Monthly Archives: July 2011


Word has been received from the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Washington that our beloved Nuncio (Ambassador) Archbishop Pietro Sambi is critically ill at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. He has apparently suffered complications from a surgery earlier this week. Reports say that the Nuncio is on a respirator while the medical team is trying to get his lungs to function. Let us pray for the Nuncio who has served both the Holy See and the Church in the United States so well for the past years.

The Concho Padre

Horror in Norway

Let us pray for those killed or injured in the heinous terror attack in Oslo and at the Youth Camp. Let us pray for their families and friends. Let us pray for all the people of Norway as they have to face the evils of terrorism.

The Concho Padre

Christians in Holy Land face “virtual extinction” says Patriarch

The Church in the Holy Land faces the prospect of extinction, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem said at a conference in London.

“The Christian presence is threatened by virtual extinction, and the land of Jesus cannot become an equivalent of a spiritual Disneyland with beautiful buildings, historic sites and museums on display,” said Patriarch Fouad Twal.

“All people–Jews, Christians, and Muslims–suffer the consequences of the conflict,” he said. “Occupation is a terrible image for any democratic State, as it is horrible for the people of the occupied areas, where hatred and aversion are fostered and nurtured. We are aware of the persecution and suffering of our Christians in some Muslim countries in the region, but this is not an excuse to forget the dire reality of our situation in the Holy Land.”

Warning that “the possibilities for a just resolution are rapidly decreasing,” Patriarch Twal added that “the forces of extremism are growing and gaining followers and supporters.” He called upon Christians in the West to support the Christian institutions in the Holy Land. After all, these are the institutions that provide decent employment opportunities for our Christian youth, and these are the institutions that provide quality services in education, health and social services to the whole population, mostly a non-Christian population. This solidifies the presence of the living stones.

Holy See will respond to report on Irish Diocese

VATICAN CITY, 22 JUL 2011 (VIS) – Replying to journalists’ questions concerning the current debate in Ireland about a report on abuse in the diocese of Cloyne, Holy See Press Office Director Federico Lombardi S.J. declared:

“I can confirm that the Holy See will respond appropriately to the questions raised by the Irish government about the report on the diocese of Cloyne. In any case, it is to be hoped that debate about such dramatic matters may continue with the necessary objectivity, so as to contribute to the cause which must be closest to everyone’s heart: the protection of children and young people and, to that end, the restoration of an atmosphere of trust and collaboration in the Church and in society, as the Pope himself said in his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland”.

Courtesy Vatican Information Service

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger writes book on his brother, Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY, 22 JUL 2011 (VIS) – Benedict XVI’s elder brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who until 1994 was director of the famous cathedral choir of Regensburg, has completed a book entitled “Mein Bruder, der Papst” (My Brother the Pope), written in collaboration with the German journalist Michael Hesemann.

The 256-page volume, illustrated with forty photographs, contains the memories of the Holy Father’s brother, as recounted to Hesemann in Regensburg earlier this year. It has been published by the German publishing house Herbig and will go on sale in bookshops on 12 September, the eve of Benedict XVI’s visit to Germany.

The culminating moment of the narrative is the sixtieth anniversary of the priestly ordination of Georg and Joseph Ratzinger. The two brothers were ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 and this year celebrated their anniversary together in St. Peter’s Basilica. The memories of Msgr. Ratzinger, the Holy Father’s closest relative, go back to the brothers’ childhood as he narrates, among other things, the flowering of Joseph’s priestly vocation in the bosom of the family and his subsequent years of service to the Church before being elected to the Papacy.

Courtesy Vatican Information Service

Official Vatican Appointments 7-19-11

VATICAN CITY, 19 JUL 2011 (VIS) – The Holy Father:
– Appointed Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, as a counsellor of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
– Appointed as members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile; Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval C.SS.R., archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia; Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru, and Cardinal Hummes O.F.M., prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.
– Appointed Joseph F. X. Zahra, a member of the governing council of the “Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontefice” Foundation, as international reviser of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
– Appointed as members of the Academic Council of the Holy See’s Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties (AVEPRO): Fr. Gabino Uribarri Bilbao S.J., dean of the faculty of theology at the Pontifical University of “Comillias” in Madrid, Spain; Pascal Mueller-Jourdan, professor of theology at the faculty of theology in the “Universtie Catholique de l’Ouest”, Angers, France, and Sigrid Muller, vice dean of the “Katholisch-Theologische Fakultat” at the University of Vienna, Austria.
– Appointed Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap. of Denver, U.S.A., as archbishop of Philadelphia (area 5,652, population 3,892,194, Catholics 1,464,938, priests 988, permanent deacons 234, religious 3,244), U.S.A. He succeeds Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
– Appointed Fr. Gregory John Hartmayer O.F.M. Conv., pastor of the parish of St. John Vianney at Lithia Springs in the archdiocese of Atlanta, U.S.A., as bishop of Savannah (area 95,928, population 2,904,000, Catholics 84,500, priests 104, permanent deacons 56, religious 114), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Buffalo, U.S.A. in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1979. He succeeds Bishop John Kevin Boland, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Courtesy Vatican Information Service

New bishops for Philadelphia and Savannah

Well, the news is out!


