Monday, February 27, 2012


Caoimhe O'Reilly from Cavan, Cardinal Seán Brady, Eimear Brady from Cavan and François-David Freschi, Youth Officer for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Crossroads 2012.
50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Extends Invitation to Ireland’s Youth

Young people from across Ireland are invited to celebrate their faith at this summer’s International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) in an event that is being described as one of the most ambitious youth ministry programmes ever presented in this country.
The programme called ‘Go! Be Church!’ will happen in an area known as the Chiara Luce Youth Space at IEC2012 in the RDS from 10-16 June. Young people from 17 to 25 years of age will engage in a diverse range of activities that include workshops, dramas, interactive catechesis, celebrations, concerts, social activities, games, and art.
Around 2,500 young people are expected to participate in ‘Go! Be Church!’ this summer and, in preparation for the upcoming Congress, more than 350 young people from across the Dioceses of Ulster gathered in Tyrone on Sunday last, 26 February, to celebrate faith through music, workshops and prayer at an event called Crossroads 2012.
The significant role that youth play in the Church in Ireland was highlighted by the presence of Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, who was the principal celebrant of the Eucharist at Crossroads 2012.
Other bishops concelebrating the Mass at St Ciaran’s College in Ballygawley included Bishop Liam MacDaid, Bishop of Clogher, and Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor. They were joined by IEC2012 Diocesan Delegates from the Northern dioceses.
Bishop McKeown emphasised the important role the youth programme will play in the upcoming Congress: “These are difficult years for everybody in modern Ireland – and, in a particular way, for young people. We are all paying the price for trying to live in the fast lane or coarsening our hearts with superficiality.
“The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 provides a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for the people of this island to pause and reflect on the deep human hunger; for meaning, love, God, healing and communion. Adults may well need to see, hear and listen to young people much more than the youth need the adults!”
Bishop McKeown added: “The Congress is a God-given opportunity to reawaken our idealism through reflecting on the mystery of love, community and service. It is a divine invitation to put communion at the heart of who we are as a people.”
Francois-David Freschi, IEC2012 Youth Officer, said: “We are hoping that every parish in Ireland will send at least one young person to represent them in the IEC2012 Chiara Luce Youth Space. The Church in Ireland needs young people and the Congress is a fantastic opportunity for young adults to explore and celebrate their faith.”
Each diocese in Ireland is being invited by IEC2012 to bring groups of young people to the Congress, either for the entire week or a portion of it. At the end of the week, young people will be missioned to go back to their parishes to begin local faith programmes.
The IEC2012 Youth Space is named after Chiara Badano, an ordinary young woman involved in the Focolare movement, who died in 1990 at the age of 18, after succumbing to bone cancer. Because of her qualities as a friend, and her deep sensitivity to the needs of others, especially the poor, she came to be known as ‘Chiara Luce’ (Claire ‘the Light’ in Italian). Chiara was beatified in 2010 and is the patron saint of the IEC2012 Youth Space.
To support the spiritual journey of young people before and after the Congress, groups of young people are invited to dip into the Pastoral Programme which is available on It invites us to walk in the footsteps of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Further information:
• Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9903 Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447 Email:
• Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9940 Mob: 00353 (0) 87 628 0580 Email:
Notes for Editors:
• The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 with up to 25,000 pilgrims expected to attend each day at the RDS, including 12,000 international pilgrims representing 95 different countries.
• IEC2012 will transform the RDS into a Eucharistic Village for an eight day festival of faith and culture. The Eucharist will be celebrated in the Liturgy and adored in the Prayer Space.
• The Congress is an international gathering of people, every four years somewhere in the world, which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church; to help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and to draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist. These aims are achieved through a programme of pastoral preparation in the years leading up to the Congress and a programme of liturgical and cultural events, lectures and workshops over the course of one week.
• The theme of the Congress is ‘The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one Another’ (Communion – like Solidarity – means a relationship of mutual love and self-giving).
• On 17 June, more than 80,000 people are expected to gather and celebrate the Final Mass of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Croke Park Stadium.
• There will be 18 keynote addresses by international speakers.
• The full programme is available here:
• Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)
• For more information:
• Registration for the Congress is now live.


by Kalpit Parajuli
For the authorities, this is the worst attack since 2009. The bomb explodes near the Nepali Oil Corporation headquarters. A small terrorist group fighting for the rights of indigenous minorities claims responsibility.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - A powerful bomb exploded at the main gate of the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), some 300 metres from the Singha Durbar, the official seat of Nepal's government, killing three people and wounding seven. According to police, this is the worse attack of its kind in four year after the attack against Kathmandu's Catholic cathedral in March 2009.

