving state with a dependable government, it is vital for Egypt to ensure the security, equality and fundamental freedoms of all of its citizens.”


Ukrainian Eparchate established in Great Britain | Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London,  Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna,

Bishop Hlib Borys Lonchyna
The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, has released the following statement: “The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has elevated the Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of Eparchy, with the title of the Holy Family (Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London), and has appointed as its first Eparchial Bishop, His Excellency Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna, until now Apostolic Exarch of the same circumscription.”
The Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain was established in England and Wales in 1957 and was extended to Scotland and Great Britain in 1968. An Apostolic Exarchate in the Eastern Catholic Church is similar to an Apostolic Vicariate in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. It is headed by a Titular Bishop as its Ordinary with the title of Exarch. With the elevation of the Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of Eparchy, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna is no longer the Titular Bishop of Bareta but becomes the first Bishop of the new Eparchy (Diocese) of the Holy Family of London.
Born in Steubenville, Ohio in February 1954, Bishop Lonchyna was ordained to the priesthood in July 1977. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Bareta and ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, Ukraine on 27 February 2002. On 14 January 2003 he was appointed Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainian Greek–Catholics in Italy. On 4 March 2004 he became Apostolic Visitor in Spain and Ireland. In 2009, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator 'sede vacante' of the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics in Britain and Ireland. He was formally named Apostolic Exarch by Pope Benedict XVI on 14 June 2011 and was installed on 2 August 2011. Bishop Hlib’s appointment as Eparch is with immediate effect.
Source: CCN



Nearly 50 more workers injured in roof collapse reporter
Catholic Church News Image of
Mixed accounts say heavy rain and inadequate scaffolding caused the accident
A church under construction 64 kilometers north of Hanoi collapsed on Thursday killing three construction workers and injuring nearly 50 others.
Father Francis Xavier Duc Dai, the parish priest, said heavy rain had caused the 100-square-meter roof of the church in Thai Nguyen province to cave in.
But Thomas Nguyen Van Thao, a construction expert who lives in the area, said the 10-meter-high roof “obviously collapsed because there were no pillars to support it.”
Since building work started in October, the site had been using wooden scaffolding, he added, a common practice in Vietnam.
Thao, who is working on the construction of another church, said he visited the site previously and was concerned that the roof was at risk of collapse.
“This most serious incident ... serves as a painful reminder that we need to consider other local churches under construction,” he said.
There are hundreds of churches across Vietnam in need of repair, Thao added, but a lack of funds means that many are renovated poorly, if at all.
Statistics and anecdotal evidence point to a rise in construction site fatalities in Vietnam in recent years.
Staff at the provincial hospital where the victims were being treated said two other construction workers died on Thursday in the same province after a ceiling collapsed at a trade tower, and on Wednesday eight workers were injured when the roof of a market collapsed in the provincial capital.
Authorities in Thai Nguyen province donated seven million dong (US$350) to each of the families of the three men killed on the church construction site and two million dong to those injured. The funerals were held on Friday.




Mark 2: 1 - 12
1And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
2And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.
3And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,
7"Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?
9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'?
10But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic --
11"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."
12And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"


St. Volusian
Feast: January 18

Feast Day:January 18
Volusian was bishop of Tours, in France, the see made famous by St. Martin two centuries earlier. He lived at a time before clerical celibacy had been enforced in the West and was married to a woman famous for her violent temper, which was a great trial to the bishop. He also lived in a time when the barbarian invasions had begun and the fear of the Goths was everywhere.
In writing to a friend of his, a certain Bishop Ruricius, of nearby Limoges, St. Volusian expressed his fear of the Goths who were beginning to terrorize his diocese. Ruricius humorously replied that someone who lived with terror inside his house, meaning his wife, should have no fear of terrors from the outside.
Volusian was of senatorial rank, very wealthy, a relative of the bishop who preceded him, St. Perpetuus, and he lived in the days when Clovis was king of the Franks, the avowed enemy of the Goths.
As the Goths began to overrun Volusian's diocese, they suspected him of sympathies with Clovis and of wanting to subject them to the Franks, so Volusian was driven from his see and sent into exile.
He held the office of bishop in a very difficult time, when the whole of Western Europe was in turmoil, in the wake of the barbarian invasions from the East. Cities were sacked, government disrupted, and bishops were the only agents of stability as civil government collapsed. Gregory of  Tours, who succeeded Volusian as bishop of Tours a century later, describes the turmoil of the times, and it is from his writings that we get our knowledge of Volusian.
We have no further information about Volusian's wife or his family, and we are not sure whether he died in southern France or in Spain. It is simply known that he was driven from his see, went into exile, and died after ruling as bishop for seven years.
Thought for the Day: Most of us live in very stable times, and it is difficult to imagine what it would be like if our country were invaded and national and state government ceased to exist. Our dependence on Divine Providence would be more obvious then, and our faith would have to give us strength in very different ways. The saints kept faith in the most difficult of times and leaned on God in every crisis.
From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': "A tree is identified by its fruit. A tree from a select variety produces good fruit; poor varieties, don't.... A good man's speech reveals the rich treasures within him. An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it."—Matthew 12:33, 35