Wednesday, July 10, 2013


St. Benedict of Nursia
Feast: July 11

Feast Day:July 11
480, Norcia (Umbria, Italy)
Died:21 March 547 at Monte Cassino, Italy
Major Shrine:
Monte Cassino Abbey, with his burial
Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, near Orléans, France

Sacro Speco, at Subiaco, Italy
Patron of:Against poison, Against witchcraft, Cavers, Civil engineers, Coppersmiths, Dying people, Erysipelas, Europe, Farmers, Fever, Gall stones, Inflammatory diseases, Italian architects, Kidney disease, Monks, Nettle rash, Schoolchildren, Servants who have broken their master's belongings, Speliologists, Spelunkers, Temptations
Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of St. Gregory's "Dialogues". It is rather a character sketch than a biography and consists, for the most part, of a number of miraculous incidents, which, although they illustrate the life of the saint, give little help towards a chronological account of his career. St. Gregory's authorities for all that he relates were the saint's own disciples, viz. Constantinus, who succeeded him as Abbot of Monte Cassino; and Honoratus, who was Abbot of Subiaco when St. Gregory wrote his "Dialogues".
Benedict was the son of a Roman noble of Nursia, a small town near Spoleto, and a tradition, which St. Bede accepts, makes him a twin with his sister Scholastica. His boyhood was spent in Rome, where he lived with his parents and attended the schools until he had reached his higher studies. Then "giving over his books, and forsaking his father's house and wealth, with a mind only to serve God, he sought for some place where he might attain to the desire of his holy purpose; and in this sort he departed [from Rome], instructed with learned ignorance and furnished with unlearned wisdom" (Dial. St. Greg., II, Introd. in Migne, P.L. LXVI). There is much difference of opinion as to Benedict's age at the time. It has been very generally stated as fourteen, but a careful examination of St. Gregory's narrative makes it impossible to suppose him younger than nineteen or twenty. He was old enough to be in the midst of his literary studies, to understand the real meaning and worth of the dissolute and licentious lives of his companions, and to have been deeply affected himself by the love of a woman (Ibid. II, 2). He was capable of weighing all these things in comparison with the life taught in the Gospels, and chose the latter, He was at the beginning of life, and he had at his disposal the means to a career as a Roman noble; clearly he was not a child, As St. Gregory expresses it, "he was in the world and was free to enjoy the advantages which the world offers, but drew back his foot which he had, as it were, already set forth in the world" (ibid., Introd.). If we accept the date 480 for his birth, we may fix the date of his abandoning the schools and quitting home at about A.D. 500.
Benedict does not seem to have left Rome for the purpose of becoming a hermit, but only to find some place away from the life of the great city; moreover, he took his old nurse with him as a servant and they settled down to live in Enfide, near a church dedicated to St. Peter, in some kind of association with "a company of virtuous men" who were in sympathy with his feelings and his views of life. Enfide, which the tradition of Subiaco identifies with the modern Affile, is in the Simbrucini mountains, about forty miles from Rome and two from Subiaco. It stands on the crest of a ridge which rises rapidly from the valley to the higher range of mountains, and seen from the lower ground the village has the appearance of a fortress. As St. Gregory's account indicates, and as is confirmed by the remains of the old town and by the inscriptions found in the neighbourhood, Enfide was a place of greater importance than is the present town. At Enfide Benedict worked his first miracle by restoring to perfect condition an earthenware wheat-sifter (capisterium) which his old servant had accidentally broken. The notoriety which this miracle brought upon Benedict drove him to escape still farther from social life, and "he fled secretly from his nurse and sought the more retired district of Subiaco". His purpose of life had also been modified. He had fled Rome to escape the evils of a great city; he now determined to be poor and to live by his own work. "For God's sake he deliberately chose the hardships of life and the weariness of labour" (ibid., 1).
