Friday, August 26, 2011


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: The new evangelization is the backdrop to the traditional summer seminar of former students of Benedict XVI, – the so-called Ratzinger Schülerkreis – which opened Thursday in Castel Gandolfo. The Pope himself will intervene with an introductory report at some stage on Saturday. Also participating this year – for the first time – are a number of people who have written their dissertations on the works of Joseph Ratzinger.

In fact on Friday, the historical nucleus of the group, the original members of the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis" founded in 1977, are joined by members of the ‘new’ school, formed four years ago. The meeting, which runs through to August 28th at the Mariapolis Convention Center outside Rome, is bringing together roughly forty people from different countries, including the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, the Auxiliary Bishop of Hamburg, Hans-Jochen Jaschke, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Archbishop Barthélémy Adoukonou, as well as teachers, priests, religious and lay people: all former students of Professor Joseph Ratzinger, who wrote their doctoral dissertations during the years when he was teaching in Germany.

After Pope Benedict’s introduction to proceedings, theologian Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, Professor of the philosophy of religion at Dresden University which will deepen the theme under discussion, with a paper entitled, "Speaking to Athens of Jerusalem. God Words in a world that resists". Otto Neubauer, director of the Academy for the Evangelization of the Emmanuel Community in Vienna, is also set to address the group with a paper entitled" An ever-new evangelization - where poverty becomes a bridge to people. " Sunday, following Mass with the Pope and the traditional Angelus prayer, the conclusion of the seminar will see an open discussion between old and new alumni.

Since the then Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Joseph Ratzinger took part in the first of these - traditionally closed door - meetings almost 35 years ago, a lot of progress has been made and his election to the Chair of Peter has failed to stop the momentum of the ‘Ratzinger school’. Each year the Pope himself chooses the theme for discussion, usually a shortlist of three arguments. The theme for 2011, the new evangelization is, in a way, a prelude to the meeting that Pope Benedict XVI has convoked on 15 and 16 October next in the Vatican, with representatives of ecclesial realities involved in the new evangelization in the West, and - in a broader perspective - not least in view of 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2012, which will focus precisely on "The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith. "


ARCHDIOCESE OF TORONTO PRESS RELEASE: With great sadness, the Archdiocese announces that His Eminence, Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, retired Archbishop of Toronto, died earlier today, after a lengthy illness, at the age of 81. The late Cardinal was a priest for 56 years, bishop for 35 years and served as 9th Archbishop of Toronto from 1990 to 2006.

Aloysius Ambrozic was born in 1930 in Gaberje, Slovenia, the second of seven children. In May 1945, the entire family fled to Austria, living in several refugee camps, where the young Ambrozic completed his high school education. In September 1948, the family immigrated to Canada and settled near Markham, Ontario. Shortly afterwards, Aloysius Ambrozic entered St. Augustine’s Seminary, a spiritual home he would return to often as a student, professor, bishop, archbishop and cardinal.

It is Jesus to whom we look.
It is Jesus whom we imitate.
It is Jesus whom we follow.
It is Jesus who is with us so we can be with him.
Yes, we work with others.
Yes, we learn from others.
But in Jesus we find our ultimate identity and purpose. He is the Alpha and the Omega for each one of us and for every human being.
- Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic

After almost 21 years as a diocesan priest, Fr. Ambrozic was named an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Toronto in 1976. Bishop Ambozic served alongside Archbishop Philip Pocock and Emmett Cardinal Carter, before his appointment as Archbishop of Toronto on March 17, 1990. In January 1998, Pope John Paul II nominated him as Cardinal, a position that resulted in his participation in the conclave of 2005 that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Ambrozic served on a number of Vatican committees related to immigration, culture, worship and the economy. He also hosted the largest gathering of Catholic youth in Canadian history, World Youth Day 2002, that culminated in the celebration of Mass by Pope John Paul II at Downsview Park for more than 750,000 pilgrims.

The Cardinal’s legacy is commemorated in several places throughout the GTA, including Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School in Brampton as well as the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence, the long-term care facility in Scarborough, where the Cardinal spent his final months.

Archbishop Thomas Collins, the cardinal’s successor as Archbishop of Toronto, offered his condolences to the Ambrozic family and Catholics across the Archdiocese:

Cardinal Ambrozic's tremendous contributions to the spiritual life of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the heritage of his wisdom, his knowledge, and his love of the priesthood will remain with us all.”

