Wednesday, 19 October 2016

New YCS bishop for India

Pope Francis has appointed former YCS chaplain Fr Thomass Thennatt SAC as the new bishop for the Indian diocese of Gwalior. He is also the world's first Pallotine bishop, Matters India reports.

A press note from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India headquarters in New Delhi said the Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Kaithathara of Gwalior and appointed Father Thomas Thennatt as his successor.

Fr Thomas Thennatt is the first prelate from the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, popularly known as Pallotines, to become a bishop in the world, said Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur while announcing the appointment.

"It is recognition for the Pallottines as they contribute much to the Church through laity formation, Small Christian Communities, formation of seminarian, and pastoral council," Archbishop Viruthakulangara told Matters India.

Bishop-elect Thennat has served as pastor in states such as the undivided Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

He has served as the parish priest of St. Pius X Church Mankapur in Nagpur diocese since 2012. He is also the president for the pastoral commission of the Prabhu Prakash province of the Pallotines at Nagpur.

He has also served as director of family apostolate, youth ministry, small Christian Communities, as well as member of many commissions of his congregation.

From 1987 to 1991, he was also Director of the Commission on Youth and Young Catholic Student / Young Students' Movement (YCS / YSM), families and the laity of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad

Later he was also rector of the Regional Theologate at Ashta, Bhopal, for ten years.

Pallotine provincial Father Thomas Pullan says the bishop-elect is known for simplicity, humility and detachment from worldly things. Father Thennatt’s unassuming nature will help his duty as a bishop in Gwalior, the provincial told a function at the provincial house in Nagpur to vest the bishop-elect.

Father Thennatt was born in a family of six on November 26, 1953, at Koodallor in the Archdiocese of Kottayam in Kerala.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Pope Francis announces Synod on young people

Young women workers doing vocational training/S. Moumtzis, USAID/Pixnio
ope Francis has announced that the next Synod of Bishops will be held in October 2018 on the theme "Young people, faith and vocational discernment," the Vatican Press Office reports.

"The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortationAmoris Laetitia," the Vatican announcement continues.

"Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realise it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society."

Greg Burke, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters in a short briefing Thursday that the discussions are expected to focus on more than the choice between religious and married life, the National Catholic Reporter notes.

This should not be taken to mean that the next Synod will discuss the question of whether married men could be ordained to celebrate the sacraments, as the English speaking world had assumed in recent months, Vatican Insider adds.

Commenting on Twitter, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia, noted that "yet again @Pontifex has chosen a Synod theme which looks to the deeper question of the engagement of faith & culture central to Vatican II."

In a Facebook post, Philip Callaghan, president of the English and Welsh Young Christian Workers movement, said that the Synod should also address work and unemployment issues.

"As Pope Francis has stated, one of the gravest evils facing our society is the unemployment of the young," Callaghan said. "Work is of fundamental importance to the development of the human person and it is therefore critical that issues surrounding world of work are included in the wider discussions surrounding young people and their place in the Church."


Sunday, 9 October 2016

German president for the IYCW

Outgoing IYCW president Ludovicus Mardiyono (l) with incoming president Sarah Prenger
The International YCW has elected Sarah Prenger, a fulltime worker from the German CAJ, as its new president.

Sarah is the first German to become president of the IYCW and also the first European since Enrique Del Rio of Spain, who was president from 1969 - 1975.

She succeeds Ludovicus Mardiyono from Indonesia.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Former JUC leader António Guterres elected as United Nations Secretary-General

The United Nations Security General Assembly has unanimously elected as Secretary-General António Guterres, a former UNHCR chief, who was also once a leader of the Juventude Universitária Católica (JUC) in Portugal.

A committed Catholic, Mr Guterres is the current president of the Socialist International as well as a former Prime Minister of Portugal, Global Pulse magazine reports.

Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin made the announcement to reporters surrounded by the 14 other council ambassadors after they held a sixth informal poll of the 10 candidates behind closed doors, ABC News says.

CCI coordinator Ruben M. Joseph congratulated Mr Guterres on his appointment.

"CCI congratulates you on your new and greater responsibility as the Secretary General of the United Nations.

"We are sure that with your dynamic leadership qualities and vast experience, you will be instrumental in the United Nations responding to the cry of despair of the millions around the world for peace and survival.

