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Monitor

CBCP

OCTOBER 3 - 16, 2016 VOL. 20 NO. 26

CBCPMONITOR@AREOPAGUSCOMMUNICATIONS.COM

PROTAGONIST OF TRUTH, PROMOTER OF PEACE

Declare drug war peace


zones, Duterte urged
By Minnie De Luna

A Catholic bishop has called on


President Rodrigo
Duterte to declare
dioceses or areas
with ongoing drug
rehabilitation programs as peace
zones.

Concerned over the


mounting count of drugrelated violence, Bishop
Antonio Tobias of Novaliches
said summary killings must
stop by giving drug users a
chance to change and get
back to a life that is free from
addiction.
Is it possible Mr. President
that you declare as peace zones
all dioceses or barangays with
ongoing [drug] rehabilitation

programs in collaboration
with the police? Tobias said.
This refers to a peace zone
like that in Mindanaowhere
no one should die in the area
[related to the war on drugs].
If someone dies in the areas
declared as peace zones by
the President, the President
and the police will call you
out, he explained.
The prelate was speaking
during the launching of

Mamamayang Ayaw Sa
Anomalya, Mamamayang
Ayaw Sa Ilegal Na Droga
(MASA MASID) in Quezon
City on Sept. 28.
He expressed alarm that
number of casualties is
nearing the recorded 4,000
who died during the 20 years
of Martial Law.
Bishop Tobias said if this is
not possible, another option
would be for the police to be

transparent about who is on


their list of drug dependents
and pushers so the Church
can help verify its veracity
as well.
He is hoping that such
information could be
passed among the parishes
through the priests and the
barangays engaged in the
drug rehabilitation program.
More importantly, he
reiterated the dioceses thrust

Faith leaders
unite against
summary
killings
FAITH leaders are joining forces
against the spate of summary
killings happening in the wake of
the Duterte administrations war
on drugs.
In Pangasinan, pastors said
killings must end as they call for
the end to criminality without
sacrificing due process.
The nation must be purged from
drug dealers yet the rule of law must
prevail and human rights must at all
times be respected, they said in a
statement.
In less than three months under
the new administration, about 3,500
drug suspects have been killed,
mostly by unknown assailants
and the others in legitimate police
operations.
More than 700,000 selfconfessed drug pushers and users
have surrendered to authorities.
The leaders from at least 17
churches said extrajudicial
executions must stop and the
voice of those who are in pain must
be heard.
The threat of criminality and
violence must now give way to the
ministry of mercy and compassion,
they added.
Church leaders are also growing
increasingly concerned about
political wrangling that is sowing
greater division and dissension in
society.
According to them, the words of
hate must stop and give way to hope
and brotherhood.
The bickering and quarreling
must cease and let the balm of
kindness now flow, they said.
These churches/groups include
the Catholic Archdiocese of

Drug War / A6

Vigilance urged
with SC TRO
against RH law

Cardinals Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila and Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato concelebrate Mass with Bishop Norbert Trelle of Hildesheim to launch the
Mission Sunday celebation in Germany, October 2, 2016. Organized by Mission Aachen, the focus of this years campaign is to support the Churchs
family ministry in the Philippines. PHOTO COURTESY OF FATHER EDWIN GARIGUEZ

German mission supports PHs family ministry


A GERMAN missionary
agencys support for the
Philippines continues,
this time dedicating its
World Mission Month
celebration this October
for the local Churchs
pastoral work with
families.
Missio Aachen, a part
of the Pontifical Mission
Societies network, has
recognized the need to
support a number of
projects by the Church
in the Philippines to help
families in need combat
poverty.

These projects, it said,


provide encouragement
for family cohesion and
solidarity by placing
special emphasis on
human dignity and the
rights that emanate from
this.
The campaign, the
agency said, aims to
demonstrate how the
Churchs commitment
in the Philippines gives
families an outlook on
the future.
Missio said it is aware
of the many challenges
the country is facing

due to poverty with 3.8


million families, roughly
23 million people, are
affected by hunger.
It also recognized
the emerging culture of
migration with millions
of Filipinos eager to
work abroad to provide
the basic needs of their
family.
The distance causes
many marriages and
families to drift apart
or break up. The desire
for material wealth is a
factor of destabilization
for the family, it added.

