Spokesman for Polish Episcopate: Act of Consecrating Homeland to Heart of Jesus

Dedication of our Homeland to the Heart of Jesus is not only an act of entrusting Poland before the war with the Bolsheviks, but it is a pastoral program for the next decades for millions of Catholics in our Homeland, said Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Polish nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The spokesman of the Episcopate recalled that there used to be pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the houses and that there were retreats and missions about His Sacred Heart. “They led people to trust God and His love in difficult times, and this was very much needed in the 20th century,” noted Fr. Rytel-Andrianik.

On July 27, 1920, in the face of the Bolshevik threat, the Polish bishops made at Jasna Góra the Act of Consecration of the Polish nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Three weeks later, on August 15, 1920, the victorious battle was fought on the outskirts of Warsaw, known as the “Miracle on the Vistula”.

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Church Participates in Humanitarian Service and Control of Covid-19 in India

The parish of Saint Anthony in the area of Dharavi, in the archdiocese of Bombay, is offering its contribution to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world, in the Mumbai area (western India), and for the sustenance of the local population, which is in conditions of extreme poverty. Fr. Christopher D. Jeyakumar, parish priest of Saint Anthony, told Agenzia Fides that it is “a good result in the fight against coronavirus and in the work of social solidarity”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has appreciated the various initiatives put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Dharavi, an area of great concern, which covers an area of 2.5 square kilometers and houses a population of 650,000. People live in shacks and dilapidated buildings with narrow alleys and open sewers. WHO said that the coronavirus is currently under control in Dharavi thanks to community participation and the joint commitment of public and private entities, including that of the Catholic community.

As Father Jeyakumar states, “the people of the slum have found themselves experiencing very difficult times during the pandemic and the Church has mobilized to help, but the population has always lived with great dignity in conditions of poverty”. In Mumbai, the first case occurred on 11 March and the first Covid-19 case in Dharavi was reported on 1 April. “In the initial phase – the parish priest notes – there was fear that Dharavi would be a hotbed of coronavirus. The infection started in two areas that are located at opposite ends of the enormous slum. Usually, people from Mumbai, who intend to move abroad for work, temporarily stay in these two areas. They stay here until they find work, usually in some Gulf countries”, he explained.

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Church Reaches People Via New Means in Colombia

In times of pandemic, the Church recognizes the importance of intensifying the spiritual accompaniment of populations. For this reason, the priests of the various ecclesiastical jurisdictions, which are located throughout the Colombian territory, have taken on the task of reaching the communities by other means given the isolation and sanitary measures adopted by the government. Social networks have thus become very important in this moment of crisis, they have become one of the most used information channels by ecclesiastical jurisdictions and religious communities.

According to the note sent to Fides by the Colombian Episcopal Conference, Father Cristian Camilo Cárdenas Aguirre, priest of the archdiocese of Ibagué, stressed that “preaching through these digital platforms is like sailing in the open sea because one meets all kinds of people”.

“In church you can preach but always to the same people, who know the Gospel, who are pious or religious, even to people who want to start along that road, and are already accustomed to our speech and our dialogue; But when you dare to preach through social networks, you reach atheists, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, etc., anyone, believer or non-believer. This is interesting because one realizes that they too are listening, it is evident in the comments they leave”, highlights Father Cristian Cárdenas.

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