Monday, February 4, 2013


(Vatican Radio IMAGE/SHARE)
Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Press Office of the Holy See, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family presented the details of the conference "From Milan to Philadelphia: Perspectives of the Pontifical Council for the Family", which analysed the results of the 7th World Meeting of Families that took place in Milan in May of last year. Also participating in the press conference were married couple Francesca Dossi and Alfonso Colzani, directors of the Archdiocese of Milan's Service for Families.
The archbishop noted that that event "showed the vital force that families represent in the Church and in society itself. … Of course, there are many problems related to marriage and the family, but we must not forget … that the family continues to be the fundamental 'resource' of our society. … The statistics are unanimous in pointing out that the family is the first place of safety, refuge, and support for life and remains at the top of the vast majority of young person's wishes. In Italy, for example, around 80% of young people say that they prefer marriage (whether it be civil or religious) and only 20% would choose co-habitation. … In France, surveys indicate that 77% want to build their family life, staying with the same person throughout their lives. … On the other hand, the need for family is inscribed on the human heart, since God tells us 'It is not good for the man to be alone'."
"This profound truth, which marks human life so radically, seems to take a beating from counter culture. … There is an escalation in the race to individualism that is breaking up the family as well as other forms of society. That is why the breakdown of the family is the first problem of contemporary society … It is true that much of contemporary Western History has been conceived as a liberation from every bond: from ties to others and thus the family, from any responsibility toward the other. It is also true that bonds have, sometimes, oppressed individuality. But today, the vertigo of solitude with its cult of 'me', free from any attachment … and the disorientation caused by globalization further accentuate our becoming locked within ourselves and the temptation of self-absorption."
"The Church," he continued, "is concerned … with the current crisis in marriage and the family, because she is aware that both are a Gospel, a good news for men and women today who are often alone, lacking love, parenting, and support. … The Church, an 'expert in humanity' knows well … the high price of the fragility of the family, which is paid mainly by the children (born and unborn), by the elderly, and by the ill. … At times in various historical periods there have been transformations, even profound ones, in the institution of the family. But it has never abandoned its 'genome', its deep dimension, that is, its being as an institution formed by a man, a woman, and children. That is why a careful cultural reflection and an even more vigorous defence of the family is urgent, so that it might be placed?and quickly?at the centre of politics, the economy, and culture, in the different countries as well as in the different international organizations, even involving believers of other religious traditions and all persons of good will."
"The Pontifical Council for the Family feels the urgency to help from within as well as from outside the confines of the Church in order to rediscovery the value of the Family. ...There is great work to be done on the cultural level: working to restore value to a culture of the family so that it might x once more become attractive to and relevant for life itself and for society. … Taking care of a family does not mean restricting oneself to a segment of life or of society. Today it means widening horizons beyond oneself and deciding to participate in the building of a society that is familial, even of embracing the 'family' of peoples and nations."
The prelate concluded by pointing out the initiatives that the pontifical council will launch throughout this year up to the next World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, including the presentation of the Charter of Rights of the Family?which that dicastery has developed over thirty years?at the sites of the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and the European Parliament. In April, a series of seminars entitled "Dialogues for the Family" will begin, in which experts in different fields will address issues concerning the main challenges related to marriage and the family. In Rome, at the end of June, an international congress of Catholic lawyers will take place, focusing on the rights of the family. Finally, in October, the plenary assembly of the pontifical council will look at the Charter of the Rights of the Family. On the 26th and 27th of that month, for the Year of Faith, there will be a pilgrimage of families to the tomb of St. Peter.
Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – On Monday, 11 February, an Ordinary Public Consistory will be held in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace for a vote on canonization of the following Blesseds:
- Antonio Primaldo and Companions, martyrs,
- Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya Y Upegui, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St Catherine of Siena, and
- Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, co-foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of St Margaret Mary (Alacoque) and the Poor.
Vatican City, 3 February 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father's Sunday meditation before praying the Angelus today, was dedicated to the Gospel of St. Luke, which narrates Jesus' return to the synagogue in Nazareth after a period of absence. Jesus reads a prophecy from Isaiah regarding the Messiah and makes it known that it is referring to Him, which provokes confusion among his countrymen who, on the one hand admire Him but on the other hand ask: "Isn’t this the son of Joseph?" or rather, "what aspirations could a carpenter from Nazareth have?"
"Recognizing this rejection, which confirms the proverb 'no prophet is accepted in his own land', Jesus addresses the people in the synagogue with words that sound like a provocation. He cites two miracles performed in favour of the non-Isrealites by the great prophets Elijah and Elisha in order to demonstrate that, at times, there is more faith outside of Israel. At that point, the reaction is unanimous, everyone gets up and they throw Him out, even trying to throw Him off a precipice. With tremendous calm, however, He walks through the midst of the enraged crowd and takes his leave. At this point it is natural to ask: Why did Jesus want to provoke this rupture? At the beginning, the people admired Him and perhaps He could have gotten certain agreement … but this is precisely the point. Jesus did not come to seek the agreement of humanity?as He will tell Pilate in the end?but to 'to testify to the truth'. The true prophet does not obey anyone but God, and places himself at the service of truth, ready to pay in person. It is true that Jesus is the prophet of love, but love has its own truth. Better yet, love and truth are two names for the same reality, the two names of God. These words of St. Paul echo in today's liturgy: 'love... is not pompous, ... it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,e 6it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.' Believing in God means renouncing our own prejudices and welcoming the concrete face in which He reveals himself: the man Jesus of Nazareth. This path also leads to recognizing and serving him in others."
"Mary's attitude in all this is enlightening. Who more than she was familiar with Jesus' humanity? But she was never scandalized like her fellow Nazarenes. She safeguarded the mystery in her heart and always know how to welcome him again and anew in her faith journey, up to the night of the Cross and the full light of the Resurrection."
After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father noted that this first Sunday in February marks the Day for Life in Italy. "I join with all the Italian bishops," he said, "whose messages invite us to invest in life and in the family as an effective answer to the current crisis. I greet the Movement for Life and wish them success in their initiative called 'One of Us', to make Europe more and more a place in which the dignity of each human being is protected. I also greet the representatives of the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Rome, particularly the professors of obstetrics and gynaecology, … and encourage them to train health care workers in the culture of life."
Vatican City, 3 February 2013 (VIS) – Benedict XVI has written a letter to His Beatitude Louis Raphael Sako, the new Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, granting the "Ecclesiastica Communio" requested of him by the Patriarch.
In the text the Pope asks the Lord to fill His Beatitude with "every grace and blessing" and that he be enlightened "in order to tirelessly proclaim the Gospel, following the living tradition that dates back to St. Thomas the Apostle. May the good and eternal Shepherd sustain you in the faith of our fathers and give you the zeal of yesterday's and today's martyrs to safeguard the spiritual and liturgical heritage of the venerated Chaldean Church as its 'Pater et Caput'. May your ministry be a comfort to the faithful Chaldeans in the motherland and in diaspora, but also to the entire Catholic community and for Christians living in the land of Abraham, as a stimulus for reconciliation, for mutual acceptance, and for peace for the entire Iraqi population."
At the same time, the Holy Father wrote a letter, in Latin, to Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, naming him as the pontifical delegate to preside, Monday, 4 February in the Vatican Basilica, over the Eucharistic celebration in confirmation of the ecclesial communion with the new Patriarch.
