Pope Benedict XVI and church leaders will begin their annual Lenten Retreat on Sunday

Vatican City, Feb. 5, 2008 (vaticans.org) - Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia will begin their annual Lenten Retreat on Sunday, February 10. Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, SJ, the former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, has been appointed by Pope Benedict as the preacher for this year's retreat. The French Jesuit scholar also secretary to the Pontifical Biblical Commission from 1990 to 2001, serving under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger-- who, in 2006, elevated Father Vanhoye to the College of Cardinal s. The Lenten Retreat, held in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the apostolic palace, includes three preached meditations each day along with Mass and Benedict , Eucharistic adoration, and the Liturgy of the Hours, and ample time for private prayer and contemplation. During the week-long retreat, all papal audiences will be cancelled-- including the regular weekly public audience on Wednesday-- and the regular operations of Vatican offices wil ...Read More

After 30 years Iloilo city Catholics celebrates first latin mass

Iloilo City, Philippines, Jan.26,2008 (vaticans.org) – For the first time in more than 30 years, the Catholics of Iloilo City  have participated in a Mass in Latin. More than 700 faithful attended the celebration in the parish of Mandurriao this week. It was the first "Tridentine Mass" celebrated on the island since Vatican Council II decided to introduce the Mass in local languages.Maria Legarda, 56 years old and a member of the parish's pastoral council for responsible voting - recalls that the last time she took part in a Mass in Latin was after the second world war. "We understand Latin because we learned and got used to it", she says. "Celebrating it in the traditional way is inspiring for us".The celebrants were Msgr Juanito Ma. Tuvilla, Fr Oscar Andrada, Fr Winifredo Losaria, and Fr Renato Cuadras. The priests used Latin for everything but the homily, fo ...Read More

First World Apostolic Divine Mercy Congress on anniversary of John Paul II’s death

Rome, Italy, Jan.25, 2008 (vaticans.org) - On Thursday January 31, at the Holy See’s press office, the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, will announce the details of the first World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy, which will coincide with the anniversary of the death of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II.The event, which will take place in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican from April 2-6, 2008, will be presented by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, OP, Archbishop of Vienna (Austria) and the President of Congress; Fr Patrice Chocholski, General Coordinator of the Congress and Msgr. Mauro Parmeggiani, Secretary General of the Vicariate of Rome.Cardinal Schönborn recently pointed out that the opening day of the congress would deliberately coincid ...Read More

Brawl between Catholic demonstrators and police in Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam, Jan.25, 2008 (vaticans.org) – Scuffles broke out today in Hanoi between Catholic demonstrators and police a day after a Vietnamese government delegation visited the Archbishop of Hanoi, Mgr Joseph Ngô Quang Kiêt, in a gesture meant to reduce tensions sparked by peaceful demonstrations by Vietnamese Catholics ongoing since 18 December in favour of the request made by the diocese that the building that once housed the Apostolic Delegation be returned to the Church.Today’s incident came as some 2,000 people—priest, men and women religious and faithful—gathered to protest. Priests and worshippers left St Joseph’s Cathedral in procession (see photo) and made their way to the nearby building that used to be the home of the Apostolic Delegation.The proc ...Read More

Message of Pope Benedict XVI - 42nd World Communication Day, Sunday 4th May 2008

From the Vatican, 24 January 2008, Feast of Saint Francis de Sales.The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service.Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others.Dear Brothers and Sisters!1. The theme of this year’s World Communications Day – “The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service. Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others” – sheds light on the important role of the media in the life of individuals and society. Truly, there is no area of human experience, especially given the vast phenomenon of globalization, in which the media have not become an integral part of interpersonal relations and of social, e ...Read More

Lecture by the Holy Father Benedict XVI at the La Sapienza University in Rome

The following is the Address that the Holy Father intended to give during a Visit to La Sapienza University in Rome on Thursday, 17 January: Magnificent Rector,Political and Civil Authorities,Distinguished Teachers, Technical and Administrative Staff,Dear Young Students,It is a cause of deep joy for me to meet the community of La Sapienza, the University of Rome, on the occasion of the inauguration of the academic year. For centuries this University has been a part of the story and the life of the city of Rome, harvesting the fruits of the best intellects in every field of knowledge. Both in the past, when the institution depended directly on ecclesiastical authority (having been founded at the behest of P ...Read More

Thousands of Christians and Muslims attend the funeral of Fr Reynaldo Jesus Albores Roda

Datu Odin Sinsuat, Philippines, Jan.23, 2008 (vaticans.org) – Thousands of Christians and Muslims attended the funeral Mass of Fr Reynaldo Jesus Albores Roda who was shot to death on January 15 by allegedly pro-al-Qaeda militants. The Oblate clergyman was killed when he tried to resist about ten armed men who had barged into the chapel at Our Lady School in Tabawan, near Tawi-Tawi. A Muslim teacher, Omar Taub, was abducted.Pupils from Catholic schools raised banners outside the cathedral demanding “justice for Father Roda” and a “stop [to] killing priests.”Parents, students and teachers from Kidapawan, Maguindanao, Tabawan and Tawi-tawi in southern Mindanao attended the service. The bur ...Read More

