Tag Archives: 2017-3

Pope outlines vision for next World Meeting for Families


VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has written a letter to Cardinal Kevin Farrell outlining his vision for 9th World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Dublin in August 2018.

The letter, dated 25 Mar 2017, was presented by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of Vatican Office for Laity, Family and Life, to the organisers at the Vatican press office on Mar 30.

The theme of the meeting is “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.” The Pope noted that Cardinal Farrell has “the task of translating in a special way the teaching of Amoris Laetitia, with which the Church wishes families always to be in step, in that inner pilgrimage that is the manifestation of authentic life.”

Outlining his “indications” for the meeting, the Pope wrote:
I wish to underline how important it is for families to ask themselves often if they live based on love, for love and in love. In practice, this means giving oneself, forgiving, not losing patience, anticipating the other, respecting. How much better family life would be if every day we lived according to the words, “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry.”

Every day we have the experience of fragility and weakness, and therefore we all, families and pastors, are in need of renewed humility that forms the desire to form ourselves, to educate and be educated, to help and be helped, to accompany, discern and integrate all men of good will.

I dream of an outbound Church, not a self-referential one, a Church that does not pass by far from man’s wounds, a merciful Church that proclaims the heart of the revelation of God as Love, which is Mercy. It is this very mercy that makes us new in love; and we know how much Christian families are a place of mercy and witnesses of mercy, and even more so after the extraordinary Jubilee. – CWN

Vatican Radio’s English SW broadcast to Asia comes to an end

Pope Pius XI (R) and Guglielmo Marconi (2nd from L) at the inauguration of Vatican Radio in 1931.

VATICAN CITY – Vatican Radio’s English shortwave (SW) broadcast for Asia has come to an end, with its last transmission going out Friday evening, after nearly 60 years of service.

However, this does not mean it has disappeared altogether. What ultimately closed on 24 March 2017 as Vatican Radio’s English Service for Asia, is however very much alive online on Vatican Radio’s website.  The gradual phasing out of Vatican Radio’s shortwave frequencies is seen as part of the reform of the Roman Curia or the central administration of the Catholic Church here in the Vatican, called for by Pope Francis.  The Pope established the new dicastery or office of the Secretariat for Communications on 27 June 2015, ‎bringing nine media bodies of the Vatican, including Vatican Radio, under the Secretariat’s direction, with the purpose of overhauling, streamlining and ultimately merging them as a cohesive unit.

What ended on March 24 as Vatican Radio’s English Service for Asia began way back in 1958. The only ‎English programme of Vatican Radio then, headed by Jesuit Father Thomas O’Donnell, was repeated a number of times in different directions, ‎including towards Africa and South Asia.   It was a weekly 10-minute news broadcast for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.   However, the need for special programmes adapted to the ‎distinctive cultural needs and tastes of Africa and South Asia gave way to independent programmes for ‎these two regions.

‎In 1964 South Asia got a boost when Pope Paul VI visited Bombay (today Mumbai), India for the 38th International Eucharistic Congress from 2nd to 5th of December.  Hence in May 1965, the Indian Section officially came into being with a 10-minute broadcast twice a week each in the evening in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam, while English went on air daily Monday through Saturday.   In 1982, all the four languages began re-broadcasting their evening programmes the following morning.   Three years later – on May 12, 1985, the Malayalam programme got extra airing time, broadcasting for 15 minutes in the morning, whereas the rest continued broadcasting for 10 minutes.

In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited India from January 31 to February 11.   Just prior to this visit, on January 7 that year, Hindi, Tamil and English were given extra time, and so all the four languages began broadcasting daily for 15 minutes each, in the morning, which was a feature programme.  The evening transmission consisted of 6 minutes of news only.   By the end of 1986 the evening six-minute news increased to 10 minutes and was repeated the following morning.

On 25 March 1990, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and English began broadcasting for 15 minutes each, repeating it the following morning.  And from 23 Sept 1993, the four languages were transmitting for nearly 20 minutes each, repeating the evening programme twice the following morning.

It was on 24 Oct 1993 that the fifth language, Urdu, that is spoken mainly in Pakistan but is also widely followed in India, especially in the north, was added to the Indian Section.  It began with a seven-minute Sunday programme, as part of the Hindi programme.  On 30 March  2003 Urdu became a stand-alone programme, broadcasting for 15-minutes on Sundays and Wednesdays, and repeated the following mornings.  The Urdu programme however closed down in  September 2013, after nearly 20 ‎years of service.

In recent years the English programme for South Asia broadened itself to cover the entire Asian continent becoming the English Service for Asia.  On 16 May 2015, Vatican Radio marked the 50th anniversary of its Indian programmes with a ‎Holy ‎Mass and a reception.  While the SW of the English Service for Asia has closed, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam continue to broadcast in SW as usual.  – Vatican Radio

Dublin prepares for 2018 World Meeting of Families

DUBLIN, Ireland – Just a little more than a year away, the Archdiocese of Dublin released a video on 22 Mar 2017 inviting families from around the world to come together in Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018.

