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Volume 3, Issue 163

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  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31 2:14 PM

      Volume 3, Issue 163
      TUESDAY 2 September 2003

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      • Religions Should Unite to Denounce Terrorism, Says Pope
      • Enterprise's Key Value Is in Its People, Says François Michelin
      • Pope's Book of Poetry Set for Release in U.S.
      • Baghdad Archbishop Says Fears Rising After Mosque Attack
      • Media Cautioned About "Forgotten Wars"
      • Slovenia in Denial Over Anti-Catholic Intolerance, Says Church
      • Colombian Episcopate to Hold a "Week of Peace"
      • Life of St. Lucy: the Movie
      • What It Takes to Be Happy

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      Religions Should Unite to Denounce Terrorism, Says Pope

      Receives Coptic Egyptian Bishops in Audience

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Religions of the world should unite to denounce terrorism, since public opinion "could be tempted" to think that the acts of violence have a religious origin, says John Paul II.

      The Pope made that suggestion when he addressed the bishops of the Coptic Church of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Egypt, on their five-yearly visit to the Holy See. He met the bishops on Saturday in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.

      The Holy Father spoke on the need for dialogue among the great religions, which should reflect a commitment to combat the plague of terrorism.

      "The dialogue with Islam is particularly important in your country," a majority Muslim land, the Pope said. "It assumes an exemplary character for the dialogue between the great religions of the world," particularly necessary "after the tragic events connected to terrorism which have marked the beginning of the third millennium."

      This matter is especially important because public opinion "could be tempted to impute [the acts of terrorism] to causes of religious origin," the Pontiff warned.

      He said that it is essential "that the religions of the world join forces to denounce terrorism and to work together in the service of justice, peace and fraternity among men."

      "Together with you, I thank God for all the Christian communities in Egypt, heirs of the first proclamation of the Gospel realized by St. Mark, and I recall with joy and emotion my Jubilee pilgrimage to Cairo and St. Catherine's monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai," John Paul II told the bishops.

      "There one understands better the special rootedness of the Christian revelation in this region of the world and its intrinsic connection with the Old Testament," he added.

      In the new millennium, "the mission field is wide open" for the Church, which "wishes to be the voice of the little ones and of the poor," to "hear the call of those who aspire to peace," to "welcome refugees without a country" and "to place itself at the service of the real dignity of man," the Holy Father continued.

      Exhorting Egyptian bishops of the various rites to "further the bonds of authentic Catholic unity," John Paul II said that in an Islamic society "the greatest testimony is daily life centered on the double commandment of love of God and of neighbor."

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      Enterprise's Key Value Is in Its People, Says François Michelin

      Entrepreneur Highlights Influence of Catholic Culture in Regard to Human Factor

      RIMINI, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- François Michelin, for 51 years head of the Michelin Group, highlighted the importance of Catholic culture in valuing the person, who he said is fundamental to success in business.

      Addressing last week's "Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples," organized by the Communion and Liberation movement, the French entrepreneur revealed the secrets of his tire-making enterprise, demonstrating that a Christian can successfully apply evangelical teachings in the production process and in the market.

      Michelin, now his firm's honorary president, explained that "a true businessman responds to the client, and this is why he is always looking for a product of better quality that can be offered, while controlling the price."

      Vital for a well-functioning business is the ability "to bring out into the light the diamond that is in each person," he said.

      In this connection, Michelin said that one of the people who contributed most to the development of tires was a worker who had been hired as a printer. Eventually, the personnel office realized that he had many other qualities, such as imagination and the ability to do research.

      Referring to the importance of people, Michelin emphasized the specific contribution of Catholic culture and recalled the work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who valued even the most seemingly miserable life.

      "Every human being is unique, irrepeatable," Michelin said. "Functions and labels don't count, the person does."

      "Both in the factory as well as in society, life is possible only if we listen to and understand the other's reasons," he added. "To love is to see in people what they are."

