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Tuesday, February 15, 2005


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, as bishop of Galle (area 5,493, population 2,170,269, Catholics 7,933, priests 25, religious 108), Sri Lanka.
NER/.../PERERA                                VIS 20050215 (40)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2005 (VIS) - Annual retreats for the Pope and Roman Curia trace their origins to Pope Pius XI who, on December 20, 1929, marked the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination by publishing the Encyclical "'Mens nostra,' On The Promotion of Spiritual Exercises" which he addressed to "Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and Other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See."

  In that encyclical, the Pope informed the faithful that he had arranged to hold spiritual exercises every year in the Vatican, a custom still practiced by the Holy Father and ranking members of the Roman Curia. In the early years this retreat was held during the first week in Advent but now takes place in the first full week of Lent.

  Cardinal Achille Ratti, archbishop of Milan, was elected to the papacy on February 6, 1922, and took the name of Pius XI. He died on February 10, 1939.

  On January 6, 1929, feast of the Epiphany, Pius XI declared a Jubilee Year to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of his ordination and asked the faithful to "share in the joy of their common father and to join with us in rendering thanks to the Supreme Giver of all good."

  At the end of that year, in the Encyclical "Mens nostra," he looked back at the "many and rich fruits" of the Jubilee and wrote that, as a way to "express our heartfelt gratitude, ... we have deemed it fitting ... to establish something most excellent which will, we trust, prove a source of many advantages to the Christian people. We are speaking of the practice of Spiritual Exercises, which we earnestly desire to see daily extended more widely, not only among the clergy, both secular and regular, but also among the multitudes of the Catholic laity."

  Pius XI then wrote at length on the history of "Sacred Retreats," citing the words on this subject of his predecessors, of Doctors of the Church and founders of religious orders such as Don Bosco of the Salesians and, most especially St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, "whom we are pleased to call the chief and peculiar Master of Spiritual Exercises." The Pope in fact, on July 22, 1922,  had "declared and constituted St. Ignatius of Loyola the heavenly Patron of all Spiritual Exercises and, therefore, of institutes, sodalities and bodies of every kind assisting those who are making the Spiritual Exercises."
  He underscored the "joy" and consolation" he found in Spiritual Exercises and  announced: "And in order that we may secure this joy and consolation, both for ourselves and for others who are near us, We have already made arrangements for holding the Spiritual Exercises every year in the Vatican." While highlighting the value of retreats, he admonished: "Nor should the priests of the Clergy, secular and regular, think that the time spent on the Spiritual Exercises tends to the detriment of the apostolic ministry."
.../HISTORY RETREATS:VATICAN/PIUS XI            VIS 20050215 (490)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace," and Juan Somavia, director of the International Labor Organization, are due to present the conclusions of the follow up to a Report published last year by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. The event will take place at 3 p.m. on February 25 at the Pontifical Lateran University.

  According to a communique released by the pontifical council, the report "seeks to initiate a globalization with a strong social dimension, based on universally shared values, on respect for human rights and for the dignity of each individual; a just and democratically governed globalization that offers tangible opportunities and benefits to all countries and to all peoples."
.../GLOBALIZATION/MARTINO                        VIS 20050215 (130)

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