Tag Archives: Catholic church

PAKISTAN Pakistan Civil Award 2020 will be given to Sister Ruth Lewis, who died of Covid-19 | Instant News

Franciscan religion is one of the well-known figures in national civil society. Together with his sisters he founded the “House of Peace”, which is for people with mental and physical disabilities, who always encourage to get involved in sports and art. Catholics remember it as “a source of pride for all of us”.

Karachi (AsiaNews) – The Pakistani government has given Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Civil Award) to Sister Ruth Lewis, a Franciscan from the congregation of Christ the King and one of the most well-known figures in national civil society. The nun died on July 20 after contracting the corona virus while helping several sick children.

Born on May 2, 1946, he always lived and worked in Karachi. Together with Sister Gertrude Lemmens and Sister Margaret D’Costa, she established the Dar-Ul-Sukun house (house of peace) which was intended to accommodate people with mental and physical disabilities.

Religious always encourage “children” to be involved in the world of sports and art. Four guest houses won several medals at the Paralympics that took place in the United States in 1998: the nun always promotes an inclusive society, where people with disabilities also contribute with a commitment to the formation of a country.

In addition to the house of peace, Sister Ruth played an important role in various social work projects in Karachi. The letter with which the Sindh provincial government recommended it for the award mentioned several, all addressed to the weakest sections of society.

Mariyam Kashif, a teacher and social activist, recalled it as “a pride for all Catholics and the whole nation. The decision to appreciate it was amazing, he truly served mankind without discrimination.


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German churches reimagined: Practicing faith in a pandemic Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and surroundings | DW | Instant News

Father Tarcisius Paukovitsch beamed as if his church in the city of Worms was full of worshipers, although of the 200 seats available only 24 were now allowed to be filled, and less than 20 actually.

The Catholic priest warmly greeted the parishioners for the weekday Mass, as if nothing had changed. However, then, the community must exchange signs of peace (usually accompanied by a handshake) through smiles and eye contact only. Throughout the Mass, the organs remain silent, even though Paukovitsch issued a “Hallelujah” despite the prohibition of singing, because singing together is believed by scientists to unite the two risk factors for the spread of the corona virus, namely people who gather in the room and exchange it. respiratory drops.

Read more: Religious celebrations at the time of Coronavirus

Signs of peace and singing are not the only things that have changed. The 24 seats permitted by long distance rules are clearly depicted with masking tape. Paukovitsch wore a mask when he celebrated Mass, and diligently cleaned his hands every time he distributed the Holy Eucharist. Other churches, such as the famous Cologne Cathedral, have gone further by placing plexiglass glass between the altar and the church bench. At Saint Joseph’s Church in Berlin, priests distribute holy bread with gloved hands.

‘Hurts personally’

Religious services are permitted to restart in Germany in early May, after nearly two full months of forced closure as the country tried to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Father Tarcisius Paukovitsch was happy to be able to greet people in his church again

“That hurts, personally hurts,” Paukovitsch told DW. Not only is the celebration of the Mass postponed, but also Bible study groups, youth outreach and home care visits. For 38 years old, all of this is part of the sermon. He was only fully ordained as a priest for one year, after spending nine years as a member of the Order of Dominican Preachers.

Perhaps this is why, when he detailed the work he and his Dominican colleagues did during the crisis, he appeared more enthusiastic than proud. This group runs emergency telephone assistance lines for the elderly, podcasts for parishioners and online daily messages.

“For our children we write letters, collect arts and crafts and work books,” he said. The church bells ring for everyone as a sign of “community bound by faith.” It was clear how happy he was to be able to celebrate Mass with other worshipers again, and how strange to him, the way they had to do it now.

Read more: Catholic leaders reject coronavirus ‘conspiracy theories’

It also hurts, because so many religious communities throughout Germany canceled some of the holiest celebrations this year. Catholics and Protestants must celebrate Easter under locking, as does the Jewish community for Easter. Muslims hold iftar – breaking Ramadan fasting every day – mostly at home, without normally large communal gatherings. For many people, streaming religious services is not enough, or too strange to feel comfortable – like watching Pope Francis deliver an Easter sermon in the empty Basilica of St. Peter, usually packed to the ceiling with the same tourists and worshipers.

For many others, it’s still not clear how to proceed. In the southeastern city of Regensburg, the Catholic church celebrates Mass five minutes after midnight on the first day permitted. In downtown Magdeburg, the bishop did not allow any service for weeks, citing the health and holiness risks of the Mass tradition. Many Protestant congregations in Berlin, for example, still provide only streaming services and have not yet reopened. their door to the public.

