Saturday, June 30, 2012


Protomartyrs of Rome
Feast: June 30

Feast Day:June 30
Many martyrs who suffered death under Emperor Nero (r. 54-68). Owing to their executions durin the reign of Nero, they are called the Neronian Martyrs, and they are also termed "the Protomartys of Rome," being honored by the site in the Vatican City called the Piazza of the Protomartyrs. These early Christians were disciples of the Apostles, and they endured hideous tortures and ghastly deaths following the burning of Rome in the infamous fire of 62. Their dignity in suffering, and their fervor to the end, did not provide Nero or the Romans with the public diversion desired. Instead, the faith was firmly planted in the Eternal City.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Friday, June 29, 2012


Vatican Radio REPORT/IMAGE: "Peter and Paul much as they differ from one another in human terms and notwithstanding the conflicts that arose in their relationship, illustrate a new way of being brothers, lived according to the Gospel, an authentic way made possible by the grace of Christ’s Gospel working within them". "Only by following Jesus does one arrive at this new brotherhood”; this according to Pope Benedict XVI is the fundamental message of the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul.
The Pope’s focus on communion and brotherhood took on particular emphasis this year, given the presence of a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Westminster Abbey schola cantorum. Their plain chants – together with the Sistine Chapel choir – enriched the liturgy which took place within the cool marble vaults of St Peter’s basilica. A liturgy which also saw the Pope bestow the pallium upon 40 Metropolitan Archbishops.

In his homily the Holy Father drew attention to the two giant statues of Peter and Paul that hold vigil over St Peter’s square. He said : "Christian tradition has always considered Saint Peter and Saint Paul to be inseparable: indeed, together, they represent the whole Gospel of Christ. In Rome, their bond as brothers in the faith came to acquire a particular significance”.

“Only by following Jesus does one arrive at this new brotherhood this is the first and fundamental message that today’s solemnity presents to each one of us, the importance of which is mirrored in the pursuit of full communion, so earnestly desired by the ecumenical Patriarch and the Bishop of Rome, as indeed by all Christians. "

Drawing from the Gospel of the day (Matthew 16: 13-19), Pope Benedict went on to reflect on the drama of Peter (and the papacy) " the acknowledgment of Jesus’ identity” not “through flesh and blood”, that is, through his human capacities, but through a particular revelation from God the Father".

Pope Benedict said :"Here we see the tension that exists between the gift that comes from the Lord and human capacities; and in this scene between Jesus and Simon Peter we see anticipated in some sense the drama of the history of the papacy itself, characterized by the joint presence of these two elements: on the one hand, because of the light and the strength that come from on high, the papacy constitutes the foundation of the Church during its pilgrimage through history; on the other hand, across the centuries, human weakness is also evident, which can only be transformed through openness to God’s action."

Finally, Pope Benedict spoke of "power of the keys" – symbol of the Petrine Ministry a key issue in the current phase of ecumenical dialogue - to "bind and loose": "The two images – that of the keys and that of binding and loosing – express similar meanings which reinforce one another. The expression “binding and loosing” forms part of rabbinical language and refers on the one hand to doctrinal decisions, and on the other hand to disciplinary power, that is, the faculty to impose and to lift excommunication. The parallelism “on earth ... in the heavens” guarantees that Peter’s decisions in the exercise of this ecclesial function are valid in the eyes of God".
Below is the official English tranlation of the Holy Father's Homily during Mass on the Feast of Saint's Peter and Paul. During the celebration the Pope conferred the Pallium on new Metropolitan Archbishops.
Homily on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
Saint Peter’s Basilica, 29 June 2012
Your Eminences,
Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are gathered around the altar for our solemn celebration of Saints Peter and Paul, the principal Patrons of the Church of Rome. Present with us today are the Metropolitan Archbishops appointed during the past year, who have just received the Pallium, and to them I extend a particular and affectionate greeting. Also present is an eminent Delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by His Holiness Bartholomaios I, and I welcome them with fraternal and heartfelt gratitude. In an ecumenical spirit, I am also pleased to greet and to thank the Choir of Westminster Abbey, who are providing the music for this liturgy alongside the Cappella Sistina. I also greet the Ambassadors and civil Authorities present. I am grateful to all of you for your presence and your prayers.
In front of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as is well known, there are two imposing statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, easily recognizable by their respective attributes: the keys in the hand of Peter and the sword held by Paul. Likewise, at the main entrance to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, there are depictions of scenes from the life and the martyrdom of these two pillars of the Church. Christian tradition has always considered Saint Peter and Saint Paul to be inseparable: indeed, together, they represent the whole Gospel of Christ. In Rome, their bond as brothers in the faith came to acquire a particular significance. Indeed, the Christian community of this City considered them a kind of counterbalance to the mythical Romulus and Remus, the two brothers held to be the founders of Rome. A further parallel comes to mind, still on the theme of brothers: whereas the first biblical pair of brothers demonstrate the effects of sin, as Cain kills Abel, yet Peter and Paul, much as they differ from one another in human terms and notwithstanding the conflicts that arose in their relationship, illustrate a new way of being brothers, lived according to the Gospel, an authentic way made possible by the grace of Christ’s Gospel working within them. Only by following Jesus does one arrive at this new brotherhood: this is the first and fundamental message that today’s solemnity presents to each one of us, the importance of which is mirrored in the pursuit of full communion, so earnestly desired by the ecumenical Patriarch and the Bishop of Rome, as indeed by all Christians.

In the passage from Saint Matthew’s Gospel that we have just heard, Peter makes his own confession of faith in Jesus, acknowledging him as Messiah and Son of God. He does so in the name of the other Apostles too. In reply, the Lord reveals to him the mission that he intends to assign to him, that of being the “rock”, the visible foundation on which the entire spiritual edifice of the Church is built (cf. Mt 16:16-19). But in what sense is Peter the rock? How is he to exercise this prerogative, which naturally he did not receive for his own sake? The account given by the evangelist Matthew tells us first of all that the acknowledgment of Jesus’ identity made by Simon in the name of the Twelve did not come “through flesh and blood”, that is, through his human capacities, but through a particular revelation from God the Father. By contrast, immediately afterwards, as Jesus foretells his passion, death and resurrection, Simon Peter reacts on the basis of “flesh and blood”: he “began to rebuke him, saying, this shall never happen to you” (16:22). And Jesus in turn replied: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me ...” (16:23). The disciple who, through God’s gift, was able to become a solid rock, here shows himself for what he is in his human weakness: a stone along the path, a stone on which men can stumble – in Greek, skandalon. Here we see the tension that exists between the gift that comes from the Lord and human capacities; and in this scene between Jesus and Simon Peter we see anticipated in some sense the drama of the history of the papacy itself, characterized by the joint presence of these two elements: on the one hand, because of the light and the strength that come from on high, the papacy constitutes the foundation of the Church during its pilgrimage through history; on the other hand, across the centuries, human weakness is also evident, which can only be transformed through openness to God’s action.

And in today’s Gospel there emerges powerfully the clear promise made by Jesus: “the gates of the underworld”, that is, the forces of evil, will not prevail, “non praevalebunt”. One is reminded of the account of the call of the prophet Jeremiah, to whom the Lord said, when entrusting him with his mission: “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. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you!” (Jer 1:18-19). In truth, the promise that Jesus makes to Peter is even greater than those made to the prophets of old: they, indeed, were threatened only by human enemies, whereas Peter will have to be defended from the “gates of the underworld”, from the destructive power of evil. Jeremiah receives a promise that affects him as a person and his prophetic ministry; Peter receives assurances concerning the future of the Church, the new community founded by Jesus Christ, which extends to all of history, far beyond the personal existence of Peter himself.
Let us move on now to the symbol of the keys, which we heard about in the Gospel. It echoes the oracle of the prophet Isaiah concerning the steward Eliakim, of whom it was said: “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” (Is 22:22). The key represents authority over the house of David. And in the Gospel there is another saying of Jesus addressed to the scribes and the Pharisees, whom the Lord reproaches for shutting off the kingdom of heaven from people (cf. Mt 23:13). This saying also helps us to understand the promise made to Peter: to him, inasmuch as he is the faithful steward of Christ’s message, it belongs to open the gate of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to judge whether to admit or to refuse (cf. Rev 3:7). Hence the two images – that of the keys and that of binding and loosing – express similar meanings which reinforce one another. The expression “binding and loosing” forms part of rabbinical language and refers on the one hand to doctrinal decisions, and on the other hand to disciplinary power, that is, the faculty to impose and to lift excommunication. The parallelism “on earth ... in the heavens” guarantees that Peter’s decisions in the exercise of this ecclesial function are valid in the eyes of God.

