Sunday, March 10, 2013


CARDINAL MARC ARMAND OUELLET (pictured on left) is from La Motte, Quebec in Canada. He is one of the leading Cardinals considered for the Pontificate. There have been numerous Popes from Europe, Asia and three from Africa but none from the North American Continent. He speaks many languages and has lived in South America, for ten years, where the majority of Catholics reside. Ouellet was born on June 8, 1944 to a family of eight children. He was ordained in 1968 and became a secular priest. In 1970 he went to Colombia, South America and taught in a seminary for ten years. He received a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, in Rome, Italy. He was consecrated as Cardinal in October, 2003 by Pope John Paul II. His Cardinal motto is Ut Unum Sint, Latin for, "May they all be one".
He is pictured here with the Blessed Sacrament on procession during the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec in 2008:


He attended the Teacher Training College of Amos where he completed his college and two years of philosophy and obtained a Baccalaureate in Education. He obtained a Licence in Theology from the University de Montréal at the end of his theological studies at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal (1964-1968). He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Amos in his home parish on May 25, 1968, and was appointed curate at Saint-Sauveur Parish in Val d’Or, from 1968 to 1970. He was sent to teach philosophy at the Major Seminary of Bogota, Columbia, then run by the Sulpicians and he decided to join the Society of Saint-Sulpice in 1972. Cardinal Ouellet continued his studies in Rome where, in 1976, he obtained a Licence in Philosophy at St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University. He was assigned as a faculty member and professor at the Major Seminary of Manizales in Columbia in 1974 until he was recalled to Canada to assume the same functions at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal.

In 1978, Cardinal Ouellet returned to Rome for further studies and obtained a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Gregorian University in 1983. He was then assigned as a faculty member and professor at the Major Seminary of Cali, Columbia, and was named rector of that Major Seminary from 1984 to 1989. He became rector of the Grand Séminaire de Montréal in 1990 and of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton in 1994. From 1996 to 2002, Cardinal Ouellet was titular of the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at John Paul II Institute for studies on marriage and family at the Lateran Pontifical University.

He was named titular bishop of Agropoli and appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity on March 3, 2001. Pope John Paul II ordained him a bishop on March 19 in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Cardinal Ouellet is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Clergy, of the XIth Ordinary General Assembly of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, of the pontifical Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organization and Economic Problems of the Holy See, and a counsellor for the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Cardinal Ouellet was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Québec on November 15, 2002, and took possession of his See on January 26, 2003. His elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals was announced on September 28, 2003. He participated in the Conclave that led to the election of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005.
He is the present prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 30 June 2010. He succeeded Giovanni Battista Re, who had reached the age limit.[5]
He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the FaithThese memberships are for five years and are renewable. Being resident in Rome, he is invited to attend not only the plenary meetings of those departments, which in principle are held every year, but also the ordinary meetings. He takes part in the (generally annual) meetings of these bodies, held in Rome. He is also a member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See. On 5 January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. On 29 January 2011, Cardinal Ouellet was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a member of Secretariat of State(second section) On 6 April 2011, Cardinal Ouellet was named a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts by Pope Benedict. On 7 March 2012 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Cardinal Ouellet is the twenty-fourth bishop, fourteenth archbishop and seventh cardinal of Québec.


On March 19 it will be the feast of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
The Novena Prayer to St. Joseph begins today.
Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
*Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so 
strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I
place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful
intercession and obtain for me from your
Divine Son all spiritual blessings through
Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged
here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of
Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not
approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head
for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I
draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray
 for us.       Amen



Go to All Saints of Africa Centre Opening & Blessing Ceremony Photo Gallery
Photography: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

An Opening & Blessing Ceremony for CatholicCare Social Services - Diocese of Parramatta’s All Saints of Africa Centre at St Patrick’s Blacktown Parish was held on Sunday 3 March.

Listen to Bishop Anthony’s Homily

Photography: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, opened and blessed the All Saints of Africa Centre at St Patrick’s Blacktown Parish on Sunday 3 March.
The Centre will provide pastoral, welfare and educational services for people of African background, and allow African-Australians to help each other.
In his Homily, Bishop Anthony said the inspiration for the Centre was the needs expressed by African migrants and refugees and those who work closely with them.
“Here we hope to strengthen families, and young people especially, in their sense of identity, spirituality and personal wellbeing so they can fully participate in the Australian Church and community,” Bishop Anthony said.

