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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

ADDRESS ON WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES, 2002

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
Immigration and Inter-religious Dialogue
World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2002


Msgr. Felix A. Machado
Undersecretary
Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue


Many of the hundred and fifty million migrants, who are spread around different parts of the world, have brought with them their religious traditions. As a 'map of various religions' our world can be an enriching experience. The multireligious character of the world can be a source of great harmony and peace. Of course, mutual enrichment and peace do not come about by themselves. We are only too aware of the tensions and conflicts that exist, often intensified by the difference of religion. There needs to be a healthy interaction and exchange among people of different religious traditions. Mutual enrichment, harmony and peace are fruits of dialogue. The Catholic Church has been promoting this dialogue among religions for a long time and the message of the Holy Father on the occasion of the World Dayof Migrants and Refugee 2002, needs to be read in this context.


Some immigrants may just be passing through, in transit to a more permanent destination, or perhaps hoping to return to their countries of origin. Others have come to stay, forming stable communities. They have left their own country and have settled down permanently in another place, but without leaving their religion. For example, in Italy we have immigrants from North Africa, sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. Many of them are Muslims. There arc people from India, among whom we meet followers of the Sikh religion. There are Tibetans who are Buddhists and immigrants from what used to be known as Indochina among whom many belong to the Buddhist religious tradition.


Immigration and interreligious dialogue are sometimes spoken of as problems in our society. In his message on the occasion of the World Dayof Migrants andRefugees 2002 the Holy Father brings these two together and shows how they can be opportunities for contributing harmony and peace to the world. The phenomenon of immigration offers occasions for Christians to engage in dialogue with people of other religious traditions. The practice of dialogue, in turn, enables Christians to know the immigrants justly and fairly and thus help them integrate better into society.


Inter religious dialogue for the Catholic Church is not an abstract idea. Remaining uncompromisingly consistent with its doctrine and tradition the Catholic Church invites all its faithful to engage in interreligious dialogue. This simply means to pass from distrust, suspecion and refusal of the other to respectful acceptance. Admitting that the way of dialogue is not an easy one, the Holy Father exhorts Christians to engage on this path, considering it also as an aspect of the new evangelization. The path of dialogue offers opportunities for pastoral initiatives. The Holy Father reminds the Christian faithful that authentic dialogue is always built on one's own testimony of faith. The practice of interreligious dialogue presupposes honesty and mutual trust. This is why partners in dialogue cannot hide the obvious facts of day to day life. For example, the Holy Father does allude to difficulties faced by Christian immigrants who do not always enjoy religious liberty when they choose to live in countries in which the religion of the majority is different from theirs.


The experience of many years show that interreligious dialogue can be undertaken on different levels. The Catholic Church speaks of four levels or forms of dialogue. They are distinct from one another yet at the same time inter connected: 1. dialogue of life it implies concern, respect, and hospitality towards the other; 2. dialogue of collaboration it calls every Christian to work together with each and all for goals of a humanitarian, social, economic, or political nature which are directed towards the liberation and advancement of humankind; 3. dialogue of specialists it involves confrontation, deepening and enrichment of the respective religious heritages; and 4. dialogue of religious experience it implies sharing one's experience of prayer, contemplation, faith and duty, as well as one's expressions and ways of searching for the Absolute.


In his message on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and of Refugees - 2002 the Holy Father invites Christians to work mainly through their parishes. The parish is a 'palestra' of hospitality, says the Pope. Through these Christian communities bonds of friendship can be built, collaboration can be undertaken for the good of society and a culture of respect and solidarity can be promoted together with immigrants who belong to different religious traditions.


On the level of dialogue of life Christians, through their respective parishes, can manifest a spirit of welcome, understanding and respect towards immigrants and refugees. For example, on the occasion of religious feasts of different religions, the Christian community can organise programmes in order to exchange greetings (the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends a special message to Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims for their respective festivals of Diwali, Vesakh and Id al Fitr). It is also an occasion to understand the deeper religious significance of a festival of a particular religious tradition. The Holy Father draws our attention to the dialogue of life through the practice of Christian charity.He says, "Everyday, in many parts of the world, migrants, refugees and displaced people turn to Catholic organizations and parishes in search of support, and they are welcomed irrespective of cultural or religious affiliation"(n. 4).


The dialogue of collaboration can also be promoted when Christians can be instruments in bringing together immigrants who belong to different religions in order to work for the good of the whole society.


Different places of worship and centres can encourage the dialogue of spiritual experience. Friendly and fraternal relations with people of different religions can help in acquiring sound knowledge of different religions. This knowledge can replace prejudice, misunderstanding and intolerance.


