Portugal, Ukraine, UK, Belarus

Portugal: online pastoral forumThe patriarchate of Lisbon created the "Olhar Público"; an online forum "offering lay people, priests, bishops, religious, members of other confessions and non-believers a daily, up-dated snapshot of Church activity in Portugal". The initiative was undertaken by the communication services of the patriarchate "to provide a concrete answer to the challenge launched by the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference (CEP) past June to establish new forms of dialogue with society" and reconsider Church pastoral care, as stated in the Working document ‘Formation for the Church-Formation in the Mission". "The importance of resorting to new technologies as a method of intervention and vicinity of the Church to faith communities was reiterated in the last meeting of the Bishops’ Conferences of Spain and Portugal, recently held in Malaga", the bishops state in a message. The forum can be accessed by logging on: http://olhar-publico.blogspot.com. Lisbon’s patriarchate undertook a process of renewal aimed at improving Church news dissemination. The layout and content of the diocesan magazine "The voice of the truth" were modified accordingly, which increased weekly sales threefold. Similar initiatives include a You Tube ad hoc channel (www.youtube.com/jornalw) along with web pages on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jornalw) and Facebook (http://bit.ly/9g2m6m). Ukraine: Cardinal Husar’s appeal to unity A few days ago Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, head of the Country’s Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) called for "the renewal of the original unity of the Church and of Ukraine". "It is our duty – warned the cardinal – to recover the unity of the Church of the origins. The Church of Christ is unique: we’re responsible for her divisions and now it’s time to remedy the situation" The Greek-Catholic Church "already cooperates with other Christian denominations, perhaps not at the level of theological dialogue – the UGCC primate pointed out – but in the framework of social and charitable services. It is a fruitful cooperation and a different way to overcome misunderstandings and confrontations". However, unity must also take place inside the Country: "certainly the reasons of Volyn, Ukraine Prymorska, Kharkiv and Crimea are marked by different historical backgrounds and cultural traditions – pointed out Cardinal Husar – but their population is united under two fronts: Church devotion and love for their native homeland". For this reason, he concluded, "it doesn’t make sense to speak of two or more ‘Ukraines’. Ukraine is one and it is united".UK: hearing-impaired press officer for the papal visit In the evangelization centre of the archdiocese of Liverpool sixteen young people are undergoing formation to spread the Word of God during the Papal Visitation to the United Kingdom (September 16-19). The meeting follows an initiative held in London June 24 to encourage youth participation in the area of communication, notably in the media marked by a social component. The project is jointly promoted by the Catholic Church of England and Wales and by the marketing and media organization "Make happy". Young Catholics arrived to Liverpool from Salford, Wrexham, Menevia and Portsmouth. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the hearing-impaired community, which is planning to send pilgrims to the events scheduled for the Papal Visitation. For the first time a hearing-impaired press officer of the U.K.’s Catholic press office will be involved in the four-day Visitation of Benedict XVI to England. Participants were welcomed by the archbishop of Liverpool Patrick Kelly, who encouraged them to repose their commitment on God’s Word and reflect on the ministry of the successor of Saint Peter. Belarus: 570 years of the Vojstam parishThe parish of the Most Holy Trinity in the village of Vojstam (diocese of Hrodna, deaconry of Smarhon) is 570 years old. The anniversary was celebrated on Sunday July 18 with a solemn liturgy presided over by Msgr. Antoni Diamjanka, auxiliary bishop of Minsk-Mahilyow. "Today we are celebrating two festivities – the prelate said in his homily -: the anniversary of the creation of this parish and the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel. They lead us to express our gratitude for all the good we received by the Lord and by our people in the past centuries: the cultural treasures – both material and spiritual – and the grace of faith passed down by our ancestors". "May this community be the strength that fortifies individuals and families, encouraging them to be patient and joyful – was the bishops’ final exhortation to attendants -. May the Jubilee that we’re celebrating today help you show the world the presence of the merciful Lord through your lives". The parish of the Most Holy Trinity was founded in the village of Vojstam in 1440. The current church was erected and consecrated in 1939.

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