The Cardinal will lie in state at St. Michael’s Cathedral for a public viewing, dates and times to be determined. His funeral Mass will also take place at the Cathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese.

An online tribute to Cardinal Ambrozic including photos, a complete biography and other relevant information can be found


Burial of a Cardinal

Coat of Arms for His Eminence, Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic

The principal charge of the shield is the gold winged lion, symbolizing the Risen Lord. The lion is also symbolic of Saint Mark in whose Gospel the Cardinal did his doctoral studies. In base the crescent chequy is taken from the arms of the former duchy of Carniola, now part of Slovenia, where the Cardinal was born.

The Cardinal’s motto, Jesus est Dominus, (Jesus is Lord) is one of the earliest professions of faith in Jesus Christ.



CATH NEWS REPORT: In 1946, when computers were few enormous machines, oddly slow by today's standards, and the Internet wasn't even an idea, a young Italian Jesuit priest planned to use machines and language elaboration for a titanic enterprise: organising the immense work of St Thomas Aquinas.

Thanks to Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM, in 1949, when he published his degree thesis in Philosophy at the Gregorian University of Rome, entitled The Thomistic Terminology of Interiority, Fr Roberto Busa could start his work.

Index Thomisticus was completed just 30 years later, now considered an outstanding milestone in Informatics and computing in humanities.

Born in 1913 in Asiago Plateau of Vicenza, Fr Busa died on August 9. In facing Aquinas' work, the real challenge for him was lemmatisation (grouping together the different inflected forms of a word so they can be analysed as a single item), something it requires in using computer an algorithmic process of determining the lemma for a given word.

Dr Ernesto Priego, scholar of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory and co-founder and editor of The Comics Grid, explains why Fr Busa was an outstanding pioneer, who deeply influenced him: "Most people would first think of Ted Nelson and Tim Berners-Lee as the 'founding fathers' of hypertext and the internet.

Wikipedia summarises the fruits of his work, started using punch cards, then magnetic tapes: in 1980 the 56 printed volumes of the Index Thomisticus, in 1989 a CD-ROM version followed, and a DVD version is underway. In 2005 a web-based version made its debut, while in 2006 the Index Thomisticus Treebank project (directed by Marco Passarotti) started the syntactic annotation of the entire corpus.

But it is true that Fr Busa, an Italian Jesuit priest and theology scholar, anticipated them in connecting the dots between informatics and the written word", he says.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Kalpit Parajuli
Classes for new catechumens from other religions are postponed to further notice. Nepal’s Catholic Church was not officially represented at World Youth Day in Madrid because of the country’s tense situation.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Catholic Church has postponed without explanations the catechism course it had planned for people from other religions. It was set to begin shortly. Local sources say the Church took this step back because of the proposed new penal code, which bans conversion from one religion to another.

Because of tensions in the country, the Nepali Church has also stayed away from World Youth Day. “No youth officially represented the Church of Nepal in Madrid because of Nepal’s transitional situation,” said Chirendra Satyal, a Catholic media officer and journalist. “If anyone did attend, it was as an individual and not as a representative of Nepali Catholic youth.”

The establishment of a secular state in 2006 gave the Catholic Church the opportunity to perform baptism and celebrate religious feast days out in the open. Greater religious freedom and the possibility to conduct public ceremonies led to more conversions.

Each year, about 25 people are baptised. On 15 August, 30 children from the Diocese of Kathmandu had their first communion.

According to official figures, each Sunday about 300 non-Christians, especially young Hindus and Buddhists, take part in Mass in Kathmandu’s Cathedral of the Assumption. They cannot receive the communion but, at the end of the service, the presiding priest blesses them and gives them flowers as a token of welcome.

Anyone who so desires can register for catechism after Mass. If catechumens want, they can be baptised after completing the programme (three years for non-Christians). Before though, Catholic religious authorities must closely examine their request. In case of minors, the parents’ consent must be obtained.

However, under the proposed new penal code that is currently before parliament, the Catholic Church and other minority confessions might end up going underground again, like during the times of the Hindu monarchy.

For the code, any kind of communication about one’s faith to another person constitutes a form of proselytising. Penalties include fines of up to US$ 700 and five years in jail.

If the culprit is a foreigner, he or she can be expelled from the country immediately.


ALL AFRICA REPORT: PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has lamented the death of Father Francis Musonda of Kasama as a terrible loss to the church and the nation.

