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Monday, July 16, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a message to Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila, Spain, to mark the 450th anniversary of the foundation of the Monastery of St. Joseph and the beginning of the Carmelite reform by St. Teresa of Avila. The message, ample extracts of which are given below, is dated 16 July.

"The reform of the Carmelite Order, the anniversary of which fills us with inner joy, arose from prayer and tends towards prayer. In promoting a radical return to the original Rule and abandoning the mitigated Rule, St. Teresa of Jesus sought to create a form of life which favoured a personal encounter with the Lord, finding 'a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us. Nor need we feel strange in the presence of so kind a Guest'".

"St. Teresa presented a new way of being Carmelite in a world which was also new. Those were 'difficult times' in which, according to that Mistress of the spirit, ... 'the world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again. They would raze His Church to the ground. No, my sisters, this is no time to treat with God for things of little importance'. Does this luminous and engaging call, written more than four centuries ago by the mystic saint, not sound familiar in our own times?"

"The ultimate goal of Teresa's reform and the creation of new monasteries in a world lacking spiritual values was to protect apostolic work with prayer, proposing a form of evangelical life that would act as a model for people seeking the path of perfection, on the basis of the conviction that all authentic personal and ecclesial reform involves an ever more faithful reproduction of the 'form' of Christ in our own selves. ... Today too, as in the sixteenth century, in the midst of rapid transformation, it is important that trusting prayer be the heart of the apostolate, so that the the redeeming message of Jesus Christ may sound our clearly and dynamically. It is urgently important for the Word of life to resound harmoniously in peoples souls, with sonorous and attractive notes".

"The example of St. Teresa of Avila is of great help to us in this exhilarating task. In her time the saint evangelised unhesitatingly, showing tireless ardour, employing methods free from inertia and using expressions bathed in light. This remains important in the current time, when there is a pressing need for the baptised to renew their hearts through individual prayer in which, following the guidance of St. Teresa, they also focus on contemplation of Christ's blessed humanity as the only way to reach the glory of God".

"The power of Christ will lead to a redoubling of efforts to ensure that the people of God recover their vigour in the only way possible: by finding space within ourselves for the feelings of the Lord Jesus, and in all circumstances seeking to live His Gospel to the full. This means, above all, allowing the Holy Spirit to make us friends of the Master and to mould us to Him. It also means accepting all His mandates and adopting in ourselves criteria such as humility of conduct, renunciation of the superfluous, not harming others and acting with simplicity and humbleness of heart. Thus those around us will perceive the joy that arises from our adherence to the Lord; they will see that we put nothing before His love, and that we are always ready to give reasons for our hope".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - "Blessed are the peacemakers" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the forty-sixth World Day of Peace, which will fall on 1 January 2013, according to a communique released today by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. "The annual Message of the Pope, in the complexity of the present time, will encourage everyone to take responsibility with regard to peace-building", the English-language communique reads.

"The Message will embrace, therefore, the fullness and diversity of the concept of peace, starting from the human being: inner peace and outer peace; then, highlighting the anthropological emergency, the nature and incidence of nihilism; and, at the same time, fundamental rights, in the first place freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of religion. The Message will offer, as well, an ethical reflection on some measures the world is going to take to contain the financial and economic crisis, the educational crisis, the crisis of the institutions and politics, which is also - in many cases - a worrying crisis of democracy.

"The Message will also look at the fifteth Anniversary of Vatican Council II and of the Encyclical Letter by Pope John XXIII, 'Pacem in Terris', according to which the primacy is always for human dignity and freedom, for the building of an earthly city to the service of every person, without any discrimination, and directed to the common good which is based on justice and true peace.

"'Blessed are the peacemakers' will be the eighth Message of Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace. Following are the titles of the previous ones: 'In Truth, Peace' (2006), 'The Human Person, Heart of Peace' (2007), 'The Human Family, a Community of Peace' (2008), 'Fighting Poverty to Build Peace' (2009), 'If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation' (2010), 'Religious Freedom, the path to peace' (2011), 'Educating young people in justice and peace' (2012)".


Vatican City, 15 July 2012 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI visited the town of Frascati, located near his summer residence of Castelgandolfo. In 1962 Blessed Pope John XXIII ordered that the pastoral care of the diocese of Frascati be entrusted to a residential bishop, while the title of that suburbicarian see be retained by a cardinal. The current holder of the title is Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., who concelebrated Mass with the Holy Father. The visit of Benedict XVI is the fourth visit by a Pontiff to that diocese, following those made by John XXIII in 1959, Paul VI in 1963, and John Paul II in 1980.

On arrival, the Pope was greeted by Stefano Di Tommaso, mayor of Frascati, and by Bishop Raffaello Martinelli. He then entered the cathedral where he paused in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament before celebrating Mass in the atrium of the building, which is dedicated to St. Peter and overlooks a square of the same name.

