Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Munich

Spain: “iParty”, digital evangelization On April 11, several cities in Spain, , Cartagena, Albacete, Barcelona, Ciudad Real y Tenerife – will simultaneously stage the first iParty. It’s an initiative of iMisión, a integral platform comprising Catholics belonging to various movements, congregations and religious families and all stages of life – lay, consecrated and priests -, who share the same zeal and the same calling: to evangelize on the Internet. The first edition of iParty is meant to offer a place of encounter to share faith experiences in the evangelization process of the digital environment. A set of workshops will focus on the training of participants who will also have time to listen to personal testimonies and share experiences in actual fact. Xiskya Valladares, a member of the team coordinating iMisión, said that the first iParty will be a place to “share experiences of online evangelization, but most of all to create a community and give a face to the ‘iMisioneros’ in various dioceses. That’s why it’s a party, an occasion for encounter and a unique occasion of union and fraternity”. All participants will have the opportunity of “virtually” following the conference of Isidro Catela, former director of the Press Office of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, University Professor. In his presentation titled “Five loaves of bread, two fish and 140 typefaces”, Catela will speak of digital evangelization and provide interpretative keys to best ensure the presence of the Spanish Church on the web”. Czech Republic: youths, 12 videos on love What do priests know about love and sexuality? What is the relationship between God and marriage? What is the difference between the use of contraceptives and the natural planning of parenthood? Is pre-marriage cohabitation a sin? Why is artificial insemination immoral? The answer to this and to many other questions will be offered by experts in the social doctrine of the Czech Church in the coming months through several short videos. The project, consisting of 12 episodes on God’s plan for marriage, is being developed by the Community Youth Network: “Christians youths often are called to face questions on sexuality and human relations to which they don’t know the answers. There are many books on this topic, but young boys and girls are not very attracted by their formal approach, which is often excessively theological. That’s why we have decided to open up to these sensitive issues and explain them in terms that are easily understood by adolescents”, said Father Karel Skocovsky, curator of the catechesis. The first video, accompanied by printed material for in-depth study, will be aired at the beginning of May and will be available for free on the web. Slovakia: pilgrims “pray with their feet” A few days ago took place the official opening of the annual season of religious tourism in the Spis region, in the North-East area of Slovakia. Dozens of pilgrims from across the Country followed the way of Santiago between two cities rich in historical heritage, Levoca and Kezmarok. The event began with a Eucharistic celebration in the chapel of the convent of the Friars Minor in Levoca, at the end of which participants – aged 19-72- were given a special stamp on the way of Santiago issued for the occasion. During the pilgrimage the reflections focused on the theme “Praying with feet – my personal pilgrimage”. Along the way they stopped in several ancient churches to pray for the intentions of the Year of Consecrated Life and to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Teresa D’Avila and her spirituality. The spring pilgrimage is an initiative of the organization “Friends of Saint James and of the way of Santiago”, in cooperation with the Confraternity of Jerusalem. Organizers hope that events of this kind may contribute to the development of the so-called “religious tourism” and the present few hundred pilgrims may become several thousands. “It’s a unique occasion to combine three interesting dimensions: to cultivate our faith, our physical wellbeing, and a reflection on the history of our nation”, thus concludes the invitation of the Friends of the Way of Santiago in Spis. Principality of Monaco: a home for the diocese The archbishop of Monaco, Msgr. Bernard Barsi, announced two innovations due to be into place in the diocese. The first concerns inter-diocesan communication and with society as a whole. An “online platform will bring together all the news on the seven parishes and that will be collected and disseminated by the associations in the diocese to ensure the top performance of internal and external communication”, the archbishop said. The second regards the creation of a diocesan home in the heart of Montecarlo, in the premises where the nuns of the Holy Rosary used to be. “It’s been my dream for a very long time” – the archbishop said – “to set up a diocesan home where all those serving the diocese – associations, organizations, movements – could convene”. The premises will be at the same time “put to the service of communication between the various bodies”. Construction works are due to start in May 2016. During Easter archbishop Barsi launched the campaign “let us build together the diocesan home” to collect funds for the project.

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