Saturday, March 16, 2013

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 17 : ST. PATRICK


St. Patrick
PATRON SAINT OF IRELAND
Feast: March 17


Information:
Feast Day:March 17
Born:
between 387 and 390 at Scotland
Died:between 461 and 464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland
Patron of:Ireland, Nigeria, Montserrat, New York, Boston, Engineers, against snakes
The field of St. Patrick's labors was the most remote part of the then known world. The seed he planted in faraway Ireland, which before his time was largely pagan, bore a rich harvest: whole colonies of saints and missionaries were to rise up after him to serve the Irish Church and to carry Christianity to other lands. Whether his birthplace, a village called Bannavem Taberniae, was near Dunbarton-on-the-Clyde, or in Cumberland, or at the mouth of the Severn, or even in Gaul near Boulogne, has never been determined, and indeed the matter is of no great moment. We know of a certainty that Patrick was of Romano-British origin, and born about the year 389. His father, Calpurnius, was a deacon, his grandfather a priest, for at this time no strict law of celibacy had been imposed on the Christian clergy. Patrick's own full name was probably Patricius Magonus Sucatus.
His brief <Confession> gives us a few details of his early years. At the age of fifteen he committed some fault—what it was we are not told—which caused him much suffering for the rest of his life. At sixteen, he tells us, he still "knew not the true God." Since he was born into a Christian family, we may take this to mean that he gave little heed to religion or to the priests. That same year Patrick and some others were seized and carried off by sea raiders to become slaves among the inhabitants of Ireland. Formerly it was believed that his six years of captivity were spent near Ballymena in County Antrim, on the slopes of the mountain now called Slemish, but later opinion names Fochlad, or Focluth, on the coast of Mayo. If the latter view is correct, then Croachan Aigli or Croag Patrick, the scene of his prolonged fast, was also the mountain on which in his youth he lived alone with God, tending his master's herds of swine or cattle. Wherever it was, he tells us him self that "constantly I used to pray in the daytime. Love of God and His fear increased more and more, and my faith grew and my spirit was stirred up, so that in a single day I said as many as a hundred prayers and at night nearly as many, and I used to stay out in the woods and on the mountain. Before the dawn I used to wake up to prayer, in snow and frost and rain, nor was there any such lukewarmness in me as now I feel, because then my spirit was fervent within."
At length he heard a voice in his sleep bidding him to get back to freedom and the land of his birth. Thus prompted, he ran away from his master and traveled to a harbor where a ship was about to depart. The captain at first refused his request for passage, but after Patrick had silently prayed to God, the pagan sailors called him back, and with them he made an adventurous journey. They were three days at sea, and when they reached land they traveled for a month through an uninhabited tract of country, where food was scarce. Patrick writes:
"And one day the shipmaster said to me: 'How is this, O Christian? Thou sayest that thy God is great and almighty; wherefore then canst thou not pray for us, for we are in danger of starvation? Likely we shall never see a human being again.' Then I said plainly to them: 'Turn in good faith and with all your heart to the Lord my God, to whom nothing is impossible, that this day He may send you food for your journey, until ye be satisfied, for He has abundance everywhere.' And, by the help of God, so it came to pass. Lo, a herd of swine appeared in the way before our eyes, and they killed many of them. And in that place they remained two nights; and they were well refreshed and their dogs were sated, for many of them had fainted and been left half- dead by the way. After this they rendered hearty thanks to God, and I became honorable in their eyes; and from that day they had food in abundance."
At length they arrived at human habitations, whether in Britain or Gaul we do not know. When Patrick was again restored to his kinfolk, they gave him a warm welcome and urged him to stay. But he felt he must leave them. Although there is no certainty as to the order of events which followed, it seems likely that Patrick now spent many years in Gaul. Professor Bury, author of the well-known <Life of St. Patrick>, thinks that the saint stayed for three years at the monastery of Lerins, on a small islet off the coast of modern Cannes, France, and that about fifteen years were passed at the monastery of Auxerre, where he was ordained. Patrick's later prestige and authority indicate that he was prepared for his task with great thoroughness.
