Archives for July 2010

Caritas Spain Donates to Help Peru

“Caritas Spain recently approved a donation of $167,700 for farming aid in Peru in order to boost child nutrition in the South American country.  The money is part of an aid package totaling $537,384 for projects in countries in Africa, Asia and South America.  According to the Efe news agency, Caritas announced the aid package “will be distributed between Angola, Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia and Peru.”

“Half of the amount, $272,934 will be used for nutrition and education programs in Angola and Mozambique. In the latter country, two projects will be carried out: the construction of a multi-purpose center that will offer health care, and the rehabilitation of the Catholic University of Pemba,” Efe reported.

“Another $64,500 will be to help those displaced by the recent outbreak of violence in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.” The remaining $32,250 will be used “for a healthcare program for the poor in Cambodia.”” – “Caritas Gives Nearly $168,000 to Aid Projects in Peru”, Catholic News Agency

This post from Catholic News Agency was great to see. They are dividing up the large sum of money in their donation to help several great causes at once. This is a smart move by Caritas Spain and it is also very kind. The people of Peru obviously need help from somebody, and more people should look to lend a helping hand like Caritas Spain has done. If even some people follow the example set by them, it will mean that much more help for Peruvians and that means the world to them all.

Saint Peter Chrysologus

This post on A Catholic View was a very nice one about today’s saint, Saint Peter Chrysologus. If Saint Peter is your favorite saint then you should probably look into getting a patron saint medal with his image on it. Patron saint medals are cool to wear and are a reminder that your favorite saint is with you at all times. They make a great gift for a person of any age.

“The Saint of the Day for July 30 is St. Peter Chrysologus.

In the fifth century, Ravenna, not Rome, was the capital of the Roman Empire in the West, and Ravenna itself became a metropolitan see. St. Peter Chrysologus was one of the most distinguished archbishops of that see.

Peter was born in Imola about the year 400 and studied under Cornelius, bishop of that city, who ordained him deacon. In 433, the archbishop of Ravenna died, and when a successor had been chosen by the clergy and people of Ravenna, they asked Bishop Cornelius to obtain confirmation of their choice from Pope Sixtus III. On his trip to Rome, Cornelius took his deacon, Peter, as his companion; upon seeing Peter, the pope chose him for the see of Ravenna instead of the one selected by the clergy and people of Ravenna.

Peter was consecrated and was accepted somewhat grudgingly at first by both the clergy and the people. Peter, however, soon became the favorite of Emperor Valentinian III, who resided at Ravenna and was also highly regarded by Pope St. Leo the Great, the successor of Pope Sixtus.

There were still traces of paganism in Peter’s diocese, and his first effort was to establish the Catholic faith everywhere, rooting out abuses and carrying on a campaign of preaching and special care of the poor. Many of his sermons still survive, and it is on the basis of these that he came to be known as “the golden word.”

In his concern for the unity of the Church, Peter Chrysologus opposed the teaching of Eutyches, condemned in the East, who asked for his support. Peter also received St. Germanus of Auxerre to his diocese and officiated at his funeral.

Knowing that his own death was near, Peter returned to his own city of Imola and after urging great care in the choice of his successor he died at Imola about the year 450 and was buried in the church of St. Cassian. In 1729, Pope Benedict XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church. — The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Familiar is his dictum: “If you jest with the devil, you cannot rejoice with Christ.” Some of his sermons are read in the Breviary. Ravenna, his episcopal city, still harbors treasures of ancient Christian liturgical art dating to his day.” – “Saint of the Day”, A Catholic View

University of Illinois Professor is Reinstated

“A professor who was recently fired for explaining the Catholic teaching on homosexuality will be reinstated, according to the University of Illinois. Dr. Kenneth Howell’s position at the school was terminated at the end of the Spring Semester this year after teaching in a class on Catholicism that the Church believes homosexual behavior violates natural law.

