VATICAN CITY, 6 SEP 2011 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to Germany, due to take place from 22 to 25 September, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2010, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.
Germany has a population of 81,751,000 of whom 24,675,000 (30.18 percent) are Catholic. There are 29 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 11,483 parishes. Currently there are 113 bishops, 17,274 priests, 28,651 religious, 1,657 lay members of secular institutes and 10,060 catechists. Minor seminarians number 2,303 and major seminarians 1,151.
A total of 1,031,981 students attend 9,439 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Germany include 444 hospitals, 1,368 clinics, 2,804 homes for the elderly or disabled, 1,172 orphanages and nurseries, 2,176 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, 2,204 centres for education and social rehabilitation, and 468 institutions of other kinds.
Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
2 Sep 2011
Redevelopment of the Benedict XV1 Retreat Centre, a 16-hectare bushland site operated by the Archdiocese of Sydney near Richmond, has been given the green light following a meeting of the Joint Regional Planning Panel for the Sydney West Region.
A retreat centre for a number of years, the development application sought to improve conditions through redevelopment and refurbishment. All plans have been developed under the careful guidance of experts to ensure the sensitive nature of the local environment is preserved and protected and to ensure fire safety and water management practices were enhanced. In many areas "peer reviews" were conducted to make sure no detail was missed.
The application was approved unanimously with some Council conditions to which the Archdiocese was happy to agree.
The centre has been approved to cater for 150 guests plus an on-site management team.
The redevelopment will see the construction of a Chapel, new accommodation blocks including improved facilities as well as meeting and administrative areas.
Less than two hours from the city the centre makes an ideal location for parish, family or youth groups. Those who have already utilised the site have said it is an ideal site for prayer and reflection as well as having space for recreational activities like bushwalking.
However the redevelopment and refurbishment will provide modern facilities with the focus being a beautiful new chapel.
The centre will also accommodate Duty Managers who will assist with all requirements and represent the Archdiocese when groups are present.
The next stage in the redevelopment process will be the preparation of detailed planning with the Archdiocese hoping to begin construction in the New Year.
A nun was severely beaten while a priest suffered minor injuries after being attacked while trying to reclaim two former Church properties in southwestern Sichuan province.
Sister Xie Yuming suffered head and chest injuries and is still in hospitsl after she and Father Wang Xueqing were attacked by around a dozen unknown assailants on September 3, local sources said.
The pair was trying to assert Church rights of two properties which formally belonged to Kangding diocese.
The properties, a former Latin school and boy’s school, are among several that were confiscated by authorities in the 1950s but were due to be returned to the diocese.
The Latin school was demolished by the government and the land occupied by a private company. The boys’ school is currently used as living quarters for officials from the Moxi county government.
The sources said the attack on the Church people has sparked anger among many parishioners who have gathered in protest outside their local church vowing to defend their rights.
Kangding currently has three priests and two nuns serving 13,000 Catholics in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The diocese has a vacant see and is currently being administrated by Leshan diocese.
"The developments are difficult to predict, which may come to some form of agreement with the Libyan authorities of transition. I seem to catch, however, the signs of real peacemaking efforts", continues Msgr. Martinelli.
Meanwhile, the international press reports, as Human Rights Watch did, several episodes of violence against African immigrants in Libya. "This is a problem that saddens me very much because these poor African immigrants, in one way or the other, are increasingly subject to violence", comments Bishop Martinelli. "I do not know who is responsible for the violence against Africans, whether it is the new authorities or loose groups of 'cleansing'. The Africans offer an important service to the Country, because they do everything. It is true that they have also been exploited as mercenaries, but most of them are employed in civilian jobs, which are indispensable in the new Libya", stresses the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.
"What is certain is that these episodes demonstrate that there is no full security in the Country. The authorities of transition have however stressed that their priority is security. We will see how this path of reconciliation develops. Hopefully for the better", concludes Bishop Martinelli. (L.M.)
Photo: Aidan Foy - See story for picture details
A total of 450 years of service to the church around the world was marked by a special Mass of thanksgiving celebrated by the local Superior, Fr Chris Dyckhoff. A packed church heard the homily by Fr Denis, when he recalled that from the earliest age, he had been called to be a priest, and throughout his ministry, he had been supported by his family, by his Jesuit confreres, by his many friends and in recent years, by the
wonderful parish of Corpus Christi.
Photo shows: Back l to r: Bro James Harkess  years' service, Fr David Gornall , Fr Peter Hackett, Fr Denis Blackledge , Bro Bill Jordan , Fr Chris Dyckhoff [Superior] behind table l to r: Fr Robert Murray, Fr Bill MacCurtain, Bro Norman Smith  [Wing Commander, Battle of Britain pilot, aged 93], Fr Clarence Gallagher; front to right of table: Fr Patrick Purnell , Fr Derrick Maitland , Fr Ian Brayley. Only Jubilarian missing from the photo is Fr Michael Flannery  Photo: Aidan Foy. story by: Barry Hudd
Feast: September 6
Information: Feast Day: September 6
Martyr with Fusculus, Germanus, Laetus, Mansuetus, and Praesidius, duing the severe persecution of the orthodox Church in Africa by the Arian Vandals. All of the martyrs were bishops of northern Africa. Their martyrdom was precipitated by their opposition to the closing of churches by the Arian King Hunneric of the Vandals (r. 477-484). After being tortured, these bishops were abandoned in a desert, where they died of exposure. Laetus was burned to death.
|Luke 6: 12 - 19|
|12||In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God.|
|13||And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;|
|14||Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,|
|15||and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,|
|16||and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.|
|17||And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;|
|18||and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.|
|19||And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.|