Friday, March 29, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT: The Washing of the Feet, or Mandatum, is an integral part of the Holy Thursday liturgy, the Missa in Coena Domini, or Mass of Our Lord’s Supper, which opens the East erTriduum 

The Washing of the Feet is a sign of service. Or as Pope Francis told about 40 young detainees gathered around him for Mass in an inner city detention center, it is “Christ’s caress, because Jesus came just for this, to serve us, to help us”.
On Thursday evening as the sun set over a rain washed Rome, Pope Francis crossed the Tiber River bound for the city’s juvenile prison, Casal del Marmo, which roughly translated into English reads, ‘Marble Home’.

There in a tiny simple chapel among the young offenders, he celebrated Mass of Our Lords Supper and the beginning of the Easter Triduum. Two young men read the first reading and the responsorial psalm, a female volunteer read the second reading while the prison chaplain recited the Gospel, John Chapter 13.

Without any pause for introduction, Pope Francis immediately picked up from the very last words of the passage that recounts the Mandatum or Washing of the Feet.

Below we publish a Vatican Radio transcript and translation of the Holy Father’s unscripted homily, at Mass for Our Lord’s Supper, Casal del Marmo, Holy Thursday 28th March 2013.

“This is moving, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Peter understands nothing. He refuses but Jesus explains to him. Jesus, God did this, and He Himself explains it to the disciples.. ‘Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do’.

It is the example set by Our Lord, it’s important for Him to wash their feet, because among us the one who is highest up must be at the service of others. This is a symbol, it is a sign – washing your feet means I am at your service. And we are too, among each other, but we don’t have to wash each other’s feet each day. So what does this mean? That we have to help each other…sometimes I would get angry with one someone, but we must let it go and if they ask a favor of do it!

Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service. But it is a duty that comes from my heart and a duty I love. I love doing it because this is what the Lord has taught me. But you too must help us and help each other, always. And thus in helping each other we will do good for each other.

Now we will perform the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet and we must each one of us think, Am I really willing to help others? Just think of that. Think that this sign is Christ’s caress, because Jesus came just for this, to serve us, to help us”. 


Vatican City, 29 March 2013 (VIS) – The Vatican website has released a new version of the papal coat of arms that incorporates a few changes. For the Marian symbol, instead of a five-pointed star, there is now an eight-pointed star, which also represents the 8 beatitudes. The nard flower representing St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, has been made to more closely represent that flower. Finally, Francis' motto “miserando atque eligendo” underneath the shield has been placed upon a scroll of white parchment with a red backside. The Jesuit emblem remains the same. More details on the coat of arms can be found in the “FRANCIS' COAT OF ARMS” notice of the bulletin of 19 March: VIS).- The new pontiff's papal coat of arms and motto are the same that he used as bishop. The shield has a bright blue background, at the centre top of which is a yellow radiant sun with the IHS christogram on it representing Jesus (it is also the Jesuit logo). The IHS monogram, as well as a cross that pierces the H, are in red with three black nails directly under them. Under that, to the left, is a star representing Mary, Mother of Christ and the Church. To the right of the star is a nard flower representing Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. With these symbols the Pope demonstrates his love for the Holy Family.

What distinguishes his coat of arms as pontiff is that, instead of the wide-brimmed, red cardinal's hat atop the shield, it is now bears the same symbols of papal dignity as that of Benedict XVI: the papal mitre and crossed silver and gold keys joined by a red cord.

His motto—“miserando atque eligendo” (because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him)—is taken from the Venerable Bede's homily on the Gospel account of the call of Matthew. It holds special meaning for the Pope because—when he was only 17-years-old, after going to confession on the Feast of St. Matthew in 1953—he perceived God's mercy in his life and felt the call to the priesthood, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.