Clearly everything is different now. Some bishops have pushed their return to normal routine; the others are alert. Pastors and pastors try to balance two common requirements – spiritual needs and reduce public health risks.

Outbreak clusters are tracked back to the church

Risks to public health are even more concerning after being reported last week at least 40 coronavirus infections originate from a single service at Gospel Christian Baptist Church in Frankfurton the 10th of May. Despite claims from the church that all rules of cleanliness and physical distance have been followed, 180 people took part in services without wearing mandatory face masks.

This outbreak follows a similar pattern that has occurred throughout the world. The first major wave of infections in South Korea traced to a service in a large Protestant church, United Arab Emirates saw a relatively low infection rate skyrocket after relaxed restrictions on Ramadan, a close community of Orthodox Jews in New York City has been destroyed. by COVID-19 and the early French outbreak are mostly believed to have originated at a church meeting in the town of Mulhouse, where around 2,000 gathered together from several countries.

Although much is still unknown about how the corona virus spreads, many factors that increase the risk have been clearly identified by scientists. Almost all of these factors are united at the meeting of many people in a closed room.

New ideas, new ways

But Paukovitsch is optimistic that new ways can be found to reach believers while still protecting them from the risk of infection. “Where are the people? Where do they live? How can we celebrate with the faith community where they are?” He asked. For this reason, he considers giving a sermon from a hill in a local vineyard, or in a large open park or drive-in cinema.

“We must have new ideas, find new ways,” Paukovitsch said. Of course nothing is too radical, but when someone is motivated, “much can be achieved and reorganized.”

You can find more German related stories here.


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People like to find comfort when the private Catholic Mass continues | Instant News

NORTHAMPTON – The private Mass began over the weekend at Catholic churches across the Pioneer Valley, after being detained for more than two months to stop the spread of COVID-19. And for Arleen Murnane, from Florence, taking communion again is “truly life-giving.”

“Returning is truly indescribable,” said Murnane.

Murnane serves as a counter for Sunday mass at 8 am in the Church of the Sacred Heart, part of the Parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Northampton. A little less than three dozen people gathered in the church for the service, the first of two at the Sacred Heart that day.

The synagogue was among the businesses included in the first phase of the reopening of Governor Charlie Baker on May 18, with those in the Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield getting the green light from the church to continue their personal mass at 4 pm. on Saturday. Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski ordered all churches in the diocese to close in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Springfield diocese serves the counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire.

Father Francis Reilly, pastor of St. Parish Elizabeth Ann Seton, said that about 50 people came to the first Mass at the Sacred Heart. Speaking after the first Sunday service, Reilly said the process had proceeded smoothly and expressed satisfaction when seeing people return to church.

“The blood returned to the body,” said Reilly.

A priest at the age of 40, he said that seeing people returning to church was “like a husband who sees his wife returning.”

The bishop has extended his dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, although prospective church visitors are encouraged to say the rosary or watch the Mass remotely if they are not present in person.

Reilly said people who feel they are vulnerable to coronavirus must stay at home.

“We don’t want to do anything to endanger your health,” he said.

Security protocol already exists

Last week, Rozanski was expelled directives to reopen, which states that the parish will be allowed to continue public Mass on Saturday “only if they have given written assurance to the bishop’s office that they have fulfilled all state, city and diocesan guidelines, and received a response giving permission to continue” and noted that some parishes require more time to reopen. Among the guidelines and restrictions strengthened, along with wearing masks and social distance: there was no “peace sign,” there was no fellowship with the trophy (only fellowship at hand), and the direction that the Holy Water fonts must remain blank and closed. .

Sunday Mass at the Sacred Heart features many salvation protocols. Those present at church wear masks and wear hand sanitizers when they enter through doors that remain open throughout the service. Participants who did not come together sat at least 6 feet apart and were taken to their seats by officers. Communion is distributed at the end of the Mass, when people leave.

These steps were carried out in Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Easthampton, although the fellowship was distributed there at a regular point in the ministry; to ensure social distance, billiard noodles along the 6 feet are placed on the bench.

“It’s a little bit unreal with all the security measures that apply,” said Tom Brown, who attended mass at 8:30 a.m. church.

However, Brown, who went to church for Mass every Sunday before the pandemic struck, said that attending Mass again in person “felt very good.”

“It feels like visiting a family member after a long trip,” Brown said.

Over the past few months while personal services have been suspended, both St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Our Lady of the Valley have served parishioners through their streaming services. Ps. Douglas McGonagle, pastor of Our Lady of the Parish Valley, also noted that Our Lady of the Valley has been providing video services for public access television for years.

