Saturday, May 4, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT/SHARE - On Saturday evening Pope Francis was scheduled to visit the papal basilica of Saint Mary Major where he led the recitation of the Rosary. This evening’s prayer at is in observance of May which is traditionally celebrated as the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The visit was scheduled as part of the Year of Faith appointments set by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This will be Pope Francis’ second visit to the basilica, the first being the day after his election to the papacy. The 4th century Basilica of Saint Mary Major is one of the four Major Basilicas of Rome, and the oldest church in the West to be dedicated to Mary the mother of God. 

(Vatican Radio) “Let us always remain meek and humble, that we might defeat the empty promises and the hatred of the world.” This was the message of Pope Francis on Saturday morning during the homily at Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Humility and meekness are the weapons we have to defend ourselves from the hatred of the world. This was the focus of Pope Francis during his homily, which centered on the struggle between the love of Christ and the hatred of the prince of this world. The Lord, he said, tells us to be not afraid when the world hates us as it hated Him:

“The way of the Christians is the way of Jesus,” he said. “If we want to be followers of Jesus, there is no other way: none other than that, which He indicated to us - and one of the consequences of this is hatred – it is the hatred of the world, and also the prince of this world. The world would love that which belongs to it. [But Jesus tells us], ‘I have chosen you, from the world’: it was precisely He, who rescued us from the world, who chose us - pure grace! With His death, His resurrection, He redeemed us from the power of the world, from the power of the devil, from the power of the prince of this world. The origin of the hate [we experience], then is this: that we are saved. It is that prince who does not want that we should have been saved, who hates.”

Here then is the reason that the hatred and persecution continue from the early days of the Church even unto the present day. There are, “Many persecuted Christian communities in the world,” said Pope Francis, noting with bitterness, “indeed there are more persecuted communities in this time than in the early days: today, right now, in this day and in this hour.” Asking himself why this is the case, the Pope said, “Because the spirit of the world hates.” From this comes a perennially valid admonishment:

"There can be no dialogue with the prince of this world: let this be clear! Today, dialogue is necessary among us humans, it is necessary for peace. Dialogue is a habit, it is an attitude that we must have among us to feel and understand each other…and that [dialogue] must be maintained forever. Dialogue comes from charity, from love. But with that prince, it is impossible to dialogue: one can only respond with the Word of God who defends us, for the world hates us – and just as he did with Jesus, so will he do with us. ‘Only look,’ he will say, ‘just do this one small little scam…it is a small matter, nothing really – and so he begins to lead us on a road that is slightly off. This is a pious lie: ‘Do it, do it, do it: there is no problem,' and it begins little by little, always, no? Then [he says]: ‘But ... you're good, you're a good person: You [get away with] it.’ It is flattering – and he softens us by flattery: and then, we fall into the trap.”

Pope Francis went on to say that the Lord asks us to remain sheep, because if one decides to quit the fold, then he does not have, “a shepherd to defend him and he falls into the clutches of these wolves.”

“You may ask the question,” continued Pope Francis, ‘Father, what is the weapon to defend against these seductions, from these blandishments, these enticements that the prince of this world offers?’. The weapon is the same weapon of Jesus, the Word of God - not dialogue - but always the Word of God, and then humility and meekness. We think of Jesus, when they give that slap: what humility! What meekness! He could have insulted him, no? One question, meek and humble. We think of Jesus in His Passion. His Prophet says: ‘As a sheep going to the slaughter.’ He does not cry out, not at all: humility. Humility and meekness. These are the weapons that the prince and spirit of this world does not tolerate, for his proposals are proposals for worldly power, proposals of vanity, proposals for ill-gotten riches.”

“Today,” continued Pope Francis, “Jesus reminds us of this hatred that the world has against us, against the followers of Jesus.” The world hates us, he repeated, “because He has saved us, redeemed us.” Recalling the “weapons to defend ourselves” he added that we must remain sheep, “because sheep are meek and humble, [and when we are sheep] we have a shepherd.” The Pope concluded with an invocation to the Virgin Mary, asking her, “to help us become meek and humble in the way of Jesus.”

