Tuesday, April 30, 2013


(Vatican Radio IMAGE SHARE)
Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received Shimon Peres, president of the State of Israel. President Peres 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 political and social situation in the Middle East—where more than a few conflicts persist—was addressed. A speedy resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is hoped for, so that, with the courageous decisions and availability of both sides as well as support from the international community, an agreement may be reached that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region. Reference to the important issue of the City of Jerusalem was not overlooked. Particular worry for the conflict that plagues Syria was expressed, for which a political solution is hoped for that privileges the logic of reconciliation and dialogue.
A number of issues concerning relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See and between state authorities and the local Catholic communities were also addressed. In conclusion, the significant progress made by the Bilateral Working Commission, which is preparing an agreement regarding issues of common interest, was appreciated and its rapid conclusion is foreseen.

Vatican and Argentina issue joint postage stamps | Vatican City State, Argentina, postage stamps
Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning, in the Library of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis was presented with the stamps issued jointly between the Vatican City State and Argentina, which are dedicated to the beginning of his pontificate.
The four stamps in the set, which reproduce photographic images of the new pontiff, have the values of: €0.70 (for mail to Italy); €0.85 (Europe); €2.00 (Africa, Asia, the Americas); and €2.50 (Oceania). There will be 250,000 complete series printed.
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will issue, along with the stamp series, a stamp and coin card and an official collector's edition folder with the four stamps and a postcard of the first page of the extraordinary edition of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, from 13 March 2013 (the day of the new pontiff's election).
Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
   - appointed Bishop Audilio Aguilar Aguilar as bishop of Santiago de Veraguas (area 11,239, population 233,600, Catholics 211,343, priests 38, permanent deacons 2, religious 43), Panama. Bishop Aguilar, previously of Colon-Kuna Yala, Panama, has been vice-president of the Panamanian Bishops' Conference since 2010. He succeeds Bishop Oscar Mario Brown Jimenez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
   - appointed Bishop Salvatore Visco as archbishop of Capua (area 500, population 198,700, Catholics 190,700, priests 83, permanent deacons 10, religious 297), Italy. The archbishop-elect, previously of Isernia-Venafro, Italy, was born in Naples, Italy in 1948, was ordained to the priesthood in 1973, and received episcopal ordination in 2007. He is currently vice-president of the Abruzzo-Molise region of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
   - appointed Archbishop Guido Pozzo, almoner of His Holiness and titular archbishop of Balneoregium, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
   - appointed Fr. Jose Granados, D.C.J.M., vice dean of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, Italy, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


by Bodi Jiao
Fr. Chen Yong describes the conditions of his community affected by the Sichuan earthquake: "We have no water, food or shelter. The churches have collapsed and the children draw only blacks skies. Even a little help touches us deeply. "

Chengdu (AsiaNews) - The situation in Yaan "is not at all good. We have no tents and reserves of clean water and food are severely limited. We have assembled temporary shelters made of plastic and bamboo to spend the night, but it not enough and offer no protection".  This is how Fr. Chen Yong, priest from St Mary's parish near Yaan (diocese of Leshan), describes conditions for  survivors of the April 20 earthquake that rocked the Chinese province of Sichuan in a telephone interview.
In the area of ​​Yaan, continues Fr. Chen, "there are about 10 thousand Catholics. Of these, 6 thousand have suffered damage due to the earthquake: their homes have collapsed or are unsafe, so they have no place to stay. At the moment there are no victims among the faithful, yesterday we managed to recover from the rubble a seriously injured Catholic: he is hospitalized at the People's Hospital of Lushan ".

The official number of victims of the earthquake remains for now at 196, with nearly 14 thousand injured. But rescuers have not been able to reach some areas, and they fear that there are more victims still unidentified under the rubble that buried everything.

The worst damage, continues Fr. Chen, "is to the hearts of the children. Some have reported minor injuries, but they are all very shaken. In their drawings they only paint dark clouds in the sky and a strong rain, with a small person holding a small umbrella in the storm. Even if they are dark, these drawings show that children are still full of hope. "

Only 3 priests are working in the area of ​​Ya'an, but each county has its own chapel, every priest is responsible for several counties. Fr. Chen follows BaoXing and Hanyuan, and the latter alone has 2 chapels and 3 places for religious activities. In BaoXing there is a chapel, as well as in Lushan.

