Daily Archives:November 15th, 2017

Pope discusses priestly formation with dicastery heads

VATICAN CITY –  Vocations, formation in the seminaries and permanent training of the clergy were discussed on 13 November 2017 in the Bologna Hall of the Apostolic Palace, where Pope Francis presided over a meeting of the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

It was the so-called “interdicasterial” meeting, which takes place at least twice a year, with cardinals, bishops and prelates at the head of Congregations and Pontifical Councils.

The meeting discussed the formation of new priests according to the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, a document published by the Congregation of the Clergy in December 2016.

The document takes into account the papal magisterium and insists on the importance of integral human formation, and not only academic formation.

It emphasises the goal of becoming “missionary disciples and pastors” in the three phases of vocational pastoral work, formation of seminarians and permanent training for priests.

Discipleship and mission concern all baptised people while being pastors is specific to the priesthood.

It highlights the importance of integral human formation including affective formation so as to form shepherds capable of living among the people and sharing their expectations, joys and wounds.

The document, in the wake of Francis’ Magisterium – and in particular of the great responsibility that the exhortation Amoris laetitia brings upon the shoulders of priests, especially in accompanying the increasingly frequent difficult marriage situations – insists on the importance of discernment and formation for discernment.

In fact, there is a lack of adequate preparation for this accompaniment to married persons and the formators of future priests must verify whether seminarians are able to assume these responsibilities, as they require commitment, sharing and the ability to identify themselves in situations that are always different from one another.

Paragraph 120 of the document discussed by the Pope with his collaborators reads, “The call to be pastors of the people of God requires a formation that makes future priests experts in the art of pastoral discernment, that is to say, able to listen deeply to real situations and capable of good judgment in making choices and decisions. To make pastoral discernment effective, the evangelical style of listening must take central place. This frees the pastor from the temptation of abstraction, to self-promotion, to excessive self-assurances and to that aloofness that would make him a ’spiritual accountant’ instead of a good Samaritan.” – vaticaninsider

In Manila ASEAN commits itself to protecting migrant workers

(L to R) Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith join hands as they pose for a “family photo” during the opening cermeony at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ summit in Manila on 29 April  2017.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / Mark R. CRISTINO

MANILA – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is committed to protecting and promoting the rights of migrant workers in the region.

The leaders of the ten-member association meeting in Manila for its 31st Summit on 13-14 Nov 2017 signed the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

The deal calls for the fair treatment of migrant workers, granting visitation rights to family members, and a ban on seizing passports.

Other provisions include prohibiting overcharging on placement and recruitment fees, regulating recruiters, and respecting workers’ right to fair salary and benefits, as well as the right to join trade unions and organisations.

For Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Commission on Migrants on Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the agreement is a “caring and helpful” initiative by ASEAN leaders. It shows “their concern and compassion for the plight of our migrant workers,” Santos said.

With a common and unified stand of the ASEAN leaders, the rights and privileges of all migrant workers will be “protected, promoted and respected”. Indeed, “Their decision is the best and very beneficial to all migrant workers regardless of their nationalities,” he added.

The Government of the Philippines earlier said that the signing of the deal was the “centrepiece” of its chairmanship of the ten-nation bloc.

Acting Filipino Foreign Affairs spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said one of the key features of the agreement is for the host country to afford the same level of protection to migrant workers as they do to their own citizens.

Intra-regional migration in ASEAN has increased significantly between 1995 and 2015, turning Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand into regional migration hubs with 6.5 million migrants – 96 per cent of the total number of migrant workers in ASEAN, this according to a World Bank report, entitled Migrating to Opportunity.

Approximately US$ 62 billion in remittances were sent to ASEAN countries in 2015. Remittances account for 10 per cent of GDP in the Philippines, 7 per cent in Vietnam, 5 per cent in Myanmar, and 3 per cent in Cambodia. – asianews.it

Vatican announces initiatives for first World Day of the Poor

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has announced on Tuesday that it will have several initiatives to mark the first Day of the Poor here on 19 Nov 2017.

Pope Francis has called for a day for the poor at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy in November 2016.

The Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation announced a number of special events that are taking place throughout the week to highlight this annual initiative.

On Sunday morning in St Peter’s Basilica, some four thousand poor and needy people, accompanied by volunteers from Italy, France, Spain, Brussels, Luxembourg and Poland will take part in a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

Following the Eucharist, 1.500 of the visitors will be invited to lunch in the adjacent Paul VI Hall, while the other 2.500 guests will be taken to lunch in some of the Catholic colleges, seminaries and charitable organisations in the vicinity of the Vatican.

Those dining in the Paul VI Hall will be served a meal of gnocchi with tomato sauce and veal stew with vegetables, plus tiramisu and coffee for dessert, all prepared by papal chef Sergio Dussin from Bassano del Grappa in Italy’s northern Veneto region.

The Vatican police band and a children’s choir will provide background music for the festive lunch, which has been organised in collaboration with a number of local charity organisations and parishes.

On  Saturday, Nov 18, at 8 pm, there will be a prayer vigil in the ancient Rome Basilica of St Lawrence to remember volunteers all over the world who offer their services in support of the poor and marginalised.

Throughout the week of Nov 13 – 19, a mobile clinic has been set up just in front of St Peter’s Square offering free specialised medical services between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.

A special booklet marking this first World Day of the Poor has also been published in six languages as a pastoral aid for dioceses and parishes worldwide who wish to take part in this important initiative. –  Vatican Radio

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