• 1
  • 2
  • 3

DISCIPLES IN MISSION

Length12 min.
Age GroupA - Adult
PublisherPaulist Nathional Catholic Evangelization Assoc.
TopicsEvangelization

Describes the Paulist mission of evangelization and the process (Disciples in Mission) of establishing an evangelization team for your parish.

Featured Events

Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via ReutersBy Doreen Abi RaadBEIRUT (CNS) -- Lebanese leaders in Muslim-Christian dialogue said they hoped Pope Francis' meeting with Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, would lead to new relationships. Maronite Father Fadi Daou, chairman of Adyan, a foundation for interfaith studies and spiritual solidarity based in Lebanon, told Catholic News Service that he hopes the meeting will be the forerunner to a "new dimension of interreligious relations." Mohammad Sammak, secretary-general of Lebanon's Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue, said the meeting likely would "open a new page of cooperation on the basis of building real citizenship -- equal citizenship -- between Christians and Muslims all over the Middle East." "For sure this is a very important meeting, not only because it is the first of its kind in history that the grand imam of al-Azhar visits the Vatican and is received by the Holy Father, but the timing in itself is very important," Sammak said. "First, because it came after a misunderstanding between al-Azhar and the Vatican and secondly, because Muslims are in urgent need to show the whole world that Islam is open and to clarify the bad image of Islam that has erupted because of the incidents in the Middle East," Sammak said.Established in 1998, the formal dialogue between al-Azhar and the Vatican started to fray in 2006, after now-retired Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech in Regensburg, Germany. Al-Azhar officials and millions of Muslims around the world said the speech linked Islam to violence. Al-Azhar halted the talks altogether in 2011 after the former pope said Christians in the Middle East were facing persecution.Sammak emphasized that the Vatican took the "initiative to make this meeting happen" May 23. Father Daou said although no common declaration was issued, the meeting "in itself is a symbol, after 10 years of distance and in a current context of a rise of extremism, as it joins the grand imam of al-Azhar, known for his openness to Christianity, and a pope that has taken positions toward overcoming Islamophobia and welcoming Muslims." "The meeting's agenda indicates that the concern for peace and security prevailed in the discussion, more than the interfaith and Christian-Muslim dialogue and relations," Father Daou said from Istanbul, where he was attending the World Humanitarian Summit. Al-Azhar is considered the most authoritative theological-academic institution of Sunni Islam. Father Daou said he hoped the meeting would reactivate the relationship between al-Azhar and the Vatican, to consider "the most pressing questions today, namely the preservation of living together and the promotion of the values of citizenship inclusive of religious and cultural diversity. This should help in transforming the common principles and concerns declared at the meeting to a common agenda for collaboration." The priest noted that "al-Azhar has been working for ... years in the direction of new Islamic positions concerning state, religion and politics and diversity." "Collaboration with the Vatican on this level can only add to the weight of the positions promulgated by this most important Islamic Sunni authority worldwide," he said. Both men pointed to a December 2014 al-Azhar conference on confronting extremism and terrorism. Father Daou said the conference "clearly opted for citizenship and democracy and not for a Muslim state, stating that 'any political system that fulfills ... primordial human values ... is a system that receives legitimacy from the sources of Islam.'" Sammak said the conference discussed "how we can build our societies again and how we can fight together -- Christians and Muslims -- extremism and terror in the Middle East, which is targeting Christians as well as Muslims." "That's why I hope this meeting (at the Vatican) will open a new page between the two institutions -- the Vatican and al-Azhar," he said. Sammak said he expected that now, al-Azhar "will speak to other Muslim organizations and ... include more Muslim organizations -- Sunni and Shiite, Arabs and non-Arabs -- within the framework of Christian-Muslim cooperation with the Vatican and through the Holy Father." Sammak referred to the May 23 meeting as "the fourth opportunity." "There have been three previous opportunities that Muslims did not deal very well with," he said, calling the first opportunity the Second Vatican Council. "Vatican II opened new bridges with Islam. But the Muslim world did not realize the importance of this initiative then," Sammak explained. The second opportunity, Sammak said, was when St. John Paul II convened the 1995 Synod of Bishops for Lebanon. "The document that came out of the synod about Lebanon is not (only) about Lebanon itself, but about Lebanon as a message of coexistence for the Arab world. This wasn't really well understood and well-received," Sammak said. He said the third opportunity was the 2010 Synod of Bishops on the Middle East. Sammak said he hopes Vatican II documents "will be reread and implemented, and Muslims should really understand their relations with the Vatican .... The two synods -- about Lebanon and the Middle East -- are very essential and very important in the sense that there are many key positions that we should know and understand and build our own future accordingly." - - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/L'Osservatore RomanoBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pray for victims of recent terrorist attacks in Syria and pray that those who sow death and destruction will change their ways, Pope Francis said in an appeal. At the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square May 25, the pope mentioned a string of attacks to hit "beloved Syria" May 23, causing the death of "defenseless