Archive for October, 2012

CNA: New website gathers video resources for Catholic ministry

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Below is an excerpt of a report on the CNA website about a new website, Catholic Link that catalogues resources for ministry and evangelization.

“The new website Catholic Link catalogues videos and other resources useful for ministry and evangelization, aspiring to proclaim the gospel with “creativity and ingenuity.”

“We are deeply convinced that our Catholic Faith in the Lord Jesus is the answer today, for all people, of all ages,” said Garrett Johnson, the manager of Catholic Link’s new English-language site.

He said the site invites visitors to “discover the truths of the faith that are literally all around them” that speak to them through sports, music, school, friendship or at Church.

“We try to express this through the diversity of subjects, tones, and sources of our videos,” said Johnson, who is an American student of philosophy and theology in Rome.

The site collects various streaming videos from sites like YouTube and offers commentaries and interpretations. The site suggests how the videos can be used for Catholic ministry.

Categories include videos about Jesus, the Catholic Church and the Catholic faith, as well as Christian life and family. Other topics include faith and science, pro-life issues, apologetics, recommended movies, music and art, and humorous videos.”

Catholic Link’s English-language website can be found at:

From CNA

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CiNews: Catholic schools more socially inclusive, ESRI study shows

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of an article on CiNews about a recent study on diversity in Irish primary schools that was recently conducted by the ESRI.

“Catholic schools do better than other schools on a number of measures of social inclusion, according to a new study on diversity in Irish primary schools conducted by the ESRI.

The study, School Sector Variation among Primary Schools in Ireland, released on Tuesday, was commissioned by Educate Together.

The findings echo those of a Department of Education audit conducted in 2008 that showed Catholic schools have the highest levels of social inclusion across a range of measures.  It compares Catholic schools to minority faith schools and to Educate Together schools.

The research shows that while Educate Together schools are more likely to have children from non-Irish backgrounds, Catholic schools are more likely to have children from working class backgrounds, Traveller children, and children with sensory or physical disabilities.  According to the figures, both minority faith and multi-denominational schools had higher proportions of children from middle class backgrounds than Catholic schools.

A 2008 Department of Education audit of schools’ enrolment policies also showed that Catholic primary schools were more likely to enrol children from the traveller community, from non-Irish backgrounds and children with special needs than other denominational and multidenominational schools.”

By Tom O’Gorman

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ICN: O2 concert to mark 100 Days of Peaceful Events

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of an article from ICN about a concert being held this weekend at the O2 to mark an end to 100 Days of Peaceful Events, which was set up following the death of two boys as a result of violent crime in 2008.

“One thousand young people are being rewarded with tickets to a concert for peace at the 02 Indigo on the 28 October, to celebrate the end of 100 Days of Peaceful Events. Margaret Mizen and Grace Idowu, two mothers who lost their sons to violent crime in 2008, have been working together to work on 100 Days of Peaceful Events mirroring the 100 day truce instated in Greece during the Olympic period.  One thousand young people who took part in the Events will receive free tickets for the ‘Release the Peace’ concert the 02 Indigo this coming Sunday, the 100th day.

Headlining on the night will be X Factor winner Shayne Ward with exciting support acts including Sam Gray, Abi Phillips, the string quartet Raven and Dru Blu. This eclectic mix of musical acts will provide entertainment for all and the night will be punctuated with short films to raise awareness of the consequences of violent crime and the importance of working together to build a more peaceful society.”

From ICN

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CiNews: Cork born Christian Brother and Olympic coach honoured by DCU

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of an article in CiNews about Br Colm O’Connell who received an honorary Doctorate from DCU for his work training some of the world’s best athletes in Kenya.

“A County Cork born Christian Brother who trained an athlete to a Gold medal at last summer’s Olympic Games in London has been awarded an honorary Doctorate by Dublin City University.