In Chapter 18 of Matthew’s Gospel, dedicated to the life of the ecclesial community, we find another saying of Jesus addressed to the disciples: “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 18:18). Saint John, in his account of the appearance of the risen Christ in the midst of the Apostles on Easter evening, recounts these words of the Lord: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven: if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:22-23). In the light of these parallels, it appears clearly that the authority of loosing and binding consists in the power to remit sins. And this grace, which defuses the powers of chaos and evil, is at the heart of the Church’s ministry. The Church is not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognize their need for God’s love, their need to be purified through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ sayings concerning the authority of Peter and the Apostles make it clear that God’s power is love, the love that shines forth from Calvary. Hence we can also understand why, in the Gospel account, Peter’s confession of faith is immediately followed by the first prediction of the Passion: through his death, Jesus conquered the powers of the underworld, with his blood he poured out over the world an immense flood of mercy, which cleanses the whole of humanity in its healing waters.

Dear brothers and sisters, as I mentioned at the beginning, the iconographic tradition represents Saint Paul with a sword, and we know that this was the instrument with which he was killed. Yet as we read the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles, we discover that the image of the sword refers to his entire mission of evangelization. For example, when he felt death approaching, he wrote to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight” (2 Tim 4:7). This was certainly not the battle of a military commander but that of a herald of the Word of God, faithful to Christ and to his Church, to which he gave himself completely. And that is why the Lord gave him the crown of glory and placed him, together with Peter, as a pillar in the spiritual edifice of the Church.

Dear Metropolitan Archbishops, the Pallium that I have conferred on you will always remind you that you have been constituted in and for the great mystery of communion that is the Church, the spiritual edifice built upon Christ as the cornerstone, while in its earthly and historical dimension, it is built on the rock of Peter. Inspired by this conviction, we know that together we are all cooperators of the truth, which as we know is one and “symphonic”, and requires from each of us and from our communities a constant commitment to conversion to the one Lord in the grace of the one Spirit. May the Holy Mother of God guide and accompany us always along the path of faith and charity. Queen of Apostles, pray for us!


ABUJA, June 26, 2012 (CISA) – Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has launched 30 days of prayer for Nigeria in response to calls for prayer from Nigerian Christians.
The Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice, urged Christians around the world to also show their support.
This comes in the wake of terrorist threats from the insurgent group Boko Haram that claims to have around 300 suicide bombers ready to attack churches and plans to make June “the bloodiest month yet,” according to media reports.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) vehemently criticized the attacks and counter attacks saying, “…We feel greatly pained by the violent events which have become almost daily occurrences.
Time is rolling on and the situation of insecurity in the land has not improved in any significant way…”
The bishops expressed concern in a statement sent to CISA on “the security situation in the country” adding that the situation seems to be going from bad to worse, as terrorists strike almost at will against innocent citizens all across the northern parts of Nigeria.
The Nigerian bishops called on the government to devise new security measures to ensure safety for all. “It is a primary duty of government to ensure security of life and property of citizens all over the nation. There can be no excuse for failure in this primary duty,” they said.
“Despite all the current efforts by government, the nation is still under insecurity,” said the bishops. They challenged the government to intensify security actions to make the nation safe for all.
They also called on Christians to continue praying fervently for God’s protection, while promising to continue mobilizing and deploying Church security arrangements within the ambit of the law, and in collaboration with the state agencies.
The bishops called on all Nigerians to join hands in combating this common danger. “We call especially on the Muslim community in Nigeria to do all in its power to reach out to those who foment, plan, encourage and carry out these acts of violence in the name of Islam,” said the bishops


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
29 Jun 2012

An impoverished Bolivian village where Caritas
is making a difference
Australia continues to be among the world's most generous. The Government may have decided to trim the amount the nation spends on Foreign Aid in a bid to deliver a surplus, but not every day Australians.
For the first time ever Caritas, the international aid and development arm of the Catholic Church has raised $10 million for Project Compassion 2012.
"This really is remarkable," says Caritas Australia's CEO, Jack de Groot. "Even though times have been tough and uncertain for many Australians over the past 12 months, our parishes, schools and Church communities have given generously help support the world's poor."
Last year Project Compassion, Caritas' annual Lenten fund-raiser, topped $9.7 million, an increase of more than $300,000 on the previous year's total.
But this year's total eclipsed even those.
Millions live in poverty and
desperately need our help
"The amount donated this year is unprecedented and will ensure thousands of families in the world's most impoverished communities are guaranteed life-saving support," says Mr de Groot and admits that he and others at Caritas have been "humbled" by Australians' big hearted generosity.

"I am reluctant to reduce what the people of Australia's Catholic community have done to simple dollars and cents because it is so much more that."
Each year during Lent communities, schools and parishes hold cake stalls, raffles, put on plays and come up with novel ideas of ways to earn money for Caritas' Project Compassion fundraiser.
Now in its 47th year, Project Compassion is also supported by corporations, organisations and individuals from all walks of life who find friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them on walks, runs or cycle events to raise funds the world's poor.
All monies raised from this year's Project Compassion will go to support communities in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America as well as Australia's remote Indigenous communities in northern Australia.

Fish Friday 2012 raised more than $3000 for
Project Compassion
The world's largest aid agency after Red Cross, Caritas Australia and Caritas agencies globally provide ongoing help and assistance to impoverished communities. Through education and improved agriculture, hygiene, medical care, accessible fresh water and schools, teams from Caritas help communities break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient.
"Caritas is about helping people help themselves. It is also about delivering justice and peace which in turn leads to stability and security," Mr de Groot explains.
In addition to the ongoing work of Caritas in more than 220 countries across the world, emergency relief is also an important part of the agency's work. When natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or famine wreak havoc on populations around the world, Caritas instantly responds, flying in teams to help victims as well as provide them with shelter, tents, food, potable water and medical care.

Caritas is educating farmers in drought
resistant crops and livestock retention
In the past year Caritas has been at the forefront of emergencies ranging from South East Asia's devastating floods to Japan's tsunami and the ongoing famines in West Africa as well as across the Horn of Africa.
Although Project Compassion officially ends with Easter, donations which are fully tax deductible continue to be received with the fund remaining open until tomorrow, 30 June which marks the end of the 2011-12 financial year.
To find out more about the work of Caritas and Project Compassion log on to


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Jean-Bernard_Allard_PSSThe Reverend Jean-Bernard Allard, P.S.S., former director of the French Sector National Liturgy Office of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), died this past June 22 at the age of 83. His funeral is on June 30 at 10:30 a.m., in the Chapelle du Sacré-Coeur of Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, followed by burial in the crypt of the Grand Séminaire of Montreal. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Montreal on September 21, 1957, and became member of the Sulpician Fathers in 1969. Father Allard joined the French Sector National Liturgy Office in 1976 as assistant director, and become director in May 1977. He continued as its director until the summer of 1987.