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      Pope's Book of Poetry Set for Release in U.S.

      WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- "The Poetry of John Paul II -- Roman Triptych: Meditations," the Pope's new book, will be available starting Friday in more than 400 Catholic bookstores and other U.S. venues.

      USCCB Publishing, the official publisher of the U.S. bishops' conference, made the announcement about the book. The work contains three new poems, the first written and published during John Paul II's pontificate. He draws scriptural inspiration from the Book of Genesis as the framework for his "Roman Triptych."

      Throughout the trio of poems, he reflects on God as the beginning and end of human life and all creation. He also ponders the beginning and end of his own time as Pope.

      The book has full-color artwork from the Casa Buonarotti and Albertina Museum, and several pages of the Pope's original handwritten text.

      USCCB Publishing is the exclusive publisher of "The Poetry of John Paul II" in the United States. The 40-page hardcover book is printed in both English and Spanish. Its price is $19.95.

      Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has written a presentation for the English edition. An audio-edition is also planned.

      The book can be ordered directly at the USCCB Web site.

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      Baghdad Archbishop Says Fears Rising After Mosque Attack

      BAGHDAD, Iraq, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Friday's attack in the Iraqi city of Najaf raises "fears of an even more violent future," warns Latin-rite Archbishop Benjamin Sleiman of Baghdad.

      The incident shows the "political and security" void that exists, the archbishop told the Misna missionary agency the day after the massacre.

      Two car bombs exploded in front of the Imam Ali mosque, one of the Shiites' most venerated places. Among the 125 people killed was Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. For the past 23 years, he had led the opposition to Saddam Hussein's regime from his exile in Iran. He returned to his country in May.

      On Sunday, the highest religious authority of Shiite Islam in Iraq issued a statement warning about "terrible consequences" if the real religious motives behind the attack are discovered, the Ansa agency reported.

      That same day, the council of the Iraqi transitional government requested the British military authorities to close the border with Iran, for fear that Shiite faithful would enter the country to avenge the death of their leader, and thus trigger a civil war.

      After a "slaughter of this kind" the people "live in anguish and fear for their lives," said Archbishop Sleiman. Tension "remains high, given that violence could strike anyone anytime."

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      Media Cautioned About "Forgotten Wars"

      Sant'Egidio Spokesman Urges Efforts for Peace

      ARICCIA, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The media have a great responsibility to spread the culture of peace, in part by avoiding the manipulation of terms and by not ignoring certain world conflicts, conferees were told.

      Mario Marazziti, spokesman of the Rome-base Community of Sant'Egidio, a group that has mediated political disputes in Africa and elsewhere, delivered that message Friday when he addressed the National Congress of Pauline Co-Workers.

      Speaking on the topic "The Media at the Service of Authentic Peace," Marazziti said that diplomacy and politics are not used today "as usual instruments" and that "war has become an ordinary means to try to resolve difficult situations."

      Moreover, war "has been joined to the term 'humanitarian,'" Marazziti noted. "In recent situations of war there has been talk of humanitarian intervention or preventive war, which tears apart international law and launches a time of continuous war."

      "War, from being the last resort, has been transformed at present into normality; even our language has changed," he said, according to the Italian bishops' SIR agency.

      Currently there are 32 ongoing wars, although "there is talk of only a few," Marazziti observed. The challenge, he said, lies in "not closing one's eyes, but in opening them to the forgotten wars and the world that disappears from the newspapers and television."

      In the decade 1990-2000, wars in the world left 5 million dead, 6 million wounded, and produced 50 million refugees, the Sant'Egidio spokesman said.

      He contended that it is necessary to give "equal dignity to all the victims. I am referring to the need to resist the technological fascination of war," and "to put the accent on the other's suffering as the key to reconciliation."

      Sant'Egidio is made up of 40,000 people in 60 countries.

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      Slovenia in Denial Over Anti-Catholic Intolerance, Says Church

      Ljubljana Archbishop Takes a Professor to Task

      LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop and metropolitan of Ljubljana criticized a professor's attempt to gloss over evidence of the anti-Catholic intolerance in this country.

