Saturday, April 13, 2013


Vatican City, 13 April 2013 (VIS) – Following is the full text of a communique issued today by the Secretariat of State.
“The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, 'Pastor Bonus'.
The group consists of:
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State;
Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile;
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India;
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany;
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo;
Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M., archbishop of Boston, USA;
Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia;
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and
Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary.
The group's first meeting has been scheduled for 1-3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.”
Vatican City, 13 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father met in private audiences with:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops,
- Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and
- His Excellency Nestor Osorio, president of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
Vatican City, 13 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:
- Fr. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah as bishop of Nsukka (area 3,179, population 841,000, Catholics 480,326, priests 213, religious 225), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Imilike Ani, Enugu, Nigeria in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1984. The bishop-elect was previously vice rector of Rome's Pontifical Urban University and is a consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. He succeeds Bishop Francis Emmanuel Ogbonna Okobo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Fr. Udumala Bala Show Reddy as bishop of Warangal (area 22,702, population 7,724,845, Catholics 66,385, priests 138, religious 554), India. The bishop-elect was born in Ghanpur, Gudur, India in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1979. Since ordination the bishop-elect has served in several pastoral and administrative roles, most recently as vice-secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.
- Archbishop Aldo Cavalli as apostolic nuncio to Libya. Archbishop Cavalli, titular of Vibo, is already nuncio to Malta.
- Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele as apostolic nuncio to Belize. Archbishop Badikebele, titular of Magnetum, was previously apostolic nuncio to El Salvador.


CCCB RELEASE - Anthony Kowalczyk (1866-1947), a lay brother of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate who served in Western Canada, has been recognized by the Church for his heroic virtues. Brother Anthony was born in Dzierzanow, Poland, on June 4, 1866; he came to Canada in 1896, and died in Edmonton on July 10, 1947. Trained in Germany as a blacksmith, he lost an arm because of an accident in a mission sawmill at Lac-la-Biche. Popularly known as “God’s blacksmith,” he later worked with Indians and Metis in Alberta, and then spent most of his life as the custodian at St. John's College in Edmonton, 1911-1947, where he spent his final years as gardener and handy man. Venerable Brother Anthony is buried in St. Albert, not far from downtown Edmonton. The decree recognizing his heroic virtues was authorized by Pope Francis. His cause was first introduced in the Archdiocese of Edmonton in 1952, and has been under study by the Holy See since 1979.  
Last Updated on Wednesday, April 10 2013


God's Blacksmith


     Ignatio and Lucia Zuraszek lived in the fertile region of Silesia on a beautiful land that eventually became too small to sustain their growing family.
     Thus it was necessary for one of their sons to learn a new skill. Anthony, the sixth of twelve children, was chosen to train as a blacksmith; not because ‘kowalczyk’ meant ‘blacksmith’ but because such qualification would enable him to find work in neighbouring west Germany.
     Anthony, who was born on 4th June 1866, was not dismayed by this decision because within his home he had learnt to obey his parents and to serve God.

     On reaching working age, Anthony went to the ironworks of industrial Hamburg. It was rough there and he had to contend with constant provocation from his blasphemous and immoral co-workers. They were imbued with materialism and godlessness and Anthony countered their vocal assaults with absolute morality and religious conviction. He was sickened by that atmosphere and, while walking along a street in Hamburg, he fell to his knees and he cried out, “Lord, my God, I believe that You are in Heaven.” It was time to move away.

     Anthony left Hamburg not on a train bound for his beloved homeland but on one that headed for Germany’s western city of Catholic Cologne. On arrival he went twice to pray at the tomb of Bl. Adolf Kolping, founder of an association for Catholic workers. Afterwards he walked to the outskirts of this great city and there he found what he longed for: a Catholic family that welcomed him as a son. Mr & Mrs Prummenbaum not only gave him lodging but, as exemplars of righteousness, they also enlightened Anthony and for this he was deeply grateful to them for the remainder of his life.
     In this ambience of goodness and faith, facets emerged that led the lady to ask: “Would you like to become a missionary?” - “How can I, I am uneducated and besides I am already 25 years old.” “That does not matter, I know missionaries who are in great need even of rudimentary help”, and so Mrs Prummenbaum accompanied Anthony to a mission centre in nearby Holland... they were Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

     Here Anthony assumed life in a community that was intent on following in the footsteps of Christ and the Apostles; a journey that would take him far geographically and in the deepening of virtue and brotherly love. His arrival was a blessing. Here was a man skilled in dealing with iron and machinery - what a windfall! All that he did was excellently done, but from time to time he would call on his superior to remind him that what he really wished for was to be a missionary. Time and again the superior would dismiss him with an amiable “we shall see”. In time a pressing need arose and Anthony embarked on a ship that carried him across the ocean to the missions in north-western Canada.