After talks with the Priests' Initiative, a group which has vowed disobedience against the Church, Cardinal Schoenborn has decided it is time to crack down.
Michael Shields
June 28, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Austrian cardinal hands ultimatum to disobedient priests
Austria’s Roman Catholic Church has laid down the law to its rebel priests by telling them they could not support a reform manifesto criticized by Pope Benedict and stay in an administrative post.
One priest told Reuters he had already stepped down from the post of deacon rather than renounce the “Call to Disobedience” manifesto that challenges Church teaching on taboo topics such as women’s ordination and offering communion to non-Catholics.
Another priest had withdrawn his support for the reform campaign and kept his job, a Church spokesman said on Wednesday.
He added that two or three more have yet to decide whether to withdraw their support from the manifesto from a reform group called “Priests’ Initiative” whose demands have been echoed by some Catholic groups and clerics in Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the United States.
“You can easily remain a member of the Priests’ Initiative. You must only distance yourself from the ‘Call to Disobedience’ in an appropriate way,” Church spokesman Nikolaus Haselsteiner said.
“In an average company, a department head can’t say he doesn’t care what the CEO says,” he added.
The Vienna archdiocese said on Tuesday its head, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, had told priests last month he would not appoint manifesto supporters to the post of dean and those coming up for renewal in the post would have to choose.
Schoenborn, a close ally of Benedict, has met the rebel priests, including their leader Rev Helmut Schueller. But Tuesday’s announcement was the first sign he had taken steps to rein them in.
Schueller says his group represents 10 percent of the Austrian clergy. The group has won broad public backing in opinion polls for its pledge to break Church rules by giving communion to Protestants and divorced Catholics who remarry.
Rev Peter Meidinger, who was dean in a district of Vienna archdiocese, said he stepped down from that post after Schoenborn made his options clear in a recent conversation.
“I spoke to the archbishop and perhaps you cannot say I had to choose, but I had the impression that there was no way out for me so I am stepping down and freeing up the spot,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.


Agenzia Fides report - New meetings and new initiatives for the inter-religious popular movement "Mussalaha" ("Reconciliation"), which proposes a "reconciliation from below" starting from families, clans, the different communities of Syrian civil society, tired of the conflict. While the country is torn by conflict, peace initiatives and meetings are multiplying, being born in an entirely spontaneous and independent manner: in past days a new meeting which involved civic leaders, religious leaders, moderates, Christians and Muslims, tribal leaders, Sunnis and Alawites citizens of the mosaic that makes up the Syrian society, was held in Deir Ezzor, in the province of Djazirah (eastern Syria), near the Euphrates. The movement, note sources of Fides, intends to say "No" to Civil War and notes that "we cannot continue with a toll that totals between 40 and 100 victims a day. The nation is bled white, it loses youth and its best forces." For this reason a new initiative that comes from the "genius of the people" from people "who want a decent life, who reject sectarian violence and sectarian denominational strife, as preconceived ideological and political opposition are urgently required." In many Syrian cities, where on one side there are clashes and victims - refer sources of Fides - " gestures of friendship and reconciliation grow, offered by civilian moderate leaders to community representatives considered hostile (this happens between Alawites and Sunnis), in the spirit to ensure security and peace through civil society." The movement hopes to find an institutional reference in the Minister for Reconciliation, the Socialist Ali Haider, who was appointed the new Syrian Executive and from the opposition party "People's Will Party."
But meanwhile, it is finding support abroad: the Irish Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 with Betty Williams and leader of the movement "The Peace People", in a statement sent to Fides said "No to war in Syria" , and says: "We must put ourselves in the shoes of the Syrian people and find peaceful ways to stop this mad rush toward a war that mothers, fathers and sons of Syria do not want and do not deserve." The text adds: "We urgently need to support those working for peace in Syria and are looking for a way to help the 22 million Syrians to resolve their conflict, without promoting violence or chaos." The Nobel Prize invites the UN to "be a forum where these Syrian voices are heard" voices of "people who have worked hard for Syria, to the idea of Syria as a secular, peaceful and modern country." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/6/2012)


St. Paul
Feast: June 29

Feast Day:June 29
Died:65 at Rome, Italy
Major Shrine:Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
Patron of:against snakes, authors, Catholic Action, Cursillo movement, evangelists, hailstorms, hospital public relations, journalists, lay people, missionary bishops, musicians, newspaper editorial staff, public relations work, publishers, reporters, rope makers, saddlemakers, tent makers, many more...
The historic records bearing on St. Paul are fuller than those for any Scriptural saint. We have Paul's own wonderful writings, the fourteen letters included in the New Testament, which outline his missionary journeys, exhort and admonish the various Christian congregations, discuss ethics and doctrinal matters; and in the midst of all this we get a revelation of the man himself, his inner character, his problems and fears. St. Luke's Acts of the Apostles and certain apocryphal books are other sources of our knowledge of St. Paul. Of all the founders of the Church, Paul was perhaps the most brilliant and many-sided, the broadest in outlook, and therefore the best endowed to carry Christianity to alien lands and peoples.
Born into a well-to-do Jewish family of Tarsus, the son of a Roman citizen, Saul (as we shall call him until after his conversion) was sent to Jerusalem to be trained in the famous rabbinical school headed by Gamaliel. Here, in addition to studying the Law and the Prophets, he learned a trade, as was the custom. Young Saul chose the trade of tent-making. Although his upbringing was orthodox, while still at home in Tarsus he had come under the liberalizing Hellenic influences which at this time had permeated all levels of urban society in Asia Minor. Thus the Judaic, Roman, and Greek traditions and cultures all had a part in shaping this great Apostle, who was so different in status and temperament from the humble fishermen of Jesus' initial band of disciples. His missionary journeys were to give him the flexibility and the deep sympathy that made him the ideal human instrument for preaching Christ's Gospel of world brotherhood.

In the year 35 Saul appears as a self-righteous young Pharisee, almost fanatically anti-Christian. He believed that the trouble-making new sect should be stamped out, its adherents punished. We are told in Acts vii that he was present, although not a participator in the stoning, when Stephen, the first martyr, met his death. It was very soon afterwards that Paul experienced the revelation which was to transform his life. On the road to the Syrian city of Damascus, where he was going to continue his persecutions against the Christians, he was struck blind. On arriving in Damascus, there followed in dramatic sequence his sudden conversion, the cure of his blindness by the disciple Ananias, and his baptism. Paul accepted eagerly the commission to preach the Gospel of Christ, but like many another called to a great task he felt his unworthiness and withdrew from the world to spend three years in "Arabia" in meditation and prayer before beginning his apostolate. From the moment of his return, Paul—for he had now assumed this Roman name—never paused in his labors. It proved to be the most extraordinary career of preaching, writing, and church-founding of which we have record. The extensive travels by land and sea, so replete with adventure, are to be traced by anyone who reads carefully the New Testament letters. We cannot be sure, however, that the letters and records now extant reveal the full and complete chronicle of Paul's activities. He himself tells us he was stoned, thrice scourged, thrice shipwrecked, endured hunger and thirst, sleepless nights, perils and hardships; besides these physical trials, he suffered many disappointments and almost constant anxieties over the weak and widely-scattered communities of Christians.

Paul began his preaching in Damascus. Here the anger of the orthodox Jews against this renegade was so great that he had to make his escape by having himself let down from the city wall in a basket. Going down to Jerusalem, he was there looked on with suspicion by the Jewish Christians, for they could not at first believe that he who had so lately been their persecutor had turned advocate. Back in his native city of Tarsus once more, he was joined by Barnabas, and together they journeyed to Syrian Antioch,[1] where they were so successful in finding followers that a church, later to become famous in the annals of early Christianity, was founded. It was here that the disciples of Jesus were first given the name of Christians (from the Greek <christos>, anointed). After again returning to Jerusalem to bring aid to members of the sect who were suffering from famine, these two missionaries went back to Antioch, then sailed to the island of Cyprus; while there they converted the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus. Once more on the mainland of Asia Minor, they crossed the Taurus Mountains and visited many towns of the interior, particularly those having Jewish settlements. It was Paul's general practice in such places first to visit the synagogues and preach to the Jews; if rejected by them, he would then preach to the Gentiles. At Antioch in Pisidia Paul delivered a memorable discourse to the Jews, concluding with these words (Acts xiii, 46-47): "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord commanded us, I have set thee for a light to the Gentiles, to be a means of salvation to the very ends of the earth." After this, the Jews drove Paul and Barnabas out from their midst, and a little later the missionaries were back in Jerusalem, where the elders were debating the attitude of the Christian Church, still predominantly Jewish in membership, towards Gentile converts. The question of circumcision proved troublesome, for most Jews thought it important that Gentiles should submit to this requirement of Jewish law; Paul's side, the more liberal, standing against circumcision, won out eventually.