We now come to Patrick's apostolate. At this time Pelagianism[1] was spreading among the weak and scattered Christian communities of Britain and Ireland, and Pope Celestine I had sent Bishop Palladius there to combat it. This missionary was killed among the Scots in North Britain, and Bishop Germanus of Auxerre recommended the appointment of Patrick to replace him. Patrick was consecrated in 432, and departed forthwith for Ireland. When we try to trace the course of his labors in the land of his former captivity, we are confused by the contradictory accounts of his biographers; all are marked by a great deal of vagueness as to geography and chronology. According to tradition, he landed at Inverdea, at the mouth of the river Vautry, and immediately proceeded northwards. One chronicler relates that when he was again in the vicinity of the place where he had been a herdboy, the master who had held him captive, on hearing of Patrick's return, set fire to his house and perished in the flames. There is historical basis for the tradition of Patrick's preliminary stay in Ulster, and his founding of a monastic center there. It was at this time that he set out to gain the support and favor of the powerful pagan King Laeghaire, who was holding court at Tara. The stories of Patrick's encounter with the king's Druid priests are probably an accretion of later years; we are told of trials of skill and strength in which the saint gained a great victory over his pagan opponents. The outcome was royal toleration for his preaching. The text of the Senchus More, the old Irish code of laws, though in its existing form it is of later date, mentions an understanding reached at Tara. Patrick was allowed to preach to the gathering, "and when they saw Laeghaire with his Druids overcome by the great signs and miracles wrought in the presence of the men of Erin, they bowed down in obedience to God and Patrick."
King Laeghaire seems not to have become a Christian, but his chief bard and his two daughters were converted, as was a brother, who, we are told, gave his estate to Patrick for the founding of a church. From this time on, Patrick's apostolate, though carried on amid hardships and often at great risk, was favored by many powerful chieftains. The Druids, by and large, opposed him, for they felt their own power and position threatened. They combined many functions; they were prophets, philosophers, and priests; they served as councilors of kings, as judges, and teachers; they knew the courses of the stars and the properties of plants. Now they began to realize that the religion they represented was doomed. Even before the Christian missionaries came in strength, a curious prophecy was current among them. It was written in one of their ancient texts: "Adze-head (a name that the shape of the monk's tonsure might suggest) will come, with his crook-headed staff and his house (the word chasuble means also a little house) holed for his head. He will chant impiety from the  table in the east of his house. All his household shall answer: Amen, Amen. When, therefore, all these things come to pass, our kingdom, which is a heathen one, will not stand." As a matter of fact, the Druids continued to exist in Christian Ireland, though with a change of name and a limited scope of activity. They subjected Patrick to imprisonment many times, but he always managed to escape.
In 439 three bishops, Secundinus, Auxilius, and Iserninus, were sent from Gaul to assist Patrick. Benignus, an Irish chieftain who was converted by Patrick, became his favorite disciple, his coadjutor in the see of Armagh, and, finally, his successor. One of Patrick's legendary victories was his overthrow of the idol of Crom Cruach in Leitrim, where he forthwith built a church. He traveled again in Ulster, to preach and found monasteries, then in Leinster and Munster. These missionary caravans must have impressed the people, for they gave the appearance of an entire village in motion. The long line of chariots and carts drawn by oxen conveyed the appurtenances of Christian worship, as well as foodstuffs, equipment, tools, and weapons required by the band of helpers who accompanied the leader. There would be the priestly assistants, singers and musicians, the drivers, hunters, wood-cutters, carpenters, masons, cooks, horsemen, weavers and embroiderers, and many more. When the caravan stopped at a chosen site, the people gathered, converts were won, and before many months a chapel or church and its outlying structures would be built and furnished. Thus were created new outposts in the struggle against paganism. The journeys were often dangerous. Once, Odrhan, Patrick's charioteer, as if forewarned, asked leave to take the chief seat in the chariot himself, while Patrick held the reins; they had proceeded but a short way in this fashion when the loyal Odrhan was killed by a spear thrust meant for his master.
