Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine

Hungary: Bishops reward online journalistFor the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, Saint patron of journalists, the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference usually organizes an annual meeting of Catholic journalists. In the Year of Faith the emphasis was placed on the importance of proclaiming the Gospel, and one way to convey the message is proclaiming the faith through the media. As a sign of appreciation of the vocation of journalists, the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference since 2001 has given a scholarship to media workers carrying out a professionally oriented and authentic promotion of the choice of Christian values in non-Catholic press. Cardinal Péter Erdö, President of the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, delivered this scholarship bearing the name of the Bishop of Geneva. On the basis of the nominations issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, this year the bishops have given the St. Francis de Sales Scholarship for the Press to Levente Bucsy, journalist of “Magyar Nemzet Online”. This is the first time that a journalist who mainly works online is awarded with the scholarship. Mr. Bucsy began his career working for minor Web sites and for a free newspaper in Budapest, “Helyi Téma”. Since 2007 he has been working for one of the most popular news Web sites of Hungary, dealing not only with domestic politics but also with religious information.Slovakia: 13 laureates of Fra Angelico PrizeThirteen artists were awarded the Fra Angelico Prize 2013 in four categories on 14 February for their contribution to Christian art. The holy mass on the occasion was celebrated in Bratislava by Mons. Frantisek Rábek, president of the Council for Science, Education and Culture of the Bishops’ conference, and Mons. Mario Giordana, apostolic nuncio to Slovakia. Homily was pronounced by one of the laureates – P. Marko Ivan Rupnik SI. He focused on the essence and importance of Christian art, with special attention paid to liturgy. “Art is a humble service”, said P. Rupnik, pointing to its power to lead people to God. After the eucharistic celebration, the Fra Angelico Prize was given by Mons. Rábek and Mons. Stanislav Zvolenský, president of the Bishops’ conference, to 13 renowned personalities, among them sculptor Ján Máthe (in memoriam), architects Anna and Jakub Tomasák, writer Milan Zelinka, dramatist Jozef Repko, poet of the Catholic modern Gorazd Zvonický (in memoriam), opera singer Mária Adamcová, or former TV presenter Hilda Michalíková. The idea to award and support artists with the Fra Angelico Prize originated in 2002, when the Bishops’ conference of Slovakia decided to express gratitude and appreciation to the artists who bring Christian values to their work and thus “reveal the beauty and perfection of Christian art in the contemporary world”.Ukraine: feast of three saints in the Kyiv SeminaryOn 11 February, the Feast of Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, the spiritual Seminary of Three Saints of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in Kyiv celebrated its feast day. Pontifical liturgy on the occasion was presided over by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the UGCC. “Today we see all three bishops – saints – represented on one icon. While each of them was different, they were all the same in being filled with the Holy Spirit”, said His Beatitude Sviatoslav in his homily, adding that Basil the Great was a courageous defender of faith, a capable administrator and archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia, a theology scholar and a great teacher of his time; Gregory the Theologian was very sensitive to God’s presence and deeply immersed himself in the life of the Holy Trinity and could present the sacrament of God’s presence in his sermons; and John Chrysostom was a caring pastor who could feel the concerns of the souls of those people to whom God sent him and courageously strengthened their souls with God’s Word. “Together these three saints comprise the icon of the Church”, stressed the hierarch. In this regard, the major archbishop of Kyiv-Halych explained the meaning of a seminarian community: “A seminary is not a building or a curriculum, but a community of communal work, prayer and study of the Word of God”.

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