Thursday, 31 January 2013


COOPERATORES VERITATIS

EMERGING YOUTH CULTURES: THEME OF ANNUAL PLENARY OF PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE

Vatican City, 31 January 2013 (VIS) – The annual Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture was presented in a conference this morning in the Press Office of the Holy See. This year's plenary will be dedicated to the theme "Emerging Youth Cultures" and will take place from 6 to 9 February. Participating in the conference were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and Bishop Carlos Alberto de Pinho Moreira Azevedo, respectively president and delegate of that dicastery, along with Fr. Enzo Fortunato, O.F.M. Conv., director of the Sacred Convent of Saint Francis Press Office in Assisi and two youth representatives: Alessio Antonielli of Italy and Farasoa Mihaja Bemahazaka of Madagascar.

In an address presenting the event that was given a few days ago at the Convent of St. Francis in Assisi, Cardinal Ravasi said that its main area of interest would be "youth culture". "Walking down the streets with their ears blocked up with earphones, listening to their music, gives a sign that they are 'disconnected' from the unbearable social, political, and religious complexities that we adults have created. In a certain sense, they drop their gaze so as to exclude themselves because we have excluded them with our corruption and inconsistency, with uncertainty, unemployment, and marginalization. We parents, teachers, and priests, the ruling class, we must examine our conscience. The 'diversity' of youth, which in fact is not only negative, contains surprising seeds of fruitfulness and authenticity. We need only think of the choice to volunteer made by many young persons or their passion for music, sports, and friendship, which is their ways of telling us that man does not live by bread alone. We need only think of their spirituality, which is so original in its sincerity, or their freedom, which is hidden under a blanket of seeming indifference."

"For these and for many other reasons," concluded the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, "I am interested in the youth, who are the present (not only the future) of humanity. Of the five billion people living in developing countries, more than half are under the age of 25 (representing 85% of all the youth in the world). That is why, leaving aside the ever-necessary objective socio-psychological analysis of faith on the young, that is, the meaning of religious presence to them, we would rather focus on their faith, that is, trusting in their possibilities, even if they are buried underneath those differences that, at first glance, cause such an striking impression."

Bishop Avezedo, during his address at the press conference, laid out the plenary's program, clarifying that its objective is "to objectively enquire into the new, complex, and fragmented phenomenon of youth cultures with the help of experts and listening to the thoughts of the members and consultors of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Only the opening ceremony will be open to the public. It will be held in the Aula Magna of the LUMSA University and will have the novelty of a short rock concert preceding the first conference. The work document sent to all participants clarifies our perspective of cultural analysis of the transformations in adolescents and young adults who are questioning the practices of evangelisation."

"A few days ago," he commented, "the International Labour Organization said that 73.8 million young persons in the world are seeking employment and that there will be half a million more by 2014. This information raises a series of questions: Is there a distrust of government? Is there a fear of the future? Will the youth take to the streets in protest? Does the myth of eternal youth reveal a lack of value of adults?" In this context, and after the assembly takes an overall look at the situation, the program will focus on some of the most salient and wide-reaching cultural features such as how the "digital culture revolutionizes the model and the grammar of communications". The structures and rituals of this language, just like the importance of music, meeting places, etc. … All those questions that "require discernment on the part of the Church and a profound change in language and the creation of codes in which the Christian vision might be meaningful." Other topics for discussion will be the "emotional alphabet" of the youth, the value of the body, friendship networks, and the delay in attaining self-sufficiency.

The following day, three young adults from different continents will reflect on the reasons for having confidence in the youth. Despite the fear of the future and the worsening of economic conditions, there are "potentials, an incredible creativity, a spirit of volunteering that is full of altruism, … and answers to the questions of meaning and hope."

The next topic to be dealt with will be that of "generating the faith, which we have called the 'cultural battle'.

Effectively," Bishop Avezedo said, "that means that creating conditions that make meeting Christ possible have to have a cultural as well as a pastoral and theological focus. The fatigue, and at times failure, of ecclesial practices that widen the gap between young persons and the Church needs to be understood. Also, the rates of being born into the faith are low. Adult generations either do not know how or do not have time to deal with their own faith or to generate the faith in their children."

