Friday, April 26, 2013


Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.

Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.

Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.

(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)


Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called "La Madonna del Paradiso" and now better known as "Madonna del Buon Consiglio", appeared at Genazzano, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day, 25 April, 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without the slightest apparent support; thus early tradition, which furthermore tells how one might have passed a thread around the image without touching it. At once devotion to Our Lady inSanta Maria sprang up; pilgrim-bands began to resort thither; while miracles in ever-increasing numbers, of which a register was opened two days after the event, were wrought, as they still continue to be, at the shrine. In July following, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image. Their report, however, is not known to be extant. The cult of Our Lady increased. In 1630 Urban VIII himself went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage, as didPius IX in 1864. On 17 November, 1682, Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by theVatican Basilica. In 1727 Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass ofOur Lady for 25 April, anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July, 1753, Benedict XIVapproved of the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and was himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pius IX was a member, and also Leo XIII. On 18 December, 1779, Pius VI, while re-approving the cult of Our Lady, granted all Augustinians anOffice with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December, 1884, Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for allAugustinians, while on 17 March, 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria — one of the four parish churches at Genazzano — to the rank of minor basilica; and, on 22 April following, authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation "Mater Boni Consillii" to follow that of "Mater Admirabilis". The same pontiff, ten years earlier (21 December, 1893) hadsanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful. In theUnited States there are many churches and institutions in honour of Our Lady of Good Counsel.


Vatican Radio REPORT An estimated 70 thousand young boys and girls are descending on St Peter’s Square this weekend for the first in a series of ‘great events’ with the Holy Father organized for the Year of Faith by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

On Saturday and Sunday those young boys and girls who have been confirmed in their faith or are about to be confirmed will gather in St Peter’s from all over the world together with Pope Francis, while next weekend it will be the turn of confraternities. 

In a press briefing earlier this week, Council President, Archbishop Rhino Fisichella explained that the common denominator of the events, which will take place in Rome with the Holy Father, will be “of highlighting pilgrimage to the tomb of Peter. That is why, the day before, the participants will take part in a symbolic procession from the obelisk in St. Peter's Square to the tomb of the Apostle where they will pray the Creed. Along the way there will be a brief catechesis to recall the significance of the places that we find ourselves at and their historic meaning for the faith.”

The first event will take place this 27-28 April and will be dedicated to all those who have received or who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this year. “Already more than 70,000 youth, accompanied by their catechists and priests, have signed up. This presence shows the enthusiasm with which they have joined in the initiative and the great turn-out that we should expect.”

For the first time, Pope Francis will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 44 youth from around the world, symbolically representing the entire Church. “They are youth,” the archbishop said, “ who show the face of the Church there where people are living and suffering, to give all hope and certainty for the future.” But there will not just be youth in attendance since there is no uniformity on the age at which to receive the Sacrament and the ages of the confirmands who are coming stretches from 11 to 55.

The second important event, which over 50,000 persons have already signed up for, will take place from 3 to 5 May and will be dedicated to popular piety. The Confraternities, particularly from the countries where the tradition is strongest, will give witness to the different local traditions that have resulted from a religiosity that has been expressed through the centuries with initiatives and works of art that have lasted to this day. The event's culminating moment will be Mass celebrated by the Pope on Sunday at 10:00am in St. Peter's Square.

