Sunday, February 3, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT/SHARE - Speaking to the faithful in St Peter’s Square from the Papal apartments, Pope Benedict reflected on Sunday’s Gospel taken from the fourth chapter of St. Luke. The Holy Father explained that Jesus is reminding us that being a prophet is not easy, even among those close to us.

“Jesus reminds us that being a prophet is no easy task, even among those nearest to us. Let us ask the Lord to give each of us a spirit of courage and wisdom, so that in our words and actions, we may proclaim the saving truth of God’s love with boldness, humility and coherence.”

The Pope painted a picture of Jesus as a man that everybody knows in the town of Nazareth, but a man who returns to the synagogue in a new way, speaking about himself as the Messiah
Pope Benedict goes on to say that “Jesus spoke to the people in the synagogue, words that sound like a provocation.” But as the Pope underlines, Jesus did not come to seek the consent of men, but "give testimony to the truth”.

The true prophet, said the Holy Father does not obey anyone other than God and places himself at the service of truth. It 's true that Jesus is the prophet of love, but love has its own truth. 

The Pope described to those present in St Peter’s Square how love and truth are two names for the same reality.

To believe in God, continued Pope Benedict, “is to give up ones prejudices and accept the concrete face of Jesus of Nazareth. 

Following the recitation of the Marian prayer the Holy Father greeted the English speaking pilgrims present. Pope Benedict also noted the fact that the “Day for Life” is marked in Italy on the 3rd of February. He had words of welcome for the Italian Movement for Life and expressed the hope that Europe will always be a place where every human being is protected in all his and her dignity.




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More than 100 students next week will launch the Archdiocese’s newest school John Paul College in its temporary home while work continues this year on the $29 million construction at Nicholls.
The first students will attend a specially designed facility at Mother Teresa School, Harrison, this year.
Catholic Education director Mrs Moira Najdecki said 2013 “begins another exciting new chapter in the rich history of the Archdiocese. 
“As we celebrate the centenary of Canberra we also celebrate the opening of our newest school, John Paul College.
“Across the Archdiocese there are no fewer than seven schools who will be undertaking major building works throughout the year. 
“Some of these will receive funding support from the Government, but it is testimony to the efforts of the local communities that these projects will be possible."
Another major project will be undertaken at St Clare’s College, Griffith, including a new canteen area and undercroft, renovation of the Clare Wing, and other facilities being added.



Catholic Schools Week 2013:Catholic Schools in the Community of Faith: Sharing the Good News
The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2013 is: ‘Catholic Schools in the Community of Faith: Sharing the Good News’.  Catholic Schools Week 2013 will be mindful of two major issues for the year 2013 (a) Year of Faith and (b) Share the Good News.  The theme of CSW 2013 reflects both. CSW 2013 will begin on Sunday January 27 2013 and end on February 3 2013.
The Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI, is an opportunity for Catholic schools to recommit themselves to strengthening and celebrating their Catholic identity.
The Year of Faith began on 11 October, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and will end on 24 November, 2013, the feast of Christ the King.  This time will provide Catholics locally and throughout the world an opportunity to celebrate, deepen and share the richness of their Catholic faith.
CSW 2013 offers all associated with Catholic schools in Ireland the opportunity to reflect on the role and work of the school in the light of three rich resources for our faith namely: the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Share the Good News, the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland.
Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that the Year of Faith is a time to ‘rediscover the joy of believing’. Share the Good News highlights the synergy between the aims of the of the Year of Faith and the day to day work of the Catholic School: ‘Catholic primary schools in the Republic and in Northern Ireland are required to follow a religious education and formation programme that fosters and deepens children’s Catholic faith.’ (#100 Share the Good News p. 14).  The Directory comments further that ‘the local Catholic school, a constitutive part of the parish, contributes generously to the children’s faith development, seeking “to inculcate in pupils the qualities of personal integrity and moral courage which are marks of an authentic Christian personality”.’ (#91 Share the Good News p. 131)
During CSW 2013 Catholic schools are invited to celebrate and experience the joy and happiness of being part of a developing, loving and caring community.  Share the Good News characterises ‘The ultimate aim of Catholic education …’ as ‘the full growth of the individual, a fully alive person for self and for others, in communion with Christ’. (#28 Share the Good News p. 44).  It also points out that ‘it should be remembered that children can teach one another much, as they journey together in faith’ (#93 Share the Good News p. 134).  In Catholic schools pupils are encouraged to grow in communion with Christ and with each other. Not alone as individuals but with the help of each other the school community achieves its goal: ‘the fully alive person for self and for others.’
The General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops in a briefing at the beginning of the Synod of Bishops which was held in Rome in the month of October 2012 said: ‘We will accompany this process with (1) prayer, with the (2) witness of Christian life and with the renewed dynamism in (3) confessing, in communion with the Holy Father Benedict XVI, Successor of St Peter the Apostle: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16)”.’   He thereby set three goals for the Year of Faith and for the celebration of CSW 2013.
CSW 2013 will firstly encourage schools to take time in prayer giving thanks for the gift of faith and praying for growth in faith. Secondly during the week schools will be encouraged to reflect on the witness of the Christian life that is available to us in the lives of those around us and in the lives of the saints that we celebrate during CSW 2013 (Monday 28 January – St. Thomas Aquinas, Thursday 31 January – St John Bosco, Friday 1 February- St Brigid). Finally we will be encouraged to look to Christ because faith has its starting and finishing points in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The launch of CSW2013 will take place in Roscommon on Monday 21 January 2013. The Catholic schools of the town will come together to celebrate in prayer and reflection as the Catholic community in Ireland look forward to Catholic Schools Week which will begin the following Sunday. Resources have been prepared to assist schools, homes, Boards of Management and parishes celebrate the crucial work of nurturing the faith of pupils in Catholic schools especially during the Year of Faith.
An important element of the CSW 2013 will be prayer time at liturgy and in quiet times of reflection. Resources have been prepared to encourage pupils to appreciate the witness of Grandparents to the faith and the witness of the saints whose feasts are celebrated during the week.  Pupils will be called again to look to Christ as the pattern of life for all who calle themselves Christian and Catholic.