The second missionary journey, which lasted from 49 to 52, took Paul and Silas, his new assistant, to Phrygia and Galatia, to Troas, and across to the mainland of Europe, to Philippi in Macedonia. The physician Luke was now a member of the party, and in the book of Acts he gives us the record. They made their way to Thessalonica, then down to Athens and Corinth. At Athens Paul preached in the Areopagus, and we know that some of the Stoics and Epicureans heard him and debated with him informally, attracted by his vigorous intellect, his magnetic personality, and the ethical teachings which, in many respects, were not unlike their own. Passing over to Corinth, he found himself in the very heart of the Graeco-Roman world, and his letters of this period show that he is aware of the great odds against him, of the ceaseless struggle to be waged in overcoming pagan skepticism and indifference. He nevertheless stayed at Corinth for eighteen months, and met with considerable success. Two valuable workers there, Aquila and Priscilla, husband and wife, returned with him to Asia. It was during his first winter at Corinth that Paul wrote the earliest extant missionary letters. They show his supreme concern for conduct and his belief in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which gives men power for good.

The third missionary journey covered the period of 52 to 56. At Ephesus, an important city of Lydia, where the cult of the Greek-Ionic goddess Diana was very popular, Paul raised a disturbance against the cult and the trade in silver images of the goddess which flourished there. Later, in Jerusalem, he caused a commotion by visiting the temple; he was arrested, roughly handled, and bound with chains; but when he was brought before the tribune, he defended himself in a way that impressed his captors. He was taken to Caesarea, for it was rumored that some Jews at Jerusalem, who falsely accused him of having admitted Gentiles to the temple, were plotting to kill him. He was kept in prison at Caesarea awaiting trial for about two years, under the proconsuls Felix and Festus. The Roman governors apparently wished to avoid trouble with both Jews and Christians and so postponed judgment from month to month. Paul at last appealed to the Emperor, demanding the legal right of a Roman citizen to have his case heard by Nero himself. He was placed in the custody of a centurion, who took him to Rome. The Acts of the Apostles leave him in the imperial city, awaiting his hearing.

It would appear that Paul's appeal was successful, for there is some evidence of another missionary journey, probably to Macedonia. On this last visit to the various Christian communities, it is believed that he appointed Titus bishop in Crete and Timothy at Ephesus. Returning to Rome, he was once more arrested, and after two years in chains suffered martyrdom, presumably at about the same time as the Apostle Peter, bishop of the Roman Church. Inscriptions of the second and third century in the catacombs give evidence of a cult of SS. Peter and Paul. This devotion has never diminished in popularity. In Christian art St. Paul is usually depicted as a bald man with a black beard, rather stocky, but vigorous and intense. His relics are venerated in the basilica of St. Paul and in the Lateran Church at Rome.

Because of the pressure of his work, Paul usually dictated his letters, writing the salutation in his own hand. The most quoted of New Testament writers, Paul has given us a wealth of counsel, aphorisms, and ethical teachings; he had the power of expressing spiritual truths in the simplest of words, and this, rather than the building up of a systematic theology, was his contribution to the early Church. A man of action, Paul reveals the dynamic of his whole career when he writes, "I press on towards the goal, to the prize of God's heavenly calling in Christ Jesus." Although he himself was forever pressing onwards, his letters often invoked a spirit of quiet meditation, as when he ends his epistle to the Philippians with the beautiful lines: "Whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these things."



St. Peter
Feast: June 29

Feast Day:June 29
Died:64, Rome, Italy
Major Shrine:St. Peter's Basilica
Patron of:against frenzy, bakers, bridge builders, butchers, clock makers, cobblers, feet problems, fever, fishermen, foot problems, harvesters, locksmiths, longevity, masons, net makers, papacy, ship builders, shoemakers, Universal Church, many more...
St. Peter is mentioned so often in the New Testament—in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Epistles of St. Paul—that we feel we know him better than any other person who figured prominently in the life of the Saviour. In all, his name appears 182 times. We have no knowledge of him prior to his conversion, save that he was a Galilean fisherman, from the village of Bethsaida or Capernaum. There is some evidence for supposing that Peter's brother Andrew and possibly Peter himself were followers of John the Baptist, and were therefore prepared for the appearance of the Messiah in their midst. We picture Peter as a shrewd and simple man, of great power for good, but now and again afflicted by sudden weakness and doubt, at least at the outset of his discipleship. After the death of the Saviour he manifested his primacy among the Apostles by his courage and strength. He was "the Rock" on which the Church was founded. It is perhaps Peter's capacity for growth that makes his story so inspiring to other erring humans. He reached the lowest depths on the night when he denied the Lord, then began the climb upward, to become bishop of Rome, martyr, and, finally, "keeper of the keys of Heaven."

Our first glimpse of Peter comes at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. While He was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the water. When He called to them, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they at once dropped their net to follow Him. A little later we learn that they visited the house where Peter's mother-in-law was suffering from a fever, and Jesus cured her. This was the first cure witnessed by Peter, but he was to see many miracles, for he stayed close to Jesus during the two years of His ministry. All the while he was listening, watching, questioning, learning, sometimes failing in perfect faith, but in the end full of strength and thoroughly prepared for his own years of missionary preaching.

Let us recall a few of the Biblical episodes in which Peter appears. We are told that after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus withdrew to the mountain to pray, and his disciples started to sail home across the Lake of Galilee. Suddenly they saw Him walking on the water, and, according to the account in Matthew, Jesus told them not to be afraid. It was Peter who said, "Lord, if it is Thou, bid me come to Thee over the water." Peter set out confidently, but suddenly grew afraid and began to sink, and Jesus stretched forth His hand to save him, saying, "O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?"

Then we have Peter's dramatic confession of faith, which occurred when Jesus and his followers had reached the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus having asked the question, "Who do men say that I am?" there were various responses. Then Jesus turned to Peter and said, "But who do you say that I am?" and Peter answered firmly, "Thou art the Christ, son of the living God." (Matthew xvi, 13-18; Mark viii, 27-29; Luke ix, 18-20.) Then Jesus told him that his name would henceforth be Peter. In the Aramaic tongue which Jesus and his disciples spoke, the word was kepha, meaning rock. Jesus concluded with the prophetic words, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock shall be built My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

There seems to be no doubt that Peter was favored among the disciples. He was selected, with James and John, to accompany Jesus to the mountain, the scene of the Transfiguration, to be given a glimpse of His glory, and there heard God pronounce the words, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
After this, the group had gone down to Jerusalem, where Jesus began to prepare his disciples for the approaching end of his ministry on earth. Peter chided Him and could not bring himself to believe that the end was near. When all were gathered for the Last Supper, Peter declared his loyalty and devotion in these words, "Lord, with Thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death." It must have been in deep sorrow that Jesus answered that before cockcrow Peter would deny Him thrice. And as the tragic night unrolled, this prophecy came true. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and was taken by soldiers to the Jewish high priest, Peter followed far behind, and sat half hidden in the courtyard of the temple during the proceedings. Pointed out as one of the disciples, Peter three times denied the accusation. But we know that he was forgiven, and when, after the Resurrection, Jesus manifested himself to his disciples, He signaled Peter out, and made him declare three times that he loved Him, paralleling the three times that Peter had denied Him. Finally, Jesus charged Peter, with dramatic brevity, "Feed my sheep." From that time on Peter became the acknowledged and responsible leader of the sect.

