January 31, 2009 - Daily Mass Readings

January 31, 2009

Memorial of Saint John Bosco, priest

Reading 1
Heb 11:1-2, 8-19

Brothers and sisters:
Now, faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For by this the ancients obtained a testimony.

By faith he that is called Abraham obeyed to go out into a place which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he abode in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same promise. For he looked for a city that hath foundations: whose builder and maker is God. By faith also Sara herself, being barren, received strength to conceive seed, even past the time of age: because she believed that he was faithful who had promised, For which cause there sprung even from one (and him as good as dead) as the stars of heaven in multitude and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

All these died according to faith, not having received the promises but beholding them afar off and saluting them and confessing that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. For they that say these things do signify that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that from whence they came out, they had doubtless, time to return. But now they desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, (To whom it was said: In Isaac shalt thy seed be called:) Accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Whereupon also he received him for a parable.

Responsorial Psalm
Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He hath raised up a horn of salvation to us,
in the house of David, his servant.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets,
who are from the beginning:
Salvation from our enemies,
and from the hand of all that hate us:
To shew mercy to our fathers:
and to remember his holy covenant.
The oath which he swore to Abraham, our father,
that he would grant to us:
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
That being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
we may serve him without fear,
In holiness and justice before him, all our days.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

Mk 4:35-41

And Jesus saith to them that day, when evening was come: Let us pass over to the other side. And sending away the multitude, they take him even as he was in the ship: and there were other ships with him. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that the ship was filled. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, sleeping upon a pillow; and they awake him, and say to him: Master, doth, it not concern thee that we perish? And rising up, he rebuked the wind, and said to the sea: Peace, be still. And the wind ceased: and there was made a great calm. And he said to them: Why are you fearful? have you not faith yet? And they feared exceedingly: and they said one to another: Who is this (thinkest thou) that both wind and sea obey him?


The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from The Challoner Douay Rheims version of the Sacred Bible, a source free from copyright and entirely in the public domain.

The Challoner Douay Rheims version was prepared by Bishop Richard Challoner, about A.D. 1749-1752, by revising the original Douay Rheims version and by comparing it to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml

Pope Benedict’s prayer intentions for February

January 31, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for February is: “That the pastors of the Church may always be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in their teaching and in their service to God’s people”.

His mission intention is: “That the Church in Africa may find adequate ways and means to promote reconciliation, justice and peace efficaciously, according to the indications of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops”.

Initiatives to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Lateran Pacts and the foundation of Vatican City State

January 31, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - A conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office, to present the initiatives planned to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Pacts (11 February 1929) and the foundation of Vatican City State.

Participating in today’s press conference were Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo and Bishop Renato Boccardo, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Barbara Jatta, director of the office for engravings and designs of the Vatican Museums, and Giancarlo Cremonesi, president of Rome’s municipal energy and environment firm, ACEA S.p.A, which is the chief patron of the celebrations.

In his remarks Cardinal Lajolo indicated that three initiatives have been planned “for the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of the foundation of this small but not insignificant State”.

The first initiative is an exhibition to be held in the Charlemagne Wing - at the end of the left colonnade of St. Peter’s Square - from 11 February to 10 May, entitled: “1929-2009: Eighty Years of Vatican City State”.

The cardinal went on to explain how the exhibition is divided into five sections. “The first concerns the Vatican prior to 1929; the second is dedicated to Pius XI (Achille Ratti), the architect of conciliation and the great builder of the juridical and architectural structures of the new State; the third focuses on the Lateran Pacts themselves, in other words the Treaty and the Concordat signed in the Lateran Palace on 11 February 1929; the fourth illustrates the construction of the State, its projects and its new buildings; and the fifth is dedicated to the six pontiffs who succeeded Pius XI, each of whom left his own mark”.

Cardinal Lajolo then turned to the second of the three initiatives, announcing that an academic congress has been organised to take place from 12 to 14 February on the theme: “A small territory for a great mission”. The congress will be held at two separate sites: the Conciliation Hall of the Lateran Palace, where the Pacts themselves were signed in 1929, and the New Synod Hall in the Vatican.

The work of the congress will be opened by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and close with a roundtable meeting to be attended by, among others: Franco Frattini, Italian foreign minister; Abdou Diouf, former president of Senegal, and Michel Camdessus, former president of the International Monetary Fund.

The third initiative, concluded the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, is a concert to be held in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall at 5 p.m. on Thursday 12 February, in the presence of the Holy Father. Our Lady’s Choral Society of Dublin Cathedral and the RTE Concert Orchestra of Dublin will play Handel’s “Messiah”.

Commitment to the search for reconciliation and communion in the Body of Christ

January 31, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, at the end of their sixth meeting, held over recent days in Rome.

Addressing the group in English, the Pope praised their “steadfast commitment to the search for reconciliation and communion in the Body of Christ which is the Church”. He also pointed out that each member of the commission brings to these meetings “not only the richness of your own tradition, but also the commitment of the Churches involved in this dialogue to overcome the divisions of the past and to strengthen the united witness of Christians in the face of the enormous challenges facing believers today.

