terça-feira, 7 de outubro de 2008

MENSAGEM PARA O FIM DO RAMADÃO

CONSELHO PONTIFÍCIO
PARA O DIÁLOGO INTER-RELIGIOSO
Cristãos e muçulmanos:
juntos para a dignitad da família

Cidade do Vaticano
Caros Amigos muçulmanos,

1. Ao aproximar-se o fim do mês do Ramadão, é-me grato endereçar-vos, segundo uma tradição já bem arreigada, as cordiais saudações do Conselho Pontifício para o Diálogo Inter-Religioso. Durante este mês, cristãos próximos de vós partilharam as vossas reflexões e as vossas celebrações familiares; o diálogo e a amizade reforçaram-se. Deus seja louvado!

2. Mas, tal como no passado, este encontro amigável oferece-nos também a oportunidade de reflectir juntos sobre um tema de actualidade susceptível de enriquecer os nossos intercâmbios e de nos ajudar a melhor nos conhecermos, com os nossos valores comuns e as nossas diferenças. Para este ano, pensámos propor-vos o tema da família.

3. Um dos documentos do Concílio ecuménico Vaticano II, Gaudium et Spes, sobre a Igreja no mundo contemporâneo, afirma: «O bem-estar da pessoa e da sociedade humana e cristã encontra-se estreitamente ligado à prosperidade da comunidade conjugal e familiar. Pelo que os cristãos, juntamente com todos os que têm em grande estima esta comunidade, alegram-se sinceramente com o apoio de vária ordem que faz crescer entre os homens a estima por esta comunidade de amor e o respeito pela vida, e que ajuda os esposos e os pais no cumprimento da sua excelsa missão. Daqui esperam ainda melhores resultados e esforçam-se por alcançá-los» (n. 47).

4. Estas palavras recordam-nos oportunamente que o desenvolvimento da pessoa e da sociedade depende em grande parte da prosperidade da comunidade conjugal e familiar! Quantos são os que carregam, por vezes durante toda a vida, o peso das feridas de uma situação familiar difícil ou dramática? Quantos são aqueles e aquelas que sucumbem no abismo da droga ou da violência, tentando preencher, em vão, uma infância atribulada? Cristãos e muçulmanos, podemos e devemos trabalhar conjuntamente na salvaguarda da dignidade da família, hoje e amanhã.

5. Neste âmbito, tivemos muitas vezes oportunidade de colaborar, quer a nível local quer internacional, tanto mais que cristãos e muçulmanos têm grande estima pela família. A família, lugar onde o amor e a vida, o respeito pelo outro e a hospitalidade se encontram e se transmitem, é verdadeiramente a «célula fundamental da sociedade».

6. Cristãos e muçulmanos, não devem hesitar em empenhar-se, não apenas para ajudar as famílias em dificuldade mas também para colaborar com todos os que se esforçam por promover a estabilidade da instituição familiar e o exercício da responsabilidade parental, particularmente no campo da educação. Não é demais recordar aqui que a família é a primeira escola em que se aprende o respeito pelo outro, na sua identidade e na sua diferença. O diálogo inter-religioso e a cidadania só têm a beneficiar com isso.

7. Caros Amigos, ao terminar o vosso jejum, purificados e renovados pelas práticas amadas pela vossa religião, oxalá possais ter, com as vossas famílias e com aqueles que vos são queridos, uma vida serena e próspera! Que o Deus Altíssimo vos cumule a todos da sua misericórdia e da sua paz!


Cardenal Jean-Louis Tauran
Presidente


Arcebispo Pier Luigi Celata
Secretário

MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN

PONTIFICAL COUNCIL
FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Christians and Muslims:
Together for the dignity of the family

Vatican City

Dear Muslim friends,

1. As the end of the month of Ramadan approaches, and following a now well-established tradition, I am pleased to send you the best wishes of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. During this month Christians close to you have shared your reflections and your family celebrations; dialogue and friendship have been strengthened. Praise be to God!

2. As in the past, this friendly rendez-vous also gives us an opportunity to reflect together on a mutually topical subject which will enrich our exchange and help us to get to know each other better, in our shared values as well as in our differences. This year we would like to propose the subject of the family.

3. One of the documents of the Second Council Vatican, Gaudium et Spes, which deals with the Church in the modern world, states: ‘The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family. Hence Christians and all men who hold this community in high esteem sincerely rejoice in the various ways by which men today find help in fostering this community of love and perfecting its life, and by which parents are assisted in their lofty calling. Those who rejoice in such aids look for additional benefits from them and labour to bring them about.’ (n. 47)

4. These words give us an opportune reminder that the development of both the human person and of society depends largely on the healthiness of the family! How many people carry, sometimes for the whole of their life, the weight of the wounds of a difficult or dramatic family background? How many men and women now in the abyss of drugs or violence are vainly seeking to make up for a traumatic childhood? Christians and Muslims can and must work together to safeguard the dignity of the family, today and in the future.

