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ARCHBISHOP DOM HENRYK HOSER APOSTOLIC VISITOR ON EXPANSION OF MEDJUGORJE SANCTUARY – We are building a new Medjugorje!

– Miguel Augusto (*)

Medjugorje will be raised as a Marian Shrine and plans are underway for the extension of the existing sanctuary, said Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser, apostolic visitor to Medjugorje. The faithful followers of Our Lady in Medjugorje are filled with joy with the support that is being given by the Vatican and by Pope Francis, where it is increasingly concluded that Our Lady speaks to us here for the whole humanity, in a way that has never done in the past, and in any other geographic region.

FILIPINOS SET TO ATTEND WORLD YOUTH DAY – Young people from around the world converge on Panama City for World Youth Day 2019

FEATURED IMAGE: Delegates from the Philippines during the previous World Youth Day in Poland in 2016. (Photo by R Lagarde, CBCPNews)

– Robin Gomes

(Vatican News) Young people from around the world are getting ready to join the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day (WYD) in less than a fortnight in Panama city, including a contingent from the Philippines.

News Briefs

– Tej Francis

BEIRUT

INAUGURATION OF CHURCH FUNDED BY THE EMIR OF QATAR

(AsiaNews)  The Maronite Patriarch, Card. Beshara Raï, this week inaugurated the Church of St. John the Evangelist, within the convent of St. Savior of the Lebanese Missionary order (Oml-Ghosta-Kesrouan). The ceremony took place in the presence of the Qatari ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Hassan Jaber al-Jaber, as special representative of the Emir of Qatar Tamim ben Hamad al-Thani, who personally financed the construction of the place of worship.

The church is located in the Kesrouan, one of the administrative divisions of Mount Lebanon, in the center of the country. It is the first of a series of projects covering a total area of 1700 square meters and also includes two other blocks that include a convent, a library, a sports center, underground parking, rooms, an amphitheater, lounges, bars and kitchen.

Speaking at the inauguration, the ambassador of Qatar stressed the importance of Islamic-Christian dialogue, of which the emir has been “a fervent supporter” for decades. He then recalled the construction of churches in the Gulf country and the over 200 thousand Christians living in Doha. Finally, the diplomat assured that despite the serious diplomatic and institutional crisis with Riyadh, the country will remain faithful to the commitments made and the economic investments signed.

HONG KONG

CARD TONG APPOINTED APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATOR OF HONG KONG

(AsiaNews) Card John Tong Hon has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Hong Kong “with the responsibility of governing it during its vacancy and until further notice” by the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, under whose authority the diocese has been placed.

Card Tong, 79, is bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, having led the Diocese from 2009 to 2017. The cardinal is among the architects of dialogue with China and among the most positive supporters of the Sino-Vatican agreement. The appointment of an apostolic administrator became necessary following the death of Mgr Michael Yeung Ming-cheung on 3 January.

Several faithful wonder why the Auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong, Mgr Joseph Ha Chi-shing, was not appointed. In their view, the choice of Card Tong and the exclusion of Mgr Ha is due to the desire of the Vatican and the Diocese to avoid frictions with China. Mgr Ha is known for his support for the release of jailed Chinese bishops, vigils in memory of those killed in Tiananmen, and support for the territory’s demands for democracy.

In reality, according to some priests, Card Tong was picked because of the need for a “neutral” apostolic administrator, someone who is not among the possible candidates for the ordinary episcopate of Hong Kong. This means that Mgr Ha is a possible candidate for such a post.

On Saturday, together with the appointment of the new apostolic administrator, Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolences to Hong Kong for the death of Mgr Yeung.

ROME

POPE’S OUTREACH TO ISLAMIC WORLD IN 2019 HAS DEEP ROOTS

(Crux)  In a recent interview with the Italian broadcast network TV2000, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Christian/Muslim relations has been a priority for Francis since the beginning of his papacy and it will continue to be a priority in 2019, seen mostly through trips the pope is taking to Islamic countries.

“The pope’s attention toward the Arab world is due to the difficulties which today are found in relations between Christianity and Islam, with the tragic drifts of terrorism and religious fundamentalism,” Parolin said in the interview.

