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The deeds of love are deeds of peace – above all in the ... · over 10,000 copies of the YOUCAT,...

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  • 1

    “The family is where we

    first learn to relate to others,

    to listen and share, to be

    patient and show respect,

    to help one another

    and live as one.”

    Pope Francis, Apostolic letter Amoris laetitia, 276

    “Today the world has been turned upsidedown. There is so much hatred, so muchkilling, so much unhappiness, because theworld of love, of peace and joy has beenbroken in families”, so Mother Teresasadly observed. She saw the absence oflove and commitment in the family as thegreatest poverty that needed to be tackled.Without the tenderness, the forgiveness,

    the mutual respect, the loyalty and thewillingness to serve selflessly, which islearned and practised within the family,there can be no peace in the world. Thewelfare of society depends on the healthof the family. It is in the home, in our own families, inour own society and in the workplace,among those nearest to us, that the gen-uineness of our love is put to the test.Mother Teresa was convinced that lovingthose closest to us was the way to changethe world. For her the home needed to becharacterised by three defining qualities:understanding, esteem and consideration.

    On 4 September in Rome, Mother Teresaof Calcutta will be canonised. She has be-come an icon of charity for our times.Right back in 1959 Father Werenfried vanStraaten, the founder of ACN, visitedMother Teresa in India, and he was one ofthe first people to make her knownthroughout Europe, togetherwith her community of theMissionaries of Charity andtheir work for the poorest ofthe poor. Today there can befew people who have notheard of this “saint of theslums” as some have called her. In 1985the then UN general secretary welcomedMother Teresa in front of the plenary as-sembly of the United Nations with thesewords: “I do not think there is any need tointroduce her. She does not need anywords; she needs deeds. The best I can dois to pay her the fitting tribute of sayingthat she is more important than I am,more important than all of us. She is theUnited Nations. She is the peace in theworld.” Yes, deeds of love are truly deedsof peace – that is something that MotherTeresa often insisted upon. And love be-gins at home.

    Every day life offers many opportunities ofpractising this fundamental way of express-ing love, through simple, unostentatiousgestures. We need to learn how to be asource of joy for one another. That is not aseasy as it sounds, and the family can alsobe a place in which people inflict deepwounds on one another. But Mother Teresawas convinced that by praying together

    every difficulty can be over-come. If the family memberscannot find time for God, thenthey will not find time for oneanother either.

    “I pray for you, that you maycontinue to sow peace and brotherly love,for the glory of God and the good ofmankind.” So Mother Teresa once wrote toACN. With the help of her prayers and yourgenerosity, dear friends, we will continuethis work of brotherly love.

    With my grateful blessing on you all

    Father Martin Maria BartaSpiritual Assistant

    The deeds of love aredeeds of peace – above all in the family.

    With the Holy Father in Rome –loving and approachable.

    © Grzeg

    orz Galazka

    No 6 • August/September 2016Published eight times per year

  • Religious lite

    rature

    2

    Good news in times of crisis

    These young people in Carúpano already love the Child’sBible – now they are waiting to get hold of the YOUCAT.

    The Bible is the revealed word of God.It tells us about the relationship be-tween God and man. In it we find everyfeeling and emotion experienced byour human condition – suffering, love,hatred, humility, arrogance, lust,hunger, greed and betrayal.

    The Catholic Catechism is the book that tellsus how to understand the Bible and live anddie by its word. The Catechism is a “Hand-book for life”, a summary of the teachings ofthe Bible and the teachings of the Church –and there is a great need of it, particularly in

    countries facing major political crises and so-cial upheavals. Like Venezuela, for example,which today suffers one of the highest crimerates in the world, together with food short-ages and violent unrest. Amid the instabilityit is the Catholic Church that is appealing forpeace, especially to the younger people. Hermessage is one of love and hope, and she isconveying this message through a prayerbook, designed to complement the nowwidely-read youth catechism, YOUCAT.

    Bishop Jaime José Villarroel of Carúpano innortheast Venezuela has asked our help. He al-

    Returning home – and into the arms of the merciful Father.

    This prayer book is ideal for Bosnia and Herze-govina. In the dioceses of Vrhbosna and BanjaLuka it will be a source of hope both for return-ing refugees from the war and for those whostayed behind. It is a book for families. Withoutyour help it would have been impossible toprint the 6,000 copies they need (at €2.00each).

