Prayer Intentions for October

VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That Sunday may be lived as the day on which Christians gather to celebrate the risen Lord, participating in the Eucharist".
His mission intention is: "That the entire People of God, to whom Christ entrusted the mandate to go and preach the Gospel to every creature, may eagerly assume their own missionary responsibility and consider it the highest service they can offer humanity".

Move over Dan Brown, this is astounding news and no secret

In Christ we discover the astounding news which we are to announce to the world. His Gospel points out to every man and woman the hope for thier journey into the future. Without a vision of the future there can be no hope, just as without hope there can be no future. A communication that does not transmit this vision lives on the sidelines of a history that each day renews itself and that asks for new incarnations of those who would share actively in its changes. A communication of hope is for this reason conditioned by the events and the different cultures that move along the road of history. It is also subject to the transformations that arise within the People of God who are on their pilgrim journey toward the Kingdom.

Carlo Molari wrote that humanity “is living through one of those crucial passages in its adventure on this earth, that together constitute the numerous epochal turning-points in its long history. It is a process of gestation to new ways of living together, and it provokes turbulence and conflicts, sufferings and misunderstandings.” This involves all of nature, human life and politics, the diverse cultures, the life of the Church itself with all those crises of life and of faith that often “can no longer stand up to the developments of scientific culture and need to be reformulated”.

Let us ask ourselves: How can our communication open up a passage to hope and make it shine to the world? How can we help the people of our time, who for a long time have lived as though their hope was eclipsed or submerged under bewilderment, fears and insecurity? How can we make hope come again to the fore as a necessity for building our future, and for discovering new horizons of fraternity and peace for the present life and the life to come? 

The hope we want to communicate pehaps cannot be described only by words, even those clothed in beauty, light and color, by images and sounds offered in the modern instruments for communication. Because hope is in the “not yet”, it is the place where something positive blossoms that stops us in joy and wonder; it is something so great and splendid, but also extremely fragile, that needs to be cared for and cultivated. It is a relational and therefore a communicative reality, but also one of life, and shines forth even in the pain and anguish that accompany our days.

Hope guides us to look within ourselves to the causes of the events that are the signs of our times, so that we can look beyond, because hope is like the prophecy that carves itself onto history; it is the unstoppable desire to move forward, it is the exodus and the longing for meeting, the scaling of the walls and blockades, the ability to see new things, to go yonder where “justice and peace shall kiss”(Ps. 85:11). It is the shout that reaches between God and all people that, as Martin Buber says, “does not hover over creation, but embraces it”.

Each one of us can and must become hope for others; so we need to cultivate it in our hearts as a precious treasure and communicate it with renewed immagination, with courageous creativity, with the intelligence of one who knows that we must be equal to the new challenges that face us and never stop studying, seeking out with tenacity and patience the contents and the most effective ways to influence the building of a more human and fraternal life. We will then become seeds of life that God continues to scatter in the furrows of this our poor world, offering reasons for hope to those who seem to have none left, without tiring in announcing the Good News of Jesus, sure as we are that happiness for us all rests essentially in loving as he taught us to, in growing together as we share the gifts each of us bears, and all this with the strength that comes from Him who is the Light of Life and the gift of Peace.

Sr Agnes Quaglini , fsp


The term salvation "is replete with connotations, yet it expresses something fundamental and universal about the human yearning for wellbeing and wholeness. ... It is the central truth of the Gospel and the goal to which every effort of evangelization and pastoral care is directed. And it is the criterion to which Christians constantly redirect their focus as they endeavour to heal the wounds of past divisions". Benedict XVI

Role of Mass Communications in Evangelization

The communication of the Good News of God’s love for all people, as expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is what unifies and makes sense of all the other aspects of the life of the Church. This is particularly true of evangelization: communication is not simply one dimension of evangelization, without communication there can be no evangelization. Proposition 38 from the recent Synod on the Word of God echoes this insight: The mission to announce the Word of God is the responsibility of all the disciples of Jesus Christ by virtue of their baptism. The awareness must be deepened in every parish, and in every Catholic community and organization: they must find ways to bring the Word of God to all, especially to those who have been baptized but who have not been adequately evangelized. The Word of God became flesh so as to communicate himself to all men and women; a particularly privileged way of knowing this Word is therefore in encountering witnesses who make it present and alive. This proposition serves to remind us, also, that communication is not simply a verbal activity but that every aspect of the life of the church can be and ought to be communicative.

Archbishop Claudio M. Celli

International Eucharistic Congress: communion with Christ and one another

VATICAN CITY, 22 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses has announced, in a communique made public today, that the next International Eucharistic Congress, the fiftieth of the series, will take place from 10 to 17 June 2012 in Dublin, Ireland, on the theme: "The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another.
"The choice of theme arises from the fact that the celebration of the congress coincides with the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of Vatican Council II which, as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has affirmed, was a moment of renewal for the Church's teaching and for her understanding of herself as Body of Christ and Body of God", the communique explains.

