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Germany, Slovakia, Poland
Germany: the winners of the 2012 Catholic media award
Authors Wolfgang Bauer, Carsten Rau and Hauke Wendler are the winners of the 2012 Catholic media award. The news was released by the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) on July 26. The prize, that has reached its 9th edition, is awarded each year by DBK to the best press and electronic media reports, in synergy with journalists and Catholic media associations (GKP and KM). The 2012 winners were chosen amongst 170 works - 67 from the press category and 103 from electronic media - by a jury chaired by Msgr.Gebhard Fürst, bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, president of the DBK publicist Commission. Bauer was awarded the press award for the best reportage titled “End stop Dadaab”, in which, with photographer Matthias Ziegler, he told the story of the perilous flight of a family from Somalia to the refugee camps of Dadaab in Kenia. For their report, the author and the photographer visited the world’s largest refugee camp with 500 thousand residents. Carsten Rau and Hauke Wendler were awarded the electronic media prize for the documentary “Wadim”, on the tragedy of a young man from a family in Latvia, who is not granted political asylum but instead is given the “tolerated” status for years, highlighting all the difficulties related to this status, including the risk of being expelled and the ‘tolerated’ label in the working environment (in Germany such status grants a residence permit but not a working permit). The awarding ceremony will take place on November 26 in Bonn, chaired by Msgr. Robert Zollitsch, DBK President, some 300 guests of the ecclesiastic, political and media realms are expected to attend.
Slovakia: social club for the homeless
To address serious social problems in Slovak regions and to contribute to finding solutions to poverty and homelessness will be the main goals of a newly established Social club, initiated by the Social sub-commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Slovakia and headed by Mons. Peter Rusnák, eparch of Bratislava. According to his words, its aim is not to perform charitable activities: “It’s more about cooperation of all institutions at diocesan and later maybe also at parish level, better coordination of their activities and easier identification of problems and difficulties, so that the Church could help more effectively”. This pilot project could become an inspiration for bishops in all dioceses, with aim to define and solve the most appalling social problems. The first session of the club saw the presence of representatives of civil and Church institutions, politicians and activists from various sectors of public life. “We intend to connect professional services with involvement of volunteers”, adds Katarína Hulmanová, coordinator of the Social club.
Poland: the tasks of the new evangelization
1200 participants, members of 300 associations and movements, attended the First International Congress for the New Evangelization that closed on July 31st in Kostrzyn, Poland. The secretary of the group for the new evangelization of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Fr Artur Godnarski, said, “during the Congress we didn’t focus on theoretical issues, but on practical experience. In Poland entire families are committed to bringing the Good News. “Many tasks related to the new evangelization lie ahead”, said Msgr. Stefan Regmunt, Ordinary of the Diocese of Zielona Gora and Gorzow and member of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to healthcare workers. Speaking to participants at the Congress, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Opole, Msgr. Andrzej Czaja, noted that the Church in Poland “is characterized by too much inactivity. If people don’t come to us we should go towards them”. “Effective evangelization, according to Msgr. Czaja, “requires a solid biblical education and appropriate formation in various intellectual and spiritual areas of life”. An invitation to have courage came from Msgr. Andrzej Dziega, Ordinary of the diocese of Szczecin and Kamien Pomorski. The bishop of Koszalin and Kolobrzeg Msgr. Edward Dajczak instead stressed the need to “be guided by the Holy Spirit” in the work of evangelization and to “be authentic witnesses”. The Congress of the new evangelization held for the first time in Kostrzyn will continue alongise with the music and theatrical events organized under the name “Przystanek Jezus” (Station: Jesus), in conjunction with the music festival best known among young Poles “Przystanek Woodstock”.