A short distance from Enfide is the entrance to a narrow, gloomy valley, penetrating the mountains and leading directly to Subiaco. Crossing the Anio and turning to the right, the path rises along the left face oft the ravine and soon reaches the site of Nero's villa and of the huge mole which formed the lower end of the middle lake; across the valley were ruins of the Roman baths, of which a few great arches and detached masses of wall still stand. Rising from the mole upon twenty five low arches, the foundations of which can even yet be traced, was the bridge from the villa to the baths, under which the waters of the middle lake poured in a wide fall into the lake below. The ruins of these vast buildings and the wide sheet of falling water closed up the entrance of the valley to St. Benedict as he came from Enfide; to-day the narrow valley lies open before us, closed only by the far off mountains. The path continues to ascend, and the side of the ravine, on which it runs, becomes steeper, until we reach a cave above which the mountain now rises almost perpendicularly; while on the right hand it strikes in a rapid descent down to where, in St. Benedict's day, five hundred feet below, lay the blue waters of the lake. The cave has a large triangular-shaped opening and is about ten feet deep. On his way from Enfide, Benedict met a monk, Romanus, whose monastery was on the mountain above the cliff overhanging the cave. Romanus had discussed with Benedict the purpose which had brought him to Subiaco, and had given him the monk's habit. By his advice Benedict became a hermit and for three years, unknown to men, lived in this cave above the lake. St. Gregory tells us little of these years, He now speaks of Benedict no longer as a youth (puer), but as a man (vir) of God. Romanus, he twice tells us, served the saint in every way he could. The monk apparently visited him frequently, and on fixed days brought him food.
During these three years of solitude, broken only by occasional communications with the outer world and by the visits of Romanus, he matured both in mind and character, in knowledge of himself and of his fellow-man, and at the same time he became not merely known to, but secured the respect of, those about him; so much so that on the death of the abbot of a monastery in the neighbourhood (identified by some with Vicovaro), the community came to him and begged him to become its abbot. Benedict was acquainted with the life and discipline of the monastery, and knew that "their manners were diverse from his and therefore that they would never agree together: yet, at length, overcome with their entreaty, he gave his consent" (ibid., 3). The experiment failed; the monks tried to poison him, and he returned to his cave. From this time his miracles seen to have become frequent, and many people, attracted by his sanctity and character, came to Subiaco to be under his guidance. For them he built in the valley twelve monasteries, in each of which he placed a superior with twelve monks. In a thirteenth he lived with "a few, such as he thought would more profit and be better instructed by his own presence" (ibid., 3). He remained, however, the father or abbot of all. With the establishment of these monasteries began the schools for children; and amongst the first to be brought were Maurus and Placid.
The remainder of St. Benedict's life was spent in realizing the ideal of monasticism which he has left us drawn out in his Rule.