"The audience with the Holy Father at the beginning of the plenary meeting will be a major incentive for the assembly. For 2,000 years, the Church hasn't had a predetermined artistic style or a predefined language. She looks to the person and the message of Jesus to communicate in these totally 'multi-verse' times. Emerging youth cultures reveal the vulnerability, the insecurity, and the fragility of repetitive formulas. The Pontifical Council for Culture's promising assembly frees us from superficiality and apathy and is unafraid of confronting the truth of cultural situations."

source: V.I.S. - Vatican Information Service - www.vis.va

NELLA SOLLENNITA` DI SAN GIOVANNI BOSCO


FIDEM CUSTODIRE CONCORDIAM SERVARE
PEREGRINAZIONE DELL’URNA DI DON BOSCO
ALLE CATACOMBE DI SAN CALLISTO

OMELIA DEL CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE, S.D.B.
SEGRETARIO DI STATO DEL SANTO PADRE
Giovedì, 4 giugno 2009

La Parola di Dio offre sempre nuove occasioni per rileggere la nostra vita e confrontarla con gli insegnamenti del Maestro. Il brano del Vangelo che abbiamo letto, riporta una scena imbarazzante per i discepoli: mentre rientravano da una peregrinazione apostolica insieme al Signore, si erano lasciati andare a considerazioni che con l’autentica sequela di Cristo avevano poco a che fare. Egli, da buon pedagogo li interroga, per poter dare egli stesso la giusta risposta:"Di che cosa stavate discutendo lungo la via?".

Quando i ragionamenti rivelano la bassezza umana dettata dall’orgoglio di voler essere il più grande, bisogna ricorrere ad un antidoto sicuro. Il cristianesimo conosce un solo primato: diventare bambini nello spirito! Per stampare nella memoria della Chiesa nascente questo insegnamento, il Signore prende un bambino e lo presenta agli apostoli. Esempio concreto e alquanto scioccante perché nella scala sociale del tempo il bambino, pur importante, apparteneva ai ranghi più bassi. Il bambino, infatti, ha bisogno di tutto e dipende in tutto.Immaginiamo cosa devono aver provato i discepoli nel sentire che il loro Maestro si paragonava ad uno di questi piccoli: "Chi accoglie uno di questi bambini nel mio nome, accoglie me; chi accoglie me, non accoglie me, ma colui che mi ha mandato". Essere bambini nello spirito, è dunque una delle condizioni che ci permettono l’accesso a Dio Padre Onnipotente. Questa rivelazione ha aperto uno scenario inedito per l’umanità. I cristiani hanno compreso il senso dell’accoglienza degli ultimi della società, che nell’immagine del bambino indifeso e bisognoso di tutto, hanno assunto il volto dei poveri, degli emarginati, degli offesi, dei perseguitati… A questi hanno offerto amore e solidarietà, secondo la richiesta di Gesù.

San Giovanni Bosco

Facendo un salto nella storia, entriamo nel secolo XIX dove incontriamo un testimone dell’interpretazione autentica, concreta e originale di questo brano del Vangelo. Don Bosco, giovane prete piemontese, mosso dallo Spirito Santo, apre in maniera travolgente le porte per accogliere i giovani “più abbandonati e pericolanti”, suscita compagni, sempre più numerosi, per la realizzazione del suo “sogno”, e mette in atto un “metodo di vita cristiano”, che si è rivelato fruttuosissimo nel tempo: il “sistema preventivo”. L’uomo di domani si costruisce sopra un humus creato giorno per giorno, e più di un aneddoto della vita di Don Bosco rivela lo stile di approccio con i giovani, facente leva sulle potenzialità positive di ognuno. Attento alle richieste dei ragazzi, Don Bosco ama parlare di gioia, di allegria, di sani momenti di svago, perché la felicità è iscritta nella giovinezza. Uomo d’azione, Don Bosco comprese che l’attenzione posta ai giovani è il migliore investimento nella società, nella Chiesa e nel mondo. Non esiste un futuro nella società senza la cura dei piccoli e dei giovani, e Don Bosco si è dedicato pienamente a questo futuro. A giusto titolo il Santo Padre Giovanni Paolo II lo ha definito “padre e maestro della gioventù” nella sua famosa lettera in occasione del centenario della morte.

