Archive of January 13, 2008

Walk for Life West Coast will take place January 19

San Francisco, Calif., Jan 13, 2008 (CNA) - The 4th annual Walk for Life West Coast and Rally will take place January 19 along San Francisco’s waterfront.  Along with a list of renowned speakers, crowds of 25,000 from California and neighboring states are expected to attend. 

The walk will begin at Ferry Park Plaza (lawn area of Justin Herman Plaza) located at the foot of Washington Street and the Embarcadero in San Francisco and will proceed along the San Francisco Waterfront, ending at the Marina Green.

Dr. Alveda King, niece of great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be commemorating MLK's birthday weekend in San Francisco by leading the 4th Annual Walk for Life West Coast. Dr. King will draw particular attention to the catastrophic impact of abortion on the African American community and our society in general. Last year over 20,000 people gathered to hear powerful pro-woman pro-life speakers and to peacefully walk along the Embarcadero -- amidst angry abortion rights counter-demonstrators -- to proclaim that abortion hurts women, families and society.

Dr. King will join Rev. Clenard Childress and abortion survivor Gianna Jessen along with other featured speakers to bring the message to the streets of San Francisco that abortion hurts women.

Dr. King and Rev. Childress will also be joining African American community leaders in Oakland on January 18th in a historical peaceful protest of the more than 30 years of unprecedented targeting of African American women by the abortion industry.

Speakers include:

Dr. Alveda King, of the Martin Luther King Jr. family
Rev. Clenard Childress, founder of Black Genocide
Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor
Jesse Romero, radio host
Eduardo Verastegui, actor, star of Bella

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Pope calls on young immigrants to build just society

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2008 (CNA) - At the conclusion of Sunday’s Angelus, the Pope called the immigrant youth of the world to contribute in building a just and fraternal society in the countries where they reside.

“Today celebrates the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which puts its attention this year on young immigrants,” said the Pontiff.

Many young people are living away from their families and countries, stated the Holy Father, “particularly at risk are young women and children.”  The Pope expressed “appreciation for those working in favor of young immigrants, for their families and for their employment and schooling.”

Pope Benedict concluded by encouraging the young travelers to commit to building a just and fraternal world, “fulfilling your duties respecting the laws” and never getting “carried away by the violence.”

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Pope celebrates one of his favorite traditions

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2008 (CNA) - Pope  Benedict XVI marked the end of the Christmas celebration today with the feast of the Lord’s Baptism.  Speaking to pilgrims who gathered beneath the windows of his study to pray the midday Angelus, he urged all to give thanks that the Son of God came down to earth to share our human condition.  It is through his death that we have all be baptized into eternal life.

The Feast of the Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan is traditionally the day when the Holy Father administers the sacrament of Baptism to new born babies, welcoming them into the Christian community. It is a tradition that Pope Benedict described as one of his favorites. 

Sunday morning, Pope Benedict XVI told the parents and godparents of thirteen babies gathered beneath the magnificent frescoes of the Sistine Chapel that the entire mystery of Christ in the world can be summarized with the word “baptism”, which in Greek means “immersion.”

In baptism, the Holy Father said that the tiny human beings receive a new life, a life of grace that renders them capable of entering into a personal relationship with the Creator, forever, for all eternity. Unfortunately man is capable of extinguishing this new life through our sin, reducing it to a situation that Sacred Scripture calls a “second death.”

Here, dear brothers and sisters, is the mystery of baptism: God wanted to save us by himself going to the depths of the abyss of death, so that all who have fallen can find the hand of God and grasping onto it, can rise up out of the shadows once again to see the light for which he was made. We all feel, we all perceive, deep within ourselves, that our existence is a desire that invokes a fullness, a salvation. This fullness of life is given in Baptism.

The Holy Father said, “The Son of God, who from all eternity dwells with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the fullness of life, is immersed in the reality of sinners, and renders us capable of participating in his own life, his incarnation, his birth among us, his growing as one of us, and arriving at adulthood, manifested his mission with his baptism by John the Baptist. His first public act, which we heard in today’s Gospel was to descend into the Jordan, amidst sinners and penitents, to receive a baptism of conversion.

The Holy Father explained that this was the very reason that only Son of God came into the world: he came to bring to all men the abundance of life, the eternal life, that redeems man and heals him interiorly, body and soul, restoring man to the original plan in which he was created.

To the parents, he said, “This is why Christian parents as you here today, bring your children as soon as possible to the baptismal font which communicates to them, invokes a fullness, a salvation that only God can give. And in this way, parents become collaborators of God in transmitting to their children not only physical life but also a spiritual life. 

Turning to the parents, all of them Vatican employees drawn from the police corps, health service, telecommunications center, library and museums, the Holy Father reminded them of their central role in the transmission of the faith from generation to generation, he said “While you offer them all that is necessary for their health and growth, together with the godparents, you must also commit yourselves to developing in them faith, hope and charity, the three theological virtues which belong to the new life gifted them in the sacrament of Baptism”.

This, he concluded, “will be ensured by your presence, affection and care; but above all by prayer, by presenting them each and every day to God and entrusting them to Him throughout the seasons of their lives”.

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Sudanese Catholic Bishops Conference elects new leadership

Khartoum, Sudan, Jan 13, 2008 (CNA) - The Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference has elected its head officials for the next three years.

Bishop Rudolph Deng of the Diocese of Wau will head the conference, recently led by Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro of Juba. 

Archbishop Lukudu will now head the conference’s Commission for the Seminaries.

Bishop Erkolano Lodu Yombe of Yei, who joins Archbishop Lukudu on the seminary commission, will head the Commission for Priests and the Council for Religious.

The new head of the Commission for Palica, which is in charge of liturgy, ecumenism, laity, family and women’s issues, is Bishop Antonio Menegazzo of El Obeid.

The Communications Department of the bishops’ conference will be Bishop Cesare Mazzolari of Rumbek, while Bishop Daniel Adwok Kur, auxiliary bishop of Khartoum, will head the Justice and Peace Committee.

Bishop Deng, Bishop Menegazzo, and Bishop Vincent Moywok Nyiker of Malakal will sit on the administrative board, which oversees finance, aid, and development in Sudan.

The new leadership has a mandate lasting until January 2011.

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Catholics in Turkey to celebrate two millennia of St. Paul

Istanbul, Turkey, Jan 13, 2008 (CNA) - Catholics in the majority-Muslim country of Turkey will soon celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Saint Paul, who was born in the region.

The faithful have requested that the Turkish government permit celebrations at St. Paul Church in Tarsus, the birthplace of the missionary.  The church is now a state-owned museum.

Bishop Luigi Padovese, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia, told Ecumenical News International about the plans.

"This anniversary is certain to attract large numbers of pilgrims, who will obviously need a church where they can feel at home and pray," said Bishop Padovese.

"A government commission is now formally considering our request. But senior officials have agreed we should be able to worship here.

"After all, we're not missionaries - we are merely answering the needs of church members."

Bishop Padovese said that a pastoral letter will be read in all Catholic churches in Turkey on January 25, the date celebrating the anniversary of St. Paul’s conversion to Christianity.

Pope Benedict XVI has declared 2008 to be the Year of St. Paul. 

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