Pope at General Audeince: Pray for Christian Unity

Vatican City, Jan. 23, 2008 (vaticans.org)- Pope Benedict XVI interrupted his catechesis on the Church Fathers this morning to address the theme of Christian Unity at the weekly general audience. Speaking to the thousands of pilgrims who gathered in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father said that during this week of prayer, Christ's faithful throughout the whole world, in all Churches and ecclesial communities, ask for the grace of unity, and commit themselves to work tirelessly so that the whole world welcomes Christ as the true Shepherd and one Lord.  "When Christians from various communities come together to pray in common,” the Pope said, “they acknowledge that unity cannot be achieved by human strength alone. Only by relying on God's grace can they live according to Jesus' prayer that "they may all be one." (Jn 17 ...Read More

Apostolic task of Catholic Universities

Vatican City, Jan.21, 2008 (vaticans.org)  - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to whom he said: "It is highly appropriate that, in our own day, we should reflect on how to render this apostolic task of the ecclesial community incisive and effective", a task "entrusted to Catholic universities and, in particular, to ecclesiastical faculties".  The Holy Father then referred to reforms in the ecclesiastical study of philosophy, reforms that "will not fail to highlight the metaphysical and sapiential dimensions of philosophy". He also mentioned the possibility of "examining the suitability of reforming the 1979 Apostolic Constitution 'Sapientia christina', ... the 'magna charta' of ecclesiastical faculties which serves ...Read More

Ho Chí Minh City’s Dominican Institute welcomes sixty new canditates

Saigon, Vietnam, Jan.21, 2008 (vaticans.org) – This year the Dominican Institute in H? Chí Minh City will welcome 60 new priests and sisters to train for work in various congregations. Vietnam has 26 diocese and these candidates to the religious life come from every corner, something which offers a good opportunity to learn and share from different experiences.“At present we organise classes in philosophy, theology and Bible studies for clergymen and women,” said Father Trung, director of the Institute. “Thanks to good professors, priests, sisters and lay people we offer good training. Many priests and nuns come from seminaries and congregations and from various dioceses. This allows that to share cultural traditions from each diocese. Some men religious and nuns are from ethnic minorities. At the end they go back to their villages and communities to help their ...Read More

Pope to release a document inaugurating the Pauline year, all christians invited to Rome

Vatican City, Jan.21, 2008 (vaticans.org) - Liturgical celebrations and prayer meetings, but also exhibits, concerts, and performances, the production of special stamps and coins: these are some of the initiatives, "always strongly marked by a clear ecumenical dimension", scheduled for the Pauline Year (June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009), illustrated today by Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the papal basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls. There is also the possibility that Benedict XVI will go on pilgrimage to the sites associated with Saint Paul. Cardinal di Montezemolo also says that the pope "will soon release a document inaugurating the Pauline year, establishing its aims and its spiritual benefits for the faithful".In the basilica where the body of the Apostle to the gentiles is kept, th ...Read More

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the lambs for the Feast of St. Agnes

Vatican City, Jan.21, 2008 (vaticans.org)- This morning in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, in keeping with the tradition for today's feast of St. Agnes, the Pope today blessed two lambs, the wool of which will be used to make the palliums bestowed on new metropolitan archbishops on June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.The pallium is a white woolen band embroidered with six black crosses which is worn over the shoulders and has two hanging pieces, front and back. Worn by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops, the pallium symbolizes authority and expresses the special bond between the bishops and the Roman Pontiff.St. Agnes of Rome was held in high regard in the early Church for her virginity and her heroism under torture at a very young age (12-13). Her martyrdom has been celebrated on Januar ...Read More

Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church,focus of the ecclesial community

Vatican City, Jan.21, 2008 (vaticans.org) - This morning, the Pope received participants in the Sixth Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, who are meeting to prepare the Synod's General Assembly, due to be held from 5 to 26 October. After expressing his thanks for a speech by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, the Holy Father mentioned his own recent Encyclical "Spe salvi". The "social character of hope", he said, is evident in the "'connection between love of God and responsibility for others', which makes it possible not to lapse into selfish desires of salvation". "It is my belief that the effective application of this fruitful principle is evident in the Sy ...Read More

Pope meets Jose Manuel, President of East Timor

Vatican City, Jan.21, 2008 (vaticans.org) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta, president of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, accompanied by his entourage. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States."During the discussions, mention was made of the cordial relations between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of East Timor, and of the co-operation between the Catholic Church and the State in the fields of education, healthcare, and the struggle against poverty."The political and social situation of the country was also examined, with particular emphasis given to the process of national reconciliation a ...Read More

Message of Pope Benedict XVI - 16th World Day of the Sick

The following is the text of the Message of Benedict XVI for the 16th World Day of the Sick, which will be celebrated on February 11th 2008.Dear Brothers and Sisters!1. On 11 February, the memorial of the Blessed Mary Virgin of Lourdes, the World Day of the Sick will be celebrated, a propitious occasion to reflect on the meaning of pain and the Christian duty to take responsibility for it in whatever situation it arises. This year this significant day is connected to two important events for the life of the Church, as one already understands from the theme chosen ‘The Eucharist, Lourdes and Pastoral Care for the Sick’: the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions of the Immaculate Mary at Lourdes, and the celebration of the International Eucharistic ...Read More

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