The cathedral takes shape
© Aid to the Church in Need

By Karla Sponar

The position of the church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is difficult, especially in the eastern part of the country, where war has been raging for decades over the coveted raw materials mines. The effects of this can also be felt in the north-western diocese of Basankusu of Bishop Joseph Mokobe Ndjoku. For some time now, an impressive church building has towered over the surrounding countryside there. A project that the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has been supporting for many years. It is now taking on definite shape, in the middle of green fields.

Gifts being exchanged between participants of the national pilgrimage of the Church of the Czech Republic and the Shrine of Fatima. The Czech pilgrims received a Statue of Our Lady of Fatima (left), which will be visiting all dioceses of the Czech Republic, while the Czech pilgrims brought as a gift a statue of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague (right) © Sanctuario de Fatima

By Eva-Maria Kolman

The Catholic faithful in the Czech Republic have been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions as a year of special thanksgiving for their regained freedom from communism. In this, the most atheistic country in Europe, the Catholic Church felt it important to commemorate this event with its own special all-year-round nationwide pilgrimage. Following the high point of the pilgrimage to Fatima in September, this pilgrimage is now continuing within the country itself, with a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima travelling for an entire year throughout the Czech Republic. A pilgrimage of thanksgiving is also being held on 18th November at the world-famous shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague, whose image was earlier carried by the Czech pilgrims to the shrine of Fatima in a “gesture of thanksgiving”

Friends and family gather outside the AME community funeral home © Diocese of Juína

By Rodrigo Arantes

(The month of November is devoted in particular to prayers for the deceased. What was supposed to be a work of mercy in the Amazonas region of Brazil became nothing more than a means of exploitation before the church stepped in to help the situation)

Sr Ilham stands in the burnt out shell of the convent © Jaco Klamer/ Aid to the Church in Need

By Jaco Klamer

Although Sr Ilham and her order suffered terrible losses when ISIS invaded Iraq, she manages to speak with an inspiring calmness: “None of us wanted to abandon our place - but as the attacks didn´t stop, we had to save our lives and flee,” reflects Sr. Ilham quietly. The 57 year old Dominican nun was serving in a Mosul church when the rapid advance of ISIS forced her and the community to flee taking only what they could carry. Today she serves those remaining IDP’s in the Christian city of Telleskuf in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains. 

A SENIOR Iraqi priest refused to leave Teleskov, northern Iraq – even after military forces gathered there for battle. Chaldean cleric Father Salar Kajo and nine Church workers remained in the Christian-majority town on the Nineveh Plains, around 19 miles north of Mosul, despite Iraqi and Peshmerga armies amassing there over the last 48 hours. All other inhabitants left Teleskov on Tuesday 24th October after mortar shells landed in the town, injuring three children. Both Kurdish and Iraqi forces are aware of the presence of Father Kajo and his team. 

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