A Thursday letter from the University of Illinois Office of University Counsel told Howell’s lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) that “The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics will be contacting Dr. Howell to offer him the opportunity to teach Religion 127, Introduction to Catholicism, on a visiting instructional appointment at the University of Illinois, for the fall 2010 semester. Dr. Howell will be appointed and paid by the University for this adjunct teaching assignment.”

Howell had been teaching at the university since 2001 and consistently gained high approval ratings on student evaluations. In a class on Catholicism last spring, he followed up a classroom discussion with an e-mail contrasting the ways in which utilitarianism and natural law theory would each determine the morality of homosexual conduct.

A student complained that Howell’s words were “hate speech” in an e-mail to the head of the department, Dr. Robert McKim. Howell was called into McKim’s office at the end of the semester and told that he would no longer be allowed to teach for the university because his e-mail had “violate[d] university standards of inclusivity.”

In Howell’s defense, the ADF declared that the First Amendment exists to keep controversial ideas from being suppressed. “A university cannot censor professors’ speech–including classroom speech related to the topic of the class–merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French.” – “Fired Catholic Professor Reinstated at University of Illinois”, Catholic News Agency

This is a follow up posting to one I had previously made earlier this month titled, University of Illinois Professor May Be Reinstated. I found the update on this story on Catholic News Agency, and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised at the outcome of this incident. While I fully support the professor’s reinstatement, I did not think it would happen just because of how ridiculous the world has become these days. I was stunned to hear the stupidity of this poor professor’s firing, and I am extremely happy to share the news of his reinstatement with you all.

Pope Benedicts Five Years of Papacy on Film

This post from Catholic News Agency shows a good outlook on how Pope Benedict XVI actually views his position in the Catholic Church, which I find to be extremely interesting seeing as his is the only living person who can give this viewpoint. I would most enjoy viewing the film about the five years of Benedict XVI’s papacy, as I enjoy historical documents and videos very much.

“Nobody could lead the Church without the assistance of God, said Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday. After seeing a film highlighting important moments in his ministry and the life of the Church from the last five years, the Pope observed that the Church is young and full of variety and that the role of the Successor of Peter is making the unity within it concrete and visible.

The Holy Father watched the movie “Five Years: Pope Benedict XVI,” produced by the Bavarian public broadcasting company Bayerischer Rundfunk, on Thursday evening at Castel Gandolfo. On Friday morning, the Vatican released his commentary made immediately after the screening.

Having taken in the images from the first five years of his pontificate, Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation to all who were involved in making the film, which was an “extraordinary spiritual journey” that affords the possibility of “reliving and seeing again” the most important moments in the Church and his ministry since his election.

“For me personally, it was very moving to see some moments, especially those in which the Lord put the Petrine service on my shoulders, a weight that no one could carry by himself with solely his own strength, but can carry only because the Lord carries us and carries me,” said the Pope.” – “Benedict XVI Reflects on Pope’s Role in the Church” – Catholic News Agency

Saint Martha

“The Saint of the Day for July 29 is St. Martha.

Martha was born of noble and wealthy parents, but she is still more illustrious for the hospitality she gave to Christ our Lord. After His Ascension into heaven, she was seized by the Jews, together with her brother and sister, Marcella her handmaid, and Maximin, one of the seventy two disciples of our Lord, who had baptized the whole family, and many other Christians. They were put on board a ship without sails or oars, and left helpless on the open sea, exposed to certain shipwreck. But God guided the ship, and they all arrived safely at Marseilles.