Pope Francis invited 200 homeless to dinner at the Vatican. The Circle of St. Peter, an organization of the Pope hosted the 200 homeless at the Vatican.“I welcome you in the name of the Pope. As you know, this is your home, and he is pleased that you are here,” Cardinal Bertello explained to the guests.
The dinner was held near the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican. The Vatican Gendarmes Band performed for the guests as they ate the meal. Chefs from Naples prepared the meals which were served by the families of the Circle of St. Peter.
After the dinner, the guests were given a gift of pastries, fruit, and a rosary.

Vatican City, 10 July 2013 (VIS) - “In the Footsteps of the Lord” is the title of the exhibition which will accompany the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition, organised by the John Paul II Youth Foundation of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will be open from 9 July to 12 October in the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in the carioca capital.
“In the Footsteps of the Lord” presents a series of works, objets d'art and manuscripts grouped into four sections: “Christ, the way of salvation”, “Vocation and mission of the Apostles”; “Mary, the road leading to Christ”, and “The saints: models to emulate”, all inspired by the theme of the World Youth Day, “Go and make disciples of all nations”.
“Christ, the way of salvation” includes works on the life of Jesus, the passion and the resurrection, Thomas' disbelief, and the parables of the adulteress and the good Samaritan, as well as an important section dedicated to the image of Christ. The exhibition opens with the celebrated Mandylion of Edessa, venerated as an acheiropoieta or image made not with human hands, regarded as a true image of the Saviour. The exhibition includes other prestigious works by, among others, Beato Angelico, Melozzo da Forli, Leonardo da Vinci, Bernini, Correggio, Guercino and Lorenzo Lotto, whose “Christ and the Adulteress” was recently restored by the Vatican Museums. The Christological image of the Turin Shroud will also be displayed in the form of the photograph taken by Secondo Pia in 1898.
The works in the second section are linked to the theme of the call of the Apostles, such as the diptych of St. Peter and St. Paul dating from the third and fourth centuries, on loan from the Vatican Museums, and works by Pomarancio and de Ribera.
The section dedicated to “Mary, the road leading to Christ” juxtaposes works from both eastern and western traditions: Byzantine icons are displayed alongside Pinturicchio's celebrated “Madonna of the Window-Sill” and works by Michelangelo, Sassoferrato and Perugino.
Finally, the fourth section consists of depictions of the most renowned saints.
Vatican City, 10 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Pedro Alberto Bustamante Lopez, of the clergy of Arequipa, Peru, as bishop of the prelature of Sicuani (area 15,800, population 301,000, Catholics 259,000, priests 16, religious 23), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Cotaparaco, Peru in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome. He has served in pastoral roles in the parishes of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, Santa Gertrudis and San Agustin – El Sagragio. He has also served as pro-vicar general, episcopal vicar and vicar general of the archdiocese of Arequipa. He succeeds Bishop Miguel La Fay Bardi, O. Carm., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same prelature the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- appointed Fr. Andrew Nkea Fuanya, of the clergy of Buea, as coadjutor bishop of Mamfe (area 10,500, population 320,000, Catholics 92,000, priests 39, religious 14), Cameroon. The bishop-elect was born in Widikum, Cameroon in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Urban University and has served as member of the commission for the doctrine of the National Episcopal Conference, judicial vicar of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the province of Bamenda, secretary general of the Episcopal Conference of the province of Bamenda, president of the Canon Law Assocation in Cameroon, and secretary general of the Catholic University of Cameroon.
- appointed Fr. Abdallah Elias Zaidan, M.L., as bishop of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles (Catholics 24,108, priests 39, permanent deacons 8, religious 15), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Kosaybe, Lebanon in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1986. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including adjunct rector in the cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Brooklyn, rector of Our Lady of Mount Lebanon – St. Peter in Los Angeles, protopresbyter, member of the Episcopal Council of the south-west and north-west zone of the Maronite Eparchy of Los Angeles, member of the Tele-Lumiere Council of America, coordinator of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, member of the Sexual Abuse Board, and member of Caritas Liban. He succeeds Bishop Robert Joseph Shaheen, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with Canon 210, para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.