It was Peter who took the initiative in selecting a new Apostle in place of Judas, and he who performed the first miracle of healing. A lame beggar asked for money; Peter told him he had none, but in the name of Jesus the Nazarene bade him arise and walk. The beggar did as he was bidden, cured of his lameness. When, about two years after the Ascension, the spread of the new religion brought on the persecutions that culminated in the martyrdom of St. Stephen, many of the converts scattered or went into hiding. The Apostles stood their ground firmly in Jerusalem, where the Jewish temple had become the spearhead of opposition to them. Peter chose to preach in the outlying villages, farther and farther afield. In Samaria, where he preached and performed miracles, he was offered money by Simon Magus, a magician, if he would teach the secret of his occult powers. Peter rebuked the magician sternly, saying, "Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased by money."
With his vigorous outspokenness, Peter inevitably came into conflict with the Jewish authorities, and twice the high priests had him arrested. We are told that he was miraculously freed of his prison chains, and astonished the other Apostles by suddenly appearing back among them. Peter now preached in the seaports of Joppa and Lydda, where he met men of many races, and in Caesarea, where he converted the first Gentile, a man named Cornelius. Realizing that the sect must win its greatest support from Gentiles, Peter helped to shape the early policy towards them. Its growing eminence led to his election as bishop of the see of Antioch. How long he remained there, or how or when he came to Rome, we do not know. The evidence seems to establish the fact that his last years were spent in Rome as bishop. The belief that he suffered martyrdom there during the reign of Nero in the same year as St. Paul is soundly based on the writings of three early Fathers, St. Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian.[1] The only writings by St. Peter which have come down to us are his New Testament Epistles I and II, both of which are thought to have been written from Rome to the Christian converts of Asia Minor. The First Epistle is filled with admonitions to mutual helpfulness, charity, and humility, and in general outlines the duties of Christians in all aspects of life. At its conclusion (I Peter v, 13) Peter sends greetings from "the church which is at Babylon." This is accepted as further evidence that the letter was written from Rome, which in the Jewish usage of the time was called "Babylon." The second Epistle warns against false teachings, speaks of the Second Coming of the Lord, and ends with the beautiful doxology, "But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and the day of eternity."
The latest archeological findings indicate that St. Peter's Church in Rome rises over the site of his tomb, as Pius XII announced at the close of the Holy Year of 1950. In the catacombs many wall writings have been found which link the names of St. Peter and St. Paul, showing that popular devotion to the two great Apostles began in very early times. Paintings of later date commonly depict Peter as a short, energetic man with curly hair and beard; in art his traditional emblems are a boat, keys, and a cock.



Matthew 16: 13 - 19
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?"
14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


(Image source: Radio Vaticana)
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is: "That everyone may have work in safe and secure conditions".
His mission intention is: "That Christian volunteers in mission territories may witness to the love of Christ".
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, in a traditional meeting for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, Benedict XVI received a delegation sent by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. The Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople traditionally exchange visits for the feasts of their respective patrons.
The delegation, which delivered a message to the Holy Father on behalf of the Patriarch, was made up of His Eminence Emmanuel (Adenakis), metropolitan of France and director of the office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union; His Grace Ilias Katre, bishop of Philomelion, U.S.A., and Rev. Paisios Kokkinakis of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Benedict XVI told the group that the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul "gives us an opportunity to thank the Lord for the extraordinary works He has achieved and continues to achieve through the Apostles in the life of the Church. Their preaching, sealed by the witness of martyrdom, is the solid and durable base upon which the Church rests. By remaining faithful to the deposit of faith they have handed down to us, we discover our own shared roots".
"In our meeting - as we entrust to the intercession of the glorious Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul our prayer that the Lord ... may soon grant us that blessed day in which we can share the Eucharistic bread - we thank God for the journey of peace and reconciliation He has caused us to travel together. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II. ... It was during that Council - attended, as you well know, by certain representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as fraternal delegates - that a new and important phase in relations between our Churches began. Let us praise the Lord above all for the rediscovery of the profound brotherhood which unites us, and for the distance covered over these years by the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, also in the hope that it will continue to progress in the current phase".
"As we remember the anniversary of Vatican Council II, I think it right to recall the person and works of the unforgettable Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras who, together with Blessed John XXIII and Servant of God Paul VI, moved by that passion for Church unity which arises from faith in Christ the Lord, promoted important initiatives which paved the way to renewed relations between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Catholic Church. I am profoundly glad that His Holiness Bartholomew I, with renewed faithfulness and fruitful creativity, is continuing along the path laid down by his predecessors Athenagoras and Demetrios, and is known throughout the world for his openness to dialogue among Christians and his commitment to announcing the Gospel in the modern world", the Holy Father concluded.

Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
- Servant of God Luca Passi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy (1789-1866).
- Servant of God Francesca de Paula de Jesus, known as Nha Chica, Brazilian laywoman (1808-1895).
- Servants of God Manuel Borras Ferre, auxiliary bishop of Tarragona, Spain, Agapito Modesto (ne Modesto Pamplona Falguera) of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools, and 145 companions, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1939.
- Servant of God Giuseppe Puglisi, Italian diocesan priest (1937-1993), killed in hatred of the faith in Palermo, Italy in 1993.
- Servants of God Ermenegildo of the Assumption (ne Ermenegildo Iza y Aregita) and five companions of the Order of the Blessed Trinity, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servant of God Victoria de Jesus (nee Francesca Valverde Gonzalez), Spanish religious of the "Instituto Calasancio de Hijas de la Divina Pastora" (1888-1937), killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1937.
- Servant of God Devasahayam (Lazarus) Pillai, Indian layman (1712-1752), killed in hatred of the faith in India in 1752.
- Servant of God Sisto Riario Sforza, Italian archbishop of Naples and cardinal of Holy Roman Church (1810-1877).
- Servant of God Fulton Sheen, American archbishop, and former bishop of Rochester (1895-1979).
- Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano, Spanish prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (1914-1994).
- Servant of God Ludwig Tijssen, Dutch diocesan priest (1865-1929).
- Servant of God Cristobal of St. Catherine (ne: Cristobal Fernando Valladolid), Spanish priest and founder of the Congregation and the Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth in Cordoba (1638-1690).
- Servant of God Marie of the Sacred Heart (nee Marie Josephte Fitzbach), Canadian widow and founder of the Handmaidens of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known as the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec (1806-1885).
- Servant of God Mary Angeline Teresa (nee Bridget Teresa McCrory), founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm (1893-1984).
- Servant of God Maria Margit (nee Adelaide Bogner), Hungarian professed nun of the Order of the Visitation (1905-1933).
- Servant of God Ferdinanda Riva, Italian professed sister of the Institute of Daughters of Charity (1920-1956).
On 10 May the Holy Father authorised the Congregation to promulgate the decree concerning the martyrdom of Servant of God Juan Huguet y Cardona, Spanish diocesan priest (1913-1936), killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.

Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Mordechay Levy, ambassador of Israel, on his farewell visit.
- Lamia Mekhemar, ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, on her farewell visit.
- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Carlo Roberto Maria Redaelli, auxiliary of Milan, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Gorizia (area 1,030, population 186,627, Catholics 181,027, priests 122, permanent deacons 13, religious 309), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Dino De Antoni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Marcel Damphousse of the clergy of the archdiocese of Saint-Boniface, Canada, rector of the cathedral and member of the diocesan council for economic affairs, as bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (area 1,290, population 90,100, Catholics 56.042, priests 40, permanent deacons 19, religious 35), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Joseph, Canada in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1991. He studied in Rome and has worked as a parish priest, diocesan director for vocations and chaplain of the local high school.
- Appointed Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua, as apostolic nuncio to Sweden and Iceland.


ASMARA, June 26, 2012 (CISA) –Eritrean refugees in Israel and other countries in the Horn of Africa are facing hostility and forceful return to their oppressive regime, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has said.
According to the Christian organisation, Eritrean refugees face almost certain imprisonment and mistreatment if returned to their own country.
“There has been a sort of rising anger at the presence of increasing numbers of refugees particularly from Sudan and Eritrea in Israel,” says Dr Khataza Gondwe, CSW Team Leader for Africa and the Middle East.
Dr Gondwe said that for Eritreans, “the thought that they have fled an oppressive regime, and then to reach Israel only to be returned to the oppressive regime is quite an awful thought.”
According to Vatican Radio, Dr Gondwe adds that NGO’s have been trying to help meet the needs of refugees both psychologically and materially.
In recent times, since Eritrea’s independence in 1993, President Isaias Afewerki has come under heavy criticism from international bodies such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for its record on human rights violations.


