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WEDNESDAY      February 3, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 23

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE

SIMPLY SHEEN: Be careful not to bruise the fruit!

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

"What Americans call teenagers, or adolescents, covers that period midway between springtime and summer. As what happens to the trees and the blossoms during March determines the fruit, so the experiences of teenagers help mold their maturity."

Events Today in Church History

      On this date in 576 Saint Laurence of Spoleto passed away. He was known as the "illuminator" because of his mystical gifts of healing, especially for those who were blind, hence the moniker. Born in Syria, he was the Bishop of Spoleto, Italy after being driven out of his native land by the Monophysitist heretics. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 3:

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- Still suffering from a mild fever, Pope John Paul II canceled his appointments for Tuesday, February 2. The Holy Father was unable to celebrate Mass for the feast of the Presentation, as scheduled, in St. Peter's Basilica.

      The Vatican did not indicate whether or not the Pope would be able to make his usual Wednesday audience on February 3.

      Meanwhile at the conclusion of the week of prayer for Christian unity, the Church leaders of Jerusalem urged Pope John Paul II to visit the Holy Land during the Jubilee Year 2000.

      Speaking on behalf of an ecumenical leadership group, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Loutfi Laham asked: "Holy Father, do not be afraid; come as a pilgrim among us in the Holy Land in the year 2000, to pray with us and to promote peace among Christians, Muslims, and Jews." The archbishop's statement was quoted in the Italian daily newspaper Avvenire of February 2.

      Avvenire explained that the statement by Archbishop Laham reflected the product of discussions among the spiritual leaders of Jerusalem, who had met during the week of prayer for Christian unity. Archimandrite Atallah Hanna, the representative of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, reportedly played an important role in formulating the message.

      Archbishop Laham also proposed that the various Christian patriarchs of the Holy Land should produce a statement emphasizing the "many points" of unity among the churches, as well as a setting out a program to bring them closer to full communion. Such a document, which would be signed by the heads of all the Christian churches of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, could be displayed at the pilgrim shrines of the Holy Land during the Jubilee Year, translated into several different languages and accompanied by words of greeting from the churches to the pilgrims.


      DENVER, 2 (NE) More than 40 young people received the sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The Mass was held last week-end in Denver. The young people, who had prepared themselves during 5 months to receive the sacrament, expressed their joy for the presence of Cardinal Stafford, former Archbishop of Denver. The Eucharist took place at the Our Lady of Loreto parish. Before Mass, Cardinal Stafford gave each one of the young people a stamp of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frossati.

      During the homily, he asked the sponsors to be witnesses of Christian life for the young confirmed. He also remembered the person of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frossati, and narrated his life, showing him as a special example for the candidates who were to be confirmed. He was born 1901 and died in 1925. He was a child of a wealthy family, and excelled in his service to the poor and sick, whom he used to visit at night. The Cardinal recalled that the Holy Father referred to him as the "young man who lived the eight Beatitudes."

      Cardinal Stafford encouraged the candidates to live the Beatitudes, inviting them to have a "pure heart, to visit the sick and be peacemakers. One must be open to the presence of Jesus. Jesus identified himself specially when he said 'When you do this to the least of My brothers, you do this to Me'. Open your hearts and be generous." He also asked the young people to pray constantly, specially the Our Father.


      WASHINGTON, 2 (NE) Catholic Schools: Faith for a Brighter Future, is the theme for the 25th annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week, which is being carried out in different dioceses of the United States since Sunday the 31st of January. This event, organized by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Catholic Conference (USCC), aims to build support and recognition for the over 8200 Catholic schools nationwide.

      The topic for this year is centered on the very foundations of Catholic schools: faith. The president of National Catholic Educational Association pointed out that from the recognition and acceptance of this foundation, "all else flows: a curriculum infused with values, high academic standards and discipline." "The challenge for our schools in 1999," Bishop Raymond Boland, of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, highlighted, "is preparing our youth for a world that is in constant change. Schools should not only focus on imparting information, but also in teaching how to think in a critical way and to solve problems through teamwork... And above all, Catholic schools have the challenge of founding our children in the teaching of Christ."

      Today is a central day inside the week's agenda, when the National Appreciation Day takes place. The encounter will be carried out in Washington with a delegation of over 100 Catholic students, professors and parents, that will meet with congressional leaders willing to promote Catholic schools. Meanwhile, across the country, diocesan and school leaders will also meet with civic officials on this day to encourage supporters nationwide to showcase the great accomplishments and contributions of Catholic schools to the country.


      JAKARTA ( -- The apostolic Administrator of Dili, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, reports that the unrest in East Timor has been intensified because the military has armed the civilian population. "People are now killing each other," he says.

      The bishop's complaint has been echoed by a member of the National Commission on Human Rights, based in Jakarta. He confirmed that Indonesian military forces have handed out hundred of firearms to untrained civilians who support the rule of the government in Jakarta, and oppose the bid for greater autonomy in East Timor.

      East Timor was annexed by Indonesia in 1976, after a 1975 invasion which was widely condemned by the international community. The United Nations has never recognized Indonesia's claim to legal authority over East Timor, and separatist leaders in the region-- with the evident backing of the majority of Timorese-- have steadily fought to free themselves from the control of the Jakarta government.

      The methodical arming of the regime's civilian supporters has raised new fears of a bloodbath, as undisciplined paramilitary units carry out terror campaigns against supporters of Timorese independence. One human-rights organization based in Dili has announced that in the Covalima district alone, 22 people were killed during the month of January in clashes between supporters and opponents of independence.

      Meanwhile, the Indonesian government headed by President Habibie decided last week to release East Timor separatist leader Xanana Gusmao from prison, instead keeping him under house arrest. Bishop Belo remarked: "He is not a criminal, but a political prisoner. If now the Indonesian government allows him "special prisoner" status, I hope that he will be set free soon." The bishop added that Gusmao could play an important role in resolving the conflict in East Timor, because he enjoys widespread support among young people and among guerrilla fighters supporting the cause of independence.

      Bishop Belo also praised a government decision to put the future of East Timor up for discussion in the country's new parliament, the People's Consultative Assembly, which will be elected in June 1999. Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas has said that the possibility of granting full independence to East Timor could be put before the new People's Consultative Assembly, if the East Timorese people reject Jakarta's current offer for greater autonomy.

      Such a solution is clearly preferable, said the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, because "the problem cannot be resolved by military violence, but by political arrangement." Bishop Belo added that since the integration of East Timor into Indonesia was originally deliberated in the assembly, it is appropriate that the assembly should now address a solution to the problem.

      Bishop Belo said that he has recommended an agreement under which East Timor would be given "as much autonomy as possible" over a period of 10- 15 years, to be followed by a referendum in which the people of East Timor would choose their own future.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE


      In honor of "Catholic Schools Week" we want to bring you a site that will remind you of the treasures of the classroom. Even the name reminds one of a curriculum course. It is CATHOLIC SUITE 101 which provides a very excellent collection of home pages operated by Kathyrn Morse who provides a plethora of information you might not find at other sites. Give it a look see.

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

February 3, 1999 volume 10, no. 23   DAILY CATHOLIC