Angelus Address: On World Mission Day
‘All Jesus’ Disciples Are Called to Be Witnesses of the Gospel in This, Our Time’

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

The second reading of today’s liturgy proposes to us the exhortation that the Apostle Paul addresses to his faithful collaborator Timothy: “Preach the Word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). The tone is heartfelt: Timothy must feel himself responsible to preach the Word, assuming an all-out commitment, which doesn’t exclude any existential ambit. These sentiments of Saint Paul should be those of all Jesus’ disciples, called to be witnesses of the Gospel in this, our time, in this humanity at times contradictory but loved infinitely by God.

The World Mission Day, which is observed today, is a propitious occasion for every baptized person to have a deeper awareness of the need to cooperate in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God through a renewed commitment. To give new impetus to the missionary responsibility of the whole Church, Pope Benedict XV, a hundred years ago, promulgated the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. He perceived the need to upgrade evangelically the mission in the world so that it would be purified from all colonial incrustation and free from the conditionings of the expansionist policies of the European Nations.

In today’s changing context, Benedict XV’s message is again timely and stimulates us to overcome the temptation to every self-referential closure and every form of pastoral pessimism, to open ourselves to the joyful novelty of the Gospel. In this time of ours, marked by a globalization that should be solidary and respectful of the particularity of peoples, and instead suffers again from the homologation and from old conflicts of power, which fuel wars and ruin the planet, believers are called to take everywhere, with new impetus, the Good News that in Jesus mercy overcomes sin, hope overcomes fear, fraternity overcomes hostility. Christ is our peace and in Him, every division is surmounted; in Him alone is the salvation of every man and every people.

There is an indispensable condition to live the mission in fullness: prayer, a fervent and incessant prayer, in keeping with Jesus’ teaching proclaimed also in today’s Gospel, in which He tells a parable “on the need to pray always and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Prayer is the first support of the People of God for the missionaries, rich in affection and gratitude for their difficult task to proclaim and give the light and the grace of the Gospel to those that have yet to receive it. It is also a good occasion today to ask ourselves: do I pray for the missionaries? Do I pray for those that go far away to take the Word of God with their witness? Let us think about it.

May Mary, Mother of all peoples, accompany and protect every day the missionaries of the Gospel.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

After the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Proclaimed Blessed yesterday at Crema was the martyr Father Alfredo Cremonesi, missionary priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. Killed in Burma in 1953, he was an indefatigable apostle of peace and zealous witness of the Gospel, to the shedding of his blood. May his example drive us to be workers of fraternity and courageous missionaries in every environment; may his intercession support all those that toil today to sow the Gospel in the world. Let us applaud Blessed Alfredo!

And now a warm welcome goes to all of you, pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. In particular, I greet and bless affectionately the Peruvian community of Rome, gathered here with the venerated image of the Senor de los Milagros [Lord of the Miracles] — keep always the faith and traditions of your people! –; the Sisters Nurses of the Addolorata who held their General Chapter; the participants in the march “We Remain Human,” who in the last months have gone through cities and territories of Italy, to promote a constructive confrontation on the subjects of inclusion and hospitality. Thank you for this beautiful initiative!

A special thought goes to the youngsters of Catholic Action, who have come with their educators from all the Italian dioceses, on the occasion of the 50 years of ACR. Dear boys and girls, you are protagonists in evangelization, especially among your contemporaries. The Church has confidence in you; go forward with joy and generosity!

I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.

Angelus Address: On World Mission Day

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Leading the Mission Month celebration in Manila on Oct. 18

Catholics are called to go on mission, together, and truly be Church, a top churchman said.

Leading the Mission Month celebration in Manila on Oct. 18, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said that mission is not a “do it yourself” task but one that is communal.

“Mission is not just for few individuals but for all of us, even the children and the poor are part of the mission,” Tagle said.

“Mission is in community. Mission is ecclesial, the Church,” he said. “Let us encourage every baptized person… you are sent by Christ and by the Church.”

Thousands of people turned out for the event organized by the Manila archdiocese in coordination with the Pontifical Mission Societies of the Philippines.

Every October, the universal Church celebrates mission month. This year, Pope Francis declared October 2019 Extraordinary Mission Month to revitalize and renew the missionary call in a particular way.