      "We witness with consternation the misrepresentation of the facts of events that leftist thinking can effect in the reality of our nation -- to say nothing of the consequences deriving from a university culture that is still strongly ideological," said Archbishop Franc Rode.

      He was censuring an interview that Sreeko Dragos, professor of the sociology of religion at the city's Faculty of Social Sciences, gave Aug. 22 on the Pop TV network.

      The Italian bishops' SIR agency reported that during the interview, Dragos said that in no way did he have the impression "that the threshold of religious intolerance in Slovenia was increasing."

      He also said that he could not remember "any fact provided in the last years by public opinion surveys that demonstrated intolerance toward Catholic citizens, that is, toward the majority of the population."

      Such an affirmation, SIR said, differs from an earlier complaint of Auxiliary Bishop Anton Stres of Maribor, the president of the Slovenian bishops' Justice and Peace Commission. The bishop expressed his concern about the growing intolerance toward the Catholic Church in the country.

      In particular, Bishop Stres complained about various profanations against Marian images and crucifixes, acts of vandalism against churches and sacred buildings, and the fact that in Koper a municipal councilman blocked the ringing of the cathedral's bells on Aug. 15, solemnity of the Assumption and a public holiday.

      Heading the list of profanations is a picture of the Virgin of Brezje, venerated by Slovenian Catholics. A distorted image of this Virgin appears on the CD cover of a musical group.

      According to Church officials in Slovenia, none of the government's representatives has condemned these actions explicitly.

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      Colombian Episcopate to Hold a "Week of Peace"

      BOGOTA, Colombia, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Colombian Catholic bishops' conference has launched a campaign for a Week of Peace, to help overcome the country's division and violence.

      Promoters say that the campaign, launched through the bishops' National Secretariat for Social Pastoral Care, aims to "open the doors to reconciliation as the only possibility to overcome division, uncertainty, violence and the situation of chaos society is living."

      It is "a proposal of education and mobilization of Colombian society so that Colombian citizens will contribute, in a responsible way, to the building of peace," the promoters explained.

      Under the motto "Reconciliation, Horizon of Peace," the Sept. 7-14 initiative seeks to trigger action that will involved the various parts of society in the defense and promotion of human social and cultural rights.

      Labor unions and educational and cultural centers will participate in the event. Round-table discussions are planned. And pamphlets, posters, radio spots, television advertising and newspaper ads are being used to support the campaign. The initiative is addressed to all the country's parishes.

      Last year, Colombia had 3,000 kidnappings, the highest number in the world; 70% of the abductions are attributed to the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

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      Life of St. Lucy: the Movie

      SYRACUSE, Sicily, SEPT. 1, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Avvenire).- The province of Syracuse will finance the production of a film on the life of its patroness St. Lucy, to celebrate 1,700 years since her martyrdom.

      The project has been entrusted to Milan film director Giovanni Virgadaula, author of other cinematographic works on the lives of saints, such as St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Agatha. Casting for the role of St. Lucy will begin this month.

      The project is supported by Bishop Giuseppe Costanzo of Syracuse, who has presided over the committee that is researching the saint's life.

      Of noble lineage, Lucy's faith experience was influenced by that of another young Sicilian martyr: Agatha. In an apparition, Lucy saw Agatha, who told her: "As the city of Catania was sanctified through me, so through you the city of Syracuse will be saved."

      Lucy decided to consecrate herself to God and to sell all her possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. When a would-be suitor, a pagan, realized he wouldn't be able to marry Lucy, he accused her before the authorities for her Christian faith. Lucy was martyred on Dec. 13 in the year 304.

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      What It Takes to Be Happy

      Interview With Giorgio Vittadini on Rimini Meeting

      RIMINI, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Last week's "Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples" drew 700,000 people to this coastal city to hear, among other things, how they need to live with the conscious desire for happiness.

