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Tuesday, August 12, 2014
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Fr Parajes had worked for the San Juan de Dios hospital order, a Spain-based Catholic humanitarian group, and had been helping to treat people with Ebola in Liberia. He had worked as a missionary in Africa for nearly five decades and was due to return to Spain for good in September. The priest was brought back to Spain alongside a nun, who was also suspected of being infected with the virus. However, she tested negative for the disease. The World Health Organisation has declared it is ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the current outbreak in West Africa. The experimental drug was given to two American aid workers, Nancy Writebol and Dr Kent Brantly who were diagnosed with the disease while working at a hospital that treated Ebola patients in Liberia. They were given the drug after being airlifted back to the U.S. Mr Writebol and two other missionaries are not showing any symptoms of the deadly virus but will be kept in isolation in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Americans are improving, but there is no way to know whether the drug helped
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
11 Aug 2014
11 Aug 2014
After the ceremony, which is expected to be held on Tuesday 19 August, "Bishop Ted" as he was popularly known will be laid to rest in the Crypt of the Cathedral where he served as the Catholic Diocese of Darwin's fifth Bishop from April 1986 until his retirement in July 2007.
"He was a man of great kindness and pastoral gifts, much loved not only by members of his own faith but by all who came into contact with him," the current Bishop of Darwin, the Most Rev Eugene Hurley said yesterday.
Bishop Ted who was surrounded by family when he died had been in declining health over recent months.
Full of humour and compassion, one of his key legacies for which he will long be remembered not only in the Northern Territory but across Australia is his support of Aboriginal people. Inspired by Pope John Paul II's historic speech in Alice Springs to Australia's first peoples, Bishop Ted encouraged Aboriginal Catholics to practice their faith in culturally appropriate ways, allowing and incorporating didgeridoo playing, smoking ceremonies and clap sticks as part the Catholic Mass.
His also stood beside those who had been taken from their families as children and at a time when many in Australia preferred to pretend there was no such thing as a "stolen generation," Bishop Ted spoke out publicly calling for help and counselling for Aboriginals who had been removed from loved ones as children, and suffered great and ongoing trauma as a result.
Many in Australia will also long remember Bishop Ted for his very public and uncompromising fight in 1995 to try to prevent the Northern Territory Government from legalising euthanasia. Bishop Ted was instrumental in bringing church leaders from all denominations together as a group to oppose the Rights for the Terminally Ill Act, and warned that the legalisation of assisted suicide would lead to abuses and put the weakest in society at peril.
Bishop Ted continued with his public battle against the legalisation of euthanasia after the Act was passed by the NT Parliament and almost certainly contributed to the Federal Government's decision to step in and overturn the Territory's controversial law 18 months later.
"Euthanasia is murder and you cannot legalise murder," the Bishop insisted. "I have sympathy for people in pain but it is not the way out. God will take you when he wants to."
The youngest of five children of an Irish Catholic family, Bishop Ted was born in Braidwood, NSW and grew up in Bermagui, NSW on the South Coast where he was active in local sports. He was a keen surfer, cricketer and golfer as well as being a keen rugby player and follower of Aussie Rules.
Just five years old when his mother died suddenly from a stroke, Bishop Ted was brought up by his father, a mounted policeman in country NSW. At 16 when he left school, he followed in his Dad's footsteps and moving to Sydney, joined the Police cadets. Attached to the wireless room, he worked there for 10 months before being sent to Campsie Police Station where he worked behind a desk learning the ropes from the Station Sergeant.
He was later transferred to the Scientific Bureau and then Petersham Police Station before joining the Vice Squad at the CIB. Finally at age 19 he was promoted from the Cadets and appointed to the Clarence Street Police Station. For the next several years he worked at various police stations across Sydney, was a member of the Police Rugby Team and played cricket with the Number 1 team.
Then in 1953, shortly before his 23rd birthday, he joined a group of Catholic police for a Day of Recollection at Kensington Monastery. The priest in charge was Father Eddie Kelly msc and talking with Fr Eddie, Bishop Ted felt drawn to the priesthood.
Over the next 18 months the call to the priesthood became even stronger and in later years he liked to quip that "the call" was like "indigestion - it kept coming back."
Finally at age 24, he quit his job as a policeman and joined the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Two years later he took his first vows and was sent to Croydon Monastery in Melbourne where he studied for the priesthood over the next seven years.
He was ordained a priest in July 1963 by Cardinal Normal Gilroy at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney and appointed to Randwick Parish. He spent four years there before being sent to Hindmarsh Parish in South Australia and Nightcliff Parish in Darwin. Later he was elected Superior of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in the Northern Territory and appointed Episcopal Vicar for Missions for the Diocese of Darwin.
Bishop Ted remembered this period of his life vividly, particularly Christmas Eve 1974 when Cyclone Tracy destroyed Darwin, killing 71 people and devastating the city. When the Cyclone hit he was attending Midnight Mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Darwin.
"We'd been told the cyclone would hit at 6 am on Christmas morning but it struck at 11.30 pm and was the most terrifying experience of my life," he said later. "I will never forget the roar of the wind, the lights going out and windows smashing and glass everywhere. It was a devastating time...many lives were lost and people's homes totally destroyed. I didn't get any sleep that night and I said a few decades of the rosary!"