Don Giovanni Bosco, operante con i giovani di Torino

Nella persona di Don Bosco, operante inizialmente sulle strade di Torino, e poi in ogni parte del mondo attraverso i suoi seguaci, si rende presente l’insegnamento del Maestro dato ai discepoli sulle rive del lago di Tiberiade: insegnamento aggiornato e approfondito, legato ai problemi della società contemporanea. “La vostra grandezza sta nell’essere come bambini” - sembra di sentir risuonare la voce di Gesù nell’opera del giovane Don Bosco. “La vostra grandezza sta nel porre l’attenzione ai più poveri, abbandonati, disoccupati, senza tetto, senza famiglia, senza lavoro” - sembra ripetere Gesù in Don Bosco.

L’opera di Don Bosco ha realizzato migliaia di istituti, scuole, centri professionali e centri di carattere educativo. Lo spirito di Don Bosco si è incarnato in decine di migliaia di suoi figli e figlie che hanno deciso di continuare ad occuparsi dei più piccoli, attraverso i diversi rami della Famiglia Salesiana e attraverso la folla immensa degli exallievi. Anche se il mutare dei tempi incide sulle modalità di applicazione, nei diversi istituti salesiani, nelle diverse opere presenti in tutti i continenti, la natura profonda del carisma di Don Bosco rimane sempre la stessa. Lo esprime l’interesse di aggiornamento da parte di tutta la Famiglia Salesiana e insieme il desiderio di capire sempre meglio il “da mihi animas coetera tolle”, che caratterizza la motivazione profonda e originale dell’impegno di Don Bosco. Possiamo scorgere in queste istanze le caratteristiche più promettenti della realtà salesiana nel mondo di oggi.

Ma veniamo al luogo dove ci troviamo: le Catacombe di San Callisto. Conosciamo la storia: Don Bosco visitando queste Catacombe e camminando su questi prati, rimase impressionato da ciò che poté vedere e sperimentare. Le tracce della fede dei primi cristiani, che ancora oggi troviamo nei bellissimi affreschi, nelle scritte e nei simboli incisi sulle lastre di marmo e nelle lunghe gallerie, parlavano al suo spirito, tanto che veniva spesso in questo luogo. Qui, anche ora, sentiamo fortemente la presenza di Don Bosco, non solo per la presenza dell’Urna che contiene le sue spoglie, ma per quella grazia divina che invade il nostro spirito nel comprendere sempre in maniera nuova e affascinante le parole del Vangelo riferite ai piccoli, ai giovani, che sono il fondamento della nostra vocazione salesiana. Chissà se Don Bosco aveva intuito che i suoi figli avrebbero prolungato a San Callisto la sua testimonianza?

La carisma di Don Bosco

Considerando il radicamento dei salesiani in questo luogo possiamo ben dire che qui il carisma di Don Bosco si respira. Ognuna delle tre comunità che fa parte del “Complesso Callistiano” (San Callisto, San Tarcisio e Beato Filippo Rinaldi) è apportatrice di una specificità dello spirito di Don Bosco. Oltre ai confratelli che si occupano della custodia delle catacombe, qui ha luogo la formazione e il postnoviziato internazionale dei giovani che svolgono studi di filosofia; vi è situato il CNOS-FAP che si occupa dell’animazione del settore della formazione professionale dei centri salesiani in Italia, come pure la sede del VIS (Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo), che si occupa di diversi progetti di sostegno alle missioni.