civilians." At least 150 people were killed in separate, but nearly simultaneous explosions in the cities of Jableh and Tartus. Militants of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks on the civilian targets, which included a hospital. Before leading the "Hail Mary," the pope asked that everyone pray for the "eternal repose of the victims, solace for the relatives" and that God would "convert the hearts of those who sow death and destruction." Also at the audience, the pope marked International Missing Children's Day with an appeal to civil and religious leaders to raise people's awareness and inspire action in protecting vulnerable children. "It is the duty of everyone to protect children, most of all those exposed to a high risk of exploitation, trafficking and deviant behaviors," the pope said. He said he hoped civil and religious leaders could "rattle" people's consciences and raise awareness so that no one would be indifferent to the problem of children who are "alone, exploited and removed from their families and social context, children who cannot grow up in peace and look to the future with hope." He invited everyone to pray that every missing child would be "returned to the affection of their own loved ones." According to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 8 million children around the world go missing every year. These children face increased danger of falling victim to abuse, exploitation and illegal activities, it said.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Prayer is not a magic wand that fulfills your desires, but it is what helps you keep the faith when you don't understand God's will, Pope Francis said. Prayer is meant to be "our daily bread, our powerful weapon and the staff for our journey," he said May 25 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. In his catechesis, the pope talked about the Gospel parable of the persistent widow, who incessantly appealed to a corrupt judge for justice. Judges at the time were supposed to be filled with the fear of God as they impartially and faithfully upheld the laws of Moses, the pope said. But the judge in this parable was dishonest and only cared about himself. He had no interest in protecting the rights of the weakest and easily exploited members of society, which included widows, orphans and foreigners, he said. "Faced with the judge's indifference, the widow resorted to her only weapon -- to keep incessantly pestering him, presenting him with her appeal for justice," the pope said. The judge finally gives in, he said, "not because he is moved by mercy or because his conscience forces him to," but because of her perseverance. He realizes he will never rid himself of her until he delivers a just decision, and so he does, the pope said. He said Jesus uses this parable to show that if a widow with no clout or influence could sway an uncaring judge merely through her patient and persistent pleas, then imagine how powerful that same force of prayer is when directed toward a loving, merciful and benevolent God. Jesus is showing how important and necessary it is to pray tirelessly, all the time and not just every now and then, "when I feel like it," the pope said. "We all experience moments of exhaustion and discouragement, above all when our prayers don't seem to work," he said. Contrary to the stubborn judge, he said, God speedily secures "the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night," according to the Gospel of St. Luke (18:1-8). But that doesn't mean God will respond when "and in the ways that we want. Prayer is not a magic wand," the pope said. When Jesus prayed that his father spare him from "the bitter cup of his passion," he also put himself fully in God's hands, asking that the father's will -- not his own -- be done. Jesus shows how prayer is about strengthening one's relationship with the father -- transforming one's own wishes and conforming them to God's will, he said. Prayer "helps us keep our faith in God and to trust him even when we do not understand his will." "Prayer is what keeps the faith; without it, faith wavers," Pope Francis said. And it is in prayer that people experience the compassion of God who comes to his children "filled with merciful love." - - - Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A former consultant to a pontifical commission who denied to a Vatican court that she leaked documents about the Vatican's financial reform had admitted to sending the documents when she was first interrogated, a Vatican policeman said. Stefano DeSantis, an officer investigating the leaking of the documents, testified May 24 that Francesca Chaouqui told Vatican police officials she sent documents regarding the Vatican Asset Management (VAM) to Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of "Merchants in the Temple." "We never assumed that she gave the documents, she admitted to it," DeSantis told the court. Chaouqui is on trial along with Msgr. Vallejo Balda, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and Nicola Maio, the monsignor's former assistant, for "several illegal acts" of leaking Vatican documents. Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of "Avarice" are accused of "soliciting and exercising pressure, especially on (Msgr.) Vallejo Balda," to obtain the documents. The trial session May 24 began with the cross-examination of Gianluca Gauzzi, deputy commissioner of the Vatican police, by the defendants' lawyers regarding his testimony May 16 on the contents of Msgr. Vallejo Balda's computer and telephones. When asked by Laura Sgro, Chaouqui's lawyer, about the examination of the WhatsApp chats between Chaouqui and Msgr. Vallejo Balda, Gauzzi stated the police saw the message exchange on the Spanish monsignor's phone. Chaouqui, he added, deleted the messaging application from her phone before handing it over to the Vatican's IT experts as part of the investigation. Taking the stand after the deputy commissioner, DeSantis said Vatican police intensified their investigation after a break-in at the office of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and discovered that several hard disks appeared to have been copied. Investigators