“They are happy to be back,” McGonagle said. “These are parishioners who attend daily Mass.”

One congregation at the morning Mass in Northampton on Sunday who was not a church visitor before the pandemic was a resident of the city of Mark Anthony Andre, who said, “That’s where I have to be.”

Andre said that he felt compelled to enter the church when he walked past the day before and saw people outside.

“I have to go in, I need it,” Andre said. “And then I’m back here today.”

Ps. Parish vicar, parish vicar in St. Parish Elizabeth Ann Seton, heard the confession under the birch tree in the parking lot of the Church of the Sacred Heart before the Mass on Saturday. Norman will celebrate his first year as pastor next month. Before becoming a priest, he worked as a nurse for around 20 years.

“I feel God moving me from the call to care for the body to the call to care for the soul,” Norman said. “They are very connected.”

Norman said that the security protocol applied to private Masses made him feel as though his old career “had come into force.”

“It’s not new for me to wear a mask and to practice the infectious disease protocol,” he said.

However, he said, the current crisis is not something the church has prepared.

“They don’t teach you how to handle a pandemic in seminary,” he said.

Norman said he had spoken with friends at his former job who had seen much destruction due to the pandemic, especially in nursing homes.

“This is a mixture of gratitude for being here, but the desire to be there and be with the most vulnerable,” he said.

Bera Dunau can be contacted at [email protected]


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Coronavirus Blows Italy; Now Life Returns to New Normal | Instant News

I have watched the Covid-19 situation in Italy with horror and fascination for several months. Italy has long been a cultural aspiration for me. Amazing art, a focus on food and family, even religious nature – pious, but skeptical, all in harmony with my personality. I had the good fortune to live in an apartment in Florence while studying abroad in college. I found the way of life there was very different from America, but also charming and reasonable.

When the crisis moved from China to Italy and the country was blinded by the power of the viruses and the resulting large-scale illness and death, I began to follow the country’s progress every day. I found some live stream on YouTube and started checking in to some cities I had visited when I was a student, during the tourist season and holiday season. What I saw surprised me. Where there are thousands of tourists, or, outside the holiday season, hundreds of busy and talkative Italians in a busy progressive country, I see an empty piazza crossed only by occasional maintenance workers or carabinieri police cars.

The thought of Italy without activity and social interaction was unthinkable for me. In the years since I first visited, America has embraced many elements of Italian culture: espresso coffee, artisanal pasta, olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano. We have exchanged Chef Boyardee for Eataly—Lessings to value the value of authentic ingredients. Our pizza chains are even more artisanal, either thinner at Dominoes or inventive toppings at California Pizza Kitchen.

Meanwhile, Italy has learned from America. Naps, still a thing when I lived there in the early 80s, flourished, first in big cities, but even in small villages. With the arrival of computers and networks, a broad range of Italian culture can be accessed by anyone. Rick Steves and his guidebook praise the virtues of life as a native if only for a few days, teaching visitors who travel does not need to spend a lot of money, and that seeing other countries through the eyes of the natives can be very transformative.

Then a coronavirus occurred, and the Italians I knew and loved were punched in the intestines and beaten back. For 50 days, the country experienced total lockdown. Italy is the place that gave us evening song on the balcony, with quarantine who took refuge from Milan to Sicily appear at night to sing songs like Volare and the Italian national anthem. The time of horror becomes a little more tolerable, even touching.

But as the mortality rate increased and the virus continued, I could feel the confidence leaving people who had ruled the world as Roman people, and once again as geniuses from the Renaissance. For weeks, I witnessed a direct stream of shades of closed windows and empty piazzas.

Then, on Monday, May 4, the mandatory lockdown was slightly reduced, and the Italians began to reappear, while, still with significant restrictions. For the first time, the live stream that I followed featured a woman with a stroller, a man walking with his dog, children kicking soccer balls. Night passegiatta, a ritual in Italian cities that made most of the population of the city go out for a walk before dinner and shopping, replaced by temporary duties to the pharmacy and back to the apartment quickly.

Two weeks later, the regulations were further relaxed. Italy is reopening. Because the country is doing so slowly and deliberately, the number of sick and dying continues to decrease slowly. Italy is a passionate country, but in the postwar era, it was often wise and conservative in social progress.