“I’m very pleased to have been asked to host this meeting, and to invite you to join with us in preparing for this event, and hopefully also to come to Dublin, to celebrate with families from all around the world,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin says in the video.

The next World Meeting of Families will be held on 22-26 Aug 2018. As the promo video  says, it will include – “God-willing – having Pope Francis join us for the Festival of Families and the final Mass.”

Pope Francis’ visit to Dublin in 2018 would be a significant moment for Ireland, since it has been almost 40 years since the last papal visit, Ireland’s ambassador to the Holy See, Emma Madigan, told CNA in January.

The Archdiocese of Dublin is currently using the website https://www.worldmeeting2018.ie/ to provide information about the event in English, as they work on launching a more comprehensive, multi-lingual site soon, which will also include ticket and registration information.

The theme of the 9th World Meeting of Families is “The Gospel of family, joy for the world.” As the video says, “The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. Our Catholic Church is a family of families.”

“Our Holy Father Pope Francis is encouraging families from all across the world to come to Ireland in 2018 to celebrate family life. And to reflect on the importance of family in our lives,” Cardinal Kevin Farrell says in the video.

Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, as well as a Dublin native, Cardinal Farrell is one of the persons responsible for organising the event.

The last World Meeting of Families, which took place in Philadelphia in 2015, was attended by around 18,000 people for the congress and somewhere around 800,000-900,000 for the final Mass with Pope Francis.

“Every society, every person, understands a universal bond, a bond that connects us: family,” the promotional video states. “We look forward to welcoming people from every corner of the world to our shores for the 2018 World Meeting of Families.” – CNA/EWTN News

AYD representatives hold preliminary meetings during ‘days of the diocese’

MUNTILAN, Central Java – Preliminary meetings have been held in preparation of the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD), scheduled for 30 July-6 August 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Representatives from 16 countries met on 20-24 March during the ‘Days of the Diocese’ at the Sanjaya Pastoral Centre in Muntilan, a place known as the ‘Bethlehem of Java’ in Central Java. The meeting was the fifth organised in preparation for the upcoming continental event.

Although it was not the first, the gathering in Muntilan was used to rehearse the 7th AYD. Several important officials from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) were present, coming from continent’s four regions: East Asia (South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau), South-East Asia One (Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia), Asia South-East Two (Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines) and South Asia (India and Bangladesh). Representatives of Catholic Organisations for Youth in Asia (COYA) were also present.

Father Dwiharsanto, head of the Steering Committee and former Executive Secretary of the Commission of Youth of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, said that Filipino Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi, head of the Office of Laity and Family of the FABC, and Bishop Cornelius Sim of the Vicariate of Brunei also attended the meeting along with representatives from Indonesia’s 11 dioceses. Foreign participants to the five-day ‘Days in the Diocese’ were hosted by religious congregations. The event enabled participants to live with “new families” and experience Indonesia’s multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious society.

Bishop Sim told AsiaNews that “after this meeting in Muntilan, young Brunei Catholics will be better motivated by the spirit to participate in this international event. Young Indonesians and volunteers are enthusiastic and we are delighted to be part of the next World Day. ” According to Bishop Baylon, young people taking part in the 7th AYD in Indonesia “are spiritually and morally motivated to understand the real situation of the countries in which they live and in which they participate in the Church’s life.” Hence, “We encourage them to reflect upon their real life with other people from different cultures, languages, traditions, and values.” – Vatican Radio/AsiaNews

Fatima seers cleared for canonisation

The two Fatima seers, Bls Francisco, 10, and Jacinta Marto, 9, were the youngest non-martyrs to be beatified in the history of the Church.

VATICAN CITY – The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved a miracle through the intercession of Francisco and Jacinta Marto—two of the three children who witnessed the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima.

The decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, released on 23 March 2017 with the approval of Pope Francis, fulfills the requirements for the canonisation of the two Portuguese siblings. Both died in their youth, shortly after the Fatima miracles. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

The March 23 decree creates the possibility that Pope Francis could preside at the canonisation of Bl Francisco and Jacinto Marto in May, when the Holy Father will visit the Portuguese shrine to mark the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions.

The third Fatima seer, Lucia Santos, became a Carmelite nun, and lived until 2005. In 2008, a separate cause of beatification was opened for Sister Lucia. Pope Benedict XVI waived the usual five-year waiting period after a candidate’s death for the opening of her cause. – CWN

Over 200 Chinese Legionaries attend annual Acies

KOTA KINABALU – Over 200 Chinese-speaking Legionaries attended the 27th Acies on 26 Mar 2017 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.

The event began with a procession by the officials and members (active and auxiliary) of the 13 senior and four junior praesidia under the Kota Kinabalu Chinese Curia from the grotto to the cathedral building.