It will be “a moment of faith,” the prelate concluded, “that finds, in the simplicity of the expressions of popular piety, its most deep-rooted core in our people who live these signs uninterruptedly as a reminder of the faith of previous generations and as a tradition that should be witnessed to with courage and enthusiasm.”SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, president of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar. President Rajoelina then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial talks, the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Madagascar were focused on and some aspects of the country's situation were examined. In particular, Madagascar's efforts in the quest for stability and democracy, greater economic development, and reconstruction of international relations were noted. The Malagasy Church's significant contribution in supporting national dialogue and its indispensable capillary commitment in the areas of health and education were highlighted.
Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – The journey of faith is not alienating, it is a preparation for arriving at our final destiny. These were the Pope's words during today's homily of the Mass he celebrated this morning at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. In attendance were employees of the Vatican Typography, the labour office of the Apostolic See (ULSA), and members of Corps of the Gendarmerie.
Pope Francis commented on Jesus' words to his disciples in today's Gospel: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” “Jesus' words are truly beautiful. At the moment of his farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, but from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad … and He begins to speak of what? About heaven, about their final homeland. 'Have faith [in God] and also in me? … Using the image of an engineer, of an architect telling them what He is going to do: 'I am going to prepare you a place, in my Father's house there are many dwelling places.' And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us.”
Preparing a place means “preparing our possibility to enjoy, … our possibility to see, to fell, to understand the beauty of what awaits us, of that homeland towards which we walk. All of Christian life is Jesus' labour, the Holy Spirit's, to prepare us a place, to prepare our eyes to be able to see … our hearing to be able to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all, to prepare our hearts … to love, to love more.”
Along our lives' path, the pontiff repeated, the Lord prepares our hearts “with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things. The entire journey of our lives is a path of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, like He did with the Good Thief. There were just a few minutes to prepare him and He did it. But it generally happens that way in our lives, doesn't it? Letting him prepare our hearts, our eyes, our hearing to arrive at this homeland. Because that is our homeland.”
But some would say “that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that this is life, the concrete, and beyond it you don't know what might be. … But Jesus tells us that it is not thus. He tells us: 'Have faith in me as well.' What I am telling you is the truth: I am not tricking you; I am not deceiving you.”
“Preparing oneself for heaven,” the Bishop of Rome finished, “is beginning to greet him from afar. This is not an alienation. This is the truth. This is letting Jesus prepare our hearts, our eyes, for that great beauty. It is the path of beauty, the path of our return to the homeland. May God grant us the hope, courage, and humility to let the Lord prepare us a place!”
Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and
- Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, titular of Vicohabentia and president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
This afternoon he is scheduled to receive Senator Mario Monti, prime minister of Italy, on his farewell visit.
Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father:
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Klerksdorp, South Africa, presented by Bishop Zithulele Patrick Mvemve in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale, O.M.I., of Johannesburg, South Africa, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.
- appointed Fr. Juan Antonio Menendez Fernandez as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Oviedo (area 10,565, population 1,088,000, Catholics 1,034,000, priests 533, religious 1,009), Spain, assigning him the Titular See of Nasai. The bishop-elect, previously pastor of San Nicolas de Bari parish in Aviles, Asturias, Spain, and episcopal vicar for Juridical Affairs of the same archdiocese, was born in Villamarin de Salcedo, Asturias, Spain, in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1981.


by Nirmala Carvalho
Police uncovers the first case of child trafficking via social media. The baby's grandfather wanted to sell the baby to negotiate a second marriage for his daughter. The baby's "buyer", a New Delhi businessman, was also arrested.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A new baby born in a hospital in Ludhiana (Punjab) was sold for 800,000 rupees (US$ 14,750) over Facebook. For police, this was the first case of child trafficking via social media. The incident came to light when the baby's mother, Noorie, filed a complaint with the police that the child, delivered on 3 April, went missing from the nursing home where she had delivered him.
The baby's maternal grandfather Feroze Khan, a nurse called Sunita and another employee of a private nursing home had taken the infant and posted a picture of him on the internet, before finalising the sale with a businessman in New Delhi.
Since Noorie had been deserted by her husband, her father wanted to arrange a second marriage for her. To do so, he "thought he should get rid of his daughter's child from her first husband by selling him off," Ludhiana Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said.
The police have also detained the child's "buyer", one Amit Kumar from New Delhi. They raided his home in the national capital where they found the child before returning him to his mother.
Each year, tens of thousands of children are caught up in human trafficking destined for illegal adoptions, child labour or prostitution.



Port chaplain shocked after crew kidnapped by pirates | Deacon Paul Glock, AoS, Apostleship of the Sea, Hansa Marburg
A port chaplain from Catholic seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea has spoken of his visits to a container ship that this week had four of its crew kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Equatorial Guinea.
Media reports have said that the container ship ‘Hansa Marburg’ was attacked on Monday 130 miles south-west of the port of Malabo. The shipping company is in contact with the crew members' families and working with authorities to ensure the release of those kidnapped.

Deacon Paul Glock, Tilbury port chaplain, heard the news while he was visiting other ships in the port. He said: “I’ve been on board that ship on a number of times. It’s been visiting Tilbury for a couple of years. On my last visit I did what I usually do, such as asking the crew if they wanted to visit the seafarers’ centre, go shopping in Tilbury, or if they needed Sim cards. I also left them prayer cards to support their faith."

He added that many of the crew were from Russia and the Ukraine. “It’s a tragedy. And it highlights that, despite all the modern technology on ships, being a seafarer is still a very dangerous job."