About the year 442, tradition tells us, Patrick went to Rome and met Pope Leo the Great, who, it seemed, took special interest in the Irish Church. The time had now come for a definite organization According to the annals of Ulster, the cathedral church of Armagh was founded as the primatial see of Ireland on Patrick's return. He brought back with him valuable relics. Latin was established as the language of the Irish Church. There is mention of a synod held by Patrick, probably at Armagh. The rules then adopted are still preserved, with, possibly, some later interpolations. It is believed that this synod was called near the close of Patrick's labors on earth. He was now undoubtedly in more or less broken health; such austerities and constant journeyings as his must have weakened the hardiest constitution. The story of his forty-day fast on Croagh Patrick and the privileges he won from God by his prayers is also associated with the end of his life. Tirechan tells it thus: "Patrick went forth to the summit of Mount Agli, and remained there for forty days and forty nights, and the birds were a trouble to him, and he could not see the face of the heavens, the earth, or the sea, on account of them; for God told all the saints of Erin, past, present, and future, to come to the mountain summit-that mountain which overlooks all others, and is higher than all the mountains of the West-to bless the tribes of Erin, so that Patrick might see the fruit of his labors, for all the choir of the saints came to visit him there, who was the father of them all."
In all the ancient biographies of this saint the marvelous is continuously present. Fortunately, we have three of Patrick's own writings, which help us to see the man himself. His <Confession> is a brief autobiographical sketch; the <Lorica>, also known as <The Song of the Deer>, is a strange chant which we have reproduced in the following pages. < The Letter to Coroticus> is a denunciation of the British king of that name who had raided the Irish coast and killed a number of Christian converts as they were being baptized; Patrick urged the Christian subjects of this king to have no more dealings with him until he had made reparation for the outrage. In his writings Patrick shows his ardent human feelings and his intense love of God. What was most human in the saint, and at the same time most divine, comes out in this passage from his <Confession>:
"It was not any grace in me, but God who conquereth in me, and He resisted them all, so that I came to the heathen of Ireland to preach the Gospel and to bear insults from unbelievers, to hear the reproach of my going abroad and to endure many persecutions even unto bonds, the while that I was surrendering my liberty as a man of free condition for the profit of others. And if I should be found worthy, I am ready to give even my life for His name's sake unfalteringly and gladly, and there (in Ireland) I desire to spend it until I die, if our Lord should grant it to me."
Patrick's marvelous harvest filled him with gratitude. During an apostolate of thirty years he is reported to have consecrated some 350 bishops, and was instrumental in bringing the faith to many thousands. He writes, "Wherefore those in Ireland who never had the knowledge of God, but until now only worshiped idols and abominations, from them has been lately prepared a people of the Lord, and they are called children of God. Sons and daughters of Scottish chieftains are seen becoming monks and virgins of Christ." Yet hostility and violence still existed, for he writes later, "Daily I expect either a violent death, or robbery and a return to slavery, or some other calamity." He adds, like the good Christian he was, "I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, for He rules everything."
Patrick died about 461, and was buried near the fortress of Saul, in the vicinity of the future cathedral town of Down. He was intensely spiritual, a magnetic personality with great gifts for action and organization. He brought Ireland into much closer contact with Europe, especially with the Holy See. The building up of the weak Christian communities which he found on arrival and planting the faith in new regions give him his place as the patron of Ireland. His feast day is one of festivity, and widely observed. Patrick's emblems are a serpent, demons, cross, shamrock, harp, and baptismal font. The story of his driving snakes from Ireland has no factual foundation, and the tale of the shamrock, as a symbol used to explain the Trinity, is an accretion of much later date.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpatrick.asp#ixzz1pKsGZhaa

