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Volume 3, Issue 135

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 3, Issue 135 FRIDAY 11 July 2003 Solemnity of St. Benedict of Nursia, Founder of Western Monasticism * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10 3:46 PM

      Volume 3, Issue 135
      FRIDAY 11 July 2003

      Solemnity of St. Benedict of Nursia, Founder of Western Monasticism

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      • Challenge of Christian Education Is Holiness, Says John Paul II
      • Holy See, in "Lean Years," Posts a Financial Deficit
      • Pope to Address EU Summit on Interreligious Dialogue
      • Spokesman of Franciscan Custody on What the Holy Land Needs

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - This morning at 10 a.m. John Paul II went by car to his summer residence at Castelgandolfo, southeast of Rome, where he will spend some time on a working vacation.

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      Challenge of Christian Education Is Holiness, Says John Paul II

      Message to General Chapter of Piarists

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- In a message addressed to the religious of the Order of the Pious Schools, John Paul II said that the great challenge of Christian education is holiness.

      "Accompany your students with patience and wisdom; try to open their minds and hearts to truth and goodness, educating them in authentic justice and peace," the Pope said in his message to the 76 Piarists attending their order's general chapter. "Educate them to holiness."

      To achieve this objective, the Holy Father refers in his message to the "Christological dimension" proper to the spirituality of St. Joseph Calasanz, founder of the order, "which should fill all your action in the Church and in the world."

      "To put on Christ, Gospel of salvation for the men of all times, implies to place him at the center of personal and communal life, at the center of didactic activities and of every other form of the apostolate," the Pope said. "It implies, in particular, to become imitators of Christ in order to be consistent witnesses of him, able to convince adolescents and youths to follow him without hesitations."

      John Paul II reminded the Piarists, also known as the Escolapios, about the apostolic dimension of their consecrated choice.

      "As the Divine Master, consecrated by the Father, fully assumed his mission in favor of men and offered his life for them, so you, if you want to imitate him in giving yourselves to the brethren, must make your apostolic service flow from a love that does not look back," he said.

      "The Pope is near to you because he knows that you dedicate yourselves to the education of young men, 'morning watchmen,' sowing seeds of hope for the future of humanity. Cultivate them with love! Each student is like a small plant which, if well looked after, will grow luxuriant," the Holy Father said.

      For their part, the participants of the general chapter sent a telegram to John Paul II in which they thanked him for "the present orientations on the ministry of education, so important for the good of the Church and of society, in keeping with the line of the documents of Vatican Council II," and committed themselves to work with renewed ardor following in the footsteps of their founder.

      Earlier, Piarist Father Jesús Lecea was elected as new superior general of the order. He succeeds Father Josep Maria Balcells, who has been superior general for 18 years. The general chapter runs until July 25.

      The Order of Poor Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools, as it is officially known, was founded in 1617 to offer Christian education to children and youth, particularly the poor. It now has 1,466 professed religious and novices, including 1,059.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the
      Pope to Cardinals Jozef Glemp, Marian Jaworski and Lubomyr Husar, respectively archbishop of Warsaw, Poland, archbishop of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine and major archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary on July 11 of the "tragic events of Volinia," the disputed region between Poland and Ukraine during World War II. An official ceremony of Ukrainian-Polish reconciliation is scheduled to take place tomorrow.

      In the message, dated July 7 and directed also to "our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine and in Poland," the Holy Father writes: "Sixty years after these sad events, the need for a profound examination of conscience has been affirmed in the soul of the majority of Polish and Ukrainian people. The need is felt for a reconciliation that allows everyone to look toward the future with new eyes."

      "As God forgave us in Christ, it is necessary that believers know how to mutually forgive offenses and to ask for forgiveness for their own failings in order to contribute to the creation of a world which has respect for life, justice, harmony and peace."

      After recalling that during the Jubilee Year 2000, the Church "asked for forgiveness for the faults of its children, forgiving at the same time those who have offended them," he says: "In this way, I wanted to purify the memory of these sad events from every feeling of rancor and vengeance in order to go forward hopeful and confident in the task of building a civilization of love."

      "The Church proposes this same attitude to a civil society, urging all toward sincere reconciliation. ... It is an urgent priority if the great need is considered to educate the young generations to confront the future not in conditions of a history of mistrust, prejudices and violence, but in the spirit of a reconciled memory."