Young campers restore UK Cathedrals | Cathedral Campers, CSV

Group at Southwark Cathedral
This summer young people will be touring UK’s cathedrals, chapels and churches in a bid to protect and restore UK faith buildings, as part of CSV’s Cathedral Camps volunteering summer programme.
Cathedral Camps, which are run by UK volunteering charity CSV, will see young people getting stuck in all areas of church and cathedral life in painting walls, polishing spires, ringing bells, sweeping the grounds, surveying tombstones and cleaning graveyards. ‘Campers’, all aged between 16 – 25 years old, will get the chance to see the hidden dark corners of the nation’s most iconic religious buildings across the UK.
It is the ideal opportunity for any young person who has a personal or career interest in heritage conservation; is doing a Duke of Edinburgh award or just likes having fun and getting to know people from all over the world!

Cathedral and historic church enthusiast and TV presenter, Loyd Grossman, supports CSV Cathedral Camps. He said: “As the Chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust, a partner of Cathedral Camps, I know first hand the importance of protecting our historic religious buildings. Small changes, such as lime-washing church walls, recording ancient tombstones or archiving precious paintings can make a huge difference. CSV Cathedral Camps is a wonderful opportunity for young people to have a stake in the future of heritage buildings.”
Venue highlights for 2012
Islington Union Chapel is the perfect camp for young people interested in comedy, music and amateur dramatics as this Grade I listed building serves a multi-purpose of worship and popular culture. Campers will be painting, polishing and cleaning the grounds.
Winchester Cathedral offers a wealth of beauty and stunning architecture. Set in idyllic South East England, Winchester is packed with historic buildings, museums and tranquil green spaces. This is the perfect opportunity for young people to explore Winchester’s hidden treasures including a fortified medieval gateway, 150 years of prisoners’ graffiti and King Arthur’s Round Table.
Bangor Cathedral is situated in a region of outstanding natural beauty where the Snowdonia Mountains reach the sea. Campers will get a chance to explore the UK’s smallest city, which boasts of its own Victorian Pier and longest High Street in Wales; perfect for shopping enthusiasts.

Ripon Cathedral is described as the ‘perfect’ Cathedral due to its epic proportions and is set in the Yorkshire countryside. Dominating the Ripon skyline, this amazing building with its medieval woodcarving which decorates the choir stalls inspired the likes of author Lewis Carroll.
St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh is the largest ecclesiastical building in Scotland, which stands in the heart of the busy West End but maintains an aura of stillness and peace. It was built in the 19th Century and designed in a Gothic style.
Somerset churches with CCT is a chance to work in four historic rural churches in idyllic countryside.
Experts will be on hand as campers discover the wonders of these hidden gems and help with crucial conservation tasks. Literary skills will be needed too as participants will develop a much-needed ‘walkround’ guide at one church, in a single day.
CSV Cathedral Camps leader, Hannah Foxon said: “Cathedral Camps is a fantastic chance to help preserve and maintain some of this country’s finest architecture whilst meeting new people and learning new skills. Most volunteers come away with the feeling of great pride, success and achievement. This year is my fourth year and fifth camp as a leader for CSV Cathedral Camps, and each camp I have attended has been totally different. I especially enjoy the varied opportunities the camps provide.”
Wendy Lee, CSV’s project manager for Cathedral Camps, said: “CSV Cathedral Camps is a great opportunity for young people, aged 16-25 to learn new skills, whilst protecting historic places of faith. The charity celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, which is a testament to its success and the young volunteers who show great enthusiasm and commitment. Without the time and energy of volunteers, these jobs will not get done and spectacular buildings may be at risk.”
Cathedral Camps Summer programme 2012

4 July – 11 July
St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
11 July – 18 July
Wells Cathedral
11 July – 18 July
Churches Conservation Trust, Somerset
18 July – 25 July
Holy Trinity, Kendal Parish Church
25 July – 1 August
St Mark's Church, London
25 July – 1 August
Islington Union Chapel, London
1 August – 8 August
Ripon Cathedral
1 August – 8 August
Truro Cathedral
1 August – 8 August
Canterbury Cathedral
1 August – 8 August
Winchester Cathedral
8 August – 15 August
Chester Cathedral
15 August – 22 August
Tewkesbury Abbey
15 August – 22 August
Bangor Cathedral
15 August – 22 August
Wimborne Minster
22 August – 29 August
Southwell Minster

Each camp runs from Wednesday to Wednesday for one week with Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday free for relaxation or exploring the local area. Activities are arranged for the evenings to see the sights and have some fun with fellow campers.
Campers make a contribution of £195 towards accommodation, food, instruction and supervision.
For further information and booking details about Cathedral Camps visit: or call 0121 643 8080


Agenzia Fides REPORT - President Ricardo Martinelli and the Archbishop of Panama, Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa, met on the afternoon of June 26 at Palazzo der Las Grazas, according to a note sent to Fides Agency. The meeting, which took place in the President’s office, was also attended by the Auxiliary Mgr. Pablo Varela; the priest Miguel Angel Keller, pastoral vicar; the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, and Luis Eduardo Camacho, Secretary of communications of the State.
During the meeting, Monsignor Domingo Ulloa Martinelli told the President about his talks with various sectors of society, aimed at building bridges to maintain an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that the country badly needs. The Church, through these approaches, will try to create useful contacts for dialogue between government and opposition groups for the benefit of the country.
The President reiterated his continued commitment to respect the Constitution and laws of the State, and promote an atmosphere of friendly dialogue, in order to prevail the interests of all Panamanians.
Before the meeting the Archbishop had met with the leaders of the Fronte for Democracy and other opposition members, union members and environmental groups, reiterating the Church's position: "To become a bridge for unity among all political protagonists for the common good of the country." (CE) (Agenzia Fides


In Chittagong water has reached a meter in height. The disturbance is moving towards the northeast. Local sources of AsiaNews resize the situation: "These are normal seasonal floods." And they complain: "The government has launched appeals to the international community, but the money that arrives does not go to the victims of the disasters."

Chittagong (AsiaNews) - At least 110 dead and over 150,000 displaced: this is the toll from the floods which for days have been hitting the southeast of Bangladesh, in particular the districts of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Bandarban. The data - continuously updated - comes from the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management. However, local sources of AsiaNews diminish the magnitude of the disaster: "We're in monsoon season, unfortunately these situations occur every year. They are seasonal floods, it is still early to proclaim it a disaster. What is worrying is that another disturbance, of greater magnitude, is headed towards the northeast of the country: the area includes many villages, thousands of people. Many are already flooded; should it continue to rain, anything can happen."

In the past few days, the sources explained, "there was a disturbance on the sea that brought heavy rains. In Chittagong city, roads and streets were flooded; the water reached nearly a meter in height. The problem is that there are no drainage systems. Then, there were landslides on the hills around the city, which struck some houses."

Meanwhile, the government has not yet organized rescue operations. Where possible, the population receives aid from local Caritas centers or some NGOs. "Even this", the source said, "is normal. Everyone has to fend for himself. From one point of view, the government is powerless in the face of such situations. It also happened in the past, when the floods inundated thousands of villages". What is certain though, is that "when these situations occur, the government launches appeals to the international community to receive aid, which however does not go to disaster areas, but into the pockets of someone else."



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
28 Jun 2012

Another asylum seeker boat capsizes with 25 missing
When news came through early yesterday morning that an asylum seeker boat filled with women and children had capsized off the Indonesia waters, Christmas Island local and father of two, Kamar Ismail experienced grief and a feeling of utter despair.
"For anyone to die at sea is sad, but it is especially sad when some of those are children," he says.
Like many other locals, Kamar Ismail is deeply troubled by the second asylum seeker boat tragedy in less than two weeks and is still haunted by memories of another Wednesday morning 18 months ago when a flimsy boat carrying 90 asylum seekers was thrown against the jagged rocks of the Island.

Locals like Mike Foster tried desperately to help rescue
asylum seekers off Christmas Island in December 2010
Over the crash of splintering timbers and the roar of waves and wind as storms lashed the Island's rugged coast, there were frantic screams for help. But in the mountainous seas but on 15 December 2010 locals such as Kamar Ismail and Island electrician, Mike Foster were forced to watch helplessly as more than 48 men, women and children lost their lives.
"As the boat came in I saw a lady in the water pointing to the back of the boat and saying a man was holding a baby and shouting that the baby was dying. Then a big wave pushed the boat towards the cliff and suddenly everybody was in the water. I kept on looking for the baby the man was holding. But it was not there," he says.
Kamar cannot forget the man and the baby who had stood at the rear of the boat before being lost under the waves as the boat broke up and smashed against the rocks.
For Simon Prince, who operates the dive shop on the Island it was even more traumatic as he raced down the long jetty near Rocky Point where the boat foundered, desperately throwing whatever life jackets the shop had into the water in a bid to help those fighting for survival in the huge seas.