The campaign was


launched during a Mass
presided over by Bishop
Norbert Trelle in the
city of Hildesheim on
October 2.
Cardinals Luis
Antonio Tagle of Manila
and Orlando Quevedo
of Cotabato also
concelebrated the Mass.
The activity was also
launched with various
Philippine partners
including Caritas
Philippines, the social
action arm of the
Mission / A6

Unite / A6

Students protest extrajudicial killings with noise barrage


STUDENTS of a Catholic
school staged a noise
barrage on Friday, Sept.
30, to protest drug-related
killings in the country.
Dubbed #ShoutForLife,
students of St. Paul
University-Manila come
together and created noise
to call for an end to summary
executions.
Organized by the ProLife Paulinians and Stop
The Killings Network, the
students called on the
Duterte administration to
do significant actions to
stop the summary killings
of suspected drug pushers
and users.
As Catholics, these
killings are not okay for
us, said Nica Dominique
Ondoy, Pro-Life Paulinians
president.

of healing and protection


under its CommunityBased Drug Rehabilitation
Program (CBDRP) dubbed
Abot Kamay Alang-alang sa
Pagbabago (AKAP).
According to him, the
Church, particularly in
the Diocese of Novaliches,
is helping the Duterte
administration in its fight
against illegal drugs but

Useless justice system


They called on the Duterte
government to observe
due process in its war on
drugs.
We want due process.
Being not proven guilty of
crimes makes the justice
system, the courts, the
judges and lawyers, useless,
stressed Ondoy.
But how can we attain this
if these people are killed in
the so-called process which
is the extrajudicial killings?
she said. What this country
needs is restorative justice
and not the outright killings
of people.
The students made noise
by shouting No to Killings
with most of them holding
placards reading Though
Shall not Kill. They also
Protest / A6

Dubbed #ShoutForLife, students of St. Paul University-Manila come together and created noise to call for an end to summary
executions on Sept. 30. ROY LAGARDE

A MULTI-SECTORAL pro-family
organization is calling citizens to
vigilance in the wake of the Supreme
Courts decision upholding the
Temporary Restraining Order
(TRO) on the full implementation
of the Reproductive Health Law.
The Alliance for the Family
Foundation, Inc. (ALFI), in a
communiqu from its president
and legal counsel, Atty. Maria
Concepcion S. Noche, while
expressing its satisfaction over the
Supreme Court decision of Aug.
24 denying the motion filed by the
Office of the Solicitor General to
lift the TRO, appealed to affiliated
organizations and families to be
vigilant and to help spread to the
public the correct information on
the Responsible Parenthood and
Reproductive Health Act of 2012
(Republic Act No. 10354) or the
RH Law.
No full implementation
Legally, therefore, there can be
no full implementation of the RH
Law, declared Noche.
On the High Courts decision,
the legal counsel explained, The
Supreme Court likewise declared
as void all the certifications and
re-certifications issued by the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) of
some 77 contraceptive drugs and
devices, including Implanon and
Implanon NXT, for having been
done without the observance of the
basic tenets of due process.
The FDA, therefore, has been
directed to conduct public hearings
to determine whether contraceptive
drugs and devices are abortifacient
or non-abortifacient and are safe,
said Noche, elaborating on the SCs
decision.
In favor of the unborn
Further, the Supreme Court
emphasized that the standards to
be applied are those laid out in its
earlier decision, specifically, those
which do not harm or destroy life
of the unborn from conception or
fertilization and that all reasonable
doubts shall be resolved in favor of
the protection and preservation of
the right to life of the unborn from
conception or fertilization.
Also, a complete list of
reproductive health programs and
services that will be conducted will
have to be generated by Department
of Health (DOH) for the information
and guidance of all concerned,
continued the ALFI president.
We ask for more prayers
and more efforts in spreading
information on the abortifacient
nature of these drugs, added the
lawyer.
Learning from St. Mother
Teresa
Abortion has become the greatest
threat to world peace, no less than the
RH / A6

A2 NEWS
t

Vatican Briefing
Pope in Georgia blasts gender theory as the
great enemy of marriage

In a lengthy, off-the-cuff speech in Georgia, Pope Francis


said the world today is at war with marriage, and urged
couples to fight against modern threats to the sacrament
such as gender theory. Speaking to Irina, a Georgian
wife and mother who gave her testimony in front of Pope
Francis and hundreds of priests, seminarians and religious
Oct. 1, the Pope said you mentioned a great enemy of
marriage today: gender theory. Today the whole world
is at war trying to destroy marriage, he said, noting that
this war isnt being fought with arms but with ideas.
There are certain ideologies that destroy marriage, he
said. So we need to defend ourselves from ideological
colonization. (CNA)