Vatican City, 2 February 2013 (VIS) – At 5:30pm this afternoon in the Vatican Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Day of Consecrated Life for members of institutes for consecrated life and societies of apostolic life. Following are ample excerpts of the Holy Father's homily.
"'A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel', thus Simeon defines the Messiah of the Lord at the end of his song of blessing. The theme of light, … is strongly present in this liturgy. In fact, the liturgy opens with a … procession in which the general superiors of the institutes for consecrated life represented here carried lit candles. This sign, specific to the liturgical tradition of this Feast, is very expressive. It shows the beauty and the value of consecrated life as the reflection of Christ's light and recalls Mary's entrance into the Temple: the Virgin Mary, consecrated woman par excellence, carried Light itself in her arms, the incarnate Word who had come to dispel the darkness of the world with God's love."
"You are all represented in that symbolic pilgrimage, which in the Year of Faith expresses even more strongly your own assembly in the Church, to be confirmed in the faith and to renew the offering of yourselves to God. … In the light of Christ, with the many charisms of contemplative and apostolic life, you cooperated in the Church's life and mission in the world. In this spirit of gratitude and communion, I would like to offer you three invitations so that you might fully enter through that 'door of faith' that is always open to us."
"Firstly, I invite you to nourish a faith that is capable of illuminating your vocation. In this regard I urge you to remember, in an interior pilgrimage, of the 'first love' with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not out of nostalgia, but to nourish its flame. This is why it is necessary to be with Him, in the silence of adoration, and thus to reawaken the desire and the joy of sharing one's life and choices, of the obedience of the faith, the blessedness of the poor, and the fundamental nature of love."
Secondly, I invite you to a faith that knows how to recognize the wisdom of weakness. In today's joys and afflictions, when the harshness and weight of the cross make themselves felt, do not doubt that Christ's 'kenosis' is already a paschal victory. In societies of efficiency and success, your life, marked by its 'minority' and by the weakness of the small, by its empathy with those who have no voice, becomes an evangelic sign of contradiction."
"Finally, I invite you to renew the faith that makes you pilgrims toward the future. By its nature consecrated life is a pilgrimage of the spirit, in search of a Face that sometimes shows itself and sometimes hides itself: 'Faciem tuam, Domine, requiram'. May this be your heart's constant desire, the fundamental criterion that guides your path, both in its small daily steps as well as in its more important decisions. Do not fall in with the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the non-sense of consecrated life in the Church in our days. Rather, 'put on the Lord Jesus Christ', 'put on the armour of light' … and remain wakeful and vigilant."
"The joy of consecrated life necessarily goes through participation in Christ's cross. That is how it was for Mary, Most Holy. Hers is the suffering of a heart that is wholly one with the Heart of the Son of God, pierced by love. God's light springs forth from that wound, and from the suffering, sacrifice, and gift of self that consecrated persons live out of love for God and others shines forth that same light, which evangelises the nations. On this Feast, I wish particularly for you consecrated persons, that your lives might always have the flavour of evangelic 'parrhesia', so that, in you, the Good News might be lived, witnessed to, announced, and shine forth as the Word of truth."
Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – Published today was the papal letter naming Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as the Holy Father's special envoy to the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Heath that will take place in Vailankanni, India and the 25th anniversary of the institution of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) scheduled for 9–11 February. The letter, written in Latin, is dated 10 January.
Also named were the members of the mission who will accompany the cardinal: Fr. Michael Arockisamy, rector of the sanctuary Basilica of Vailankanni and Fr. Alex Joseph Vadakumthala, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, Kerala, India.
Also published today was the papal letter, dated 10 January and written in Latin, written to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, naming him special envoy to the celebration of the 21st World Day of the Sick on 11 February, which will take place at the Marian Shrine of Altotting, Bavaria, Germany. The mission to accompany the archbishop is composed of Msgr. Ludwig Limbrunner, rector of the shrine of Altotting, and Msgr. Gunther Mandl, director of the Business Office of the Diocese of Passau.
Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, along with members of the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church,
Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, apostolic nuncio to Australia and titular of Hodelm, and
eight prelates from the Emilia-Romagna region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Modena-Nonantola,
- Archbishop Luigi Negri of Ferrara-Comacchio,
- Archbishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni of Ravenna-Cervia,
- Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Rimini,
- Bishop Tommaso Ghirelli of Imola,
- Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma,
- Bishop Douglas Regattieri of Cesena-Sarsina, and
- Bishop Massimo Camisasca, F.S.C.B., of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla.
On Saturday, 2, February, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and
seven prelates from the Emilia-Romagna region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna,
- Archbishop Paolo Rabitti, emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio,
- Bishop Claudio Stagni of Faenza-Modigliana,
- Bishop Lino Pizzi of Forli-Bertinoro,
- Bishop Carlo Mazza of Fidenza,
- Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio, and
- Bishop Francesco Cavina of Carpi.
Vatican City, 2 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:
Bishop Joseph Effiong Ekuwem as archbishop of Calabar (area 7,754, population 1,192,031, Catholics 381,230, priests 74, religious 71), Nigeria. Archbishop Ekuwem, previously bishop of Uyo, Nigeria, succeeds Archbishop Joseph Edra Ukpo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Bishop Jesús Juárez Párraga, S.D.B., as archbishop of Sucre (area 49,975, population 630,000, Catholics 552,00, priests 92, permanent deacons 1, religious 236), Bolivia. Archbishop Párraga, previously bishop of El Alto, Bolivia, succeeds Archbishop Jesús Gervasio Pérez Rodríguez, O.F.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Bishop Jean Teyrouz, I.C.P.B., as bishop of the Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris of the Armenians (Catholics 30,200, priests 4, religious 6), France. Bishop Teyrouz, previously curial bishop of the Patriarchate of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon, succeeds Bishop Gregoire Ghabroyan, I.C.P.B., whose whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted in accordance with canon 210 para. 1–2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.
Archbishop Michael August Blume, S.V.D., as apostolic nuncio to Uganda. Archbishop Blume, titular of Alexanum, was previously apostolic nuncio to Benin and Togo.
Fr. Percy Lorenzo Galvan Flores as prelate bishop of Corocoro (area 28,823, population 244,000, Catholics 214,000, priests 19, permanent deacons 2, religious 5), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Tomas Frias, Potosi, Bolivia and was ordained a priest in 1991. He has served in several pastoral roles as well as having been rector of the San Cristobal Seminary of the Archdiocese of Sucre, Bolivia between 2001 and 2005 and vicar general of that same archdiocese between 2005 and 2007. Most recently he has been pastor of San Jose Parish, Sucre, director of the Ecclesiatical Museum, and a member of the Economic, Presbyteral, and Pastoral Councils of that archdiocese.
Msgr. Michel Aupetit as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Paris (area 105, population 2,233,818, Catholics 1,340,291, priests 1,353, permanent deacons 109, religious 2,831), France. The bishop-elect was born in Versailles, France in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1995. Licensed in medicine by the faculty of Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital?with a specialization in bioethics, which he taught for nine years at the Henri Mondor Hospital of Creteil?he practised medicine for 12 years in Paris. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral roles and, since 2006, has been the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Paris. The Holy Father has assigned him the titular see of Maxita.
Fr. Eugenio Coter as vicar apostolic of Pando (area 86,261, population 208,867, Catholics 187,981, priests 24, religious 33), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Gazzaniga, Italy in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1981. Since ordination the bishop-elect has served as pastor to several Italian and Bolivian parishes as well as having been a member of a diocesan pastoral council, an episcopal delegate for social outreach and, most recently, the spiritual director of the San Luis Seminary of the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, Bolivia. The Holy Father has assigned him the titular see of Thibiuca. He succeeds Bishop Luis Morgan Casey, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same vicariate apostolic the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