The celebration is also to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter on mission, Maximum Illud.

The Manila gathering featured musical performances, testimonies, and was capped with a Mass, attended by dozens of bishops, priests and the religious.

Also present were Papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia and Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and the head of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines.

In his homily, the cardinal stressed that by virtue of their baptism, all Catholics are called to be missionaries.

“Every baptized person, living the life of Christ, by sharing in his death and resurrection, is also sent on mission,” Tagle said.

But to be missionaries, he stressed the importance of having a “personal encounter with Jesus”.

Such a thing, according to him, is a requirement for growth in baptism and mission.

“No mission, no proclamation of the Gospel without an encounter with Jesus who is the Gospel,” he said.

The cardinal added that mission is also fundamentally “witnessing to Christ”, which means “bearing the Cross, especially the cross of helplessness”.

He also said that charity is central to the Church’s mission, and Catholics are called to share it with the world, especially those in need.

Cardinal Tagle: ‘Let us go on Mission, Together’

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‘Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer’

Pope Francis repeated the words of Jesus on World Mission Day, October 20, 2019: “Go and make disciples of all nations”, says Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 28:19).

The Holy Father’s words came in his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica to observe the special day, this year being celebrated in the midst of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October.

Pope Francis reflected on three words in his homily, a noun, a verb, and an adjective.

“The noun is the mountain: Isaiah speaks of it when he prophesies about a mountain of the Lord, raised above the hills, to which all the nations will flow (cf. Is 2:2).,” the Pope explained. “It seems, then, that the mountain is God’s favorite place for encountering humanity.

“The mountain unites God and our brothers and sisters in a single embrace, that of prayer. The mountain draws us up and away from the many transient things, and summons us to rediscover what is essential, what is lasting: God and our brothers and sisters. Mission begins on the mountain: there, we discover what really counts. In the midst of this missionary month, let us ask ourselves: what really counts in my life? To what peaks do I want to ascend?”

Pope Francis next mentions the verb: “to go up.” This means t”o leave behind a horizontal life and to resist the force of gravity caused by our self-centeredness, to make an exodus from our own ego.”

And finally, the Holy Father mentions a small but vital adjective: “all”. Jesus calls on Christians to share his word with all peoples.

“Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer,” Francis exhorted. “Have courage, and let us fearlessly go forth to all!”

Following is the Holy Father’s full homily, provided by the Vatican

I would like to reflect on three words taken from the readings we have just heard: a noun, a verb, and an adjective. The noun is the mountain: Isaiah speaks of it when he prophesies about a mountain of the Lord, raised above the hills, to which all the nations will flow (cf. Is 2:2). We see the image of the mountain again in the Gospel when Jesus, after His resurrection, tells his disciples to meet him on the mount of Galilee; the Galilee inhabited by many different peoples: “Galilee of the Gentiles” (cf. Mt 4:15). It seems, then, that the mountain is God’s favorite place for encountering humanity. It is his meeting place with us, as we see in the Bible, beginning with Mount Sinai and Mount Carmel, all the way to Jesus, who proclaimed the Beatitudes on the mountain, was transfigured on Mount Tabor, gave his life on Mount Calvary and ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. The mountain, the place of great encounters between God and humanity, is also the place where Jesus spent several hours in prayer (cf. Mk 6:46) to unite heaven and earth, and to unite us, his brothers and sisters, with the Father.

What does the mountain say to us? We are called to draw near to God and to others. To God, the Most High, in silence and prayer, avoiding the rumors and gossip that diminish us. And to others, who, from the mountain, can be seen in a different perspective: that of God who calls all peoples. From on high, others are seen as a community whose harmonious beauty is discovered only in viewing them as a whole. The mountain reminds us that our brothers and sisters should not be selected but embraced, not only with our gaze but also with our entire life. The mountain unites God and our brothers and sisters in a single embrace, that of prayer. The mountain draws us up and away from the many transient things, and summons us to rediscover what is essential, what is lasting: God and our brothers and sisters. Mission begins on the mountain: there, we discover what really counts. In the midst of this missionary month, let us ask ourselves: what really counts in my life? To what peaks do I want to ascend?