5. Given the high esteem in which both Muslims and Christians hold the family, we have already had many occasions, from the local to the international level, to work together in this field. The family, that place where love and life, respect for the other and hospitality are encountered and transmitted, is truly the ‘fundamental cell of society.’

6. Muslims and Christians must never hesitate, not only to come to the aid of families in difficulty, but also to collaborate with all those who support the stability of the family as an institution and the exercise of parental responsibility, in particular in the field of education. I need only remind you that the family is the first school in which one learns respect for others, mindful of the identity and the difference of each one. Interreligious dialogue and the exercise of citizenship cannot but benefit from this.

7. Dear friends, now that your fast comes to an end, I hope that you, with your families and those close to you, purified and renewed by those practices dear to your religion, may know serenity and prosperity in your life! May Almighty God fill you with His Mercy and Peace!


Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran
President

Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata
Secretary

PESAN UNTUK AKHIR BULAN RAMADAN

DEWAN KEPAUSAN
UNTUK DIALOG ANTARAGAMA
DEWAN KEPAUSAN
UNTUK DIALOG ANTARAGAMA
PESAN UNTUK AKHIR BULAN RAMADAN
Idul Fitri 1429H / 2008AD
Kota Vatikan

Saudara-saudari Umat Muslim,

1. Dengan semakin mendekatnya akhir bulan Ramadan, dan mengikuti tradisi yang kini sudah sangat mapan, dengan senang hati saya menyampaikan ucapan selamat dari Dewan Kepausan untuk Dialog Antaragama. Selama bulan ini orang-orang Kristen yang akrab dengan Anda telah turut mengambil bagian dalam pengheningan refleksi Anda dan dalam perayaan-perayaan keluarga Anda. Dialog dan persahabatan semakin diperkokoh. Puji Tuhan!

2. Sebagaimana yang terjadi di masa lampau, perjumpaan persaudaraan ini juga memberi kita suatu kesempatan untuk mengadakan refleksi bersama tentang pokok pembicaraan timbal-balik yang akan semakin memperkaya hubungan kita satu sama lain dan semakin membantu meningkatkan saling pengenalan kita, baik menyangkut nilai-nilai yang dapat kita nikmati bersama, maupun menyangkut perbedaan-perbedaan di antara kita. Tahun ini kami ingin mengangkat ikhwal Keluarga.

3. Satu dari dokumen-dokumen Konsili Vatikan Kedua, yakni Gaudium et Spes, yang mengupas perihal keberadaan Gereja di dunia modern, menegaskan: ”Keselamatan pribadi maupun masyarakat manusiawi dan Kristiani erat berhubungan dengan kesejahteraan rukun perkawinan dan keluarga. Maka umat Kristiani, bersama dengan siapa saja yang menjunjung tinggi rukun hidup itu, dengan tulus hati bergembira tentang pelbagai upaya, yang sekarang ini membantu orang-orang untuk makin mengembangkan rukun cinta-kasih itu dan menghayatinya secara nyata, dan menolong para suami-isteri serta orangtua dalam menjalankan tugas mereka yang luhur. Lagi pula mereka memang mengharapkan manfaat yang lebih besar lagi dari padanya, dan berusaha untuk meningkatkannya” (no 47).

4. Penegasan itu mengingatkan kita dengan tepat sekali, bahwa perkembangan setiap pribadi manusia dan masyarakat, sebagian besar bergantung pada sehatnya keluarga. Berapa banyak orang yang harus memikul, kadang-kadang bahkan untuk seumur hidupnya, beban berat dari luka-luka batin yang diakibatkan oleh latarbelakang keluarganya yang bermasalah atau yang penuh gejolak? Berapa banyak lelaki dan perempuan yang sekarang berada dalam jurang penderitaan karena narkoba dan kekerasan, sedang berusaha dengan sia-sia untuk sampai pada pemulihan dirinya karena trauma yang diderita pada masa kecilnya? Umat Kristiani dan Umat Muslim dapat dan harus bekerjasama untuk menjamin martabat keluarga-keluarga, baik di masa sekarang ini maupun di masa-masa yang akan datang.

5. Umat Kristiani dan Umat Muslim sama-sama menjunjung tinggi martabat keluarga-keluarga. Kita juga telah mendapat banyak kesempatan, baik di tingkat lokal maupun internasional, untuk menjalin kerjasama di bidang ini. Keluarga, di mana ada cinta dan kehidupan, di mana saling menghormati dan keramah-tamahan dijumpai dan diserahalihkan sebagai harta warisan, adalah sungguh-sungguh “sel dasar dari masyarakat”.

