Celebration of a young faith

Carioca was without a doubt the style of the opening ceremony of the 28th World Youth Day, which took place Tuesday evening, 23 July, in Rio de Janeiro. All of the typical elements of the Brazilian soul were there. From the natural scenery of Copacabana beach, one of the most famous in the world, to the Coral Carioca WYD exhibition, consisting of one hundred young artists; from the prayer, often transformed into a harmonious melody by a multilingual choir, to the rhythmic wave of hundreds of flags raised under the light from lighthouses scattered to illuminate this wintery night in Rio.

Dozens killed in Spain train accident

(Vatican Radio) The death toll in a passenger train crash in north-western Spain rose to 77 on Thursday after the train jumped the tracks on a curvy stretch just before arriving in the north-western shrine city of Santiago de Compostela.

Seventy three people were found dead at the scene of the accident and four died in hospitals, said Maria Pardo Rios, spokeswoman for the Galicia region’s main court. At least 141 people were injured after the eight-carriage train carrying 218 passengers derailed about an hour before sunset Wednesday night.

AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN – Food emergency for thousands of people who have fled into the forests of the State of Jonglei

Juba – Tens of thousands of people have fled to avoid yet another wave of violence in the forests of the State of Jonglei, in South Sudan, where there is severe food crisis. Since clashes have started between the Lou Nue r and Murle communities and those between the government and the rebel movement of David Yau Yau, more than 100 thousand people have not received humanitarian aid.

In Beloved Latin America

2013-07-24 L’Osservatore Romano

A week in which to find young people, within the social fabric of which they are part, in the World Youth Day that is opening in Rio de Janeiro. This is how Pope Francis described his first international journey – after his visit to Lampedusa, an eloquent pilgrimage to one of the “peripheries” of our time – at his meeting with the journalists on the papal flight while the plane was flying over the Sahara.

The Catholicism Course by Declan Mallon (Age 14)

I really enjoyed my time at the Catholicism course although at some points I did find it challenging, like when we did the discussions I had no idea what the question meant and I had to get somebody to explain to me before I could understand. It was a nice feeling when you read the questions before each week of the course and you wouldn’t know what the answer would be and then you would watch the video and you would be able to answer the questions very easily. I’m not a big fan of tea but I really liked the cup of tea every week and especially the buns on the last night. I did enjoy it. Some weeks it was very tough but I would definitely consider going again.

Declan Mallon (age 14)

Card. Ouellet: The Light of Faith uniting two Popes

(Vatican Radio) The Light of Faith is “the missing Pillar” in Benedict XVI’s trilogy on the theological virtues but also a symbol of unity between two Pope, stated Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops as he presented the document to Press Friday. “It is a fortunate coincidence that this text was written, so to speak, by the hands of two Popes. Notwithstanding the differences of style, sensibility and accent, anyone who reads this encyclical will immediately note the substantial continuity of the message of Pope Francis with the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI. The origin of all things is God – and faith in Him is a recognition of this fact”.

Benedict XVI joins Pope Francis in Consecrating Vatican to St Michael Archangel

(Vatican Radio) To the joy of Vatican City State workers, Friday morning Pope Francis was joined by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the gardens for a ceremony during which the Holy Father blessed a statue of St Michael Archangel, at the same time consecrating the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection.

Following a brief ceremony, Pope Francis addressed those present noting how St. Michael defends the People of God from its enemy par excellence, the devil. He said even if the devil attempts to disfigure the face of the Archangel and thus the face of humanity, St Michael wins, because God acts in him and is stronger:

Pope Francis signs canonization decrees for John XXIII and John Paul II

(Vatican Radio) Journalists in the Holy See Press Office busy getting to grips with Pope Francis’ first encyclical the Light of Faith, were somewhat surprised Friday lunchtime when Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. called them back for a second announcement: Pope Francis had approved the cause for canonization of two of his venerable and much loved predecessors Blessed John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II. Emer McCarthy reports:

ASIA/SYRIA – A Catholic Belgian priest and a monastery are in the sights of the jihadists

Qara – The Belgian Catholic priest Fr. Daniel Maes, 74, of the religious Order of “Canons Regular Premonstratensian”, is in the sights of jihadist groups who intend to eliminate him and invade the monastery of San James mutilated in Qara, 90 km north of Damascus. The monastery, belonging to the Greek-Catholic diocese of Homs, is situated on a border area between warring groups and could be occupied to become a military logistic base of the rebels. After the death of Fr. Francois Murad, the Christian community in Syria is very concerned. Each line of communication with the monastery is interrupted. The alarm was sent to Fides Agency by some Catholic Syrian leaders and by the families of monks living in St. James, who belong to 9 nationalities, even in Europe.