questioned the prefecture's IT technicians and employees to verify whether they transferred the computer's content and discovered suspicious messages and emails sent by Msgr. Vallejo Balda to Nuzzi and Chaouqui. When the commission's work was ended, DeSantis said, Chaouqui seemed to be upset that she wasn't given another position at the Vatican, prompting her husband, Corrado Lanino, to send Msgr. Vallejo Balda a message that could appear threatening. "Be careful humiliating her because she can be dangerous given her contacts," DeSantis said Lanino told Msgr. Vallejo Balda in one email exchange. Regarding Chaouqui's initial confession of sending documents to Nuzzi, DeSantis told the court that she exhibited "exemplary behavior" when she gave the Vatican police her formal statement and she even made clarifications to her formal declaration before signing it. During cross-examination, Chaouqui's lawyer argued that while she did admit sending documents to Nuzzi, she did not mention passing along "secret" or "private" documents in her admission. In a declaration made to the court, Chaouqui said she assumed the documents the police asked about were invitations to a controversial banquet held on the prefecture's veranda during the canonization Mass for St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII. The veranda overlooks St. Peter's Square. DeSantis countered saying that as a member of a commission that handles sensitive financial information and that answers directly to Pope Francis, Chaouqui should have known better. He also told the court that following Chaouqui's arrest, she revealed she was pregnant and the Vatican police allowed her to stay with her husband at a Salesian house near the Vatican. DeSantis said that although she seemed fine upon her arrival, on two consecutive nights she said she was feeling ill and asked to go to the hospital. The police escorted her to a nearby hospital and were later reprimanded by a doctor for bringing a perfectly healthy patient into the emergency room while others in more dire circumstances had to wait, the police officer testified. "The doctor said, 'For me, this women can even walk home on her own two legs,'" DeSantis recalled. After the second trip to the hospital, Vatican police allowed her to go home. Although Chaouqui, whose due date was in early June, was present for only half of the May 24 session, she used social media to defend herself. "The game goes on in a war where the one who will lose is the church," she wrote on her Facebook page. "I am here, more than ever, awaiting the verdict. Then it will be my turn to have the (last) word from the pages of my book." - - - Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: NS photo/Simon CaldwellBy Simon CaldwellLIVERPOOL, England (CNS) -- Myanmar's first cardinal has thanked the Christians of the West for helping to bring democracy to his country. Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon said the Catholic Church was "at the forefront" of supporting the people of Myanmar, formerly Burma, during a dictatorship that lasted half a century. Preaching at a May 22 Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, he declared: "Today, we are free." "The world community refused to accept the oppression ... and spoke against that," Cardinal Bo said. "The church as a community refused to allow the oppression of Christians and others in Burma," he said. "Every church, including the U.K. church, was at the forefront of supporting us." The cardinal told the congregation that Catholics "are united by a special bond of community. It is this sense of community which has helped many Christians around the world to survive hardship and emerge stronger. "My heart is filled with gratitude to all the Christians, civil society leaders and governments, that the sense of community helped them to think of Burma," he added. "Your concern has led us to see the light of democracy, and I urge you to continue to accompany us, especially through your prayers." Cardinal Bo's visit to Liverpool was the final stop of a British tour at the invitation of the charities Aid to the Church in Need and Christian Solidarity Worldwide. His visit came six months after the National League for Democracy won a landslide election that ended about 50 years of dictatorship in the Southeast Asian country. Cardinal Bo told the congregation in Liverpool that the dictatorship was a long "Calvary" for the people of his predominantly Buddhist country. "We were a crucified nation," he said. "Propagation of Christianity was banned, new churches could not be built, and personnel had to be sent out of the country for any training. In many places, being Christian was the greatest liability. "The language and cultural rights of our people were taken away by the one-language, one-race and one-religion policy," he said. "Yet God did not abandon our nation. The church was like the mustard seed and, like the biblical example, it grew into a tree," he said. In the midst of the oppression, he said, the Catholic Church in Myanmar became a "young and vibrant church." "The church grew from just three diocese to 16 dioceses," Cardinal Bo said. "From 100,000 people, we are over 800,000 faithful, from 160 priests to 800 priests, from 300 religious we are now 2,200 religious and 60 per cent of them are below the age of 40." Now, he said, Myanmar sends missionaries to other countries. Cardinal Bo reserved special praise for Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner, whose "moral courage," he said, had defeated "one of the most arrogant armies in the world. He said the periods she spent under house arrest -- 15 of 21 years -- were episodes of "redemptive suffering" that "melted decades of oppression." "A new democracy has been born in this nation," said Cardinal Bo. "Myanmar is proud today that its Easter moment came in the most peaceful manner. "Here was a woman whose belief in peace and nonviolence stands in stark contrast to the violent conflicts in many parts of the world," he said. "It is a great inspiration that peace is possible and moral power still can overcome tremendous suffering."- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.