6. Umat Kristiani dan Umat Muslim hendaknya tidak pernah boleh ragu-ragu, bukan hanya dalam hal mengulurkan tangan membantu keluarga-keluarga yang berada dalam kesulitan, tetapi juga bekerjasama dengan siapa saja yang mempunyai keprihatinan untuk mendukung stabilitas kedudukan keluarga sebagai sebuah lembaga dan tempat diembannya tanggungjawab orangtua, khususnya di bidang pendidikan. Kiranya hanya satu saja yang ingin saya garisbawahi untuk Anda: Keluarga adalah sekolah pertama di mana seorang belajar untuk menghormati yang lain, dengan memperhatikan sepenuhnya identitas dan perbedaan antara yang satu dengan yang lain. Kiranya hal itu hanya akan membawa keuntungan bagi dialog antaragama dan penghayatan kewarganegaraan kita.

7. Sahabat-sahabat yang terkasih, menjelang berakhirnya ibadat puasa Anda, saya berharap, bahwa Anda, bersama dengan keluarga Anda dan mereka semua yang karib dengan Anda, dengan mendapatkan pemurnian dan pembaharuan dari melaksanakan ibadat yang sangat dijunjung tinggi dalam agama Anda ini, sungguh akan menikmati kecerahan dan kesejahteraan dalam hidup Anda! Semoga Allah subhanahu wa taala memenuhi Anda dengan kerahiman dan kedamaianNya.


Jean-Louis Kardinal Tauran
Ketua


Uskup Agung Pier Luigi Celata
Sekretaris



quinta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2008

VATICAN UCAN Document - Christians And Muslims Must Cooperate To Defend Family

September 22, 2008 ZY05801.1516 1259 words

VATICAN CITY (UCAN) -- "Christians and Muslims can and must work together to safeguard the dignity of the family," the Vatican says in greeting the world's 1 billion Muslims as they prepare to celebrate the feast of Id al-Fitr.

French Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, signed the message, which the Vatican press office released on Sept. 19. The council issued the text in Arabic, English, French and Italian, but translations are available in several other languages including Indonesian, Thai and Urdu.

The theme of family was chosen for this year's message "because both Christians and Muslims hold the family in high esteem," Father Markus Solo, SVD told Gerard O'Connell , UCA News special correspondent in Rome . The 40-year-old Indonesian Divine Word priest serves as desk officer for Christian-Muslim dialogue in Asia at the pontifical council.

"Today, people have the impression that throughout the world interreligious dialogue is stepping forwards and backwards at the same time," he stated.

Certainly, he acknowledged, "interreligious dialogue is facing various difficulties, " but he added that progress in this field "is not a matter of statistics" but rather a "question of consciousness. "

At the root of the difficulties "we find a lack of respect for differences, for the otherness of people, a lack of love, a lack of sensitivity to plurality." In other words, "the values that must be practiced and shown in the family" are absent, he explained.

Christians and Muslims both consider the family "the first school of children," Father Solo said, because "it is in the family that children learn to love and to respect others, also with their different religion and culture."

The family, he continued, "is the basis for peace and harmony in society," and "therefore the role of the family is significant in interreligious education."

Id al-Fitr immediately follows the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fast and purify themselves. Islamic tradition holds that God, Allah, revealed the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad during this month.

"Muslims all over the world are joyfully celebrating the feast of the Revelation of al-Qur'an with all the members of their family," Father Solo pointed out. The pontifical council, he said, felt this an appropriate occasion "to mention the fundamental role of the family in developing an interreligious way of thinking for building a better future for society through peace and harmony between religions."

The priest emphasized the Vatican 's conviction, stated in the message, that "peace and harmony between the religions depends very much on the good education of the children."

In the text, which the Vatican sent to international Muslim organizations, Cardinal Tauran notes that through their mutual esteem for the family, Muslims and Christians "have already had many occasions, from the local to the international level, to work together in this field."

Father Solo elaborated by saying the field for this collaboration "is today very broad and extensive," and "all who are active in promoting dialogue" between the followers of both religions, not just religious leaders, have the task of promoting this.

Collaboration can take different forms, he explained, including "theoretical work" such as "organizing seminars, symposiums, conferences and research" so as to help transmit "the importance of the family in educating for interreligious dialogue."

On a more practical level, he continued, it includes "visiting other families in the neighborhood, sharing experiences of education and family worries regarding children, and so on."

The role of the family in promoting dialogue and harmony between Muslims and Christians "is a crucial issue" today, he reiterated, saying he hopes the Church at the local level "will motivate the promoters of interreligious dialogue to give attention to this."

For its part, he said, the Pontifical Council will pay greater attention to this theme in its interreligious activities both at the Vatican and worldwide.

