Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Volume 4, Issue 233

Expand Messages
  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 4, Issue 233 THURSDAY 23 December 2004 Thursday of the Fourth Week in Adent * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2004

      Volume 4, Issue 233

      THURSDAY 23 December 2004

      Thursday of the Fourth Week in Adent

      * * *


      * * *

      . Pre-Christmas Address
      . Darfur's Darkening Horizons
      . Civiltà Cattolica Urges Dialogue With World

      * * *

      Pre-Christmas Address
      "Leap Forward" in the History of Salvation

      VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II's address at today's general audience, which he dedicated to comment the mystery of Christmas.

      1. During these days of preparation for Christmas we pray continually in the liturgy, "Come, Lord Jesus." It is like a refrain that surges from the heart of believers from all corners of the Earth and resounds incessantly in the prayer of the Church.

      We have also invoked the coming of Christ a few moments ago with today's "O antiphon." The Messiah is invoked using some of the most beautiful titles found in sacred Scripture: "King of the Gentiles," "Hope of all nations," "Cornerstone uniting all peoples."

      2. On Christmas we contemplate the great mystery of God becoming man in the Virgin's womb. He is born in Bethlehem to share our fragile human condition! He comes among us and brings salvation to the whole world. His mission will be to reunite all human beings and peoples in the one family of the children of God.

      We can say that in the mystery of Christmas, we contemplate the "leap forward" in the history of salvation. To the human being, who with sin has distanced himself from the creator, is offered in Christ the gift of a new and fuller communion with him. Hope springs up in our hearts, and the gates of heaven are opened for us.

      3. Dear brothers and sisters! May the celebration of Christmas be a propitious occasion to truly live the value and meaning of the great event of Jesus' birth. This is the wish that I express to all of you in this general audience, to your families and to your communities.

      [At the end of the audience, a papal aide read the following summary in English:]

      As we prepare for the feast of Christmas, we pray continually: "Come, Lord Jesus." It is like a refrain which rises from the hearts of believers in every corner of the earth. In today's "O antiphon" the Messiah is invoked using some of the most beautiful titles found in Sacred Scripture: "King of the Gentiles," "Hope of all nations," "Cornerstone uniting all peoples."

      At Christmas, we contemplate the great mystery of God becoming man in the Virgin's womb so as to share our fragile human condition. He comes among us and brings salvation to the whole world. Although our sin has separated us from God, in Christ we are offered the gift of a new and fuller communion with him. Hope springs up in our hearts, and the gates of heaven are opened for us.

      Dearly beloved Brothers and Sisters! The celebration of Christmas gives us an opportunity to live more profoundly the great event of the birth of Jesus. I pray that it may be so for all of you who are present at this general audience, and also for your families and the communities to which you belong.

      I extend a special welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims here today, including groups from the United States of America. Upon all of you I invoke the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and I wish you many blessings during the holy season of Christmas.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, DEC 23, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

      - His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

      - Hansrudolf Hoffmann, ambassador of Switzerland on his farewell visit.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, DEC 23, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

      - Appointed Msgr. Mario Ceccobelli, vicar general of the archdiocese of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy, as bishop of Gubbio (area 900, population 48,000, Catholics 47,200, priests 51, permanent deacons 7, religious 107). The bishop-elect was born in Marsciano, Italy in 1941 and was ordained a priest in 1966. He succeeds Bishop Pietro Bottaccioli whose resignation was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

      - Appointed Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, as his special envoy for the celebrations of the 13th World Day of the Sick which will take place in Yaounde, Cameroon on February 9-11, 2005.

      * * *

      Darfur's Darkening Horizons
      Caritas Report Tells of Widespread Misery

      NYALA, Sudan, DEC. 22, 2004 (ZENIT.org).- The grimness of life in the refugee camps of western Sudan is taking on epic proportions.

      "Perhaps it is only from the air -- from the window of a plane or from a helicopter used to ferry humanitarian personnel -- that it is possible to grasp the sheer enormity of what has happened in Darfur during the last 18 months," said Chris Herlinger, field communicator of Caritas Internationalis and of Action by Churches Together (ACT), in a message sent to ZENIT.

      "It is only from such a vantage point that a visitor can fully see how communities now hosting tens of thousands of Darfur's internally displaced -- cities such as Nyala in South Darfur and Zalingei and Garsilla in West Darfur -- have been inexorably altered, their boundaries now expanded by the rows of thousands of tents and clusters of encampments," Herlinger reported.