Francis’s keen attention to Catholic-Muslim relations was showcased by the fact that his first international trip after being elected to the papacy in 2013 was a May 2014 visit to the Holy Land. Since then, dialogue with Islam has continued to be a strong emphasis for the pope in his travels, including a visit to Turkey in November 2014, to the Central African Republic in 2015 and to Egypt in the spring of 2017, all of which have a Muslim majority.

Francis’s looming Feb. 3-5 trip to the United Arab Emirates and subsequent outing to Morocco March 30-31 are further signs that dialogue with the Islamic world will continue to be a strong priority.

DEVOTION THAT DRAWS MILLIONS, EVEN THUGS – The Traslación of the Black Nazarene

FEATURED IMAGE: Sunstar

– Fr Leonard E Dollentas

Every ninth of January Filipinos fervently pay homage to the Black Nazarene. The entire grounds of the Quirino Grandstand and the streets leading towards Quiapo Church became a sea of millions of people, who climb and jostle one another to get close to the image of the Black Nazarene. They brave the heat and the mammoth throng just to touch the image of the Black Nazarene during the Traslacion. The local authorities reported that some 4 million devotees participated in the 10-day event which started on December 31, 2018, until January 9, 2019.  According to newspaper reports, the attendance has increasingly been growing over the years. This could have been the reason why recently, the route of the procession had been carefully planned and stretched to accommodate the growing crowds.

FEAST OF HOLY FAMILY CELEBRATED BY THE CATHOLIC PASTORAL FOR MIGRANTS

The Catholic Pastoral Care for Migrants celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family, on 30th December at the Parish Hall of Our Lady of Fatima Church. A Holy Mass at 9:30 AM had commenced their celebration at St Augustine Church. Lunch and short program were prepared. It was attended by different religious and non-religious groups and graced by Philippine Consulate Lilybeth Deapera, with Labor attache, Mr Ramon Pastrana and Ms Suzie, OWWA. Sister Yna, a religious member of Cenacle was the Guest speaker. She said time is the most precious gift we could give to our loved ones, and with time one can know each other’s dreams and problems not just money or gadgets. (Text and photo by Ayrelyn Benas)

COMMISSION ON FAMILY AND LIFE CELEBRATES FIRST YEAR OF LOVE AND CAARADERIE

The Commission on Family and Life celebrated their first year of love and camaraderie, and as family of families on the Feast day of their patron, the Holy Family, on 30th December. To honor the Holy Family, a Triduum of prayers was celebrated from 27th December to 29th December at 7:30 PM at the Pastoral center. The Holy Family of Nazareth is a school of virtues. Imitating them is a way to come closer to God for “No families drop down from heaven perfectly formed” (Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia).

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2019 – Chancery Notice

CN/2/002/2019

The Catholic Church and other Churches and Ecclesial Communities will jointly celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 18 January to 25 January.  For this year of 2019, the theme is “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue …” (see Deut. 16:18-20).

ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE OF MIGRATION – People will still continue to die in the Mediterranean

– Marco Carvalho

Large-scale migration is one of the most topical issues of our time and it has also evolved to be one of strongest points of Pope Francis’ pontificate. The Holy Father weighed in on the question of migration by calling European leaders to show “concrete solidarity” towards those fleeing poverty and persecution. The Pope has made the immigration question a hallmark of his five-and-a half year pontificate, by urging nations to open their hearts and their lands to those seeking a better life, but two main issues remain. Millions of persons will try to enter Europe or the United Stated in the short and middle term in spite of the physical and political firewalls that have been built during the last few years. On the other hand, most of the integration policies that exist nowadays in most European countries are deficient and ineffective: strong social benefits for migrants, multicultural policies and fast naturalization, social scientists have discovered, do not further integration.

Chancery Notice

CN/2/002/2019

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2019

The Catholic Church and other Churches and Ecclesial Communities will jointly celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 18 January to 25 January. For this year of 2019, the theme is “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue …” (see Deut. 16:18-20).

 

  • We will come together for a common prayer service on January 19 (Saturday), at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Rosa de Lima (Chinese Section), Rua de Santa Clara, 21
  • On 20 January, the Eucharistic liturgy should follow the Proper of the Second Sunday of the Year, with special prayers for Christian unity.

Given at the Chancery Office, 10 January 2019.

Fr. Manuel Machado, MCCJ

Chancellor

BEATI SERVI TUI – Music by Aurelio Porfiri

Liturgical Mass Sheet