DODOMA, February 01, 2013 (CISA) -Preliminary investigations indicate that incidents of recent attacks against faith-based leaders in Zanzibar are not religiously motivated, the National Assembly was told.
The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Silima said in Dodoma that attacks were the work of criminals who had sinister and personal motives.
Mr Silima said that following such incidents, the police force bolstered security by increasing patrols in various parts in the Isles.
According to Tanzania Daily News, recently, two religious clerics were attacked in Zanzibar with the Secretary to the Zanzibar Chief Sheikh (Mufti), Sheikh Fadhili Soraga sustaining serious injuries, after he was smeared with acid by assailants, while a catholic priest, Father Ambrose Mkenda was shot, thus sustaining injuries.
Mr Silima said that the police in Zanzibar are looking for more suspects involved in the two attacks, while efforts are going on to sensitize the public to reveal those responsible in the distressing acts. He said that hitherto five people have been arrested, three for complicity in the acid attack against Sheikh Soraga while two are being held for their involvement in shooting Father Mkenda.
The Deputy Minister also hinted that it has come to their attention that there is a need to educate the public on the importance of maintaining peace and order and the dangers involved once the country plunges into chaos.
He also said that they are investigating organisations registered in country which have been repeatedly linked to acts of violence to establish if they are being financed by foreign elements and for what purpose. “Deregistering such organizations will be among the actions taken against them while individuals will face the law,” he said.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
4 Feb 2013

