Monday, May 6, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT: The Holy Spirit was the subject of Pope Francis’ Homily during morning Mass at the Casa Santa Martha Monday. The Holy Father also stressed that it was important for Christians to examine their conscience on a daily basis.

Present at the Casa Santa Martha was the Archpriest of St Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri who concelebrated Mass with Pope Francis. Also present were employees from the complex of St Peter’s Basilica who listened as the Pope focused his Homily on the Holy Spirit.
Pope Francis said that the Holy Spirit whom Jesus called the “Paraclete” was the Person of God who is always there to protect us and support us. 
The Holy Father underlined the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives by saying that without this presence, our Christian lives cannot be understood.
Pope Francis went on to describe the sort of life one would have without the Holy Spirit. It would be a religious life, he said, a compassionate life of someone who believes in God but without the vitality that Jesus wants for his disciples.
The Spirit the Pope continued, “bears witness” to Jesus , so that we can give it to others.
Turning his attention to the first reading, the Holy Father recalled the beautiful story of a woman called Lydia whose heart was opened so as to pay attention to the words of St Paul. The Pope explained that it is the Holy Spirit that opens our hearts to know Jesus. The Spirit prepares us for our encounter with Jesus, he leads us down the path of Jesus and works in us throughout the day and throughout our lives.

The Pope then invited people to examine their conscience at the end of the day because it is in this way, he added that we can see how Jesus worked in our hearts.

Concluding his Homily, Pope Francis “asked that people be granted the grace to become accustomed to the presence of the Holy Spirit, this witness of Jesus who tells us where Jesus is, how to find Jesus, what Jesus tells us.” The Pope continued by saying, we should get into the habit of asking ourselves, before the end of the day: 'What did Holy Spirit do in me? What witness did he give me?” Because, the Holy Father said, he is a divine presence that helps us moving forward in our lives as Christians.



Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Francis received the President of Switzerland, Ueli Maurer, on Monday morning at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Press Office of the Holy See issued a statement following the meeting, saying the Pope and the President held "cordial discussions" during the course of which they discussed the safeguarding of human rights, the formation of young people and promotion of justice and peace. Below, please find a Vatican Information Service translation of the statmeent from the Press Office.


(VIS) This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received His excellency, Mr. Ueli Maurer, president of the Swiss Confederation. President Maurer then went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions—recalling the centuries-old, commendable service of the Pontifical Swiss Guards on the annual swearing-in ceremony of the new recruits—the common desire to further reinforce the good relations that exist between the Holy See and the Swiss Confederation was emphasized as well as intensifying the collaboration between the Catholic Church and the State.
Then issues of common interest were covered, such as the safeguarding of human rights, the formation of youth, and the international collaboration in promoting justice and peace.



Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Francis met today with the members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. In his address to the Guards, the Holy Father reminded them “The Faith that God gave you on the day of Baptism is the most precious treasure you have! And your mission in the service of the Pope and of the Church finds in the Faith its source . . . Dear Swiss Guards, do not forget, the Lord walks with you.” 

Each year on May 6th, the Swiss Guard commemorates the sacrifice of 147 soldiers who died defending Pope Clement VII during the “Sack of Rome,” in 1527. 

To commemorate the heroic death of the soldiers, the anniversary is also the occasion of the solemn oath of 35 new recruits, which took place this afternoon in the courtyard of San Damaso in the Apostolic Palace.

Dr Donald Prudlo, associate professor of medieval history at Jacksonville State University in Alabama (USA) told us more about the Swiss Guard: RealAudioMP3 

“For hundreds of years Swiss guards formed part of the bodyguards of the monarchs of Europe. This began in the late middle ages, when Swiss mercenary companies were highly sought after. Kings and princes soon discovered that their Swiss troops were loyal and far less open to corruption than other military forces. Their history is full of heroic stories about their protection of various sovereigns, not the least of which was their defence of King Louis XVI in 1792, when hundreds of them lost their lives defending the Tuileries Palace from revolutionaries.

“Like other monarchs, the popes too appreciated this kind of dedication and incorporated Swiss volunteers into the forces of the papal states in the late 1400s. In 1503 Pope Julius II, an exceptionally able pontiff, foresaw the establishment of a permanent corps of 200 Swiss for the papacy. In 1506 the corps was formally founded, and they have defended the popes from that day to this, having just recently celebrated their 500th anniversary in 2006. 

“Their most famous moment in papal service came in 1527, when Protestant troops, having mutinied from the armies of Charles V, sacked Rome. 147 Swiss guardsmen laid down their lives in defending Clement VII. As a result of their sacrifice the Pope was given enough time to flee down the famous Passetto di Borgo from the Vatican to the safety of the fortress of Castel Sant’ Angelo. The guard has had other tense moments in its history as well, such as in 1848, when they only barely held the Roman revolutionaries back from doing violence to Bl. Pius IX at the Quirinal palace.