John 18:
 1 - 40

1When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples.
3So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek?"
5They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.
6When he said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.
7Again he asked them, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."
8Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go."
9This was to fulfil the word which he had spoken, "Of those whom thou gavest me I lost not one."
10Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus.
11Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"
12So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him.
13First they led him to Annas; for he was the father-in-law of Ca'iaphas, who was high priest that year.
14It was Ca'iaphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
15Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus,
16while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in.
17The maid who kept the door said to Peter, "Are not you also one of this man's disciples?" He said, "I am not."
18Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
19The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
20Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have said nothing secretly.
21Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said."
22When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?"
23Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
24Annas then sent him bound to Ca'iaphas the high priest.
25Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, "Are not you also one of his disciples?" He denied it and said, "I am not."
26One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?"
27Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed.
28Then they led Jesus from the house of Ca'iaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.
29So Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"
30They answered him, "If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over."
31Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." The Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death."
32This was to fulfil the word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he was to die.
33Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
34Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"
35Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?"
36Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."
37Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."
38Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, "I find no crime in him.
39But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?"
40They cried out again, "Not this man, but Barab'bas!" Now Barab'bas was a robber.
John 19: 1 - 42

1Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him.
2And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe;
3they came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands.
4Pilate went out again, and said to them, "See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him."
5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold the man!"
6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him."
7The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God."
8When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid;
9he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave no answer.
10Pilate therefore said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?"
11Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin."
12Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar."
13When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gab'batha.
14Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"
15They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
16Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
17So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol'gotha.
18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
19Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."
20Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.
21The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, "Do not write, `The King of the Jews,' but, `This man said, I am King of the Jews.'"
22Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."
23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom;
24so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfil the scripture, "They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."
25So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene.
26When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
27Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
28After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), "I thirst."
29A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.
30When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished"; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him;
33but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
35He who saw it has borne witness -- his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth -- that you also may believe.
36For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of him shall be broken."
37And again another scripture says, "They shall look on him whom they have pierced."
38After this Joseph of Arimathe'a, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body.
39Nicode'mus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds' weight.
40They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid.
42So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
27 Mar 2013
Loreto Year II students pitch in to help feed Redfern's battlers.
Year 11 teenagers from Loreto Kirribilli are the latest group from Sydney's Catholic primary and secondary schools to don aprons, chop up vegetables and serve a nourishing meal to the homeless and those in need in Redfern.
The Sharing of the Meal program at St Vincent's Catholic Church in Redfern dates back more than 15 years and offers nourishment, companionship and much more each week to more than 70 of the area's most in need men, women and children.
Initiated by the late Father Ted Kennedy, the program offers a nourishing and healthy breakfast cum lunch to those doing it tough every Tuesday and Friday, and has become an important part of the  community and service ministries and outreach programs at an increasing number of Catholic schools.
"The Christian difference with community and service at Loreto means not just spending time talking about issues such as homelessness or mental illness or disabilities, but actually going out and spending time working alongside them," says Gina Marshall, Loreto's Religious Studies Co-ordinator.