    “Merciful like the Father”

    ready has the ACN Child’s Bible, and theRosary booklet, but the current crisis is throw-ing many young people into confusion and haseven led some people to a crisis of faith. Thebishop’s aim is to tackle this, with the help ofhis catechists, through a major catecheticalcampaign. For this he needs the books in theYOUCAT series. In the past they would haveprinted these themselves, but paper is nowscarce in Venezuela and books in general havebecome prohibitively expensive on account ofthe galloping inflation. And so we are supply-ing him and his neighbouring diocese withover 10,000 copies of the YOUCAT, theYOUCAT Prayer Book and also the YOU-CAT Confirmation Book. They will be distrib-uted personally by the sisters and laycatechists to the participants in all 33 parishesin their prayer circles and faith-based learningcentres. The overall cost of printing and ship-ping the books comes to €43,540.

    The Catholic Church in Venezuela has alreadywithstood many crises, thanks to the coura-geous women and men who have remainedfaithful to the Word of God and who knew andlived this Word. Today this Word – the GoodNews of the Gospel – is as urgently needed asever by the people of Venezuela. •

    Keeping a firm grip on the Child’s Bible– now he just has to learn to read...

    Any donation you kindly give will go to support these, or similar

  • 3

    Family apost

    olate

    Praying for the future – their families’and their own. The school and summercamp open many hearts to faith.

    It is their future that is at stake. Youngsters at an open-air Mass.

    For the purificationof cultures

    Poverty and hunger drive many people toshocking practices that reflect this desperation.Kupimbira is the name of one of these unfortu-nate customs, whereby poor families have to“pay” the rich by “marrying” their youngdaughters – often still children – to wealthyolder men. For example, 13-year-old Maria wasforcibly “married” by her father to a 78-year-old man from the neighbourhood. It is traditionssuch as these that Pope Francis has in mindwhen he writes in Evangelii Gaudium that “Itis imperative to evangelize cultures in order toinculturate the Gospel…Each culture and socialgroup needs purification and growth.” (69).

    The diocese of Karonga in Malawi is desperately poor. There are few properroads, too few schools and medical centres, and three people in every fivelive on less than a dollar a day. Generally speaking, the time from January toApril is a season of hunger.

    It is precisely this purification of traditional cul-ture, through the message of love, that theyoung diocese of Karonga is seeking to achieveduring this Year of Mercy. There is so much todo: a number of Catholics are being drawn tothe assemblies of the sects, while polygamy, be-lief in witchcraft, alcohol abuse and the ex-ploitation of widows – in order to acquire theirinheritance – are widespread practices. Allthese things lead to conflict and enmity, oftento decades-long feuds between and within fam-ilies and clans. And so reconciliation, educationand enlightenment against superstition and di-alogue between and within families are among

    Reconciliation underthe African sun.

    At a table, or under a tree, what mattersis to come together

    in harmony.

    the priorities of the programme. None of thiswill overcome the underlying poverty, but it willhelp the people to deal with the issues in aChristian manner. For as St John Paul II hassaid, “It is from the family that peace will growfor the human family.” We have promised oursupport for this young diocese – together with€7,900 – for its programme promoting peaceand reconciliation. •

    really know and understand their religion anddraw new hope from it”, says Father Tarcisio. Hehas 300 young people signed up for his summercamp, from nine separate parishes. “Many ofthem no longer see any point in their lives; thedestitution stifles all the hope in them”, he adds.In fact the experience of these summer camps,with their mixture of prayer, discussions, teach-ing, personal warmth and mutual help, has al-ready led to a number of conversions – a realsource of hope for the Church in Burma. How-ever, last year the diocese had to abandon the ideaof the summer camp, since it simply could notafford the cost. This year, with €7,150 fromACN, that will not have to happen again. •

    For many young people in Burma (Myan-mar) the alternative is unspeakable – drugs,human trafficking and destitution. But thesummer camps bring hope to many.

