Sunday, May 12, 2013


Pope Francis canonized over 800 new saints on Sunday, during Mass in St Peter's Square: Antonio Primaldo and his companions, martyrs of Otranto in Italy; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui, virgin and foundress; and Maria Guadalupe García Zavala, co-foundress. Below is a Vatican Radio translation of his homily which he delivered partly in Italian and partly in Spanish.


Dear brothers and sisters!
In this seventh Sunday of Easter we are gathered to celebrate with joy a feast of holiness. Thanks be to God who has made His glory – the glory of Love – to shine on the Martyrs of Otranto, on Mother Laura Montoya and María Guadalupe García Zavala. I greet all of you who have come to this celebration - from Italy, Colombia, Mexico, from other countries - and I thank you! Let us look on the new saints in the light of the Word of God proclaimed: a Word that invited us to be faithful to Christ, even unto martyrdom; a word that recalled to us the urgency and the beauty of bringing Christ and his Gospel to everyone; a word that spoke to us about the witness of charity, without which even martyrdom and mission lose their Christian savour.

The Acts of the Apostles, when they speak of the Deacon, Stephen, the first martyr, insist on telling us that he was a man “full of the Holy Spirit (6:5, 7:55).” What does this mean? It means that he was full of the love of God, that his whole person, his whole life was animated by the Spirit of the risen Christ, so as to follow Jesus with total fidelity, even unto to the gift of self.

Today the Church proposes for our worship a host of martyrs, who were called together to the supreme witness to the Gospel in 1480. About eight hundred people, [who], having survived the siege and invasion of Otranto, were beheaded near that city. They refused to renounce their faith and died confessing the risen Christ. Where did they find the strength to remain faithful? Precisely in faith, which allows us to see beyond the limits of our human eyes, beyond the boundaries of earthly life, to contemplate “the heavens opened” – as St. Stephen said – and the living Christ at the right hand of the Father. Dear friends, let us conserve the faith [that] we have received and that is our true treasure, let us renew our fidelity to the Lord, even in the midst of obstacles and misunderstandings; God will never allow us to want [for] strength and serenity. As we venerate the martyrs of Otranto, let us ask God to sustain those many Christians who, in these times and in many parts of the world, right now, still suffer violence, and give them the courage and fidelity to respond to evil with good.

The second idea can be drawn from the words of Jesus that we heard in the Gospel: “I pray for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may be one, as You, Father, are in me and I in thee, that they also may be in us. (Jn 17:20)” Saint Laura Montoya was an instrument of evangelization, first as teacher and then as the spiritual mother of the indigenous peoples, in whom she infused hope, welcoming them with the love [she] learned from God, and bringing them to him with pedagogical efficacy that respected, and was not opposed to, their own culture. In her work of evangelization, Mother Laura became, in the words of St. Paul, truly everything to everyone, (cf. 1 Cor 9:22). Even today her spiritual daughters live and bring the Gospel to the most remote and needy places, as a kind of vanguard of the Church.

This first saint born on the beautiful Colombian soil, teaches us to be generous [together] with God, not to live the faith alone - as if we could live our faith in isolation - but to communicate, to radiate the joy of the Gospel by word and witness of life in every place we find ourselves. She teaches us to see the face of Jesus reflected in the other, to overcome indifference and individualism, welcoming everyone without prejudice or constraints, with love, giving the best of ourselves and above all, sharing with them the most valuable thing we have, which is not our works or our organizations, no: the most valuable thing we have is Christ and his Gospel.

Finally, a third thought. In today’s Gospel, Jesus prays to the Father with these words: “I have made known thy name to them and will make it known: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (Jn 17:26)” The martyrs’ faithfulness even unto death, the proclamation of the Gospel are rooted in the love of God that has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), and in the witness we must bear to this love in our daily lives. St. Maria Guadalupe García Zavala knew this well. Giving up a comfortable life – how much damage does the comfortable life, life of comfort, do? The gentrification of the heart paralyzes us – and [she], giving up a comfortable life to follow the call of Jesus, taught people to love poverty, in order the more to love the poor and the sick. Mother Lupita knelt on the floor of the hospital before the sick, before the abandoned, to serve them with tenderness and compassion. This is what it means to touch the flesh of Christ. The poor, the abandoned, the sick, the marginalized are the flesh of Christ. And Mother Lupita touched the flesh of Christ and taught us this conduct: [to be] unabashed,[to be] unafraid, [to be] not loathe to touch the flesh of Christ. Mother Lupita understood what it means “to touch the flesh of Christ.” Today her spiritual daughters also seek to reflect the love of God in works of charity, without sparing sacrifices, and [while] facing with meekness, with apostolic constancy (hypomone), any obstacle.

