Couples for Christ Helps Overseas Filipino workers

The Couples for Christ (CFC), one of the world’s largest family-oriented groups, has found their own way to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the coronavirus pandemic, reported CBCP New.

The CFC launched on Sept. 25 the “Tawid OFW Program” to assist repatriated OFWs through its “Adopt an OFW Family” initiative in coordination with the bishops’ Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

Bro. Jess Ferrer, CFC Migrants Program head, said the goal is to help the recipients generate income and reintegrate them with their families and communities.

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The First Basilica in Kazakhstan

“The title of minor basilica granted to the church of St. Joseph in Karaganda is a very important recognition for the Catholics of Kazakhstan. It is a real Sanctuary: many go there on pilgrimage because inside there are the relics of the priest martyr of communism Vladislav Bukovinskyin. Furthermore, the roots of the Kazakh Catholic presence during the decades of Soviet repression, when it was not possible to profess, are found here. It is a unique church, because it is one of the first officially registered in Kazakhstan, in 1977. On June 29, 1980, Bishop Alexander Khira solemnly consecrated it. For this reason, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the consecration, I asked for the granting of the title of minor Basilica, and Pope Francis accepted our request”.

This is what Msgr. Adelio Dell’Oro, Bishop of Karaganda told Agenzia Fides, who in recent days received – and read publicly during a Eucharistic celebration – the decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. It is the first church recognized as a Basilica in the country of Central Asia.

The origins of the church of St Joseph date back to the period following Stalin’s death: in 1953 some priests freed from concentration camps reached the city of Karaganda. “Among them, Father Wladislav Bukowinsky, Greek-Catholic Bishop Alexander Khira, Father Alexander Staub, Father Alexiy Zaritsy, Father Albinas Dumblyauskas, and others. All these priests baptized, confessed, celebrated Holy Mass, and marriages clandestinely. People came to them from distant regions to receive the Holy Sacraments. There were also many believing women: Gertrude and Valentina Detzel, Maria Becker, Thea Balter, Flora Stivikh, and many others who, despite the cruel persecutions, were engaged in catechesis for adults, children, and adolescents, who were preparing for First Communion and other Sacraments”, says Msgr. Dell’Oro.

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Lebanon Needs Spiritual and Financial Aid

Interview with Reinhard Backes, head of projects for the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, after his visit to Lebanon from September 7-16, 2020.

What is the situation in Lebanon?  

The Lebanese people, and especially the Christians because their quarters were most badly hit by the blast, are suffering a lot. There are different reasons for that:  1. the local currency is dropping every day because of the financial crisis which started last year; 2. the damages are horrible and also the consequences for hundreds of thousands who lost their homes; 3. the political crisis -a mixture of corruption, despotism, ignorance, incompetence, and the external influence of foreign powers- is paralyzing people and the country.

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COVID-19, Ecumenism and Rehabilitating Drug Addicts

PPE for 3,478 priests ministering in COVID-hit Ukraine and urgent help for a drug rehab center in nearby Russia are just two of the projects supported this month by the UK office of a leading Catholic charity.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) provided the PPE for the priests as well as 92 seminarians and around 1,000 members of Ukraine’s religious communities.

Father Grzegorz, a Polish priest from Lublin who is now based in Lviv, was able to visit COVID-19 patients twice a week thanks to ACN’s help.

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