Pope Francis concerned by North Korean


nuclear tests

Pope Francis is troubled by the international tensions


arising from recent North Korean nuclear tests, said Greg
Burke, director of the Holy See Press Office. Responding
to a question about the delicate situation on the Korean
peninsula, I can confirm the concern of the Holy Father
and the Holy See about the continuing tensions in the
area on account of the nuclear tests carried out by North
Korea, Burke stated in a statement released Sept. 27. This
concern, he added, was reiterated today by Msgr. Antoine
Camilleri, the Holy Sees Undersecretary for Relations
with States during a meeting of the International
Atomic Energy Agency held in Vienna. On Sept. 9, the
communist country carried out its fifth nuclear test with
an underground explosion. (CNA)

Body of third priest kidnapped in Mexico found

Less than a week after two Catholic priests in Mexico


were found murdered after having been abducted
from their parishes, the body of a third slain priest, Fr.
Jos Alfredo Lpez Guilln, has been found. Fr. Lpez
Guilln, pastor of Janamuato in Mexicos central state
of Michoacan, was taken from the rectory of his parish
by unknown persons Monday, Sept. 19. His car had
been found overturned on a road nearby. According to
a message written on the archdioceses Facebook page,
the priest had been killed several days before his lifeless
body was found near the town of near Puruandiro. His
abduction occurred on the same day that authorities found
the lifeless bodies of previously-kidnapped Fathers Alejo
Nabor Jimnez Jurez and Jos Alfredo Jurez de la Cruz,
in the Diocese of Papantla, in Veracruz state. (CNA)

Journalism cant be a weapon of destruction,


Pope says

Emphasizing the importance of respect for human


dignity, Pope Francis told journalists Thursday that their
profession can never be used as a destructive weapon,
nor should it be used to nourish fear. Certainly criticism
is legitimate, and, I would add, necessary, just as is
the denunciation of evil, but this must always be done
respecting the other, his life, and his affect. Journalism
cannot become a weapon of destruction of persons or
even nations, the Pope said Sept. 22 at the Vaticans
Clementine Hall. Neither must it nourish fear in front of
changes or phenomena such as migration forced by war
or by hunger. (CNA)

Pope green-lights opening of French priest


beatification process

The French diocese of Rouen has officially begun an


inquiry into the beatification of French priest Jacques
Hamel, killed by Islamic extremists earlier this summer,
after receiving a note from Pope Francis waiving the
traditional five-year waiting period. Rouens Archbishop
Dominique Lebrun made the announcement after
celebrating a Mass Oct. 2 to re-open the church of Sainttienne-du-Rouvray, where Fr. Hamel was killed by
supporters of the Islamic State while saying Mass in July.
According to an Oct. 2 statement released by the French
Bishops Conference, Archbishop Lebrun was informed by
the Vaticans Congregation for the Causes of Saints that
Pope Francis has dispensed of five year waiting period
usually required before starting the official investigation
of the beatification. (CNA)

Pope condemns arrogant abuse of power that


leads to war, violence

In a passionate speech, Pope Francis condemned as


arrogant the mentality of revenge and the abuses of power
that lead to violent conflicts. Violence begets violence,
and we have the impression of being caught up in a spiral
of arrogance and inertia from which there is no escape,
the Pope told members of charitable and humanitarian
organizations Sept. 29, adding that the evil which grips our
will and conscience should challenge us. Acts of violence
such as this are part of the mysterium iniquitatis, he said,
referring to that evil which is present in man and in history
and which needs to be redeemed. (CNA)

Memory of Shimon Peres should inspire peace


efforts, Pope says

Upon learning about the death of Shimon Peres, Pope


Francis sent a telegram offering his condolences and his
appreciation for the former president of Israels tireless
efforts for peace and the common good. As the State
of Israel mourns Mr. Peres, the Pope wrote, I hope
that his memory and many years of service will inspire
us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and
reconciliation between peoples. In the Sept. 28 telegram,
sent to current President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, the
pontiff expressed hope that the work which Peres, 93,
began during his lifetime will continue. I fondly recall
my time with Mr. Peres at the Vatican and renew my great
appreciation for the late Presidents tireless efforts in favor
of peace, he said. (CNA)