This miracle, together with their preaching, brought the people of Marseilles, of Aix, and of the neighborhood to believe in Christ. Lazarus was made Bishop of Marseilles and Maximin of Aix. Magdalen, who was accustomed to devote herself to prayer and to sit at our Lord’s feet, in order to enjoy the better part which she had chosen, that is, contemplation of the joys of heaven, retired into a deserted cave on a very high mountain. There she lived for thirty years, separated from all human intercourse; and every day she was carried to heaven by the angels to hear their songs of praise.
But Martha, after having won the love and admiration of the people of Marseilles by the sanctity of her life and her wonderful charity, withdrew in the company of several virtuous women to a spot remote from men, where she lived for a long time, greatly renowned for her piety and prudence. She foretold her death long before it occurred; and at length, famous for miracles, she passed to our Lord on the fourth of the Kalends of August. Her body which lies at Tarascon is held in great veneration.” – “Saint of the Day”, A Catholic View
Today’s patron saint is Saint Martha. This posting comes from A Catholic View. If today is yours or a loved one’s birthday, if today has significance to you for some reason, or if your name is Martha you might want to check out a patron saint medal of her that you could wear all the time. Patron saint medals are inexpensive and cool, they make great gifts for a lot of Catholic occasions, and are also just nice to wear!

Show on ETWN about Catholic and Christian Persecution Worldwide

This posting from ETWN was alarming to see. I had really no idea how much hatred for Catholicism and Christianity exists in the world. I mean there are people against the Catholic Church in America, and they may make verbal attacks upon it. This is a whole new realm of hatred though, people are being brutally beaten and killed for their faith. This show apparently goes into what happens to these people, and what can be done to put it to a stop. I think everybody should try and tune in and watch this show. It really seems worthwhile.

“Imagine being thrown into a hole in the ground or a metal trailer for months on end – being baked in 120 degree heat — and later becoming blind after being pulled from this darkness into bright light. Your crime? Reading the Bible. This is just one of many stories of Christian persecution relayed in “The Suffering Church,” a 13-part original series, which will begin airing in September exclusively on EWTN Global Catholic Network.

Most Catholics think religious persecution reached its zenith during the Roman Empire, when Nero set Christians ablaze and used them as torches or fed them to the lions. However, the truth is that more Christians have died for their faith in the 20th Century than in ALL the preceding centuries put together.

Watch “The Suffering Church” to learn the truth about Christian persecution in China, Burma, North Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam/Laos, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, Eritrea/Ethiopia, India, and Sri Lanka – and, most importantly, what you can do to help. This series is part of EWTN’s continuing commitment to shining the light on Catholic social justice concerns around the world.

The series is hosted by Lord David Alton, a member of the British Parliament, who launched “Jubilee Campaign UK” in 1987. That campaign has resulted in more than 150 members of Parliament “adopting” cases of religious discrimination around the world.

Lord Alton’s guests, who have dedicated their lives to intervening in such cases, include Ann Buwalda, an immigration attorney in Northern Virginia who founded the U.S. branch of the Jubilee Campaign in the early 90s, and top figures from Aid to the Church in Need, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, American Center for Law & Justice, and many, many more.” – “ETWN’s New Series, ‘The Suffering Church’, Reveals the Truth About Catholic/Christian Persecution Around the World”, ETWN

Saint Victor

“The Saint of the Day for July 28 is St. Victor I.

Date of birth unknown; pope from 189 to 199; died in 199, possibly martyrdom.

Victor was a native African and his father’s name was Felix. He is known for having obtained the release of Christians who had been deported to the mines of Sardinia and for being the first Pope to celebrate the liturgy and write Church documents in Latin rather than Greek.

He is most famous, however, for decreeing that Easter be universally celebrated on a Sunday, a practice already common in the West, but not so in the East.” – “Saint of the Day”, A Catholic View

This post on A Catholic View was a nice reminder. I like to try and remember who the Saint of the Day is for each day of the year. If you are looking for some patron saint information, I would suggest Hubpages.com. They have an excellent database of many Catholic saints.

Bishop Abouna Passes Away

I found this article on Catholic News Agency earlier today. Everybody should keep Bishop Andraos Abouna in their prayers, as well as his family and friends. From the sounds of it Bishop Abouna was a great man. The fact that he was a bishop in Baghdad is enough to make me respect him.