Egypt: Church calls for three days of prayers for peace & reconciliation | Mervyn Thomas,Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Father Mina Abboud Sharoubim,  Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church
His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, has announced three days of prayer “for peace, reconciliation and an end to needless violence and loss of life in Egypt,” commencing today and coinciding with the end of the Coptic Orthodox Fast of the Apostles and the beginning of the month of Ramadan.
In a media release announcing the prayer days, the Bishop said that “after witnessing millions of Egyptians across the whole nation and from all walks of life standing together to peacefully express their desire for a new Egypt, it is unfortunate that this unified effort is being undermined by needless violence and bloodshed.“
Egypt has witnessed several violent incidents since the ousting of former President Morsi in what is being termed a “people’s coup”, albeit facilitated by the army. The Ministry of Health has now confirmed that 51 people died and 455 were injured on 8 July outside a Republican Guard barracks in Cairo where pro-Morsi demonstrators had gathered, believing he was being held there. Events leading up to the deaths are contested, with the Muslim Brotherhood claiming the army fired without provocation on unarmed supporters as they prayed, while the army contends it was repelling an attack on the barracks and that gunmen affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood initiated the shooting. The interim president has set up a judicial committee of inquiry to investigate the killings.
A steady increase in attacks on the Christian community has gone largely under-reported, taking place primarily but not exclusively in Upper Egypt. The attacks follow accusations by several Islamist sources, including the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, that Christians were part of a “conspiracy” to remove Morsi’s regime.
On 3 July, a march by Morsi supporters in the village of Dalga in Minya turned violent, with protesters attacking buildings belonging to the Coptic Catholic parish of St George, setting fire to an ‘estraha’, used by priests to rest and reflect, burning down the house of a priest and throwing Molotov cocktails at shops and houses belonging to Copts. Some local Salafis denounced the attack, stressing their solidarity and unity with Christians. Also on 3 July, the Coptic Catholic Church of St George in the village of Delga in Deir Mawas, Minya Province, was looted and torched, and the El-Saleh Church sustained heavy fire. Homes and businesses were looted and torched, while two Copts were injured.
In Luxor, violence erupted after news emerged of a Muslim man who died from injuries after allegedly being attacked by some Christians. In response, groups of Muslims attacked the villages of Naga Hasan and Dabaya, leaving four Copts dead and 32 injured, three of whom remain in hospital in critical condition. Twenty-seven houses belonging to Copts were also burned.
Early on 9 July, masked gunmen opened fire on Mar Mina Church in al-Manakh, Port Said, but escaped before they could be apprehended by the police and army, who were quickly at the scene. On 6 July, in Masaeed in North Sinai, a priest named Father Mina Abboud Sharoubim was driving his car when he was stopped by armed assailants and shot nine times, thrice in the leg and six times in the head and chest. He later died from internal bleeding.
Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said: “We extend our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in violence over the past few days in Egypt. It is important that those responsible for the violence at the Republican Guard barracks are held to account; equally, those who are perpetrating attacks against the Christian community must be apprehended and charged. We stand in solidarity with Egyptians as they pray for their country at this critical time in their nation’s journey to full democracy.”
Source: CSW


Costa Rican woman weeps as she describes her recovery
<p>Picture: AP</p>
Picture: AP
  • Javier Cordoba for AP/
  • Costa Rica
  • A Costa Rican woman whose brain aneurysm reportedly disappeared after she prayed to Pope John Paul II broke down in tears Friday as she publicly spoke for the first time about the church-confirmed miracle underlying John Paul’s case for sainthood.
The Roman Catholic Church presented 50-year-old Floribeth Mora and her doctor to reporters after Pope Francis approved the miracle needed to canonize John Paul II.
With tears in her eyes, Mora described how she was sent home with pain medicine but no apparent hope for treatment, thinking she was going to die after her 2011 aneurysm diagnosis.
She says a photograph of the pope seemed to speak to her during the deceased pontiff’s beatification, and her doctor says the aneurysm disappeared for no apparent reason.
Mora and her family kept silent as they awaited the signing of the papal decree recognizing her story as a miracle. On Friday, accompanied by her husband, doctors and Catholic officials, Mora told gathered reporters that she had gone from believing she was about to die to a state of perfect health.
Mora, who owns a private security business with her husband in the middle-class neighborhood of Dulce Nombre de Tres Rios, said she woke up on April 8, 2011, with a strong headache and went to a hospital in the nearby city of Cartago, where she was diagnosed with a severe migraine.
The pain lasted for three days and Mora returned to the hospital, where a series of tests revealed an aneurysm on the right side of her brain that had begun to hemorrhage, according to her attending physician, Alejandro Vargas.
Doctors were unable to stop the bleeding and Vargas consulted colleagues in other Latin American countries and Spain, who advised against operating because of the difficult access to the affected area.
‘‘The risk for Floribeth was death, or ending up with significant neurological damage,’’ Dr. Vargas said Friday.
‘‘I returned home with the horror of imminent death. Seeing my children walking by looking at me, standing beside my bed, seeing my husband making himself strong, taking my hand and crossing himself every night, it was very sad,’’ Mora said.
Her family built an altar to John Paul II outside her house, and while Mora was watching the late pope’s beatification on May 1, 2011, she picked up a magazine and, looking at a photo of the pope, starting to hear a voice.
‘‘It said, ‘Get up, don’t be afraid,'’’ Mora said.
Mora said she stood up and felt instantly better, and a variety of medical exams revealed that her aneurysm had simply disappeared.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese RELEASE
10 Jul 2013
In PNG Project Compassion supports skills and awareness programs
Project Compassion, Caritas Australia's annual fundraiser has broken all records to raise just under $11 million. Last year the Caritas raised $10.7 million but despite a tightening economic climate, Australians dug deep this year to help the world's poorest communities.
With a total just shy of $11 million, Caritas Australia's Head of Community Engagement, Helen Forde says every single dollar will make a difference and help change lives and offer those in poverty-stricken communities the chance of a better life and a better future.
"To raise this amount is an amazing achievement. Every year we are humbled by the continued support of the thousands of every day Australians and are overwhelmed by their generosity," Ms Forde says.

