Maronite Bishop Michel Aoun of the Eparchy of Jbeil in Lebanon © Aid to the Church in Need

Maronite Catholic bishop calls on Western governments to recognize vital role of Christians in bringing peace to the Middle East

By Joop Koopman

Every third person is by now a refugee in Lebanon, the majority of them being Muslims. Absorbing a large number of Sunnis, the country now faces new threats to its internal equilibrium. The Maronite Bishop Michel Aoun heads the Eparchy of Jbeil in Lebanon, where he teaches sacramental theology at the Holy Spirit University in Beirut. On a recent visit to New York he spoke with the papal charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in particular on the local Church’s role in coming to the aid of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, an influx that has posed enormous challenges for a country whose own population is just 4.5 million. 

Pope Francis inspects the Lamborghini that was donated to assist charitable causes © Aid to the Church in Need

By Marta Petrosillo

A brand new, special edition Lamborghini Huracan sports car presented to Pope Francis will be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity. 

Part of the funds raised from the Sotheby’s auction will go to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to help with its work rebuilding Christian settlements on the Nineveh Plains destroyed by Daesh (ISIS). 

President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Burundi, Bishop of Muyinga Joachim Ntahondereye pointing out Burundi on a map of Africa © Aid to the Church in Need

“Christianity is a religion of witnesses.”

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Burundi promotes an inclusive dialogue for enduring peace.   

Since April of 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza declared himself willing to run for a third term of office, Burundi has been experiencing a severe political crisis that has claimed the lives of hundreds and caused the exile of thousands of people. An interview with Joachim Ntahondereye, Bishop of Muyinga and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Burundi. 

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”

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