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : SAT. MARCH 16, 2013

John 7: 40 - 53
40When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet."
41Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee?
42Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
43So there was a division among the people over him.
44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?"
46The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"
47The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also?
48Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him?
49But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed."
50Nicode'mus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them,
51"Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?"
52They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee."
53They went each to his own house,

LATEST FROM VATICAN ON POPE - CHOSE HIS NAME TO HONOR THE POOR

POPE FRANCIS: “OH, HOW I WISH FOR A CHURCH THAT IS POOR AND FOR THE POOR!” (IMAGE SHARE: FACEBOOK)
Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the the Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father greeted over 6,000 journalists and those working in the media as well as for the Holy See, accredited either permanently or temporarily, to cover the events related to the Conclave. He addressed them with the following words:
“Dear friends, I am pleased, at the beginning of my ministry in the See of Peter, to meet with you who have worked here in Rome at this very intense period that began with the surprising announcement of my venerated predecessor Benedict XVI, this past 11 February. I warmly greet each of you.”
“The role of the mass media has been continuously growing in recent times,” he said, “so much so that it has become essential to narrate the events of contemporary history to the world. I therefore especially thank you for your distinguished service these past few days—you have had a bit of work to do, haven't you?—when the eyes of the Catholic world, and not only, were turned toward the Eternal City, in particular to this area that has St. Peter's tomb as its focal point. In these past few weeks you've gotten a chance to talk about the Holy See, the Church, her rites and traditions, her faith, and, in particular, the role of the Pope and his ministry.”
“A particularly heart-felt thanks goes to those who have been able to observe and present these events in the Church's history while keeping in mind the most just perspective in which they must be read, that of faith. Historical events almost always require a complex reading that, at times, can also include the dimension of faith. Ecclesial events are certainly not more complicated than political or economic ones. But they have one particularly fundamental characteristic: they answer to a logic that is not mainly that of, so to speak, worldly categories, and this is precisely why it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wide and varied audience. In fact, the Church, although it is certainly also a human, historical institution with all that that entails, does not have a political nature but is essentially spiritual: it is the people of God, the holy people of God who walk toward the encounter with Jesus Christ. Only by putting oneself in this perspective can one fully explain how the Catholic Church works.”
“Christ is the Church's Shepherd, but His presence in history moves through human freedom. Among these, one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, Successor of the Apostle Peter, but Christ is the centre, the fundamental reference, the heart of the Church! Without Him, neither Peter nor the Church would exist or have a reason for being. As Benedict XVI repeated often, Christ is present and leads His Church. In everything that has happened, the protagonist is, ultimately, the Holy Spirit. He has inspired Benedict XVI's decision for the good of the Church; He has guided the cardinals in their prayers and in their election. Dear friends, it is important to take due account of this interpretive horizon, this hermeneutic, to bring the heart of the events of these days into focus.”
“From this is born, above all, a renewed and sincere thanks for your efforts in these particularly challenging days, but also an invitation to always seek to know more the Church's true nature and the spiritual motivations that guide her and that are the most authentic for understanding her. Rest assured that the Church, for her part, is very attentive to your precious work. You have the ability to gather and express the expectations and needs of our times, to provide the elements necessary to read reality. Like many other professions, your job requires study, sensitivity, and experience but it bears with it a particular attention to truth, goodness, and beauty. This makes us particularly close because the Church exists to communicate Truth, Goodness, and Beauty 'in person'. It should be clear that we are all called, not to communicate ourselves, but rather this existential triad that shapes truth, goodness, and beauty.”
“Some people didn't know why the Bishop of Rome wanted to call himself 'Francis'. Some though of Francis Xavier, Francis de Sales, even Francis of Assisi. I will tell you the story. At the election I had the archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo next to me. He is also prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes [O.F.M.]: a dear, dear friend. When things were getting a little 'dangerous', he comforted me. And then, when the votes reached the two-thirds, there was the usual applause because the Pope had been elected. He hugged me and said: 'Do not forget the poor.' And that word stuck here [tapping his forehead]; the poor, the poor. Then, immediately in relation to the poor I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of war, while the voting continued, until all the votes [were counted]. And so the name came to my heart:: Francis of Assisi. For me he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who love and safeguards Creation. In this moment when our relationship with Creation is not so good—right?—He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man … Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor!”
“I wish the best for you, I thank you for everything that you have done. And I think of your work: I wish you to work fruitfully and with serenity and to always know better the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reality of the Church. I entrust you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of evangelization. I I wish the best for you and your families, for each of your families, and I wholeheartedly impart to all of you the blessing.”
After personally greeting some of the journalists present, Pope Francis, in Spanish, concluded: “I told you I wholeheartedly imparted my blessing. Many of you don't belong to the Catholic Church, others are not believers. From my heart I impart this blessing, in silence, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each one, but knowing that each of you is a child of God: May God bless you.”
HOLY FATHER PROVISIONALLY CONFIRMS HEADS AND MEMBERS OF ROMAN CURIA
Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) – Holy Father Francis has expressed the desire that the Heads and members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue, provisionally, in their respective positions.
The Holy Father wishes to reserve time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation.
POPE VISITS CARDINAL MEJIA IN HOSPITAL
Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, Pope Francis paid a visit to Cardinal Jorge Mejia in the Pius XI private clinic. Cardinal Mejia, who is 90 years old, is archivist and librarian emeritus of the Holy Roman Church. The clinic's patients and personnel were very surprised by the encounter with the new pontiff and greeted him with warm applause. The Pope, in his address to the College of Cardinals yesterday in the Clementine Hall, informed them of the heart attack that the cardinal had suffered.
ACTIVITIES OF THE HOLY FATHER
Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) – Following is a list of the upcoming activities of the Holy Father scheduled between 17 and 24 March.
17 March, Sunday:10:00am, private Mass in the Vatican parish of Santa Ana.
                                12:00pm, Angelus from the window of his private study overlooking St. Peter's Square.