Caritas is the aid and development arm of the Catholic Church and with its Caritas Internationalis partners along with other aid agencies, is not only on hand to help during natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies such as the drought of East Africa last year or the floods that swept through Mozambique earlier this year, but has teams on the ground helping entire communities with education, health, hygiene, sustainable farming and water conservation.
Flooding in Mozambique in January this year displaced 70,000
Ms Forde says it is thanks to the many thousands of supporters in Australia's schools, parishes, towns and cities that Caritas and its partners are able to change lives for the better and help create safe supportive environments for communities in more than 200 countries worldwide.
Project Compassion is a Lenten fundraiser and was launched on Ash Wednesday this year by the  Archbishop of Sydney and former chair of Caritas Australia, Cardinal George Pell.
Now in its 49th year, this year's Project Compassion took the theme: "Open doors into the future," from Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI's 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi.
Specific projects which will be supported by some of the funds raised this year will go towards Early Childhood and Safe Motherhood initiatives in Bangladesh as well as helping the poorest communities of Australia's two nearest neighbours, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.
Caritas Australia has made important inroads in HIV/AIDS programs particularly in PNG and is also helping with the battle against the return of TB which has re-emerged in PNG with deadly consequences.
Sr Julienne Hayes-Smith with women in Fulbaria Bangladesh where she helped train midwives and worked closely with Caritas to reduce maternal mortality
While many nations imagine TB is a disease of the past, PNG has experienced a resurgence of the disease and the emergence of a particularly virulent drug-resistant strain.
Some of the other funds raised during this year's Project Compassion will go towards helping victims of the disastrous floods in Mozambique at the beginning of the year as well as towards helping those caught up in ongoing crises in central Africa where millions are battling drought, hunger and conflict.
"Every dollar donated to Project Compassion makes a difference and every person participating in Project Compassion plays an important role," Ms Forde says. "The money raised really does help change lives. It makes a huge difference. Without it we simply could not do the work we do in emergency aid as well as in ongoing programs to help lift people out of poverty and give them a future."


Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 385

Reading 1                  GN 41:55-57; 42:5-7A, 17-24A

When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt
and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread,
Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph
and do whatever he told them.
When the famine had spread throughout the land,
Joseph opened all the cities that had grain
and rationed it to the Egyptians,
since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt.
In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain,
for famine had gripped the whole world.

The sons of Israel were among those
who came to procure rations.

It was Joseph, as governor of the country,
who dispensed the rations to all the people.
When Joseph’s brothers came and knelt down before him
with their faces to the ground,
he recognized them as soon as he saw them.
But Joseph concealed his own identity from them
and spoke sternly to them.