      The author of the testimony recently completed a three-week assignment in Darfur, Sudan, on behalf of ACT and Caritas. The two institutions have joined forces to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

      "It is also from the air that the scale of devastation inflicted on small villages -- either from outright destruction or abandonment -- is perhaps best evinced," Herlinger said.

      "Few villages in Darfur seem to have been left untouched by unwanted spasms of violence or social upheaval that caused nearly 2 million people to leave their communities," he said.

      The field communicator continued: "Scale, of course, tells only part of the story; the consequences of events have to be judged when seen up close, and on a recent afternoon, one of those villages -- Jebel Bela, just outside the city of Garsilla -- was eerily quiet: its pathways silenced, its homes damaged and vacant, its surroundings stilled.

      "Moments like this form a mosaic of sorts -- and from nearly three weeks of travel, observation and interviews in Darfur as the year 2004 came to a close, a picture emerges of a region that remains, by turns, violent, fragile, traumatized -- even a bit schizophrenic."

      Non-Arab African rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, took up arms seeking more power and resources from the Arab-dominated government in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The government responded by backing an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed, which is accused of targeting civilians in a campaign of murder, rape and arson in Darfur. The United States accuses the Janjaweed of committing genocide.

      In Darfur, women live in fear of sexual assaults and violence as they leave the refugee camps to collect firewood needed for fuel.

      "There are very, very, very many cases of rape," said a humanitarian worker working with women in the Garsilla area. "It's still a very serious problem; it's a problem on a daily basis."

      If women feel the most immediate threat, men in the camps -- small farmers and villagers, in the main, accustomed to an active life marked by the seasonal rhythms of tending land, planting crops and raising cattle -- are now virtual prisoners of boredom. They have literally nothing to do.

      This double affliction -- a combination of inactivity and fear, of lethargy and helplessness, of past trauma and future uncertainty -- is taking its toll.

      "The people in the camps are stuck between a past they don't want to remember and a future they cannot see or even glimpse," said Anne Lise Fossland, country director for the Norwegian Church Aid, one of the implementing partners of the ACT/Caritas program in Darfur.

      The World Food Program said earlier this month the war in Darfur has made it difficult to reach some 360,000 people in need.

      In recent days, reports of armed clashes throughout the region continued to mount -- fueling concerns that whatever humanitarian progress has been made faced new threats and potential obstacles.

      "The nutrition situation is very delicate and very fragile," a nutritionist working in West Darfur said as just one example of ongoing problems. "It could turn back within weeks to the situation it was six to seven months ago."

      * * *

      Civiltà Cattolica Urges Dialogue With World
      No Need for Catholics to Feel Besieged, Says Review

      ROME, DEC. 22, 2004 (ZENIT.org).- Christians seek "humane" laws to protect the rights of society's weakest members, but this does not mean that they want to make laws only for themselves, says La Civiltà Cattolica.

      The bimonthly journal, whose texts are reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State, asked if "the Church and its moral principles are attacked today by secularism to the point that it could be considered a 'besieged fortress.'"

      It responded by saying that "the Church should not feel itself besieged nor should it abstain from confirming its own teachings, founded in the person of Jesus Christ, underlining that what the Church teaches not only has a religious affinity but one that is also properly humane."

      "It appears to us that today Christians don't have to be surprised or scandalized by the fact that ideological secularism rejects the faith and Christian morals and fights against them," said the journal in an article entitled "The Church: Fortress or Besieged?"

      "This condition in which today Christians live shouldn't lead them to either enclose themselves in silence, or to adapt attitudes of a crusader against the modern world," said the article.

      The writers suggested that "Christians have to enter into dialogue with the men of our time, showing and demonstrating in dialogue that the Church wants to contribute to making society more humane."

      "At times a growing aggressiveness is shown toward Catholics due to secularism," said the journal. "Secularism ['laicismo'] frequently tends to loose its characteristics of secularity and convert itself into an ideological secularism, and thus, intolerant and aggressive."

      The article made a distinction between secularity and secularism: "Political secularity is not against religion; rather it gives space to the religions present in its territory, without giving privilege or excluding any particular one.

      "Secularism, however, tends to turn more and more into an ideology, not only indifferent to religion but also against religion, and as a result, intolerant of it. In particular, this is how the Catholic religion is treated."

      "In this manner, being an ideology against religion and anti-Catholic, secularism today tends to confine religion to the private sphere and prohibit it from all public spaces and events," said the article.

      "This means that a Catholic can profess liberally his own faith in his conscience and practice it in places of worship, but it also impedes them from expressing their moral and religious convictions, especially when it concerns a person with a public function," it added.