Pope sees global war against marriage, urges


church help for couples

Pope Francis said a global war against marriage


is underway and Catholics must respond by helping
couples stay strong and by providing pastoral care to
those experiencing difficulty. Today there is a global
war to destroy marriage, the pope said Oct. 1 during a
meeting in Tbilisi with priests, religious, seminarians and
laypeople active in parish life. Today you do not destroy
with weapons, you destroy with ideas, the pope said. It
is ideological colonization that destroys. The only way to
defend marriage against the onslaught, he said, is to help
couples make peace as soon as possible, before the day
ends, and dont forget the three words: May I? Thank
you and Forgive me. (CNS)

October 3 - 16, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 26

CBCP Monitor

At the heart of the Church, EWTN


launches new Rome office
ROME, Italy The EWTN
News Rome Bureau is now is
just minutes from St. Peters
Square, having launched its
new office on Wednesday. The
occasion sparked reflection
on Mother Angelicas legacy
and the media networks
mission to serve the gospel.
Today with this launch we
step out in a new chapter in
how we can serve our EWTN
family with information from
Rome, Michael Warsaw,
president of EWTN Global
Catholic Network, told CNA
Sept. 29.
The new office is on the Via
Della Conciliazione in the
shadow of St. Peters Basilica,
the dome of which is visible
from the buildings rooftop
terrace.
You cant help but be here
in Rome and in this place, so
close to St. Peters Basilica,
the tomb of St. Peter, and
not be energized by that,
Warsaw said. For all of us
at EWTN thats my hope,
that this presence in Rome,
so close to St. Peter, will
energize us for the work of
the New Evangelization in the
years ahead.
Monsignor Dario
Edoardo Vigan, prefect
of the Vaticans Secretariat
for Communications,
blessed the new location
in the presence of dozens
of EWTN staff, supporters,
and guests. Several hundred
people gathered for a rooftop
reception.
Among the guests were
Syriac Patriarch Ignatius
Joseph III Younan of Antioch,
Cardinal Sean OMalley
of Boston, and Cardinal
Raymond Burke, patron of
the Knights of Malta. Other
guests included Archbishop
Georg Ganswein, prefect of
the Papal Household; several
other cardinals and bishops;
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy
See Ken Hackett and several
other ambassadors to the
Holy See; and members of the
Vatican press corps.
The office includes access

EWTN CEO Michael Warsaw and Msgr. Dario Vigan, prefect of the Secretariat for
Communications, celebrate the dedication of the EWTN News Rome Bureau, Sept.
29, 2016. DANIEL IBANEZ/CNA

to professional recording
studios on the sixth-floor
rooftop, advanced technical
infrastructure, and a much
improved and spacious
workspace.
Warsaw said the new Rome
office really positions the
network in an even better way
to be able to bring news and
information from the heart of
the Church to our audience
around the world.
It gives us a much bigger
base of operations to be able
to use at the service of the
Church, he said.
About 17 people work fulltime in the EWTN News
Rome office, as do three
part-time employees. The
multi-national, multi-lingual
staff comes from the United
States, Italy, Spain, Peru, and
Kazakhstan.
From the Rome office, the
EWTN News Bureau and
its related EWTN agencies
provide video news services
in English, Spanish, and
German, and written news
services in English, Spanish,
and Italian. This effort is
complemented by EWTN
News internet presence.
Its social media reached
100 million people the
weekend of Mother Teresas
canonization.
The office will support
staff and media production
from various EWTN News
sections: the National

Catholic Register; CNA Group


members Catholic News
Agency, ACI Stampa, and
ACI Prensa; and ChurchPop.
The impact of EWTN
founder Mother Angelica,
who passed away on Easter
Sunday 2016, was still felt
in Rome.
If she could see this place
here in Rome, she would see
part of her dream realized,
Alan Holdren, EWTN News
Bureau Chief, told Vatican
Radio.
Warsaw agreed
I think Mother would be
very, very pleased to see this
development in Rome, he
said. It was always her hope
that the network could be
a vehicle for bringing news
and information about the
Holy Father and the Vatican
to our audience around the
world.
Cardinal Sean OMalley
of Boston also saw the new
Rome office as part of Mother
Angelicas legacy.
I am convince d that
Mother Angelica is now
happy in heaven thinking
that after all his work, there
is now finally this place here
in Rome, Cardinal OMalley
told Vatican Radio. The
story of Mother Angelica
is the story of a miracle. A
cloistered nun has managed
to do what the bishops and
the U.S. Catholic foundations

have failed to do.