A verb accompanies the noun “mountain”: the verb to go up. Isaiah exhorts us: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord” (2:3). We were not born to remain on the ground, to be satisfied with ordinary things, we were born to reach the heights and there to meet God and our brothers and sisters. However, this means that we have to go up: to leave behind a horizontal life and to resist the force of gravity caused by our self-centeredness, to make an exodus from our own ego. Going up requires great effort, but it is the only way to get a better view of everything. As mountain-climbers know, only when you arrive at the top can you get the most beautiful view; only then do you realize that you would not have that view were it not for that uphill path.

And as in the mountains, we cannot climb well if we are weighed down by our packs, so in life, we must rid ourselves of things that are useless. This is also the secret of mission: to go, you have to leave something behind, to proclaim, you must first renounce. A credible proclamation is not made with beautiful words, but by an exemplary life: a life of service that is capable of rejecting all those material things that shrink the heart and make people indifferent and inward-looking; a life that renounces the useless things that entangle the heart in order to find time for God and others. We can ask ourselves: how am I doing in my efforts to go up? Am I able to reject the heavy and useless baggage of worldliness in order to climb the mountain of the Lord? Is mine a journey upwards or one of worldliness?

If the mountain reminds us of what matters – God and our brothers and sisters – and the verb to go up tells us how to get there, a third word is even more important for today’s celebration. It is the adjective all, which constantly reappears in the readings we have heard: “all peoples”, says Isaiah (2:2); “all peoples”, we repeated in the Psalm; God desires “all to be saved”, writes Paul (1 Tim 2:4); “Go and make disciples of all nations”, says Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 28:19). The Lord is deliberate in repeating the word all. He knows that we are always using the words “my” and “our”: my things, our people, our community… But he constantly uses the word all. All, because no one is excluded from his heart, from his salvation; all, so that our heart can go beyond human boundaries and particularism based on a self-centredness that displeases God. All, because everyone is a precious treasure, and the meaning of life is found only in giving this treasure to others. Here is our mission: to go up the mountain to pray for everyone and to come down from the mountain to be a gift to all.

Going up and coming down: the Christian, therefore, is always on the move, outward-bound. Go is in fact the imperative of Jesus in the Gospel. We meet many people every day, but – we can ask – do we really encounter the people we meet? Do we accept the invitation of Jesus or simply go about our own business? Everyone expects things from others, but the Christian goes to others. Bearing witness to Jesus is never about getting accolades from others, but about loving those who do not even know the Lord. Those who bear witness to Jesus go out to all, not just to their own acquaintances or their little group. Jesus is also saying to you: “Go, don’t miss a chance to bear me witness!” My brother, my sister, the Lord expects from you a testimony that no one can give in your place. “May you come to realize what that word is, the message of Jesus that God wants to speak to the world by your life…. lest you fail in your precious mission.” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 24).

What instructions does the Lord give us for going forth to others? Only one, and very simple: make disciples. But, be careful: his disciples, not our own. The Church proclaims the Gospel well only if she lives the life of a disciple. And a disciple follows the Master daily and shares the joy of discipleship with others. Not by conquering, mandating, proselytizing, but by witnessing, humbling oneself alongside other disciples and offering with love the love that we ourselves received. This is our mission: to give pure and fresh air to those immersed in the pollution of our world; to bring to earth that peace which fills us with joy whenever we meet Jesus on the mountain in prayer; to show by our lives, and perhaps even by our words, that God loves everyone and never tires of anyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, each of us has and is “a mission on this earth” (Evangelii Gaudium, 273). We are here to witness, bless, console, raise up, and radiate the beauty of Jesus. Have courage! Jesus expects so much from you! We can say that the Lord is “concerned” about those who do not yet know that they are beloved children of the Father, brothers and sisters for whom he gave his life and sent the Holy Spirit. Do you want to quell Jesus’ concern? Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer. Have courage, and let us fearlessly go forth to all!

Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’

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On the occasion of World Mission Day, which this year celebrates its 93rd anniversary on Sunday 20 October within the context of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019, announced by Pope Francis to mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world. They are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2017) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare, and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year’s figures, are marked with “+” or “–” in brackets.