“The world needs a visible sign of the mystery of unity that binds the three divine Persons and, that two thousand years ago, with the Incarnation of the Son of God, was revealed to us”, he added. “Our communion through the grace of the Holy Spirit in the life that unites the Father and the Son has a perceptible dimension within the Church, the Body of Christ, … and we all have a duty to work for the manifestation of that essential dimension of the Church to the world”.

The Holy Father noted how the commission’s recently-concluded meeting “has taken important steps precisely in the study of the Church as communion. The very fact that the dialogue has continued over time and is hosted each year by one of the several Churches you represent is itself a sign of hope and encouragement. We need only cast our minds to the Middle East - from where many of you come - to see that true seeds of hope are urgently needed in a world wounded by the tragedy of division, conflict and immense human suffering”.

Benedict XVI concluded by referring to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, recently concluded in the Roman basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the- Walls. “Paul”, he said, “was the first great champion and theologian of the Church’s unity. His efforts and struggles were inspired by the enduring aspiration to maintain a visible, not merely external, but real and full communion among the Lord’s disciples”.

Papal audiences 1/30/09

January 31, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

- Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

- Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

Papal actions 1/30/09

January 31, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Guillermo Martin Abanto Guzman of the clergy of the archdiocese of Lima, Peru, episcopal vicar and pastor of the parish of “El Senor de la Divina Misericordia”, and Fr. Raul Antonio Chau Quispe also of the clergy of the archdiocese of Lima, former vicar of the parish of “Santa Rosa de Lima”, as auxiliaries of Lima (area 639, population 3,335,041, Catholics 3,001,536, priests 548, permanent deacons 4, religious 2,303). Bishop-elect Abanto Guzman was born in Trujillo, Peru in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1992. Bishop-elect Chau Quispe was born in Lima in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1992.

NBC Rejects Super Bowl Pro-Life Ad Featuring Unborn Baby Obama

January 30, 2009

CHICAGO, IL (LifeSiteNews.com) – NBC has rejected an uplifting and positive pro-life ad submitted for its Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday.  After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told CatholicVote.org late yesterday that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political advocacy or issues.’
Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote.org said, “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President.  And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life.”
“NBC told CatholicVote.org that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements. But that’s not what they told PETA,” said Burch. “There’s no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group.  NBC rejected PETA’s ad for another reason altogether.”
According to an email posted on PETA.org, Victoria Morgan, Vice President of Advertising Standards for Universal, said: “The PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” Morgan even detailed “edits that need to be made” in order for the spot to run during the Super Bowl. The PETA ad depicts lingerie clad women in highly sexually suggestive poses.
“NBC claims it doesn’t allow advocacy ads, but that’s not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness.  Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison,” said Burch.
“The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama,” said Burch.  “We are now looking at alternative venues to run the ad over the next several weeks.”
The ad aired on BET in Chicago on Inauguration Day. It has become an Internet hit with over 700,000 views in seven days.  The ad was in the top 10 ‘most viewed’ category on YouTube on Inauguration Day last week.
The ad shows an ultrasound of an unborn baby and reads: “This child’s future is a broken home. He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him. Despite the hardships he will endure … this child … will become … the 1st African-American President.”  The ad concludes with the tagline, “Life: Imagine the Potential.” The ad is the first of several ads in new campaign launched by CatholicVote.org.
The ad can be viewed at http://www.catholicvote.org/ <http://www.catholicvote.org/>  - a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy.

To express your concerns to NBC, write:

Email to: [email protected] 

January 30, 2009 - Daily Mass Readings

January 30, 2009

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Heb 10:32-39

Call to mind the former days, wherein, being illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions. And on the one hand indeed, by reproaches and tribulations, were made a gazingstock; and on the other, became companions of them that were used in such sort. For you both had compassion on them that were in bands and took with joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better and a lasting substance. Do not therefore lose your confidence which hath a great reward. For patience is necessary for you: that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise. For yet a little and a very little while, and he that is to come will come and will not delay. But my just man liveth by faith: but if he withdraw himself, he shall not please my soul. But we are not the children of withdrawing unto perdition, but of faith to the saving of the soul.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the Lord, and do good,
and dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed with its riches.
Delight in the Lord,
and he will give thee the requests of thy heart.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Commit thy way to the Lord,
and trust in him, and he will do it.
And he will bring forth thy justice as the light,
and thy judgment as the noonday.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
With the Lord shall the steps of a man be directed,
and he shall like well his way.
When he shall fall he shall not be bruised,
for the Lord putteth his hand under him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
But the salvation of the just is from the Lord,
and he is their protector in the time of trouble.
And the Lord will help them and deliver them:
and he will rescue them from the wicked,
and save them because they have hoped in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Mk 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the earth, And should sleep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring, and grow up whilst he knoweth not. For the earth of itself bringeth forth fruit, first the blade, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in the ear. And when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. And he said: To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or to what parable shall we compare it? It is as a grain of mustard seed: which when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that are in the earth: And when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches, so that the birds of the air may dwell under the shadow thereof. And with many such parables, he spoke to them the word, according as they were able to hear. And without parable he did not speak unto them; but apart, he explained all things to his disciples.


