Sunday, March 3, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT This Sunday pilgrims and tourists walked around St Peter’s Square without hearing the traditional recitation of the Angelus by the Pope. The Church is now in the period of the Sede Vacante or Vacant See.

Before his resignation Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI recited the Angelus 455 times on Sunday over the course of his Pontificate.



The period between Pope Benedict's resignation (February 28 at 2PM, EST) until the election of his successor later this month is know as "Sede vacante", literally with the Chair [of St. Peter] vacant.

Instead of the papal coat of arms being posted on Vatican letterhead, buildings, etc., the above heraldic representation is used. Let us rememeber to keep Pope Benedict in our prayers, as well as the Cardinals who will begin their sessions and congregations tomorrow morning and afternoon until they are ready to set a date for the Conclave to start.

Here is a prayer provided by the Knights of Columbus that is suitable for this period:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church, we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and the selfless care with which he has led us as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.

Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church on the rock of Peter’s faith and have never left Your flock untended, look with love upon us now, and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.

Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us, a new Pope for Your Church who will please You by his holiness and lead us faithfully to You, who are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.


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.

Mar 03, 2013 - 3rd Sun of Lent



St. Katharine Drexel
Feast: March 3

Feast Day:March 3
November 26, 1858, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died:March 3, 1955, Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
2000 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
Patron of:philanthropists, racial justice
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. on 26 November 1858, Katharine was the second daughter of Francis Anthony Drexel, a wealthy banker, and his wife, Hannah Jane. The latter died a month after Katharine's birth, and two years later her father married Emma Bouvier, who was a devoted mother, not only to her own daughter Louisa (born 1862), but also to her two step-daughters. Both parents instilled into the children by word and example that their wealth was simply loaned to them and was to be shared with others.
Katharine was educated privately at home; she travelled widely in the United States and in Europe. Early in life she became aware of the plight of the Native Americans and the Blacks; when she inherited a vast fortune from her father and step-mother, she resolved to devote her wealth to helping these disadvantaged people. In 1885 she established a school for Native Americans at Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Later, during an audience with Pope Leo XIII, she asked him to recommend a religious congregation to staff the institutions which she was financing. The Pope suggested that she herself become a missionary, so in 1889 she began her training in religious life with the Sisters of Mercy at Pittsburgh.
In 1891, with a few companions, Mother Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. The title of the community summed up the two great driving forces in her life—devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and love for the most deprived people in her country.
Requests for help reached Mother Katharine from various parts of the United States. During her lifetime, approximately 60 schools were opened by her congregation. The most famous foundation was made in 1915; it was Xavier University, New Orleans, the first such institution for Black people in the United States.
In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack, and in 1937 she relinquished the office of superior general. Though gradually becoming more infirm, she was able to devote her last years to Eucharistic adoration, and so fulfil her life’s desire. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955. Her cause for beatification was introduced in 1966; she was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II on 26 January 1987, by whom she was also beatified on 20 November 1988.



Five reporters killed since new year   
Catholic Church News Image of
A heavily guarded police station in Peshawar
Journalists today demanded extra security after a correspondent working for a private news channel was gunned down in a tribal area known to be a hotbed of Taliban and al-Qaeda activity.
Malik Mumtaz Khan was shot dead in the town of Miranshah, North Waziristan, on Wednesday as he was returning home. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.
“Reporting in these areas has become a major threat. We are not against anybody and simply portray reality, but our worries increase when no killers are arrested,” said Pervez Iqbal, a Peshawar-based reporter.
Many districts in North Waziristan are considered no-go areas and strongholds of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Thousands of local people have still to return home after fleeing military operations against the militants launched in 2009.
“Armed militants interrogate and abuse us at checkpoints when we go there. Local connections, not language, can save you,” said Iqbal, who has been a reporter for more than three decades.
Pakistan has been ranked the most dangerous country for journalists in South Asia, according to a report by the South Asia Media Commission.
Of the 25 journalists killed in South Asia last year, 13 were from Pakistan, the report states.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has condemned Mumtaz Khan’s murder.
“There is a continuation of a disturbing trend of increasing violence against journalists. The fact that Mumtaz is the fifth journalist to be killed in the first two months of 2013 highlights the vulnerability and the threats those in the journalism profession face,” commission chairman Zohra Yusuf said on Thursday.
“This murder and past episodes are direct attacks on freedom of the media. The response of both the federal and provincial governments has been completely inadequate as journalists continue to be attacked with impunity,” he said in a statement.
“We call upon the government to bring the culprits to justice and further take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of journalists in order to allow … them to work freely and without intimidation.”