“Though there were other papal military units in existence, such as the Palatine guard, since 1970 the Swiss guards have assumed all the ceremonial roles for papal events and liturgies and can always be seen, in their colorful ceremonial costume with halberd, flanking the supreme pontiff.

“Yet their duties are not all ceremonial, they are a real military force with excellent training and modern weaponry. One can see them, in their daily attire, as they guard the working entrance to Vatican City State, the Porta Santa Anna. They are an army, bodyguard, and border protection all rolled into one.

“In terms of the place of the Swiss Guards in the Catholic Church, they are far from being an outdated ceremonial body. Pope Francis put it best a few days ago. He offered the soldiers a greeting of affection and gratitude. ‘The Church,’ he said, ‘loves you so much . . . and so do I’.”

SHARED FROM Vatican Radio 


Ireland: New Bishop of Kerry named | Fr Raymond Browne, new Bishop of Kerry,Bishop Bill Murphy,Cardinal Seán Brady, President of the Irish Bishops' Conference

Fr Raymond Browne
Fr Raymond Browne has been appointed by Pope Francis as the new Bishop of Kerry. Father Browne, 56, is from Athlone. He was ordained a priest for Elphin Diocese in 1982, which covers parishes in counties Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath. He has worked as a canon lawyer, a school chaplain and in parish work. He has more recently been parish priest in Ballagh, Co Roscommon. He succeeds Bishop Bill Murphy, who is retiring.
Cardinal Seán Brady, President of the Irish Bishops' Conference said in a statement: "I wish to acknowledge the contribution that Bishop William Murphy has made to the work of the Bishops' Conference and to the Diocese of Kerry. Bishop Murphy has served the Bishops' Conference for 18 years and he has served his diocese as priest and bishop for 52 years.
I warmly acknowledge Bishop Murphy's work with the Bishops' Conference Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development and with the Bishops' Council for Catechetics which he Chaired with great vision.
I offer him my prayers and blessings and I wish him many years of good health and happiness in his retirement."
"I want to take this opportunity also to congratulate Father Raymond Browne, from Elphin Diocese, on his appointment by Pope Francis today as Bishop of Kerry.
I have known Father Browne for many years and I am quite confident that he will prove to be an excellent and gentle pastor, a faithful teacher of the faith and a trustworthy and generous leader. I wish him many blessings.
Father Browne will be well aware, I am sure, of the deep faith of the people of the diocese of Kerry and I have no doubt that he can count on their prayers and support as he takes on his new role as Bishop."
Fr Browne said: “I am deeply honoured that Pope Francis has chosen me to be your Bishop, “It is with great humility I present myself to you today. I am conscious of the great diocese this is.
“I am conscious of the way the faith has been lived in all the parishes, church areas, religious houses and communities, schools, and all the faith communities throughout the diocese by this and previous generations.”
Outgoing Bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy paid tribute to his successor, saying: “He brings to his new ministry a wide range of administrative skills and pastoral experience which he has acquired through the various ministries he has exercised up to now."
“I believe his appointment will greatly benefit the Church in the diocese of Kerry and will also contribute significantly to the work of the Irish Episcopal Conference and its commissions and agencies.”


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, 

6 May 2013
CHA Chair Rowena McNally with Fr Piotr Supierz and Archbishop Zydmunt Zimowzski in Sydney last month
The Vatican has appointed Rowena McNally, Chair of the Stewards Board of Catholic Health Australia (CHA) as a board director of the International Committee of Catholic Health Care Institutions where she will join other Catholic health leaders from around the globe as a member of this important Pontifical body. 
The appointment was announced at the weekend by President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski who returned to Rome after an 11-day visit to Australia two weeks ago.
During his time in Australia, Archbishop Zimowski visited Catholic hospitals and aged care facilities in Sydney. During his seven-day visit to the city he visited the St Vincent's Hospital campus at Darlinghurst. There he toured the newly-opened Kinghorn Cancer Centre as well as the Garvan Institute, a world leader in medical research, and visited staff and patients in both St Vincent's public and private hospital.
A guest of CHA, Archbishop Zimowski took time out during his visit to Sydney to pray at the tomb of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. He was also keynote speaker at the Catholic Health Governance Conference which was held in Manly. After addressing delegates from across the country at the Conference, he travelled to West Australia where he visited Catholic hospitals in Perth and aged care facilities there.
Archbishop Zimowski visited St Vincent's Hopsital and says Catholic health and aged care services in Australia are in the best hands
The Archbishop was accompanied Msrg Darius Giers and Fr Piotr Supierz from the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. On the eve of their departure, Archbishop Zimowski said as soon as he returned to Rome he would tell Pope Francis that Australia's Catholic health and aged care system were in the "very best of hands."
Now two weeks later, he has announced the appointment of Rowena McNally, chair of CHA to the board of the International Committee of Healthcare Institutions.
Ms McNally who took over as chair of CHA in August last year, describes the appointment as first and foremost a recognition of the reputation Catholic health and aged care services in Australia have at the Vatican.
CHA represents 75 Catholic private and public hospitals across Australia as well as 550 residential and community aged care facilities and Ms McNally says Church leaders worldwide are increasingly aware of their outstanding work and of the ongoing expansion of the CHA family.
"Church leaders internationally are also very much aware of the positive relationships CHA has with state, territory and Commonwealth governments," she says.
Archbishop Zygunt Zimowski gives comfort to a patient at St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst
Ms McNally was one of five directorial appointments announced by Archbishop Zimowski to the Committee of Catholic Health Care Institutions. In addition to Australia, appointees to the Board include Catholic health representatives from Italy, India, Canada and Uganda.
CHA's chief executive, Martin Laverty described Ms McNally's vast experience in the law, in government-appointed positions and in Church-aligned roles as great asset to the International Committee of Catholic Health Care Institutions.
"We consider ourselves very lucky to have someone of Rowena's calibre assisting CHA in our mission, and we now see that her skills have been recognised by our friends at the Vatican," he said this morning.