     At last he was at a real mission, stationed north of Edmonton where the Oblates had founded a school for youths who were entrusted to the care of nuns. There was a workshop in which a steam engine generated power for a saw-mill that supplied timber for missions further north. After working there for a year, a serious accident occurred that necessitated the amputation of Anthony’s right forearm, Was this the end of his missionary venture? Not so, for Anthony was endowed with an uncommon ability to draw God’s special graces on himself; additionally he generated great veneration of God in others

     Those in charge of the missions continued to look to their humble, hardworking Brother for important functions in their administration. During those years, a school was opened at Edmonton for the training of young future-missionaries. Anthony spent the remainder of his life there until he died when he was 81.

     He was an admirable example of a lifestyle humbly, totally and lovingly dedicated to service and, above all, to the intense search of God. He saw to central heating in the house, he assisted the nuns in the kitchen, he bred chickens, he cleaned the sanitation areas, he cultivated vegetables, he sharpened the pupils’ skates and repaired their hockey sticks.

     He was always available to the young for a prayer or a word of encouragement; his greatest joy was to watch them develop and persevere. An ex pupil wrote thus about Brother Anthony: “Though he did not enter our classrooms except on rare occasions, as faithful custodian he entered our lives in more ways than one to help mould our character. He used very few words, and these mostly in broken French; he spoke by his actions, by his exemplary conduct. These kept saying to us, ‘Do you want to do the right thing to please God, here’s a true pattern!”

                        “Me not educated, poor me,
                         blacksmith of my soul,
                         me Coadjutor Brother,
                         me always say YES,
                         me listen superiors,
                         me pray Holy Virgin,
                         me love the good God,
                         me help Good God, me happy.”

                   (Spoken in his broken French)


               Breton, P.-E., O.M.I.
“Blacksmith of God”, Edmonton, 1960.
               Assumption OMI Province
“A Pilgrimage to our Past”, Toronto, 1994.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - In a statement released by the Diocese of Tumaco (Colombia) says that the Commission for the Social Pastoral of the Diocese was declared "objective and permanent military enemy" by a movement that calls itself the "Grupo Armado Los Rastrojos ".
The statement informs that other 94 social organizations working for the rights of people have been threatened.
"Our commitment as Catholic Church is inspired by the Word of God and the message of Jesus Christ, therefore, our duty has been, is and will be to defend life, to contribute to building peace and denounce all forms of violation of the human rights," the statement said.
The statement calls on the armed group to respect the work of organizations engaged in the defense of human rights and the government to supervise and ensure the safety of the population and the organization threatened.
The note was sent to Fides by the Episcopal Conference of Colombia at a time when the Country continues its campaign to promote dialogue for Peace.
Death threats have a concrete meaning in a country where only in the first 5 weeks of 2013 three priests were murdered. The figures are really impressive. A growing number of pastoral workers have been killed in Colombia since 1984. To be precise, 83 priests, five religious women, three religious men, three seminarians, an archbishop and a bishop and 17 bishops and 52 priests have received death threats. (CE) 