      "This also means that one does not have to give credence to the Catholic religion in the foundation of the European civilization or say that its presence was something positive for its development," it added.

      Why such caution with Catholics? asked the editors. "The secularist reaction is explained perhaps with the fear that Catholics could make their ethical principles prevail in the legislative arena, and for this, be an obstacle to those who practice the liberalization of customs."

      The article ended by recalling that "the Gospel that the Church proclaims is the Gospel of Life that promotes the happiness of all men and the well-being of society."

      * * *



      3. Oratio

      "Prayer is any and every kind of communication with our God who loves us." (63). Fr. Pennington explains that taking a word and repeating it, reflecting on it, "We will find our word returning more and more, coloring the way we see and think and act, making the Lord present so that we communicate with him, maybe in thought, maybe in word, maybe just in a sense of presence of "withness." (64).

      "A simple practice: just repeating a word, carrying a word with us. But it can be so transforming." (ibid.).

      Reading Fr. Pennington's remarks I could see the authentic meaning of Emmanuel, a name that means "God is with us". Lectio is a means we can use to bring us to the consciousness and realization of the ever presence of God. Merry Christmas need not be a cliche, but rather, a warm salutation acknowledging that Christ is with us, a Christ who like his parents seeking room in an inn so long ago stands perpetually at our door and knocks. Merry Christmas then becomes our warm salutation to Jesus to come into our minds and hearts and live within us; reigning as the ruler of our mind, heart, and will. Merry Christmas to you.

      Rev. M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, Lectio Divina. Renewing the Ancient
      Practice of Praying the Scriptures. (Crossroad, NY, 1998) ISBN 0-8245-
      1779-2 (hardcover); ISBN 0-8245-1736-9 (paperback).

      * * *


      1. HOW TO USE LINKS -- RealPlayer

      Roman Catholic News is very happy to announce new exciting links
      available to you, our fine subscribers. Some links require Realplayer
      a software program that allows you to see live television and hear
      audio recordings as copy go to EWTN Live TV and Radio on the link
      below and scroll down until you find the Download Free RealPlayer
      link and click it on.

      2. Live EWTN TV and Radio


      • Live EWTN TV - English • EWTN AM/FM RADIO
      • Live EWTN TV - Spanish • Catholic World Today Radio
      • Today's Homily (Video) • Audio of Today's Homily
      • Pope's Wednesday Audience Audio • Radio Catolica Mundial
      • EWTN's The World Over • Mother Angelica Live Video
      • Audio Library • Life On The Rock (Video)
      • The Journey Home (Video) • EWTN Religious Catalogue

      Send EWTN donations online:

      * * *

      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text
      <http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/122304.htm> (English)

      <http://www.alingilalyawmi.org> (Arabic)

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      Monks of Adoration:

      * * *

      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

      * * *



      Our Father Movie

      * * *


      * * *


      Color Photograph of Mama Gili, Biography and Prayers

      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 toperpetuate 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

      * * *


      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.

      Sample Newsletter


      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
      Fax: 03 80 96 25 29
      Email: <englishspoken@c...> or


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

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

      * * *


      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."

      * * *


      "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."

      * * *

      To gain access to all of the Roman Catholic News archives go to the

      This will give you the archive of all of the articles in all issues.
      There are four ways to access archived articles: (1) Go to the Home
      Page panel on the far left and click on the word "Messages" just
      below the word "Home"; (2) then click on the articles posted by date;
      (3) or click on the blue Arabic numerals in the box for the month in
      the yearly calendar window at the bottom of the page;(4)or type in a
      keyword in the long rectangular white box alongside the long
      rectangular button that reads SEARCH ARCHIVE, and then click that

      © Copyright 2004 John N. Lupia for Roman Catholic News at the URL:
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News>, unless specified
      otherwise. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it
      may be reproduced,distributed, performed or displayed in any medium,
      including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from
      the copyright owners. All articles from VIS, VID, Zenit , Associated
      Press (AP), Reuters, and Noticias Eclesiales are republished by
      approval and courtesy of these news agencies. We encourage our
      readers to send financial support to Zenit, a private news
      organization in Rome. Zenit (www.zenit.org), VIS (V.I.S. - Vatican
      Information Service) Zenit, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, (VID)
      Vidimus Dominum, and Noticias Eclesiales own the original copyright
      for their news releases as credited. All copyright materials copied
      in any form must include the appropriate copyright owner; for Roman
      Catholic News use our URL as follows:


      All correspondence should be sent to:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.