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in the name of Pope John Paul, sent the following telegram of condolences to religious and civil authorities in Bangladesh for the victims of a ferry boat capsize Tuesday evening near the city of Chandpur:

      "Deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life resulting from the ferry boat accident near the town of Chandpur, His Holiness Pope John Paul II assures all affected of his closeness in prayer. The Holy Father commends the victims to the loving mercy of the Almighty, and upon their grieving families and all those injured he invokes divine strength and comfort."

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      Holy See, in "Lean Years," Posts a Financial Deficit

      But Donations Increased in 2002

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See's finances finished in the red for 2002, but officials are grateful for the increased donations from the faithful.

      "The economic crisis also affects the Holy See," the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, said during a press conference today. For the first time, the Holy See presented its financial statements in euros.

      Income totaled 216,575,034 euros ($245 million), and expenses 230,081,756 euros ($260 million), creating a deficit of 13,506,722 euros ($15.3 million). Despite the deficit, members of the Prefecture of Financial Affairs were "grateful and surprised" by the faithful's increase in donations to the Holy See.

      "We are in a period of lean years," Cardinal Sebastiani told journalists in the Vatican press office, drawing a parallel between the Holy See's economy with the world economy.

      "When things go well, we save, and when lean years arrive -- as at present -- we use these savings, just as donors do," the cardinal said. Until the year 2000, there was a period of boom years or prosperity, he added.

      The Holy See's major expenses are ordinary and extraordinary administrative costs of the Roman Curia, in which 2,659 people work (744 ecclesiastics, 351 religious and 1,564 lay people).

      Last year, new premises had to be constructed and acquired for papal representations, as well as a building located on Via della Conciliazione -- the avenue leading to St. Peter's Square -- which will serve as offices for the Roman Curia.

      Cardinal Sebastiani explained that for the first time the Holy See's media "have shown an improvement in the final balance." Expenses in the nunciatures fell considerably thanks to "strict control," he said.

      Referring to donations from curias, religious congregations, foundations and other entities, he said: "We did not expect that donations would be so high." The Holy See received donations totaling 85,385,000 euros ($96 million), a higher amount than in previous years.

      "It is due to greater awareness in parishes and dioceses, which realize that it is necessary to help the Holy See, as established in Canon 1271 of Canon Law, which suggests -- it does not oblige -- to bishops that they collaborate with the Apostolic See," the cardinal said.

      These numbers have no relation with so-called Peter's Pence, which the Pope allocates to charity, and which this year reached $58.8 million.

      The financial statements are being translated into various languages and will be given to the episcopal conferences and religious congregations. The translations will specify in detail the type of aid, the countries that contributed most, and the sources of income.

      Likewise, Vatican City State (the administration of the small state with its institutions) posted a deficit of 16,048,508 euros ($18.1 million).

      A factor was the city-state's covering of half of the deficit of Vatican Radio, which administratively is under the Holy See. The city-state's budget includes 1,511 dependents (including 1,436 lay people) and 566 retirees.

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      Pope to Address EU Summit on Interreligious Dialogue

      BRUSSELS, Belgium, JULY 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A European Union meeting will be held in Rome in October to discuss the issue of interreligious dialogue, and John Paul II is scheduled to attend.

      An Italian government official disclosed that the Pope expressed his interest in receiving the EU Ministers of the Interior who will gather for the summit, and "in addressing this topic at the meeting."

      Italian Minister of the Interior Giuseppe Pisanu gave the news on Tuesday in Brussels, where he presented the Italian program for the EU presidency on immigration.

      The issue of interreligious dialogue has acquired importance in Europe with the arrival of numerous immigrants of various religions, especially Muslims.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday the Holy Father received Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of the Italian Republic, and his wife whom he invited to lunch in his private apartment.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Osorno, Chile as coadjutor bishop of Rancagua (area 16,042, population 728,280, Catholics 597,189, priests 117, permanent deacons 12, religious 226), Chile.

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      Fr. Casey outlines six causes of this spiritual Angst, a sense of irritability, boredom, dissatisfaction, and an overwhelming sense of discouragement and disappointment with ourselves.

      First, physical health may be causing the barrier. Not all medical conditions are apparent. Perhaps, we need to go to the doctor for a check-up. Others may need new eyeglass prescriptions, and others still may have some form of dyslexia or other visual problem having a medical basis.