This is the 41st year that the Vatican office for dialogue with other religions has sent an Id al-Fitr greeting to Muslims worldwide. The feast begins with the sighting of the new moon, which is expected around Sept. 30.

Over the years Vatican sources have told UCA News "very many" Muslims respond positively to this annual message, with some sending reciprocal greetings at Christmas and Easter to Catholics.

(By Fr. Markus Solo, SVD)

terça-feira, 9 de setembro de 2008

COMMUNITY OF CASAL DE CAMBRA-PORTUGAL


Sr. Angela Furian, SSpS
Sr. Iracema Cassarotto, SSpS,
Sr. Ma. Delia, SSpS
FEATURE: Medals of Merit for the SSpS community in Casal de Cambra, Portugal
by Sr. Maria Delia, SSpS and Sr. Ma. Mendes, SSpS

As a community, we strive to respond relevantly to mission demands through our direct involvement with the people. Primarily, as a witness to our being consecrated women missionaries, we live close to the people, facilitating their access to possibilities to make their lives better. We become the “voice of the voiceless” and the “bridge” between the poor and the public agencies that are responsible for assistance in health and medication, home feeding, documentation, social security, jobs and others.We try to gain knowledge of and give a deeper value for the different cultures and ways of life of the people, promoting their integration in the community. The concrete sign of growth in the community as a result of the Sisters’ ministry is the existence of the “Groups of Catechesis of Children and Youth.” The Viola’s Groups serve to initiate liturgies that reveal the new meaning they have for their lives- lives once left vulnerable to drugs and other dangers. This is a result of the good formation given to the Catechists and the youth. Their families also collaborated in information dissemination and fund-raising activities to build a Center of Socio-Pastoral Support beside a small chapel in the community. All these took place from 1996 to the present.

On June 29, 2008, we celebrated Holy Mass on the occasion of the Beatification of Bl. Josepha. On this same day, our community of Casal de Cambra, received the gold medal of merit from the Municipal Government of Sintra. At the same time, Sister Angela Furian also received the silver medal, given by the same municipality. These medals are clear testimonies of the relevant presence of the Sisters in the Municipal Urban District of Casal de Cambra.

We wish to share with the readers, not only this beautiful news but also the significance of our presence in this community. The interview was done by Fr. António Leite, SVD, Rector of Provincial House of Lisbon Portugal.
What do these medals mean for the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit present in Casal de Cambra?
¨ We were surprised with this decision of the Municipality of Sintra. We never hoped to receive such recognition, but we see it as a sign of the credibility and the commitment of the Congregation to the families reallocated in this urbanization process. For us, it is an incentive always to be more available for this service, to be close to the needy and suffering through our missionary presence.We know that Sr. Angela was there at the start of your presence in Casal de Cambra.
When did you arrive to this place, and what made you take the challenge of being present in this urbanization process?¨
We started our mission here in the month of June 1996. Our coming was due to Fr. Valentim, SVD. We responded to the express desire of the Municipality of Sintra for the presence of a Religious Community in this urbanized area - integrating in the Special Program of Relocation (P.E.R.). Sr. Pompeya Martinez, who recently passed away, and I made the procedures for this foundation with the conviction that we were responding to the challenge that was part of our mission.Thus passed years and today, you, Sister, continue with the same characteristic smile.
Could you speak to us about how you “conquered the hearts” of so many people who share with you their daily joys and difficulties?¨
Sr. Pompeya, who began the realization of the project, stayed for some months. Then, other Sisters came - Hermelinda, Maria José and Maria de Lourdes. All of them did very good work. Being in contact with the families, they felt that the parents wanted primarily, catechetical classes for their children. We should note, however, that the Chapel of Santa Marta was only finished in July of 1999. Only then was space available for the activities of the Sisters. The daily Eucharistic celebration was also made possible for the people of this part of Casal de Cambra. All these activities helped in the integration of the two parties. The Sisters who came afterwards went to other areas. They came complete with needed skills for their apostolates. In this way, Sr. Maria Lourdes was able to form a Group called Viola. Today, this group, composed of other lay people, animates the Christian community's celebrations. With Sr. Delia’s arrival, a small group was formed called Catholic Labor Youth (JOC). The journey continues until today - in unhurried and patient service through my missionary presence and that of Sr. Iracema.
What challenges do you see today in the midst of the people?¨
Up to now, all of the activities with the children, adolescents, adults and elderly have been held in the small chapel and in the small sacristy. But we have good news! Starting in the month of September, the Municipality of Sintra will give us a space in one of the buildings. This will provide ample room to assist the groups and each person better. With this possibility, we hope to reach out to people who have not yet come.Lastly, the medals were received on the day that Mother Josepha, one of your co-foundresses, was beatified in Holland.
This year, we are also celebrating the Pauline Year. Do all these events have some connections?¨
When I was on the way to the awarding ceremony of these medals, I thought that at that same hour the Holy Door in the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome was being opened, as well as Mother Josepha's Beatification in Steyl (Holland), close to the house where our Congregation was born. At that precise moment, I felt a confirmation, a humble certainty, that God really wants us to be here in this place. In the light of St. Paul's example as the great announcer of Jesus Christ's Gospel, of the Centennial Year of St. Arnold and St. Joseph, and in joy and gratitude for Mother Josepha’s beatification, I can only utter this humble prayer: “Father, May Your Kingdom! Make us humble and docile instruments of your peace! Transform us with Your Spirit so that we can say, with St. Paul: It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me.” I live in the certainty that Love impels us.