EWTN is an important
reality in the United States
to reach Catholics, the
cardinal continued. To have
a headquarters here in Rome
will help a lot to communicate
to our people the message of
the Holy Father and what
happens here in Rome.
Cardinal OMalley said
EWTN faces the challenge of
communicating the faith to
new generations.
In the U.S. we now have
a huge Hispanic population,
and we are very pleased that
EWTN also has programs in
Spanish, for our migrants,
he said.
The beneficiaries of EWTN
are truly international.
During Mother Teresas
canonization, her
Missionaries of Charity
sisters in India were watching
the EWTN broadcast from St.
Peters Square.
That would be enough
to motivate our work,
commented Holdren.
He noted the worlds many
crises, including those in the
Middle East.
We serve an evangelical
voice, we serve the voice of
Christ, we serve the Popes
message, he said.
To reach these places of
crisis is a challenge. Through
the satellite that Mother
Angelica bought many years
ago, we were able to reach
these countries.
The challenge is to keep
this widespread reach, but
also reach people in modern
Western society. In the face
of so many problems and
so many challenges, there
are many hopes. We want to
reach out with this Gospel
message to deliver that
truth which we believe leads
everyone to the salvation that
it accompanies.
EWTN Global Catholic
Network is now in its 36th
year. Based in Irondale,
Alabama, it is the largest
religious media network in
the world. (CNA)

Card. Zen at the Umbrella Movement:


The Church must denounce injustice, undeterred
HONG KONG We must remember
that the task of the Church is also
denounce injustices. And without being
discouraged. This was said yesterday
by card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of
Hong Kong, during a Mass in memory
of the two years since the beginning of
the events that gave rise to the Occupy
Central movement and the Umbrellas.
Mass presided over by Fr. Stephan
Chan, OFM, was attended by about 200
people, with members of the Catholic
communities of the base of the Umbrella
Movement and the Justice and Peace
Commission of the diocese.
The people gathered for the ceremony
in front of the complex of the Legislative
Council (parliament of Hong Kong), an
expression of democracy. Its democracy
is the desire to be maintained alive,
said Card. Zen, persistently, peace,
love.
The Occupy Central protests have
emerged at the end of September
2014, after China decided to again
postpone the idea of full democracy for
the territory , excluding the universal
suffrage for the election of the Chief
Executive and remaining indifferent the
democratic demands of the majority of
the population.
They were then called movement of
umbrellas because the demonstrators
(mostly teenagers and college) used
umbrellas to defend themselves from the
stinging spray and from hydrants used
by the police to disperse them. After
a disproportionate use of violence by
security forces, hundreds of thousands
of people have flooded some areas of
the center (in particular Admiralty and
Mong Kok) and lasted until December.
The movement ended without any
political victory, and China has even
accused the youth of being manipulated
by hostile foreign forces.
Along with the Mass in the Central
neighborhood, in different parts of the
city they were held demonstrations in

memory of umbrellas movement. All


events began at 6 pm, the time when two
years ago the first tear gas by the police
had been launched.
Admiralty, the center of past
demonstrations, gathered about
1000 people. The professor. Benny
Tai, Protestant, one of the trio who
launched the campaign Occupy Central,
addressing the crowd he asked them

not to forget what had brought them to


Admiralty two years earlier. Two years
ago - he said - we came here to fight for
democracy in Hong Kong.
He noted that with the elections to
the Legislative Council a few weeks ago,
several members of Occupy Central
were elected, and this is a hope for the
future of the pro-democracy movement.
(AsiaNews)

NEWS A3

October 3 - 16, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 26

Need help for works of mercy?


Turn to Blessed Alvaro
MANILA--Do you need help
in realizing a work of mercy?
Do you want to help a loved
one be reconciled with God?
Is your NGO undergoing
financial difficulties in
sustaining a project for the
poor?
Perhaps this blessed priest
can help you.
Two years after the
beatification of Bishop Alvaro
del Portillo on Sept. 27, 2014,
the Office for the Causes of
the Saints of the Prelature of
Opus Dei in the Philippines
continues to receive letters
of many favors received
attributed to the intercession
of this holy priest.
Many acknowledgements
of favors deal with health
issues and work. There are
also many accounts that
testify to the effectiveness of
the intercession of Blessed
Alvaro in reconciling family
members and in helping
people live the corporal and
spiritual works of mercy.
Favors granted
I received a favor through
the inspiration of Blessed
Alvaro, wrote a young
man. After more than six
months of praying and
offering sacrifices, I finally
convinced my mother to go
to Confession. Please pray
so that she will be regular in

to the board and prayed


for help from Blessed
Alvaro. After that fateful
meeting I received a call
from a government entity
informing that it had agreed
to our proposal to provide the
needed resources to complete
the program.