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
1 Mar 2013

Father Maurizio Pettena Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office
The serious allegations against one asylum seeker should not be grounds to treat all asylum seekers as criminals, says Father Maurice Pettenà, Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO).
Referring to the arrest this week of an asylum seeker for an alleged sexual assault on a female student at the Macquarie University, Fr Pettanà says it is deeply concerning that the arrest has been followed by calls to stop allowing men, women and children seeking asylum to live within the community on bridging visas while awaiting assessment of their applications for resettlement as refugees.
"ACMRO fully supports the current Government policy of hosting asylum seekers in the community and have great respect for the decision to increase Australia's humanitarian intake to 20,000 each year," he says.
"Asylum seekers are not criminals and should not be treated as such," he insists and reiterated one ACMRO's commitment to defend the right of all people to seek asylum.

"The hosting of asylum seekers in the community is an entirely appropriate, effective and humane way for Australia to respond," he says.
Refugees often live in appalling conditions and risk their lives on boats in a bid to find safety and a future
Citing the thousands of Australians who have volunteered their time, energy and compassion to helping asylum seekers, he pointed to the warm and ongoing friendships that had developed between the new arrivals and those who were helping them rebuild their lives and be welcomed as contributing members of local communities.
"Helping asylum seekers in settle into the community and offering the hand of friendship is both a joy and a wonderful gift for Catholics," he says and quotes from the Book of Matthew 25:40: "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Having listened to story after story from many families and individuals and the terrible misery and violence suffered before being forced to flee war torn countries and persecution, Fr Pettenà says "it is heartbreaking witness in which the hostile way asylum seekers are treated once they arrive in Australia."

Behind high fences and razor wire on Manus where asylum seekers including children may be forced to stay for five years or more
"The fact remains that current policies on boarder control are already too tough," he claims and points out that in the past three years alone the Government's continued use of mandatory and indefinite immigration detention has resulted in several suicides and countless self-harm incidents, many of which involve children.
"On top of this children and families continue to be detained in remote regional areas and more recently on Nauru and Manus Island under appalling conditions" he says and describes calls for a further toughening of asylum seeker policy "incredibly disappointing."
"The calls for even harsher treatment of asylum seekers who land on our shores seeking a safe haven reflects a policy of fear pursued at the expense of human dignity and the moral obligation to afford protection for the most vulnerable," he says.


The arrest came after a complaint by some Islamists annoyed at Christian images carried by the group of Egyptians, all street and market vendors in Benghazi. Each one forced to shave their head in punishment. For the authorities, they are illegal immigrants and their detention has nothing to do with religion.

Benghazi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Islamists in Benghazi continue their hunt of Christian workers in the country accusing them of proselytism. The latest case concerns the arrest of 48 Egyptian Coptic Orthodox traders arrested last week in the capital of Cyrenaica. They were detained after a complaint by some Libyans, suspicious of the religious imagery on the vendors boards and stalls in the market of Benghazi. In a video immediately seized by police they appear locked in a small room watched over by men who have the typical beard worn by Salafists (see photo). From the pictures the 48 appear in an obvious state of physical deterioration, many show bruises and abrasions. Each of them had their head shaved.

The case has sparked outrage among the population of Benghazi, which in October rose up against the Salafi militias accused of having organized the attack on the U.S. consulate in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed. Yesterday, the authorities issued a statement in which they declare that the hawkers were arrested for violating immigration laws and not for religious reasons. However, this is yet another case of discrimination against Christians living in Libya. In mid-February four foreigners - an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a U.S. passport - were arrested on charges of distributing Bibles and other religious material.

The spread of Islamic extremism is also affecting the Catholic religious orders present for decades on Libyan territory, engaged in hospital work and looking after the elderly. In January, the Islamists prompted the flight of the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus from Barce and the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Beida. In October instead it was the turn of nuns from the Convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna, forced to leave Libya due to continuous threats from Islamic extremists, despite the opposition of the inhabitants of the city.



Luke 2: 22 - 40
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
25 Now 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.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And 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,
28 he 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;
30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
31 which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
34 and 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 against
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
36 And 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,
37 and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
38 And 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.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.