Ireland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Belarus

Ireland: Catholic schools open their doors to refugees Catholic elementary schools in Ireland welcomed refugee children. Fr Tom Deenihan, General Secretary of the Association of elementary Catholic schools of the Republic of Ireland said a few days ago that 2900 elementary schools in the Country would be happy to welcome and educate children of refugee children arriving in Ireland from Syria and other conflict areas. Fr Deenihan said that most of the schools have enough room for these children, and would welcome them gladly. “Catholic parish schools – said Fr Deenihan – are in the forefront contributing to the integration of migrants in our local communities. Children of various faiths and nationalities contribute to a multinational profile to Catholic schools across the Country. All our students receive quality education and in turn they enrich the daily lives of our schools”. Fr Deenihan added: “The recent appeal by Pope Francis to open the doors of parishes to people who have suffered is an invitation also to Catholic schools to give their support. As an integrating part of parish life in Ireland, Catholic schools want to be present at this critical moment for the refugees”. Ukraine: itinerating exhibition and a Museum for Sheptitskyi An original itinerating exhibition to commemorate Metropolitan Andrey Sheptitskyi, whose 150th anniversary will be celebrated by Ukraine’s Greek-Catholic Church in 2015, was inaugurated at the Institute for Church History. A small local museum dedicated to Sheptitskyi, that showcases the exhibition, was set up in Prilbytchi, his hometown. “The year of Andrey Sheptitskyi has begun. We wanted to do something in his honour to spread knowledge on his figure”, said Svitlana Hurkina, director of the Institute. The itinerating exhibition, consisting in nine titles, began in December 2014, with the contribution of the National Sheptitskyi Museum in Lviv. It was planned to be simple, with the intention of circulating it in parishes, communities, and institutions upon demand. Every title encompasses the versatile life and ministry of the Metropolitan bishop, including the Sheptitskyi family, the “patron of Ukrainian art” and monastic life. Czech Republic: Saint Wenceslas, procession for peace “We want to pray for the wisdom of our public authorities, the blessing of the administration in charge of our state, peace and reconciliation among all people living in the Czech Republic. We embrace the Holy Father’s invitation to pray for the elimination of threats of conflict and war”, said the representatives of the Association for the New Evangelization, organizers of an original procession around the churches in the centre of Prague. The event on the occasion of the feast of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech nation, will take place on Sept. 27, as of the early afternoon, in All Saints church, and will end the same evening in Wenceslas Square. The procession will be held symbolically on the eve of the national holiday of the Czech Republic, under the patronage of Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference. Belarus: education as “social investment” “The education of the young generations is an important ‘social investment’, as it has a direct impact on the quality of life of all citizens, today and in the future”, wrote Msgr. Aleksander Kaskiewicz, bishop of Grodno, in a pastoral letter to the faithful on the occasion of the opening of the new academic year. The document highlights the work of teachers and catechists, adding that for many of them it is a “vocation and a mission”, rather than a mere occupation, since they educate children not only to develop practical knowledge but also to respecting values. Mons. Kaskiewicz addressed Catholic parents, who should be “the fist testimonies of the faith of their children”, and asked them “to live their family life as a true testimony of faith and love for Christ and his Church”. The bishop of Grodno also invited them to pray for the positive outcome of the upcoming Synod of bishops on the family and for families ain general, so that this “significant event in the life of the Church may promote the awareness of the dignity, the sacrality and the beauty of the family institution according to the plan of God”.

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