Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus

Czech Republic: 12 letters for young faithful”God gave life to each one of us, he gave it also to you… This way he has decided that no task that he puts in front of you, will never be out of your strength” – with these words, Mons. Jan Vokál, bishop of Hradec Králové, turns to young people of his diocese in the first of the twelve letters due to be addressed to them in 2014, on the occasion of the Year of Vocations. His aim is to introduce his personal experience with the vocation of God – which he felt himself for the first time at the age of 14 – and motivate young faithful to discern with attention and responsibility the vocation for each one of them. “Search for it in prayer, during the holy mass, reading the lines of the Gospel. Then you will know in your heart where the Lord calls you”, reads the letter for January, distributed to Catholic parishes and youth communities of Hradec Králové, and published on the website www.bihk.cz. The Year of Vocations has been announced on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the diocese´s foundation.Slovakia: concern over project MetropolisThe Forum for Public Issues (FPI), institution “implementing Christian principles in everyday life” has written a letter to Robert Fico, prime minister of Slovakia, and Milan Ftáènik, mayor of Bratislava, expressing concern over the project Metropolis due to be established in the capital of Slovakia. They invite the representatives of government and municipality to ensure that the new multifunctional center won´t become a “center of hazard” and that they wouldn´t allow building of casino and gambling houses within the framework of this project. Their worries are backed up by the memorandum signed with the investor and approved the last week that doesn´t literally speak about gambling facilities but leaves an open space to establish them in the future. “We ask the prime minister to conclude a separate legally binding contract that would exclude explicitly the possibility to build gambling houses and casino”, says lawyer Martin Dilong, representative of FPI. The petition against the center of gambling, launched in 2010, was signed by dozens of Christian organizations and over 125,000 individuals, pointing to the “threat of higher criminality rate, rise of gambling addictions and worsening of moral environment” in the country.Belarus: 20th anniversary of “Dialogue” The Catholic magazine “Dialogue” in Belarus commemorates the 20th anniversary of its foundation by the Society of the Divine Word in January 2014. Bishop Jerzy Mazur, currently heading the diocese of Elk in Poland, was the first editor of the paper. As he says, the impulse for its foundation was a desire for the invigoration of pastoral activities and life of the Church in Belarus. He draw the inspiration from his missionary work in Ghana, where the cooperation between the priests and the faithful is very well developed. “It all started with small steps”, explains the prelate, expressing joy over the fact that the number of readers of the first magazine of the Roman Catholic Church in the country gradually rose year by year. According to Mons. Mazur, the paper aims to inspire and help people in a dialogue with God, with other faithful and also with the atheists. It also has a strong ecumenical dimension of a dialogue with other Christian Churches. The bishop expresses his gratitude to all the people responsible for the fact that the magazine has become a respected massmedia and wishes its contemporary team as well as its readers a lot of inspiration and success in spreading of Christian values and a good guidance on their way to sanctity.

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