Asylsum seekers protest over conditions in Nauru where they are still being forced to live five to a tent
Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) is not surprised by the United Nations' scathing report on the Government's treatment of asylum seekers.
Nor does he dispute the United Nations High Commission on Refugees' charge that Australia has breached its international obligations under the United Nations Convention for Refugees, accusing Australia of acting "arbitrarily and unlawfully detaining transferred asylum seekers" off shore on Manus Island and on Nauru.
"It is shameful that a democratic supposedly fair-minded country like ours needs to be reminded by the United Nations, and a host of non-government organisations, that it is failing to meet its humanitarian obligations," Bishop Saunders said this morning.

Bishop Christopher Saunders
Speaking from Halls Creek which he is currently visiting as Bishop of the sprawling Diocese of Broome, he said t while the world suffers the challenges of dealing with massive numbers of displaced peoples, the Australian Government remains preoccupied with the matter of border protection while at the same time failing to protect the rights of asylum seekers including children.
The Bishop accused the Australian Government of "carelessly playing a game that ignores the rights and dignity of people, pushing them around the region like some type of lifeless chess pieces."
"In justice no longer can we tolerate this flawed policy of out of sight out of mind," he said. "Sadly, though, it would seem that we prefer various forms of incarceration over a commitment to compassion as we apply the most inappropriate solutions to this massive humanitarian need that sits begging on our doorstep."
The report by the UNHCR to be officially released today condemns the Australian Government's off shore detention centre on Manus Island and describes living arrangements there as "harsh" and conditions for the 34 children held there, including some as young as 7, as of "particular cause for concern."

