INITIATIVES OF THE HOLY FATHER OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD
VATICAN CITY, 14 DEC 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy See Press Office today announced two initiatives of the Holy Father over the Christmas period.
In the atrium of the Vatican's Paul VI Hall at 1 p.m. on Sunday 26 December, the Pope will offer luncheon to people assisted by the various Roman communities of the Missionaries of Charity, to mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
At 5 p.m. on Wednesday 5 January, eve of the Epiphany, the Holy Father will visit children in Rome's Gemelli hospital. He will bless a new centre for the care of children with spina bifida and participate in the distribution of presents to the young patients.
VATICAN CITY, 14 DEC 2010 (VIS) - On 12 December Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, sent a message for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to media workers in Latin America.
"The continental mission which is taking place in Latin America", Archbishop Celli writes, "is leading many people to a new awareness of what it means of be disciples of Jesus. The local churches enthusiastically encourage this undertaking, reminding people that being Christ's disciples means having experienced an authentic encounter with Him. ... This experience permanently marks and transforms life, and for this reason we wish to communicate it to others, thus becoming missionaries ourselves".
The meeting with the Lord, the prelate continues his message, "has many aspects. It is a personal but also a community experience; it comes about in solitude and silence, but also and especially in liturgical celebrations and family life. It draws nourishment from dialogue and community prayer, ... and culminates in activity and service".
The archbishop then goes on to invite people "to enjoy moments of silence during these days of Advent, so as to listen to the voice of Jesus which speaks to our hearts. ... Let us stem the flood of daily cares and noises which so often overwhelms us. Silence is like a white screen upon which we can project the film of our daily life so as to see it more clearly. If we projected it on a wall full of pictures, books and other objects, and with a background noise, we would perceive little. Only in silence can we make our choices with greater awareness. In silence we hear the voice of God, and thus become genuine bearers of His Word".
"This is, perhaps, difficult advice to follow at a time in which we are constantly bombarded with information, a time of pastoral needs and of hard work in our families, communications media and parishes. Yet, ... should we not also prepare the contents of what we are to communicate via radio, newspapers, television programmes and websites? What satisfying message can we give if our lives are full only of repeated words, with little substance and scarce content. Let us dedicate time to the Lord Whom we await in this period of Advent".
Archbishop Celli concludes his message by asking Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is also patron of RIIAL (The Information Network of the Church in Latin America) that "to obtain for us the gift of inner silence from God, ... that He may make our words, texts, images and music fruitful vehicles of the Good News".
VATICAN CITY, 14 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday evening the Holy Father received in audience a group of Japanese bishops.