Monday, April 30, 2012


Vatican City     Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for May is: "That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family may be promoted within society".
His mission intention is: "That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelisation, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus".
( from 30 April 2012 ,VIS)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Book on Benedict XVI

The "Osservatore Romano" and the Italian newspaper "Il Sole e 24 Ore" are paying homage to the Holy Father on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of his election with a book entitled "Benedict XVI, Theologian and Pontiff". The Italian language version is being distributed with the April 24 edition if the Italian Financial Jopurnal  "Il Sole e 24 Ore" and will shortly be available in digital format on that newspaper’s website, with addition multimedia content and English and Spanish translations. The Spanish newspaper "La Razon" will place the book on its  website on 26 April.
From  (VIS) 24 April 2012 

More information (in English) at the L'Osservatore Romano website

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Catholic Bishops Comment on Ryan Budget

As Congress began working on the FY 2013 budget and spending bills, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote several letters that repeated  the bishops’  call to create a “circle of protection” around  programs that  protect the lives and dignity of poor and vulnerable people. The bishops’ message calls on Congress and the Administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and opposes measures that reduce resources for essential safety net programs.

In the letters, Bishops Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairmen of the Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, respectively, urged Congress to resist proposed cuts in hunger and nutrition programs at home and abroad saying that “a just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons.”

Bishops Blaire and Pates reaffirmed the moral criteria to guide budget decisions.
1.Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity.
2.A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.
3.Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times…
Just solutions, however, must require shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and fairly addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs.

Bishop Blaire wrote that “The House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.” Cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP- food stamps) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) will hurt hungry children, poor families, low-income workers and other vulnerable people. If cuts to the federal budget need to be made, savings should first be found in programs that target more affluent and powerful interests.
More information is on the USCCB website.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saint Bridget's NewsLetter Now Online

The electronic version of the NewsLetter of Saint Bridget's Chapel in the Field is now available on line at the CatholicWeb. (Click on find a church  ->map of Virginia ->Berryville ->Saint Bridget ->Bulletins. Here is a shortcut to the April 15 issue.
At the Catholic Web you can also choose  automatic free email delivery of updates of the NewsLetter.

 Birthday of  Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI today celebrates his eighty-fifth birthday. He was born in the German village of Marktl am Inn on 16 April 1927. Later this week, on Thursday 19 April, he will also celebrate the seventh anniversary of his election to the Papacy. For these two occasions, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated this morning in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, in the presence of members of the College of Cardinals and a group of bishops from the Pope's native region of Bavaria.  (From VIS 16 April 2012)

Friday, April 13, 2012


  Over the next five years, 1.5 million pages of manuscripts and incunabula (documents before 1500 A.D.) held in the Vatican and in the Bodleian Library in Oxford will be be transferred into digital format with the assistance of the Polonsky Foundation.

Two thirds of the works to be digitized - around one million pages or 2,500 books - will be chosen from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and incunabula in the Vatican Apostolic Library
A catalog of the incunabula has recently been published on the internet and, this project will make more than 800 complete works available online. They include the famous "De Europa" by Pope Pius II, printed by Albrecht Kunne in Memmingen before 1491, and the Latin Bible of Johann Gutenberg, the first book printed using moveable type, printed between 1454 and 1455.

 Important Hebrew manuscripts are also due to be digitized, including the "Sifra", written some time between the end of the ninth and the middle of the tenth century and perhaps the oldest surviving Jewish codex; a Bible written in Italy around the year 1100; commentaries on the Bible and the Talmud; Halakhah and Kabbalah, as well as writings on philosophy, medicine and astronomy.

Among the Greek manuscripts to be transferred into digital format are works by Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hypocrites, as well as New Testament codices and works by Church Fathers, many decorated with Byzantine miniatures.

In addition to its 8,900 incunabula, the Vatican Apostolic Library also possesses more than 80,000 manuscripts. Transferring them to digital format will better conserve cultural heritage, facilitate consultation and ensure a high-quality reproduction before any eventual degradation of the original. It also means making those works immediately accessible to many more people online.

The Vatican Apostolic Library’s digitization project began two years ago, and the number of manuscripts available in digital format has been gradually increasing. There are a number of initiatives under way in collaboration with other cultural institutions, such as the ongoing digitization of the Latin Palatine manuscripts being carried out with the University of Heidelberg.         (Vatican City, 13 April 2012, VIS)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


 On Monday 9 April, Edmund Stoiber, former minister-president of Bavaria, Germany, presented the Holy Father with a German-language book entitled: "Benedikt XVI - Prominente uber den Papst" in which twenty leading figures in the Church and from the worlds of politics, culture, the economy and sport have written their individual view on the person and works of the current Pontiff. Contributors include Cardinal Kurt Koch; Cardinal Joachim Meisner; German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble, Olympic sportswoman Maria Hofl-Riesch, and footballer Franz Beckenbauer.
The book, which is being published by "Media Maria Verlag", has a prologue by Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, private secretary to Benedict XVI, who also contributed one of the articles. In his preface Msgr. Gaenswein notes that "the opinions are not only those of Catholics but also of Evangelical Christians. They do not hide their Christian faith and are not afraid to give voice to a number of 'desiderata'. Each contribution is like the tile of a mosaic which helps to create a chromatic image in which the essential aspects of Benedict XVI's pontificate become clear". (From  12 April 2012  VIS) -

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Vatican City, 3 April 2012 (VIS) - Beginning in the second week of May when many countries around the world celebrate Mother's Day, the text of the "Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb", having received the approval of the Holy See, will be made available in parishes throughout the United States. The announcement was made recently in a note issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops informing the faithful that the the text - printed in both English and Spanish - has received the "recognitio" of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the episcopal conference's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has explained that the blessing was prepared to "support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society". The blessing may be imparted either during the liturgy or outside of Mass and the text will eventually be included in the Book of Blessings, after it has been revised.
The blessing of unborn children was promoted by Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville. When bishop of Knoxville he had asked the Committee on Pro-Life Activities to see whether a blessing existed for a child in the womb. When none was found, the committee began preparing a text which was presented to the Divine Worship Committee in March 2008. In November of the same year the full body of bishops approved the prayer and it was sent to the Holy See for the "recognitio".
(From Vatican Information Service 3 April 2012)

More information is on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Monday, April 02, 2012


 Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. has released the following declaration concerning the decision by the authorities in Cuba to make next Good Friday a holiday.
"The fact that the Cuban authorities have immediately accepted the request made by the Holy Father to President Raul Castro, declaring next Good Friday a holiday, is certainly a very positive sign".
"The Holy See hopes that this will facilitate participation in religious celebrations and favour a happy Easter holiday. It also hopes that the Holy Father's visit may continue to produce fruits for the good of the Church and of all Cubans". ( From  Vatican City, 2 April 2012  VIS)