Archive for December, 2011

Catholic Herald: Marianne Cope and ‘Lily of the Mohawks’ to be canonised

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a report in Catholic Herald about how Pope Benedict XVI has further advanced the canonization of seven blessed, including Blessed Marianne Cope and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

“Pope Benedict XVI has advanced the sainthood Causes of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

He also formally recognised the martyrdom of 64 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the Causes of 18 other men and women.

During a meeting on December 19 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the Pope signed the decrees recognising the miracles needed for the canonisations of Blessed Marianne and Blessed Kateri.

Before a date is set for the canonisation ceremonies, there must be an “ordinary public consistory”, a formal ceremony opened and closed with prayer, during which cardinals present in Rome express their support for the Pope’s decision to create new saints.

Blessed Marianne, who worked as a teacher and hospital administrator in New York, spent the last 30 years of her life ministering on the Hawaiian island of Molokai to those with leprosy. She died on the island in 1918 at age 80 and was beatified in St Peter’s Basilica in 2005.

Blessed Kateri, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, was born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in 1656 in upstate New York along the Hudson River. She was baptised by a Jesuit missionary in 1676 when she was 20, and she died in Canada four years later. In June 1980, she became the first Native American to be beatified.”

By Carol Glatz

To read more visit Catholic Herald

Photo: A statue of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha outside the Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York (From CNS)

Zenit: Pope to Children – Tell Your Friends You Have Found Jesus

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article on which reports how Pope Benedict recently received a delegation of children with whom he exchanged Christmas greetings.

“Benedict XVI is inviting children to a missionary spirit, encouraging them to tell their friends that they have found a great Friend in Jesus.

This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received a delegation of children from Italian Catholic Action, with whom he exchanged Christmas greetings.

The Holy Father thanked the group for their visit, then went on to remark on a theme they have been studying this year, the invitation made to Bartimaeus in the Bible: “Arise, He is calling.”

This call, the Pontiff explained, “has already been repeated often in your lives, and it is repeated again today. The first call was in the gift of life. Always be attentive to this great gift, appreciate it and be grateful to the Lord. Ask Him to give a joyful life to all the boys and girls of the world, that they may all be respected and none may lack what they need to live.”


To read more click here

CiNews: Pope Benedict welcome in Ireland – Eamon Gilmore

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Below is an excerpt of an article in CiNews which outlines how the Irish Government will respond if Pope Benedict expresses interest in visiting Ireland next year.

“The Irish Government will “respond positively” if Pope Benedict expresses an interest in visiting Ireland, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore confirmed this week.

Relations between the Irish government and the Vatican have become strained in recent months since the speech by the Taoiseach in the Dáil when he launched an attack on the Vatican and later, when the government announced the closure of the Irish embassy in the Vatican that they said was for financial reasons and not because of the fallout from the Cloyne Report into clerical child sexual abuse.

Appearing before an Oireachtas committee this week, Mr Gilmore reiterated that the closure of the Vatican embassy as well as the closing of other embassy’s in Iran and Timor Leste, had to be seen in the context of the “diminishing resources” available to his department.

However, he stressed that Ireland has not broken off diplomatic relations with the Holy See, and he also took the opportunity to clear up any “misunderstandings” about whether the Pope was welcome in Ireland.2

By Sean Ryan

To read more visit CiNews

CiNews:Fulton Sheen miracle investigation concluded

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a recent article in CiNews about the conclusion of investigations into an alleged miracle as a result of the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

“The investigation tribunal into an alleged miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen has been concluded.

The tribunal has looked into the alleged miraculous healing of James Fulton Engstrom, a one-year-old, born without a pulse last year, and whose parents credit his survival to the late archbishop.  The baby had no pulse at birth and his parents Bonnie and Travis Engstrom prayed fervently to Archbishop Sheen.  Just over an hour after birth as doctors were about to pronounce the time of death, they detected a heartbeat.

The conclusion of the tribunal was marked with a mass at which official tribunal documents were sealed by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria (Illinois in the US) and Monsignor Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, which is the official promoter of the archbishop’s cause for sainthood.