Martin Foley National Director of the Apostleship of the Sea said: "Sadly we can no longer think of piracy as just part of maritime history or seafarers’ tales. It's a reality for many seafarers on ships today."

Over the last few years or so the port chaplains of the Apostleship of the Sea have had many conversations with seafarers who have had to experience the anxiety and fear of sailing through piracy waters as the ship makes its way to deliver its cargo.

In 2011 Pope Benedict had a meeting with a group representing the families of some 800 seafarers from around the world who have been kidnapped and held by pirates assuring them of his prayers and concern.

For more information see:



KHARTOUM, April 26, 2013 (CISA) -In his meeting with the Sudanese minister Alfatih T Abdallah, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit stressed the important role of Sudanese churches in rebuilding their nation after years of conflict, along with the assurance of their religious freedoms.
Tveit was in Khartoum from April 23 to 24, visiting church leaders and government officials at the invitation of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), headquartered there.
The visit is Tveit’s first to Khartoum since the separation of Sudan and South Sudan in 2011, implementing their peace agreement of 2005.
“Sudanese churches belong genuinely to the country,” said Tveit. “Christians here are citizens of Sudan and therefore have an important role in assisting the rebuilding of their nation.
“We support churches in their struggles and aspirations for peace. We affirm our hope in the government to accomplish its responsibility in protecting churches and Christians and ensuring their security,” he added.
Abdallah, Sudanese minister for guidance and endowment, affirmed this stance. “Sudan needs churches to rebuild the society after a long history of conflict. Their right to worship and conduct their activities is a guarantee in constitution of the country,” he said.
The minister promised further interaction with the churches. “We hope to hold regular meetings with the churches to address the problems and building of trust and dialogue,” said Abdallah.
In his response to the minister, Tveit said, “There will always be religious minorities and majorities in any country. However, it is regardless of these dynamics that all actors of the society, including the churches, should be working together for the rebuilding of peace in Sudan.”
In Khartoum, Tveit was introduced to the issue of limited permits for building of churches, which he raised as a concern to be addressed during his meeting with Abdallah.
Referring to the restructuring of the SCC across the Sudan and South Sudan borders, Tveit said that “This is an extremely important step and a sign towards the immense need of unity among Sudanese churches. The gospel is the ministry of the church, and it is through our witness that the cross will be seen amidst the challenges that come with creation of a new country.”
Tveit met with the Sudanese church leaders at the All Saints Cathedral in Khartoum. He met with, among others, Father Anthonio, chairman of the SCC, Abdalla Ali, acting general secretary of the SCC, and Bishop Ezekiel Kondo from the Episcopal Church in Sudan. On April 25, Tveit was in Juba, South Sudan meeting with church and government leaders.


collinsCCCB RELEASE: Over the years there have been concerns by the Bishops of Canada about society's growing dependence on gambling, given the potential risks this can involve for the community and individual persons. As the City of Torontoconsiders whether to build a new and larger casino, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins has released a pastoral letter for the Archdiocese. The document, entitled Pastoral Letter on Gambling, Gaming and Casinos, is available on the Archdiocesan website.

