Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Since this article was written Obama won the election with 303 electoral votes.
-----US citizens are voting Tuesday in general elections. Democrat Barack Obama, and Republican Mitt Romney. The Head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York encouraged Catholics and all people of good will to remember that all the duties of citizenship – including voting – are essentially moral duties, the discharge of which requires proper formation.
Please pray the rosary for this election; many groups are praying in Church, at home and in other places. There are many prayer vigils and novenas.  Dolan said, “As far as possible, citizens should take an active part in public life - ” said Cardinal Dolan in the video message on participating in faithful citizenship, which appears on the USCCB website, adding, “that’s from the catechism.” Cardinal Dolan went on to say, “Of course: to vote – we have an obligation to do that – and then [to] hold our elected officials responsible for their promises and positions.”

Prayer Before an Election

Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.
We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Catholic bishops of the United States reissued their document on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,. The Bishops emphasized the importance of religious freedom and raising six “current and fundamental problems, some involving opposition to intrinsic evils and others raising serious moral questions,” namely: abortion and threats to the lives and dignity of the vulnerable, sick or unwanted; threats to Catholic ministries, including health care, education and social services, to violate their consciences or stop serving those in need; intensifying efforts to redefine marriage; unemployment, poverty and debt; immigration; and wars, terror and violence, particularly in the Middle East. The bishops wrote, “It does not offer a voter’s guide, scorecard of issues or direction on how to vote. It applies Catholic moral principles to a range of important issues and warns against misguided appeals to ‘conscience’ to ignore fundamental moral claims, to reduce Catholic moral concerns to one or two matters, or to justify choices simply to advance partisan, ideological or personal interests.”


Vatican Radio REPORT Nigeria’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Francis C. Okeke, presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on Monday, underlining his government’s desire to work closely with the Vatican on “reduction of religious extremism, interreligious dialogue, and human rights”. Dr Okeke – he trained and worked as a medical doctor before taking up this diplomatic post - becomes his country’s first resident ambassador to the Holy See, though the two states have had diplomatic relations for over three decades. Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen, Ambassador Okeke talked about his government’s efforts to improve security and tackle terrorism in the north of Nigeria, as well as about the decision to work more closely with the Vatican on a whole range of common concerns….
Vatican City, 6 November 2012 (VIS) - In a message sent in the name of Benedict XVI on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Letter "Summorum Pontificum", Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. affirms that "by this Motu Proprio, the Holy Father wished to respond to the hopes of the faithful regarding the forms of liturgy", prior to Vatican Council II.
Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data", "Summorum Pontificum" on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, was published on 7 July 2007, and came into effect on 14 September of the same year.
In his message the secretary of State notes that "it is good to conserve the richness that has developed in the faith and prayer of the Church and to accord it due space, at the same time fully recognising the value and sanctity of the ordinary form of the Roman rite”.
Cardinal Bertone adds that in the Year of Faith, which coincides with "the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II, the Holy Father invites all the faithful to make a special demonstration of their unity in faith; in this way they will become effective agents of new evangelisation”.
The message, written in French, was read out on the the occasion of the international pilgrimage to Rome, "Una cum Papa nostro", organised by "Coetus internationalis Summorum Pontificum". The pilgrimage culminated in a Mass presided by Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, celebrated according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Among those participating were faithful belonging to groups linked to the use of the 1962 Missal, which was approved by John XXIII and remained in force until the reforms of the Council.
Vatican City, 6 November 2012 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, yesterday addressed the eighty-first session of the general assembly of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), which is currently being held in Rome on the theme: "Challenges for police facing contemporary criminal violence".
Archbishop Mamberti noted that "crime has undergone a substantial increase, both in quantitative terms and as regards the use of violence. The characteristics of criminal activity have evolved in a worrying fashion, as the aggression and atrocity of incidents has augmented dangerously. Furthermore, criminal activities have now assumed a planetary scale, with systems of coordination and criminal pacts which traverse national frontiers".
"The struggle against all forms of violence, especially in its most brutal forms, presupposes a moral duty to help create the conditions necessary to ensure violence does not arise and develop. People who work with the forces of law and order, and the police organisations you represent, are well aware that the most effective antibody to any form of criminality is a country's citizens. Alliance and solidarity between citizens and police is the strongest bastion against criminality".
The archbishop went on: "Actions that help create a society ordered for the common good include the removal of factors which give rise to and nourish situations of injustice. In this field a primary and preventative role belongs to education inspired by respect for human life in all circumstances. Without this, it is not in fact possible to create a strong social fabric, united in its fundamental values and able to resist the provocation of extreme violence. In this context, the most important place in which human beings are formed is the family. There children experience the value of their own transcendent dignity, as they are accepted gratuitously on the basis of the stable and reciprocal love of their parents. There they experience the first forms of justice and forgiveness, which cements family relationships and acts as a foundation for the correct insertion into social life".


