EUROPE/ROMANIA - First Christmas for Missionary Childhood children

Fides EN - - Gio, 02/01/2020 - 13:22
Bucharest - For the first time, Romanian missionary children prepared and celebrated the Lord's Christmas together: on May 18, in fact, a first group of Romanian children had joined the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood, as part of a day of celebration and awareness . On December 20, 2019, the missionary children met at the headquarters of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Bucharest, to celebrate the birth of Jesus together. According to information sent to Fides by the PMS National Direction, the feast began with the Holy Mass presided by Fr. Eugen Blaj, National Director of the PMS, in the church of Santa Maria Regina, in Cioplea, where the children participated, together with their parents, brothers and sisters, friends and animators.
Therefore there was the representation of the traditional Christmas scene of the birth of our Lord Jesus, followed by a game and the sharing of traditional food that the parents had prepared. There were Christmas carols and a Christmas tree, elements that are part of the atmosphere of this period. However, the protagonist of the encounter was the Child Jesus. During Advent, the missionary children followed an itinerary that helped them prepare for the long-awaited moment, through good deeds and small sacrifices. In the first week they put together small savings for the most needy children, thus learning to give up less useful things for those who live in need. In the second week they decorated the tree with the good deeds they offered for their loved ones. The third week was that of the "special Christmas" gift, carefully prepared for a person that everyone perceives as less pleasant. The last days of Advent were reserved for the preparation of the crib, which represents the heart of each of us, and therefore must be purified of any thoughts, actions or intentions that may create discomfort when welcoming the Baby Jesus.
Categorie: From the church


Fides EN - - Lun, 30/12/2019 - 13:05
Vatican City – In the wake of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 lived by Catholic communities at all latitudes, which was also an opportunity to rediscover the figures of many witnesses of the faith of the local Churches who spent their lives for the Gospel in the most diverse contexts and situations, Agenzia Fides continues its service to collect information regarding the missionaries killed during the year. We use the term "missionary" for all the baptized, aware that "in virtue of their Baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples. All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization" . As it has been for some time, the annual list of Fides does not look only to Missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but tries to record all the baptized engaged in the life of the Church who died in a violent way, not only “in hatred of the faith”. For this reason, we prefer not to use the term “martyrs”, if not in its etymological meaning of “witness”, in order not to enter into the question of the judgment that the Church might eventually deliver upon some of them, after careful consideration, for beatification or canonization.
According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, in 2019 29 missionaries were killed throughout the world, mostly priests: 18 priests, 1 permanent deacon, 2 religious men, 2 nuns, 6 lay people. After eight consecutive years in which the highest number of missionaries killed was recorded in America, since 2018 it is Africa that has taken the first place in this tragic category. In Africa in 2019 12 priests were killed, 1 religious man, 1 religious woman, 1 lay woman . In America 6 priests were killed, 1 permanent deacon, 1 religious man, 4 lay people . In Asia, 1 lay woman was killed. In Europe, 1 nun was killed.
Another note is given by the fact that there is a sort of "globalization of violence": while in the past the missionaries killed were mostly concentrated in a nation, or in a geographical area, in 2019 the phenomenon appears more generalized and widespread. 10 missionaries from Africa, 8 from America, 1 from Asia and 1 from Europe.

Link correlati :Special Fides - Missionaries killed in 2019 Video
Categorie: From the church

ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Terrorist violence on Christmas eve: attack in front of the Cathedral

Fides EN - - Lun, 23/12/2019 - 20:08
Cotabato - Terrorist violence has bloodied the Southern Philippines on Christmas eve: yesterday, on the evening of December 22, during Sunday Mass, a bomb exploded outside Cotabato Cathedral, a city on the island of Mindanao in the south of the Philippines. 22 people were injured in the explosion. Among them there were 12 soldiers who were employed in the patrol of the church, one of the security measures adopted during the Christmas holidays. A second bomb attack occurred a short distance away, injuring a passer-by. "It is a cowardly act on the eve of the Christmas celebrations. The Church strongly condemns these attacks on people and churches", reports Father Zaldy Robles, a Catholic priest serving in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cotabato, to Agenzia Fides. Father Robles tells Fides that the explosion occurred when Sunday mass was underway; people, in a panic, took refuge in the church. Despite the climate of tension and fear, church leaders urged the local population "not to be afraid to celebrate Christmas with joy and courage". In another province, Maguindanao, a bomb was detonated in the city of Upi, injuring two people. A bomb was then dropped at a local police station but did not explode. The army and police have stepped up their investigations to look for the perpetrators of these serial explosions. "Security measures have been strengthened", said the mayor of Cotabato, Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.
According to Major Arvin Encinas, spokesman for the Western Army Command in Mindanao, terrorist groups such as the "Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters" or linked to the self-styled "Islamic State" may be behind the attacks.
The violent acts follow the attack carried out ten days ago, when two people were killed and 35 others wounded in Cotabato in the bomb attack on a shopping mall attributed to militants linked to Isis. In January 2019, 27 people were killed and 777 wounded when two bombs exploded during Sunday mass at the cathedral on Jolo Island, an area considered a stronghold of Islamist militants. The attack came just days after the referendum establishing a new autonomous region for the Muslim population, in an attempt to end a conflict that has left more than 150,000 people dead in 50 years. The Catholic faithful of Cotabato recall that in May 2009 a bomb exploded outside the Church of the Immaculate Conception, killing five people and injuring 45. At the time Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, who was celebrating Mass, called the act a "sacrilegious attack".
Categorie: From the church