Children on Manus live in temporary dongers with no proper school and no freedoms
The report by a thre- member team from UNHCR which visited Manus and Nauru detention centres from 15-17 January this year also harshly criticises Australia for failing to establish any system for processing the refugee claims of asylum-seekers, the first 70 of whom were transferred to PNG more than three months ago.
Among the 20 recommendations from the UN's three member team is a call for an early start to processing of claims for refugee status ''in order to prevent increased levels of psycho-social and physical harm amongst asylum seekers in the detention centre''.
There is also a call for a review of pre-transfer assessments in Australia to ensure that vulnerabilities of individuals who may have suffered torture or trauma are considered when making decisions on who should be detained off shore.

Behind high fences and razor wire on Manus where asylum seekers including children may be forced to stay for five years or more
Among other criticisms levelled at Australia the UNHCR is highly critical of the absence of any processing arrangements for the testing of refugee claims at either of Australia's off-shore detention centres.
Although PNG is a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, it lacks the experience and the expertise to process the refugee claims of the 254 asylum-seekers detained there, the report said and was extremely critical that while PNG is drafting regulations to establish a refugee-status-determination framework, there is as yet no timeline as to when this will be accomplished.
The situation on Nauru is similar and although asylum seekers have been transferred to the Island since September last year there are still no means of processing their claims, effectively ensuring they are held on the island in mandatory detention indefinitely.
"Arbitrary ongoing detention is inconsistent with international human rights law," the UN Report points out and asks that Australia's "current policy and practice of detaining children should be terminated as a matter of priority."


Agenzia Fides REPORT- Another priest killed in Colombia. Fr. Luis Alfredo Suárez Salazar belonged to the Archdiocese of Villavicencio in the Department of Meta and was spending his holidays in his hometown, Ocaña, in the North of Santander (on the border with Venezuela).
The murder took place in the district of Martinete, where two gunmen on a motorcycle fired at least a dozen shots at the priest and two other people who were with him. According to a local radio station (who interviewed the Police Commander of Santander) the killers did not intend to kill the priest, but one of the people next to him.
Fr. Salazar celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Torcoroma in Ocaña on the morning of February 2 and according to the first versions of the police, the attack happened while he was walking near the church of San Agustini.
Less than 15 days ago, on January 16, another priest had been killed in Colombia in the city of Buga (see Fides 17/01/2013). According to the police in Buga, on that occasion it had been a robbery which ended in tragedy. Fr.José Francisco Velez Echeverri, 55, was very involved in social work and had, according to the testimonies of the faithful, no enemies. The murder has caused dismay and deep sorrow in the Diocese of Buga, led by His Exc. Mgr. José Roberto Ospina Leongómez. According to the 2012 annual report of Fides, six priests had been killed in America, two in Brazil, two in Mexico, one in Colombia and one in Guatemala. (CE)


London: Mass for Sick to be held at Westminster Cathedral | Mass For the Sick at Westminster Cathedral, Bishop Alan Hopes

Westminster Cathedral
The Annual Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes will take place at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 9 February 2013 at 2pm. The Mass will incorporate the Sacrament of the Sick which will be administered by the bishops and priests. Mass will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Alan Hopes.
Everyone is welcome to attend. If you will be attending in a wheelchair, please let your parish priest know so that he can notify the Cathedral to reserve space.
Hospital Chaplains and those who work in health care will also be present at the Mass. They will be joined by our Diocesan Pilgrims and all who have a devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes.
In his message for the 21st World Day of Prayer for the Sick, Pope Benedict XVI said: "I would like to propose for your reflection the exemplary figure of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10:25-37). The Gospel parable recounted by Saint Luke is part of a series of scenes and events taken from daily life by which Jesus helps us to understand the deep love of God for every human being, especially those afflicted by sickness or pain. With the concluding words of the parable of the Good Samaritan, “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37), the Lord also indicates the attitude that each of his disciples should have towards others, especially those in need. We need to draw from the infinite love of God, through an intense relationship with him in prayer, the strength to live day by day with concrete concern, like that of the Good Samaritan, for those suffering in body and spirit who ask for our help, whether or not we know them and however poor they may be. This is true, not only for pastoral or health care workers, but for everyone, even for the sick themselves, who can experience this condition from a perspective of faith: “It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love” (Spe Salvi, 37)
Source: Archbishops House


by Jibran Khan
Younas Masih, 55, died this afternoon after days in agony. Last Thursday, a gunman shot him five times as he made his way home from work. Recently, his co-workers had tried to force him to embrace Islam. Police has refused so far to open an investigation into his murder.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Younas Masih died this afternoon after he was shot five times last Thursday as he made his way home. An unknown gunman fired at the 55-year-old Christian man. From the beginning, his conditions appeared critical. It is believed he was attacked after he resisted pressures from co-workers to convert to Islam.