With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to his brothers:
“Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man.
If you have been honest,
only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison,
while the rest of you may go
and take home provisions for your starving families.
But you must come back to me with your youngest brother.
Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die.”
To this they agreed.
To one another, however, they said:
“Alas, we are being punished because of our brother.
We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us,
yet we paid no heed;
that is why this anguish has now come upon us.”
Reuben broke in,
“Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy?
But you would not listen!
Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”
The brothers did not know, of course,
that Joseph understood what they said,
since he spoke with them through an interpreter.
But turning away from them, he wept.

Responsorial Psalm                PS 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Gospel                     MT 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”


Sts. Rufina and Secunda
Feast: July 10

Roman martyrs best known for the apocryphal Acts, which recount their martyrdoms. According to the Acta, they were Roman sisters, the daughters of a Roman senator. When their fiances gave up the Christian faith, Rufina and Secunda would not deny Christ. both were soon arrested and beheaded during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian (r. 253-260). They were buried on the Via Aurelia, at the Santa Rufina.



Vatican City, 9 July 2013 (VIS) – According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Pope Francis will grant Indulgence to the faithful participating in celebrations for 28th World Youth Day, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from22 to 29 July on the theme "Go and make disciples of all nations".
The young people and the faithful who are adequately prepared will obtain the Plenary Indulgence, once a day and under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in accordance with the intentions of the Holy Father), applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful.
The faithful who on account of a legitimate impediment cannot attend the aforementioned celebrations may obtain Plenary Indulgence under the usual spiritual, sacramental and prayer conditions, in a spirit of filial submission to the Roman Pontiff, by participation in the sacred functions on the days indicated, following the same rites and spiritual exercises as they occur via television or radio or, with due devotion, via the new means of social communication.
Partial Indulgence will be conceded to all the faithful who, in any place and between the indicated days, with a contrite heart raise devout prayers to God, concluding with the official prayer of the World Youth Day and invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Brazil, with the title “Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Aparecida” as well as other patrons and intercessors of the same meeting, that they may encourage the young to reinforce their faith and lead a holy life.
Vatican City, 9 July 2013 (VIS) – On the afternoon of Saturday 6 July in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Pope met with seminarians, novices and young people discerning their vocations in celebration of the Year of Faith. In a lively environment with profound testimonies and music, the young people awaited the arrival of the Holy Father, who was received with enthusiastic applause. “Now you applaud, and you celebrate, as this is the time of your 'honeymoon'”, said the Pope, “but when the honeymoon ends, what happens next? I heard a seminarian, a good seminarian, who said he wanted to serve Christ, but for just ten years, after which he would think about starting a new life... This is dangerous! Listen carefully: all of us, even the oldest among us, we too find ourselves under pressure from this culture of the provisional; and this is dangerous, because we no longer commit our lives once and for all. I'll be married for as long as I'm in love, I'll become a nun for a little while, and then we'll see; I'll become a seminarian to become a priest but I'm not sure how it will turn out. This is not what Jesus wants! … Nowadays, making a definitive choice is very difficult. It was easier in my day, because culturally a definitive choice was preferred, be it for matrimonial life, or consecrated life, or the priestly life. But in the present day a definitive choice is not easy. We are all victims of this culture of the provisional”.
“I would like you to think about this”, the Holy Father continued: “How can be we free of this culture of the provisional? We need to learn how to close the door of our innermost being, from the inside. … but when we always leave a key outside, just in case – that is not enough. We need to learn to close the door from the inside! And if I am not sure, I think, I will take my time, and when I feel sure – in Jesus, you understand, because without Jesus no-one is sure! - when I feel sure, I'll close the door. Do you understand this? What is the culture of the provisional?”