The Mass on Saturday morning was concelebrated by the Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, with a contingent of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in attendance.

Pope Francis offered the soldiers a greeting of affection and gratitude. "The Church,” he said, “loves you so much,” and, “so do I.”





As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us
"Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved."
Mary embraces God's will and freely chooses to cooperate with God's grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, "while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed." The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.
Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception


Many popular devotional practices involve veneration of the saints. The saints have a special place in the Body of Christ, which includes both the living and the dead. Through Christ we on earth remain in communion both with the saints in heaven and with the dead who are still in Purgatory. We can pray for those in Purgatory and ask the saints to pray for us. Through their prayers of intercession, the saints in heaven play an integral role in the life of the Church on earth. "For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, showing forth the merits which they won on earth through the one Mediator between God and man." The saints, the members of the Church who have arrived at perfect union with Christ, join their wills to the will of God in praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith.
Besides what the saints can do for us by their prayers, the very practice of venerating the saints does great good for those who are devoted to the saints. By practicing love of the saints we strengthen the unity of the entire Body of Christ in the Spirit. This in turn brings us all closer to Christ. "For just as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God." Love of the saints necessarily includes and leads to love of Christ and to love of the Holy Trinity. "For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the 'crown of all saints,' and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them."
—From Popular Devotional Practices

The making of a saint


A canonization today is the Church's official declaration, through the decision of the pope, that a person is a saint, truly in heaven and worthy of public veneration and imitation. The process begins by naming the person "Venerable," a "Servant of God" who has demonstrated a life of heroic virtue. 
The next stage is beatification, by which a person is named "Blessed." This step requires one miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God. 
For canonization, a second miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed and having occurred after the individual's beatification. Miracles are not required for martyrs. The pope may dispense with some of the formalities or steps in the process.


108. Why did Jesus manifest the Kingdom by means of signs and miracles?

Jesus accompanied his words with signs and miracles to bear witness to the fact that the Kingdom is present in him, the Messiah. Although he healed some people, he did not come to abolish all evils here below but rather to free us especially from the slavery of sin. The driving out of demons proclaimed that his cross would be victorious over "the ruler of this world" (John 12:31).


by Nirmala Carvalho
Phulbani Fast Track Court judge closes his court and assigns the case to a sessions court. It may take another year to conclude trial. The seven are charged with the murder of a Hindu leader, who launched the anti-Christian pogroms of 2008. The Maoists have always claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - For the umpteenth time, the Phulbani Fast Track Court judge has postponed the hearing of the way for the release of seven innocent Christians, accused without any evidence of the murder of the Hindu leader Laxamananada, whose death in 2008 triggered the violent pogroms in Orissa. The new session is scheduled for May 22. They have thus far spent four and a half years in the prisons of Kandhamal victims of sham trials, despite the fact that the Maoists have always claimed responsibility for the assassination.
The hearing that the seven Christians and their families have been waiting for was scheduled on April 1 last. That day, however, the judge announced that his court was closed, and that the case had been passed into the hands of a regular Session Court. The Fast Track Courts are special courts, which were established after the pogroms in Orissa to try to speed up the judicial process.

Once in the hands of a Session Court, the case could suffer further delays. When they were created, these courts were intended to quickly conclude a trial: listening to the sides involved one day after another. But the procedural loopholes and a backlog of other cases have transformed proceedings into continuous referrals, bogging the entire Indian judicial system in an almost inextricable way.

Convinced that the day had come to embrace their husbands, six of the seven wives along with their children went to the pastoral center Konjamendi, which  provides assistance and support to Christian prisoners and their families. Thus, on March 18 these women and 12 boys and girls met pastors Prasan Pradhan, Sushant Pradhan and Sunil Parichha, Sajan George - president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) - and brother Markos. Together they traced the moments of the arrest of their men and then prayed together. The next day, the religious leaders accompanied all of them to Phulbani prison, to visit their husbands. At the end of the day, the pastors accompanied the families to their homes to Kotagad.