Br Colm O’Connell who is a native of Doneraile near Mallow received the accolade at the University on Friday October 19. He is the coach at the now famous training camp in Iten, Kenya that has produced some of the world’s best athletes.

A member of the Patrician missionary order, Brother Colm joined St Patrick’s High School in Iten, Kenya as a Geography teacher in 1976. Thirty-six years later, he is still in Iten and is now acknowledged as the world’s most successful coach of endurance running, having nurtured five Olympic Gold medallists and 25 World Champions.

On hand to witness the event was David Rudisha, world record -holder, winner of the London 2012 800m Gold medal and alumnus of Brother Colm’s world-renowned athletics programme in Kenya’s Rift Valley.”

By Sean Ryan

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Irish Catholic: Push for honour for heroic Irish priest

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of an article in the Irish Catholic about the 5th Annual Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend and the growing pressure for official State recognition for the heroic exploits of this Irish priest during the second world war.

“Pressure is growing for official State recognition for a heroic Irish priest who has already been honoured by several other countries for his wartime exploits saving the lives of thousands of Jews and allied Prisoners of War.
Kerryman Msgr Hugh O’Flaherty – often described as the Vatican’s Scarlet Pimpernel – ran an elaborate network of ‘safe houses’ in Rome during the Nazi occupation of the Eternal City.

Following the end of World War II, he was created a Commander of the British Empire and awarded the US Congressional Medal of Freedom for his efforts which are estimated to have saved thousands from the horrors of the Nazi death camps. Msgr O’Flaherty, aided by a secretive network, hid people in religious houses scattered across the city of Rome and further afield in the hills around the city.

Now, Taoiseach Enda Kenny as well as Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown and Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott will attend a special commemorative weekend in the priest’s native Kerry next month. Organisers of the 5th Annual Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend hope that the presence of the Taoiseach will highlight the lack of official recognition given in his homeland to the heroic priest.

The weekend is organised each year to raise awareness for the humanitarian deeds of Msgr O’Flaherty and his colleagues in the Rome ‘escape line’, which directly saved over 6,500 prisoners of war, Jews and Italian anti-Nazis from arrest or re-capture and almost certain death, during the German occupation of Rome.”

By Garry O’Sullivan

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Christian Today: Churches getting ready to open homeless winter shelters

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Below in an excerpt of an article from Christian Today detailing how churches across London will be uniting to take care of the homeless there this winter.

“Churches across London are uniting for the first time in their efforts to care for the capital’s homeless this winter.

Last year, some 400 churches provided shelter to over 1,400 homeless people, providing hot meals and a warm bed during the harshest months of the year.Typically, night shelters are hosted at a different church each night of the week from November to March.

In addition to a bed for the night and dinner, guests receive a breakfast the following morning and have access to hot showers.The guests are referred to the shelters by day centres, voluntary organisations and statutory bodies.
Now the churches are looking to share their experiences and help other churches open up new night shelters.

The day-long Homelessness, Hospitality and Hope event takes place at Southwark Cathedral on 10 November and will bring together hundreds of volunteers to celebrate stories of transformation from London’s church-run winter night shelters.”

From Christian Today

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CiNews:Parents more important than school for academic results, says study

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of an article on CiNews about the findings of a new study that suggests good parenting is more important than the quality of a school in terms of educational attainment.

“Good parenting is more important than the quality of a school in terms of educational attainment, a new study suggests.

According to research involving 10,000 teenagers, the home environment is three times more important than the school when it comes to 18-year-olds’ test results, reports The Daily Telegraph.  Students at weaker schools whose parents took a keen interest in their children’s education performed better in tests than children at better schools who had apathetic parents.

However, the research shows that the quality of a school still matters, especially at secondary stage when children are more liable to be influenced by relationships outside the home.  The team, from North Carolina State University in the US, studied the relative importance of what they termed, “family social capital,” with that of, “school social capital.”

Toby Parcel, professor of sociology, and one of the three authors of the study, said, “While both school and family involvement are important, the role of family involvement is stronger when it comes to academic success.”  The difference was not marginal, she noted, it overwhelmingly showed the home environment matters more.

