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Tuesday, April 1, 2003


VATICAN CITY, APR 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for April is: "That those who hold positions of responsibility in the Church may offer a shining example of a life which is always responsive to the guidance of the Spirit."

His missionary intention is: "That the clergy and the laity, and the religious, both men and women, who work in missionary lands, may live and courageously bear witness to the universal call to holiness."

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VATICAN CITY, APR 1, 2003 (VIS) - Following is the text of the telegram sent in Pope John Paul's name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of state, to Bishop Juan Vargas Aruquipa of Coroico, Bolivia for the landslide which occurred yesterday and which has buried hundreds of homes and caused an unknown number of victims in the mining town of Chima:

"Informed of the Pucaloma Hill landslide on the people of the mining town of Chima which caused many victims and wounded, His Holiness John Paul II offers prayers to the Lord for the repose of the souls of the deceased and asks Your Excellency to express his sincere condolences to their families, as well as his sentiments of paternal spiritual closeness to the wounded and to all who have been deprived of their homes. At the same time he invites public institutions and people of good will to thoughtfully give efficacious aid, with charity and a spirit of fraternal solidarity, to those who have been affected. With these sentiments and moved by Christian consolation the Holy Father imparts the comfort of his apostolic blessing."



VATICAN CITY, APR 1, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to Fr. Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, superior general of the Order of Minims, on the occasion of the first March of Penance, organized by the youth branch of the Order, which will take place tomorrow in the Italian city of Paola. It was here on March 27, 1416 that the founder of the Minim priests, lay brothers and sisters, St. Francis of Paola, was born.

In his Message, John Paul II greeted the members of the Order and the organizers of the march, and imparted his apostolic blessing on their endeavor. He noted that "the opportune manifestation is taking place this year in a period marked by numerous concerns and sufferings, also because of the war underway. It is, therefore, an even more opportune occasion to invite people to reflect and to implore for all of mankind the fundamental gift of peace. It is taking place, in a certain way, in ideal continuity with the 'Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace' that began Lent this year.

"These strong spiritual moments help us to become ever more aware of the urgent need to build peace, even at the cost of personal sacrifices. One must be willing to give up even something that is legitimate, with a view to a superior good. Above all one must be aware of all that can be obtained from God through prayer."

The Holy Father remarked that St. Francis of Paola, "who lived at a time of hardships and problems caused by the persistence of various conflicts, committed himself to work for peace, doing penance as well as mediating for the parties in conflict. In 1494, while dark clouds were forming over Italy, he confided: 'I am working tirelessly for peace'. He defined peace as 'the greatest treasure that a people can have' and 'a holy good that merits being acquired at a high price."

In concluding remarks, the Pope said he "hoped with all his heart that the March of Penance will contribute to helping the consciences of the new generations mature in a sincere desire for peace, to be fed with an itinerary of personal self-denial in a spirit of penance."



VATICAN CITY, APR 1, 2003 (VIS) - In recent weeks the following prelates died:

- Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, O.S.B., archbishop emeritus of Vienna, Austria on March 24 at the age of 83.

- Bishop Eduardo Tomas Boza Masvidal, vicar general of Los Teques, Venezuela on March 17 at the age of 87.

- Bishop Leonard James Crowley, former auxiliary of Montreal, Canada on March 15 at the age of 81.

- Archbishop Eugene D'Souza, M.S.F.S., emeritus of Bhopal, India on March 18 at the age of 85.

- Archbishop Bruno Bernard Heim, apostolic nuncio in Switzerland, on March 17 at the age of 92.
- Bishop Theodorus Hubertus Moors, M.S.C., emeritus of Manado, Indonesia on March 18, 2003 at the age of 90.

- Bishop Jan Olszanski, M.I.C., emeritus of Kamyanets-Podilskyi of the Latins, Ukraine on February 23 at the age of 84.

- Archbishop Charles Alexander K. Salatka, emeritus of Oklahoma City, U.S.A. on March 7 at the age of 85.

- Bishop Mori Julien-Marie Sidibe of Segou, Mali on March 25 at the age of 76.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary presented by Bishop Alfred Kleinermeilert of Trier, Germany upon having reached the age limit.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 1, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins.

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