      Second, is the frustration that arises from a lack of proper training. Many are excellent readers for academic studies, reading the newspaper, or junk mail, but have no proper orientation into sacred reading. The dissatisfaction we are experiencing may be due to a need for cultivating how to read with one’s intellect and heart, rather than just with one’s mind.

      Third, is the spiritual barrier that arises from improper loving of ourselves and other, social disequilibrium. God’s voice is silent to us in lectio divina if we fail to love our neighbor, have hatred and anger in our hearts, and lack the capacity to forgive and forget, while blindly pursuing taboo sensual pleasures. A mind and heart that is not oriented on Christ and lived out in daily life as a devout and responsible Christian is hardly one that can hear the soft whisperings of God’s Holy Spirit through the reading of Sacred Scripture.

      Fourth, is like the third, a withdrawal for God’s corrective pedagogy. When we withdraw from God’s good counsels he withdraws from us. This leaves us in spiritual silence. It is God’s way of putting us in a spiritual “time-out” box. “God withdraws from us and allows us to experience the extent of our own unlovableness.” (92).

      Fifth, are the vicissitudes of life. Sometimes these are the seasonal variations, as Fr. Casey calls them. Like the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s song: “The Times They Are A Changin’” so too are we as we pass through time. We are given to mood swings, biological changes, and periods of acclimation to new environments, new thoughts, new views of life. This is well known by the great ascetical masters of the spiritual life. St. John of the Cross characterized these changing episodic periodizations of variability as “obscure nights” of the soul. Like all things, they pass. Yet before they do we pass through spiritual metamorphoses like a larva in a chrysalis. We either come out as a beautiful butterfly or a nervous moth fluttering round a light bulb.

      Sixth, is the order of things—Divine transcendence vs. human radical incapacity. The only way to initialize a meeting between the two opposites is for the soul to grow humble. Humility is the great reconciler of the soul to God. It is only through humility that a soul can even hear the soft whisperings of God’s sweet and tender voice. “Without humility we cannot penetrate God’s word.” (93).

      And so we come to realize that due to various causes, conditions of spirit, mind and body, that what appears on the surface in daily life to be our quiet lives we have brewing deep within us a volatile source of noise that make us deaf to God’s sweet whisperings.

      Michael Casey, OCSO, Sacred Reading. The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. (Liguori, MO : Liguori/Triumph, 1996). 151 p.; ISBN : 0-89243-891-6. Michael Casey is a Cistercian monk, prior and vocation director of Our Lady of Tarrawarra Abbey, Yarra Glen, Victoria 3775, Australia. Phone: (03) 9730 1306 Fax: (03) 9730 1749

      * * *

      Spokesman of Franciscan Custody on What the Holy Land Needs

      "Only Changed Hearts Can Bring Peace," Says Father David Jaeger

      JERUSALEM, JULY 10, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Fides).- The current cease-fire in the Holy Land has brought an atmosphere of new hope and optimism in Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      In this critical stage, the Fides news service spoke with Father David Jaeger, spokesman of the Franciscan Custody, about the "road map" peace plan and the prospects for long-term stability.

      Q: The Holy Land is living a kairos of peace, a favorable moment, an opportunity. What positive elements and hopes weigh in favor of the peace process?

      Father Jaeger: For the first time since Sept. 28, 2000, there would appear to be well-founded hopes that the sides will return to the negotiating table.

      Nevertheless our optimism, although quite justified, must be curbed. For this to be truly a kairos of peace it must be clear that this is not simply a return to the stalemate situation existing before the outbreak of the second intifada.

      If this were so, if it were a question of simply restoring a previous situation which showed itself to be unbearable, the present moment might reveal itself to be only a pause before resuming the battle. ...

      Instead, what is needed is a change of heart, a conversion on the part of all those involved to allow rapid progress to reach the declared objective of the road map "to put an end to occupation of Palestinian territory started in 1967 and to create in these hitherto occupied territories a free, independent and democratic state of Palestine," to live in peace with the state of Israel. This was the vision described by American President George Bush in June 2002, and which was recently confirmed with the road map.

      Q: What is your opinion of the road map?

      Father Jaeger: The road map is important because of its detailed objective, which was lacking in the Oslo agreement in 1993.

