Children worldwide pray for peace and unity in the world

by Matthias Böhnke

The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is calling for all children worldwide to take part in the joint campaign “One Million Children Praying the Rosary”. This year’s theme is mission, as Pope Francis has designated the month of October as the Extraordinary Missionary Month. With the motto “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”, the intention is to revive the missionary spirit worldwide through pastoral and spiritual initiatives. For this reason, missionaries and new missionary vocations will be the focus of the prayers spoken with the children.

This year’s prayer campaign will once again take place on 18 October. “Traditionally, after all, October is the month of the rosary and we also celebrate the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist on 18 October. He was the only evangelist to write about the childhood of Jesus and is traditionally thought to have had close ties to the Virgin Mary,” Father Martin Barta, the Ecclesiastical Assistant of ACN International, explained. On this day, at 9 o’clock in the morning – or at any other appropriate time – thousands of groups of children worldwide will pray the rosary together.

MADAGASCAR : Pope Francis to visit this large island nation, teetering on the edge of the abyss

In a country ravaged by poverty, corruption and entrenched attitudes, the visit of the Holy Father is good news for its people, 58% of whom are Christians.

by Thomas Oswald.

In the diocesan grounds of  Soamandrakizay, in Androhibe on the southern fringes of the capital Antananarivo, the authorities are preparing a vast 60-hectare site for the great outdoor Mass which will be celebrated by Pope Francis on Sunday, 8 September 2019. This will be the first visit to the island by a Pope since the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1989.

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Completion of a parish church completed with support from Aid to the Church in Need. Blessed by Victoire Rasomana. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need. Photographer Razouka R.

MAURITIUS: "The Pope will unifiy the mosaic of people that make up our island"

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On September 9, 2019 Pope Francis will be the second Pope to set foot on the soil of Mauritius, 30 years after Saint John Paul II. During this papal journey, in the course of his visit to the churches of the Indian Ocean, the Pope will meet not only with Christians, but with Hindus and Muslims as well, who also make up part of Mauritian society.

The island of Mauritius is a tiny country of some 730 square miles (18 65 km²) – around a quarter the size of the island of Corsica, yet with four times the number of inhabitants. It is unusual in that it has no endemic population, but is inhabited today by Africans, Europeans and Indians. The religious makeup of the country also reflects this ethnic diversity, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. It is a mixture of different characteristics which makes it a remarkable place where the local communities generally live in harmony, to the evident delight of Father Alexis Wiehe, a native of the island who is currently in charge of the cathedral parish in the city of Toulon, in France, but will be back on the island in September. “There are some tensions at times, certainly, but generally we get along well”, he says with evident satisfaction. “Our little island society could even be cited as an example of amicable relations between the different communities”, he adds.

Image caption: Father Alexis Wiehe with Bishop Dominique Rey (Toulon, France) in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegowina. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

This Fathers Day Navy

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It is a beautiful and ancient Catholic tradition to have a Mass said for a loved one, especially on an occasion like Father's Day. Your Mass offering will support a poor priest overseas and 100% of the Mass stipend is forwarded to the priest (no administration costs are taken). The priest will then say Mass for your intentions. 

 Christians in Pakistan living between hope and fear

by Matthias Böhnke

The Catholic Church in Pakistan is important for the country, says Reinhard Backes. He recently visited Pakistan for the fourth time as permanent section leader of the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), in order to inform himself about the situation of the Christians and the projects that ACN supports. “With more than 200 million inhabitants, Pakistan is in sixth place on the list of the most populous countries,” he explained on his return. “Although the overwhelming majority of the population are Muslims and only some two per cent are Christians, they still amount to at least three million people in the country.”

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A visit to St. John Paul II Parish in Zia Mosque area Pakistan. Photographer: Reinhard Backes
Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

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