"Inter-religious dialogue is not opposed to the mission ad gentes" (Redemporis Missio, 55) and, " ...true inter-religious dialogue on the part of the Christian supposes the desire to make Jesus Christ better known, recognized and loved...." (Dialogue and Proclamation, n. 77). Christian communities can invite immigrants and refugees who belong to different religious traditions to discover Christ, the Lord and Saviour of all.The Holy Father underlines this point when he says in n. 4:


The service of charity, which Christians are always called to carry out, cannot be limited to the mere distribution of humanitarian aid. In this way, new pastoral situations arise, which the Church community cannot fail to take into consideration. It is the task of its members to look for appropriate occasions to share with those who are welcomed the gift of the revelation of God who is Love, who "so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (Jn 3:16). With the gift of material bread, it is indispensable not to neglect to offer the gift of faith, especially through one's own existential witness and always with great respect for all. Welcome and mutual openness allow people to know each other better and to discover that the various religious traditions not rarely contain precious seeds of truth. The dialogue that results from this can enrich every spirit that is open to the Truth and the Good.

TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
ROSARY FATIMA JUDE

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

AUGUST 1
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI

St. Alphonsus was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732. Read More »

AUGUST 2
ST. EUSEBIUS

St. Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia, Italy, around 283. Read More »

AUGUST 3
ST. PETER JULIAN EYMARD

St. Peter Julian Eymard was born in a small town in the diocese of Grenoble, France in 1786. Read More »

AUGUST 4
BLESSED FREDERIC JANSSOONE

Blessed Frederic Janssoone was born in Flanders in 1838. Read More »

AUGUST 5
DEDICATION OF ST. MARY MAJOR

St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons: Read More »

AUGUST 6
THE TRANSFIGURATION

St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons: Read More »

AUGUST 7
ST. CAJETAN

St. Cajetan was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1480, the son of a count. Read More »

AUGUST 8
ST. DOMINIC

St. Dominic was born in Castile, Spain, in 1170. Read More »

AUGUST 9
BLESSED JOHN OF RIETI

Blessed John lived in the first half of the fourteenth century. Read More »

AUGUST 10
ST. LAWRENCE

St. Lawrence, the famous martyr of Rome, lived in the third century. Read More »

AUGUST 11
ST. CLARE

St. Clare was born around 1193 in Assisi, Italy. She lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi.Read More »

AUGUST 14
ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

Raymond Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894. Read More »

AUGUST 15
THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

This feast of Mary celebrates a special privilege of Mary, our Mother.Read More »

AUGUST 16
ST. STEPHEN OF HUNGARY

St. Stephen was born around 969 in Hungary. This saint's name.. Read More »

AUGUST 17
BLESSED JOAN DELANOUE

St. Joan Delanoue was born in 1666. Her family had a small but..Read More »

AUGUST 18
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL

St. Jane was born in Dijon, France, in 1572.Read More »

AUGUST 19
ST. JOHN EUDES

St. John Eudes was born in Normandy, France, in 1601.Read More »

AUGUST 20
ST. BERNARD

St. Bernard was born in 1090 in Dijon, France.Read More »

AUGUST 21
ST. PIUS X

St. Pius X, the great pope, was named Joseph Sarto. He was born in 1835, the son of a mailman in Riese.. Read More »

AUGUST 23
ST. ROSE OF LIMA

St. Rose, the South American saint, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586.Read More »

AUGUST 24
ST. BARTHOLOMEW

"Bartholomew" was one of the first followers of Jesus.Read More »

AUGUST 25
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE

St. Louis was born on April 25, 1214. His father was King Louis VIII of France and his mother was Queen..Read More »

AUGUST 25
ST. JOSEPH CALASANZ

St. Joseph was born in 1556, in his father's castle in Spain. He went to college and became a lawyer.Read More »

AUGUST 26
ST. ELIZABETH BICHIER

St. Elizabeth was born in 1773. As a little girl, her favorite game was building castles in the sand. Read More »

AUGUST 27
ST. MONICA

St. Monica, the famous mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332 in Tagaste, northern Africa. Read More »

AUGUST 28
ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria on November 13, 354. This famous son of St. Monica spent many years in wicked living and in..Read More »

AUGUST 29
BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. His mother was St. Elizabeth and his father was Zechariah. Read More »

AUGUST 30
ST. PAMMACHIUS

"St. Pammachius was a distinguished Christian layman who lived in the fourth century.Read More »

AUGUST 31
ST. AIDAN

St. Aidan was a seventh-century Irish monk. He lived at the great monastery of Iona, which St. Columban had founded.Read More »

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