This new Mexican saint invites us to love as Jesus loved us, and this leads one not to retreat into oneself, into one’s own problems, into one’s own ideas, into one’s own interests in this little world that has done us so much damage, but to get up and go to meet those who need care, understanding and support, to bring the warm closeness of God’s love through gestures of delicacy and sincere affection and love.

Fidelity to Christ and his Gospel, in order to proclaim it in word and deed, bearing witness to God’s love with our love, with our charity toward all: the saints proclaimed today offer shining examples and teachings of these. They also pose questions to our Christian life: how am I faithful to Christ? Let us take this question with us to consider during the day: how am I faithful to Christ? I am able to “show” my faith with respect, but also with courage? Am I attentive to others, do I recognize when someone is in need, do I see in everyone a brother and a sister to love? Let us ask that, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the new saints, the Lord might fill our lives with the joy of His love. So be it.



Ascension remembers the day when Jesus went up into heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead. 
Novena Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us Pray:
O God, who hast taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolations,
Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be


  • SAMUEL JARAMILLO, age 3, is an orphan from Columbia, South America. His aunt filmed him "celebrating Mass". Although he cannot read or write, Samuel knows the Mass by heart.
  • The video was posted on YOUTUBE and received over 300000 views in a week. At Christmas the young child asked for Priest clothes. 
The local Priest, Fr. Monsalve said, “Amid a changing world that is at times indifferent to religious matters, this child appears as a testimony of love for God and fascination for sacred celebrations, most certainly fostered by those who care for him and by the priest of his parish.” Fr. Monsalve explained,  Jaramillo “should not only awaken religious fervor but also serve as an example for the promotion of priestly and religious vocations, supported always by the encouragement of parishes, seminaries and houses of formation.” "However, it will be God who continues speaking to humanity through the nobility and humility of his littlest children, the favorites of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Jaramillo goes to Mass every Sunday with his grandmother, Rosa Eva Arango.
In an interview Jaramillo said he wants to be a priest when he grows up.



