JULY 15, 2012, Vol 62, No 14

Our young people are called to carry joy into our homes, says Nicholas Gabriel Lim.

Earlier this year, we marked the 27th World Youth Day (WYD) since the inaugural celebration in 1986. Once every three years since that first celebration, youths from all over the world continue to gather for a week of prayer, catechesis, and a celebration of the Eucharist with the Pope. The last International gathering was held in Madrid, Spain last year, while the upcoming one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will take place in 2013. Every other year, though, the Vatican has marked out a day to celebrate our youth, even if it’s not held as an International gathering. Having participated in the 2008 International gathering in Sydney, Australia, I can attest to the awe-inspiring testimonies that many other WYD participants have shared.  
Vatican unveils Year of Faith plans
Document based on responses to questionnaire
  Priests pray during the closing World Youth Day Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid last year. CNS photo Priests pray during the closing World Youth Day Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid last year. CNS photo
VATICAN CITY – In an effort to respond to a “clear and pressing” need for priests, the Vatican released a set of guidelines to help bishops and Church communities promote, recruit and educate a new generation of men for the priesthood.

The Church needs “suitable” candidates and must avoid men who “show signs of being profoundly fragile personalities”, while helping others heal from any possible “individual deviations” from their vocations, the document said.

Based on responses to a questionnaire sent to bishops’ conferences and directors of national vocations offices around the world in 2008, the Congregation for Catholic Education sought to address a widespread demand for pastoral guidelines for fostering vocations “based on clear and well-founded theology of vocation and of the identity of the ministerial priesthood”.

Titled Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry, the 29-page document was released on June 25. It also marked the 70th anniversary of the inauguration of the congregation’s Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations.


POPE BENEDICT XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation after the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God (Oct 5-26, 2008) was published on Sept 30, 2010.

Entitled Verbum Domini [VD] (The Word of the Lord), it gives a theology of the Word of God and goes into the relevance and importance of the Word for the Church’s life and ministry and for her mission to the world as well.

At its meeting in February 2011, the Regional Biblical Commission (RBC) decided to dedicate the annual Bible Sunday message to this document. Because of its richness, the RBC would spread its coverage of the document over the next few years.

So for its Bible Sunday Message last year the RBC highlighted the primacy of God’s word to man in different forms culminating in Jesus Christ, the Word of God. That Word invites all men and women to covenant with God.

This year’s message continues the reflection by highlighting the response of men and women to God’s call to covenantal life with Him.

The Covenant with God

“In this vision every man and woman appears as someone to whom the Word speaks, challenges, and calls to enter this dialogue of love through a free response. Each of us is thus enabled by God to hear and respond to His Word.
Anthony Gabriel from Singapore’s Legion of Mary shares his group’s experience of the event held in Dublin

‘I went to Dublin with 13 members of the Legion of Mary Singapore Senatus and seven non-members to attend the 50th International Eucharistic Congress and to visit the Legion of Mary headquarters.  The Singapore group comprised 13 members of the Legion of Mary Singapore Senatus and seven non-members. The Singapore group comprised 13 members of the Legion of Mary Singapore Senatus and seven non-members.

We also took the opportunity to have a pilgrimage in Ireland: to the Marian Shrine of Knock, some places associated with St Patrick, and other religious places with a Dublin priest, Fr Michael Kane.

The congress was held in Dublin from June 10-17. We attended the congress from June 14-16 at the Royal Dublin Society and the closing Statio Orbis Mass on June 17 at Croke Park Stadium.

Each day was centred around the Mass celebrated by a cardinal or bishop and had a theme based on the main theme, The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with One Another.