Students share a laugh and a joke with clients at Redfern's Sharing of the Meal program
At Loreto, the annual outreach program is not only a way for students to deepen their faith but offers an opportunity to see beyond the popular stereo-types. It also gives students a chance to spend a day helping out at Redfern's weekly Sharing of the Meal and cook for the students at the newly-opened Jarjum Aborginal College in Redfern and visit Redfern's Aboriginal Community Centre. Other students in the program also gained unique insights with experiences spending time in other areas of the city to work with and help those with disabilities, the elderly, the mentally ill and those on the margins.
The program at Loreto and similar initiatives at other Catholic schools is proving a hands-on way to break down barriers and promote love and respect for the dignity of every human being, no matter what their circumstances.
"The experience teaches students not to judge people by outward appearances," Gina Marshall says explaining that the outreach program at Loreto is based on Emmaus, one of the great post Resurrection stories.
Breaking down barriers and stereotypes Sharing of the Meal is making a difference.
"The girls return to the school changed by their experiences and not only more aware but with a new understanding and compassion for others," she says and believes one of the key reasons for this is that students at the school are not only encouraged to help out, but urged to sit down and talk with those they are assisting whether these are the homeless, the sick, children or adults with disabilities or the mentally ill.
"Through conversation you get to know someone and this way stereotypes are broken down and from this comes genuine understanding and respect," she says.
The group of students from Loreto who spent the day cooking, serving and talking with men and women battlers in Redfern as part of the Sharing of the Meal initiative is the latest in a long line of student volunteers from not only from Sydney's Catholic primary and secondary schools but from the city's universities as well.
This week a team of Year 10 boys from St Aloysius College, Milson's Point are returning to Redfern where they will once again take part in the Sharing of the Meal program. Like Loreto and many other Sydney schools, the pupils at St Aloysisus are regulars. But schools don't limit their involvement to pitching in on the day, but many organise cooking classes where students, some as young as 10 and 11 such as those at St Mary's Primary at North Sydney, cook up enough lasagne and pasta bakes for 70. These meals are then frozen and served up for either a Tuesday or Friday meal.
Students from Loreto as well as other Catholic schools and city universities pitch in to help
Among the schools involved with the program are St Joseph's College, North Sydney, St Mary's Primary North Sydney, St Thomas' Primary at Willoughby; Loreto Kirribilli, St Vincent's College, Potts Point; St Mary's Primary, North Sydney; Sacred Heart, Mosman; Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College at North Sydney, Newington College, Stanmore and Cammeray Public Primary School.
University students from campuses across Sydney also regularly help out at with the twice-weekly dinners served up to 70-plus individuals and families at Redfern's St Vincent's Catholic Church Hall. These include students from the Australian Catholic University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Sydney, NSW University and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
In addition to helping prepare and serve meals, the older students also act as mentors, says Jenny Carter, the power house working mum who took over as coordinator of the Sharing the Meal program two years ago.
With her energy and persuasive powers, Jenny has turned the Sharing of the Meal far beyond merely feeding those in need to embrace all areas of their lives. Intent on changing lives, she has instigated the mentor program for Redfern's boys and young men whereby university students and volunteers from Sydney's business community offer a ready ear, counsel and encouragement.
"Having the professional businessmen and uni students sit down and have a chat with the men and teenage boys over a meal at St Vincent's gives those on the margins a chance to talk things over, build their self-esteem and receive valuable input and advice," she says.
Feeling good about how you present yourself to the world is also a factor in building self-esteem and as part of the Sharing of the Meal Program, Linda Scott-Mackenzie of the Establishment Hair Salon at Milson's Point has joined Jenny's team of volunteers and every couple of weeks, drives across the Bridge to give free haircuts and her expertise as a stylist to Redfern's battlers.
For the Loreto students it was all hands on deck at Sharing of the Meal in Redfern
"It's something I love to do, and so do my staff," says Linda who is now in her second year as a regular volunteer at St Vincent's in Redfern as part of the Sharing of the Meal program.
Thanks to Jenny Carter and her team of volunteers, Sharing the Meal has become a remarkable example of community "can do" spirit, not just in the immediate area but across the city.
Local restaurants around Redfern reheat the frozen food cooked by Sydney's young students while much of the produce used in the food for each meal is donated by charities like St Vincent de Paul Society and Oz Harvest as well as poultry suppliers such as Steggles which donates hams and chickens.
In addition an increasing number of Sydney corporations as well as organisations such as the Lions Club have signed on and sponsor at least one big barbecue meal a year, while others have joined up to put on egg and bacon rolls once a month.
Redfern's Sharing of the Meal offers people from all walks of life a way to engage, help and learn about each other and with young people, such as the students from Loreto and this week's Year 10 boys from St Aloysisus it provides an unforgettable opportunity to lend a hand and make a difference.
"It's great for kids to see another side of Sydney," Jenny says and believes the program not only helps them gain a new way of looking at the world, but has a positive impact on those they pitch in to help.
"The people of Redfern love the enthusiasm of the young and especially enjoy the chance to spend time talking to them and sharing their stories," she says.



Asia News Report
A mortar round hit the Faculty of Architecture near Umayyad Square. The government accuses the rebels. Sources tell AsiaNews the war is "moving from the suburbs to the centre of the city."

