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Monday, July 12, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Holy Father to Fr. Giorgio Nalin, superior general of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus on the occasion of the 10th general chapter of the congregation.

  In the Message, dated June 26, the Pope joyfully recalls that on May 16 he canonized their founder, Hannibal Maria di Francia, "whom I defined as a 'distinguished apostle of prayer for vocations' and 'true father of orphans and the poor'."

  "The mission of the Rogationists is found in the program indicated by 'Rogate', an imperative before which the perspective of faith for the harvest becomes a prayer that the Lord send many workers for it. This mission is more timely than ever at the beginning of the third millennium and calls for good and hard working apostles, the first of whom you must be and you wish to be. Therefore, you intend to rediscover and relaunch your charism, while analyzing carefully the needs of the Church and the world in the light of the perennial teaching of Jesus on the fundamental importance of prayer."    

  After emphasizing that the "harvest" is plentiful, and that it is necessary to have "workers of reconciliation, witnesses to the saving truth and builders of a true and stable peace founded on justice and forgiveness," John Paul II writes that, in the face of this great task, the first priority is to pray. ... Through prayer one discovers the primacy of the contemplative dimension of life and gains strength of faith which conquers the world. Today, after the fall of the totalitarian ideologies of the modern age, faith appears ever more clearly the anchor of salvation which is so necessary and urgent."

  The Holy Father asks the Rogationists to work tirelessly "for the temporal and spiritual good of your neighbour, following the example of your founding father, through the education and sanctification of children and young people, evangelization, human promotion and helping the poor. ... The mission impetus is intrinsic to the identity of the apostles of 'Rogate'. Contemplating the 'harvest which is plentiful' and the 'laborers who are few' must open the soul to the desire for the universal evangelization of peoples. In this way, your holy founder wanted his sons to be available and attentive to the 'missio ad gentes' from the beginning."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 12, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Lucio Andrice Muandula, pastor of the cathedral in Maputo, Mozambique and professor at the St. Pius X Inter-diocesan Theological Seminary as bishop of Xai-Xai (area 75,709, population 1,266,431, Catholics 131,189, priests 26, religious 58), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in Maputo, Mozambique and was ordained a priest in 1989. He succeeds Bishop Julio Duarte Langa whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Ernesto Meguenge, of the clergy of Maputo, and rector of the St. Pius X Inter-diocesan Theological Seminary, as bishop of Pemba (area 82,625, population 2,000,000, Catholics 400,000, priests 21, religious 50), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in 1964 in Chidenguele, Mozambique and was ordained a priest in 1989.

- Appointed Bishop Ignacio Gogorza Izaguirre, S.C.I. of Betharram, of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, as bishop of Encarnacion (area 16.525, population 519,769, Catholics 425,643, priests 47, permanent deacons 1, religious 62) Paraguay.

- Appointed Fr. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, chaplain of Ykua University Center of the Prelature of Opus Dei, as bishop of Ciudad del Este (area 27,415, population 600,000, Catholics 590,000, priests 81, religious 77), Paraguay. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in Corrientes, Argentina and was ordained a priest in 1978.

  On Saturday, July 10, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Elevated the apostolic vicariate of Baguio, the Philippines to the rank of diocese, making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Church of Nueva Segovia, the Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Carlito J.Cenzon, C.I.C.M., apostolic vicar of Baguio as first bishop of the diocese of Baguio (area 2,655, population 790,000, Catholics 519,000, priests 63, religious 258), the Philippines.

- Appointed Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, archbishop emeritus of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as special envoy to the celebrations of the coronation of the statue of "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" and of the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which will take place in Aparecida, Brazil on September 8, 2004.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2004 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, who is accompanying the Pope while on vacation in Les Combes in northwest Italy from July 5 through July 17, spoke yesterday morning with journalists before the Holy Father prayed the Angelus.

  When asked about the Pope's decision to return a sacred icon of the Virgin of Kazan to the Russian Orthodox Church, Navarro-Valls said: "The decision is not related to the possibility of a meeting between the Pope and Alexis II in Russia, something  which was clear from the very beginning."  The Holy Father, he added, "feels the time is right to give it back to them." The icon, which has been in the Vatican for years, will be given back on August 28, feast of the Dormition of Our Lady according to the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Before returning it, there will be "an act of devotion, not necessarily public, ... an act of farewell which concludes the pilgrimage of the Madonna of Kazan to Rome." Details about the ceremony will be made available shortly.

  With respect to relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches, the director of the press office told journalists that after the visit to Moscow of Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, they "have improved. It is a long process, and the Pope hopes that the restitution of the icon will contribute to further steps forward. The signs of improvement in relations are reflected in bilateral conversations, in the mixed commissions to identify and resolve problems between the Churches in a climate of collaboration."

  Responding to questions about Patriarch Bartholomew's invitation to the Pope to visit Istanbul, Turkey on November 30 on the occasion of the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople, Navarro-Valls said that "the Pope was grateful for the invitation but for the moment no decision has been made."

  Regarding the sentence of the International Court of the Hague on the construction by Israelis of a wall on the West Bank, Navarro-Valls indicated that "it is a weighty sentence because the United Nations has asked for it. Now we must see what governments do."

  The director also commented on John Paul II's vacation, saying it is "proceeding very well and, as has happened on other occasions, following some days of rest, he is better.  The cool climate allows him to sleep better and the outings keep him in very good spirits." What are the Pope's days like in Valle d'Aosta? "The Pope," he affirmed, "dedicates a lot of time to reading and to prayer, not only in the chapel, and to long conversations on various topics."

  The Holy Father, said Navarro-Valls, "is not preparing any document during these days of rest." About the hypothesis that he is writing a book on totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, he said: "During these days no, perhaps it is already finished, but I have not seen him work on this project here."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2004 (VIS) - Today at noon, Pope John Paul, who has been in Les Combes d'Introd, Valle d'Aosta since July 5, recited the Angelus with an estimated 6,000 faithful who came to the residence where he has been staying. In remarks made before the prayer, he greeted the pilgrims present, as well as the civil and religious authorities, including Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta and the Salesian communities of Les Combes and Lombriasco.

  "In this oasis of quiet," said the Pope, "amidst the marvelous spectacle of nature, one  easily senses the value of silence, today an increasingly rare good. The many opportunities for relationships and for information that modern society offers risk sometimes eliminating room for recollection, to the point of making people incapable of reflecting and  praying. In reality, only in silence can man succeed in listening, in the intimacy of his conscience, to the voice of God which truly makes him free. And vacations can help us rediscover and cultivate this indispensable inner dimension of human existence."

  Saying that "the perfect model of listening to God" is Mary, to whom many shrines are dedicated in Valle d'Aosta, he blessed the statue of Our Lady of Gran Paradiso, a mountain in the area where he is vacationing, noting that the statue "had been restored 50 years after being placed on the peak of that majestic mountain. May Mary, whom we will celebrate in a few days as Queen of Mount Carmel, help us to see in the beauty of creation a reflection of divine glory, and encourage us to aim with all of our strength to the spiritual peak of holiness."

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