The Samyukta Jatiya Mukti Morcha-Bishwokranti (SJMM), a small Hindu terrorist group fighting for the rights of the poor and indigenous groups, has claimed responsibility.

In a statement sent to local media, it said that the action was meant to slam higher fuel prices and denounce the government for its corruption.

Experts believe the SJMM wants to gain the sympathy of the poorest in the Nepali population in order to discredit the Maoists, historical defenders of minorities under the Hindu monarchy.

Little is known of the group. It first appeared on 11 October 2011 with an attack against a phone company bus in Dadhing.

That attack also wounded seven people.'s-business-district,-killing-three-24089.html


Cisa News
DAKAR, February 24, 2012 (CISA) –The Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace through the local Caritas has chosen 850 observers to help in conducting the elections in Senegal.
“Out of about 3,000 local electoral observers, one third are Catholics,” sources told Fides.
“The atmosphere is tense, to the point that private schools in Dakar have cancelled classes until after the vote,” local Church sources said.
On February 21, pop singer and opposition activist, Youssou N’Dour, was wounded in the leg during an unauthorized demonstration in Dakar against incumbent President Wade, who is contesting the elections for a third term.
Sources say that the African Union mission, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, arrived in Dakar and has probably played a role in calming tempers after meeting all the members of the opposition.


REPORT OF : Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
23 Feb 2012

Stephen Lawlor rides a powerful
motorbike and as a Papal Knight will have
permission to ride a horse into the Vatican
Each morning, Stephen Lawlor, Director of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Ephpheta Centre roars up the streets of Punchbowl to work on his super-powerful Yamaha XJR 1300 motorbike. But from tomorrow when in Rome he has permission to use another type of transport enabling him not only to ride a horse into St Peter's Square but into the Vatican itself.
In a special ceremony hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney at Cathedral House on Friday, Stephen and four other outstanding Sydney Catholics will receive Papal awards in recognition of their faith and their significant contributions to the city and to the Church.
Created a Papal Knight of the Equestrian Order of St Sylvester in honour of his ongoing commitment, dedication and pastoral care to Sydney's 500-strong deaf community, Stephen has discovered the honour the award brings - not to mention the permission to ride his horse into the Vatican.
However while it is unlikely he will saddle up and canter into the Vatican, Stephen nevertheless is making history as the world's first non hearing Catholic to receive a Papal knighthood.
"As far as we can find out, Stephen is the first profoundly deaf Catholic to be honoured by the Holy Father with a Papal award," says Nicole Clark, hearing interpreter and assistant to the director of the Ephpheta Centre.
However this is not the first time Ephpheta's tall, charismatic chief with a passion for big motor bikes and a keen sense of humour has made history.
Appointed Director of the Centre in 2005 by an intuitive and far-sighted Cardinal Pell, Stephen became the first non hearing man or woman worldwide to head up a Catholic organisation for the deaf.
"His Eminence had quite a lot of experience with the deaf through his involvement with the John Pierce Centre for the Deaf Ministry during his time as Archbishop of Melbourne and appointing me director of the Centre was due to his understanding of the Sydney's deaf community's need for self determination," he says speaking via Nicole and using Auslan (Australian sign language).

Stephen Lawlor and Nola his wife of 40 years
with four of their six grandchildren
An active member of the Church since childhood, Stephen has always made time to help members of Sydney's deaf community, particularly non hearing parents with hearing children or hearing parents with a deaf child. But it wasn't until his retirement from the printing industry 11 years ago that he became involved with the Ephpheta Centre full time.
Then six and a half years ago he took over as director.
Chosen as 2008's Deaf Professional of the Year by the NSW Association of the Deaf, Stephen says while he has come across "a couple of deaf priests overseas and a deacon in Germany who is deaf, and a few from South Africa," so far he has not come across a non hearing person who is also head of a ministry.
Profoundly deaf since the age of three, but still unsure what caused his deafness, Stephen refuses to see his loss of hearing as a disability.
"As deaf people we see ourselves through a cultural perspective rather than a medical one," he insists and points out that just like other cultural minorities, Sydney's deaf community has its own language (AUSLAN), marry one another and live in what he describes as a "world within a world."
Rather than deafness, he explains, it is the lack of spoken language that can present difficulties.
For many years Stephen has worked to ensure the deaf have proper access to the Mass as well as hymns and different liturgies through the use of interpreters. As a member of the chaplaincy team at Ephpheta he also gives support and pastoral care to members of Sydney's deaf community during times of deep sorrow as well as times of happiness such as the birth of a child or a wedding.