World population

On 31 December 2017, the world population was 7,408,374,000 with an increase of 56,085,000 compared to the previous year. Population growth, almost half compared to the previous year, was recorded on every continent, including Europe, in its third year of growth after the decrease in previous years: increases were recorded above all in Africa (+ 33.572.000) and in Asia (+ 11.975.000), followed by America (+ 8.738.000), Europe (+ 1.059.000) and Oceania (+ 741.000).


On the same date, 31 December 2017, Catholics in the world numbered 1,313,278,000 with an overall increase of 14,219,000, almost the same as the previous year. The increase affects all continents, including Europe (+ 259.000), after a decrease for three consecutive years. Increases were recorded above all in Africa (+ 5,605,000) and in America (+ 6,083,000) followed by Asia (+ 2,080,000) and Oceania (+ 191,000).

The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.06 %, settling at 17.73%. By continent: increases were recorded in America (+ 0.05) and Asia (+ 0,03), decrease in Africa (- 0,07), Europe (- 0,02) and Oceania (- 0,01).

Persons and Catholics per priest

This year the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 132, an average of 14.468. The distribution by continent: increase in Africa (+ 49), America (+ 69), Europe (+ 75) and Oceania (+ 337). The only decrease, also this year, was in Asia (- 887).

The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 38, an average of 3,168. There are increases in America (+ 48), Europe (+ 29) and Oceania (+ 87). As in the previous year, a decrease was recorded in Asia (- 15), as well as in Africa (- 9).

Ecclesiastical circumscriptions and mission stations

The number of ecclesiastical circumscriptions is 1 more than the previous year, at 3,017 with new circumscriptions created in Asia (+2), while in America the number decreased by one (-1) The number in the other continents remained unchanged.

Mission stations with a resident priest number 2,659 (+ 519). A decrease was recorded for the second consecutive year, in Africa (- 47), along with Europe (- 44) while an increase was recorded in America (+ 460), Asia (+ 133) and Oceania (+ 17).

Mission Stations without a resident priest decreased in all continents, by 4,696. The distribution by continent: in Africa (- 1,448), in America (- 1,333), in Asia (- 1,899), in Europe (- 13), and Oceania (- 3).


The total number of bishops in the world increased this year, to 5,389. Both diocesan and religious bishops increased in numbers. Diocesan bishops number 4,116 (+ 26), while religious bishops number 1,273 (+10).

The increase in diocesan bishops is recorded in all continents, with a slight decrease only in Africa (- 1): America (+ 18), Asia (+ 1), Europe (+ 5) and Oceania (+ 3). The number of religious bishops increased in Africa (+ 7) and America (+ 5), while a decrease was recorded in Asia (- 2) and the number remained unchanged in Europe and Oceania.


The total number of priests in the world also decreased this year, to 414,582 (- 387). The continents which recorded a decrease were again Europe (- 2.946) and Oceania (- 97). Increases were recorded in Africa (+ 1.192), America (+ 40) and Asia (+ 1.424) unvaried.

Diocesan priests decreased by 21, reaching a total of 281,810 with decreases again in Europe (- 2.048) and Oceania (- 36). Increases were recorded in Africa (+ 959), America (+ 404) and Asia (+ 700).

The number of religious priests decreased by 366 to a total of 132,772. Increases were recorded, as in recent years, in Africa (+ 233) and in Asia (+ 724), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 364), Europe (- 898) and Oceania (- 61).

Permanent Deacons

Permanent deacons increased worldwide by 582 to 46,894. The highest increase was recorded again in America (+ 408) followed by Europe (+ 142), Asia (+ 28) and Oceania (+ 11). The only decrease this year was noted in Africa (- 7).

There are 46, 192 permanent diocesan deacons in the world, an overall increase of 583. They increased in number on every continent apart from Africa (- 3): America (+434), Asia (+5), Europe (+140) and Oceania (+7).

Religious permanent deacons number 702, with a decrease by one compared to the previous year. There were decreases in Africa (- 4) and America (- 26), and increases in Asia (+23), Europe (+2) and Oceania (+4).

Men and women religious

The number of non-religious priests decreased for the fifth consecutive year by 1, 090 to 51.535. A decrease was recorded in all continents apart from Africa (+ 48): America (- 403), Asia (-127), Europe (-525) and Oceania (-83).

This year too there is an overall decrease in the number of women religious, by 10,535 to 648,910. An increase was recorded in Africa (+1,489) and Asia (+1,118), decrease in America (- 4,893), Europe (- 7,960) and Oceania (-289).