I salesiani dediti alla custodia delle Catacombe, in sintonia con un gruppo di collaboratori laici, operano in modo instancabile a rispondere positivamente alle aspettative dei numerosissimi visitatori. E’ da notare come viene spiegato ai tanti gruppi di visitatori, specialmente ai giovani, non solo l’aspetto archeologico-storico, ma anche il profondo significato pastorale delle catacombe. San Callisto sta diventando sempre più una delle mete privilegiate dei pellegrinaggi a Roma, provenienti da ogni latitudine. Negli ultimi anni le Catacombe accolgono i pellegrinaggi dei ministranti che vengono a trovare il loro patrono, san Tarcisio. E’ significativo lo sforzo dei ministranti europei di valorizzare sempre di più questo posto segnato dal martirio e dalla santità del loro Santo Patrono. Nel contesto dei crescenti problemi educativo-pastorali dei giovani queste iniziative appaiono particolarmente importanti e significative.

L’Urna di Don Bosco visita questo “Complesso Callistiano” per confermare la dedizione e il sacrificio di tutti coloro che si sono succeduti nel corso degli anni in questo luogo; per rinnovare in tutti noi presenti ora, giovani e anziani, l’entusiasmo giovanile, per spronarci nell’impegno instancabile per l’educazione dei giovani, per spingerci sempre più ad occuparci dei problemi della società di oggi. Siamo noi, ora, sulla scena di questo mondo a dover incarnare l’insegnamento di Gesù, e a dover prendere la responsabilità dei più piccoli e deboli, per portare avanti ciò che il Maestro proponeva ai suoi discepoli.

Il mondo di oggi ha bisogno di Don Bosco come non mai. Tocca a noi rivivere Don Bosco, tramite la nostra dedizione e la nostra fedeltà al carisma. Proprio per questo la Peregrinazione della Sua Urna è un segno della sua benedizione e della sua vicinanza.

Don Bosco, rimani in mezzo a noi e aiutaci ad essere capaci di trasmettere efficacemente la Buona Novella ai giovani e ai bisognosi. Proprio come te vogliamo “consacrare ogni nostra fatica alla maggior gloria di Dio ed a vantaggio delle anime”.

Aiutaci ad essere quegli strumenti utili di cui si serve la Provvidenza Divina, proprio come lo eri tu ai tuoi tempi.

Aiutaci ad avere quella “dolcezza e carità” che ti caratterizzava; ad esprimere quella gioia che tu sapevi tanto bene trasmettere ai ragazzi.

Aiutaci ad essere noi stessi un giorno, insieme a te e alla moltitudine dei “buoni cittadini” che il tuo spirito ha formato sulla terra, dei “degni abitatori del cielo”.


Maria Ausiliatrice


Maria Ausiliatrice, aiutaci tu ad essere autentici salesiani di Don Bosco.

COOPERATORES VERITATIS

Vatican Apostolic Library uploads 256 digitized manuscripts

The Vatican Apostolic Library

Texts, letters and manuscripts previously available only to experts with access to the Vatican's Library are now just a click away.

The 256 documents are the first to be made available to anyone, simply by logging on to the website of the Vatican Apostolic Library. But the project is much more ambitious.

MONS. CESARE PASINI
Prefect, Vatican Apostolic Library
“It will be all of the manuscripts. To be more precise, all of the manuscripts that are conserved within the manuscript deposit in the Library. There are about 80,000.”

The project started in late 2011, and employs the use of technology from NASA to digitize the documents. But, it will take years.

Once finished, the files will use up approximately 4.5 million gigabytes in the Vatican Library's external hard-drive.

Source: Romereports

Pope honors St. John Bosco, explains what different generations can learn from him


COOPERATORES VERITATIS

Pope honors St. John Bosco, explains what different generations can learn from him
St John Bosco

January 31st is the feast of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians. This year marks 200 years since his birth and 125 since his death. During his weekly general audience, Benedict XVI invited all generations to follow this saint's example.   

BENEDICT XVI
“This morning we celebrate the feast day of St. John Bosco, a priest and educator. I urge the youth to see him as an authentic teacher of life. To my ill brothers and sisters, I urge you to learn from his spirituality, so you many always trust in Christ. And you, dear newlyweds, seek his intercession, so you may fulfill your spousal role, with generosity.” 