"Rowena's appointment, as a lay woman, can also be seen as recognition of the crucial role women - especially religious women - have played in the development of Catholic health and aged care, as well as the emerging influence of lay women and men in leadership roles as Catholic ministries adapt to the changing landscape of religious life."


by Nozrul Islam
Thousands of Hefajat-e-Islam supporters blocked and isolated the capital, attacking police with machetes, bricks and stones. The police responded with tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets. 

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - At least 22 people were killed in Bangladesh in clashes between police and hundreds of thousands of Islamists. Since late yesterday afternoon until this morning, supporters of the fundamentalist group Hefajat-e-Islam marched through the streets of Dhaka, the capital, demanding the introduction of a law against blasphemy. On arriving in the city center they engaged in a real urban warfare with the police: the Islamic extremists attacked with machetes, bricks and stones at police who responded by firing tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
So far, 11 bodies have been brought to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. They include many Islamic militants and a policeman, wounded in the head with a machete. The other 11 victims were transferred to three clinics close to the epicenter of the clashes.

It all started yesterday afternoon, as tens of thousands of Islamists blocked the main streets of Dhaka, isolating the city from the rest of the country. Then they marched to the center of the capital, demanding the introduction of a law on blasphemy and burning cars and shops were on their way.

Hefajat-e-Islam ("Protector of Islam") is one of Islamic fundamentalist groups that has sprung up like mushrooms in recent months and born within the numerous madrassas (Koranic schools) dispersed throughout Bangladesh. Supporters of theJamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party) and its struggle against the verdicts of the war tribunals, since February these Islamists are the protagonists of hartal (strikes) and violence, which have fostered a climate of tension among the population an nation that shows no sign of abating amid general government indifference


John 15: 26 - 27

26But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;
27and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
John 16: 1 - 4

1"I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away.
2They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
3And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.


St. Eadbert
Feast: May 6

Feast Day:May 6
Born:7th century England
Died:6 May 698
Venerable Bede assures us, that this holy man excelled both in the knowledge of the holy scriptures, and in the observance of the divine precepts. All his lifetime he was remarkable for his alms-deeds, and it was a law with him to lay aside yearly the tenth part of his goods for the poor. He was ordained successor to St. Cuthbert, in the see of Lindisfarne, in 687, and most worthily governed that church eleven years. It was his custom twice a year, in Lent, and during forty days before Christmas, to retire into a solitary place, encompassed by the waters of the sea, where St. Cuthbert had for some time served God in private before he went to the isle of Ferne. St. Eadbert spent this time remote from all company, in abstinence, prayers, and tears. St. Cuthbert had been buried about eleven years, when the brethren desired, with the approbation of Eadbert, to take up the bones of that eminent servant of God, whose life had been signalized by many illustrious miracles. Instead of dust, to which they expected they were reduced to their great surprise they found the body as entire, and the joints all as pliable as if it had been living—all the vestments and clothes in which it was laid were also sound, and wonderfully fresh and bright. The monks made haste to inform the holy bishop, who was then in his Lent retreat, and they brought him part of the garments which covered the holy body. These he devoutly kissed, and ordered that the blessed body should be laid in other garments, put into the new coffin which was made for the holy relics, and, for greater veneration, placed above the pavement in the sanctuary. He added, that the grave which had been sanctified by so great a miracle of heavenly grace, would not remain long empty. This was accordingly done, and presently after Eadbert, the bishop beloved of God, fell dangerously sick, and his distemper daily increasing, on the 6th of May following he departed to our Lord. His body was laid in St. Cuthbert's grave, and over the place was deposited the uncorrupted body of that glorious servant of God. "Miracles here wrought from time to time, in curing the sick, bear testimony to the merits of them both," says Bede. The same historian informs us, that St. Eadbert covered with lead the church of Lindisfarne, which was dedicated by the archbishop Theodorus, under the patronage of St. Peter. It had been formerly built by bishop Finan, after the Scottish fashion, of oak boards and thatched with reeds.