quarta-feira, 4 de junho de 2008

Portugal: A Formative Relationship of Give and Take


Sr. Maria Mendes (center with scarf) and the CFC members.

The Couples for Christ (CFC) was first initiated by 16 couples in Manila, Philippines in June 1981. After twenty-four years, the CFC was granted recognition by the Holy See (Vatican). CFC came to Portugal through the instrumentality of an SVD priest in Lisbon in October 13, 2001. While Sr. Remedios Socorro Aunzo, SSpS, a Filipina sister, was here to learn the Portuguese language, she was the one who accompanied the group in their spiritual formation. She has since left for East Timor. The group asked for another sister to take her place. I was given the assignment to journey with them. Every first Sunday of the month we have a spiritual formation session. Included in their Christian Life program is regular confession. I have asked an SVD priest to be their confessor.

The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is also central to their formation. Hence, every first Sunday, they sing the Mass songs in English and every third Sunday, they sing Portuguese Mass songs. This helps them a bit with their language difficulty. Sundays are always celebrated together, sharing food, faith and life stories. They also reach out to others, especially the poor by raising funds to provide shelter for the less fortunate and for scholarships for poor children.
Their life and mission reveal to me their faith in Jesus, ever present in their life. I learn many things from them. Their witnessing to their faith challenges me to grow deeper in my own spiritual life and mission as an SSpS.

Sr. Maria Mendes, SSpS

Portugal: The Parish is a place for vocations (2006)

These past days,we had several activities to participate in. One of them was a National Forum forVocation Animators in Fatima on October 27 to 28, 2006. It was organized by the Episcopal Commission on Vocations and Ministries.
The theme of the gathering was: “The Parisha place for vocations”.
The speaker was no less that Fr. Amadeu Cencini, a Canossian priest, who came all
the way from Italy to give this weekend formation seminar. He works as a professor in
the Gregorian University as well as the Salesian University in Rome. He talked about the Vocational Pedagogy in the parish, the Dynamics of Faith, Vocation Ministry and the Vocational Paths. I had the opportunity to participate on Saturday which was dedicated to the topic presentedby Fr. Cencini. It was a very enriching day for me as he talked about the Vocation Ministry, its scope and its challenges. He shared his own experiences that can also give valuable lessons in this particular mission.

There were 300 participants coming from different dioceses and Institutes of Consecrated Life in Portugal. This was one opportunity for all of us to share about our activities, difficulties and hopes, and a venue for mutual exchange between the Diocesan Vocation Secretariat and the Vocation Ministry /Services of the different Consecrated Life Institutes regarding the Vocation ministry in general, and the complementarities and articulation of their respective programs and services. Held in an atmosphere of prayer and reflection, this forum affirmed the increasing interest and the inspiring dynamism of the different sectors and services of the Vocation Ministry. Fr. Cencini further stressed the importance of true conviction: Either a parish is a parish that promotes vocations or it is not a parish at all. He is aware that the parish today is challenged by the ills of mass media, threats to the spirit of community and even distortion of its identity. It is then important that the parish rediscovers its true identity – not in the structure nor in its services but as a community of believers who are called by God to be mediators of God’s call for each one. Often times, we feel that many are called but those who are called lack the joy and courage to be messages and animators of God’s call in others. This is not a crisis in vocation but a crisis in the culture of vocation brought about by the absence or the silence of vocation animators. He further clarified that each believer is a vocation animator. He advised for an end to the clerical monopoly of assuming vocation animation and proposed an opening to the wealth and plurality of all vocations that can be found in the parish. In the parish, the missionary dynamism is found in each person who lives happily his/her personal vocation/charism.

The parish is the place where the Voice of God is heard. It offers the opportunity to grow in faith and with the community of believers and thus grow in the discovery of one’s own unique vocation. In this way, the priests, the consecrated people, the parents, the educators, the teachers and the catechists are private vocation animators that have the responsibility as elder guides to the younger members of the community.