As Cyclone Tracy hit, Bishop Ted had the presence of mind to turn on his tape recorder. But amid the mayhem that followed, he completely forgot about it and it was only after the Cyclone passed he realised he had a live recording of one of biggest events in Australian history.
The tape is now in the NT Museum and Art Gallery in Darwin, a prominent part of the exhibit on Cyclone Tracy.
In the wake of Cyclone Tracy, Fr Collins as he was then known, undertook the building of a mission house for the priests and brothers at Nightcliff for those who have given their lives to ministry in remote communities in the Territory.
Bishop Eugene Hurley, the sixth Bishop of Darwin is expected to confirm the time and date of the Requiem Mass for Bishop Ted at the city's Cathedral later today.
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney
Born at Dijon, France, 28 January, 1572; died at the Visitation Convent Moulins, 13 December, 1641.
Her father was president of the Parliament of Burgundy, and leader of the royalist party during the League that brought about the triumph of the cause of Henry IV. In 1592 she married Baron de Chantal, and lived in the feudal castle of Bourbilly. She restored order in the household, which was on the brink of ruin, and brought back prosperity. During her husband's absence at the court, or with the army, when reproached for her extremely sober manner of dressing, her reply was: "The eyes which I must please are a hundred miles from here". She found more than once that God blessed with miracles the care she gave the suffering members of Christ. St. Francis de Sales' eulogy of her characterizes her life at Bourbilly and everywhere else: "In Madame de Chantal I have found the perfect woman, whom Solomon had difficulty in finding in Jerusalem". Baron de Chantal was accidently killed by a harquebus while out shooting in 1601. Left a widow at twenty-eight, with four children, the broken-hearted baroness took a vow of chastity. In all her prayers she besought God to send her a guide and God, in a vision, showed her the spiritual director He held in reserve for her. In order to safeguard her children's property, she was obliged to go and live at Monthelon in the home of her father-in-law, who was ruled over by an arrogant and wicked servant. This was real servitude, which she bore patiently and gently for seven years. At last her virtue triumphed over the ill will of the old man and house keeper.
During Lent, 1604, she visited her father at Dijon, where St. Francis de Sales was preaching at the Sainte Chapelle. She recognized in him the mysterious director who had been shown her, and placed herself under his guidance. Then began an admirable correspondence between the two saints. Unfortunately, the greater number of letters are no longer in existence, as she destroyed them after the death of the holy bishop. When she had assured the future security of children, and when she had provided the education of Celse-Benigne, her fourteen year old son, whom she left to her father and her brother, the Archbishop of Bourges, she started for Annecy, where God was calling her to found the Congregation of the Visitation. She took her two remaining daughters with her, the elder having recently married the Baron of Thorens, a brother of St. Francis de Sales. Celse-Benigne, impetous like those of her race, barred his mother's way by lying across the threshold. Mme de Chantal stopped, overcome: " Can the tears of a child shake her resolution? " said a holy and learned priest, the tutor of Celse-Benigne. "Oh! no", replied the saint, "but after all I am a mother!" And she stepped over child's body.
The Congregation of the Visitation was canonically established at Annecy on Trinity Sunday, 6 June, 1610. Its aim was to receive, with a view to their spiritual advancement, young girls and even widows who had not the desire or strength to subject themselves to the austere ascetical practices in force in all the religious orders at that time. St. Francis de Sales was especially desirous of seeing the realization of his cherished method of attaining perfection, which consisted in always keeping one's will united to the Divine will, in taking so to speak one's soul, heart, and longings into one's hands and giving them into God's keeping, and in seeking always to do what is pleasing to Him. "I do always the things that please him" (John, viii, 29). The two holy founders saw their undertaking prosper. At the time of the death of St. Francis de Sales in 1622, the order already counted thirteen houses; there were eighty-six when St. Jane Frances died; and 164 when she was canonized.
The remainder of the saint's life was spent under the protection of the cloister in the practice of the most admirable virtues. If a gentle kindness, vivified and strengthened by a complete spirit of renunciation, predominates in St. Francis de Sales, it is firmness and great vigour which prevails in St. Jane Frances; she did not like to see her daughters giving way to human weakness. Her trials were continuous and borne bravely, and yet she was exceedingly sensitive. Celse-Benigne was an incorrigible duellist. She prayed so fervently that he was given the grace to die a Christian death on the battle-field, during the campaign against the Isle of Re (1627). He left a daughter who became the famous Marquise de Sevigne. To family troubles God added interior crosses which, particularly during the last nine years of her life, kept her in agony of soul from which she was not freed until three months before her death.
Her reputation for sanctity was widespread. Queens, princes, and princesses flocked to the reception-room of the Visitation. Wherever she went to establish foundations, the people gave her ovations. "These people", she would say confused, "do not know me; they are mistaken". Her body is venerated with that of St. Francis de Sales in the church of the Visitation at Annecy. She was beatified in 1751, canonized in 1767, and 21 August was appointed as her feast day.
The life of the saint was written in the seventeenth century, with inimitable charm, by her secretary, Mother de Chaugy. Monsignor Bougaud, who died Bishop of Laval, published in 1863 a "Histoire de Sainte Chantal" which had a great and well-deserved success.