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
12 Apr 2013
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
With only 100 days to go till WYD13 in Rio de Janerio, close to 550 pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Sydney have confirmed their registration and are preparing to meet with an estimated 3 million other Catholics in July this year.
"It's a great effort from the Archdiocese of Sydney. We are very pleased with the number of young people from our CEO Catholic schools and parishes across Sydney who committed to attend WYD" said Jake Ryan, Projects and Events Officer for the Archdiocese.
Over the coming months, pilgrims will take part in formation meetings to prepare themselves for the experience in South America. This WYD is a unique opportunity as pilgrims will have the opportunity to take part in various mission projects before they meet in Rio de Janerio. "It's a great chance for young people to get involved in the community and experience the very real faith of the South American culture" Jake said.
Iguacu Falls
Apart from the mission aspect of the pilgrimages, young people will also have the opportunity to visit some of the sites of South America. Bishop Peter Comensoli will be leading a group of 70 young people and 300 schools students to the heights of Macchu Picchu. Located 2,430 metres above sea level, this 15th century Inca site is a very popular destination and it was a strong 'selling point' for many.
His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell will be leading close to 65 young people on a 19 day to visit the pilgrimage sites of Lima, including the Cathedral of Lima, the Church and Convent of Saint Francis, the Nazarene Church (containing the Lord of the Miracles painting), the Sanctuary of Saint Rose of Lima and the Dominican Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. This pilgrimage will also be taking part in mission work with the CLM community in Lima and will undertake 3-4 days of mission work amongst the local poorer communities.
The WYD week in Rio de Janerio is planned to be something that all pilgrims will never forget. An estimated 3 million people are predicted to take part from 23-28 July. The WYD week will give people a great opportunity to experience faith and culture and experience a truly universal faith. "I hope to gaze upon the Christ the Redeemer statue and contemplate how I can stand up and live for others, while awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis with pilgrims from all over the world" said Chris Maher, pilgrimage coordinator for the Archdiocese.
Lima, Peru
After the WYD week in Rio de Janeiro, all pilgrims will have the opportunity to meet together in Iguacu Falls and take part in a post retreat. This will give them the opportunity to debrief what they have encountered over the pilgrimage and during the WYD week and offer a chance to reflect on how they can continue to live it out in their local school, parish or community.
Iguassu Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and it consists of 275 waterfalls over 2.7 kilometres. A breathtaking sight, it was also the backdrop to the 1986 film "The Mission" about a Jesuit missionary priest.
For more information about WYD13 and its upcoming events please


Traditionally moderate and open to dialogue, the Muslim community in the Caucasus is happy about the election of Pope Francis. "I am sure that you will contribute to inter-religious dialogue and cooperation," the grand mufti said.

Baku (AsiaNews) - The Muslim community in the Caucasus is happy. Grand Mufti Allahshukur Pashazade is also approvingly happy about Pope Francis's ascension to the papacy.
In a letter of congratulations, he wrote, "On these significant days for all Catholics in the world, expressing the will of millions of Muslims in Caucasus, I wish you robust health and long life," said the grand mufti in his letter. "This important event is a good opportunity for me to express my deepest satisfaction with the level of our inter-confessional cooperation."
In Azerbaijan, the Catholic community has 450 members. It is a small but growing reality that enjoys respect and consideration by the authorities and other religious groups.
Five missionaries of Charity are active in the capital Baku, and their house is home mostly to Muslims.
In 2010, Fr Théodore Mascarenhas, head of the Departments of Asia, Africa and Oceania at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, described Azerbaijan as "committed to a multicultural model of inter-religious harmony, serving as a bridge between East and West, an example that many Muslim nations could follow if they truly want to be modern."
In his letter to Pope Francis last month, Allahshukur Pashazade also wrote, "We are pleased with the current level of relations between the Holy See and Azerbaijan, where tolerance, mutual respect and cooperation have become norms of life. I am sure that you will contribute to inter-religious dialogue and cooperation."



John 6:
 16 - 21

16When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
17got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caper'na-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
18The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing.
19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened,
20but he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
21Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.