18 March, Monday:12:50pm, meeting with the President of the Republic of Argentina at the Domus Sancthae Marthae.
19 March, Tuesday:9:30am, Eucharistic celebration to inaugurate the Petrine ministry in St. Peter's Square (Entrance into the square will be permitted beginning at 6:30am. No tickets will be issued for that Mass. All who wish may attend.) Afterwards, before the Altar of the Confession in the Basilica, he will receive the greetings of heads of official delegations and later will return to the Domus Sancthae Marthae for lunch.
20 March, Wednesday: 11:00am, audience with fraternal delegates in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
22 March, Friday: 11:00am, audience with members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
23 March, Saturday: 12:00pm, departure in helicopter from the Vatican heliport. At 12:15pm he will meet and lunch with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo and will then return to the Vatican.
24 March, Sunday:9:30am, Palm Sunday Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square.
                               12:00pm, Angelus.

WHO IS POPE FRANCIS - MINI-BIOGRAPHY

USCCB RELEASE/SHARE

CHINA ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT XI JINPING

RADIO VATICANA REPORT

China's parliament today appointed Xi Jinping as the nation's new president.

The new leader will face a public increasingly seeking change in a time when calls are mounting for a bold approach to tackle faltering economic growth, unbridled corruption and a severely befouled environment that endanger his Communist Party's legitimacy.

Xi was elevated to the presidency by the rubber-stamp national legislature, giving him the last of the three titles held by his predecessor, Hu Jintao.

The final steps in the transition unfold over the next two days with the expected anointing of Li Keqiang, the party's No. 2, as premier on Friday


There was near unanimous approval from the almost 3000 delegates attending China's National People's Congress appointing Xi Jinping as president. He is already head of the China Communist Party and the nation's military.

On the streets of Chinese cities there are increasing demands for leadership on corruption and on a governing class that's become rich in a nominally socialist system.

President Xi will also face the challenges of faltering economic growth and environmental damage, highlighted this week by the discovery of around 6,000 dead pigs dumped in a river that much of Shanghai gets its drinking water from.

China's leader has gained recognition already for urging austerity by public officials in their festivities, after revelations of expense-account abuses.

But analysts say he'll need to tread a fine line between tackling wealthy senior officials and making enemies of them.

Meanwhile, the parliament approved some restructuring of China's ministries. Among the changes, the agency that promotes abortion and sterilisation in pursuit of China's one-child policy will now merge with the health ministry.