St. John Bosco was born in Italy. As a priest, he was known as a great teacher to the youth. He founded several schools under the premise of studying and also learning a trade to earn a living. 


source:romereports

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Interview - H.E. The Lord Cardinal Stanislaw Dsiwisz


SURSUM CORDA

During the interview


His Eminence, The Lord Cardinal
 Stanislaw Dsiwisz
Archbishop of Krakow
Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria del Popolo




Cardinal Dsiwisz, how would you describe your working relationship with the Supreme Pontiff during the thirty nine years serving him?

 His Eminence Cardinal Stanislaw Dsiwisz - Metropolitan Archbishop of Krakow


It’s true, I was the private secretary to His Holiness John Paul II for thirty nine years, twelve years in Crarcow and for the remaining twenty seven years in Rome. A wonderful collaboration , I tried to serve him, to help him in everyday life, but he was always very patient with me. He never scolded me. I tried to do what belongs to a secretary, and tried not to disturb him. He was a man of peace. And so this work next  to him was a very nice experience, very nice, one could learn a lot, especially about his concentration, his prayer. All what he did filtered it through his prayers. I could see he was a man of God. So also the work was very easy to work near him. I could do so with great tranquility. Whatever he asked me to do I did it with great harmony.


Eminence, can you tell  me some memories of Pope John Paul II’s two visits in Malta?

Do not address me eminence. Call me Don Stanislaw as I am well known here ! Yes, the two visits were both very beautiful, still different because the first visit, the Pope was much more healthy, very strong, he could face a very long and demanding program that was not easy. Full schedule of commitments, everyone wanted to touch him, greet him, and he replied with all his immense heart.

 During the Pontifical Mass presided by Pope John Paul II on the granaries in Floriana

The two visits were all very beautiful, different because the first visit, the Pope was much more healthy, very strong, could face program that was not easy. Full schedule of commitments, everyone wanted to touch him, greet him, and he replied with all my heart. The Maltese people are very Christian, very united people of faith, very loyal to the Church. And so the Holy Father was very pleased. All the points of the program were very beautiful.

 Pope John Paul II with Archbishop Joseph Mercieca during his first visit to Malta

Very impressive was the arrival in Malta. From the aircraft we could see so many churches, and these churches were so well maintained, more than three hundred churches .. Full of people, the atmosphere was of great joy. And the Holy Father felt very much at home. Loved, welcomed, protected especially with prayer.

We always kept in our mind the beautiful activity in the Grand Harbour, he always  remembered and compared it to the arrival of St. Paul in Malta. It is true we entered the Grand Harbour with different means different means but the maltese welcome had many common factors compared to what had already been received by St Paul from the inhabitants of this island.

John Paul II during his second visit to Malta


On his second visit  he was older, already touched by sickness. Whilst he was noticed as weaker, he always had great spiritual strength and the people gave him this great power. The people admired him and so also in the second visit his meetings with the political hierarchy were done in an easier way then the first time.

Don Stanislao can you reveal which are the most three significative  stages in the Pontificate of Blessed Pope John Paul II?

Cardinal Karol Jozef Wojtyla: On his election to the Petrine Service



Yes. They are many. I will start from his election to the Petrine Ministry. After centuries of Italian Popes, the first non-Italian. And to the enthusiastic acclaim of the faithful in Rome and around the world. A new Pope from Poland, a young Pope full of life, enormously capable and very well prepared. This certainly was an extraordinary event.

And certainly after this,  the second time that the world has stopped for him was when he was attacked in St Peter’s Square. No one thought that this coul happen,  an attack on an innocent man, a man of peace, and especially in St. Peter's Square. After so many beautiful things.

 Pope John Paul II connected with youths during a World Youth Day


Also the World Youth Days. He felt accomplished on thinking  that young people must be helped to find their right way to reply to questions they will be looking for. Tor Vergata, but also all the all the Youth Days were wonderful!
John Paul II closes the Holy Door in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Jan 20, 2001
Even other big events, such as the year two thousand, the Great Jubilee, celebrated in Rome nobody thought that this Jubilee brings positive pastoral results. Meetings with families, with everyone.

And certainly the third time that the world could be said that it was stopped again was  for his death. And for his funeral. Again all over the world and not just the Christian World was near to John Paul II.

Eminence can you speak about your memories about the tragic assault on John Paul II in St. Peter's Square?