Damascus (AsiaNews) - A mortar attack on Damascus University killed at least 12 students around 1 pm today, destroying the Architecture Faculty, state TV reported. Others were hurt when another mortar round hit the cafeteria. The university is located near Umayyad Square in central Damascus.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the authorities have blamed Islamic rebels. The National Students Union slammed the terrorist action for targeting university students.
The pro-regime Al-Ikhbariya TV network broadcast non-stop scenes of injured students taken to hospital as well as video filmed inside the targeted buildings.
Since the start of the week, rebels have launched an offensive against the area around Umayyad Square hitting several government buildings, including the Syrian TV building, with at least five people killed.
Sources told AsiaNews that "the war is now inside the capital. Gunfire, explosions and heavy shelling are heard every day, with the fighting moving from the suburbs to the centre of the city."
Until recently, fighting had been centred on the outskirts of Damascus, in Qaboun (northeast), Al-Yarmouk, and Daraya.



MOGADISHU, March 26, 2013 (CISA) -Somali gunmen killed a female radio journalist in Mogadishu, the latest in a string of reporters murdered in the war-ravaged capital, colleagues and witnesses said on Monday March 25.
Two men shot dead Rahmo Abdukadir, who worked for the private Radio Abduwaq station, late on Sunday.”One of our female staff members was shot and killed in Mogadishu,” said radio station director Abdikarin Ahmed.
“We don’t know why she was killed but we are in shock,” he added.
Witnesses said men approached the reporter before firing repeatedly and then running away.
“Two men armed with pistols shot the woman… they fired their guns five times before fleeing,” said witness Abdi Moalin Shire.
“There was another girl who accompanied the victim but the gunmen did not target her, she ran away screaming for help,” said Issa Mohamed, another witness.
According to AFP, at least 18 media workers were killed in 2012 – double the worst year on record and second only to war-torn Syria – but no one has been charged with the killings.
Abdukadir is the third journalist to be killed this year.
A journalist for Mogadishu’s Radio Shabelle was shot dead in January, while another journalist was killed when he was caught up in a suicide bombing in the capital earlier this month.
Somalia’s journalists have suffered a string of attacks, including assassinations or bomb blasts often blamed on al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents.
Last month Somalia’s government offered a $50 000 reward for information leading to the “successful conviction of a journalist killer”.
Somalia has been ravaged by conflict since 1991, but a new UN-backed government took power last year.
Many have said the new government offers the most serious hope for stability since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre more than two decades ago.


Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day the death of Jesus Christ is commemorated. Jesus died in the year 33 AD. The story of the Crucifixion and death of Jesus is told in the Gospels. On this day no Mass is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church. There is a Church Service at 3:00pm. There are readings from the Bible. The organ is not played but hymns may be sung accappella. The Cross is venerated by those attending. Here the Eucharist is distributed from the preceding Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper. Catholics are called to fast on this day which means that they cannot eat more than 1 meal and 2 repasts. They cannot eat meat on this day.  (Image source:

The Church is striped of the linens and the tabernacle door is left open.
The Reproaches (Improperia) are chanted by a priest during the Good Friday service while the people are venerating the Cross.
My people, What have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
I led you out of Egypt; but you led your Savior to the Cross.
For forty years I led you safely through the desert,
I fed you with manna from heaven,
and brought you to the land of plenty; But you led your Savior to the Cross.
O, My people! What have I done to you that you should testify against me?

Holy God. Holy God. Holy Mighty One. Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.


Sts. Barachisius and Jonas
Feast: March 29

Feast Day:March 29
Died:24 December 327
They were monks at a monastery in Perisa (modern Iran) and were arrested during the persecution conducted by Sassanid King Shapur II (r. 309-379). Barachisius and Jonas were giving spiritual support to other martyrs when they were taken into custody. Refusing to abjure the faith, Jonas was crushed to death, and his body cut to pieces. Barachisius had brimstone and boiling pitch poured down his throat.

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