The documents will now be shipped to the Vatican for consideration.  If the alleged miracle is approved by the Pope, U.S. Catholics could witness the first ever beatification on American soil in the diocese of Peoria.”

By Ann Marie Foley

To read more visit CiNews

Irish Catholic: Churches unite to defend faith schools

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in the Irish Catholic about how the main Christian churches are uniting against Government moves to dilute the ethos of faith-based schools.

“The main Christian churches are united in their determination to resist any moves by the Government that would dilute the ethos of faith-based schools.

The Irish Catholic has learned that Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist leaders are standing firm with Catholic leaders in their resolve to oppose legislation that would effectively eliminate the distinctive character of the schools and deny parents the right to choose such an education for their children.

As all of the Churches await the final report of the Government’s Forum on School Patronage — due before Christmas — it is understood that a threat to rule 68 has emerged as the major concern.

Rule 68 states that ”a religious ethos should inform and vivify the whole work of the school”.

A senior Catholic Church source said that the removal of the rule ”would mean that faith-based schools would effectively be prevented from being faith-based schools.

”We would be Catholic schools in name but would be prevented from doing anything active to preserve or even promote that ethos,” the source said.”

By Michael Kelly

To read more visit the Irish Catholic

CiNews:Proposals could have “devastating effect” on Catholic schools: theologian

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Below in an excerpt from an article in CiNews, which reports the reaction of a lecturer at one of Irelands most prominent teacher training colleges, to draft proposals recently made on primary school patronage.

“Draft proposals made earlier this month by the advisory group of the Forum on primary school patronage, established by Ruairi Quinn (pictured), will have “a devastating effect on the Catholic identity of primary schools,” a lecturer at one of Ireland’s most prominent teacher training colleges has warned.

Rik Van Nieuwenhove, a theology lecturer in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, writing in this week’s Irish Catholic, argues that the proposals made by the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism will involve the loss of Catholic patronage of 258 school “in a first phase.”

But he said, “The really sinister development is the assault on the Catholic ethos of the remainder of schools which will not be officially divested.”  One of the Group’s proposals was to dispense with Rule 68 of the Rules for National Schools, which state, ”a religious ethos should inform and vivify the whole work of the school.’’

This proposal, Mr Van Nieuwenhove said, is a product of the “secularist presupposition” that religious views are “a private matter that have no bearing on the school as a whole.”

Other proposals include setting aside several classes a week to teach primary school children about ethics and world religions, making the display of religious artefacts and art “inclusive of all belief systems in the school,” celebrating the festivals of different religious beliefs, and ensuring the communal prayers and hymns are “respectful of the beliefs and culture of all children in the school.”

Mr Van Nieuwenhove said that, while Christians, “should know about every religion, it is clear that the classes on world religion and ethics will be conducted from a non-religious perspective, i.e., a secularist perspective, and that is not a neutral perspective, but a deeply anti-religious one.”

By Tom O’Gorman

To read more visit CiNews

Rome Reports: Rome’s historic museums go modern by offering information directly to smart phone

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from Rome Reports about how some of Romes oldest museums are embracing modern technology to display the history behind their exhibits using smart phones.

“The oldest public museums in the world are also some of the most modern. Rome’s Capitoline Museums are right in the center of the city. Now they’re using a high tech system to explain the history behind some of their 300 art pieces. The system is called “Near Field Communication.” It’s an modern program that works with a smart phone.

Antonio Bosio

Director “Product & Solution”, SAMSUNG (Italy)

“The Capitoline Museums have placed a plastic apparatus, which technically is called a “tag” next to each piece of artwork. The tag has an antenna that can connect to a cell phone and then pass on information, very easily, through a website.”


By just placing one’s smart phone next to each “tag” one can instantly read about the history of each art piece, directly from their cell phone. Those without a smart phone can still enjoy the high tech experience by borrowing one of the Museum’s 200 cell phones.

The tag next to some of the most popular pieces like “The Wolf of Rome,” provides several links, so users can understand its complete history.

Employees are also hoping, the new system will prevent large groups of people from blocking the art pieces. It’s something that often happens when people hover over the sculptures or paintings to read its description.”