"All these buildings - the priest said were damaged by the earthquake, they can no longer be used to celebrate religious rites. Walls are crumbling and need to be repaired, while the structure of the BaoXing church was destroyed completely. Even in Lushan there is severe damage: the church has collapsed, another is almost completely unusable. Some priests houses and offices have collapsed. "

Fr. Chen emphasizes, however, the great help provided by Chinese Catholics across the web: "The bishops and priests who could have gone to Taiping, Liaoning, home to many Catholics. Once there, they saw that the faithful had organized fundraising groups and materials for them: there was great emotion, even when you lose everything because the slightest help deeply touches you. "

In addition to the normal problems of reconstruction, including the difficulty in reaching some areas affected by the earthquake and disposing of the debris, there is also the problem of distrust of the Chinese population towards "official" rescuers.

The state media also reports that donations sent to the Red Cross Society of China, the government organization that oversees the activities of first aid, have almost halved. Hit by numerous scandals - born from the lack of transparency in the management of accounts - the Red Cross has lost 50% of donations from citizens, who prefer the other 115 small NGOs that are privately managed.



Chance to join largest Gospel Choir in the world! | The London Community Gospel Choir, Royal Festival Hall, Guinness World Record

The London Community Gospel Choir will be celebrating their 30th birthday on Sunday, 5 May, with a performance at the Royal Festival Hall. A highlight of the concert is a Guinness World Record attempt for the greatest number of people in a Gospel choir singing together in concert conditions. Currently the record stands at 1,138 voices. The songs for the challenge are the very popular 'O Happy Day' and LCGC's Anniversary single 'Keep Moving'.
The concert is part of the three-day LCGC 30 Choir Festival, with performances by many choirs across the weekend.
For more information, or if you would like to take part in Sunday's event as a choir or individual singer, (You will need to attend an afternoon rehearsal, and the ticket, special T shirt and certificate of participation costs £40) - go to: http://30choirfestival.com/


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "The roads of the region are in poor condition, and this has resulted in a series of fatal accidents, as in the case of the four priests who died last Friday," is what the Bishop of the Diocese of Aguascalientes, Mgr. José María de la Torre Martín said to the press, who has urged the authorities to fix these roads.
The Bishop added that "I have discovered myself that some roads in the State of Jalisco are in a very bad condition, but this also happens in our State, where there are roads in terrible condition, and this is why motorists must be very careful to avoid accidents. "With regards to the death of 4 the priests in the region, Mgr. de la Torre Martín, said he was deeply saddened by what happened, and hopes that other priests who are still in hospital are able to get well soon, "the priests killed were young people between 27 and 28 years of age and very active in the life of the Church and were very popular in their parishes. "
The tragedy happened last Friday: a group of 13 priests returning from a priesthood meeting, from Jalisco to Aguascalientes. At the height of Ojos de Zarco, the van that transported them had a flat tire, apparently due to poor road conditions, and it ended up in a deep ravine. The van overturned several times on itself causing the immediate death of the 3 priests, the others were taken to the nearest hospital, but yesterday father Juan Carlos Pulido, the fourth in the group died. 4 priests remain in the hospital with minor injuries. (CE)