Competition to find best church architecture of last 60 years |  Top 10 churches,architecture competition, National Churches Trust, the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association, Twentieth Century Society

Our Lady Queen of the Apostles, Bishop Waltham, Hampshire

The search is on to find the Top 10 churches built in the United Kingdom since 1953 in a new architecture competition launched by the National Churches Trust, the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the Twentieth Century Society.

Any new church building or significant extension to an existing building from any Christian denomination in the United Kingdom which opened for worship after 1 January 1953 and which is still open for worship today can be nominated for the competition. Judges will be looking for creative architecture which imaginatively expresses Christian religious belief and practice of the past 60 years.
National Churches Trust Diamond Jubilee Architecture

From the Top 10, a special ‘National Churches Trust Diamond Jubilee Architecture’ award will be presented to the three places of worship judged to be the most best sacred spaces built in the last 60 years at a ceremony to be held in November 2013.

Nominations for churches, chapels or meeting houses to be considered for inclusion in the Top 10 can be made online at or by emailing the name and address of the church, chapel or meeting house to before 31 July 2013.

The Top 10 best churches competition is being held to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Churches Trust. Since 1953 the Trust has provided over 12,000 grants and loans worth £85 million to help fund the repair and modernisation of Christian places of worship.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said: “As a nation we are rightly proud of our magnificent heritage of historic churches. But there are also many exciting churches which have been built in the last 60 years designed for the changing nature of religious liturgy and practice which reflects modern architecture and design. The challenge of helping people catch a glimpse of heaven has always produced highly creative and imaginative architecture. It will be exciting to discover the best examples of modern church architecture and honour those responsible through the‘ National Churches Trust Diamond Jubilee Architecture’ awards.”

King of Prussia Gold Medal and Presidents’ Award 

The National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association are also inviting nominations for the King of Prussia Gold Medal for church repair and conservation work and for the Presidents’ Award for innovative, high quality new church architecture built in the last year. Nominations for these awards must be made by members of Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. Nomination forms can be found on the websites of the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association.

For further information see:

National Churches Trust

Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association

Twentieth Century Society



Finding answers for the heart

Thursday 2 May 2013
Kairos  Vol 24, Issue 7

Words Laura Meli
Picture courtesy of Sr Regine Fohrer

VOLUNTEER recruitment director of Heart’s Home in New York, Sr Regine Fohrer, who recently visited Melbourne, has found her vocation—and her home.

At the age of 22, while working as a software program translator in Dublin, Ireland, Sr Regine Fohrer felt questions rising in her heart about the meaning of life and her place in the world.

Sr Regine was born in France, where she completed her studies in languages and sciences and yet, despite pursuing a successful career, she was constantly bothered by ‘the meaninglessness and absurdity of life and not having answers’. After four years of full-time work in a stressful job, Sr Regine made a decision to fulfil a childhood dream of volunteering in a developing country.

As Sr Regine began her investigation of organisations, three different people gave her the name of Heart’s Home, ‘an international, Catholic non-profit organisation that works to promote a culture of compassion around the world’. She read an article by Fr Rev. Thierry de Roucy, the founder of the organisation, and was inspired by the way he lived the life and values of which he spoke, and she realised, ‘this is what I am looking for’.
Sr Regine volunteered with Heart’s Home and was sent to their mission house in Bangkok, Thailand, for two years. She went with all her questions and laid them before God, saying: ‘I need answers—you have two years.’

Living and working in the slum areas of Bangkok, Sr Regine was struck by the joy of the people. Many of them were living in absolute poverty and yet ‘they were literally celebrating life more than living it’, and ‘when we came to visit them, they would stop everything and celebrate the moment together’.

Sr Regine was captivated by the capacity of the Thai people to stand strong in the midst of their difficulties, suffering and pain.

There was one particularly meaningful moment that Sr Regine shared with a woman about her own age who was suffering from a terminal illness. On the last occasion that Sr Regine saw this woman, they exchanged a long gaze. It was a moment which echoed the words of Christ: ‘Jesus looked at him and loved him.’

In this gaze, Sr Regine experienced the true meaning of the Christian life: ‘In that bread, in that woman, the same person was there: Christ. I touched him and saw him.’

