Some interesting stories today – and quite a variety: a CD of papal election music, showers in the Vatican for the homeless, an online catechism and a call against euthanasia from Germany.
VATICAN TO PROVIDE SHOWERS FOR HOMELESS IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE
The Vatican will provide three showers in St. Peter’s Square for homeless people to use, the papal almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski announced. He explained that the decision for the work that will begin on Monday was taken after a homeless man from Sardinia refused his offer to a free meal at a restaurant because he “smelled.”
The showers will be built within the public restrooms for pilgrims under St. Peter’s colonnades for the homeless to wash and change near the Apostolic Palace.
Many parishes in Rome in the neighborhoods most frequented by the homeless have been offered money from the Vatican to build similar facilities. The service will be available to all those who are near the Basilica.
“It is not easy because it is always easier to make sandwiches (for the homeless) than to build showering facilities,” Krajewski said.
The service will require volunteers and donations of soap, towels and clean underwear, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, told the American Catholic News Service. “We have to be evangelical, but intelligent, too.”
Several people living on the streets of Rome or in tents say it is not difficult to find a parish or charity that will give them something to eat, but finding a place to wash is much more difficult.
The news site Vatican Insider first reported the news that Archbishop Krajewski had asked the office governing Vatican City State to include showers in an already-approved project to remodel the public loos in St Peter’s Square.
The remodelling work and installation of the showers was scheduled to begin next week. The archbishop said the three shower stalls would be located in the public bathrooms a few steps north of Bernini’s Colonnade, just behind the Vatican post office. (CNS, Buenos Aires Herald)
SISTINE CHOIR CD OF MUSIC FROM 2013 CONCLAVE PRESENTED
Last Wednesday, Msgr. Massimo Palombella, director of the Sistine Chapel, presented Pope Francis with a CD: “Habemus Papam. La musica del Conclave (We Have a Pope. Music from the Conclave).” The CD contains the music used during the liturgical ceremonies surrounding the election of Pope Francis: The “Missa pro eligendo Pontifice,” (Mass for the Election of a Pope), the “Veni Creator” used during the entrance into the Sistine Chapel, the music of the Mass celebrated with the College of Cardinals the day after his election, the music of the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis and, for the first time, 11 minutes containing the announcement “Habemus Papam” and the first words of Pope Francis on the evening of March 13, 2013.
This morning, the CD – actually a double CD – was presented to the public by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Msgr. Palombella, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director general of Vatican Radio, and Mirko Gratton, director of the Classical Division of Deutsche Grammophon Italia, the agency that signed an exclusive contract with the choir. The second CD consists of studio recordings by the Sistine Chapel Choir of its characteristic repertoire, music composed throughout history for papal celebrations.
The double CD “Habemus papam”, on sale in Italy on November 11 and will be available in the rest of the world on November 28.. Msgr. Palombella said today that, “this publication is presented as the first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave They are all live recordings, with the qualities and limits that this entails.”
The Pontifical Choir is the oldest choral institution in the world and is composed of 20 permanent adult singers and around 30 child choristers. Normally performing at papal celebrations, the choir’s concert activity is directed exclusively towards evangelization and to the promotion of ecumenical dialogue. In September, the Choir made an historic tour in China, performing in Hong Kong, Macao and Taipei.
Fr. Lombardi highlighted the experience accumulated by Vatican Radio in the field of sound recording and broadcasting of numerous concerts in the Vatican, especially in the Paul VI Hall. He recalled the extraordinary 1937 Christmas concert in the Hall of Blessings, broadcast live to 23 countries, “directed by the Maestro Lorenzo Perosi, Msgr. Palombella’s predecessor, with the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir, recorded by Vatican Radio and broadcast with the help of German technology” (to read more: http://www.news.va/en/news/habemus-papam-first-historical-documentation-of-th
USCCB OFFERS ONLINE CATHOLIC CATECHISM FOR ADULTS
The website of the USCCB – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – has a special gift for Catholics, its online United States Catholic Catechism for Adults in both English and Spanish. The online catechism has a very workable search engine, easy index, allows pages to be bookmarked and the reader can even make notes. AND, readers can share a particular age on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Click here to discover for yourself: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/us-catholic-catechism-for-adults/
The website notes that, “The presence of the Catholic Church in the United States reaches back to the founding days of our country through the leadership of Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States. His story, like other stories at the start of the chapters in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, gives us a glimpse into the lives of Catholics who lived out their faith throughout our country’s history. Each chapter in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults includes stories, doctrine, reflections, quotations, discussion questions, and prayers to lead the reader to a deepening faith. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is an excellent resource for preparation of catechumens in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and for ongoing catechesis of adults.
Do you like the feel of turning paper pages with your fingers? You can also get the paper edition in bookstores and online.
GERMAN CARITAS TO PARLIAMENT ON EUTHANASIA
“Dying with dignity means acting so that one can die with dignity, not deciding the time of one’s death,” said Msgr. Peter Neher, the president of Caritas Germany, in a message today addressed to the German Members of Parliament who, at the Bundestag this morning, startinged discussing euthanasia. According to Neher, “the discussion must be focussed on the way seriously ill and dying people may be supported well, because what matters is finding adequate pain treatment, good care and a good pastoral service.”
According to Caritas, it is the fear of pain, the loss of control, the shame for one’s sickness, the humiliation of being a burden on others and the fear of loneliness “that drive people to want to put an end to their lives.” Msgr. Neher said, “We must take such fears very seriously and give special support at this stage of life.” A solution may be outpatient palliative treatment, which must be funded by standard healthcare and (Germany’s) national health service. Outpatient palliative treatment “must be improved.” In his opinion, terminally ill people must be able to be treated at home. According to Msgr. Neher, “if the social revision of the concept of a liveable life makes one internalize that being sick means not being worth living, the fact one’s decision about euthanasia is a free decision and how free it is, is very questionable.”