The curia covers Sacred Heart Cathedral KK, Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, Good Shepherd Manggatal and Holy Family Telipok.

After all had entered the cathedral, the rosary was recited followed by a word of exhortation by Father Paul Lo, the spiritual director for lay movements in the archdiocese.

The highlight was the renewal of commitment to Mary for another year by all those present – priest, religious and lay with the oldest member at 83 years old and the youngest at nine.

After the individual renewal, all recited the consecratory prayer led by Fr Lo.

The event ended with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.

The Acies is a yearly event that falls on a Sunday nearest to March 25, Solemnity of the Annunciation.

Earlier on Mar 18, the  KK Comitium organised the Acies for the English- and BM-speaking members at CMI presided by Father Alex Sipanul, its spiritual director.

Franciscan Alumni donates RM50k to school building project

The newly elected office bearers pose with Mary Gomez (holding the cheque) and Leena Toyoi (on Mary’s right) after the presentation at the AGM, 25 Mar 2017, KK.

KOTA KINABALU – The Alumni of St Francis Convent School presented a cheque amounting to RM50,ooo to the new school building committee on 25 Mar 2017.

The donation was received by Mary Gomez, head of the building committee, at the alumni’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at a local hotel here.

Since the commencement of the RM12m building project, the alumni has donated a total amount of RM177,000 (including this donation) towards the building fund.

Former teacher Mdm Agnes Hiew also contributed RM50,000 towards the building project.

Leena Toyoi of the school building fundraising committee presented a short update on the progress of the project.  She said that it urgently needs another RM2.5m to complete the project by September 2017 at its earliest or June 2018 at the latest.  RM1 million in pledges has yet to be received by the committee.

The AGM also saw the return of the incumbent office bearers for a new term 2017-2019: Datuk Aminah Ambrose (president), Mazni Manjaji (vice president), Patricia Pain (secretary), Georgina Jinawat (asst secretary), Felicity Jinu (treasurer), Dymphna Ubing (asst treasurer), with three new committee members: Aloysia Sang, Suzanne Stidi, and Maximiliana Seet.

In her address, the re-elected president expressed the hope that generous benefactors, past and present students and teachers, and well-wishers will come forward to support the upcoming 3rd Franciscan Night in aid of the school building project on Apr 22 at the Hakka Hall Likas.

Church leaders to organise prayer vigil for peace and harmony

KOTA KINABALU – The Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) and Commission on Sabah Affairs (COSA) will be organising a prayer vigil for peace and harmony on 31 March 2017 at the Padang Merdeka Kota Kinabalu.

It will begin at 7:30 pm.  No printed materials will be provided.  All necessary information and song lyrics will be shared via whatsapp and through screen.

Pastors/Leaders are to organise their members to stay and pray together in small groups as the programme flows.  More time might be accorded to certain prayer areas where it is needed.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own candles, umbrellas in case of rain and mats to sit on the grass.

They are also urged to keep the event “zero litter.”

Herald Malaysia loses its first stringer

MALACCA –  Percy D’Cruz, HERALD’s first stringer and a long-serving stringer of The Star’s Malacca bureau, passed away on 9 March 2017.  Percy, 69, is believed to have been electrocuted at his home at Banda Hilir on Thursday evening.

Theresa Tan, 62, discovered her dead husband when she returned home at about 6:30 pm.

A Malacca police forensics team went to the house on Thursday night to conduct checks.

“We are waiting for the post-mortem report,” said a family friend.

The wake was held at the Chapel of the Assumption at Praya Lane.

The funeral Mass was held at the Church of St Peter at 10 am on Monday, March 13, followed by cremation at the Jelutong Memorial Park.

Percy had been covering church events in Melaka for the HERALD since its inception in 1994. He also assisted those who needed help in putting memorial ads and advertisements in the HERALD.

Hours before he was found dead, he had sent an e-mail to The Star’s Malacca office to complain about damage caused to his home by a flood mitigation project.

Percy was a man with a sense of humour. He was also very accommodating, dedicated to his craft and professional in his coverage.

He will be missed. – Herald Malaysia

CAC staff attend Lenten recollection at the church-by-the-river

MADSIANG, Inobong – Over 30 staff of Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang attended a Lenten recollection at the church-by-the-river here on 24 Mar 2017.

Father Charles Chiew of Keningau Diocese facilitated the recollection at the Catholic Church of Madsiang.

Session 1 dealt with Matthew 19 wherein the 38 staff – married, single, religious – reflected on the origins of their call to service at the archdiocesan level while Session 2 touched on Matthew 5-8 focusing on the call to walk “the extra mile” (Mt 5:41-48) in their service.

After lunch, the recollectionists participated in the Mass integrated with the Stations of the Cross.

Before the event ended, five participants shared their insights and experiences.

This was the second recollection the staff organised under the new administration. The first was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in 2015.

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