Daily Archives: December 22, 2017

CHANCERY NOTICE

CN/22/427/2017

Chancery Notice

1st January 2018

WORLD DAY OF PEACE

“MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES: MEN AND WOMEN IN SEARCH OF PEACE”

 

On January 1 the whole Church celebrates the 51st World Day of Peace. In his message for this day, Pope Francis invites us to turn a “contemplative gaze” toward our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters. With the theme “MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES: MEN AND WOMEN IN SEARCH OF PEACE” all Catholics are challenged to embrace those who endure perilous journeys and hardships in order to find peace. He urges people of faith to turn with a “contemplative gaze” towards migrants and refugees, opening their hearts to the “gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their houses, in their streets and squares.”

In his Message, Pope Francis points situations of war, conflict, genocide, ethnic cleansing, poverty, lack of opportunity, and environmental degradation as reasons that families and individuals become refugees and migrants. And he proposes four “mileposts for action” as necessary in order to allow migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and trafficking victims the opportunity to find peace. These include:

– Welcoming, which calls for “expanding legal pathways for entry” and better balancing national security and fundamental human rights concerns;

– Protecting, or recognizing and defending “the inviolable dignity of those who flee”;

– Promoting, which entails “supporting the integral human development of migrants and refugees”;

– Integrating by allowing migrants and refugees to “participate fully in the life of society that welcomes them.”

Doing so enriches both those arriving and those welcoming.

Let us draw inspiration from the words of Saint John Paul II: “If the ‘dream’ of a peaceful world is shared by all, if the refugees’ and migrants’ contribution is properly evaluated, then humanity can become more and more a universal family and our earth a true ‘common home’.” Throughout history, many have believed in this “dream”, and their achievements are a testament to the fact that it is no mere utopia.

We remind all Clergy that in the homily on that day (which follows the Proper of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) explain to the faithful the Holy Father’s message and urge them to pray for world peace.

In all Masses, the collection is for the Pontifical Commission “Justice and Peace.”

Given at the Chancery Office on 18 December 2017.

 

Fr Manuel Machado, MCCJ

Chancellor

2017 H.E. Bishop Stephen Lee Christmas Message — Straighten the path starting from youth and family

In these days of Advent, as one walks through the streets of Macau, aside from the colorful Christmas lights, we can also observe meticulously decorated Nativity scenes or Christmas cribs. Even if these have become just one more Christmas decoration, nonetheless for us Christians, they carry a special meaning. I am so glad to learn that some organizations in our Diocese have promoted the setting up of the cribs in homes or visiting the Nativity scenes in the different churches, in order to present once more the great mystery of Christ’s Incarnation. It enkindles our hope and prepares our hearts as we approach an incomparably joyful Christmas and the beginning of the New Year.

I believe you already know that His Holiness Pope Francis announced at the beginning of this year that in October 2018 he will convoke the Synod of Bishops with the theme “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” The Holy Father’s heart is on the wellbeing of the youth, and in the name of God who is abundant in mercy, he invites young people to walk the path that Jesus Christ has prepared which is full of goodness.

Everyone also remembers the abundant graces that the Year of Mercy has brought to the Church, and this year I made an appeal for our Diocese to promote the “Culture of Mercy” that Pope Francis has spoken of (cf “Mercy” 20), in particular stressing the recognition and practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I hope that in the coming year we can continue to deepen this “Culture of Mercy,” and spread this concern to young people. We need to promote the renewal of the family and strive to address the diverse concerns, needs, problems and hurts of the youth. Today’s world is seeing many changes and problems that are not easy to solve. As the Holy Father says, “As adults, we find it hard to listen patiently to them, to appreciate their concerns and demands, and to speak to them in a language they can understand” (Evangelii Gaudium, 105).