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
30 Apr 2013
Mary of Warmun
The carved wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary by the late Indigenous artist, George Mung Mung from the East Kimberly's Warmun community has been described as one of the great art works of the 20th Century. Now for the first time in almost 15 years, Sydney art lovers will have a chance to see Mary of Warmun as the sculpture is known along with other rare and breathtaking religious and spiritual artworks by Indigenous artists from the remote Warmun community.
Tomorrow, 1 May this priceless collection of Indigenous spiritual art featuring 25 paintings and four sculptures will go display at the Australian Catholic University's McGlade Gallery at Strathfield.
Entitled "Gifts of the Artists," the exhibition includes significant works by such renowned Indigenous artists such as Hector Jandany, Freddy Timms, Jack Britten, Queenie McKenzie Nakarra and Henry Wambiny.  Many of these paintings have not been seen in public before and it is believed this will be only the third time in the more than two decades George Mung Mung's carved sculpture of the Virgin has been seen by those outside the community.
"The sacred statue is an important and much loved icon and seldom leaves the community. So to have the people of Warmun and George Mung Mung's nephew, Patrick Mung give their permission to allow the statue to be part of this important exhibition is a great privilege and honour," says "Gifts of the Artists" curator, Lachlan Warner, who is also Coordinator of the Gallery and Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts and Design at ACU.
Warmun Art Centre has become internationally recognised for Indigenous art.
Mr Warner who is working around the clock today in order to put the final finishing touches to the exhibition prior to tomorrow's opening, has no doubt that while all the works selected for this important showing are significant, Mary of Warmun will be the star attraction.
His view is shared by art historian, educationist, artist and curator of many of Australia's major exhibitions of spiritual and religious art, Sister of Mercy, Rosemary Crumlin OAM.
Sr Rosemary says George Mung Mung's sculpture not only has incredible presence and energy but in her view is "one of the great works of the 20th century."
"In fact I am sure it is," she says.
The sculpture was carved from a tree bough George found deep in the Bungle Bungles after a plaster statue of the Holy Mother was knocked off a table by dogs as a small group prayed around it.
Indigenous artist Hector Jandany's Jesus Rising from the Grave
"That's when George promised he'd make them a Mary 'that would never break' and set off to find some suitable wood,'" Sr Rosemary says.
Originally called "the pregnant Mary," George's sculpture depicts her as a young woman painted with the body paint patterns reserved for unmarried Wamun girls.
"Her womb is like a shield under her heart where her unborn man-child dances. He is the One. She is the Mother," Sr Rosemary explains. "Mary of Warmun and the other artworks at the exhibition epitomise what the two pillars of the Warmun culture which are - the Dreaming or Ngarrangkarni which centres on the living land, the ancestors and their stories, and the Bible, especially the Creation and the Jesus and Mary gospel stories."
The people of the community describe their culture simply as "two way." Or as the late great Warmun artist, Hector Jandany told Sr Rosemary, "We always knew about Ngapuny (God) and the Spirit but youse mob had to tell us about Jesus and Mary."
The Spirit of MacKillop by renowned Warmun artist Queenie McKenzie Nakarra
Another of the highlights of the exhibition are Hector Jandany's evocative series of four paintings depicting the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
"The paintings are quite beautiful with a simplicity and elegance the way he conceives the Body of Christ with the Virgin Mary and Saints all around Him."
Sr Rosemary says a hallmark of the work of the Warmun artists is the sheer physical beauty of their paintings and sculptures. "Nearly all the works are made with ochre which is typical of the Warmun style of art, minimal and pared down and raw, but beautifully executed."
What is less well known is that the Warmun's works of religious and spiritual art were created as teaching tools for the children at the community's Christian school.

"George, Hector , Queenie and a number of other artist would come down to the school carrying a painting under their arms to teach the kids about the story of Christ as well as the stories of their own culture. They'd teach them songs and dances and tell them about Dreamtime and Christian Dreamtime."
Sr Rosemary Crumlin rsm
Unlike many Indigenous communities, Warmun discovered Christianity not through missionaries but by one of their own respected elders. A senior woman in the community had been sent to aleprosarium in Derby and became a Christian. When she returned to Warmun she fought to have a Christian school built, and held a series of interviews on the best people to do this.
"In 1979 it was this woman and other elders including George, Hector and Queenie who chose the Sisters of St Joseph to establish the school and Warmun's involvement with the Sisters has continued ever since," she says.
Lachlan Warner describes the exhibition as an important one on many fronts not only for the importance and significance of the artists represented but for the beauty of the works and as a visual testament to the melding of Aboriginal and Christian spirituality over the past 40 years.
The opening of the exhibition tomorrow at the McGlade Gallery comes just 24 hours after Warmun artist, Lena Nyadbi Lely made history in Paris after news was released that her Dayiwul Lirlmim (Barramundi scales) painting, which hangs in the Musee du Quai Branly, would be stencilled on to a 700 square metre section of the museum's roof where it  will be visible from Google Earth when it is unveiled in June.
Warmun Community has close links with Mary MacKillop
The exhibition: Gifts of the Artists will be on display at the McGlade Gallery, Barker Road, Strathfield from 11 am until  4 pm Monday to Saturday.


John 14: 27 - 31

27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.28You heard me say to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.29And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me;31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence.