She said, “I don’t want to suggest that schools are unimportant, because clearly they are important.  However, I do think that parents should realise how important they are to their children achieving academic success.”

Bu Tom O’Gorman

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Vatican Insider: UK: The never-ending Anglican “conclave”

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of a report from Vatican Insider about the ongoing meetings to select the Church of England’s new leader.

“After a long underground battle resembling that of a Renaissance-like conclave, the outcome of the meetings to select the Church of England’s new leader is only being revealed now.

Bishop Justin Welby, leader of the Diocese of Durham, is the man selected by the Crown Nominations Commission, the Church of England’s 16 member committee which has the task of choosing the current Archbishop Rowan Williams’ successor. Archbishop Williams will retire in December.


But – SIR Europe reports – the CNC would never manage to agree on the name of a second candidate to send to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron for definitive approval, hence an official announcement has not been made yet.

Catholic weekly The Tablet has confirmed the rumour published by The Times in recent days. Bishop Welby, a former oil industry executive has allegedly secured two thirds of the Commission’s votes. The Commission is still undecided on who the second candidate should be and is split between the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.

According to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s press office, the name of the new archbishop whom David Cameron will need to approve should be announced in mid October, but according to The Times the Prime Minister could be forced to intervene, in order to break the Commission’s deadlock over the choice of candidate.

By Giacomo Galeazzi

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CiNews: 68th miracle of Lourdes is officially recognised

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of an article on CiNews about the official recognition of a new miracle of Lourdes, which brings to 68 the total number of miracles associated with the site.

“A new miracle has been officially recognised at Lourdes.

The unexplained cure of Italian nun, Sister Luigina Traverso, has been officially declared a miracle by Mgr Alceste Catella, Bishop of Casale Monferrato in Italy, the diocese in which the Salesian Sister resides.

The case of a nun who started walking after being paralysed for years has become the 68th miracle to be recognised at the French shrine of Lourdes.  The priest at Traverso’s diocese of Casale Monferrato officially recognised it as a miracle at a Mass Thursday, the Sanctuary authorities said.

The incident happened in July 1965, when the nun, Luigina Traverso, started walking during a visit to the holy site.  Born in 1934, the nun had been wheelchair-bound despite several operations for lumbar sciatica.  She, “was overwhelmed by a sensation of warmth and well-being and warm sensation and felt the sudden impulse to get up,” said the Catholic Silesian Sisters order, the Filles de Marie-Auxiliatrice.  “She started moving her paralysed limbs.”

By Gerard Bennett

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ICN: Pope celebrates Mass for 50th anniversary of opening of Second Vatican Council and Opening of the Year of Faith

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Below is an excerpt of a report from the ICN website about the celebration by Pope Benedict XVI of the opening mass of the Year of Faith and the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council yesterday in St. Peters Square.

“At 10am on a gloriously sunny morning on Thursday, 11 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI presided at the celebration of Mass, in St Peter’s Square, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council on Thursday, 11 October 1962.

The Mass also marked the Opening of the Year of Faith, and the 20th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

According to the Holy See Press Office, 80 Cardinals, 16 Council Fathers, eight Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, 191 Archbishops and Bishops participating in the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, together with 104 Presidents of Episcopal Conferences from throughout the world participated in the memorable and unforgettable celebration.

His Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch (Turkey) who was seated near and to the right of the Holy Father, gave a special greeting before the Pope gave the final blessing at the end of the two hour, 20 minute celebration.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, on his last official visit to the Vatican before he retires as Archbishop of Canterbury, scheduled for the end of the year; was seated to the left of the Pope, near to the Cardinals.

During his challenging homily Pope Benedict XVI said: “If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelisation, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago.

“Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual ‘desertification’. In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread.”

By Peter and Stella Jennings

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Photo: Peter Jennings