    Poverty is present everywhere in Burma, but es-pecially among the Christian families from eth-nic minorities. Many people are forced bypoverty to move constantly, in search of work,but this often leaves them in still deeper destitu-tion. The Catholic archdiocese of Taunggyi istrying to put a stop to this vicious spiral ofpoverty by means of a formation programme forchildren and young people, during a summercamp. “Otherwise, they have no opportunity to

    Summer camps for God

    projects, and enable the pastoral work of Aid to the Church in Need.

  • 4

    Youth apost

    olate

    The population of Africa is growingfaster than anywhere else in theworld. By 2050 four in every 10Christians will be African. This con-tinent will determine the future ofthe world’s religions – for Islam isalso growing faster here than any-where else in the world.

    Ghana is a very youthful country. Half thepopulation is aged under 16. And in the dio-cese of Yendi in the north, the population isgrowing faster than the national average.Catholics are a minority here. Islam is dom-inant in the region, while traditional Africanreligions still exercise a powerful influence.The boys are needed to work in the fields, thegirls to work at home. There is a widespreadshortage of electric power in the country, anda shortage of books as well. For Bishop Vin-cent Sowah Boi-Nai the answer is clear: theyoung must be instructed more thoroughly inChristian ideals. Not only for the sake of thefuture of the Church in Ghana, but above all“to offer support for the educational missionof families” (Amoris Laetitia, 279) and so

    that Christians living in this difficult socialand religious environment can live and enjoythe freedom of the children of God.

    Together with his catechists and some reli-gious communities, the bishop has workedout a formation programme for 500 youngpeople. It will run over two years and is in-tended to help them avoid the dangers andtemptations both of the many different sectsand of the modern consumer society: to helpthem say “no” to drugs, to continue withtheir schooling, reduce the number ofteenage pregnancies, cut down youth crimeand develop a healthy sense of self-worth…In short, an exercise in character buildingthat points the way towards the future. Inparticular, these young people are beingtaught virtues such as honesty, loyalty, aspirit of sacrifice, solidarity. They are learn-

    ing to pray, they are learning to help, andduring these two years they are also learningto apply the practical principles of theCatholic faith. Only in this way can they becredible witnesses. And the other thing thatis clear to Bishop Vincent is this: “the evan-gelisation of young people is best carried outby young people themselves.” This is aboutforming the whole character, in the spirit ofwhat Pope Francis has written: “To foster anintegral education, we need to renew thecovenant between the family and the Chris-tian community” (Amoris Laetitia, 279).

    This is something of a model project, andone that lays foundations for the future.And the cost of €4,800 is modest in relationto the ultimate objective. It is not often wecan achieve so much good with so littlemoney! •

    Doing great good with little money Forming the whole character – teachingprayer and communicating knowledge.

    The regime in Cuba is slowly opening up. But, almost 60 years of communismhave left behind areas of spiritual wasteland, despite the efforts of the Church.For the catechists, like this man here in the diocese of Santa Clara, it is often a matter ofstarting again from scratch. And so their missionary work, especially among the children,starts with telling stories about God. The ACN Child’s Bible is especially suitable for this,and the demand for it reflects this. The Cuban bishops’ conference is asking us for 18,000copies, which will cost €16,740. The worldwide publication figures for the Child’s Biblehave now reached a staggering 51.9 million copies in 180 different languages!

    Cuba – starting again from scratch

    The younger they start, the better – inthe Good Shepherd Bible centre in thediocese of Yendi.

    Any donation you kindly give will go to support these, or similar

  • 5

    Natural family

    planning

    “A love that is total”

    In this encyclical Pope Paul commends naturalfamily planning among other things. It iswidely used today in many countries, includingZimbabwe, a country that is among the poor-est in the world, where the political situation isfar from secure and the future highly uncertain.There may be good reasons here for marriedcouples to reflect responsibly about the numberof their children. But how? The archdiocese ofBulawayo has a clear programme, whereby or-dinary lay folk, married couples, and alsoyounger people who are sufficiently mature,are taught and trained in methods of naturalfamily planning (NFP). The courses are rootedin a solid scientific approach, and as the teamleader, Sister Alphonsa Tapererwa of the con-gregation of the Sisters of the Child Jesus, ex-plains, the central message that the teachingstaff must understand is that the teaching of theChurch is not contrary to nature but ratherrooted in our very human nature. “NFPdemonstrates that the biblical view of humannature is the real solution in the face of the sex-ual chaos in our times”, she says. The youngpeople on the courses learn that “the human

