Slovakia, Ukraine, Portugal, Poland

Slovakia: youth connected with RioSeveral thousands of young people participated at historically first National Youth Meeting (NYM) in Ruzomberok on 26-28 July. The event, prepared by more than 300 volunteers under the patronage of the Council for Youth and Universities of the Bishops’ conference of Slovakia, took place paralelly with World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, as an alternative for those who were not able to travel to Brazil, but still wanted to experience a spirit of youth community full of faith in God. “We believe that under the protection of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, patroness of Slovakia, and Ss. Cyril and Methodius whose arrival to our lands 1150 years ago we commemorate, we will preserve an idea of the living Church in our society also thanks to this Youth Meeting”, reads the message of the organizers of NYM to pope Francis. “We are draw support also your personal witness in Rio, with which you have lit a spark in the hearts of millions of young people. We remember you in our prayers and ask for your prayers for the youth in Slovakia”, concludes the letter to the Holy Father. The program full of performances, catechesis, witnesses, moments of prayer and “Expo of Religious Vocations” culminated with the Eucharistic celebration on 28 July, presided over by prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, cardinal Jozef Tomko. Young boys and girls at NYM also had an opportunity to pray in front of the copy of the statue of Our Lady of Aparecida brought to Ruzomberok, to connect spiritually with young people participating at WYD in Brazil.Ukraine: Jubilee of Baptism of Rus’ UkraineHis Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), participated at the commemoration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ Ukraine on the official state level on 28 July. The celebration started with the opening of the exhibition “Great and Glorious” at Kyiv art complex “Art Arsenal” by president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, in the presence of heads of all Christian Churches, communities and religious organizations of Ukraine, which are members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches. Althought the UGCC will celebrate the anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’Ukraine on 14 August, in accordance with tradition of the ancient Kyiv Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav has already issued a pastoral letter on the occasion of the Jubilee. Appealing to the historical beginning of Christianity in Ukrainian land, he emphasizes that “Kyiv has become the center of the Church of the Apostles, as Jerusalem once had been. Thus, the Christianity in the Ukrainian land is not accidentally called ‘Christianity of Kyiv’. That is why our people and our state are inheritors of the Christian civilization of Kyivan Rus’ Ukraine, which used to be one of the most powerful and civilized countries of Europe”, writes the prelate, emphasizing that the celebration of the Jubilee is very significant “from the point of view of the spiritual search of each person” and its message is still very urgent, also in contemporary times. Celebrations by the UGCC will culminate on 16-19 August with the National pilgrimage to Kyiv and the blessing of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Ressurection of Christ, built on the left bank of the Dnieper River.Portugal: online platform for unemployedSince November a project brokered by Caritas Portugal shall allow unemployed people with over 45 years of age “to seek work through an online platform”. While presenting the initiative to the press, the president of the Catholic Body emphasised that the program came about from the need to “support individuals who are today in a situation seemingly with no way out: they are considered elderly by the labour market, but still too young to have access to retirement”. By means of this tool, these people will have the opportunity to “show their willingness to make available the skills of the experience they acquired over the years to to potential national and international employers”, said Eugénio da Fonseca. The name given to the project, “Network of skills”, came out as a result of the work carried out by Caritas Portugal during the European Year for Active Ageing and Inter-Generational Solidarity, promoted by the EU in 2012. For the Catholic Association, it was essential that the outcome of the event had some practical implications for the future: employment statistics of the country for the last quarter of 2012, in fact, show the existence of “at least 500,000 unemployed persons over 45 years of age, as well as retired or inactive people who would still be ready to work”. “No company can afford to waste such a capital of knowledge and experience”, said the coordinator of the digital platform, Maria do Rosário Carneiro.Poland: Trwam will switch to digital TVFrom April 27, 2014, Polish Trwam TV will begin broadcasting on digital platform. This is the decision which has been taken a few days ago by the board responsible for broadcasting concessions, to allocate frequencies on Mux1 digital platform to the Redemptorist Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, known as the founder and director of Polish Radio Maria, and director of Lux Veritatis Foundation. Receiving the qualification to digital broadcasting has not been easy, Trwam TV recognizes. The first request of frequencies licensing was denied “for lack of resources to ensure their successful outcome”, they explain. The decision had shocked the Polish public opinion and the many supporters of Father Rydzyk. For months, in various cities of Poland rallies took place in favour of the allocation of digital frequencies to Trwam TV. “These rallies must continue”, says Father Rydzyk today, because the instance concerning the “freedom of the media must be carried out”, as “a single independent digital channel is not enough”. The Catholic Weekly “Gosc Niedzielny”, commenting on the catholic broadcaster’s transition to digital platform, notes: “You may criticize Trwam TV, but it is entitled to the frequencies for one simple reason: this is what a significant segment of Polish society wants”.

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