"The theme has its direct inspiration in paragraph 7 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium' which reads: 'Really partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. 'Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread'. In this way all of us are made members of His Body, 'but severally members one of another'".

The communique goes on: "The archbishop of Dublin has also emphasised the possibility of developing the theme of the next International Eucharistic Congress by reflecting on certain important topics such as: communion with Christ as a foundation for Christian life; the Eucharist as a way of life for clergy, Christian families and religious communities; the gesture of 'breaking bread' as a principle of Christian solidarity; the Eucharist, seed of life for the world of suffering and fragility; and ecumenism and the sharing of the one bread".

Living Eucharist

The 9th Plenary Assembly of the FABC opens on August 11, 2009 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral presided by Francis Cardinal Arinze, Papal envoy to the assembly.  (homily found here)

The cardinal concelebrated with 6 cardinals and some 100 bishops and priests. In his homily, he underlined and elaborated on the theme of the assembly, “Living Eucharist in Asia.” He repeated the words of Pope Benedict asking the bishops, “in particular, to teach Christ’s faithful, the importance of participating in Eucharistic celebrations especially on Sundays, and of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation.” The Cardinal then made the sub themes of the assembly the main points of his homily, namely; 1. Transforming Power of the Holy Eucharist, 2. The Eucharistic Meal in the Service of Communion, 3. Rooted in the Eucharist, we meet other believers 4. Eucharist and Solidarity. 5. Eucharist and Evangelization.

The Eucharist empowers to live more worthily human lives, whether we are poor or rich. It entails communion in the teachings of the Apostles in the sacraments, and it is, as Pope Benedict XVI says, “the supreme sacramental manifestation of communion in the Church.” Finally, the Eucharist is a sacrament of love, a bond of charity and an invitation to harmonious living.” This is what the bishops will discuss in this Plenary. They will also immerse in the reality of Asian continent where 60 percent of all humankind lives and struggles and where Christian are very small minority.

True knowledge of Scripture

The true knowledge of the Scriptures is that of the heart, which is born of daily contact with it, from Lectio Divina practiced in the footsteps of the great tradition of the Fathers, from deep meditation which gradually but effectively conforms the soul to the Gospel, transforming each priest into a “living Gospel”. We know well that “the Gospel is not just a word: Christ himself is the Gospel” (Benedict XVI, Homily 12/09/09), and we are called to conform ourselves to Him.  Mauro Piacenza

How to Proclaim the Gospel in Your Daily Life

Mr. John Boucher, Director of the Office of Evangelization and Parish Development for the  Diocese of Trenton offfers this handout to reflect on how we can move from "Cowards to Proclaimers.

Thanks to the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association

Path that Leads to Life

"Jesus did not come to teach us a philosophy but to show us a path, the path that leads to life. This path is love, which is an expression of true faith. If someone loves his neighbour with a pure and generous heart, this means he truly knows God.  Benedict XVI

Upcoming Faith and Art Dialogue

VATICAN - Holy Father will meet with artists from all over the world, November 21 in the Sistine Chapel, to “recover and strengthen the alliance between art and faith.”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On November 21, in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Benedict XVI will meet with a group of major world artists, in an effort to give greater impetus and continuity to the dialogue between art and faith. The event was presented in the Holy See Press Office and is being promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of John Paul II's Letter to Artists, and the forty-fifth anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists. “It is not meant to be a merely celebratory or commemorative event or and end in itself,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council. “It is a process that hopes to give strength and vigor to the relationship and the dialogue between art and faith.”

To Preach the Gospel Effectively

ASIA/INDIA - Indian religious sisters learn how to use media technology “to preach the Gospel effectively”

Patna (Agenzia Fides) – The mission always involved communication and today, this implies the new forms of mass media. Aware of this fact, the Archdiocese of Patna has joined forces with the Ravi Bharati Institute of communications to offer a special course to the Archdiocese's sisters. The course was entitled: “Communication, mass media, and the use of the computer in modern communication.”

As organizers told Fides, “years ago, the first religious missionaries who reached India had the task of evangelizing the people of the area. One of the fundamental means was through teaching them to read. Today, we are in a similar situation, but now it implies illiteracy of the mass media. It is because we live in a world that is heavily influenced by media progress and all should become 'literate' in the use of mass media, and thus become effective preachers of the Gospel.” The training was offered to a group of 26 sisters from various religious congregations that will also, in turn, teach what they learn to other sisters in their own institutes.

The course aimed at helping the religious become experts in the use of the computer, photography, video, Internet, and other media technology. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 9/9/2009)

A Humanity of Dialogue, of Communication, of Communion

From the Gospel of St. Mark:  Jesus heals a deaf man. "In this 'sign we see Jesus' ardent desire to overcome man's solitude and isolation, the result of his egotism, and to give rise to a 'new humanity', a humanity that listens, a humanity of the word, of dialogue, of communication, of communion. A 'good' humanity, ... with no discrimination or exclusion, ... that the world may become 'a place of true brotherhood' for everyone". Pope Benedict XVI, Sept. 6, 2009

Film St Augustine Truth finding us

VATICAN - The Holy Father's comments after viewing the film “Saint Augustine”: “We cannot find truth on our own, but Truth, which is a Person, finds us."