For Vatican Radio, AW in Tokyo

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AUSTRALIA : 39 NEW SEMINARIANS FOR ARCHDIOCESE

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE

Meet our new seminarians for 2013

Thursday 14 March 2013


Words Fr Binh Le   
Picture John Casamento

AFTER enjoying the summer break, our seminarians began in early February of 2013 another year of formation to the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Carlton, the Regional Seminary. At present, 39 seminarians are in formation to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Melbourne: 35 at Corpus Christi College and four in Rome.

This year, Archbishop Hart has accepted nine seminarians for the Archdiocese of Melbourne: six from parishes in Melbourne and three from India. These nine seminarians come from various backgrounds with different qualifications and life experiences. You can read their short autobiographies in the Autumn edition of  Vocations News .

These new seminarians, after a long period of prayerful and thoughtful discernment, have now asked for an opportunity to enter the seminary to discern more vigorously the Lord’s call to the priesthood.

It is undoubted that the encouragement and support from their local parishes, family and friends have played an important part in their discernment journey. However, their time in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, regularly celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation and participating at the Eucharist have led them to this point.

Silent prayer, celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation and participating at Mass regularly are necessary in one’s discernment journey. However, these three spiritual aspects are also important during the season of Lent in which we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter. The season of Lent gives us an opportunity to renew our faith in the Lord, to repent of sin, and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

We renew our faith in the Lord through prayer. The act of praying, especially the prayer Jesus taught us, expresses our humility and dependence on the Lord. Our relationship with the Lord is strengthened and sustained by prayer. Lent is a time to devote ourselves to prayer in a more intentional way.

It is through prayer that we recognise our many trespasses against the Lord, against the people around us and against ourselves. Yet, the Lord has given us the sacrament of Reconciliation, where we can seek forgiveness from him. Lent provides us wonderful opportunities to celebrate this sacrament of healing again.

The perfect form of prayer is the Mass. It is at Mass that we joyfully celebrate the Paschal Mystery of the Lord: his death and Resurrection. To participate in Mass regularly shows that our relationship with Christ is part of our everyday lives. Going to Mass frequently makes our relationship with the Lord more central in our lives. Perhaps we can try to attend daily Mass during this season of Lent.

To those who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood, may I recommend to you, during this season of Lent, to pray, to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation and to attend Mass regularly. It may be that through these sacred days of the season of Lent, you gain a clearer understanding of the Lord’s call.

I hope you will have a blessed and holy Lenten season.

Download Vocations News at www.cam.org.au/vocations

Fr Binh Le is Vocations Director, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
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LEADER OF JESUIT ORDER THANKS GOD FOR POPE FRANCIS

JESUIT CURIA RELEASE

STATEMENT OF THE SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS


In the name of the Society of Jesus, I give thanks to God for the election of our new Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., which opens for the Church a path full of hope.

All of us Jesuits accompany with our prayers our brother and we thank him for his generosity in accepting the responsibility of guiding the Church at this crucial time. The name of "Francis" by which we shall now know him evokes for us the Holy Father's evangelical spirit of closeness to the poor, his identification with simple people, and his commitment to the renewal of the Church. From the very first moment in which he appeared before the people of God, he gave visible witness to his simplicity, his humility, his pastoral experience and his spiritual depth.

"The distinguishing mark of our Society is that it is . . . a companionship . . . bound to the Roman Pontiff by a special bond of love and service." (Complementary Norms, No. 2, § 2) Thus, we share the joy of the whole Church, and at the same time, wish to express our renewed availability to be sent into the vineyard of the Lord, according to the spirit of our special vow of obedience, that so distinctively unites us with the Holy Father (General Congregation 35, Decree 1, No. 17).