Members of secular institutes, male and female

Members of male secular institutes number 585 with a decrease of (-33) for the second consecutive year, in all continents except Oceania, which remains unvaried this year too: Africa (- 8), America (- 6), Asia (- 7) and Europe (- 12).

The members of female secular institutes decreased in number this year, by 343 to a total of 22,057 members. An increase was recorded in Africa (+37) and in Asia (+58), while a decrease was recorded in America (- 51), Europe (- 385) and Oceania (-2).

Lay missionaries and catechists

The number of lay missionaries in the world is 355,800, with an overall increase of 1,057, in particular in Europe (+836), America (+691), Asia (+454) and Oceania (+23). A decrease was recorded only in Africa (- 947).

The number of catechists worldwide increased by 34,032, reaching a total of 3,120,321. The only decrease was recorded in Europe (- 2.897). An increase was recorded in Africa (+ 11.405), America (+ 22.532), Asia (+2.699) and Oceania (+293).

Major seminarians

The number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious also decreased this year. Worldwide there are 832, reaching a total of 115,328. Increases occurred in Africa (+786) and Oceania (+ 21), while a decrease was recorded in America (- 853), Asia (- 385) and in Europe (- 401). Major diocesan seminarians number 70,706 (- 411 compared to the previous year) and religious major seminarians 44,622 (- 421). The number of diocesan seminarians increased in Africa (+505) and

Oceania (+17), whereas it decreased in America (- 376), Asia (- 202) and Europe (- 355). The number of religious seminarians increased in Africa (+281) and Oceania (+4), while it decreased in America (- 477), Asia (-183), and Europe (- 46).

Minor seminarians

The number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious this year decreased for the second consecutive year by 835 to 100.781. There was an overall decrease on all continents except Asia (+82) and Oceania, which remained unchanged: Africa (- 403), America (- 347), Europe (-167).

Minor diocesan seminarians number 78,336 (- 33) and religious seminarians number 22,445 (- 802). The number of diocesan minor seminarians increased in Asia (+ 367) and Oceania (+7). There was a decrease in Africa (- 18), America (- 269), Europe (- 120),

Religious minor seminarians decreased in number in Africa (-385), America (- 78), Asia (- 285), Europe (- 47) and Oceania (- 7).

Catholic schools and Education

In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 71.305 kindergartens with 7,303,839 pupils;

101,527 primary schools with 34,558,527 pupils; and 48,560 secondary schools with 20,320,592 pupils. The Church also cares for 2,345,799 high school pupils, and 2,945,295 university students.

Catholic charity and healthcare centers

Charity and healthcare centers managed by the Church worldwide include: 5,269 hospitals, most of them in America (1,399) and Africa (1,367); 16,068 dispensaries, mainly in Africa (5,907); America (4.330) and Asia (2.919); 646 care homes for people with leprosy, mainly in Asia

(362) and Africa (229); 15,735 homes for the elderly, the chronically ill or the disabled, mainly in Europe (8,475) and America (3,596); 9,813 orphanages, mainly in Asia (3,473); 10,492 creches, mainly in America (3,153) and in Asia (2,900); 13,065 marriage counselling centres, mainly in Europe (5,676) and America (4,798); 3,169 social rehabilitation centres and 31,182 institutions of other types.

Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

There are 1,115 ecclesiastical circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Cep). Most of these are in Africa (511) and in Asia (484), followed by America (74) and Oceania (46).

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Pope Francis has appointed a Papua New Guinean alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary and its former spiritual director as bishop.

Bishop-elect John Bosco Auram will succeed Bishop William Regis Fey, whose retirement from the pastoral care of the Kimbe diocese was accepted by the pope on Friday.

Upon his appointment, Auram has been serving as acting rector of the Sacred Heart preparatory seminary in Rapolo of the Archdiocese of Rabaul.

Aged 46 and a priest for only 15 years, he will be the third bishop of the 16-year old diocese.

Auram was born on Oct. 19, 1972 in the village of Kandoka, province of West New Britain, which formed part of the archdiocese of Rabaul but now belongs to Kimbe.

He began his formation at the Saint Peter Chanel minor seminary in Ulapia, and then completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Sacred Heart major seminary in Rapolo.

