Saturday, February 2, 2013




Vatican Radio REPORT-  The World Day for Consecrated Life invites all Catholics to recognize the valuable contribution of consecrated men and women and to pray that “this gift may flourish in the Church,” said a Carmelite prior in an interview with Vatican Radio. 

The day of prayer is observed each year on 2 February, which is also the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. But parishes and religious communities worldwide have organized diverse activities, masses and prayer events throughout the weekend.

The World Day for Consecrated Life, instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997, is a time of prayer for those in the Church who have committed to witness to their love for God through the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Pope Benedict XVI today presided over Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica in celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, a feast which also corresponds with the World Day for Consecrated Life.

In his homily, the Holy Father welcomed the consecrated men and women present, reminding them how the Feast of the Presentation “manifests the beauty and virtue of the consecrated life.” During this Feast, he said, we recall “the entrance of Mary into the Temple: the Virgin Mary… carrying in her arms Light Itself, the Word incarnate, Who came to dispel the darkness of the world with the love of God.” The Joy of the consecrated life, the Holy Father continued, is found in the participation in the Cross of Christ. Just as God’s light flows from the pierced heart of Mary, it is through the suffering, sacrifice, and gift of self that consecrated persons live for the love of God, and others, evangelizing by radiating this same light.




Prayer Card - World Day for Consecrated Life
World Day for Consecrated Life  
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In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.

Resources to help you promote World Day for Consecrated Life

Prayers of the Faithful

For those consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that they may seek to live their baptismal promises more intensely and have the grace to persevere in their commitment to the Lord and serve with open hearts and willing spirits. We pray to the Lord…

For those who have responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a consecrated person that they may experience the support of the Church as they continue their growth in holiness. We pray to the Lord…

Short bulletin quote
World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated in the Church on Saturday, February 2, 2013 and in parishes on the weekend of February 2-3, 2013. Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God's gift of their vocation.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - Two police officers kidnapped and clashes with government forces in the city of Policarpa in southern Colombia, with a toll of four soldiers killed: the end of the "ceasefire" proclaimed in November and suspended on January 20 by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), is putting at risk the round of negotiations with the government, being held in Havana (Cuba). The FARC have publicly defended their "right to take prisoners of war."
According to Mgr. Hector Gutierrez Pabon, Bishop of Engativ√° and Secretary for the Communications Commission of the Episcopal Conference, while the country has eyes on Havana for peace talks, "with this announcement the guerrilla throws to the wind the illusions of reconciliation."
As reported to Fides, the news of further violence and kidnappings is, for the Bishop, "extremely disconcerting, because at the moment all the Colombians, after much effort, live in a spirit of peace, harmony and reconciliation." Mgr. Gutierrez remarks: "It is not sufficient to say, as the FARC do, that kidnapping does not involve civilians but aim at police and soldiers: they are also citizens, fathers, men who are providing a service to the nation." With such behavior, stresses the Bishop, human rights are damaged and "any hope of peace is buried." With regards to the future concerning negotiations between the government and the guerrillas, Mgr. Gutierrez calls on FARC to compare themselves with democratic elections: "If they truly have valid proposals to govern a country as difficult as ours, then they must enter into a context of democratic politics and participate in elections." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 01/02/2013)


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
1 Feb 2013
Queensland Flood Appeal
Australians dug deep for the victims of 2009's Black Saturday Bushfires. They were equally generous two years ago when appeals were launched to help people who lost everything in the floods that swept across Queensland and NSW. But in the wake of the recent natural disasters charities are asking Australia to dig deep once more.
At the same time they acknowledge times may be tough financially for many people however there are many fellow Australians who have lost everything.
Donations to the Red Cross and St Vincent de Paul Society's appeals that have been set up to help those affected by Tasmania and Victoria's catastrophic bushfires and victims of the massive damage inflicted by Cyclone Oswald have slowed.
Vinnies Bundaberg almost completely submerged in this week's floods
The Cyclone not only spawned 150 km winds and mini tornados but its record breaking downpours triggered flash floods and swollen rivers which have submerged entire towns and wreaked on coastal Queensland and northern NSW.
"We launched our Queensland Flood Appeal 2013 on 29 January but so far donations are not coming in at either the speed or the size we saw two years ago during the first few days after we launched our appeal to help  victims of the 2010-2011 floods," says Brian Moore, President of Vinnies Qld.
The Red Cross has seen a similar response to its flood appeal launched earlier this week.
Brian believes the reasons for the slowdown in donations is not a lack of caring by Australians who are normally so generous.
"There are many reasons with perhaps the central reason being the economy. Many people are struggling financially at present. There is concern about the economy as unemployment figures inch up and living costs continue to rise and families battle to cope with the sharp increases in electricity, train and bus fares and other expenses," he says pointing out that an increasing number of Australians are having difficulty keeping their own heads above water with day to day costs leaving nothing left over to donate.
Among other pundits there are also fears Australia may be facing what Americans dub "donor fatigue."
Brisbane apartments, office blocks, houses underwater during the 2011 floods
Over the past four years the nation has experienced a series of devastating natural disasters. On 7 February it will be exactly four years since Victoria experienced its worst-ever bushfires. The intense inferno swallowed up entire towns leaving 173 dead and 414 injured.
March 2010 brought wild storms, gale force winds, hail and flash flooding to Perth and south western Australia creating $1.4 billion in damage to homes, businesses and property.
Later that same year, Cyclone Tasha made landfall in North Queensland. Short lived but intense, the cyclone damaged or wiped out homes and businesses, destroyed crops and swamped rivers which broke their banks and triggered widespread flooding as far south as Brisbane. Intense rainfall from the Cyclone continued and by 28 December more than half of Queensland was underwater. By January Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley were battling the worst floods more than 40 years which would ultimately cause billions of dollars in damage and tragically cause the deaths of 78 people.
The Queensland floods had spread to NSW and Victoria by 2011 inundating farms, drowning stock, destroying homes and crops.
On February 3, that same year Cyclone Yasi roared through North Queensland flattening banana plantations and other crops and destroying huge swathes of towns such as Tully, Innisfail, Mission Beach and Cardwell. The category 5 Cyclone caused massive devastation.
Cyclone Yasi devastated Australia's far north in February 2011
A few weeks later in early 2011, Western Australia and the Margaret River area battled major bushfires where despite the best efforts of fire fighters, many homes were lost.
Two years later once again Australia is fighting bushfires that have raged across Victoria, Tasmania as well as Cootamundra where once again many homes were lost and people found themselves left with nothing.
Added to this are the floods which are simultaneously creating devastation throughout Queensland as well as in Grafton and other towns of northern NSW.
Having given generously to previous appeals including the Tasmania bushfire appeal launched a few weeks ago, Australians are now responding more slowly to the latest request for help.
"Financially, these are not easy times, but I ask you to make a sacrifice in support of those who have suffered so much," the Most Rev Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane asks.
"Two years ago, I saw the floods from afar on TV and in newspapers," says he says recalling how during the Qld floods of 2010 and 2011, he was Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn and living in the ACT.
Black Saturday bushfires worst in nation's history
"The anxiety and the pain cuts more deeply now that I live where the floods have hit.  I think particularly of those who have suffered a second time in two years.  That is truly heart-breaking.  It is worse still for families who have lost loved ones.  May the Lord give eternal rest to those who have died and peace to those who mourn them," he says.
Archbishop Coleridge encourages members of the Brisbane Archdiocese as well as those from dioceses across Australia to give whatever they can to help support those who have lost everything, adding that all support should be directed to St Vincent de Paul Society which is coordinating the Archdiocese's relief efforts just as it did two years ago.
"Financial donations are the easiest way to make sure we can quickly provide assistance to those who need it," says Brian Moore, President of Vinnies Qld and reiterates Vinnies commitment to the long-term recovery of people affected by this latest disaster, promising that "Vinnies will be here long after the water has gone down."
To donate to the Queensland Flood Appeal go to or call 131812.