In Bethlehem, nuns and Christians use rosary beads against gun-toting Israeli soldiers
The action has taken place every Friday afternoon since 2005, attracting hundreds of people, under the auspices of the Elizabettine Franciscan nuns at Bethlehem's Caritas Baby Hospital, the only children's hospital in Palestine.

Bethlehem (AsiaNews) - The Elizabettine Franciscan nuns at Bethlehem's Caritas Baby Hospital are promoting peace between Israeli and Palestinians by placing rosary beads in front of the West Bank Wall.

"This is our peaceful intifada," said Sister Donatella Lessio, head of quality care management and hospital staff training, and main promoter of the initiative. "Sometimes the soldiers are afraid of us and point their guns, but we respond by praying and placing our rosary beads in front of their weapons."

Ever since Israel began building its so-called security barrier in 2005, the nuns and scores of Palestinian Christians have taken part each Friday afternoon in this initiative. Through prayer, they want to express their opposition to Israel's military rigidities and Islamists' slogans of hatred.

Then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the wall's construction to stop terrorist attacks, but the net effect has been to isolate the Palestinian population from the rest of the world, forcing them to stand in long queues to go to work or reach relatives in the State of Israel.

Soldiers not only prevent the movement of medical drugs, humanitarian aid and any material useful for survival, but also prevent people outside the West Bank to know how bad the situation is in the territory. Israelis can only cross the wall only at their own risk.

In addition to limiting the movement of people and goods, the wall is an obstacle for Palestinian hospitals, which are forced to send patients to Israeli hospitals because of underfunding.

The Caritas Baby Hospital is only 200 metres from the barrier. Without the wall, ambulances could reach Jerusalem in a short drive. However, a special permit and a lot of red tape are required to cross. Often, ambulances have to wait hours even for urgent needs. Several children and newly born have died as a result. (S.C.)



UNDA's Dean of Medicine Finalist in Australian of the Year Awards

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
5 Nov 2012

Dean of Notre Dame's Sydney Medical School, Professor Christine Bennett
Dr Christine Bennett, Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney (UND) has been named an Australian of the Year finalist for NSW.
"I feel very humbled and very proud to have been recognised in this way for my work in health and believe being selected as a finalist in NSW reflects the importance of health and healthcare to the Australian community," she says, adding that it has been a privilege to have had "the opportunity to make a difference."
Renowned for her passion and commitment to health, her people skills and for her extensive experience in clinical health, hospital management and medicine generally, prior to her appointment as Dean, Dr Bennett was well known to many Australians for her forthright and informed views on medicine as a regular guest on TV shows.
A specialist paediatrician, she has more than 25 years health industry experience in clinical care, strategic planning and senior management in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Throughout her career, Dr Bennett has also been actively involved child and family health, social policy, medical research and clinical governance.
Professor Celia Hammond, Vice Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia, says she is delighted at the news and is full of praise for Dr Bennett's many notable achievements.
"It is a great honour for Dr Bennett to receive this well-deserved recognition. The University is extremely proud to have one of our academic leaders acknowledged for the outstanding contribution they make to their profession," she says adding that Dr Bennett's commitment to so many national health priorities is not just a matter of talk, but of taking action to make a difference.
Before taking up the position at UND as Dean of the Medical School, Dr Bennett was Chief Medical Officer for the Bupa Australia Group. From 2007-2008 she was Chair of the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission which was established by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to provide advice to the government on a long term blueprint for the future of the Australian Health System.