Blessed Alvaro del Portillo OPUS DEI

daily prayer, Sunday Mass


and Confession.
Another letter related: My
sibling has not been going to
Mass for some years. Through
Blessed Alvaros intercession
this sibling finally went to
Confession and has been
regular in attending Sunday
Mass since then.
A student from Pasig
City wrote, Our school
announced that it will be
cutting down on scholarships
once the K-12 program is
implemented. Our class
decided to set up a small
business as our project for
one of our major subjects.

In spite of the difficulties,


we were able to raise 430,000
pesos in one month to help
fund incoming scholars
into our university. I
personally believe that this
was made possible through
the intercession of Blessed
Alvaro.
A president of an NGO
wrote of a big favor received
from Blessed Alvaro.
A president of another
NGO shared with me a deep
concern since his group
had fallen short of funds to
sustain a program for the
benefit of poor farmers.
We brought up the matter

Moved people to works


of mercy
Del Portillo, as Prelate of
Opus Dei, visited Manila
and Cebu in 1987. As he
personally saw the glaring
gap between the rich and
the poor, he reminded his
audiences in the Philippines
of their duty as Catholics to
live charity towards their
neighbor.
Pope Francis, on the
occasion of the beatification
of del Portillo, wrote a letter
to the Prelate of Opus Dei,
Bishop Javier Echevarria,
and pointed out the Servant
of God Alvaro knew the need
we have of Gods mercy, and
devoted a lot of his own energy
to encouraging the people he
met to go Confession the
sacrament of joy.
Readers who wish to receive
more information on Blessed
Alvaro del Portillo may
visitwww.alvarodelportillo.
org or write to ocs.ph@
opusdei.org. (Fr. Mickey
Cardenas/CBCP News)

The modern and little known miracles of Padre Pio


ROME, Italy Known around the
globe as simply Padre Pio, Saint
Pio of Pietrelcina has been called
one of the most active saints in
the Church, and continues to work
miracles for those who pray through
his intercession.
St. Padre Pio is a pretty powerful
intercessora priest said to me once
that hes probably one of the most
active saints in the Church, Fr. John
Paul Zeller MVFA, told CNA in an
interview.
A friar with the Franciscan
Missionaries of the Eternal Word
and a Missionary of Mercy from
Birmingham, Ala., Fr. Zeller is the
proud owner of a first-class relic of
Padre Pio, and has witnessed several
healings in first-person after praying
through Padre Pios intercession with
the relic in hand.
Fr. Zeller said that while he initially
had no specific devotion to Padre Pio,
he developed one after taking a trip to
San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre
Pio served as a priest for the majority
of his life, after the 2014 canonization
of St. John Paul II.
After learning more about Padre
Pios life, the priest said he was moved,
and worked up the courage to ask one
of the superiors in San Giovanni for a
relic. The superior agreed, and gave
Fr. Zeller not one but two pieces of a
blood-soaked bandage Padre Pio had
wrapped around the wounds of his
stigmata.
Padre Pio was born Francesco
Forgione May 25, 1887, to a devout
Catholic family in Pietrelcina, Italy. At
the age of 15, he joined the Capuchin
Friars, and eventually became a priest
with the order.
Throughout his life, Padre Pio was
known as a mystic who experienced
the stigmata for 50 years. Many
miracles and wonders have been
attributed to him, including reports of
healing, soul-reading, levitation and
even bi-location.
Fr. Zeller said that after he received
the relics, he gave one to his community,
founded by Mother Angelica, and was
granted permission to keep the other
for himself.
I keep that relic on me at all
times, he said, noting that in his
role as Director of the pilgrimage
department at EWTNs headquarters
in Birmingham, I have the opportunity
to pray with a lot of people.
Ive prayed with people and there
have been cases where there have
been, I would say, some healings, the
priest said, explaining that people will
come up to him several months, even
a year, after he prayed with them and
recount experiences of healing.
One such experience happened only
a few months ago during a healing
service at the Shrine of the Most

Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville on


the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, he
said, recalling how during the service,
he and two other priests prayed over
people with the two blood-soaked
bandages as well as a glove of Padre
Pios that belonged to Mother Angelica.
As they were praying a woman
suffering from sciatica came up and
I prayed over her, Fr. Zeller said,
noting that the woman approached
him later and said that after she went
back to her seat, she told her husband
Im healed.
Sciatica is a very serious back
condition that doesnt really go away
and is very painful, the priest said,
noting that it totally went away for
this woman after he prayed over her
with the relic.
In another instance, Fr. Zeller
recalled how shortly after he received
the relic he was talking with some
friends and found out that their
12-year-old daughter had been
suffering from an ear infection that
wouldnt seem to go away.
He asked the girl if he could pray
over her with his relic, and when she
said yes, I showed her mom and I
showed her and I said which ear is it?
Fr. Zeller said that as soon as he put
the relic to the girls ear and began to
pray she dropped to the ground. She
totally slipped out of my hands.
I should have caught her, but I
didnt know what was happening, I
was kind of scared that something
happened to her, but she totally
slipped out of my hands and fell on
the ground, he said, noting that while
he was anxious over the situation, the
girls mother was calm, saying that
would be Slain in the Spirit.
The ear infection was completely
knocked out of her, he said, noting
that from that point on, from what I
know she didnt have the ear infection.
In yet another case there was a lady
that had some kind of heart disease
for 40 years that shed suffered from
in her life, he said, adding that while
he didnt have time to get into the
specifics, shes totally healed after
having been prayed over with the relic
of Padre Pio.
Its a longer story than that, but shes
totally free from that, Fr. Zeller said,
recalling how another women recently
came to him, saying she had experienced
some kind of physical healing after being
prayed over with the relic.
Referring to the healings, Fr. Zeller
stressed that thats not me, thats the
intercession of St. Padre Pio.
Although he initially had no devotion
to Padre Pio until just a few years ago,
the priest said he feels like the sudden
connection that came is because the
saint chose him, rather than the other
way around.
One of my professors at seminary

used to say that we dont choose saints,


saints choose us, he said, noting that
while we may have a particular liking
of a saint, we may look at a saints
personality and be drawn to themI
think there is a truth to saints choosing
us rather than us choosing them.
Padre Pio was really a joyful friar,
he said, explaining that he had always
envisioned the saint as being really
stern and was afraid to ask for his
intercession, lest Padre Pio be stern
with me.
However, it was during his trip to
San Giovanni Rotondo that he learned
who Padre Pio really was, Fr. Zeller
said, explaining that in his view,
the reason for the saints seemingly
serious disposition is that he knew
when people were not repentant.
It was said that he could even smell
sin, and I dont even imagine what
eternal separation from God smells
like, the priest said.
So that was his concern for the
salvation of peoples souls. He was
concerned about peoples souls and
bringing them Gods mercy and Gods
forgiveness.
To honor his upcoming Sept. 23
feast, devotees in Rome will celebrate
with an entire week of events and
activities.
Thousands of devotees with 600
groups will gather in the Roman parish
of San Salvatore in Lauro, adjacent to
Romes famous Piazza Navona, which
will serve as a hub for the people
attending the various activities linked
to Padre Pios feast.
Inside San Salvatore numerous
relics of Padre Pio, including his
cloak, gloves, stole and blood from the
wounds of the stigmata that marked
his body for 50 years.
Festivities opened Sept. 18 with a special
Mass celebrated by Romes auxiliary
bishop Guerino Di Tora. On Sept. 20
Padre Pios relics were exposed in San
Salvatore for veneration, and a special
Mass celebrated by another of Romes
auxiliary bishops, Angelo De Donatis.
Two days later, on the 22nd, the
Vigil of Transit commemorating
what is believed to be the exact
moment of Padre Pios death will
be celebrated. After the vigil, Mass
will be celebrated by Msgr. Carmelo
Pellegrino, Promotor of Faith of the
Vaticans Congregation for the Causes
of Saints.
Celebrations will culminate on Padre
Pios Sept. 23 feast with several Masses
said throughout the day as well as a
procession of a statue of the saint and
his relics from San Salvatore to Piazza
Navona, which will take place in the
afternoon.
A special blessing will be given and
a prayer offered for the victims of the
recent earthquake that devastated
several cities in Central Italy.

