Friday, September 30, 2011



Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters".

 His mission intention is: "That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelisation with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches".
From:  BXVI-PRAYER INTENTION /VIS 20110930 (80)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Today's Gospel

This morning the Holy Father con-celebrated Mass at the airport of Freiburg im Breisgau with bishops from the twenty-seven dioceses of the Federal Republic of Germany. The event was attended by thousands of faithful from Germany and surrounding countries. What follows is an  extract from the Holy Father's homily in the context of today’s gospel.

“Let us be certain, dear faithful, that God desires the salvation of His people. He desires our salvation. He is always close to us, especially in times of danger and radical change, His heart aches for us and He reaches out to us. We need to open ourselves to Him so that the power of His mercy can touch our hearts. We have to be ready to abandon evil, to raise ourselves from indifference and make room for His word. God respects our freedom. He does not constrain us.

  In the Gospel Jesus takes up this fundamental theme in the parable of the two sons invited by their father to work in the vineyard. The first son refuses but later repents and goes to work, while the second agrees but in the end does not go. Of the two sons, only the first does his father's will. Translated into the language of our time", the Pope explained, "this statement might sound something like this: agnostics, who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of our sin, are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is 'routine' and who regard the Church merely as an institution, without letting their hearts be touched by faith".

  He went on: "The words of Jesus should make us all pause, in fact they should disturb us. ... So let us ask ourselves, how is my personal relationship with God: in prayer, in participation at Sunday Mass, in exploring my faith through meditation on Sacred Scripture and study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Dear friends , ... the renewal of the Church will only come about through openness to conversion and through renewed faith".
From                      PV-GERMANY/     VIS 20110925 (220)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Benedict XVI Responds to Journalists' Questions

VATICAN CITY, 22 SEP 2011- This morning, as is traditional on his apostolic trips abroad, Benedict XVI granted a brief interview to journalists accompanying him on the flight to Germany. During the interview, he responded to several questions. ......

  The second question was: "Over recent years increasing numbers of people have been leaving the Church in Germany, also as a result of acts of child abuse committed by members of the clergy. What are your feelings about this? What would you say to those who wish to leave the Church?"

  "Let us first distinguish", said the Holy Father, "the specific motivations of those who are horrified by the crimes that have recently come to light. I can understand how, in the light of such information and especially if close relatives are involved, one would say: 'This is no longer my Church. For me the Church was a humanising and moral force. If representatives of the Church do such wrong I can no longer live with this Church". This is a specific situation. Generally speaking though, against the background of a widespread secularisation of our society, there are many reasons and the act of leaving is often only the last step people make in a long process of distancing themselves from the Church. In this context, I feel it is important to ask: 'Why am I in the Church?' ... In my view it is vital to remember that being in the Church is not like being in some association. It means being in the net of the Lord where He catches fish, both good and bad, to draw them from the waters of death to the land of life. It may be that, in this net, I find myself alongside the bad fish and that I see only them, but it remains true that I am not there for them, I am there because it is the net of the Lord. This is quite different from human associations and touches the very foundation of our being. Speaking to these people, I believe that we must delve to the bottom of the question of what the Church is. ... Why am I in the Church even if there are scandals and terrible human failings? In this way we will renew our awareness of the specific nature of being Church, ... which is the People of God, and thus we would learn ... to combat the scandals from within, from within the great net of the Lord".......

Finally Benedict XVI was asked about his expectations for his meeting with members of the Evangelical Church. "When I accepted the invitation to make this trip", he replied, "it was clear that ecumenism with our Evangelical friends had to be a central theme. As I have said before, we live in secularised times in which all Christians have the mission of making God's message present to the fellows. ... Thus the fact that Catholics and Evangelicals meet is fundamental for our time. And although we are not perfectly united at the institutional level, although problems (even large problems) persist, we are united in the fundamentals: faith in Christ and the Triune God, and the fact that man was made in the image of God. At this moment of history it is vital that we intensify this union.
  "For this reason", the Pope added, "I am very grateful to our Protestant brothers and sisters who have made it possible to hold this highly significant meeting in the convent where Luther began his theological journey, to pray ... and talk together about our responsibility as Christians today. I am delighted to be able to express our fundamental unity as brothers and sisters who work together for the good of humankind, announcing the joyful message of Christ, of God Who has a human face and Who speaks to us".
From                 PV-GERMANY/ VIS 20110923 (1030)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BADA BING or How could they not know?

