Tuesday, August 27, 2013


(Vatican Radio ) Hidden away in the heart of Rome, up an elegant flight of travertine steps lies the imposing Renaissance Church of Saint Augustine. 
When on the 28th of August Pope Francis steps into this great Church, which houses a myriad of artistic masterpieces from Raphael to Caravaggio, on a private visit to preside over Holy Mass, he does so on the day the Church remembers Saint Augustine.
But he’ll know too that this Church is linked to mothers in a special way.
First of all to the mother of Saint Augustine, Saint Monica whose feast day is on the eve of the 28th. It is here that her mortal remains were brought in the 13th century, at the request of the Pope of the time, to be entombed in the Chapel of a Church dedicated to her son.
A great mother, born in 332 AD at Tagaste an old Roman City on the road to Carthage, to whom her son Augustine refers throughout his ‘Confessions’, attributing to her his rescue from a wasteful and heretical life. Highlighting the love he had for this mother, today often referred to as the patron saint of ‘mothers of awkward sons’.. 
A mother, whom according to the Prior General of the Augustinians Father Robert Prevost, Pope Francis has over the years had a special devotion to.
“Many people have a devotion to Saint Monica, including Pope Francis who used to frequent that Church as Cardinal Bergoglio when he would come to Rome. He stayed near there and he would visit the Church and pray especially to Saint Monica whose feast is the 27th of August. So we celebrate both of them one after the other. It’s also a beautiful occasion to understand how significant the relationship between Saint Monica and Saint Augustine was and continues to be”.



Benin — THE Parish Priest of St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, Sobe, in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, Rev. Father Peter Ayala, was, Sunday morning, found dead in his apartment, few hours before he was due to conduct the 7a.m mass.
Vanguard gathered that the cleric was said to be cleaning his double-barreled gun inside his apartment within the church premises, when the gun reportedly went off and killed him.
It was gathered that the incident took place in the early hours of Sunday before the Priest dressed up for the mass even as worshippers were said to be gathering for the service.
The incident, it was learnt, threw the church into confusion as mass servers and church elders made frantic efforts to know what went wrong with congregation waiting for the mass to begin but found the priest lying death in his apartment.
The Elders were said have later reported the incident to the Bishop of the Auchi Diocese, Dr Gabriel Duniya, who it was gathered conducted a quick investigation with security agents and confirmed that the priest died when the rifle he was cleaning went off.
Meanwhile, Sobe was still in mourning, yesterday, as the worshippers, irrespective of their denominations, on hearing the tragic news gathered near the church premises, discussing the incident in hush tones.
Contacted, the Edo State Police Public Relations, DSP Moses Eguavoen said the incident was unfortunate, adding that the state command was yet to get the full details of what transpired before the Priest's death.


Church colloquium challenges Australia to find better migrant and refugee solutions

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Monday 27 August 2013

FORMER Holy See Ambassador Tim Fischer, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher and Bishop Gerard Hanna addressed a crowd of over 100 people at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Melbourne on Thursday 22 August about the pressing issues of migration and poverty.

View gallery

The colloquium was held to honour Bishop Joe Grech, who was a steadfast supporter of migrants and refugees until his untimely death in 2010.

With a particular focus on the Catholic Church’s commitment to refugees and asylum seekers, each speaker brought his own personal experience to bear in their addresses.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Gallagher, focused on his diplomatic experience emphasising the need for a realistic, compassionate approach.

“I think that it is clear that the phenomenon (of irregular migration) cannot be eradicated. Refugees and migrants of all categories, like the poor, we will have with us always (cfr. Mt 26:11) and there will always be those whose circumstances are highly irregular. We must seek durable solutions, but we should not be scandalised if we do not find them. The ethical foundation of our response is in the authenticity and integrity of the response itself”, he said.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer noted the importance of education and employment opportunities in raising living standards of migrants and refugees from poorer nations.

“Firstly, we should never forget the power of education to lift the standards of living of migrants and indeed people right around the world be they in Bhutan or Botswana or beyond.”

Bishop Gerard Hanna spoke on the pressures facing developing countries who accept much larger refugee numbers than Australia.

“We ask our neighbours, poor third world countries, to do what we, a very rich first world nation, are selfishly unwilling to do ourselves. We must open our hearts to refugees, listen to their hopes and welcome them into our communities. Solutions must be based in the real world and address the real needs of people”, he said.

The speakers all showed deep concern with developing viable solutions and better policy around the issue of asylum seekers and refugees. Rather than focusing on partisan polics, the speakers looked at the human face of migration, and examined ethical solutions in their addresses.

Photo: Former Holy See Ambassador Tim Fischer, Casamento Photography


Memorial of Saint Monica
Lectionary: 426

Reading 11              THES 2:1-8

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters,
that our reception among you was not without effect.
Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated,
as you know, in Philippi,
we drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed–God is witness–
nor did we seek praise from men,
either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.

Responsorial Psalm                      PS 139:1-3, 4-6

R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know the whole of it.
Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
too lofty for me to attain.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Gospel                 MT 23:23-26

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”