The Order of
Capuchin Friars Minor opened a center for spirituality and formation for
religious and laypeople who want to attend courses and retreats in that region.
The center, which is inspired by the motto, “I am the light of the
world,” was inaugurated 28 September 2010.
At the inauguration ceremony,
Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, noted that this light is
the witness that believers make to those around them. He added that this idea
“is a topic of our next synod,” which will take place in Rome,
beginning Sunday, and will focus on the Middle East.
“In Jerusalem, we can
count on hundreds of religious congregations, 14 of which are contemplative
communities,” the prelate said. “They are the strength and richness
of the Latin Catholic Church.” He continued: “Today we inaugurate a
new center for spirituality and welcome, thanks to the goodwill of our beloved
Capuchins, a center called to be light.” “True Christians influence
the world around them and reflect the light of the Lord,” the archbishop
The property where the center is located belonged to the Capuchin
order since the 1930’s, when Archbishop Luigi Barlassina invited the religious
to build a convent in the Jewish area of Jerusalem.
However, the friars had to
leave Jerusalem during World War II, putting the project on hold. The property
was taken over by the state for a psychiatric hospital. The Capuchin center
project was later revived in the 1990’s.
Present at the inauguration ceremony
were: Fr. Mauro Jöhri, Capuchin General Minister and the entire Definitory; His
Beatitude, Archbishop. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; Archbishop
Antonio Franco, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Apostolic Nuncio in Israel;
Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custos of the Holy Land; Bishop
Francesco Beschi, Bishop of Bergamo; the Capuchin Order’s Legal Representative,
the General Bursar, the Capuchin Provincial Minister of Venice, other
The renovation was made possible by a number of
benefactors, with a considerable contribution from the Cariplo Foundation.
journal of the center’s dedication is here.
The Latin Patriarch of
Jerusalem posted a story on
Zenit carried a story on this center.
story is reposted and edited from Capuchin Newsnotes, 13 October 2010)
Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, OFM Cap. of Izmir,
Turkey, and Administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia and President
of the Turkish Episcopal Conference, gave the following intervention today. The
point of noting the Archbishop’s intervention here is that I believe we have to be concerned with
the reality of the Catholic faithful in places outside our neighborhood. Catholics can’t simply concerned with matters that are near. The June murder of Capuchin Bishop Luigi Padovese‘s death has remained a key point in my prayer, interest
in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, the missionary aspect of the Church’s
preaching program and the extent to which one would lay down his life for the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Is Luigi Padovese a martyr? Franceschini has been clear that Padovese’s death was premeditated by Islamic radicals with a hatred toward Christianity while the Turkish authorities insist the murder was personal and not politically or religiously motivated. I am not sure as I didn’t know the state of his soul or his true relationship with Christ. The designation of a person as a martyr is a matter for Mother Church to make, but I might be persuaded to think in that direction. Christians comprise less than one percent of the Turkish nation.
Bishop Luigi Padovese, OFM Cap, 63, was murdered today at about 1pm local time by his driver who it is claimed had psychological problems and history of violent outbreaks was supposedly a convert to Christianity but some news agencies are naming the driver a Muslim. At the moment no one is claiming political motivation for the murder.
Bishop Padovese was born at Milan, Italy and a member of the Capuchin Franciscan order. He was ordained a priest for nearly 37 years and a bishop for 5.5 years. He was the Vicar Apostolic in Anatolia.
Bishop Padovese was to meet Pope Benedict XVI with other Middle East bishops in Cyprus to receive the Instumentum laboris, the working document for the forthcoming Synod of Bishops, scheduled to meet in October.
The Minister General of the Capuchins posted this brief bio for Bishop Luigi.
May God grant mercy Bishop Luigi Padovese mercy and may his memory be eternal.