MARCH 25, 2012, Vol 62, No 06

Lenten Reconciliation Services


Church of St Bernadette Wed March 21: 8.00pm
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Thu March 22: 8.00pm
Church of St Teresa
Mon March 26: 8.00pm
Church of St Michael
Tue March 27: 8.00pm
Church of Sts Peter & Paul
Thu March 29: 8.00pm Sat March 31: 1.00pm Mandarin

A mosaic depicts the death of Christ and the blood and water flowing from His side, as described in John’s Gospel. CNS file photoA mosaic depicts the death of Christ and the blood and water flowing from His side, as described in John’s Gospel. CNS file photo

SOME say that at heart, Christianity is counter-intuitive. Its message contrasts strikingly with the patterns usually proposed to us for living successfully and harvesting life’s riches.

After all, Christianity counts losses as gains, insists that selflessness paves the way to self-discovery and locates the seeds of new life in death.

Christianity also ranks love far above efficiency when it comes to fostering our surrounding world’s good functioning. And paradoxically, Christianity esteems sacrifice for its capacity to open channels along which this love can flow.

In the Christian view, sacrifice literally can be life-giving.
Darren Chan, 19, asks his friends what the season means to them

Cutting down on computer games
Lent is a time when we are reminded of Christ’s death on the cross for us, and when we go about relinquishing some of our luxuries.

I play computer games a lot less often, and spend more time reading the news, magazines, and being with friends. I also pray the rosary more often and am more proactive with house work, trying to make that a habit.

Doing activities that add more value to my life and to the lives of others makes me feel good (although I’m really itching to play games).

On a side note, I find it quite amusing that some of the public get shocked by the sight of so many people having a cross mark on their foreheads. Rather, I feel that it is a sign of repentance to God and a lead-up to Lent.

Bryce Chee, 19,
Church of the Holy Spirit
OMAHA – Fr Edward Flanagan who started Boys Town in 1917 with a rented house and five troubled boys who needed a home in Omaha, USA, might someday be named a saint.

Now, Boys Town helps more than 1.6 million people each year through its main campus of group homes, churches, a grade school and high school, post office and bank, as well as a national research hospital in Omaha, a national hotline, and other services and locations around the country.

The process toward canonisation began on Feb 27 with Archbishop George J. Lucas – surrounded by more than 200 people with dozens of cameras flashing – placing a notice on the doors of St Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

The notice, which is a centuries-old church tradition, alerts the public to the opening of Fr Flanagan’s sainthood cause. It also invites people to share their thoughts with a tribunal that is being formed to review the priest’s life and works.

If there is a declaration of the priest’s heroic virtues, the Church will give him the title “venerable”.

The second step is beatification, after which he is called “blessed”. The third step is sainthood. At various steps in the canonisation process, evidence of alleged miracles is presented to Church authorities. In general, two miracles need to be accepted by the Church as having occurred through the intercession of the prospective saint.

Pope Benedict XVI and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams arrive for vespers in Rome. CNS photo

ROME – Remembering the common roots of the Christianity they share, Roman Catholics and Anglicans should renew their commitments to praying and working for Christian unity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The pope and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, held an evening prayer service on March 10 at Rome’s Church of St Gregory on the Caelian Hill. This was the church from which Pope Gregory the Great sent St Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow monks to evangelise England in 597.

“We hope that the sign of our presence here together in front of the holy altar, where Gregory himself celebrated the eucharistic sacrifice, will remain not only as a reminder of our fraternal encounter, but also as a stimulus for all the faithful – both Catholic and Anglican – encouraging them ... to renew their commitment to pray constantly and to work for unity,” Pope Benedict said during the evening prayer service.

Camaldoli monks and nuns were joined by cardinals, Anglican and Catholic faithful and representatives of other Christian communities in Rome for the prayer service.

Archbishop Williams told Vatican Radio that he and the pope spoke about the situation of Christians in the Middle East “and about our shared sense of deep anxiety and frustration and uncertainty about what the future holds there”.