In 2004, he was ordained a priest for the clergy of Kimbe, the second ordained priest after the creation of the diocese.

Since his ordination, he has held various positions in the diocese and also underwent further studies at the Institute of Priestly Formation in the U.S. and at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.

Auram also completed his licentiate in pastoral theology from the UST Central Seminary in Manila and served as its spiritual director from 2016 to early 2019.

Former UST seminary spiritual director named bishop 

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Father Justino Sarmento Rezende, an expert in indigenous spirituality from Brazil, speaks at a news conference to discuss the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican Oct. 17, 2019. PAUL HARING/CNS

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Catholic News Service

October 18, 2019

VATICAN— While indigenous cultures may have difficulty accepting the concept of celibacy, indigenous candidates for the priesthood are more than capable of understanding that it is a gift from God, said an indigenous priest from Brazil.

“Celibacy is not something that is born in a human person; it is something that is established sometime during one’s life,” Salesian Father Justino Sarmento Rezende told journalists Oct. 17 during a press briefing on the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon.

“People from any culture that exists in the world can live celibate lives from the moment that he or she freely — not forcibly — says, ‘I want to live that lifestyle,’” he said.

Father Rezende was responding to a question regarding comments made in the synod’s first week by retired Bishop Erwin Krautler of Xingu, Brazil, who said that when it comes to ordaining married “viri probati,” or men of proven virtue, “there is no other option.”

“The indigenous people don’t understand celibacy; they say that very openly and I see it,” Bishop Krautler said Oct. 8. “When I go to an indigenous village, the first thing they ask is, ‘Where is your wife?’ And I tell them, ‘I don’t have one.’ Then they look at me with pity.”

Father Rezende told journalists that in his own vocational calling, he faced pushback from his mother and members of his indigenous community, the Tuyuca people in Brazil’s Amazonian region.

“‘To become a priest is not something for us Tuyuca,’” the Brazilian priest recalled one Tuyucan member telling him.

“Where did this idea come from? It was because at the time for us, especially me, the only ones who were able to become priests were white or black people,” he said.

He also said that indigenous priests often face questions or doubts about their ability to respect their vow of celibacy.

Some say that “‘indigenous people have many difficulties of living celibate lives.’ Yes, I do, because I am a normal person,” and celibacy is a challenge for all people, Father Rezende said.

“If one day I thought that living a celibate life wasn’t for me, I would leave it,” he said, adding that if he was suffering because of it and no longer a witness of life for his community or church, then “it wouldn’t make sense for me to continue.”

“That is why I say that celibacy is a virtue and it can be lived by any human being,” Father Rezende said.

Celibacy is a gift, not an obstacle, indigenous priest says

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Archbishop-elect Ricardo Baccay of Tuguegarao. PHOTO FROM THE DIOCESE OF ALAMINOS

By Roy Lagarde

October 18, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Ricardo Baccay on Friday as the new archbishop of Tuguegarao.

Baccay will succeed Archbishop Sergio Utleg, 76, who served the archdiocese for eight years.

The pope has accepted Utleg’s resignation a year after he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

A bishop of Alaminos since 2016, Baccay will be the eighth archbishop of Tuguegarao in Cagayan province.

Born in 1961 in Tuguegarao, the archbishop-elect was ordained a priest in 1987.

In 2007, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Tuguegarao. Nine years later, he was transferred as bishop of Alaminos in Pangasinan.

Within the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Baccay has been serving as chairman of the Commission on Bioethics.

During the bishops’ plenary assembly last July, he was also elected as a member of the new CBCP Permanent Council who will serve over the next two years.

As of writing, there is still no official date on when the archbishop-elect will be installed.

In the meantime, the pope has named Utleg as apostolic administrator “sede vacante” until Baccay takes canonical possession.

Pope appoints new Tuguegarao archbishop

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Addressing some misconceptions about the rosary, a church official said that the prayer is repetitive because it needs to be.

Using the analogy of saying “I love you” to someone dear, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan stressed that the words “are the sweetest greeting of all”.

“It is not redundant to say I love you. It is never repetitious to say I love you,” Villegas said.

In the same way, he said that each time people pray the rosary, they are saying ‘I love you’ to Mary and to Jesus.