Extracts from the Holy Father's homily are given below:

"In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus takes the initiative to send the twelve Apostles on a mission. ... The fact that Jesus calls certain disciples to collaborate directly in His mission, is an expression of one aspect His love: He does not disdain the help that other men can contribute to His work, He knows their limits and weaknesses, but does not despise them; indeed, He confers on them the dignity of being His emissaries. Jesus sends them out two by two and gives them instructions. ... The first instruction concerns the spirit of detachment: the Apostles must not be attached to money and comforts. Jesus warns the disciples that they will not always receive a favourable welcome: at times they will be rejected, and may also be persecuted. But that should not affect them: they must speak in the name of Jesus and preach the Kingdom of God, without worrying about success. They must leave the outcome in the hands of God.

"The first reading presented the same perspective, showing us that often God’s messengers are not well received. This is the case of the prophet Amos (who) preached with great energy against injustice, especially denouncing the abuses of the king and chiefs, abuses that offend the Lord, and render acts of worship vain. ... But, whether accepted or rejected, Amos continued to prophesy, preaching what God says and not what people wanted to hear. This remains the mandate of the Church: she does not preach what the powerful want to hear. Her criterion is truth and justice, even if that garners no applause and collides with human power".

"The other very important indication of the Gospel is that the Twelve must not be content to preach conversion: their preaching must be accompanied, according to the instructions and example given by Jesus, by the bodily and spiritual care of the sick. He speaks of the concrete curing of diseases, ... of purifying the human mind, ... of cleaning the eyes of the soul that are obscured by ideology and therefore cannot see God, cannot see truth and justice. ... The apostolic mission must always include two aspects: preaching the word of God and manifesting His goodness with acts of charity, service and dedication".

"The Lord calls us all, distributing different gifts for different tasks in the Church. He calls us to the priesthood and consecrated life, and He calls us to marriage and commitment as lay people within the Church and society. ... Two complementary paths that illuminate each other, enrich each other and together enrich the community. ... The Lord bountifully sows His gifts, He calls you to follow Him and to continue His mission today".

"I propose you intensely live the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, fifty years from the opening of Vatican Council II. The conciliar documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians, for the formation of our consciousness. Read them, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and rediscover the beauty of being Christians, of being Church and enjoying the great 'we' that Jesus formed around Him, to evangelise the world: the 'we' of the Church, never closed, but always open and projected towards the proclamation of the Gospel".


Vatican City, 15 July 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, having returned from his pastoral visit to Frascati, the Holy Father appeared on the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below.

"In the liturgical calendar", he said, "15 July is the memory of the Franciscan St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, Doctor of the Church, the successor of St. Francis of Assisi at the head of the Order of Friars Minor. He wrote the first biography of Francis, and at the end of his life was also bishop of this diocese of Albano".

"The whole life and theology of St. Bonaventure have Jesus Christ as their core inspiration. This centrality of Christ is also to be found in the second reading of today’s Mass, the famous hymn of the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, which begins: 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens'. The Apostle then goes on to show us how this blessing is realised in four passages all of which begin with the same expression 'in Him', referring to Jesus Christ. 'In Him' the Father chose us before the creation of the world; 'in Him' we are redeemed through His blood, 'in Him' we have become heirs predestined to be 'the praise of his glory'; 'in Him' those who believe in the Gospel receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. This hymn contains the Pauline view of history, which St. Bonaventure helped to spread in the Church: all of history is centred on Christ, Who is a guarantee of novelty and renewal in every age. In Jesus, God has spoken and given everything, but because He is an inexhaustible treasure, the Holy Spirit never ceases to reveal and update His mystery. Therefore, the work of Christ and the Church never regresses, but always progresses".

After praying the Angelus the Holy Father described the holidays as "a favourable moment to reflect upon our lives, and to open our hearts to other people and to God. I invite you to concern yourselves with those who suffer solitude and abandonment, in the street, in their own homes, in hospitals or in care homes. Do not hesitate to visit them".

Finally the Pope recalled the fact that today marks the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mother of God of the Scapular. "Blessed John Paul II wore and loved the scapular", he said. "To all his compatriots - in Poland, in the world and here in Castelgandolfo - I express the hope that Mary, the best of mothers, may protect you with her mantle in the struggle against evil, intercede in your request for grace, and show you the path that leads to God".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - This afternoon the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

On Sunday 15 July he received in audience Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas, Canada, presented by Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie O.M.I., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, appointing Fr. William Stang O.M.I., vicar general, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same archdiocese.

- Erected the new diocese of Udupi (area 3,500, population 1,445,240, Catholics 106,149, priests 86, religious 225) India, with territory taken from the diocese of Mangalore, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Bangalore. He appointed Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo of Shimoga, India, as first bishop of the new diocese.

On Saturday 14 July it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Fr. Gregory Bittman, judicial vicar and chancellor of the archdiocese of Edmonton, Canada, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 81,151, population 1,589,080, Catholics 378,545, priests 175, permanent deacons 20, religious 362). The bishop-elect was born in Hamilton, Canada in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1996. He has worked in pastoral care in a number of parishes.

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