by Dario Salvi
The Chaldean Synod elected Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, to replace Cardinal Delly at the helm of the Iraqi Church. A "very difficult journey" lies ahead, the new patriarch said, which "will require so many sacrifices, but also a lot of hope". He hopes to see Christians "come back to Iraq." For that, the Church "must prepare the ground".

Rome (AsiaNews) - "We shall do everything possible for the good of the Iraqi Church and the country," said Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk and new patriarch of the Iraqi Chaldean Church. The prelate was elected last night after four days of "intense" work, according to the new patriarch himself. He succeeds His Beatitude Emmanuel Delly III, who resigned because of age.
Card Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, chaired the "mini" conclave that began last Monday in the House of Spiritual Exercises of Saints John and Paul on the Caelian Hill (Rome). Fifteen Chaldean bishops took part in the process, seven from Iraq, two from Iran, two from the United States and one from Lebanon, Syria, Australia and Canada.
A "very difficult journey" lies ahead, the new patriarch said, which "will require so many sacrifices, but also a lot of hope" as well as the help of "the holy spirit and prayers."
For the sake "of Christians and Iraq, he will do everything, he said. "Together with the bishops and the Chaldean Church, we shall work together for unity and renewal. We shall do all this together to rebuild the Chaldean Church, which has suffered a lot in the last ten years."
"Authenticity and openness," the archbishop of Kirkuk said, "are essential elements to strengthen harmonious coexistence" and promote the "liturgical and youth pastoral reforms" needed to rebuild Iraq's Christian community. "Thanks to God, all the bishops have pledged their cooperation," he said. "This gives me great strength because I will depend a lot on a unity."
Seeing Christians come back to Iraq is one the new patriarch's hopes. For this reason, "we must prepare the ground for their return, in the north as well as in Baghdad."
In concluding, "We shall do all in our power for the sake of Church and the nation," Mgr Sako said. "We are a small group but we want to be a beacon of hope for everybody."
Born on 4 July 1948 in Zakho, northern Iraq, Mgr Louis Sako was ordained priest on 1 June 1974.
On several occasions, the archbishop of Kirkuk denounced the exodus of Christians, whose numbers have been more than halved, appealing to Church officials and local political leaders as well as the international community to ensure that Christians have a future in their native land.
In recognition for his work, the prelate received the Defensor Fidei award in 2008; two years later, he was given the Pax Christi international award.
In a long interview with AsiaNews, he talked in depth about the current situation in Iraq and the local Church, noting that the new patriarch must be someone "who unites and does not divide".
In addition, he must be a man "who is open and ecumenical; someone who knows how to engage in dialogue, courageous and capable of doing the right thing, like liturgical, pastoral and spiritual reforms to train the clergy."
Last but not least, Mgr Sako also made several pleas for peace and dialogue, personally sponsoring interfaith meetings and moments of dialogue with the country's highest Sunni and Shia clerical leaders.


The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus.


Jeremiah 1: 4 - 5, 17 - 19

4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
17 But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.
18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land.
19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you."

Psalms 71: 1 - 6, 15 - 17

1 In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
2 In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me!
3 Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6 Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of thee.
15 My mouth will tell of thy righteous acts, of thy deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come, I will praise thy righteousness, thine alone.
17 O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds.
1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 13

4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Luke 4: 21 - 30

21 And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
22 And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
23 And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, `Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Caper'na-um, do here also in your own country.'"
24 And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.
25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli'jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land;
26 and Eli'jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar'ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli'sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na'aman the Syrian."
28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
29 And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.
30 But passing through the midst of them he went away.


St. Blaise
Feast: February 3

Feast Day:January 24
Patron of:Animals, builders, choking, veterinarians, throats, infants, stonecutters, carvers, wool workers
It is not known precisely when or where St. Blaise lived, but according to tradition he was a bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, in the early part of the fourth century, and suffered martyrdom under the Roman emperor Licinius, who had commanded the governor of the province, one Agricolaus, to prevent the spread of Christianity in his territory. After this edict had been promulgated, Blaise fled to the mountains and lived in a cave frequented by wild beasts. He used his skill to heal the animals that he found wounded or sick, and when the emperor's hunters, bent on collecting wild animals for the royal games, discovered him in this cave, they carried him off to Agricolaus as a special prize.

On the way, the story goes, they met a poor woman whose pig had been seized by a wolf. At the command of Blaise, the wolf restored the pig to its owner, alive and unhurt. During the course of this journey he also miraculously cured a child who was choking to death on a fishbone. For this reason St. Blaise is often invoked by persons suffering from throat trouble. When he had reached the capital and was in prison awaiting execution, the old woman whose pig he had saved came to see him, bringing two fine wax candles to dispel the gloom of his dark cell. When he was finally killed, he is supposed to have been tortured with an iron comb or rake, and afterwards beheaded. In the West there was no cult honoring St. Blaise prior to the eighth century.
One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, his emblems are an iron comb and a wax taper.