The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from The Challoner Douay Rheims version of the Sacred Bible, a source free from copyright and entirely in the public domain.

The Challoner Douay Rheims version was prepared by Bishop Richard Challoner, about A.D. 1749-1752, by revising the original Douay Rheims version and by comparing it to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml

Initiatives marking the Year of Astronomy

January 30, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2009 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, a press conference was held to present various initiatives marking the year of astronomy, in which the organisations and institutions of the Holy See are participating.

Attending the press conference were Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory; Nicola Cabibbo, president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and Paolo Rossi, professor emeritus of the history of science at the University of Florence, Italy, and at Rome’s “Accademia dei Lincei”.

Archbishop Ravasi explained that the United Nations decided to make 2009 the “year of astronomy” in order “to commemorate 400 years since the first astronomic discoveries”. The event gives pride of place to Galileo, he said.

After stating that “the Church wishes to honour the figure of Galileo, innovative genius and son of the Church”, the archbishop explained that “the time is now ripe for a fresh consideration of the figure of Galileo and of the entire Galileo case”.

Referring then to the events planned for this year, Archbishop Ravasi announced that an international academic congress will be held in Florence from 26 to 30 May on the theme: “Galileo Galilei: A new historical, philosophical and theological reading”. Organised by the Jesuit-run Stensen Institute of Florence, the congress is being promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Vatican Observatory. It will be attended by world experts on the subject (theologians, historians and philosophers) such as George Coyne, Evandro Agazzi, Nicola Cabibbo and Annibale Fantoli.

From 15 October 2009 to 15 January 2010 the Vatican Museums will host an exhibition entitled: “Astrum 2009: the historical legacy of Italian astronomy from Galileo to today”, dedicated to the historical material held by astronomical observatories in Italy and the Vatican. The exhibition is being organised by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in collaboration with the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Observatory.

Archbishop Ravsi also mentioned an international congress to be held in November on the theme: “1609-2009. From the birth of astrophysics to evolutionary cosmology. Science, philosophy and theology”, organised by Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University.

The Vatican Secret Archives are also planning to produce a new edition of all the documents from the trial of Galileo Galilei, due to be published before the end of this year.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture concluded his remarks by announcing a new project being promoted by the Italian Church through the internet site www.disf.org (Interdisciplinary Documentation of Science and Faith). “It will”, he said, “dedicate particular attention to the year of astronomy, publishing documents, text and ideas every month, so as to give a Christian orientation to the debate between science and faith”.

Pope Benedict addresses Tribunal of the Roman Rota

January 30, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the dean, judges, promoters of justice, defenders of the bond, officials and lawyers of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, for the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year.

The Holy Father focused his remarks on questions concerning mental incapacity in causes of nullity of marriage, which were raised by John Paul II in his addresses to the Roman Rota of 1987 and 1998.

John Paul II’s words, he said, “give us the basic criteria, not only for studying the psychiatric and psychological examinations, but also for the judicial definition of the causes”.

In this context Benedict XVI recalled how “the Code of Canon Law’s norm concerning mental incapacity, and the application thereof, was further enriched and integrated by the recent Instruction ‘Dignitas connubii’ of 25 January 2005. … In order for this incapacity to be recognised, there must be a specific mental anomaly that seriously disturbs the use of reason at the time of the celebration of the marriage, … or that puts the contracting party not only under a serious difficulty but even under the impossibility of sustaining the actions inherent in the obligations of marriage”.

“We run the risk”, the Pope went on, “of falling into a form of anthropological pessimism which, in the light of the cultural situation of the modern world, considers marriage as almost impossible. … Reaffirming the inborn human capacity for marriage is, in fact, the starting point for helping couples discover the natural reality of marriage and the importance is has for salvation. What is actually at stake is the truth about marriage and about its intrinsic juridical nature, which is an indispensable premise if people are to understand and evaluate the capacity required to get married.

“Such capacity”, he explained, “must be associated with the essential significance of marriage - ‘the intimate partnership of married life and love established by the Creator and qualified by His laws’ - and, particularly, with the essential obligations inherent to marriage that must assumed by the couple”.

The Holy Father pointed our that “certain ‘humanistic’ schools of anthropology, which tend towards self-realisation and egocentric self- transcendence, idealise human beings and marriage to such an extent that they end up denying the mental capacity of many people, basing this on elements that do not correspond to the essential requirements of the conjugal bond”.

“In principle, causes of nullity through mental incapacity require the judge to employ the services of experts to ascertain the existence of a real incapacity, which is in any case an exception to the natural principle of the capacity necessary to understand, decide and accomplish that giving of self upon which the conjugal bond is founded”.

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