Mary, in whose shrine we had gathered, gave us a concrete model of total readiness to say yes to God’s plan. Hence, through her intercession, we pray that more vocations may be fostered for the service of the Church and for the life of the world.

Sr. Maria Mendes, SSpS
Missionaries Holy Spirit Sisters of Region Spain/Portugal ( 2006)

quarta-feira, 21 de maio de 2008

RESOLOTION

Inter-religious Dialogue as a Necessity
in our Migrant Ministry
I Introduction
We, the members of JPIC Coordinators of SSpS and SVD, recognize the dialogue between Christians and Muslims as an important contribution in the process of creating peace in our world. We want to apply this dialogue especially in our migrant ministry.
Both congregations have a long tradition in encountering various cultures and religions. This has been enriching for us and for the universal church as well. Referring to Prophetical Dialogue as a priority of our common mission we commit ourselves to continue this good tradition.
II Catholic Position
We refer to the teaching of the Catholic Church in regard to Christian-Muslim relationship in the actual situation
a) Nostra Aetate and Lumen Gentium
b) Reply to the Letter from 138 representatives of all Muslims denominations
c) Writings on socio-political issues in Europe

III Conditions for Inter-religious Dialogue with Muslims
Dialogue is not easy. It is important to recognize the necessary conditions which are implied for it to be fruitful. Here are some:
Mutual Respect
The differences must be respected. Mutual respect is one of the most important attitudes in dialogue.
Prudence and Love (Veritas et caritas)
This is the attitude exhorted by Nostra Aetate. It means to examine the tenet of other faiths in the light of one’s own faith, to discern the good from the bad. On the other hand, dialogue requires true love.
A balanced attitude
One should be neither ingenuous nor hypercritical, or suspicious. It is absolutely necessary to have an open mind and a welcoming spirit. There must be impartiality, and a real desire to find a just solution, one which will be acceptable to all parties.
Solid convictions
Openness is not opposed to being rooted in one’s own convictions. On the contrary, this rootedness allows one to be open without fearing loss of identity. It can facilitate an understanding of others’ convictions and values.
Openness to truth
Truth is generally not just on one side. Dialogue will help overcome prejudices which prevent truth from being recognized.
Dialogue with Muslims on an ecumenical level
It should not only be the Catholics who seek the dialogue with Muslims.
Dialogue has been presented as the most appropriate method for resolving conflicts. Conflicts, however, especially when they are violent, make dialogue, understanding and acceptance extremely difficult. Perhaps dialogue is to be seen less as a cure and more in the order of prevention.
Our witness to our belief and our love is our part of inter-religious dialogue. It is the witness of our faith that God is Love and in the Spirit of Love we find our neighbour (men, women, and children). Our hospitality will be a sign of our love for God and for our neighbour. We believe that the poorest human beings in the globalised world are the neighbours for us Christians.

Catedral of Slovakia


Holy Spirit Sisters in Slovakian Province

Our Slovakian Sisters SSpS have opened a kindergarten there and are slowly winning the confidence of the people. The work of the Sisters among them appeared “very missionary” to us and was a sign of hope in rather hopeless surroundings.
Then, we paid a visit to a rehabilitation centre for people addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling, where one of our SVD-Brothers belongs to the staff. There, one could already perceive what can be achieved when people with problems are accepted and helped in the spirit of Christ.

Day Out


One afternoon was in part used for sightseeing in the lovely old town of Nitra.
But the second half of it was dedicated to visiting a housing project for Roma-people and other unsheltered persons, far outside the town. In a way, even if children and adults welcomed us cheerfully, it was a depressing experience to meet these people and see the conditions they live in without prospects for improvment. The Vice-Mayor of the Town accompanied us and explained the efforts the town council is making for a better future.

quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2008

Report of the JPIC Zonal Coodenator SSPS

Sr. Benedikta, SSpS

Report of the JPIC Zonal coordinator SSpS

From MOOS 2005 – to the JPIC-Meeting in NITRA 2008

Since the last meeting of the European Group Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation - EURO JPIC - there were the following developments among the SVD and SSpS:
1st Theme of the meeting: DIALOGUE WITH ISLAM /Muslims
The EURO - JPIC - Assembly in Moos/Germany-South set for the next meeting as the working theme DIALOGUE WITH ISLAM. In Nitra we could win Fr. Marcus Solo SVD, as a speaker. While Markus Solo shortly before the scheduled date in 2007 went to Rome, he was not able to keep this date. We therefore changed the date for the JPIC meeting from September 2007 to April 2008. This brought some difficulties to the brothers and sisters in Slovakia. They had a very short time to make other arrangements.
2nd Change of Coordinator and preparation for the meeting
In Moos, Sr. Carmen Lee from England/Ireland took over for the SSpS as JPIC coordinator for Europe. Under her leadership, in collaboration with Norbert Mushoff, SVD, in the first two years this meeting was prepared.
These two meetings were held in Steyl and in Nitra. In 2007, Sister Carmen Lee was appointed Regional-Leader in England/Ireland, and she, therefore, was not able to continue as Zonal coordinator for JPIC. The EURO-Council elected then Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, Germany, for this task. Under her leadership for the SSpS, the direct preparation of this meeting was done, together with Norbert Mushoff. The third meeting was in Steyl. It was not so simple for us to prepare the meeting. But now we hope, our meeting will be a good success.
3rd The aim of the meeting
I hope that this conference CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM DIALOGUE IN OUR MIGRANT MINISTRY will help us, to find criteria for our pastoral tasks, operations and projects. The dialogue with the different religions seems together with justice one of the most fundamental issues for the peace in Europe and throughout the world. Peace remains even in future very vulnerable. Being able to dialogue with other religions makes us able to work for peace. For this reason, I wish us a very good success.

Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann SSpS

SSPS of German Province

Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, SSpS

Report 16

Report / German Province
Justice – Peace and Integrity of Creation

Coordination of he work of specific work areas in the province Every year, two meetings of the specific areas of work are thematically prepared, organized and carried out. Participating in this coordination were the provincial leadership, mission animation and JPIC.
The different groups of sisters in the mission areas such as mission animation, formation, vocation promotion, JPIC, media work and members care, came together to share their experiences with the provincial leadership. They met two times in order to work together to find agreements on topics and how to cooperate under a common theme. That meeting resulted in the joint training for all sisters in the province. The common theme for 2007 was "Globalization and its implications and consequences in today's world." For 2008 it will be the theme of the general chapter: "Afire with Christ - committed to Life" focusing on the implementation of the attitude of Jesus to the people in the present time. This working theme is subject to all groups in their respective areas.
Ongoing Formation
For all members of the SSpS communities in the province these seminars are the base for information. In these seminars the sisters receive encouragement and suggestions for responsible actions in our world. The annual theme in 2007 was "Globalization". For this theme common material was prepared. The speakers were all sisters from the province who offered in various convents a 3-4 day long seminar. Ten courses were in autumn 2007 and in spring 2008. The sisters were very open to this subject. For autumn 2008 and spring 2009, continuing seminars on ongoing formation for the sisters are planned under the motto of the general chapter "Afire with Christ – committed to Life". In our mind we should always be committed to today's life. Let us not withdraw into privacy or to allow a ghetto, but let us take on the challenge and respond to the questions of the people. The preparation of these seminars is still pending.
Fight against human trafficking and protection for women and girls against sexual exploitation. In this area work full time, Sr. Bernadette Dunkel and Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann. In a women's shelter in Duisburg maintained by Sr. Bernadette, there live several women who are victims of trafficking or victims of violence in family and partnership. The work is sometimes very stressful and requires a lot of dedication and strength.
In Boppard, Sr Benedikta works in the coordination of 12 counselling centres against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls for the Women's organization SOLWODI - Solidarity with women in distress. A of her further tasks is the coordination of religious women in Germany and Eastern-Europe in the fight against trafficking in women. She leads as well a working group of religious women against trafficking of women und children.

A very important and impressive event was the "emergency-hotline” for women before, during and after the football World Cup 2006 in Germany (3 months). Thirty coworkers from all over Europe helped in the preparation, training and implement-tation of the emergency calls. The sixteen coworkers were sisters from various religious communities in Eastern and Central Europe, among them the SSpS Sisters Katarina Florková from Slovakia and Laetitia NN from Steyl. In the meantime there are requests from religious communities from Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, Austria, Britain and the U.S.A, which want to know about our experiences in this area. Some of them are planning for similar sports events and also for own actions against violence.

Participation in the demonstration against the G8 Summit in June 2007 in Heiligendamm, Germany
In Heiligendamm, near Rostock, under the German presidency the 8 heads of the governments of the economically well-to-do countries met, in order to exchange ideas on economic developments. In the beginning, these meetings had been held independently from the protocol of major conferences, in order to look for common interests, to get to know each other better, and to build a foundation of trust for joint actions in politics.
In the view of many non-governmental organizations the meetings are now a means of power in order to plan certain economic and political actions among the strong nations. This body is accused to show not enough consideration for the poverty realities in many countries, especially in Africa. Therefore, the protest in 2007 was aimed at:
- the lack of fighting poverty in Africa and in Central American countries.
- the lack of hunger eradication and of drinking water supplies.
- the hesitant consideration of the change in climate, (esp. the refusal of cooperation
of the U.S.A)
The protest movement had been planned by several NGOs over a long period of time. Ecumenical groups, which for years have been working primarily in the fields of environmental and development problems in the world organized within the protest movement their own protest group with work-shops and church services. At the same time, they participated in the great general protest demonstrations.
From the Steyler Missionary Sisters, several younger sisters and lay missionaries took time to participate in the demonstration. For the sisters and young people it was an important part of their commitment to peace, justice and care of creation. Sandra Lassak wrote a longer experience report.