Cardinal Pell understood Sydney's Catholic deaf
community needed self determination
Describing his role at Ephpheta as "the middle man" between the Catholic ministry and Sydney's deaf community, he would like to see more resources and materials for the world's non-hearing Catholics produced in their own language and in the context of a world without the spoken language the rest of us enjoy.
But as he points out when it comes to the Lord there are no difficulties for the deaf or hard of hearing. "God communicates with us as well as He does with anyone, and His great love overcomes all language barriers."
Stephen was notified of his Papal Knighthood ahead of the ceremony and admits his first reaction was one of disbelief. "The letter arrived on a teeming wet Friday and tired from work, I put it aside didn't grasp what a great honour I had been given until I finally read it on Sunday."
Nola, Stephen's wife of 40 years is also deaf although the couple's two sons and two daughters were born able to hear, as were their six grandchildren.
Thrilled and excited at the honour given to her husband, Nola will be at the ceremony tomorrow, as will the couple's sons and their wives, their daughters and their husbands, as well as Steve's brother Gary and his sister, Carol is flying down from Brisbane specially for the event.
"I was told we were each allowed to bring 10 family and guests to the ceremony but with a family the size of ours, His Eminence gave us permission to bring the whole family, all 15 of us," he says.
The other leading Catholics honoured with Papal Awards are Dominican priest and former parish priest at St Benedict's, Fr John Neill, OP who is being recognised for his services to education; Stanilaus Anthony (Tony) Carroll for his contribution to education and the law; Mrs Rosemary Flannery for her longstanding and dedicated contribution to the Parish of St Mary's North Sydney; and Mrs Patricia Martin, who is also being recognised for her outstanding service to the Archdiocese through her active involvement with the Parish of St Mary's.
Mr Carroll will be created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great. Ms Flannery will become Dame Commander of the Order of St Sylvester with Ms Martin created a Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great. Fr Neill will receive the Papal Croce Pro Ecclesia et Pontiface.


Matthew 25: 31 - 46
31 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
40 And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
44 Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
45 Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'
46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast: February 27

Feast Day:February 27
March 1, 1838, Assisi, Italy
Died:February 27, 1862, Gran Sasso, Italy
1920, Rome, Italy by Pope Benedict XV
Major Shrine:San Gabriele, Teramo, Abruzzi
Patron of:Students, Youth, Clerics, Seminarians, Abruzzi
On a summer day a little over a hundred years ago, a slim figure in a black cassock stood facing a gang of mercenaries in a small town in Piedmont, Italy. He had just disarmed one of the soldiers who was attacking a young girl, had faced the rest of the band fearlessly, then drove them all out of the village at the point of a gun. The young man was Francesco Possenti, whose father was lawyer for the Papal States and who had recently joined the Passionist Order, taking the name of Brother Gabriel.

He became very sick during his school years and had promised that if he got better, he would dedicate his life to God. St. Gabriel Possenti got better and forgot about it. He got sick again and made the same promise, but again got well and forgot his promise. Once, during a church procession in which a great banner of Our Lady, Help of Christians, was being carried, the eyes of Our Lady looked straight at him and he heard the words: "Keep your promise." Shaken, he remembered his promise, changed his life completely, and entered the Passionists.
He hoped to be sent to the missions after his ordination to the priesthood, but at the young age of twenty-four, he died. Canonized in 1920, he is, along with St. Aloysius, one of the patrons of youth. He was very fond of his family and is particularly remembered as a remarkable young man who, at the age of twenty, threw all aside for God, determined to become a saint.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . Suddenly his face began to shine with glory, and his clothing became dazzling white, . . . a cloud covered them, blotting out the sun, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."—Mark 9:2-3, 7