Masih worked for a company in Chaman. His friends describe him as honest and reliable. Strong in his Christian faith, he was regularly involved in his local parish.

Speaking anonymously, local sources told AsiaNews that Muslim co-workers had began pressuring him to convert, which he rejected, standing firm in his beliefs in Christ.

Despite the fact that people were talking behind his back and had made repeated threats against him, he continued to work for the same company and stood firm against pressures and attempts at blackmail.

Last Thursday, his co-workers tried again, asking him to convert. A heated discussion followed that included insults and threats. When he went home Masih was attacked by a gunman who fired five bullets into him.

After he was rushed to a hospital, his conditions appeared critical from the start. Doctors removed the bullets and had him moved into the intensive care unit where he eventually died.

His son tried to file a First Information Report (FIR) with local police who refused to register his complaint. Despite repeated attempts, they refused to heed the family's pleas for justice. Devastated by his death, the family now feels abandoned by the authorities.

Groups like the Masihi Foundation and Life for All quickly condemned the murder. Acting on behalf of the family, they expressed their dismay at the lack of action by police and local authorities,.

For Fr James Chand, a priest in Quetta, killing a man for his faith is a "tragedy that that breaks one's heart."

Speaking to AsiaNews, he confirmed that Younas Masih had been repeatedly threatened, adding that "the behaviour of the concerned authorities was even more devastating."

"We demand protection for the lives and property of minorities in Pakistan," the clergyman said. "The authorities must ensure and safeguard the basic rights of minorities and protect them from hatred and violence."





Matthew 10: 16 - 25

16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.
24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master;
25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el'zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
Matthew 10: 16 - 25

16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.
24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master;
25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el'zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.


St. Joseph of Leonessa
Feast: February 4

Feast Day:February 4
8 January 1556 at Leonissa, Umbria, Italy
Died:Saturday 4 February 1612 at Umbria, Italy
Canonized:29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV
In the world named Eufranio Desiderio, born in 1556 at Leonessa in Umbria; died 4 February, 1612. From his infancy he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce them to pray with him. Whilst yet a boy he used to take the discipline on Fridays in company with the confraternity of St. Saviour. He was educated by his uncle, who had planned a suitable marriage for him, but in his sixteenth year he fell sick of a fever, and on his recovery, without consulting his relative, he joined the Capuchin reform of the Franciscan Order. He made his novitiate in the convent of the Carcerelle near Assisi. As a religious he was remarkable for his great abstinence. "Brother Ass", he would say to his body, "there is no need to feed thee as a noble horse would be fed: thou must be content to be a poor ass." In 1599, the year before his Jubilee year, he fasted the whole year by way of preparation for gaining the indulgence. In 1587 he was sent by the Superior General of his order to Constantinople to minister to the Christians held captive there. Arrived there he and his companions lodged in a derelict house of Benedictine monks. The poverty in which the friars lived attracted the attention of the Turks, who went in numbers to see the new missionaries. He was very solicitous in ministering to the captive Christians in the galleys. Every day he went into the city to preach, and he was at length thrown into prison and only released at the intervention of the Venetian agent. Urged on by zeal he at last sought to enter the palace to preach before the Sultan, but he was seized and condemned to death. For three days he hung on the gallows, held up by two hooks driven through his right hand and foot; then he was miraculously released by an angel. Returning to Italy, he took with him a Greek archbishop who had apostatized, and who was reconciled to the Church on their arrival in Rome. Joseph now took up the work of home missions in his native province, sometimes preaching six or seven times a day. In the Jubilee year of 1600 he preached the Lent at Orticoli, a town through which crowds of pilgrims passed on their way to Rome. Many of them being very poor, Joseph supplied them with food; he also washed their clothes and cut their hair. At Todi he cultivated with his own hands a garden, the produce of which was for the poor. His feast is kept on 4 February throughout the Franciscan Order. He was canonized by Benedict XIV.