Professor Christine Bennett newly-appointed Chair of Sydney Children's Hospital Network
Dr Bennett continues to work tirelessly for health and the health of all Australians and is currently Chair of Research Australian, Chair of the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, Chair of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency Advisory Council, the Bupa Health Foundation Steering Committee, a member of the Board of Obesity Australia and a Non-Executive Director of Bupa Health Dialogue.
"My passion for health reform at a national level never wanes," she says. "But the real reward comes from working on the frontline - shaping the next generation of doctors as Dean of Medicine, building a healthier community through investing in prevention, giving voice and priority to those in greatest need, and championing the importance of health and medical research."
Other finalists for the title of NSW Australian of the Year 2013 are media personality and President of Alzheimers Australia, Ita Buttrose; education pioneer Gemma Sisia who set up a school in Tanzania which educates 1500 of the nation's poorest children; and breast cancer pioneer and founder of Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, Professor John Boyages.
Last year Fr Chris Riley of Youth off the Streets was named NSW's Australian of the Year with celebrated actor Geoffrey Rush the national recipient of Australian of the Year 2012.
The awards ceremony for NSW Australian of the Year 2013 will be held on Monday 26 November. The National Australian of the Year Awards will be held two months later on 25 January 2013, three days before Australia Day on 28 January 2013.



MOGANDISHU, November 06, 2012 (CISA) -Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon announced the appointment of ten cabinet ministers on Sunday November 04 that included two women.

“After long discussions and consultations, I have named my cabinet which consists of only ten members,” Shirdon said according to AFP. “Among them is a female foreign affairs minister for the first time in Somali history.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs nominee Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Aadan hails from the Somaliland region and lived in Britain for a long time.

“My nomination as the foreign minister is historic for the Somali country, and particularly for the women of Somalia, it turns a new page for the political situation of our country and will lead to success and prosperity,” she said.

Shirdon nominated Maryan Qasim Ahmed to the post of minister of development and social affairs. She previously served as women’s minister.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari said the new cabinet must be presented before parliament within two weeks for approval in a vote of confidence, Somalia’s Jowhar website reported.

The nominees for the new Somali cabinet are: Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Aadan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs), Mohamud Hassan Suleiman (Minister of Finance), Abdihakim Mohamud Haji Mohamud Fiqi (Minister of Defence), Abdikarim Hussein Guled (Minister of Interior and National Security), Abdullahi Ilmoge Hirsi (Minister of Information and Telecommunications), Abdirizaq Omar Mohamed (Minister of Natural Resources), Abdullahi Abyan Nur (Minister of Justice and Religious Affairs), Maryan Qasim Ahmed (Minister of Development and Social Affairs), Mohamud Ahmed Hassan (Minister of Trade and Industries) and Muhiyadin Mohamed Kaalmoy (Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction).

The new government brings a series of transitional administrations to an end.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - For several days the media have been documenting the devastating force of Hurricane Sandy in its passage in New York and other U.S. cities. Little or nothing is said instead of the damage the hurricane has caused in Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) and Haiti (see Fides 29/10/2012), countries that do not have certain infrastructure and financial resources to assist the displaced and to begin reconstruction. His Exc. Mgr. Luis del Castillo Estrada, SJ, Bishop Emeritus of Melo, who has been a missionary in Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) for two years, sent to the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay and Fides some photos showing the terrible situation in which this city is, along with a request for help to respond to the most urgent problems of the people and for the reconstruction of churches completely destroyed.
This is the description given by Mgr. Del Castillo: "Santiago is completely destroyed. All the roof tiles were blown away. Churches are destroyed. Uprooted trees fell on houses or in the streets. There is no electricity or telephone connection. There is not sufficient water so therefore one cannot cook. There is no food and there are no refrigerators to preserve what little there is. Volunteers have arrived from other provinces to restore what they can do. The mood of the people is amazing, the most heard sentence is 'we are alive!'.
I am writing from the Melia Hotel, the only place in town with internet. We are contacting all former students of the Jesuit College Dolores to know the most urgent needs. We organize emergency aid for food and medicine. Later we will deal with ceilings and walls. I am sending photos to see what is left of the parish roof of Vista Alegre. What is left of the nearby church, 'SueƱo' is one wall with a crucifix. Other parishes in San Vicente, which are made of wood, are all over the ground. From the roof of the parish 'El Cristo' all the tiles have flown. Even the parish 'El Caney' has no roof. Now is the time for solidarity and reconstruction. In our house we have welcomed two families whose homes were completely destroyed. Neighbors help remove debris and try to recover what they can." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 06/11/2012)