On May 13, 1981John Paul II suffered a serious attack in St Peter's Square. Don Stanislaw is seen assisting the Pope seconds after the shooting



Yes, I remember because I certainly can never forget it! It has entered my mind, my memory, my head. Above all Providence! What could Man have done?

It was impressive that he was seriously wounded. He was going to die. As he started his journey to the hospital I heard him forgive his assailant. He forgave him! And prayed for him for as long as he could because on reaching the Gemelli Hospital he lost consciousness.

He lost a lot of blood….the plan had been to kill him. There were very difficult moments during the operation. His doctor came to tell that the situation was very delicate.. his heartbeat was hardly audible. His blood pressure dropped drastically and he had bled profusely. Many  many problems.

Because the attempt was intended to kill him. The bullet went right through his body. He was a man of mysteries…great mysteries but protected. Guarded by God an Our Lady to whom he was so devoted.

He had great devotion to Our Lady


He was saved by God through the intervention of Our Lady of Fatima as he later said.

Eminences what can you reveal to us about  Pope John Paul II’s last days on Earth?

A priest, a professor read him nine chapters of the Gospel of St John.

His last day, his last hours, the last day, he was conscious. He was aware of the his last morning of his last Saturday. That Saturday we concelebrated Mass. I had presided over the celebration…….over all the praying he did every morning …. His meditiation.


He wanted to greet Cardinal Ratzinger, the Dean of the College of Cardinals


After Greeting Cardinal Ratzinger who was the Dean of the College of Cardinals and some other collaborators….in the afternoon he wanted to prepare himself…to prepare himself because he was aware that he neared the end of his life.
The funeral procession from the Apostolic Palace to St Peter's Basilica

He asked us to read the Holy Scripture which he was used to reading. He used to pray through Holy Scripture. A priest, a professor read him nine chapters of the Gospel of St John. He prepared himself in this way.


Pope John Paul II's coffin was exhumed on Friday ahead of the Beatification. His former Private Secretary Cardinal Stanislaw Dsiwisz kisses his coffin


And so we too thought of concelebrating Mass dedicated to Divine Mercy…on Saturday evening. And we have him a few drops of Christ's blood on his tongue. After Mass we gave him Extreme Unction and thus slowly, he died!


Archbishop Stanislaw Dsiwisz places a white veil over the face of the late Pontiff


But I say that he gave great dignity to death. He used to say that death was just a passage to eternal life. He was so aware of those passing from one life to the next. The Pope was assisted by the young people and the crowd which prayed for him filling St Peter's Square.

H.E. Cardinal Stanislaw Dsiwisz prays in front of the late Pope's tomb in St Peter's Basilica


How do you define the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II?

Long but fruitful. Very fruitful. The world and had politically  changed during the pontificate of John Paul II. And certainly he had his print in this change. Firstly, the collapse of marxsism, communism, not only in Europe but also in the world.

 The Church had become closer to the World and the World to the Church, especially to the World of Culture.

Even science and faith are less distant. They are more closer. He had shown that science needs faith, science of reason, has solved many things. Many documents. Great teaching. It was a milestone in the history of the world.

A wonderful collaboration!

Now there are other problems. Now we have another very gifted Pontiff, the Holy Father Benedict XVI. They had among them a wonderful collaboration.  Mutual respect and also a true collaboration.

Frank Zammit after finishing the interview with Cardinal Dsiwisz outside the Curia of the Archdiocese of Krakow

 
JESUS CHRIST YOU ARE MY LIFE

Jesus Christ, you are my life,
alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are my life.
You are my life, alleluia.

Be our Way, our Truth, and our Life.
Form us anew in how you died.
We embrace the cross that you bore,
and will arise in glory.

Holy fire, come dwell in each heart.
Grant us the gifts your love imparts.
Free our tongues to boldly proclaim
"Jesus is Lord forever!"

Break the yoke of violence and war.
Open the hearts of rich to poor.
Nations bound by terror and fear
long to embrace your freedom.

Senseless walls of hatred divide,
vengeance destroys and fear misguides.
Teach us mercy: hope for new life;
for you alone are holy!