Kamar Ismail saw a man holding a dying baby
and then both disappeared as the boat broke up
Mike Foster also has vivid memories of that morning as well as later in the week when refrigerated containers were converted to temporary morgues. As the bodies of those who lost their lives in the tragedy were recovered, they were taken to these temporary morgues where newly-arrived teams from the Australian Federal Police began the difficult task of identifying the dead.
In the past week, the refrigerated containers serving as temporary morgues outside the island's small hospital are once again back on site. So too are increased numbers of the AFP.
"Survivors are unloaded onto the Island down near the stevedoring area by the detention centre which is closed off. So we don't see them but we can see when the bodies come in, when they are loaded into vans and trucks. We know what the refrigerated container means and that this is where recovered bodies are being taken," says Mike Foster of the 17 bodies recovered so far from last week's tragedy when an estimated 90 of the 210 aboard lost their lives.

Temporary morgues created
from refrigerated containers
So far as a result of yesterday's tragedy, 130 have been rescued. However only one body has been recovered and an estimated 25 missing.
"These tragedies touch the heart. No one wants people to die. Something has to be done," says Mike who criticises politicians on both sides for a policy that not only has failed to stop the boats but has done little to prevent more and more of these tragedies.
Karam Ismail is equally disturbed by the continuing loss of life.
"It is a sad thing and a very, very risky way of coming to this island," he says and like Mike and many others on the island blames the Government and Opposition for putting politics and next year's election ahead of the increasing number of deaths.
Since the Christmas Island shipwreck of 2010 almost 600 men, women and children have drowned during their perilous sea journey from Indonesia to Australia. However it is believed this figure could well be far higher as there are no records of the number of asylum seeker boats that leave Indonesia. Not picked up by radar, some with their human cargo of desperate people simply sink without a trace.

Stones with the names of those
lost serve as a makeshift memorial
to the 353 asylum seekers
lost at sea in 2001
"The situation seems increasingly hopeless and whatever locals privately think about asylum seekers and whether or not they agree with having a detention centre here on the island, all agree that these tragic and unnecessary deaths must stop," Kamar Ismail says.
Survivors land at Christmas Island and taken
by van to be assessed at the island's small hospital


Matthew 7: 21 - 29
21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
23 And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'
24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;
25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;
27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
29 for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Feast: June 28

Feast Day:June 28
Born:130 in Asia Minor
Died:203 in Lyons, France
The writings of Irenaeus give him an honored place among the Fathers of the Church for they laid the foundations of Christian theology and, by refuting the errors of the Gnostics, kept the youthful Catholic faith from the danger of corruption by the subtle, pessimistic doctrines of these philosophers. Irenaeus was born, probably about the year 125, in one of the maritime provinces of Asia Minor, where the memory of the Apostles was still cherished and where Christians were already numerous. His education was exceptionally liberal, for, besides a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, he had an acquaintance with Greek philosophy and literature. Irenaeus had also the privilege of sitting at the feet of men who had known the Apostles. Of these the one who made the deepest impression on him was St. Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna. All through his life, he told a friend, he could recall every detail of Polycarp's appearance, his voice, and the very words he used when telling what he had heard from John the Evangelist and others who had seen Jesus.

From early times commerce had been brisk between the ports of Asia Minor and the city of Marseilles, at the mouth of the Rhone River. In the second century of the Christian era Levantine traders were conveying their wares up the river as far as Lyons, the most populous city of Gaul and an important mart for all Western Europe. In the train of these Asiatic merchants, many of whom settled in Lyons, came Christian missionaries, who brought the Gospel to the pagan Gauls and founded a vigorous church. Here Irenaeus was sent to serve as priest under the bishop, Pothinus.

The high regard which Irenaeus earned for himself at Lyons was shown in the year 177, when he was chosen to go on a serious mission to Rome. He was the bearer of a letter to Pope Eleutherius, urging him to deal firmly with the Montanist faction in faraway Phrygia, for heresy was now rampant in the East. This mission explains how it was that Irenaeus did not share in the martyrdom of his fellow Christians. A persecution broke out, and some of the leaders of the Lyons church were imprisoned; a few suffered martyrdom. This was in the reign of the philosophical pagan emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Since Lyons was a vital outpost of imperial power, adorned with temples and fine public buildings, the Roman officials perhaps thought it necessary to keep the new religion in check here. When Irenaeus returned from Rome it was to fill the now vacant bishopric. The brief period of persecution was over, and the twenty or more years of his episcopate were fairly peaceful. In addition to his pastoral duties at Lyons, Irenaeus is said to have extended the sphere of Christian influence by sending missionaries to other towns of Gaul-SS. Felix, Fortunatus, and Achilleus to Valence, and SS. Ferrutius and Ferreolus to Besancon. The bishop identified himself with his flock so completely as to speak habitually the native tongue instead of Latin or Greek, and to encourage all priests to do likewise.

The spread of Gnosticism in Gaul led Irenaeus to make a careful study of its tenets, not an easy matter since each Gnostic teacher was inclined to introduce subtleties of his own. He was, Tertullian tells us, "a curious explorer of all kinds of learning," and the task interested him. His treatise <Against the Heresies>, in five books, sets forth fully the doctrines of the main dissident sects of the day and then contrasts them with the words of Scripture and the teachings of the Apostles, as preserved not only in sacred writings but by oral tradition in the churches which the Apostles founded. Above all, he cites the authoritative tradition of the Church of Rome, handed down from Peter and Paul through an unbroken succession of bishops. In his theological works Irenaeus especially shows the influence of St. Paul and St. John. An humble, patient man, he writes of controversial matters with a moderation and courtesy unusual in this age of perfervid conviction.

An example of his method is his discussion of one type of Gnostic doctrine, that the visible world was created and is sustained and governed by angelic beings, but not by God, who remains unconnected with it, aloof and unmoved in his own inaccessible sphere. Irenaeus states the theory, develops it to a logical conclusion, and then by an effective <reductio ad absurdum> demonstrates its fallacy. The Christian doctrine of a close continuing relationship between the Triune God and the world He created Irenaeus describes thus: "The Father is above all, and He is the Head of Christ; the Word (Logos) is through all things and is Himself the Head of the Church, while the Spirit is in us all, and His is the living water which the Lord gave to those who believe in Him and love Him, and who know that there is one Father above all things and through all things." Irenaeus was convinced that the veil of mystery which enveloped Gnosticism was part of its attraction, and he was determined to "strip the fox," as he expressed it. His book, written in Greek and quickly translated into Latin, was widely circulated, and from this time on Gnosticism presented no serious threat.

Thirteen or fourteen years after his mission to Rome, Irenaeus attempted mediation between another Pope and a body of Christians in Asia Minor called the Quartodecimans, who refused to fix the day of Easter by the method commonly used by Christians. Pope Victor had excommunicated them, and Irenaeus pleaded with him in a beautiful letter to raise the ban, pointing out that these Asiatics were only following their Apostolic tradition, and that the difference of opinion on this minor point had not prevented St. Polycarp and many others from staying in communion. At the end of the fourth century Jerome wrote that many Eastern bishops still adhered to the ancient Jewish calendar.