Philippians 2:

5 - 11

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Psalms 22: 26 - 32

26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever!
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
29 Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.
Luke 14: 15 - 24

15 When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
16 But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many;
17 and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.'
18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.'
19 And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.'
20 And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
21 So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.'
22 And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
23 And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"


St. Leonard
Feast: November 6
Feast Day:
November 6
Patron of:
political prisoners, imprisoned people, prisoners of war, and captives, women in labor, as well as horses

St Leonard, or Lienard, was a French nobleman of great reputation in the court of Clovis I, and in the flower of his age was converted to the faith by St. Remigius, probably after the battle of Tolbiac. Being instructed in the obligations of our heavenly warfare, wherein the prize of the victory is an assured crown of immortal glory, he resolved to lay aside all worldly pursuits, quitted the court, and became a constant disciple of St. Remigius. The holy instructions and example of that saint made every day deeper impressions upon his tender soul, and Leonard seemed to have inherited the very spirit of his master, and to be animated with the same simplicity, disinterestedness, modesty, zeal, and charity. He preached the faith some time; but finding it very difficult to resist the king's importunities, who would needs call him to court, and burning with a desire of giving himself up entirely to the exercises of penance and contemplation, he retired privately into the territory of Orleans, where St. Mesmin or Maximin governed the monastery of Micy (called afterwards St. Mesmin's), which his uncle St. Euspicius had founded, two leagues from the city, in 508. In this house St. Leonard took the religious habit and inured himself to the fervent practices of regular discipline under the direction of St. Mesmin and of St. Lie or Laetus, a holy monk of that house, who afterwards died a hermit.
St. Leonard himself aspiring after a closer solitude, with the leave of St. Mesmin left his monastery, travelled through Berry, where he converted many idolaters, and coming into Limousin, chose for his retirement a forest four leagues from Limoges. Here, in a place called Nobiliac, he built himself an oratory, lived on wild herbs and fruits, and had for some time no other witness of his penance and virtues but God alone. His zeal and devotion sometimes carried him to the neighbouring churches, and some who by his discourses were inflamed with a desire of imitating his manner of life joined him in his desert, and formed a community which, in succeeding times, out of devotion to the saint's memory, became a flourishing monastery, called first Noblat, afterwards St. Leonard le Noblat. The reputation of his sanctity and miracles being spread very wide, the king bestowed on him and his fellow-hermits a considerable part of the forest where they lived. The saint, even before he retired to Micy, had been most remarkable for his charity toward captives and prisoners, and he laid himself out with unwearied zeal in affording them both corporeal and spiritual help and comfort, and he obtained of the governors the liberty of many. This was also the favourite object of his charity after he had discovered himself to the world in Limousin, and began to make frequent excursions to preach and instruct the people of that country. It is related that some were miraculously delivered from their chains by his prayers, and that the king, out of respect for his eminent sanctity, granted him a special privilege of sometimes setting prisoners at liberty; which about that time was frequently allowed to certain holy bishops and others. But the saint's chief aim and endeavours in this charitable employment were to bring malefactors and all persons who fell under this affliction to a true sense of the enormity of their sins, and to a sincere spirit of compunction and penance, and a perfect reformation of their lives. When he had filled up the measure of his good works, his labours were crowned with a happy death about the year 559, according to the new Paris Breviary. Many great churches in England of which he is the titular saint, and our ancient calendars, show his name to have been formerly no less famous in England. In a list of holidays published at Worcester in 1240, St. Leonard's festival is ordered to be kept a half-holiday, with an obligation of hearing mass and a prohibition of labour except that of the plough. He was particularly invoked in favour of prisoners, and several miracles are ascribed to him.