The Holy Father’s Intentions
That, with the committed help of all believers, the scourge of poverty may come to an end, eliminating the intolerance social and economic inequality in the world.
That the heroism of the martyrs and of the “witnesses to the faith” who have been remembered during the Great Jubilee may spur all people to increase ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.
That consecrated people, answering the call of their particular vocation, may radiate the spirit of the Gospel beatitudes in the present-day world.
That in Rwanda the recently celebrated centennial of the Church may reinforce Christian brotherhood and speed national reconciliation.
Embark on a Sacred Journey
Kevin Wright will be leading Pilgrimage International’s 2001 European Young Adult Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Paris, Lisieux, Mont Sant’Michel, Assisi, Nettuno, Rome and the Vatican. It includes Mass celebrated by the Pope at St. Peter’s Basilica on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and a day with the world-famous monks of the Benedictine Monastery of Solesmes. The dates are June 17-30, 2001, and the cost is $2000 all inclusive from New York.
Kevin Wright is America’s best-selling author on the subject of Catholic pilgrimage destinations. He is the author of the Catholic Press Association award-winning guidebooks, Catholic Shrines of Western Europe and Catholic Shrines of Central and Eastern Europe. Kevin’s latest book is Europe’s Monastery and Convent Guesthouses: A Pilgrim’s Travel Guide.
With Kevin, a priest chaplain, an EWTN video crew, a bus, and lots of interesting stops and people along the way, these two weeks are certain to be a wonderful experience.
For more information, write: Pilgrimage International Catholic Pilgrimage Tours, 5711 Constitution Ave. Colorado Springs CO 80915; or call (800) 455-5514; or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.CatholicPilgrimageTour.com.
Vocations a Top Priority
Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick, the new Archbishop of Washington, DC, said his top priority will be finding new priests to serve in his 140 parishes, according to the Associated Press.
The 70-year-old Archbishop replaced retiring Cardinal James A. Hickey and will serve the 510,000 Catholics who live in the nation’s capital and southeastern Maryland.
It was reported that while 1,400 priests live in the Archdiocese, most have institutional or academic commitments or belong to religious orders. Many of the priests and deacons working at the parish level are approaching retirement age.
Currently, there are 39 seminarians in training, and the Archdiocese is hoping to raise the number to 70. Archbishop McCarrick leaves behind 107 seminarians in his former Archdiocese of Newark, an impressive number that shows his dedication to fostering priestly vocations.
A Rebirth of Benedictine Life
The Jubilee year brought Benedictine monks back to the birthplace of St. Benedict after a two-century absence.
The Benedictine priory of Maria Sedes Sapientiae, founded in Rome on September 3, 1998, was canonically erected by the Holy See on June 12, 1999. Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., is the prior. The community moved to Norcia, Italy, the birthplace of the twin saints, Benedict and Scholastica, at the invitation of Archbishop Riccardo Fontana. The solemn inauguration was on December 2, 2000.
The monastery of San Benedetto in Norcia, home of Benedictine monks for centuries, was suppressed by the Napoleonic laws around 1800. For almost 200 years, there have been no monks at the sanctuary of San Benedetto itself, located in the central piazza, the heart of the life and activity of the town. The townspeople are enormously enthusiastic about the return of monks to Norcia after such a long absence.
The new monastery prays the full monastic office, and celebrates the Mass in Latin (Novus Ordo) with Gregorian chant. Its other characteristics include reception of pilgrims, guest house, academic and cultural activity, and manual labor.
The return of monks to Norcia is seen as a special fruit of the Jubilee year. It is hoped that the birthplace of St. Benedict can inspire a rebirth of Benedictine life in Norcia.
For further information write: Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., Prior, Monastero San Benedetto, Norcia, Italy; or email email@example.com.
Conversions and Vocations
South Korea has one of the highest rates of conversions, as well as vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
There are some 150,000 Baptisms a year in South Korea, and the majority of those are adults. Seminaries are full, and this year Korea became the second Asian country, after the Philippines, to open a seminary in Rome.
Following a great persecution in 1801 that decimated a very fervent Korean community, which numbered 10,000 faithful, and despite—or because of—suffering new persecutions on and off between 1811 and 1871, the development of the Korean Church has increasingly intensified.
The Tonghak sect initiated the persecutions that unleashed hatred against what it called “Western religion.” In 1864, the Korean Christian community had 23,000 faithful, but between 1866 and 1871 some 8,000 Christians were killed. Over a hundred of these martyrs were canonized on May 6, 1984 in Seoul by Pope John Paul II.
According to the statistical yearbook of the Church in 1998, South Korea had 2,500 priests (1,500 in 1990), 8,000 nuns (5,336 in 1990), and 12, 243 catechists (7,817 in 1988). Among the country’s 46 million people are 3.76 million Catholics, up from 2.73 million in 1990. And, for the first time, South Korea has a Catholic president, Kim Dae-Jung, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts at reconciliation with the North.
Christ the King Radio
Christ the King Communications, Inc., a new non-profit Catholic organization dedicated to bringing Catholic radio to northeastern Wisconsin, has begun broadcasting on WJOK (Jesus Our King) 1050 AM radio Kaukauna. Programming will be almost 100 percent EWTN satellite fed, and is 24 hours a day with a potential audience of about 600,000 listeners. The station will be funded by charitable contributions. There will be no paid advertisements.
The mission of Christ the King Communications is to communicate Christian truth through Sacred Scripture and Tradition in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church; to foster charity and joy; and to confirm among all people the peace that Christ the Lord brings.
Speaking to the Catholic Media Association, Pope John Paul II said: “Radio offers perhaps the closest equivalent today of what Jesus was able to do with large groups through His preaching. Radio is an intimate medium which can reach people on the street, in their cars, or in their homes.
“Radio may well be the most effective means of reaching large numbers of people who may not want to read or may lack the exposure to Catholic publications, but be willing to eavesdrop on Catholic radio stations or programming.”
Please pray for this great missionary activity, and consider making a donation, large or small.
Donations may be sent to Christ the King Communications Inc., P.O. Box 36, Kaukauna, WI 54130.
A Guide and Model
St. John of God was a guide and model for those who would devote themselves to the assistance of the poor and the infirm.
He was neither a priest nor a religious, but a layman, who from his own personal experience knew the state of abandonment of the mentally ill. And without any human means, he opened a hospice in Granada, where he and his companions assisted the mentally disturbed, poor, sick, dying, and homeless. He visited the sick in their homes, assisted orphaned and abandoned children, sought to rehabilitate fallen women, and visited the imprisoned.
Over the centuries many, both laymen and religious, have followed the example of this apostle of mercy. This association sees its origin and its inspiration in the first lay community of St. John of God in Granada.
The spirit of St. John of God is reflected in the words of the Gospel: “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 14:13). Like St. John of God, this association seeks out the sick, the poor, the distressed, the homeless, the abandoned and, above all, the mentally ill.
Mindful of the thought of Pope Pius XII that some souls are to be reached only through the corporal works of mercy, they consecrate themselves to the poor and sick personally, visiting and assisting them as silent missionaries in the public hospitals and other institutions.
The spirit of St. John of God also embraces the care of orphans and needy youth in orphanages (foster homes), and “oratories” (social centers), the assistance of prostitutes and girls in moral danger, as well as the care of prisoners and their families.
For more information write San Juan de Dios, Igulot, Bocaue, 3018 Bulacan, Philippines.