The Holy Father commented that wherever there are consecrated persons, seminarians, religious and young people, there is joy. “But where does this joy come from? … And on Saturday night, shall I return to going out dancing with my old friends?... Does joy come from the things I own .. from having the most extreme experiences?”. The Pope advised that if is necessary to buy something - a telephone, a scooter or a car, for instance – one should shun ostentatiousness in favour of humbler options, and consider how many children still die of hunger.
“True joy is not found in material things”, he continued. “It is born of the encounter and relations with others, from feeling accepted, understood and loved; from accepting, understanding and loving; and not for the sake of a fleeting interest. … Joy is born of the gratification of encountering others, of hearing oneself say 'You are important to me', and not necessarily in words. This is beautiful, and this is what God helps us to understand”.
“True joy is contagious, and sustains us. However, when you find a seminarian or a novice who is too serious, too sad, something isn't right! They do not share in the joy of the Lord. … Sadness is not holiness! St. Teresa said, “A sad nun is a bad nun” … Please, no more sour-faced nuns or priests!” .
Pope Francis repeated that “the root of sadness in pastoral life lies precisely in that lack of paternal or maternal feeling that comes from a poor experience of consecration, which should instead lead to fruitfulness. It is impossible to conceive of a priest or nun who is not fruitful: this is not Catholic! This joy is the beauty of consecration”.
“To be joyful witnesses to the Gospel you need to be authentic and coherent”, he went on. “And this is another word I wish to emphasise to you -authenticity. Jesus fought against hypocrites, against those who, to put it clearly, are two-faced. … This is a responsibility for all adults, all formators. And to those formators present here today, I urge you to give an example of coherence to the young. Do we want coherent young people? Then we must be coherent ourselves! On the contrary, the Lord recounts what the Pharisees said to the people of God: 'Do what they say, but not what they do!' Coherence and authenticity!”
The Holy Father urged the young people to be transparent in confession and to tell the truth without fear, as this transparency makes us humble. “Tell the truth without hiding anything,without unclear words, as you are speaking to Jesus through your confessor, and Jesus knows the truth. Only He always forgives!”
The Pope emphasised that, a vocation is based on four pillars: spiritual life, intellectual life, apostolic life and community life”. Here the Holy Father stressed the dangers of gossip, a problem born of community life. “Gossip conceals envy, jealousy, ambition”. He commented that “not speaking ill of others is a good route to holiness!” and reiterated the importance of cultivating friendships to avoid both isolation or profligacy in relationships, as “a priest or other consecrated person can never be an island, but rather must always be willing to encounter others”.
Pope Francis concluded by emphasising the need for a missionary Church, not a passive Church, and urged the young people present not to fall prey to the temptation to participate in the “sport of complaining”. Instead, he encouraged them to “be positive, cultivate a spiritual life and, at the same time, go forth, be capable of meeting people, especially the most scorned and disadvantaged. Do not be afraid of swimming against the current. Be contemplative and missionary. Keep the Virgin Mary with you always, and please, pray the Rosary, do not forget! Keep Our Lady with you in your homes, just as the Apostle John did. May she accompany and protect you always. And pray for me too, because I too need your prayers; I too am a poor sinner, although we continue to press forward”.
Finally, all those present proceeded from the Vatican Gardens to St. Peter's Basilica.
Vatican City, 9 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Vatican City, 9 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
- gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Melkite Church of Archimandrite Eduard Daher B.C. of the clergy of St. Elie in Zahle, as archbishop of Tripoli of Lebanon of the Greek Melkites.
- appointed Bishop Marcelo Daniel Colombo as bishop of La Rioja (area 92,100, population 350,000, Catholics 320,000, priests 43, permanent deacons 1, religious 35), Argentina. Bishop Colombo, previously bishop of Oran, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1961, was ordained to the priesthood in 1988, and received episcopal ordination in 2008. He succeeds Bishop Roberto Rodriguez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- appointed Fr. Juan Jose Chaparro Stivanello, C.M.F., as bishop of San Carlos de Bariloche (area 77,076, population 174,300, Catholics 123,100, priests 26, permanent deacons 2, religious 53), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Colonia Freitas, Argentina in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1980. He holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University and has served as provincial superior of the Province of Argentina-Uruguay, provincial coordinator of evangelization in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was appointed consultor of the province of San Jose del Sur in 2011 and superior of the community of Lambare, Paraguay, in 2013.