The date of the death of Irenaeus is usually given as about the year 203. According to a late and dubious tradition he suffered martyrdom under Septimius Severus. His book <Against the Heresies> has come down to us entire in its Latin version; and an Armenian translation of his <Exposition of Apostolic Preaching> has lately been discovered. Though the rest of his writings have perished, in these two works may be found the elements of a complete system of Catholic theology.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS) - The Letter to the Philippians which, the Holy Father said, is in some way St. Paul's "spiritual last will and testament", was the theme of his catechesis during the general audience, which was held this morning in the Paul VI Hall.
The Apostle of the Gentiles dictated this Letter from jail, when he felt death approaching, yet nonetheless it closes with an invitation to be joyful. Joy, the Holy Father explained, "is a fundamental characteristic of being Christian. ... But how can one be joyful in the face of an imminent death sentence? From where, or better from whom, does St. Paul draw his peace of mind and the strength and courage to face martyrdom?"
The answer is to be found in the middle of the Letter to the Philippians, in the so-called "carmen Christo" or "Christological hymn", which "summarises the Son of God's divine and human itinerary". It opens with these words: "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus". This, the Pope said, "means not only following Jesus' example, ... but also involving the whole of our lives in His way of thinking and acting".
This hymn to Christ begins by saying that He is "'in the form of God'. Yet Jesus, true God and true man, did not experience this condition ... in order to triumph and to impose His supremacy", but to take "'the form of a slave', the human form marked by suffering, poverty and death. He assimilated Himself fully to mankind, except in sin".
St. Paul continues by outlining the historical context of Jesus' earthly life, up to the cross where He "experienced the greatest degree of humiliation, because crucifixion was the punishment reserved for slaves, and not for the free". Yet it is "in the cross of Christ that man is redeemed and Adam's experience is transformed ". If the first man sought to be like God, "then Jesus, though 'in the form of God', lowered Himself and immersed Himself in the human condition, ... to redeem the Adam within us and to restore to man the dignity he had lost".
"Human logic", Benedict XVI went on, "often seeks realisation in power and domination. ... Man still wants to build the Tower of Babel with his own strength, to reach the heights of God, to be like God. The incarnation and the cross remind us that full realisation lies in conforming our human will to that of the Father, in emptying ourselves ... of selfishness in order to fill ourselves with the love of God and thus to become truly capable of loving one another".
The Pope then noted that, in the second part of the Christological hymn, the subject changes: no longer Christ but God the Father. "He Who abased Himself by taking on the form of a slave, is exalted and raised above all things by the Father, Who gives Him the name of 'Kyrios', 'Lord'. ... The Jesus Who is exalted is the Jesus of the Last Supper Who ... bends to wash the feet of the Apostles. ... It is important to remember this always during our prayers and our lives".
"This hymn in the Letter to the Philippians contains two important indications for our own prayers. The first is the invocation of 'Lord' addressed to Jesus Christ Who, ... amidst so many 'dominators' who seek to rule, remains the one Lord of our lives. ... Therefore it is important to maintain a scale of values in which the first place belongs to God".
"The second indication is prostration, ... the 'bending of every knee in heaven and on earth', ... the adoration that all creatures owe to God. Genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament or kneeling in prayer express the attitude of adoration before God. ... When we kneel before the Lord we confess our faith in Him, we recognise that He is the one Lord of our lives".
"At the beginning of this catechesis we asked ourselves how St. Paul could be joyful when faced with the risk of imminent martyrdom", the Holy Father concluded. "This was possible only because the Apostle never removed his gaze from Christ".

Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued a note explaining the new form of the rite for imposing the pallium on metropolitan archbishops, which takes place annually on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.
"Things will remain substantially the same", the note reads, "but this year, following a logic of development in continuity, it has been decided simply to move the rite itself, and it will now take place before the Eucharistic celebration.
"The modification has been approved by the Holy Father and is motivated by the following reasons:
"1. To make the rite shorter. The list of new metropolitan archbishops will be read out immediately before the entry of the opening procession and the singing of 'Tu es Petrus', and it will not be part of the celebration. The rite of the palliums will take place as soon as the Holy Father reaches the altar.
"2. To ensure that the Eucharistic celebration is not 'interrupted' by a relatively long rite (the number of metropolitan archbishops now stands at around forty-five each year), which could make attentive and focused participation in the Mass more difficult.
"3. To make the rite of imposing the pallium more in keeping with the 'Cerimoniale Episcoporum', and to avoid the possibility that, by coming after the homily (as happened in the past), it may be thought of as a Sacramental rite. Indeed, the rites which take place during a Eucharistic celebration following the homily are normally Sacramental rites: Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick. The imposition of the pallium, on the other hand, is not Sacramental in nature".
The following metropolitan archbishops will receive the pallium in this year's ceremony:
- Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany.
- Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Archbishop Francesco Moraglia, patriarch of Venice, Italy.
- Archbishop Alfredo Horacio Zecca of Tucuman, Argentina.
- Archbishop Mario Alberto Molina Palma O.A.R. of Los Altos, Quetzaltenango-Totonicapan, Guatemala.
- Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Luc Cyr of Sherbrooke, Canada.
- Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho or Huamanga, Peru.
- Archbishop Francesco Panfilo S.D.B. of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
- Archbishop Ulises Antonio Gutierrez Reyes O. de M. of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.
- Archbishop Stanis?aw Budzik of Lublin, Poland.
- Archbishop Wilson Tadeu Jonck S.C.I. of Florianopolis, Brazil.
- Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Canada.
- Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines.
- Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario C.S.C. of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Archbishop Wiktor Pawel Skworc of Katowice, Poland.
- Archbishop Jose F. Advincula of Capiz, Philippines.
- Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, Italy.
- Archbishop Jose Francisco Rezende Dias of Niteroi, Brazil.
- Archbishop Esmeraldo Barreto de Farias of Porto Velho, Brazil.
- Archbishop Jaime Vieira Rocha of Natal, Brazil.
- Archbishop Joseph Harris C.S.Sp. of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
- Archbishop Waclaw Depo of Czestochowa, Poland.
- Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama, Zambia.
- Archbishop Pascal Wintzer of Poitiers, France.
- Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, India.
- Archbishop William Charles Skurla of Pittsburgh of the Byzantines, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi, Pakistan.
- Archbishop Romulo Geolina Valles of Davao, Philippines.
- Archbishop Airton Jose dos Santos of Campinas, Brazil.
- Archbishop Timothy Costelloe S.D.B. of Perth, Australia.
- Archbishop Jacinto Furtado de Brito Sobrinho of Teresina, Brazil.
- Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta, India.
- Archbishop Arrigo Miglio of Cagliari, Italy.
- Archbishop John F. Du of Palo, Philippines.
- Archbishop Paulo Mendes Peixoto of Uberaba, Brazil.
- Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal, Canada.
- Archbishop William Edward Lori of Baltimore, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia.
- Archbishop Jesus Carlos Cabrero Romero of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
- Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo jung of Seoul, Korea.
- Archbishop Benedito Roberto C.S.Sp. of Malanje, Angola.
- Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos, Nigeria.
- Archbishop Samuel Joseph Aquila of Denver, U.S.A.
The following two archbishops will receive the pallium in their metropolitan sees:
- Archbishop Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye of Kumasi, Ghana.
- Archbishop Valery Vienneau of Moncton, Canada.

Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Fr. Jose Eudes Campos do Nascimento of the clergy of the archdiocese of Mariana, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Santa Efigenia" in Ouro Preto and episcopal vicar, as bishop of Leopoldina (area 8,491, population 595,000, Catholics 416,000, priests 63, religious 20), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Barbacena, Brazil in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1995. He has worked in the pastoral care of youth and as spiritual director of the local major seminary.
- Appointed Bishop Eduardo Carmona Ortega C.O.R.C. of Puerto Escondido, Mexico, as bishop of Parral (area 43,674, population 323,000, Catholics 293,000, priests 52, permanent deacons 10, religious 70), Mexico.
- Appointed Msgr. Peter Brignall, vicar general of the diocese of Wrexham, Wales, as bishop of the same diocese (area 8,361, population 715,000, Catholics 38,706, priests 60, permanent deacons 10, religious 140). The bishop-elect was born in London, England in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1978. He has worked as a pastor in a number of parishes, and as chaplain in universities and hospitals. He succeeds Bishop Edwin Regan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Sergio de Deus Borges of the clergy of the diocese of Cornelio Procopio, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Imaculada Conceicao" in Jataizinho and president of the interdiocesan ecclesiastical tribunal of Londrina, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,685,000, Catholics 5,611,000, priests 867, permanent deacons 4, religious 273), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Alfredo Wagner, Brazil in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1993. He studied in Rome, and among his other functions, is professor and director of studies at the theological institute of Londrina.