Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Rest of the Story

Where the police hat came from (see post below):

From Police officer's dying wish fulfilled

A TERMINALLY ill police officer blessed by Pope Benedict before World Youth Day celebrations died in a Lismore hospital yesterday morning after a prolonged illness.

Senior Constable Gary Hill, who battled skin cancer, heart and brain tumours for the past four years, was known for his commitment to his 22-year police career and faith, the Richmond Local Area Commander, Superintendent Bruce Lyons, said.

"It was not uncommon for Gary to go and have chemotherapy in the morning and come back to work in the afternoon. I'm sure that faith kept him going."

When Senior Constable Hill had a seizure at work two weeks ago, he told his colleagues he would visit the doctor after he finished his shift. Instead he was taken to hospital and then to palliative care when it was discovered a cluster of small tumours in his brain had returned.

Superintendent Lyons said it had been his dying wish to see the Pope: "Gary always wanted to go to Rome and stand in a crowd of 50,000 people and see the Pope come out on the balcony."

Colleagues arranged for a meeting with the pontiff during his retreat at Kenthurst last week, where he blessed the police officer and gave him rosary beads.

The pontiff was given the policeman's hat after he donned it for the cameras, mistakenly taking it for an akubra he had been told had been brought along as a gift.

Pope's Catechesis on the Angelus

And by extension--on the mystery of the Annunciation, from today's Angelus message given in Sidney:

In the beautiful prayer that we are about to recite, we reflect on Mary as a young woman, receiving the Lord’s summons to dedicate her life to him in a very particular way, a way that would involve the generous gift of herself, her womanhood, her motherhood. Imagine how she must have felt. She was filled with apprehension, utterly overwhelmed at the prospect that lay before her.

The angel understood her anxiety and immediately sought to reassure her. “Do not be afraid, Mary …. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:30, 35). It was the Spirit who gave her the strength and courage to respond to the Lord’s call. It was the Spirit who helped her to understand the great mystery that was to be accomplished through her. It was the Spirit who enfolded her with his love and enabled her to conceive the Son of God in her womb.

This scene is perhaps the pivotal moment in the history of God’s relationship with his people. During the Old Testament, God revealed himself partially, gradually, as we all do in our personal relationships. It took time for the chosen people to develop their relationship with God. The Covenant with Israel was like a period of courtship, a long engagement. Then came the definitive moment, the moment of marriage, the establishment of a new and everlasting covenant. As Mary stood before the Lord, she represented the whole of humanity. In the angel’s message, it was as if God made a marriage proposal to the human race. And in our name, Mary said yes.

In fairy tales, the story ends there, and all “live happily ever after”. In real life it is not so simple. For Mary there were many struggles ahead, as she lived out the consequences of the “yes” that she had given to the Lord. Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her heart. When Jesus was twelve years old, she experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when, for three days, the child went missing. And after his public ministry, she suffered the agony of witnessing his crucifixion and death. Throughout her trials she remained faithful to her promise, sustained by the Spirit of fortitude. And she was gloriously rewarded.

Dear young people, we too must remain faithful to the “yes” that we have given to the Lord’s offer of friendship. We know that he will never abandon us. We know that he will always sustain us through the gifts of the Spirit. Mary accepted the Lord’s “proposal” in our name. So let us turn to her and ask her to guide us as we struggle to remain faithful to the life-giving relationship that God has established with each one of us. She is our example and our inspiration, she intercedes for us with her Son, and with a mother’s love she shields us from harm.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Pope's first text message to youth at World Youth Day, from CNA:
"Young friend, God and his people expect much from u because u have within you the Fathers supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus - BXVI."

I think he may have slipped and spelled out that last "u"!

Bishop Baker Releases Letter on Humanae Vitae

Sent out to all the parishes in the Diocese of Birmingham, found here at Life

Monday, July 14, 2008

Catholic Author New Bishop of New Ulm

Catholic author (co-author)with Father Richard Hogan of the excellent Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage, and Family in the Modern World , from the Vatican:

The Holy Father appointed Fr. John LeVoir of the clergy of the archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of St. Michael and Mary in Stillwater as bishop of New Ulm (area 25,535, population 284,793, Catholics 66,785, priests 58, permanent deacons 3, religious 60), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Minneapolis in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1981.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Green Bay Gets a Bishop

From the Vatican Information Service:
- Appointed Bishop David L. Ricken of Cheyenne, U.S.A., as bishop of Green Bay (area 27,775, population 1,008,000, Catholics 373,000, priests 293, permanent deacons 137, religious 698), U.S.A.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New Bishops

From the Vatican:

- Appointed Msgr. Herbert A. Bevard of the clergy of the archdiocese of
Philadelphia, U.S.A., pastor of St. Athanasius parish, as bishop of Saint Thomas
(area 352, population 108,612, Catholics 30,000, priests 15, permanent deacons
27, religious 27), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Baltimore, U.S.A. in 1947
and ordained a priest in 1972.

- Appointed Bishop William
Francis Malooly, auxiliary of Baltimore, U.S.A., as bishop of Wilmington (area
13,916, population 1,270,734, Catholics 230,000, priests 214, permanent deacons
94, religious 380), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli, whose
resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted,
upon having reached the age limit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pope Begins New Catechesis on Saint Paul

From the Vatican:

Last Sunday, the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, marked the
beginning of a Year dedicated to the figure and teaching of the Apostle Paul.
Today’s Audience begins a new series of catecheses aimed at understanding more
deeply the thought of Saint Paul and its continuing relevance. Paul, as we know,
was a Jew, and consequently a member of a distinct cultural minority in the
Roman Empire. At the same time, he spoke Greek, the language of the wider
Hellenistic culture, and was a Roman citizen. Paul’s proclamation of the Risen
Christ, while grounded in Judaism, was marked by a universalist vision and it
was facilitated by his familiarity with three cultures. He was thus able to draw
from the spiritual richness of contemporary philosophy, and Stoicism in
particular, in his preaching of the Gospel. The crisis of traditional
Greco-Roman religion in Paul’s time had also fostered a greater concern for a
personal experience of God. As we see from his sermon before the Areopagus in
Athens (cf. Acts 17:22ff.), Paul was able to appeal to these currents of thought
in his presentation of the Good News. Against this broad cultural background,
Paul developed his teaching, which we will explore in the catecheses of this
Pauline Year.