A Horrible Train accident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada left many dead on Saturday July, 6, 2013. A train derailed and exploded at the center of town. 15 are confirmed dead. Police are conducting a criminal investigation. An empty 72-car train carrying crude oil rolled by itself down a hill into town. 
It is believed that the brakes of the train malfunctioned while it was parked in Nantes, the nearby town. Over 30 people are still missing and are thought to be burned beyond recognition by the explosion. 

The train traveled for 18 minutes for about 11 Km then jumped the tracks at 101 Kilometers per hour. 
Five of the oil cars exploded. About 30 buildings were destroyed including a popular bar called the Musi-Cafe. (Photos released by Quebec Provincial Police)


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese RELEASE
9 Jul 2013
Blessed John Paul II encouraged Australia's first people in his landmark speech in Alice Springs in 1986
As non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians join together for NAIDOC to celebrate the culture, history and achievements of the nation's Indigenous people, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council (NATSICC) has announced the establishment of a National Consultation into the unique contribution and special gifts Australia's first people bring to the Church.
"The consultation is aimed at discovering what can be done by Indigenous Catholics to bring to life the immortal words of Blessed John Paul II in Alice Springs in 1986,"explains Craig Arthur, National Administrator for NATSICC.
In his landmark speech to the people of Alice Springs, the late Holy Father said "the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others."
"As the peak Indigenous advisory body to the ACBC, we are proud to launch this two year consultation which will be made in collaboration with Aboriginal and Islander Catholic Ministries, councils and communities, Australia's bishops and the National Liturgical Council," he says.
The announcement of a National Consultation into Indigenous Inculturation of the Catholic Church of Australia was made on the eve of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday which was celebrated on 7 July. Coincidently the announcement came on the same day as the joyous news from the Vatican that Blessed John Paul II would be canonised before the end of the year.
NATSICC launches National Consultation on the unique gifts Australia's first people bring to the Church
JP11 is much loved across the world and his visit to Alice Springs 27 years ago continues to resonate strongly with Australia's Indigenous people.
Craig Arthur says the National Consultation will focus on three key areas and will cover Liturgy, symbols and the involvement of the laity.
"As stated by the Second Vatican Council, Liturgy is the centre of Christian life for the Church and the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ," Thelma Parker, Chair of NATSICC says.
Each year a special Liturgy is created by NATSICC to mark Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday and is sent to parishes and Aboriginal Catholic Ministries across the country.
Melinsa Brickell's painting celebrates the Lord, the Church and Aboriginal culture
"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are deeply spiritual and through the consultation, NATSICC hopes to make whole our contribution to the life of the Church in Australia," Ms Parker says.
She points out that while cultural systems, life experiences and the history of Australia's Indigenous peoples are diverse and can vary dramatically from community to community, the National Consultation will respect and embrace these differences.
"This is about what we can do instead of what we can't," she says.
Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) welcomes the launch of this National Consultation which will foster greater understanding and create stronger bonds between Indigenous and Non Indigenous Australians.
"To establish an authentic unity among peoples, a just relationship must be forged with humility and driven by prayerful love. Any gulf between cultures that gives rise to exclusions, suffering, despair and injustice cannot be tolerated," he insists.
The National Consultation will result in a final report and series of recommendations which will be presented to the NATSICC National Assembly to be held in Darwin in 2015.
Many leading Indigenous Catholics are taking part in this week's NAIDOC celebrations. The annual NAIDOC Ball and Awards Ceremony, the culmination of the week of Indigenous culture, history and achievements, will be held in Perth this year on Friday, 12 July.