This morning Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM, Cap., of Denver, to be the Archbishop of Philadelphia, succeeding Cardinal Justin Rigali, who submitted his resignation in April of 2010 having reached the mandatory resignation age of 75.

Archbishop Chaput, 66, becomes the 9th Archbishop of the City of Brotherly Love. He is known as a no-nonsense leader, a staunch defender of the faith, and a regular participant in the public forum in all types of media. More than likely, he will be given the red hat of a cardinal after his predecessor turns 80 some four years from now.

Archbishop Chaput enterred the Capuchin Franciscans in 1965 and was ordained a priest on August 29, 1970. He served in various assignments with the Capuchins, and was elected provincial in 1983. In 1988 he was named Bishop of Rapid City, and in February 1997 was named Archbishop of Denver.


Also this morning, the Holy Father named Conventual Franciscan Father Gregory John Hartmayer, currently serving in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, to be Bishop of Savannah, Georgia. The 59-year-old pastor succeeds Bishop John Kevin Boland, whose resignation was accepted due to his reaching the age of 75.

He was ordained a priest on May 5, 1979, and has served in many assignments for the Conventual Franciscans. During his assignments within the Atlanta Archdiocese he served as moderator of the Presbyteral Council, and represented religious priests on the same council. He was a member of the Archdiocesan College of Consultors, director of programs for new priests, and a member of the committee for the ongoing formation of priests since 2008.

Let us pray for these men as they begin these special ministries entrusted to them by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

The Concho Padre

Big Day Tomorrow?

Church Intelligencers are picking up lots of chatter and buzz around the Vatican that there will be a very significant U.S. appointment announced tomorrow by Pope Benedict XVI. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

On the other hand, tomorrow WILL be a BIG DAY for our youngsters as they begin their annual trip to Tucson, Arizona, for the Steubenville West Conference. Pray that they and their chaperones will be kept safe, and that they will have a worthwhile adventure in their faith!

The Concho Padre

Official Vatican Appointments – 7/18/2011

VATICAN CITY, 18 JUL 2011 (VIS) – The Holy Father:
– Appointed Fr. Jose Manuel Garcia Cordeiro, rector of the Pontifical Portuguese College in Rome, as bishop of Braganca-Miranda (area 6,545, population 151,700, Catholics 149,200, priests 100, permanent deacons 4, religious 119), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Vila Nova de Seles, Angola in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1991. He succeeds Bishop Antonio Montes Moreira O.F.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
– Appointed Antonio Pacella, official of the “Tipografia Vaticana – Editrice L’Osservatore Romano”, as head of the management office of the same organisation.
On Saturday 16 July it was made public that he appointed:
– Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal Ortiz of Monteria, Colombia, as bishop of Cucuta (area 2,200, population 848,000, Catholics 774,000, priests 140, permanent deacons 8, religious 268), Colombia.
– Fr. Fulgence Razakarivony M.S., vice secretary of the administrative secretariat of the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar, as bishop of Ihosy (area 40,900, population 400,000, Catholics 72,000, priests 34, religious 125), Madagascar. The bishop-elect was born in Betsiholany, Madagascar in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1993.
– Bishop Ruy Rendon Leal, prelate of El Salto, Mexico, as bishop of Matamoros (area 19,457, population 2,018,000, Catholics 1,782,000, priests 122, religious 129), Mexico.
– Msgr. Grzegorz Rys of the clergy of the archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, rector of the major seminary, and Fr. Damian Andrzej Muskus O.F.M., provincial secretary for formation, as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Krakow (area 5,730, population 1,601,000, Catholics 1,556,000, priests 2,089, religious 4,501). Bishop-elect Rys was born in Krakow in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1988. Bishop-elect Muskus was born in Nowa Sarzyna, Poland in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1993.

Courtesy of Vatican Information Service


Today is the feast day for St. Camillus de Lellis, who is the patron saint of nurses. He once sent some of his priests and brothers to set up a hospital on a battleground. I guess we can call it the first M.A.S.H.!

The Concho Padre

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