    There is scarcely another papal document that has been so grossly distortedby the secular media, so crudely reduced to a single aspect (“ban on the pill”)or heaped with such venom as the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae (HV) ofPope Paul VI. And yet this encyclical on marriage and the transmission ofhuman life was a prophetic text, a sober and concise overview of the beautyof married life, through which God “fulfills His loving plan through men”.

    body is something wonderful and that man istruly created in the image of God”. Hence thethree-day workshops also include instructionin the teaching of the Church regarding familyplanning. And at the same time they includethe down-to-earth, practical questions, such asthe consequences of artificial contraception,the anatomy and physiology of the femalebody, what happens when a woman stops (ordoes not stop) taking the pill, how to avoid

    Sister Alphonsa teaches natural family planning– and these children are very much wanted.

    Teaching the logic of married love – the courses are aimedespecially at young couples and older teenagers.

    AIDS, how the Billings Method works, how tobreastfeed correctly, how a woman can observethe changes in her body, what the menopausemeans, which values are most important in thefamily, and which matter most before mar-riage. All the questions revolve around thetheme of life and love, and the most importantthing is always the mutual responsibility of themarried couple; and it is always about “humanfulfillment”, about “a love which is total – thatvery special form of personal friendship inwhich husband and wife generously shareeverything” (HV, 9).

    For many people the so-called “BillingsMethod” of natural family planning is some-thing of a revelation. Not only because it costsnothing, is overall more effective than artificialmethods of contraception and leads to a greatersense of self-control, but above all because itenhances the dignity of women. It involves apartnership in love. By the end of the year, Sis-ter Alphonsa and her team hope to be able toextend their work beyond the 20 parishes of thearchdiocese. The cost of the programme, in-cluding travel, books, teaching materials, etc.is not prohibitive (€21,000 for three years), butbeyond the means of the diocese. We havepromised to help, because “the question ofhuman procreation ... involves more than thelimited aspects specific to such disciplines asbiology, psychology, demography or sociol-ogy. It is the whole man and the whole missionto which he is called that must be considered:both its natural, earthly aspects and its super-natural, eternal aspects.” (HV 7) •

    projects, and enable the pastoral work of Aid to the Church in Need.

  • 6

    Thank you, Mother Teresa In just a few days time theChurch will canonise MotherTeresa. She is one of thosesaints who lived and exempli-fied mercy, to the point of mak-ing it her personal mission. Forto be merciful, as St ThomasAquinas tells us, does notmerely mean having passivefeelings of sympathy, but ac-tively endeavouring to help theperson suffering. In this senseshe is an example for us, andfor this we say “Thank you”. Fa-ther Werenfried, himself a man of active deeds of mercy, discoveredher in India and remained good friends with her all his life. Pope StJohn Paul II often received her and later beatified her. And you toohelped her with countless gifts for the poor and needy, knowing, justas she herself said, that “the only thing that can overcome poverty issharing with one another.”

    Johannes FreiherrHeereman,Executive President, ACN (International)

    Dear Friends,Truly, the Spirit blows where Hewills. I was able to witness this atfirst hand when we received an audi-ence with the Holy Father to markthe launch of our campaign for theYear of Mercy. The Pope looked tired.But at the word mercy, the lifesprang into his eyes. He positively ra-diated, the spark of enthusiasm in-stantly kindled. From deep withinhim came the burning yearning thatpeople might finally understand justhow greatly God loves us, how infi-nitely wide open are the arms of themerciful Father. I have never seensuch intensity as this before.

    This man is a blessing which hasbeen sent to the Church in our time.Following his predecessor, who sowonderfully encapsulated the pro-found truth that God is Love, PopeFrancis is now telling us how to con-vey this love to others. Each of us canplay our part. First of all in our ownlives. His apostolic letter on the “Joyof love” is full of practical sugges-tions for our daily life. And then,after this, we must all get behind thisPope and carry the message of mercyinto the world – into a world so fullof need.