Link to the Pastoral LetterApril 2013
To the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto:
In my years of pastoral ministry as priest and bishop, I have become sadly aware of the grievous suffering experienced by individuals and families because of gambling dependence.
We are now engaged in debating a plan for a major new casino in our area. Although at the moment this debate concerns Toronto, many of the other proposed sites are also within our archdiocese, and so I am writing to offer pastoral guidance to our Catholic community.
This current discussion is an appropriate occasion for each of us to reflect more deeply upon the effects of gambling in our community.
In recent years governments have more and more used gambling to increase tax revenue, proposing as well that gambling benefits the economy. It is understandable that governments are tempted by the prospect of what seems to be an easy way to do that. Even if there were significant long-term economic benefits, however, and that is far from clear, the establishment of a new casino will have a negative social impact that outweighs such benefits, and will have an adverse effect on the vitality and social health of our community.
It is sometimes argued that yet another casino could be a source of employment and would attract visitors and tourists. That approach is short-sighted. We need to consider the overall effects of the expansion of gambling. I recommend that you read the January 28, 2013, report of the Medical Officer of Health, Community Health Impacts of a Casino in Toronto, which concludes that “with respect to all other potential impacts, the available evidence indicates that the introduction of a new casino is likely to have greater adverse health-related impacts than beneficial impacts.”
I am particularly concerned that marriages and families will be hurt or even destroyed through greater ease of access to gambling through the construction of yet another large casino. The health of families is a constant concern of our Catholic Family Services and of Catholic Charities member agencies throughout the archdiocese.  In our parishes as well we seek to strengthen families, and we directly deal with the suffering which gambling addiction causes to individuals and families. We seek to heal, and are concerned by the expansion of the capacity to harm.
Licensed gambling is undeniably legal, and in fact is being heavily promoted by the government. In view of the suffering that gambling can cause, however, it is important to consider what light both our Christian faith and reason shed on the moral issues related to it.
Occasional and small-scale gambling can be a legitimate form of entertainment, and is not inherently evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the section relating to respect for persons and their goods, states that games of chance or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice, but become morally unacceptable when these activities deprive people of what is necessary to provide for their needs and those of others.i That, unfortunately, is what happens far too often. The Catechism also notes the power of gambling to enslave. Individuals, and the government, and charitable organizations as well can become enslaved by the lure of easy gambling revenue, and that is clearly not healthy.
The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario has consistently raised concerns about the proliferation of gambling, advising governments to take a more cautious approach towards promoting this source of income. These concerns have heightened as gambling has grown over the past 30 years to become a basic source of government revenue.ii
Gambling is inherently based on illusion – on promoting the fantasy, particularly attractive to the most vulnerable and the most desperate, that it is an easy way to provide a quick solution to the financial problems that they face. That is a cruel illusion, and it is not wholesome for governments to promote it, especially through extensive advertising.
It is sometimes said that should anyone become addicted, gambling’s proceeds can be used to treat their addiction. Apart from the fact that this is rather dubious logic, as it makes more sense not to cause the problem in the first place, problem gambling is a serious public health concern.iii There is evidence that a significant amount of revenue is derived from people who are most vulnerable to gambling.iv
When gambling is so extensively available, and is so aggressively promoted, it is also very difficult to protect our young people from viewing gambling as a worthwhile activity, whose negative effects are masked. v
As we consider this important issue in the civil society in which we all live and participate as citizens, we should also look carefully at whether we as a Church are also caught up in an unhealthy dependence on gambling that can harm others. I ask all Catholic organizations to examine any connection which they might have with gambling as a source of revenue. If we are engaged in any form of gambling that is likely to cause harm, we should find alternatives as soon as possible. We must not fund our good works in ways that cause suffering to others.
As a Catholic community, we should ponder carefully the proposals before our elected officials and add informed commentary to the discussion. Is yet another major casino a truly wholesome development that enhances the quality of life in our community? Does even more gambling make for a better society for individuals and for families?  Can we support the further extension of a reality which already causes significant harm to the most vulnerable among us?
If you or someone you know is struggling with such an addiction, I urge you to address the problem. The Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (1.888.230.3505) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They provide a free, confidential and anonymous service to people throughout Ontario in more than 140 languages.
May we join together in caring for the most vulnerable among us and, guided by a concern for the common good, in creating a community that is a truly wholesome place where individuals and families may flourish.
Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto


John 14: 1 - 6

1"Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?3And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.4And you know the way where I am going."5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.


St. Marcellinus
Feast: April 26

Feast Day:April 26
Born:Rome, Italy
Died:25 October 304 at Rome, Italy
He succeeded St. Caius in the bishopric of Rome, in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity and impiously claimed divine honours. Theodoret says that in those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honour. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion, as appears from the Liberian Calendar, which places him among those popes that were not put to death for the faith.
It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the gospel, that the cross, or sufferings and mortifications, are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of his kingdom. Our Lord himself, our model and our head, walked in this path, and his great apostle puts us in mind that he entered into bliss only by his blood and by the cross. Nevertheless, this is a truth which the world can never understand, how clearly soever it be preached by Christ and recommended by his powerful example and that of his martyrs and of all the saints. Christians still pretend, by the joys and pleasures of this world, to attain to the bliss of heaven, and shudder at the very mention of mortification, penance, or sufferings. So prevalent is this fatal error, which self-love and the example and false maxims of the world strongly fortify in the minds of many, that those who have given themselves to God with the greatest fervour are bound always to stand upon their guard against it, and daily to renew their fervour in the love and practice of penance, and to arm themselves with patience against sufferings, lest the weight of the corruption of our nature, the pleasures of sense, and flattering blandishments of the world, draw them aside and make them leave the path of mortification, or lose courage under its labours, and under the afflictions with which God is pleased to purify them and afford them means of sanctifying themselves.