“Auxiliary Bishop Andraos Abouna of Baghdad died Tuesday morning in a hospital in Erbil, the capital of Kurdish northern Iraq. The bishop was 67 years old and had suffered from kidney problems.

According to the Italian bishops’ news agency SIR, Bishop Abouna underwent kidney surgery two months ago. He seemed to have recovered, however he had a relapse last week and was admitted to the hospital on Monday.

“His death is a great loss for the Iraqi Church,” Bishop Shlemon Warduni, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar of Baghdad, told SIR. “Msgr. Abouna was in charge of youth pastoral care. Now, let’s pray for the Lord to give us a new pastor.”

Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly will preside at a funeral for Bishop Abouna, scheduled for Tuesday evening at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Ankawa, near Erbil.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity that supports the faithful in places of persecution and difficulty, spoke with Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, who recalled how Bishop Abouna was “always smiling, even in very difficult situations.”

“He was a very close friend not just to me but to so many others,” Archbishop Warda said.

“Bishop Abouna was a very good and humble man, very open-minded,” added Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk. “He really took care of each one of his priests, and he always worked for the unity of the Church. I hope he can pray for us from heaven.”” – “Baghdad Bishop Dies After Lifetime of Serving the Church”, Catholic News Agency

Bishop Baraga May Become a Saint

“Following a four-month investigation, the Diocese of Marquette has closed its inquiry into an alleged miracle attributed to its first bishop, Servant of God Frederic Baraga, who is known as the “snowshoe priest.” The inquiry now proceeds to the Vatican for further consideration.

The alleged miracle concerns a reputed tumor found on a patient’s liver in various diagnostic tests. The patient, the patient’s family and their parish priest prayed for healing through the intercession of Bishop Baraga. Bishop Baraga’s stole was also placed on the patient’s abdomen, after which the patient’s pain ceased.

An exploratory surgery by doctors found no tumor, according to the diocese.

Bishop Baraga was born in Slovenia in 1797. He came to the United States in 1830 as a missionary to the Odawa and Ojibwa tribes of the upper Great Lakes region, traveling through the vast territory by canoe, boat, horse, snowshoes and dog sled. His Ojibwa-English dictionary is still in use today.

Consecrated a bishop in 1853, he served as the Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie, which would later be called the Diocese of Marquette. He died in 1868. The Bishop Baraga Association was established in 1930 to promote his cause for sainthood, which was officially opened in 1952.” – “Sainthood Cause of ‘Snowshoe Priest’ Heads to Vatican”, ETWN

After reading this post on ETWN I think that Bishop Baraga should be canonized a saint. I knew nothing of this man’s wonderful life this morning, but I am glad to say that now I am quite informed on the topic. After being a bishop and helping many people, I think that would be enough to consider him a good person. He performed a miracle though and that is reason for canonization. Hopefully this will go through and Bishop Baraga will be a saint.

Lourdes Grotto Fire

“The University of Notre Dame released a statement on July 26 saying that the campus’s Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes caught fire on Monday evening.

The university’s fire department quickly extinguished the flames when they broke out early in the evening, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told the South Bend Tribune. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Brown said.

Notre Dame’s July 26 statement added that the “interior of the Grotto has been closed while officials determine if it is safe to enter. Visitors may still pray at the perimeter of the shrine.”

Candles are often lit in the grotto by those visiting to pray and have posed a hazard in the past with the grotto catching fire in 1985 due to the large number of lit votive candles.

Built in 1896, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes  is one-seventh the size of the shrine in France where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Bernadette numerous times in 1858.” – “Lourdes Grotto at Notre Dame Catches Fire”, Catholic News Agency

I was deeply saddened to hear about this story from Catholic News Agency. The Lourdes Grotto is extremely beautiful and hopefully not too much damage has been done to it, that would be an utter shame. I intend to pray for the next few days for the Grotto, in hopes that it will be fully functional again sometime very soon.