“And so it is with the Hail Mary. It is never redundant, it is never repetitious, it is never too much to repeat the Hail Mary,” Villegas said.

According to him, it is “never too much” to repeat the prayer in every mystery of the rosary “because every Hail Mary is a rose of love to the Virgin Mary and to Jesus her son”.

The archbishop underscored that the rosary is the word of God or the life of Jesus on beads.

“So when we reflect on the mysteries of the rosary, we are actually reflecting on Jesus himself, on the life of Jesus and we want that life to be ours,” he added.

His statement comes on a video reflection released on Thursday, as the Church marks October as the month of the holy rosary.

On why the Church honors the Blessed Mother, he said that God himself honored Mary, by finding her worthy to be the mother of his only son.

“So the first to honor Mary was not a mortal like you and me, the first to honor Mary was God himself. And in honoring Mary, we imitate God himself,” he also said.

Villegas invited the faithful to pray the rosary, saying that its power lies in the hands of the people.

“And if all of us can turn to Our Lady, through the rosary, we can see changes in our lives we can see wishes fulfilled, we can see peace achieved,” he said.

The rosary is repetitious, why?

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Pope Francis’ envoy to the Philippines will join hundreds of Filipino children in praying the rosary for unity and peace in the world on Oct. 25.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia will take part in the global rosary movement with students of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City.

The activity is part of the yearly “One Million Rosary Praying the Rosary” campaign which will simultaneously be held in several countries at 9am on Oct. 18.

Organized by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, it aims to gather children from every continent to pray the rosary for mutual harmony among nations.

In the Philippines, it will be joined by children in about 40 dioceses across the country.

ACN Philippines, however, decided to move its celebration to Oct. 25 at 8am due to the availability of the papal nuncio.

“It’s okay to hold it any day in October since the whole month is dedicated to the Holy Rosary,” said Jonathan Luciano, ACN Philippines national director.

He said that participants will also get rosaries personally blessed by Pope Francis.

The campaign came into being in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in 2005.

ACN Philippines started the campaign in 2016 after it began its operation in Manila, as one of the two national offices in Asia.

Luciano expressed hope that the yearly activity will inspire Filipino Catholics and families to pray the rosary.

“If children don’t see their parents or elders’ praying it’s going to be very difficult for them to imbibe the importance of praying the rosary and prayer for that matter,” he added.

“Let us intensify the campaign starting with the youth. Let’s do it not only this month but even after,” Luciano also said.

Papal nuncio to join Filipino children in praying for peace

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Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Jose Alan Dialogo of the Manila archdiocese as the new bishop of Sorsogon.

The bishop-elect will succeed Bishop Arturo Bastes, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 last April. He served the diocese for 16 years.

Dialogo’s appointment was made public by Bastes himself during the ordination of three men to the priesthood at the Sorsogon Cathedral on Tuesday morning.

The news was supposed to be announced in Rome at 12 noon today (6pm, Manila time) but Bastes sought permission from Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia to announced it earlier.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila also announced the appointment during their clergy meeting at San Carlos Seminary in Makati City today.

Bastes said the bishop-elect originally hailed from Naga City so “he is a Bilocano himself and can speak our language at once”.

Dialogo is currently the Director of the Jaime Cardinal Sin Welcome Home, a facility for retired priests of Manila, in the city’s Sampaloc district.

In the meantime, the pope has also named Bastes as Apostolic Administrator “sede vacante” of the diocese until Dialogo formally assumes his new post.

Born in 1962 in Laganoy, Camarines Norte, Dialogo finished a degree in psychology at the Nueva Caceres University in Naga City before entering the seminary.

After his philosophy and theology courses at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, he was ordained priest for the Manila archdiocese in 1996.

In 1999, he also obtained his Licentiate in Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

A priest for 23 years, he served as parochial vicar at the San Roque Parish in Mandaluyong in 1996; Vice-Rector at the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas in 2015; and parish priest at the St. John of the Cross Parish in Makati in 2018.

He also served as Dean of Seminarians and Rector at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary in 1999 and 2003 respectively.

In 2008, he became a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Manila.

No date has been announced for the episcopal ordination of Dialogo and his installation as the fifth bishop of Sorsogon.

Pope names new Sorsogon bishop


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