Church and World Events

Thirty thousand Catholics pay homage to Our Lady in Muslim country

In October, about thirty thousand Catholics gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in the Sherpur district of Bangladesh to participate in the annual pilgrimage in honour of the Mother of God. Along with the celebration of Holy Mass, the programme included Eucharistic Adoration, a Way of the Cross, and a candlelight procession with the recitation of the Rosary.

Although 90% of the Bangladesh population is Muslim, the Catholic Church there enjoys great respect due to the excellence of Catholic educational institutions, as well as for the Church’s importance in the field of health and humanitarian activity.

Catholic cemetery desecrated in United States

On Halloween night, October 31, a group of vandals broke into Calvary Catholic Cemetery, located in Rochester, Minnesota. The criminals spray-painted obscene phrases and satanic messages on a statue of Our Lord, a cross, two gravestones and five walls of a memorial.

Most Rev. Robert Barron, Bishop of Winona-Rochester, the diocese where the cemetery is located, condemned the desecration and offered to collaborate with the local police in identifying those responsible so that they may answer for their actions before the courts.

Intolerance against Christians in Europe continues

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe published its annual report for the year 2021 in Vienna on November 14.

In addition to the five hundred hate crimes – including acts of vandalism, theft, arson, and even assaults and attacks on believers and clerics – committed in nineteen countries on the continent, the report highlights the media’s lack of transparency and censorship in reporting these offences, the alarmingly frequent use of negative stereotyping against Christians, and the ineffective intervention of authorities in dealing with these attacks on religious freedom.

More than four thousand Christians murdered in Nigeria in 2022

A report released by Intersociety – the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law – shows how Nigeria has been ravaged by a continuous and growing persecution against Catholics by radical Islamist groups.

According to the data presented, in ten months of 2022 – January to October – 4,020 Christians were killed in jihadist attacks and 2,315 kidnapped, which is an average of thirteen murders and eight kidnappings per day.

Course on exorcism held in Colombia publishes its conferences

After the Second Course on Exorcism and Prayer for Deliverance, held in the month of June in Bogota, the Doctrine Department of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia published the book Memoirs of the Second Course on Exorcism, with the aim of publicizing the conferences held on that occasion.

The congress was addressed by Italian experts and one hundred and ten people participated, including bishops, priests and religious, as well as lay experts in psychology and psychiatry.

Nocturnal Adoration in Barcelona receives new members

On November 19, the Parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Barcelona welcomed more than five hundred adorers of the Blessed Sacrament and their families, for the traditional annual vigil celebrated on the Solemnity of Christ the King. On this occasion, seventy-five new members of the Nocturnal Adoration were received – most of them young people. During the ceremony, presided over by Most Rev. Javier Vilanova Pellisa, Auxiliary Bishop, there was also the presentation of commendations to those who, throughout the year, had distinguished themselves for the number of vigils taken on.

Nocturnal Adoration in Spain was inaugurated in 1877, and even in the midst of the great secularization that the country is facing, the number of faithful who sign up for the vigils has steadily increased, especially among the youth. In the section of worshippers from the Barcelona region alone there are eight Perpetual Adoration chapels, to which more than three hundred and fifty faithful flock every night.

Church dedicated to Our Lady of Graces inaugurated in Brazil

Inspired by beauty of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Caieiras, in the Brazilian State of São Paulo, which he visited on the occasion of the priestly ordination of his son, Fr. Inácio Almeida, priest of the Heralds of the Gospel and superior of the Association in Rome, seventy-seven-year-old Mr. Inácio Alves de Almeida conceived the construction of a church dedicated to Our Lady of Graces in the municipality of Graça, in the north-eastern State of Ceará.

The Mass for the inauguration of the church, celebrated on November 27, was presided over by the Bishop of Tianguá, Most Rev. Edimilson Neves Ferreira, and concelebrated by Fr. Inácio Almeida.

The new church was erected with the collaboration of the Mercy Fund, a project founded in 2005 by the Heralds of the Gospel with the objective of assisting needy parishes and charitable entities connected to the Church.

First Time European Parliament
Displays Nativity Scene

Nativity scene displayed in the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels

In commemoration of Christmas, the European Parliament, with its headquarters in Brussels, exhibited a nativity scene for the first time in its history. The initiative came from Spanish Member of Parliament Isabel Benjumea, a practising Catholic, and was supported by the current president of the Parliament and other Spanish Members of Parliament who financed its making.

The petition, made since 2019, was only approved in 2022. The deputies hope that this step will be the beginning of a new tradition in the chamber, giving a place to the Christian roots of Europe.

French baguette declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

French gastronomy has won the admiration of thousands around the world, and one of its major symbols has recently been granted the status of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO: the artisanal baguette.

The declaration was a cause for rejoicing among the French, especially for the professionals who work as artisans in the production of the famous loaf, which is sure to receive added recognition from consumers. According to the information that underpinned the decision on November 30, over six billion baguettes are produced each year in France alone.

Another church burned in Chile

In the early hours of November 10, another Catholic church became the target of vandals in Chile. This time, a chapel dedicated to St. Joseph, in the Diocese of Temuco, was set ablaze, as well as a church in the same locality. According to the Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Juan Andrés Basly Erices, the place of worship was completely destroyed.

These attacks are taking place in the midst of the conflict with the Mapuche indigenous people, which has been causing unrest in the Chilean region of Araucânia.




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