St. Pius V
Feast: April 30

Feast Day:April 30
Born:17 January 1504 at Bosco, diocese of Alessandria, Lombardy, Italy
Died:1 May 1572 in Rome, Italy
Canonized:22 May 1712 by Pope Clement XI
Patron of:Bosco Marengo, Italy
Born at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy, 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., 1566; died 1 May, 1572. Being of a poor though noble family his lot would have been to follow a trade, but he was taken in by the Dominicans of Voghera, where he received a good education and was trained in the way of solid and austere piety. He entered the order, was ordained in 1528, and taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years. In the meantime he was master of novices and was on several occasions elected prior of different houses of his order in which he strove to develop the practice of the monastic virtues and spread the spirit of the holy founder. He himself was an example to all. He fasted, did penance, passed long hours of the night in meditation and prayer, traveled on foot without a cloak in deep silence, or only speaking to his companions of the things of God. In 1556 he was made Bishop of Sutri by Paul IV. His zeal against heresy caused him to be selected as inquisitor of the faith in Milan and Lombardy, and in 1557 Paul II made him a cardinal and named him inquisitor general for all Christendom. In 1559 he was transferred to Mondovì, where he restored the purity of faith and discipline, gravely impaired by the wars of Piedmont. Frequently called to Rome, he displayed his unflinching zeal in all the affairs on which he was consulted. Thus he offered an insurmountable opposition to Pius IV when the latter wished to admit Ferdinand de' Medici, then only thirteen years old, into the Sacred College. Again it was he who defeated the project of Maximilian II, Emperor of Germany, to abolish ecclesiastical celibacy. On the death of Pius IV, he was, despite his tears and entreaties, elected pope, to the great joy of the whole Church.
He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, instead of distributing his bounty at haphazard like his predecessors. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had displayed as a monk and a bishop. His piety was not diminished, and, in spite of the heavy labours and anxieties of his office, he made at least two meditations a day on bended knees in presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In his charity he visited the hospitals, and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor, and embraced the lepers. It is related that an English nobleman was converted on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers. He was very austere and banished luxury from his court, raised the standard of morality, laboured with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy, obliged his bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety. He diminished public scandals by relegating prostitutes to distant quarters, and he forbade bull fights. He enforced the observance of the discipline of the Council of Trent, reformed the Cistercians, and supported the missions of the New World. In the Bull "In Coena Domini" he proclaimed the traditional principles of the Roman Church and the supremacy of the Holy See over the civil power.
But the great thought and the constant preoccupation of his pontificate seems to have been the struggle against the Protestants and the Turks. In Germany he supported the Catholics oppressed by the heretical princes. In France he encouraged the League by his counsels and with pecuniary aid. In the Low Countries he supported Spain. In England, finally, he excommunicated Elizabeth, embraced the cause of Mary Stuart, and wrote to console her in prison. In the ardour of his faith he did not hesitate to display severity against the dissidents when necessary, and to give a new impulse to the activity of the Inquisition, for which he has been blamed by certain historians who have exaggerated his conduct. Despite all representations on his behalf he condemned the writings of Baius, who ended by submitting.
He worked incessantly to unite the Christian princes against the hereditary enemy, the Turks. In the first year of his pontificate he had ordered a solemn jubilee, exhorting the faithful to penance and almsgiving to obtain the victory from God. He supported the Knights of Malta, sent money for the fortification of the free towns of Italy, furnished monthly contributions to the Christians of Hungary, and endeavoured especially to bring Maximilian, Philip II, and Charles I together for the defence of Christendom. In 1567 for the same purpose he collected from all convents one-tenth of their revenues. In 1570 when Solyman II attacked Cyprus, threatening all Christianity in the West, he never rested till he united the forces of Venice, Spain, and the Holy See. He sent his blessing to Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, recommending him to leave behind all soldiers of evil life, and promising him the victory if he did so. He ordered public prayers, and increased his own supplications to heaven. On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 Oct., 1571, he was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out, "A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army". He burst into tears when he heard of the victory, which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it never recovered. In memory of this triumph he instituted for the first Sunday of October the feast of the Rosary, and added to the Litany of Loreto the supplication "Help of Christians". He was hoping to put an end to the power of Islam by forming a general alliance of the Italian cities Poland, France, and all Christian Europe, and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died of gravel, repeating "O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!" He left the memory of a rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity. He was beatified by Clement X in 1672, and canonized by Clement XI in 1712.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

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