Strengthening families and personal wellbeing

All Saints of Africa Centre News Story
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

The All Saints of Africa Centre will provide holistic programs and services within an atmosphere of pastoral care, to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the African community (especially the youth) within Western Sydney by strengthening families and their personal wellbeing in order to participate, integrate and thrive within the Australian community.
The Centre plans to offer a range of services including:
  • A gathering place for community events including pastoral and liturgical events.
  • One parenting group per school term co-facilitated by CatholicCare staff.
  • Opportunities for collaboration with other Blacktown-based support services seeking to provide “as needed” services to the African community, e.g. facilitation of a playgroup, a youth group, a domestic violence support group, a support group around settlement issues, a financial management group, a support group for families affected by drug and alcohol, etc. These groups may be held after hours.
  • Home visiting and Centre-based family support /case management.
  • “Drop-in” service to provide one-off support for referral, assistance with forms.
  • Development of youth services and groups that may include a Youth Leadership Program, a Youth Peer Support Program, recreational activities and homework centre.
  • Development of a volunteer program which may include English conversation classes, adult education, computer skills, CV writing and employment programs.
  • Community festivities across the year, e.g. Migrant and Refugee Sunday, Refugee Week, International Women’s Day.
The Centre has been established through the partnership of CatholicCare Parramatta, the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, St Patrick’s Blacktown Parish and Catholic Education Parramatta. The NSW Government contributed funding towards the cost of establishing the Centre. The African community will also fundraise to help. Work to establish the Centre at St Patrick’s Parish Blacktown commenced in July last year. Two unused demountable buildings from the school have been relocated to a small house in front of the parish to provide both office and meeting spaces.



CSW praises Ladies in White on International Women's Day | International Women’s Day, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Ladies in White, Damas de Blanco (Spanish), or Ladies in White,

Damas de Blanco
Today,  International Women’s Day, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has issued a statement commending the courage of the Ladies in White, the Cuban women’s non-violent protest movement.
The Damas de Blanco (Spanish), or Ladies in White, is an opposition movement in Cuba comprising the wives and other female relatives of jailed dissidents. Every Sunday the women attend Mass dressed in white, to symbolize peace, and then walk silently through the streets of their town or city. They are often harassed or arrested on their way to Mass, and members of their group have been threatened.
The Ladies in White movement was formed in 2003, just two weeks after the Black Spring, the Cuban government’s mass crackdown on dissidents and journalists, which resulted in 75 being detained. Since 2010, all of the Black Spring prisoners have been released, mostly into exile in Spain, following dialogue between the government and hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. However, there are still political prisoners in Cuba and the Ladies in White are still active and growing in number.
In 2005 the Ladies in White were jointly awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament, along with Reporters without Borders and Nigerian human rights lawyer Huawa Ibrahim. The Cuban government barred the group’s leaders from travelling to France to accept the award.
In 2012, one of their members, Caridad Caballero, a journalist and activist, sought refuge in the United States following months of harassment by the Cuban authorities. She was also arrested on a number of occasions. The authorities particularly targeted her religious faith, blocking her from participating in any religious activities at Jesus Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in the Pueblo Nuevo neighbourhood of Holguin.
Caballero and other members of the Ladies in White were among hundreds of Catholic dissidents who were imprisoned for the duration of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba in March 2012. CSW documented a dramatic increase in violations of freedom of religion or belief in Cuba in 2012. While Roman Catholic churches reported the highest number of violations, mostly involving the arrest and arbitrary detention of parishioners attempting to attend church activities, other denominations and religious groups were also affected.
CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said: “On International Women’s Day we commend the courage of the Ladies in White in standing up for justice and human rights, keeping the spotlight on the prisoners of conscience in Cuba. CSW urges the international community to continue raising human rights concerns with the Cuban government, including the harassment and imprisonment of human rights activists.”
For further information visit


by Nirmala Carvalho
Eight people seriously injured. The Pentecostal Christians were holding a night vigil of prayer, when at least 30 Hindu nationalists attacked accusing them of forced conversions. It is the sixth attack in Karnataka since the beginning of 2013.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Dozens of Hindu fundamentalists have violently attacked a Pentecostal community of Karnataka as they prepared for a night vigil of prayer. Eight people, including a pastor, were injured and hospitalized. Thanks to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the police arrived on the spot quickly and arrested 16 attackers.

The incident occurred in the village of Moodubelle, near Udupi. Thirty activists from the Hindu nationalist movement Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal raided the house of Rev. Robert Lobo, pastor of World of Victory Ministries, where the vigil was being held. The fundamentalists accused them of practicing of forced conversions and beat the faithful present. Another pastor, Fr. Ramesh Poojari, suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Manipal Hospital in Udupi. Another seven people, five men - Ramesh, Prem, Suraj, Shantharam and Janardhan - and two women - Sujatha and Shakisala - have been admitted to the Ajarakadu State hospital.