P. Adolfo Nicolás S.J.
                                                                                                       Superior General


Rome, 14 March 2013

UN LEADER WELCOMES NEW POPE FRANCIS

CISA NEWS REPORT


UN Chief Congratulates Pope Francis
NEW YORK, March 15, 2013 (CISA) -Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has offered his heartfelt congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Pope Francis on his assumption of the papacy, and to all Catholics across the world on the occasion of the election of the new Pontiff.
“I look forward to continuing cooperation between the United Nations and the Holy See, under the wise leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis,” Mr Ban said in a statement issued immediately after the announcement was made at the Vatican.
“We share many common goals – from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger – all core elements of sustainable development,” he added.
“We also share the conviction that we can only resolve the interconnected challenges of today’s world through dialogue. I am certain that His Holiness will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in the promotion of inter-faith dialogue which is at the heart of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative.”
The 76-year-old new Pope hails from Argentina.
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1ST SINCE GREAT SCHISM - ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO ATTEND POPE'S INAUGURATION

ASIA NEWS REPORT
The metropolitans of Argentina and Italy will accompany Bartholomew. Moscow Patriarchate hopes in closer cooperation with Rome but excludes for now a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.


Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis's inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an important sign for Christian unity.
The ecumenical patriarch will be accompanied by Ioannis Zizioulas, metropolitan of Pergamon and co-president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, as well as Tarassios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Argentina, and Gennadios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Italy.
Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue.
Under Benedict XVI, the dialogue picked up in earnest after a lull. In trying to promote it, the pope suggested ways to express the primacy of Peter's successor that could be acceptable to the Orthodox, finding his inspiration from the undivided Church of the first millennium.
Catholic ecumenism has met however with great resistance from the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, seat of the 'Third Rome'.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Department for External Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, said on Thursday that a meeting between the pope and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow was "possible but the place and timing will depend on how quickly we will overcome the consequences of the conflicts from the turn of 1980s and 1990s".
The issue of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is at the core of the "conflicts" to which Hilarion was referring. Although it was unbanned following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was left without its original churches, which had been seized by the Communists under Soviet rule and later transferred to the Orthodox Church.
Still, "on several occasions, Pope Francis has shown spiritual sympathy towards the Orthodox Church and a desire for closer contacts," Hilarion said.
It is his hope that under the new pontificate "relations of alliance will develop and that our ties will be strengthened."
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 16 : ST. HERIBERT OF COLOGNE


St. Heribert of Cologne
ARCHBISHOP OF COLOGNE, CHANCELLOR OF EMPEROR OTTO III
Feast: March 16


     Information:
Feast Day:March 16
Born:
970 at Worms, Germany
Died:16 March 1021 at Cologne, Germany
Canonized:
1075 by Pope Saint Gregory VII 
Major Shrine:Deutz
Patron of:rain
Archbishop of Cologne; born at Worms, c. 970; died at Cologne, 16 March, 1021. His father was Duke Hugo of Worms. After receiving his education at the cathedral school of Worms, he spent some time as guest at the monastery of Gorze, after which he became provost at the cathedral of Worms. In 994 he was ordained priest; in the same year King Otto III appointed him chancellor for Italy and four years later also for Germany, a position which he held until the death of Otto III on 23 January, 1002. As chancellor he was the most influential adviser of Otto III, whom he accompanied to Rome in 906 and again in 997. He was still in Italy when, in 999, he was elected Archbishop of Cologne. At Benevento he received ecclesiastical investiture and the pallium from Pope Sylvester II on 9 July, 999, and on the following Christmas Day he was consecrated at Cologne. In 1002 he was present at the death-bed of the youthful emperor at Paterno. While returning to Germany with the emperor's remains and the imperial insignia, he was held captive for some time by the future King Henry II, whose candidacy he first opposed. As soon as Henry II was elected king, on 7 June, 1002, Heribert acknowledged him as such, accompanied him to Rome in 1004, mediated between him and the House of Luxemburg, and served him faithfully in many other ways; but he never won his entire confidence until the year 1021, when the king saw his mistake and humbly begged pardon on the archbishop. Heribert founded and richly endowed the Benedictine monastery and church of Deutz, where he lies buried. He was already honoured as a saint during his lifetime. Between 1073 and 1075 he was canonized by Pope Gregory VII. His feast is celebrated on 16 March.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/H/stheribertofcologne.asp#ixzz1pHY181xH