      The path is positive and offers new hope, but one would wonder for example about the utility of the definition of a temporary state with temporary frontiers for the Palestinians, as a step toward the definitive state with definitive borders. Observers say it would be better to reach first a lasting peace agreement and draw lasting borders to be implemented gradually.

      This would help prevent dangerous tension which would easily arise in a temporary situation of uncertainty about the final arrangement of relations between the two countries. It should be said that this final arrangement is no mystery. Its main lines have been known for years and they are almost inevitably drawn from basic considerations, such as international law, healthy realism and respect for the fundamental equality of the sides.

      There is a very interesting initiative at the moment: a call made to both peoples Israelis and Palestinians by two well-known personalities to adhere to an organic list of the essential principles of this peace agreement. The persons in question are two men well known for their patriotism and loyalty, professor Sari Nuseibeh, president of the Al Quds Palestinian University in Jerusalem, and General Ami Ayalon, former chief admiral of the Israeli navy and former chief of Shin Beth secret police.

      Q: What role can the Church and indeed the whole Christian community in the Holy Land play in this situation?

      Father Jaeger: The Church, because of her role and vocation, cannot fail to applaud and support any serious initiative for peace.

      In this context her specific task could be to stress the inevitable international dimension of the final arrangement of the Holy Land, mainly with regard to the much requested "Internationally Guaranteed Special Status for Jerusalem" and surrounding areas, including Bethlehem, to protect in particular the holy places and Christian communities and institutions which express the presence of the whole of Christianity in the "spiritual homeland" of all believers in Jesus.

      Moreover, it is up to the Church and Christian citizens in both nations to promote values of democracy, justice, freedom -- first of all freedom of conscience and religion -- in both orders.

      At the moment it is important to ensure that the constitution of the future state of Palestine responds fully to these values and that there is no wavering in the face of strong Islamic pressure felt in the Palestinian society. It is a matter of strengthening the original secular character of Palestine's national movement. In this I see a major role for Europe.

      Q: In an atmosphere of general peace-making and also new confidence in Israel-Holy See relations, at what stage are negotiations for the return of the Shrine of the Upper Room to the charge of the Franciscan Custody?

      Father Jaeger: Negotiations for the return of the shrine are officially under way. It would be correct to say that the Catholic Church expects Israel to make an act of generosity which would be deeply appreciated.

      The Franciscans are the lawful owners of the shrine. It was taken from them by the Ottomans and then given to Israel in 1948. Its restitution would be no sacrifice for the state of Israel and we hope it will come about soon. These negotiations are part of the talks aiming for an overall agreement on heritage and fiscal questions pending for more than half a century between the Catholic Church and the state of Israel.

      In the basic agreement reached in 1993, the Holy See and the state of Israel promised to reach this overall agreement which should reconfirm and consolidate the indispensable and centuries-old fiscal exemption which concretely allow the existence and work of Catholic communities and institutions in Israel.

      With regard to the aspect of heritage, we hope for the restitution of certain properties lost in the past, such as the Chapel-Shrine of Cesarea maritime, a significant site for Christian history and part of the Franciscan St. Anthony's monastery in the center of Jerusalem and other places.

      We hope that the state of Israel will show itself to be wisely friendly. Negotiations are taking place in a good atmosphere. We hope they will conclude in time for the 10th anniversary of the Basic Agreement -- Dec. 30 -- and in this way reward the courageous decision on the part of the Holy See to premise full normalization of formal relations, with the establishing of diplomatic relations -- for the effect resolution of concrete problems.

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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

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      Monks of Adoration:

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      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

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      Our Father Movie

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      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 1)

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 2)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather, collect, and publish information on Dolores Immacolata Gili (1892-1985) for an investigation into her cause as a Servant of God, as well as to promote her cause and to perpetuate her cult by directing prayer groups assembled in her honor. It has continuously enjoyed the ecclesiastical approval of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and the Most Reverend John Joseph Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili, or, for more information about the cause of her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
      Mama Gili Guild
      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

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      The Benedictine monks of Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval mail a free monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it. Also free of charge are: the tract about the divinity of Jesus Christ; tract about the Truths of the Catholic Religion; scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with explanatory notice; the promises of the Sacred Heart; the mysteries of the Rosary.

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      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


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      10. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. English Trans. Online

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

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      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the crucified Body of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the precious Blood of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

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      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16

      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus clinging to her robes while walking down a dusty and busy crowded street and you'll always be safe."

      * * *

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