GCIC contacted the police in Shirva who have assured justice to the Christian community. "This - Sajan George, president of the GCIC tells AsiaNews - is the sixth anti-Christian attack in Karnataka since the beginning of 2013 and does not bode well for freedom of worship in India. Hostility and religious intolerance continue to grow and are a cause of serious concern for the vulnerable Christian minority. These believers had gathered for a night vigil, an absolutely legal act. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right, but these extremists have political protection in Karnataka's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, ultra-nationalist Hindu party) and are encouraged to persecute the Christian community, particularly the Pentecostals. "



Joshua 5: 9, 10 - 12
9And the LORD said to Joshua, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.
10While the people of Israel were encamped in Gilgal they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho.
11And on the morrow after the passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.
12And the manna ceased on the morrow, when they ate of the produce of the land; and the people of Israel had manna no more, but ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Psalms 34: 2 - 7
2My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and be glad.
3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
4I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
2 Corinthians 5: 17 - 21
17Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
20So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Luke 15: 1 - 3, 11 - 32

1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.2And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."3So he told them this parable:11And he said, "There was a man who had two sons;12and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them.13Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.14And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want.15So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine.16And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything.17But when he came to himself he said, `How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."'20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.21And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'22But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet;23and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry;24for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.25"Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.26And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant.27And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.'28But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,29but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!'31And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.32It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

Mar 10, 2013 - 4th Sun of Lent


    Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
    Feast: March 10

    Feast Day:March 10
    Died:320 AD, Sebaste
    A party of soldiers who suffered a cruel death for their faith, near Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia, victims of the persecutions of Licinius, who, after the year 316, persecuted the Christians of the East. The earliest account of their martyrdom is given by St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (370-379), in a homily delivered on the feast of the Forty Martyrs (Hom. xix in P.G., XXXI, 507 sqq.). The feast is consequently more ancient than the episcopate of Basil, whose eulogy on them was pronounced only fifty or sixty years after martyrdom, which is thus historic beyond a doubt. According to St. Basil, forty soldiers who had openly confessed themselves Christians were condemned by the prefect to be exposed naked upon a frozen pond near Sebaste on a bitterly cold night, that they might freeze to death. Among the confessors, one yielded and, leaving his companions, sought the warm baths near the lake which had been prepared for any who might prove inconstant. One of the guards set to keep watch over the martyrs beheld at this moment a supernatural brilliancy overshadowing them and at once proclaimed himself a Christian, threw off his garments, and placed himself beside the thirty-nine soldiers of Christ. Thus the number of forty remained complete. At daybreak, the stiffened bodies of the confessors, which still showed signs of life, were burned and the ashes cast into a river. The Christians, however, collected the precious remains, and the relics were distributed throughout many cities; in this way the veneration paid to the Forty Martyrs became widespread, and numerous churches were erected in their honour.
    One of them was built at Caesarea, in Cappadocia, and it was in this church that St. Basil publicly delivered his homily. St. Gregory of Nyssa was a special client of these holy martyrs. Two discourses in praise of them, preached by him in the church dedicated to them, are still preserved (P. G., XLVI, 749 sqq., 773 sqq.) and upon the death of his parents, he laid them to rest beside the relics of the confessors. St. Ephraem, the Syrian, has also eulogized the forty Martyrs (Hymni in SS. 40 martyres). Sozomen, who was an eye-witness, has left us (Hist. Eccl., IX, 2) an interesting account of the finding of the relics in Constantinople through the instrumentality of the Empress Pulcheria. Special devotion to the forty martyrs of Sebaste was introduced at an early date into the West. St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia in the beginning of the fifth century (d. about 410 or 427), received particles of the ashes of martyrs during a voyage in the East, and placed them with other relics in the altar of the basilica which he had erected, at the consecration of which he delivered a discourse, still extant (P. L., XX, 959 sqq.) Near the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, in the Roman Forum, built in the fifth century, a chapel was found, built, like the church itself, on an ancient site, and consecrated to the Forty Martyrs. A picture, still preserved there, dating from the sixth or seventh century, depicts the scene of the martyrdom. The names of the confessors, as we find them also in later sources, were formerly inscribed on this fresco. Acts of these martyrs, written subsequently, in Greek, Syriac and Latin, are yet extant, also a "Testament" of the Forty Martyrs. Their feast is celebrated in the Greek, as well as in the Latin Church, on 9 March.

    (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)