Pope St. Martin I
Feast: April 13

Feast Day:April 11
Born:Todi, Tuscany, Italy
Died:655 at Cherson, Crimea
Martyr, born at Todi on the Tiber, son of Fabricius; elected Pope at Rome, 21 July, 649, to succeed Theodore I; died at Cherson in the present peninsulas of Krym, 16 Sept., 655, after a reign of 6 years, one month and twenty six days, having ordained eleven priests, five deacons and thirty-three bishops. 5 July is the date commonly given for his election, but 21 July (given by Lobkowitz, "Statistik der Papste" Freiburg, 1905) seems to correspond better with the date of his death and reign (Duchesne "Lib. Pont.", I, 336); his feast is on 12 November.The Greeks honor him on 13 April and 15 September, the Muscovites on 14 April. In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style him infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336).
Martin, one of the noblest figures in a long line of Roman pontiffs (Hodgkin, "Italy", VI, 268) was, according to his biographer Theodore (Mai, "Spicil. Rom.", IV 293) of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza, II  45 7 states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He governed the Church at a time when the leaders of the Monothelite heresy, supported by the emperor, were making most strenuous efforts to spread their tenets in the East and West. Pope Theodore had sent Martin as apocrysiary to Constantinople to make arrangements for canonical deposition of the heretical patriarch, Pyrrhus. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran at which one hundred and five bishops met. Five sessions were held on 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 Oct., 649 (Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", III, 190). The "Ecthesis" of Heraclius and the "Typus" of Constans II were rejected; nominal excommunication was passed against Sergius, Pyrrus, and Paul of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Phran in Arabia; twenty canons were enacted defining the Catholic doctrine on the two wills of Christ. The decrees signed by the pope and the assembled bishops were sent to the other bishops and the faithful of the world together with an encyclical of Martin. The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II.
The pope appointed John, Bishop of Philadelphia, as his vicar in the East with necessary instructions and full authority . Bishop Paul of Thessalonica refused to recall his heretical letters previously sent to Rome and added others,—he was, therefore, formally excommunicated and deposed. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, had urged the emperor to use drastic means to force the pope and the Western Bishops at least to subscribe to the "Typus". The emperor sent Olympius as exarch to Italy, where he arrived while the council was still in session. Olympius tried to create a faction among the fathers to favor the views of the emperor, but without success. Then upon pretense of reconciliation he wished to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the pontiff with the intention of slaying him. But Divine Providence protected the pope, and Olympius left Rome to fight against the Saracens in Sicily and died there. Constans II thwarted in his plans, sent as exarch Theodore Calliopas with orders to bring Martin to Constantinople. Calliopas arrived in Rome, 15 June, 653, and, entering the Lateran Basilica two days later, informed the clergy that Martin had been deposed as an unworthy intruder, that he must be brought to Constantinople and that another was to be chosen in his place. The pope, wishing to avoid the shedding of human blood, forbade resistance and declared himself willing to be brought before the emperor. The saintly prisoner, accompanied by only a few attendants, and suffering much from bodily ailments and privations, arrived at Constantinople on 17 Sept., 653 or 654, having landed nowhere except the island of Naxos. The letters of the pope seem to indicate he was kept at Naxos for a year. Jaffe, n. 1608, and Ewald, n 2079, consider the annum fecimus an interpolation and would allow only a very short stop at Naxos, which granted the pope an opportunity to enjoy a bath. Duchesne, "Lib. Pont.", I, 336 can see no reason for abandoning the original account; Hefele,"Conciliengeschichte" III, 212, held the same view (see "Zeitschr. für Kath. Theol.", 1892, XVI, 375).
From Abydos messengers were sent to the imperial city to announce the arrival of the prisoner who was branded as a heretic and rebel, an enemy of God and of the State. Upon his arrival in Constantinople Martin was left for several hours on deck exposed to the jests and insults of a curious crowd of spectators. Towards evening he was brought to a prison called Prandearia and kept in close and cruel confinement for ninety-three days, suffering from hunger, cold and thirst. All this did not break his energy and on 19 December he was brought before the assembled senate where the imperial treasurer acted as judge. Various political charges were made, but the true and only charge was the pope's refusal to sign the "Typus". He was then carried to an open space in full view of the emperor and of a large crowd of people. These were asked to pass anathema upon the pope to which but few responded. Numberless indignities were heaped upon him, he was stripped of nearly all his clothing, loaded with chains, dragged through the streets of the city and then again thrown into the prison of Diomede, where he remained for eighty five days. Perhaps influenced by the death of Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, Constans did not sentence the pope to death, but to exile. He was put on board a ship, 26 March, 654 (655) and arrived at his destination on 15 May. Cherson was at the time suffering from a great famine. The venerable pontiff here passed the remaining days of his life. He was buried in the church of Our Lady, called Blachernæ, near Cherson, and many miracles are related as wrought by St Martin in life and after death. The greater part of his relics are said to have been transferred to Rome, where they repose in the church of San Martino ai Monti. Of his letters seventeen are extant in P.L., LXXXVII, 119.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)