From that moment, Sr Regine started reading and soaking herself in everything she could about the Faith and ironically she recalls that it was ‘in this Buddhist country I found God, I found Christ’.

When Sr Regine left Heart’s Home in Bangkok, she admitted that she did so with two resolutions: ‘I will never again live community life and I will get married.’

It would seem, however, that God had a different plan. After returning to Switzerland, Sr Regine found a good job and good friends and yet in her heart she knew that ‘this was not it’.

She asked God to reveal his plan to her and, soon after, her company restructured and Sr Regine was made redundant. She knew that this was God’s answer. At this time, Sr Regine met the founder of Heart’s Home at a retreat and asked him about pursuing a vocation. Although it was not something she had previously considered, Sr Regine realised: ‘I couldn’t deny that if I was true in my heart, there was something here that was deeply corresponding to my heart.’

The first two years in the novitiate with the Sisters of God’s Presence were not easy, but at the end of this time, Sr Regine knew that she had found her home: ‘I never chose my vocation. He called me and showed me that this is who I am. I found a happiness I had never found before and it all makes sense.’

Sr Regine completed studies in theology and philosophy in France before being sent on mission to Brooklyn, New York. She had seen material poverty of Bangkok, but the poverty of loneliness in New York was still more confronting. Along with two priests, three lay consecrated women and two other volunteers, Sr Regine’s life was transformed as she began visiting housing projects, the elderly, two nursing homes, a woman’s shelter, and reaching out to artists in need of a community.

Essentially, Heart’s Homes mission is to spread a culture of compassion and to live with the compassionate heart of Mary who stood at the foot of her son’s cross.

In living out her vocation with the Sisters of God’s Presence, Sr Regine has chosen to embrace a poverty of heart and a ‘poverty in friendships,’ which is essentially the realisation that ‘you have the same heart and needs of the heart as these people’.

In choosing this life of poverty, however, Sr Regine’s life has been blessed with an incredible richness. In place of the endless questions that plagued her, Sr Regine has found meaning and answers within her own heart’s home, which is now Christ.
In March, Sr Regine visited Australia where she spoke to young people at the CulturEd Cafeabout the work of Heart’s Home. The mission of this Catholic volunteer program is based on three pillars: compassion, community and prayer. It consists of small centres where volunteers and permanent members ‘form personal relationships with the most suffering and isolated in deprived areas, orphanages, jails, nursing homes’. Since Heart’s Home was founded in Argentina and Brazil in 1990, it has expanded to 55 centres in 25 countries and has commissioned 1300 volunteers from 38 nationalities to minister to the poor.


John 15: 18 - 21

18"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.19If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.21But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me.


St. Godehard of Hildesheim
Feast: May 4

Feast Day:May 4
Born:960, Reichersdorf, Bavaria
Died:May 4, 1038
Canonized:1131, Rheims by Innocent II
Patron of:ravelling merchants; invoked against fever, dropsy, childhood sicknesses, hailstones, the pain of childbirth, and gout; invoked by  those in peril of the sea
He was a native of Bavaria, and abbot of Altaich, in that country, and reformed likewise the abbeys of Hersfeld, in Hesse, of Tergensee, in the diocese of Frisinguen, and of Chremsmunster, in that of Passaw. In 1021, the episcopal chair of Hildesheim falling vacant by the death of St. Bernward, St. Godard was compelled by St. Henry to take upon him that pastoral charge. The relief of the poor, both spiritual and temporal, was everywhere the first object of his attention. He died on the 4th of May, 1038, and was canonized by Innocent II in 1131. Many places in Germany acknowledge him patron, and several bear his name. See his life by Wolfhert, his disciple, in Henschenius, p. 501, and in Mabillon: and more at large, with long histories of miracles, among the writers of the history of the most illustrious house of Brunswick-Hanover, t. 2, p. 483. Several very devout epistles of St. Godard, or Godehard, are given us by Dom. Pez, in his Codex Diplomatico-Historico-Epistolaris, p. 133, & c.