By  on Friday, 10 May 2013
The Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Oxford Oratory
The Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Oxford Oratory
A community of Sisters received into the Catholic Church on New Year’s Day is still seeking a permanent home, it emerged this week.
The 11 Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary left their historic Anglo-Catholic convent at Wantage, Oxfordshire, the day after their reception to stay for six weeks at an enclosed Benedictine monastery.
Five months on the Sisters, who have no endowments to keep them afloat financially, are still guests at the monastery with no idea where they will live in future.
Mother Winsome said their stay at the monastery had been a “total immersion in a very pure form of the Benedictine tradition”, adding: “We have been so grateful for the support we have received from our Benedictine sisters who have taken us into their monastic home and embraced us with such loving compassion and care.”
But she said that central to their charism was “providing Benedictine hospitality through retreats, at a monastery where guests will be able to join us for offices”.
At Wantage the Sisters had streamed their daily offices live on a website and offered retreats and meditations online.
She said: “We want to be able to share our life and prayer and worship with others, to live in a way that is a blessing for other people.”
The Sisters, who range in age from 45 to 83, were received into the Catholic Church as part of the ordinariate at a Mass at the Oxford Oratory.
The Sisters, who had been living as Anglican religious for up to 50 years, were received as a new community by Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinary. Having adopted the Rule of St Benedict, they had swapped their blue habits for black ones and wore a traditional Benedictine wimple.
“Many of our former practices were in fact very Benedictine, so it was a natural step,” Mother Winsome said.
The Sisters had been part of the Community of St Mary the Virgin, an Anglo-Catholic group inspired by the Oxford Movement and established in 1848.
Sixteen of the Sisters chose to remain Anglican. Many of those are frail and are being looked after in Wantage.
Mother Winsome said the community had been “full of joy” since they were received into the Church as part of the ordinariate at a Mass at the Oxford Oratory. “The day we were leaving [Wantage] we were walking around saying: ‘I’m a Catholic’, and the inevitable response would be: ‘So am I!’
“Despite the uncertainties of the future we are full of joy to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.”
The Sisters post daily updates at their website here.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
10 May 2013
Foster carer and mother of two Liz Williams
Meet Liz Williams, mother of two and foster mother to many more. For the past seven years, Liz and her family have given children a home away from home. Those they have cared for have included three brothers, several toddlers and babies, sisters aged seven and five and for almost two years, a lively, determined 11 year-old.
Liz is one of around 80 families who are trained and registered with CatholicCare and are on call and ready to step in to give comfort, security, stability and affection to children in need.
CatholicCare foster care families volunteer to take in babies or children with some specialising in emergency care, respite or longer term care which in some cases can mean periods of three or more years.
In each case, the priority for CatholicCare and its carers is for the child to be reunited with their own family or, if this is not possible, to be placed with a loving "second family" in long-term permanent care.
When talking about foster carers many people think in terms of foster mothers, but Liz is quick to point out that fostering is a family affair. To bring a child or children into the home, whether this is for just a weekend or for several months or more, will affect and have an impact on each member of the family.
"The entire family must be on-side and want to do this because everyone of them will be involved," she says, explaining that giving children in need out of home care is not something she could have taken on without the support, help and input from her husband, Paul McGahen and her now adult children, Adrian 25 and Jill 23 .
"Children who stay with us naturally gravitate towards my own kids, following them around, talking and playing with them. As parents, Paul and I are the authority figures but to the children, my kids are their friends."
Today when some of the children Liz and her family have cared for find a permanent placement, or are able to be reunited with their family or a kinship carer, the youngsters will sometimes keep in touch with Adrian and Jill via Facebook to ask advice or simply share their news and what is happening in their lives.
"When my son Adrian was still a typical fairly self-absorbed teenage boy, he told me that fostering was 'the one of the best things we've ever done,'" Liz says.
Liz Williams and her family
The experience of caring for children who need out of home care, some of whom may arrive troubled and traumatised from a domestic violence situation or as sometimes happens been burdened with the care of a vulnerable parent themselves, has helped give Adrian and Jill a sense of what is important in life, and the values and priorities to be treasured.
The experience has also taught them both the many small ways we can make a very real and positive difference in the lives of others, Liz says.
"Jill has always been wonderful with the children we have taken in. She plays with them, talks to them, listens and is my right hand and I am thrilled at her recent decision not to go ahead with a career in human resources despite having obtained a degree in the field. Instead she has decided to return to uni and become a teacher."
For many years, Liz was a full-time secondary school teacher in English and History and continues to work part time. But she keeps her commitment to teaching as flexible as possible so she is free to answer CatholicCare's call and take in a child who needs out of home care.
These days Liz also steps in as one of CatholicCare's trainers sharing her experiences, counsel and advice with would-be foster families. Surprisingly though, the decision to become a foster carer herself was more by accident than design.
"I was at one of my son's school's Parent and Friends meetings where Marisa Donato was speaking," she says.
A dedicated member of CatholicCare's foster care program, Marisa and her family have provided emergency and short term care to countless babies and young children for more than 11 years.
"I had never thought about becoming a foster carer," Liz admits. "But as I listened to Marisa I realised I not only had the time, a house that had the space to take in one or more children and that after my years as a teacher as well as raising my two kids, I had the ability."
Since then Liz and her family have opened their hearts and their home to children in need.
Children fostered by CatholicCare and their accredited carers are sometimes referred by community groups or are self-referrals with the majority coming from the NSW Department of Children's Services. While not all these children are from troubled backgrounds with some simply needing respite care, or care while a parent is ill or in hospital, most come from families in crisis where a parent or parents because of drugs, alcohol or mental problems is unable to take care of them.
Foster care can be rewarding and make a positive difference to a young life
"This does not mean the child is unloved or comes from an unloving environment and in almost all the cases, despite the problems, the parents love their children very much and the children love them in return," Liz says and emphasises the importance of acknowledging the birth parents and the hope that eventually the children can be reunited with them.
"Love is important but as a foster carer you also need tough love," she says. "Whatever the child may have been through it is important they take responsibility for their actions and know early on what is appropriate and acceptable behaviour and what isn't. You have got to be tough and lay down these parameters and like your own children, they will rail against them and test the boundaries. But once they learn about give and take and see how you will go the extra mile for them, they will start to respond similarly".
After seven years as a foster carer, Liz says none of the challenges she has faced with the children she has cared for have been any more difficult than the challenges she faced with her own kids when they were growing up.
"Due to what some of the children may have been through, some of the challenges may arise at older or unexpected ages. But that is the only difference," she says pointing out that parenting your own children or someone else's is always going to have rocky patches as well as moments of great joy.
And for Liz when it comes to foster care, it is her love of children and her delight in a child's sense of wonder, excitement and promise that is her reward.
"Children are life-affirming," she says simply.
To become a foster family and to learn more about CatholicCare's programs call (02) 8709 9333 or log on