101-year-old woman
receives first communion
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil
At 101 years old, Doa Penha
has seen quite a bit of life. But
the centenarian experienced
something new on September
28, as she received her First
Communion during Mass at
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
nursing home in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil.
For those who witnessed
the occasion, it was a great
testimony to the love of God.
It was a very beautiful
moment that showed us that it
is never too late to receive the
Eucharist, which for someone
seeking God, neither time nor
shame can prevent, said the
administrative assistant of
the nursing home, Josiane
Ribeiro. She added that
occasions like this help
reaffirm faith.
Ribeiro told CNA that Doa
Penha arrived about a year
ago at the nursing home,
which is run by the Sisters of
the Our Lady of the Rosary of
Fatima Association. There is
a chapel on site where Mass
is celebrated during the week.
Doa Penha began to
attend Mass with the other
women. One day, she asked
to go to Confession. Father
Domingos Svio Silva
Ferreira realized she had not

yet received Communion and


asked the sisters to prepare
her to receive the sacrament,
Ribeiro recalled.
After that preparation,
Doa Penha received
Communion for the first
time. According to nursing
home officials, those who
were with her could see that
that was what she really
wanted. Even at 101 years
of age, they said, she is very
lucid, and prepared to receive
First Communion from the
heart.
For Ribeiro, the occasion
was a witness of Gods love
not just for the people who
live with Doa Penha at the
nursing home, but also for
the many others who could
share the moment through
social media.
We put the photos on the
nursing homes Facebook
page, and many people
saw it, commented and
congratulated, she said.
The nursing homes
Facebook post received
hundreds of likes and shares.
Among the comments, one
subscriber emphasized:
There is always time, and
her time was now! God bless
you! (CNA/EWTN News)

Our generation can stop


abortion, says pro-life leader
W A R S A W ,
P o l a n d
M ag d al e na
K o r z e k w a Kaliszuk, director
of campaigns
for CitizenGo
in Poland, has
pointed to last
weeks progress
of a bill in the
Polish parliament
banning abortion as a
triple victory, saying,
our generation can stop
abortion.
On Sept. 23, with a 267154 vote in favor, Polish
lawmakers sent a bill that
seeks the total ban of abortion
in the country to committee
for further consideration.
Abortion is currently
allowed in the case of rape or
incest, grave risk to the health
of the mother, and serious
deformities in the baby in
the womb. At most, 2,000
legal abortions are procured
annually in Poland, though
it is estimated that there
may be 10,000 performed
illegally, according to the
BBC.
The legislative proposal will
be debated for an unlimited
time until a final draft is
written, which will finally
be submitted to a vote by
all members of parliament,
which is ruled by the Law and
Justice Party.
It came to parliament
after a citizens group, Stop
Abortion, delivered a petition
with 450,000 signatures
calling for a complete ban
on abortion. The bill would
criminalize the performance
of abortion by physicians.
Speaking to Actuall news
Sept. 28, Korzekwa-Kaliszuk
explained that this is the first
time that a citizen initiative
focused on stopping abortion
which was introduced with
almost a half a million citizen
signatures, has been passed
by parliament thanks to 267
votes in favor, 11 abstentions,
and 154 against and now will
be debated in the Justice and
Human Rights Committee.
The second victory came
with the defeat of another
bill voted on last Friday,
introduced by feminists who
were calling for abortion on
demand for the first 12 weeks
and which was defeated by
the majority in the chamber,
she said.
A third victory she noted
has to do with another
bill which was also sent to
the committee and which

ARCHDIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES

CBCP Monitor

limits abortion on the single


grounds of serious risk to the
mothers health.
She said that this victory is
proof that good people cannot
just defend these values when
they are attacked, but also
take the initiative and change
the world.
Korzekwa-Kaliszuk
expressed her confidence that
Polands case can spread
to other countries in the
European Union so they can
stop abortion.
Currently, the only
European states that ban
abortion entirely are Malta
and Vatican City.
It must serve as an
argument for those prolifers who are under a lot
of pressure and think that
change is not possible,
because the protection of life
from conception is possible,
and its happening in Poland
now, she pointed out.
While she expressed
caution because we have to
hope that the law will finally be
changed, the Polish pro-life
leader emphasized that this
victory means that Poland has
an unique opportunity to end
the legacy of communism,
when abortion was available
without a problem for Poles.
In 1993 the first great
change was wrought and
it significantly limited the
number of legal abortions
in the country, but not all
could be prevented. In recent
years, abortions performed
in Poland were about 1,000
a year and most of them,
almost 90 percent, were for
fetal deformities.
Korzekwa-Kaliszuk added
that all pro-life Poles are
aware the fact that the battle
is not over and that the most
important votes will take
place in the coming months.
There are many dangers,
she warned, including
that both the bill limiting
grounds and the one totally
banning abortion can be
held up for months in the
parliament committee, and
can be amended or even
voted down. (CNA/EWTN
News)

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