There is a “after-flood” feeling to watch Italy open. This process reminds what happened to Noah, his family, and the animals. There is a mixture of actions: tentative, pleasant social interactions, especially by young people, albeit at a safe six-foot interval, and, of course, children’s uncontrollable joy. I have not seen an Italian without face mask. This is Italian duality. Country with a the majority of non-church visitors is home to the largest church in the world. Place of rebellion and rule.

Watching Italy alive again brought me great joy. Watching open countries slowly, safely and intelligently can be a lesson for the whole world. For a short time, if they can withstand the virus, Italy will have the opportunity to explore their country free from the hordes of tourists that are very important to the economy but force their Italian hosts to respect and realize their needs. others before their own needs. For once, Italians can only think about themselves. They have the opportunity to enjoy their terraced land with one another and relive it with their own stories. Watching the process unfold through YouTube is a miracle to see.

Here are some of the best direct camera views from Italy. Witnessing life again, especially young children and families, captivates:

Assisi Direct Flow

Perugia Live Stream

Live Streaming Orvieto

Venice Live Stream


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Several Australian bishops have proposed plans to reopen the church | Instant News

Eighteen bishops in Australia proposed a four-stage plan to reopen the church to Gladys Berejiklian, the country’s Prime Minister.

By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ

In a proposal to the Prime Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, several Catholic bishops in Australia have detailed a four-stage plan to reopen the church. 18 Bishops, including the Archbishop of Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP signed the proposal.

The bishops noted that “social distance and other restrictions have taken significant psychological and spiritual toll on people.” For this reason, “reopening the church, initially only for personal prayer and confession and with strict protocols, will be a significant benefit for many in the community, offering comfort for the faithful and hope for the anxious,” the proposal reads.

The Australian prelate also appealed to the Prime Minister to allow baptisms and marriages to take place with the minister and up to ten people present. They also requested that more people be allowed to attend funeral and tomb ceremonies.

Four stages

In the first stage, the monitor will monitor the use of hand sanitizer and physical distance.

During the second, they suggested that Mass and services be held in open spaces such as parking spaces with a limited number of people present. There will be no “collection plates or hymns” distributed, “no shaking hands or holding hands.” Holy Communion will be “given and received safely.”

Stage three will see Mass and service moving indoors.

The final stage will be a return to “new normalcy with learning from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Corona virus

In January this year, Australia recorded the first confirmed corona virus case. In March, he closed his borders for non-residents and imposed social distance rules. Recently, however, with the Covid-19 case falling in many countries, this country has begun to loosen some of its strict restrictions.

Australia currently has 6,825 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, 95 died and 5,859 patients recovered.


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The Coutts PAKISTAN card praises priests and is loyal to Easter ‘creativity’ | Instant News

Due to forced locking due to health reasons, Catholics worry they will lose Mass and other worship practices. Thanks to Facebook, YouTube, and local cable TV, many can attend religious services from home. Some priests walk the streets in their parishes carrying large crosses,

Karachi (AsiaNews) – Priests and worshipers in the Archdiocese of Karachi found creative ways to participate in Holy Week and Easter services and help the poor, writing the Joseph Coutts Card in a message in which he praised and thanked his priests for having reach out faithfully during the current crisis.

The Archbishop of Karachi noted that the confinement, which was forced for health reasons, was a new experience for everyone, but for Catholics, there was fear that they might be deprived of Mass and other devotional practices.

The cardinal praised the generous assistance given to the poor with what people have and thanked Muslim groups, NGOs and all those who joined in to help during this crisis.

For Pakistan, this is truly a time of unity as a nation, something that is also useful for interfaith dialogue.

In particular, the prelate noted that many Muslims contacted him by saying that they wanted to help poor Christians, a gesture that he “cherished and accepted.”

“Our people are locked up, and so I ask everyone to open their hearts and hands to help the poor regardless of their faith.”

Nothing, he added, can keep us from the love of God. Nothing can prevent us from worshiping our Lord.

“One of my faithful people told me that his eyes were filled with tears of joy and happiness when he saw the Blessed Sacrament at his door; it was truly a blessed moment for him. “

Through Facebook, YouTube and local cable TV, many people can attend religious services from home.

Some priests also took to the streets in the parish carrying large crosses (in the picture) in an area inhabited by Christians, to bless homes and residents, who stand at open doors, windows and some even on the roof.

In a parish in the Archdiocese of Karachi with a large concentration of Christians, the priest walked the streets and alleys for two days, early in the morning, to ensure that every Christian home received the blessing of the Blessed Sacrament.

Finally. Card Coutts said that he hoped and prayed that early summer would stop the spread of the virus. He also noted that he had given orders to Church leaders to follow directions issued by government and public health authorities.


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