by Nina Achmatova
the patriarch's visit is "aimed at further strengthening the friendly relations between China and Russia," the Patriarchate Press Service said. Less than two months ago, Xi Jinping made an "historic" visit to Russia.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill arrived today in Beijing, the first leg of his official visit to China, which ends June 15.
In the Chinese capital, "The head of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet with government leaders in China, leaders of religious groups, and also with the Chinese officials responsible for religious affairs," the Patriarchate Press Service said.
In addition to celebrating Mass in the Cathedral Pokrovsky in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, where there is a strong Russian presence, Kirill will meet members of the Orthodox community in China at the Russian Embassy compound in Beijing.
In the capital, he will also visit the Church of the Assumption, site of the Museum of the Russian Spiritual Mission to the country.
During the visit, the Chinese edition of a book by Kirill titled Freedom and Responsibility: In Search of Harmony. Human rights and the dignity of the personwill be presented. It is published by the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate in association with the Russian-Chinese Business Council.
"The visit of His Holiness the Patriarch is aimed at further strengthening the friendly relations between China and Russia," Interfax-Religion reported, citing the Patriarchate Press Service.
In fact, Orthodoxy plays a special role in the history of their bilateral relations. Orthodox clergymen have been in China since 1685 as part of the Russian Orthodox Mission to that country and have done a lot to bring Russia and China closer" (see overview of the history of the Orthodox Mission).
Kirill's visit comes less than two months after China's new leader, Xi Jinping, held his maiden foreign trip as president of the People's Republic to Russia, on 22-24 March of this year.
For analysts, this is a significant choice because it shows that Beijing wants good relations with Moscow to contain US power in the Asia-Pacific region.
The two countries see eye to eye on several major international issues (Syria, Iran, North Korea) and have boosted cooperation in trade (more than US$ 80 billion in 2012) and energy (Russia's oil giant Rosneft signed a deal with China's CNPC to double oil supplies).
When Russian President Putin met with Xi, he said, "We are working together, helping to shape a new, more just world order, ensure peace and security, defend basic principles of international law".
In China, 15,000 Orthodox believers are waiting for a pastor (overview)
The pastoral activity of the Russian Orthodox Church in China dates back to the 17th century, when Rev Maxim Leontiev arrived in Beijing. The Russian Spiritual Mission was established in 1713, and by 1949 could boast of more than 100 churches.
In 1956, the Holy Synod granted autonomy to China's Orthodox Church, but the Cultural Revolution wiped out all prelates and priests alike.
Since the death of Simeon, Bishop of Shanghai, in 1965, the local church has not had any a high-ranking representative. In 1997, the Synod of the Russian Church decided to reassert its jurisdiction in China.
At present, China's Orthodox Church has up to 15,000 members. Most of them live in Heilongjiang Province (Harbin), Inner Mongolia (Labdarin), Xinjiang (Kulj and Urumqi), Beijing and Shanghai. However, there are no priests (the last one died in 2003) to serve the faithful who are reduced to meeting on rare occasions on Sundays.
A group of Orthodox Chinese are studying at Sretenskaya Theological Academy in Moscow and at the Academy of St Petersburg with the intention of returning to China.
For the main celebrations of Christmas and Easter, Russian priests conduct services inside Russia's embassy and consulates.




On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)
Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!
The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)
Novena Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9  



Part 3 of the life story of St. Molokai shared from Youtube