By Rome Reports

To read more click here

CNA: Pope says focus on Jesus, not pre-Christmas distractions

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article from the Catholic News Agency (CNA), which reports how Pope Benedict XVI during yesterdays Angelus address, urged people to focus on Jesus during the Advent season.

“Pope Benedict XVI reminded Christians not to be dazzled by the shopping lights of the Advent season but to keep focused on the coming on Jesus Christ, the “true light of the world.”

“The external environment offers the usual commercial messages, even if in a lower-key way because of the economic crisis,” said the Pope during his Sunday Angelus address in a rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square Dec. 11. The Christian, by contrast, is “called to live Advent without being distracted by the lights.”

Christians should keep their eyes fixed on Christ so that “if, in fact, we persevere ‘vigilant in prayer and rejoicing in praise,’ our eyes will be able to recognize in him the true light of the world that comes to enlighten our darkness.”

Tens of thousands of pilgrims were at St. Peter’s Square for the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday. The title is taken from St. Paul’s injunction in the day’s reading: “gaudete in Domino semper,” meaning “rejoice always in the Lord.” The day marks a change in the Church’s liturgical colors from the somber purple of Advent to a more hopeful shade of rose.”

By David Kerr

To read more visit the Catholic News Agency (CNA)

CiNews: Redemptorist joy as new priest ordained

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews reporting on the recent ordination of Fr. Derek Ryan, CSsR at St. Josephs Redemptorist Church, Dundalk.

“Thirty-two-year-old Fr Derek Ryan, CSsR, was ordained at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church in Dundalk Co Louth last Sunday by Archbishop Joseph Tobin, Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The newly ordained priest will now take up ministry at Clonard Monastery in Belfast and will also work on parish missions and novenas around the country.

“I will work part-time with the Clonard Youth Ministry team, a lay team who work with teenagers and young adults,” Fr Derek told ciNews.

This is the first ordination for the order since three young men were ordained in 2009.  Currently, there are two men training with the Redemptorists but it is likely to be up to four years before there is another ordination.

Originally from Enfield, Co Meath, the young priest spent nine years studying with the Redemptorists in Dublin, Chicago, Clonard and Dundalk before ordination.  “We place a lot of emphasis on pastoral experience in our training and so I spent some of my summers working abroad in India, Philippines and Brazil as well as a year working in our parish in Dundalk and another year working in Clonard Monastery on the Falls Road in Belfast,” he explained to ciNews.

Born in 1979, Derek Ryan attended St Michael’s Secondary School in Trim, Co Meath.  He obtained a BA degree in Business Studies from the Dublin Business School in 2001.  Following a short stint as a bank official with Ulster Bank, he worked for an investment company for 18 months before joining the Redemptorists in 2002.”


By Sarah MacDonald

To read more visit CiNews

Picture shows Fr Derek Ryan, C.SsR. with Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C.SsR. (behind) and Fr Michael Cusack, C.SsR., Superior at St. Joseph’s and Administrator of St. Joseph’s Parish Dundalk (right).

CiNews: Pope switches on world’s biggest Christmas tree

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from CiNews about Pope Benedict XVI switching on the lights of the worlds biggest Christmas tree, on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“Yesterday, December 7, Pope Benedict XVI switched on the lights of the biggest Christmas tree in the world, a, “sign of universal peace and brotherhood among peoples,” located in the Italian town of Gubbio.

The “tree,” which is made up of an arrangement of coloured lights on the side of Mount Ingino, has been erected by volunteers every year since 1981. Its base is approximately 450 metres wide and it extends for 750 metres up the hillside from the city’s mediaeval walls to the basilica of St. Ubaldo.

The silhouette of the tree is marked with 300 green lights, and it covers a surface area of some 130,000 square meters illuminated with 400 multi-coloured lights. At the top, is a comet made up of 250 lights covering an area of 1,000 square metres.

The tree is illuminated every year on December 7, the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, during a traditional celebration attended by representatives of the world of culture, show business and politics.”

By Gerard Bennett

To read more visit CiNews