ALL THE BAPTISED MUST COMMUNICATE THE GIFT OF THE GOSPEL
VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was the Pope's Message for the eighty-fifth World Mission Day, which falls this year on Sunday 23 October. The theme of the document is: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you".
The call to take the Gospel to everyone, "with the same enthusiasm as the early Christians", as the Venerable John Paul II wrote in the Jubilee Year 2000, "resounds every year in the celebration of World Mission Day", says Benedict XVI in his Message.
"The announcement of the Gospel is destined for everyone", the Pope writes. The Church "exists to evangelise", he says. "Her activity, in conformity with the word of Christ and under the influence of His grace and charity, becomes fully and truly present in all individuals and all peoples in order to lead them to faith in Christ.
"This task has lost none of its urgency", he adds. "We cannot rest easy at the thought that, after two thousand, there are people who still do not know Christ, who have not yet heard His message of salvation.
"What is more, there are growing numbers of people who, though having received the Gospel announcement, have forgotten or abandoned it and no longer identify themselves in the Church; and many environments, even in traditionally Christian societies, are reluctant to open themselves to the word of faith. A cultural shift is taking place, which also draws nourishment from globalisation, from new schools of thought and from the prevailing relativism; a shift which leads to mentalities and lifestyles that ignore the Evangelical message as if God did not exist, and which exalt the search for wellbeing, easy earnings, career and success as the goal of life, even at the expense of moral values".
The Holy Father recalls how "the universal mission always involves everyone and everything. The Gospel is not the exclusive prerogative of those who received it, but a gift to be shared, a piece of good news to be passed on. This gift-commitment is entrusted not just to the few, but to all baptised people".
"Evangelisation", he writes, "is a complex process and includes various elements. Among these, missionary activity has always given particular attention to solidarity, ... sustaining the institutions necessary to establish and consolidate the Church, ... and contributing to improving the living conditions of people in countries most affected by problems of poverty, malnutrition especially among children, disease, and lack of healthcare and education services. This too is part of the mission of the Church. In announcing the Gospel, she embraces human life in the fullest sense of the term".
The Pope continues his Message: "It is unacceptable, as Servant of God Paul VI said, for evangelisation to overlook questions associated with human development, justice, and liberation from all forms of oppression, though obviously while respecting the autonomy of the political sphere. Ignoring the temporal problems of humanity would mean 'forgetting the Gospel lesson of love for our suffering and needy neighbours'. It would not be in keeping with Jesus' own behaviour Who 'went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness'.
"Thus, by responsible participation in the mission of Christ, Christians become builders of the peace and solidarity that Christ gives us, and they collaborate in achieving God's plan of salvation for all humankind", Benedict XVI concluded. "May World Mission Day revive in everyone the desire to 'go out' to meet humankind, bringing Christ to everyone". IMAGE SOURCE: DAYLIFE.COM
CELEBRATIONS TO BE PRESIDED BY THE POPE: FEBRUARY-APRIL
VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations due to be presided by the Holy Father between February and April.
Wednesday 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Vespers with members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.
Saturday 5: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass and episcopal ordination.
Monday 21: At midday in the Concistory Hall, concistory for certain causes of canonisation.
Wednesday 9: Ash Wednesday. At 4.30 p.m. in the basilica of Sant'Anselmo, "statio" and penitential procession. At 5 p.m. in the basilica of Santa Sabina, blessing and imposition of the ashes.
Sunday 13: First Sunday of Lent. At 6 p.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.
Saturday 19: At 9 a.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.
Sunday 20: Second Sunday of Lent. At 9 am, Mass and dedication of the new Roman parish of "San Corbiniano all'Infernetto - Casal Palocco".
Sunday 17. Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of palms, procession and Mass.
Thursday 21. Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass. At 5.30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.
Friday 22. Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9.15 p.m. at the Colosseum, Way of the Cross.
Saturday 23. Holy Saturday. At 9 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter vigil.
Sunday 24. Easter Sunday. Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10.15 a.m. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.
VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a telegram of condolence, in the Holy Father's name, to Dimitry Anatolevich Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation, in the wake of yesterday's bomb attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow, which left many people dead and injured.
Benedict XVI expresses "profound suffering and firm condemnation at this serious act of violence", and his desire "to transmit his sentiments of spiritual closeness and deep condolence to the relatives of the victims".
VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Ildo Augusto Dos Santos Lopes Fortes, "fidei donum" priest, chancellor of the diocese of Mindelo, Cape Verde, and pastor of the parish of "Sao Vincente", as bishop of Mindelo (area 2,230, population 166,000, Catholics 149,230, priests 19, religious 58). The bishop-elect was born in Sal, Cape Verde in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1992.