The Winchester Star reports today the the Berryville Area Development Authority conditionally approved the site plan for the construction of  Saint Bridget's Parish Hall at lyesterday night's meeting. Approval had been delayed when concerns were raised at last month's BADA meeting about whether the Church's existing septic system would be sufficient for the planned 250 seat addition.Those concerns were resolved when it came to the Board's attention that the Church is connected to the Berryville sewer system.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Woman's Intuition (from Vatican Information Service)

VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Given below are excerpts taken from the article "A woman's intuition" by Lucetta Scaraffia, published recently by "L'Osservatore Romano" to coincide with the Pope's visit to Ancona for the closure of the twenty-fifth Italian National Eucharistic Congress.
  "The first Eucharistic congress was held in the French city of Lille in 1881 under the emblematic title of 'The Eucharist saves the world'. That was the starting point for a whole series of national, diocesan and international Eucharistic congresses which have punctuated the history of modern Catholicism, until the most recent in Ancona.
  "It is not widely known that the idea to hold these congresses came from a woman, a French woman called Emilie-Marie Tamisier, one of the many lay people to dedicate their lives to the defence of the Church at a time in which anti-Catholic polemics were particularly fierce. Tamisier, who had shown particular devotion to the Eucharist since her earliest childhood, had the idea of organising religious revival activities focused on Eucharistic worship, in an increasingly secularised world.
  "The inspiration came to her while attending Mass for the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart in the chapel of the Visitation of Paray-le-Monial, the same place where Marguerite-Marie Alacoque had had the visions which gave rise to modern devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The link between these two forms of devotion is evident: they are both associated with the Body of Christ. ... Both of them present a sacred nucleus towards which we can orient our faith, a clear and universally understandable symbol in a world beset by many distractions, proposals and ideologies which tend to obfuscate the search for truth".
  "At Tamisier's own request the first congress was due to be held at Liege in Belgium, the town of Julienne de Cornillon who had promoted the Feast of Corpus Domini, but for political reasons it was decided to hold it in France. Perhaps Tamisier wished to underline, if only implicitly, the fact that the idea for new forms of devotion, new feasts and new ways to encounter Christ had, on three occasions, come from a woman, a woman capable of imagining which model of religious life was most appropriate for rekindling the faith in moments of crisis".
  "Tamisier felt that Eucharistic congresses were a modern way to involve a large public, to redirect attention to religious culture and its proposals for solving the problems of the time. The congresses were different from other gatherings in that they concentrated participants' attention not only on speeches and lectures, but above all on the Eucharist, celebrated with particular solemnity and intensity.
  "However Tamisier had to work hard before seeing her project fulfilled. At first, in a period lasting some ten years, she limited herself to organising pilgrimages to French shrines that conserved traces of Eucharistic miracles. ... Only later, with the support and advice of certain prelates, did she manage to convince Pope Leo XIII of the importance of her project. She spared no efforts to this end, making journeys, collecting funds and dedicating her entire life to the promotion of what she saw as a new and effective way to draw public attention to the Church. Her efforts were tenacious and successful, but hidden (her name was never officially mentioned) and therefore largely forgotten, as has often been the case of work done by women in the Church".
LOR/   VIS 20110913 (580)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Papal Remarks at the Receipt of Credentials of British Ambassador to the Holy See

(from Vatican Information Service)
 Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Nigel Marcus Baker, the new British ambassador to the Holy See. Addressing the diplomat in English, the Pope recalled his own visit to the United Kingdom last year for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman......
He also mentioned the recent visit made by Queen Elizabeth II to the Republic of Ireland, describing it as "an important milestone in the process of reconciliation that is happily becoming ever more firmly established in Northern Ireland, despite the unrest that occurred there during this past summer. I take this opportunity once again to encourage all who would resort to violence to put aside their grievances, and to seek instead a dialogue with their neighbours for the peace and prosperity of the whole community".....

The Holy Father pointed out that ...... "When policies do not presume or promote objective values, the resulting moral relativism ... tends instead to produce frustration, despair, selfishness and a disregard for the life and liberty of others. Policy makers are therefore right to look urgently for ways to uphold excellence in education, to promote social opportunity and economic mobility, and to examine ways to favour long-term employment".
  "The sustainable development of the world's poorer peoples through well-targeted assistance remains a worthy goal", the Pope went on. "Such assistance should always aim to improve their lives and their economic prospects. As you know, development is also of benefit to donor countries, not only through the creation of economic markets, but also through the fostering of mutual respect, solidarity, and above all peace through prosperity for all the world's peoples".
  Pope Benedict concluded his remarks by noting that the promotion of "models of development which employ modern knowledge to husband natural resources will also have the benefit of better protecting the environment for emerging and developed countries alike".
VIS 20110909 (460)

Thursday, September 01, 2011


 Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for September is: "That all teachers may know how to communicate love of the truth and instil authentic moral and spiritual values"

His mission intention is: "That the Christian communities of Asia may proclaim the Gospel with fervour, witnessing to its beauty with the joy of faith".