In a letter of condolences to Monsignor Father Ignatius Mwebe who is the Apostolic Administrator of the Kasama Archdiocese, the President said he was deeply moved to learn of the death of Father Francis who

passed on at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka at about 17:00 hours on Wednesday August25, 2011.

President Banda said Father Francis, who lately was based at the Emmaus Spirituality Centre in Lusaka, committed himself to the development of rural life as an itinerant pastor, and demonstrated a great love for ordinary people.

"I have learned he was the first native Catholic seminarian in Zambia in whose interests his family made great sacrifices to enable him train as a priest," the President said.

The Head of State said he was saddened to note that the Catholic Church had suffered two losses among its clergymen in less than a week, following the death in Texas, US of Bishop Paul Duffy.

President Banda wished the archdiocese and the bereaved family the courage and comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was contained in a statement released by President Banda's Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, Dickson Jere.


Sydney Archdiocese report
26 Aug 2011

Students at University of Notre Dame have
plenty of reasons to celebrate

Although it is one of the newest universities in Australia, the University of Notre Dame (UND) has received five star ratings from the Good Universities Guide for the fifth year in a row.

The different rankings ranging from one star to five appear each year in Australia's influential Good Universities Guide. Based on a survey of university graduates assessments are made of categories ranging from the quality of teaching to the ability to find full time jobs after graduation.

Under the Teaching Quality classification, UND not only received five stars but ranked higher than long-established universities such as Melbourne's Monash University, Sydney's University of NSW (UNSW) and the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

When it came to Positive Graduate Outcomes, UND also did extremely well. Awarded five stars in this category, UND was ranked in the top level alongside the University of Western Australian, Queensland's Bond University, ANU, UNSW, Monash and the University of Wollongong.

In terms of Overall Satisfaction, graduates of the university also gave UND an impressive five stars, up there with ANU, Bond University, the University of New England and Edith Cowan University.
Vice-Chancellor of UND, Professor Celia Hammond says she is delighted with UND's performance, particularly as the University has managed to consistently achieve five star rankings in Australia's Good Universities Guide for the past five years.

"This is a testament to the commitment of the University's outstanding staff," she says and adds that she is equally delighted that UND received a five star rating in the Entry Flexibility category.

With campuses in Fremantle, Broome and Sydney, UND's admission process is distinctive and different from most other university. Applicants who wish to study at UND are not only asked to give a personal statement supporting the reasons they wish to study at the University, but are also given a personal interview designed to assist them in their decision and their choice of degree.

The interview is also very much part of the one-to-one involvement that UND begins with the admissions process and fosters with each of its students across its three campuses.

Professor Hammond says pastoral care remains at the heart of UND and the university education offered is in the context of Catholic faith and values. All students at UND undertake philosophy, ethics and theology as core subjects regardless of the degree for which they are studying.

UND is also well regarded not only with its undergraduate programs but for the high standard of its research, post graduate and doctoral programs.

To find out more about courses and degrees offered and how to enrol at UND, log on to


St. Zephyrinus


Feast: August 26

ZEPHYRINUS, a native of Rome, succeeded Victor in the pontificate, in the year 202, in which Severus raised the fifth most bloody persecution against the Church, which continued not for two years only, but until the death of that emperor in 211. Under this furious storm this holy pastor was the support and comfort of the distressed flock of Christ, and he suffered by charity and compassion what every confessor underwent. The triumphs of the martyrs were indeed his joy, but his heart received many deep wounds from the fall of apostates and heretics. Neither did this latter affliction cease when peace was restored to the Church. Our Saint had also the affliction to see the fall of Tertullian, which seems to have been owing partly to his pride. Eusebius tells us that this holy Pope exerted his zeal so strenuously against the blasphemies of the heretics that they treated him in the most contumelious manner; but it was his glory that they called him the principal defender of Christ's divinity. St. Zephyrinus filled the pontifical chair seventeen years, dying in 219. He was buried in his own cemetery, on the 26th of August. He is, in some Martyrologies, styled a martyr, which title he might deserve by what he suffered in the persecution, though he perhaps did not die by the executioner. SOURCE: EWTN

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TODAY'S GOSPEL: AUG. 26: Matthew 25: 1-13

Matthew 25: 1 - 13
1"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.3For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.5As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.6But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'7Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps.8And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'9But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.11Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.'12But he replied, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.