    Need, love and thanks − your letters Giving with loveAs usual, I opened the envelope and simply set itaside on the kitchen bench. I never intended to readit but to toss it out when enough time had passed forme not to feel guilty. My giving started with compas-sion but somewhere those feelings were lost. I washappy to give but never really interested in those Iwas helping, and I told myself: Its okay, you’re giv-ing, you’re being “charitable”. I was about to dropthe Mirror into the bin, when a very strong thoughtcame to me ... “What kind of person am I, who do-nates freely but with indifference, without love?” SoI took the Mirror and prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries,reading a paragraph after each Hail Mary and con-templating Christ’s Passion in relation to the storiesin it. I read though the entire issue with love for allthose in it, both the suffering and those called to servethem. Now I very much look forward to receivingyour next issue. With my gratitude and blessings...

    A benefactress in Australia

    For the faithful Christian martyrs I pray privately and also celebrate Holy Mass with the parish for the Christian martyrs in Iraq, and I want to send you this small offering for their sakes. The marvellous fi-delity of these Christians will be a light forthose enslaved by the powers of darkness,who spread terror and death among so manyinnocent and defenceless people. I pray alsofor the perpetrators; may God have mercy onthem!

    A priest in Portugal

    Sharing her extra pension My pension has just been increased a little.I hadn’t expected that. And so I am enclo-sing a modest cheque, in the hope that it will be of some use to those who need it the most.

    A benefactress in France

    Editor-in-chief: Jürgen LiminskiResponsible Publisher:

    Kirche in Not, Postfach 1209, D-61452 Königstein

    De licentia competentis auctoritatis ecclesiasticae

    www.acn-intl.org

    How to make your contribution to the Church in Need:

    1. Go to our Head Office website: www.acn-intl.org2. Click the donate now button

    3. Either: Go to the National Office of Aid to the Church in Needin your country.

    4. Or: Make an online donation (if you live in a country without an ACN National Office).

of 6/6
1 “The family is where we first learn to relate to others, to listen and share, to be patient and show respect, to help one another and live as one.” Pope Francis, Apostolic letter Amoris laetitia, 276 “Today the world has been turned upside down. There is so much hatred, so much killing, so much unhappiness, because the world of love, of peace and joy has been broken in families”, so Mother Teresa sadly observed. She saw the absence of love and commitment in the family as the greatest poverty that needed to be tackled. Without the tenderness, the forgiveness, the mutual respect, the loyalty and the willingness to serve selflessly, which is learned and practised within the family, there can be no peace in the world. The welfare of society depends on the health of the family. It is in the home, in our own families, in our own society and in the workplace, among those nearest to us, that the gen- uineness of our love is put to the test. Mother Teresa was convinced that loving those closest to us was the way to change the world. For her the home needed to be characterised by three defining qualities: understanding, esteem and consideration. On 4 September in Rome, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonised. She has be- come an icon of charity for our times. Right back in 1959 Father Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of ACN, visited Mother Teresa in India, and he was one of the first people to make her known throughout Europe, together with her community of the Missionaries of Charity and their work for the poorest of the poor. Today there can be few people who have not heard of this “saint of the slums” as some have called her. In 1985 the then UN general secretary welcomed Mother Teresa in front of the plenary as- sembly of the United Nations with these words: “I do not think there is any need to introduce her. She does not need any words; she needs deeds. The best I can do is to pay her the fitting tribute of saying that she is more important than I am, more important than all of us. She is the United Nations. She is the peace in the world.” Yes, deeds of love are truly deeds of peace – that is something that Mother Teresa often insisted upon. And love be- gins at home. Every day life offers many opportunities of practising this fundamental way of express- ing love, through simple, unostentatious gestures. We need to learn how to be a source of joy for one another. That is not as easy as it sounds, and the family can also be a place in which people inflict deep wounds on one another. But Mother Teresa was convinced that by praying together every difficulty can be over- come. If the family members cannot find time for God, then they will not find time for one another either. “I pray for you, that you may continue to sow peace and brotherly love, for the glory of God and the good of mankind.” So Mother Teresa once wrote to ACN. With the help of her prayers and your generosity, dear friends, we will continue this work of brotherly love. With my grateful blessing on you all Father Martin Maria Barta Spiritual Assistant The deeds of love are deeds of peace – above all in the family. With the Holy Father in Rome – loving and approachable. © Grzegorz Galazka No 6 • August/September 2016 Published eight times per year
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