NYERI, January 25, 2013 (CISA) -Catholic faithful held peaceful demonstrations condemning a private family planning health provider that organized free modern birth control services, in Nyeri town.
Clients, mostly women flocked Nyeri Township Health Centre and Nyeri Provincial General Hospital, where a range of services, from vasectomy to implants were being offered.
The demonstrators accused the two health care centres of taking advantage of the ignorance of the clients to offer them the services. They also distributed informative fliers that condemned the use contraceptives and abortion.
Fr Raphael Wanjohi, Director of Human Life International said most women used contraceptives since they had no information on natural birth control methods.
“They have therefore resorted to endangering their lives through use of drugs while they can use the natural way which is equally effective and would make them to enjoy their family and sex lives” he said.
According to The Standard, Fr Wanjohi condemned use of condoms saying they are made of latex and which scientific tests indicate have microscopic pores.
He said that people needed to know what they need, and be able to make independent decisions, insisting that people can apply natural methods rather than using drugs that contain chemicals.
The priest resonated a stand by Pope Benedict XVI two years ago, that the Catholic Church was opposed to use of condoms and any other form of contraceptives.


by Nirmala Carvalho
Since 18 January, two faithful are in prison, following a police raid on a private home. The raid resulted from trumped up charges of local fundamentalists. "Political" pressure preventing their release on bail. Christian activist: project for state "Hinduisation" underway.

Delhi (AsiaNews) - The arrest of "innocent Christians", in jail under the pretext of "false accusations" of "forced conversions", says Sajan K George, president of the activist network Global Council of Indian Christians(GCIC), condemning the latest case of violence against the religious minority in Orissa, the Indian state already known for the anti-Christian pogrom of 2008 which killed over 500 people. The fact dates back to January 18, when two followers of a Protestant community were imprisoned on (false) accusations of proselytism and forced conversions, according to the "draconian" - as defined by activists - Orissa Freedom of Religion Act ( Ofra) enacted in 1967, but often used to commit abuses and violations.

Local sources said that the police disrupted a prayer meeting that was taking place in the village of Gudikhamari, Baripada district in the state of Orissa. The raid took place at 11:30 am on January 18, in the house of a convert (from Hinduism), who had always offered his homes to celebrate the functions. At the time of the police raid, inside there were seven families who were forced to stop the service.

Members of a Hindu extremist movement who, previously, had denounced the believers for "proselytizing" in violation of OFRA accompanied the police in the raid against the small Christian community. The charges are unfounded, but were enough to trigger police actions which led to the arrest and imprisonment of Bahadur Murmu, 23, leader of the small Christian community, along with 21-year-old Rama Soreng.

The prayer meeting was held in the home of a former Hindu faithful who, five years ago embraced Christianity. At the time of the attack the extremist Hindu group was drunk and threatened to strike the faithful gathered in prayer. Only the presence of police prevented further violence. Pro human rights groups and Christian movements have called for the release on bail of the two arrested so far in vain because of pressure from local leaders of the judiciary and police.

Christian activist Sajan K George tells AsiaNews that there are many cases of faithful affected by OFRA, jailed on "baseless" charges and allegations made by Hindu extremists who "perpetrate their reign of terror and oppression undisturbed." A situation which continues thanks to the lack of "political will" to resolve the issue, leaving extremists a free hand to implement their project for the "Hinduization of Orissa".



Luke 2: 22 - 40
22And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.27And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,29"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;30for mine eyes have seen thy salvation31which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;34and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,37and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.39And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.