"We feel proud that a leader who has passed through the Juventude Universitaria Catolica (JUC), Portugal which is a member of the IYCS and IMCS has been elevated to such a great responsibility In the world body and are sure there is going to be peaceful and hunger-free days ahead for the world community," Ruben wrote.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Belgian bishop backs Cardijn's canonisation

Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville with former IYCW chaplain Bishop Reginaldo Andrietta before the Mass
Cardinal Joseph Cardijn "is worthy of being officially recognised one day as one of the saints of the Church," according to Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville of Liège.

Bishop Delville, who was formerly a professor of Church history at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, was delivering the homily at the opening mass of the International YCW World Council on Sunday 25 September in Aachen, Germany.

Cardijn was also a "justice fighter," who was "driven by a deep missionary spirit," Bishop Delville said.

"He was convinced that the Gospel message borne by the young workers should shine forth and have an impact on many people. He was himself a vibrant and powerful speaker.

"He sparked confidence with the strength of conviction that radiated from his personality. This strength was love, which is an infectious force. All those who knew him have testified to its strength.

"For the sake of young workers, he undertook more than twenty international voyages.

"He became a justice-fighter throughout the whole world. His international consciousness still needs to mobilize us today.

"This is, in fact, the reason why we are gathered here today, coming from various countries, cultures and continents.

"Our cause is worldwide and it should be endlessly developed for the sake of humanity.

"May I again repeat that Pope Francis is already ahead of us in this area? He is the first Pope coming from Latin America and he is well known for his stand in favour of the refugees and migrants of our world.

"He calls us to overcome our fears and doubts, to go out of our churches and venture out to the peripheries of the world.

"This missionary spirit is possibly Joseph Cardijn’s most visible message, and perhaps the reason that Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal in 1965 in order to promote it at the level of the universal Church. 

"Dear friends, let us be sure that Cardinal Joseph Cardijn has not lost his relevance. He surely still encourages us today, and still prays for us and all the victims of our world. 

"We believe that he lives in God’s grace where he intercedes on our behalf.  We are convinced that he is worthy of being officially recognised one day as one of the saints of our Church," Bishop Delville concluded.

Emeritus Bishop Heinrich Mussinger concelebrates the IYCW Opening Mass

IYCW Colloquy promotes inter-generational solidarity

Jean-Marie Dumortier, Fabrice Epis, Marlyse Strasser and Arlindo de Oliveira animate a session at the IYCW Colloquy
Current and former leaders of the YCW movement gathered in Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany, over the 24-26 September weekend for the IYCW International Colloquy, with the aim of developing cooperation between the various generations of leaders.

Participants shared their experience of developing networks of former YCW leaders in the various continents, notably in Latin America. CCI treasurer, Stefan Gigacz, also presented the Cardijn Community model.

IYCW president, Ludovicus Mardiyono, and treasurer, Andy Predicala, also shared their reflections on the needs and challenges faced by the movement today.

Marlyse Strasser, Fabrice Epis and Jacques Hanon presented the work of the International Cardijn Association (formerly known as the International Cardijn Foundation), particularly the gathering of more than 200 personal testimonies by former YCW leaders.

A series of presentations from current YCW leaders as well as several experts also highlighted a number of challenges facing the world today.

World Social Forum co-founder Chico Whitaker shared his experience and vision of building networks and developing new methodologies, while former Philippines YCW leader, Daisy Arago, and former Belgian KAJ leader, Luc Cortebeeck, both highlighted the challenges in the world of work.

A concluding session identified extension, training and financial support as several of the key areas in which collaboration between former and current YCW leaders could be developed.

Finally, all participants took part in an opening mass at St Jacob's Church, Aachen,

Former IYCW chaplain, Bishop Reginaldo Andrietta, Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville of Liège, Belgium, and Emeritus Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff celebrated the opening mass with a number of YCW chaplains.

This was followed by a public demonstration and march that ended at Aachen railway station.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Pope Francis' special blessing for the IYCW World Council

Pope Francis has asked former IYCW chaplain, Dom Reginaldo Andrietta, who is now the bishop of Jales in Brazil, to communicate a special blessing to the IYCW World Council which will begin in Aachen, Germany this weekend.

"I told (Pope Francis) about my responsibility as a diocesan bishop as the reference bishop for pastoral work for the CNBB (Catholic Bishops Conference of Brazil), which includes support for the Young Christian Worker (YCW/JOC) movement, as well as the World Council of the IYCW, which will take place in Germany from 26 September until the 8 October 2016," Dom Reginaldo wrote in a Facebook post.

"The pope also communicated to me a special blessing for the IYCW Council where I will be present, and has also sent a letter via the Vatican Secretariat of State expressing its pleasure at this world meeting as well as its encouragement to all participants and their mission in the YCW."