The Holy Father´s Week. (October/17/2011)

A report on Benedict XVI´s messages and activities
by Maribel de Torres | Source:

Divine help often takes surprising forms that surpass what man is able to imagine; hence the wonder and joy that are expressed in this psalm: "The Lord has done great things." The Holy Father continued his catecheses on prayer with a reflection on Psalm 126.
God, the Pope affirmed, “performs marvellous works in the history of men. In carrying out salvation, He reveals Himself to all as the powerful and merciful Lord, a refuge for the oppressed, who does not forget the cry of the poor (cf. Psalm 9:10,13), who loves justice and right and of whose love the earth is filled (cf. Psalm 33:5).”
The Holy Father recommended that in our prayer we look more often at how, in the events of our own lives, the Lord has protected, guided and helped us. “We should be more attentive to the good things the Lord gives to us.” He said.
“We are always attentive to problems and to difficulties,” he continued “and we are almost unwilling to perceive that there are beautiful things that come from the Lord. This attention, which becomes gratitude, is very important for us; it creates in us a memory for the good and it helps us also in times of darkness. God accomplishes great things, and whoever experiences this -- attentive to the Lord's goodness with an attentiveness of heart -- is filled with joy”.
"It is important not to lose the memory of God's presence in our lives," he said, "this profound joy that God has entered into our lives, thus freeing us: It is gratitude for the discovery of Jesus Christ, who has come among us. And this gratitude is transformed into hope; it is a star of hope that gives us trust; it is light, since the very pains of sowing are the beginning of new life, of the great and definitive joy of God." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2011
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The Holy Father announced a “Year of the Faith” to help remember the beauty and the centrality of the faith. He spoke of the initiative before praying the midday Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
Benedict XVI suggested that the Year of Faith will be not so much a celebration as a missionary event.  The “Year of the Faith” will begin Oct. 11, 2012 -- the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council -- and will conclude Nov. 24, 2013, Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe. “I believe that, now that a half century has passed since the opening of the Council, and linked to the happy memory of Blessed John XXIII, it would be opportune to remember the beauty and the centrality of the faith, the need to strengthen and deepen it, both at the personal and the community level, and to do this in a perspective that is not so much celebratory, but rather, missionary -- precisely in the perspective of the mission ad gentes and the new evangelization.” He affirmed.
Reading what St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction." The Pope asked that these words be the promise and the program for the missionaries of today committed to proclaim Christ to those who do not know him, or those who have reduced him to a mere historical figure.
 “May the Virgin Mary help each Christian to be an effective witness of the Gospel.” He said. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2011


Other papal messages and activities


Benedict XVI recommends praying the rosary daily. He expressed his wish that the month of October, which is dedicated to the rosary, would assist in discovering "the beauty of this simple but efficacious prayer." He reflected that through this prayer, families can be united with Our Lady, and "fully cooperate in the plans of salvation God has for you." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2011

The president of Honduras visited Benedict XVI. Honduras has been readmitted to the Organization of American States (OAS) after a June 2009 bloodless coup ousted the president of the time, Manuel Zelaya. Though Zelaya's government was heavily criticized in many quarters -- and the ousting was due to his purported attempts to extend his term -- the coup received international criticism. It wasn't until Zelaya was allowed to return home this May that the situation with the OAS normalized. Honduras is 97% Catholic. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2011

Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Imus, Philippines, has been named the metropolitan archbishop of Manila. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1982, at the age of 25. Since 1997, he has been a member of the International Theological Commission. In 1998, he was named an expert for the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia. In 2001, he was ordained the bishop of Imus. The Archdiocese of Manila has 2.8 million Catholics served by just 640-some priests and about 1,500 religious. MANILA, OCT. 13, 2011


Benedict XVI is profoundly saddened over Sunday's violence in Egypt that resulted in the death of more than two dozen people, nearly all of them Christians. He called on Catholics to pray, that Egypt "might enjoy a true peace, founded upon justice, upon respect for the freedom and the dignity of every citizen." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2011


The president of the Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Region had a private meeting with Benedict XVI. Foaud Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was among several bishops of the region completing a three-day conference at the Vatican. ROME, OCT. 14, 2011

Benedict XVI noted the great dignity of the work done by public officials, reminding them that public administration exists to serve citizens as he received in audience a group of prefects of several regions of Italy, together with the Minister of the Interior, Roberto Maroni. ROME, OCT. 17, 2011

Benedict XVI addressed the participants of an event on the new evangelization. The Pope said that "the Word of God continues growing and spreading" and offered three reasons for this growth:
"The first is that the strength of the Word does not depend, in the first place, on our action, on our means, on our 'doing,' but on God, who hides his power under the signs of weakness. (...) We must always believe in the humble power of the Word of God and allow God to act!
"The second reason is that the seed of the Word, as the Gospel parable of the Sower narrates, falls also today on good soil that receives it and produces fruit. (...) In the world, although evil makes much noise, good ground continues to exist.
"The third reason is that the proclamation of the Gospel has effectively reached the ends of the earth; even in the midst of indifference, incomprehension and persecution, many continue, yet today, with courage, opening the heart and mind to receive the invitation of Christ to encounter him and become his disciples. Though not making noise, they are as the grain of mustard that becomes a tree, the leaven that ferments the dough, the grain of wheat that is destroyed to create the ear." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2011

On Sunday, the Holy Father celebrated Mass for the participants of the new evangelization gathering. Drawing from the Second Reading, from the Letter to the Thessalonians, he noted some of the characteristics of Paul's evangelization.
"He says to us first of all that one does not evangelize in an isolated way," the Pope said. "And he immediately adds another very important thing: that the proclamation must always be preceded, accompanied and followed by prayer. (...)
"The Apostle says he is very conscious of the fact that he has not chosen the members of the community, but God has. (...) Every missionary of the Gospel must have this truth always present: It is the Lord who touches hearts with his Word and his Spirit, calling persons to faith and to communion in the Church.
"Finally, Paul leaves us a very beautiful teaching, taken from his experience. He writes: 'for our Gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.' To be effective, evangelization needs the strength of the Spirit, to animate the proclamation and infuse in the one who bears it that 'full conviction' of which the Apostle speaks."
Benedict XVI concluded his homily by making his own St. Paul's words just proclaimed in the liturgy: "I thank God for all of you. And I assure you that I keep you in my prayers, conscious of your commitment in faith, your diligence in charity, and your constant hope in Jesus Christ our Lord."
"May the Virgin Mary, who was not afraid to answer 'yes' to the Word of the Lord, and, after having conceived him in her womb, went out full of joy and hope, always be your model and your guide," he told the new evangelizers. "Learn from the Mother of the Lord and our Mother to be humble and at the same time brave, simple and prudent; balanced and strong, not with the force of the world, but with that of truth." VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2011

The president of Mongolia visited the Pope. Mongolia has a population of some 3.1 million people, 40% of whom profess no religious beliefs. About half of the country is Buddhist Lamaist, while Christians make up less than 6%. In fact, there are only around 760 Catholics in the country.
As of 2006, there is an apostolic prefecture, a bishop and three churches in the capital. Mongolia and the Vatican have had full diplomatic relations since 1992. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2011

The Pope named Philadelphia-born Archbishop James Patrick Green as the apostolic nuncio to Peru. The 61-year-old prelate had been the nuncio to South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.
 Monsignor Draen Kutleša was named coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Porec i Pula, Croatia. The 43-year-old bishop-designate was an official at the Vatican Congregation for Bishops. VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2011

A prayer for the Holy Father 
Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.



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