Castel Gandolfo (Agenzia Fides) – On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 2, in the "Sala degli Svizzeri" of the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father Benedict XVI attended the screening of an abbreviated version of the film "St. Augustine", an Italian, German, Polish co-production. The film was made by Lux Vide/Rai Fiction, Bayerischer Rundfunk/Tellux Film, Eos Entertainment Rai Trade and Grupa Filmova Baltmedia. It was directed by Christian Duguay. At the end of the screening, the Holy Father pronounced some brief remarks.

"Dear friends, at the end of this great spiritual journey, which has taken place in the film we just saw, I feel I ought to thank all those who have worked to make this viewing possible. Thank you to Bavarian Television for their great effort – it is a great joy to see that a rather casually made observation made three years ago has become the start of a journey that has led to this great representation of the life of Saint Augustine. Thanks to Lux Vide and thanks to the RAI for this production. I feel this film to be a spiritual journey in a spiritual continent, far distant from us yet at the same time very near because the human drama remains the same. We have seen how, in a context far removed from our own, the reality of human life is represented with all its problems, sadness and failures, just as we have seen how, in the end, Truth is stronger than any obstacle and seeks out man. This is the great hope that remains at the end: we cannot find truth on our own, but Truth, which is a Person, finds us. Seen from the outside, the life of St. Augustine seems to finish tragically as the world for which and in which he lived comes to an end. But as was made clear in this film, his message remains and, even as the world changes, it endures because it comes from Truth and guides us to Charity, which is our shared destination. Thank you to you all. I hope that many, in seeing this human drama, may be found by the Truth and discover Charity.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 3/9/2009)

Labor Day Letter from US Bishops

Bishop Murphy Reflects On Economic Challenges And Dignity Of Work In U.S. Bishops’ Labor Day Statement
WASHINGTON—“This Labor Day, we should take a moment to pray for all workers and all those without work” said Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., in “The Value of Work; the Dignity of the Human Person,” the annual Labor Day statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He added, “We should also ask God’s help in living out the Church’s call to defend human life and dignity, to protect workers and their rights and to stand with the poor and vulnerable in difficult economic times.”
Bishop Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Social Development, said this Labor Day comes at a challenging economic time. He highlighted Pope Benedict XVI’s assertion in his new encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth) that the dignity of the worker should be the top concern of any economy. According to Pope Benedict, “the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is…the human person in his or her integrity: Man is the source, the form and the aim of all economic and social life.” (#25)
Bishop Murphy also drew on the recent agreement between leaders in Catholic health care, the labor movement and the Catholic bishops to develop practical guidelines on how leaders of hospitals, unions and others might apply Catholic principles in reaching agreements in their own situations.
“This project achieved a significant accomplishment: a consensus among all the parties on a set of principles, processes, and guidelines for a respectful and harmonious approach to let workers in Catholic health care facilities make free choices about unionization,” said Bishop Murphy of the dialogue, which resulted in a consensus document, Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Health Care and Unions.
The annual Labor Day Statement also touched on the continuing principles of the Church’s social teaching, and  isues of health care and immigration.  The full text of the Labor Day statement can be found online at:

Beauty as Evangelization

Concerning the Inner Life  Evelyn Underhill 
"All our external religious activities, services, communions, formal devotions, good works - these are either the expressions or the support of this inward life of loving adherence. We must have such outward expressions and supports, because we are not pure spirits but human beings, receiving through our senses the messages of Reality....the degree in which we can either exhibit or apprehand that beauty depends on our own inward state. If this were more fully realilzed, a great deal of the hostility shown to institutional religion by good and ernest people would break down."

Oceania - New Technology Training by Salesians

OCEANIA/SOLOMON ISLANDS - Salesians organize video training course for students

Honiara (Agenzia Fides) – Learning to make videos, how to tape, direct, post-production...are all among the professional training course that Salesians organized for the youth of the Solomon Islands on video training.

Over 20 students from the islands recently participated in Don Bosco Technical Institute's course that showed them how to create short films, documentaries, and regular-length films.

The mass media and new technologies training course is now part of the youth pastoral program of the Church on the islands. The youth are encouraged to use the mass media for a good end, learning how it works and its potentiality. The seminars are being met with a growing success among the youth, who are greatly attracted by technologies and the means of communication.

The Catholic Church organizes seminars according to an intense program of yearly sessions, in which the youth not only learn to handle the mass media in its technology, but also study its function and influence on public opinion, its importance in transmitting values, penetrating its ethical and moral implications.

The ultimate end of the course is to show the youth how communications media today is a privileged means for spreading the Gospel and for carrying out the Church's mission, given its potentiality of reaching countless numbers of people. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/8/2009)