      Organized by the Communion and Liberation ecclesial movement, the topic of the event was an expression taken from Psalm 33: "What man is there who desires life, and covets many days, that he may enjoy good?"

      In this interview with ZENIT, Giorgio Vittadini, president of the Company of Works, an association founded by Communion and Liberation-trained members, evaluates the weeklong meeting which attracted politicians, businesspeople, scientists, doctors, artists, writers and missionaries.

      Q: Why must man be happy?

      Vittadini: The real problem of life is that man wants happiness and seeks answers. The question of happiness is always present in man's interior. A person must be directed to an ideal. For example, the Christian experience has been an authentic answer in European history, yet now it is denied.

      Q: What do you mean?

      Vittadini: The European Constitution we are about to sign has the value of wet paper, namely, none at all. It is a mediocre treaty in which the absence of references to the Christian roots is just one indication. It does not mention the family, freedom of association, subsidiarity -- even though it is 10 times longer than the American Constitution.

      Q: Must one be a believer to be happy?

      Vittadini: No! To be happy one must live conscious of the desire for happiness. What does it mean to be happy? It is to want sense, meaning. Happiness cannot be quantified; as it forms part of the mystery, it is an experience, it forms part of an approximation to reality.

      Of course, without faith some things of life -- such as sin, suffering and death -- remain without an ultimate answer. But I am not expressing the presumption of a believer; it is simply a gift that the Lord gives us.

      Q: What has the Meeting for Friendship tried to transmit to the world?

      Vittadini: The meeting wants to tell the world that one can be involved with everything -- from prayer to politics -- within the experience of the unity of the person and the unity of life.

      While everyone divides the private from the public -- art from economics, faith from science -- the meeting tells us that the mystery is present and allows itself to be found as 2,000 years ago, and that they can be live together.

      Q: Would you like to share your opinion on some current issues? Such as globalization: yes or no?

      Vittadini: Although I value the desire for truth that lies in the anti-globalization movement, I think it is not the real answer because lately it is more of an ideological answer. It posits a view of society that does not exist.

      "The real name of peace is development." This idea of Paul VI represents much more than all the anti-globalization thinking, also vis-à-vis the Third World.

      Q: And plant biotechnology?

      Vittadini: The answer was given by [Communion and Liberation founder] Don Giussani a couple of years ago: Whatever does not go against man is all right.

      Q: Development and poor countries?

      Vittadini: Development will take place to the degree that there is collaboration with the First World. Development means something which substantially is not multinational nor state socialism, something similar to what Italy is, with special attention to education, human capital and research.

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      Chapter Two (continued)

      The third section of Chapter 2 is entitled: "Self-Surrender". This section deals with the transition from the false self to the authentic self rooted in God and His love.

      Being a true disciple of Jesus requires us to make the shift from our false self to loving and giving thatis not seek-seeking. "This is precisely Jesus' meaning---that I only discover who I am and possess my true identity by "loosing myself" for his sake." (22).

      Sister Thelma points out that self-surrender is not necessarily negative in meaning but has a positive one. She cites the foundress of her Order of sisters , St. Therese Coudere who taught that self-surrender is to "hand or deliver oneself over to"---i.e., a freely chosen act of love." (23). With this meaning self-surrender is an act of self-donation as an act of love and commitment.

      "What prompts this surrender and makes it possible is the realistic recognition that my very life and being is a gift of love. It is a recognition which becomes experiential in contemplative prayer, in a "knowing" that is beyond knowledge: it is the graced knowledge of love. Only such a gift can make unconditional self-surrender possible, for it is an experience of the unconditional love of a person, a personal God." (23).

      Self-surrender is the complete expression of falling in love with God. Self-fulfillment is only attainable by giving one's life away to God as an act of love and commitment to him.

      Thelma Hall, R.C., Too Deep For Word. Rediscovering Lectio Divina. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1988). ISBN 0-8091-2959-0

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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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      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
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      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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