AIDS Campaign (Work continued in Steyl)
Sr. Margret Theresa Driessen keeps on participating in meetings on this topic and afterwards distributes information material to the other sisters so that they are able to use it for their work and to share it with others as well.

Fair Trade (Laupheim) Sr. Charlotte Irmler does in addition to her work still very much in the field of "One World groups" and "One World-Shop" (fair trade). She is the local community leader and in charge of the liturgy for Sundays and Feast days in our house in Laupheim.
During the renovation of the house a solar power system was installed on the roof of one part of the house for energy production.

Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, SSpS

JPIC COORDENATOR (Euro-Zone)

Fr. Norbert Mushoff SVD

Report 15

JPIC Report GER, April 2008

Since May 1st 2007 the former GEN and GES are united in one GER Province. A new JPIC Coordinator and hopefully a Commission have yet to be founded. The former one collapsed, when the former secretary, a returned MaZ-man took on a new job. We had enjoyed the good cooperation of a representative of the Mission Procure, the Steyler Bank, the theology students, and the two provinces´ coordinators. We had been net-working with our SSpS Sisters, VIVAT International, NAD, ai, Südwind, Erlaßjahr 2000 and Pax Christi. We intended to concentrate on some of the Millennium goals, especially Good drinking water for 50% more of the thirsty of the world, Food sovereignty, Achieving Gender Equality, Access to Primary Education for all children, debt relief for the HIPC countries, our Moos resolutions, and submitting our signatures to requests to our Chancellor, ministers, and European Commissioners against injustices of the WTO and EPA-s.
During the Klosterfest 2007 however it became obvious, we do no longer exist, though I continued to cooperate with NAD, Gerechtigkeit Jetzt and Weltweit Taube Ohren to prepare for the Anti-Summit of the G8 in Rostock/Heiligendamm. But we have the assurance of our Provincial Bernd Werle that he has somebody in mind to revive JPIC in the SVD German Province. He can count on my cooperation as much as my new Migrant Ministry involvement will allow me, while Paul Heider says, his book-shop keeps him too busy.

Norbert Mushoff


JPIC Report, Euro zone SVD and SSpS 2008

From our JPIC Conference 2005 in Moos on the theme The Unredeemed World as an Ethical Challenge with the main points:
We have to learn from history
The role of the Prophets
Roots of Globalisation
The main views of the Great World Religions concerning human life, peace, family, justice etc. in this multicultural world
Our challenges as Religious and Missionaries in this world of today, our net-working chances.
What kind of net-working of spiritual powers are possible, and what are the roots of our
spirituality?
7. What explosive situations of today should be our main concerns?

From all this we had chosen our theme for the Nitra conference: Christian – Muslim Dialogue on the background of our Migrant Ministry in Europe. The Province Reports showed us the extent and variety of Muslims in our various nations of Europe from only 5000 Muslims in Slovakia to 3 Million in Germany, from the little tensions it causes in e.g. Portugal to the great fears in e.g. The Netherlands and Germany. (See the Province Reports! For our next Zonal Assembly I will give a Report on the SVD Zonal activities. But here I leave it for the mean time to our able writer of our Minutes from the Nitra Conference, Sr. Petra Simone Hanel SSpS)
I wish to make a strong appeal once more, to send your Province JPIC Report to the Zonal Coordinator at least annually, not only bring them along, when we have a Euro zone JPIC Conference!!!!!!! That way we can learn from one another and inspire one another much more intensively. And the Zonal Coordinator needs to give a report in the Zonal Assemblies to all Provincials. Without your Zonal Reports, he has little to report on. Apart from NEB actually no SVD Province sent anything since our meeting in Moos. The NEB Reports are inspiring and deal with a great variety of JPIC themes. They connect us, especially the new coordinators with what transpires in our AEFJN Office in Brussels and in VIVAT International. So feel free to order our English short version of the NEB Commission Minutes from Toon van Bijnen, our lively senior of the JPIC work in the Euro zone!!
As we are only half way through the Millennium Goals Period 2000 - 2015, report please on how the priorities of your SVD Province are coming on and progressing. If you are a new Coordinator for JPIC, ask please your predecessor or Provincial, what themes had been chosen and what so far has been done in your Province. Otherwise please identify your Millennium goals afresh. For the sake of poverty reduction worldwide, let us not relent and not resign to live up to this “Kairos”.

Here a word on the World Social Forum of January 2007 at Nairobi: We are grateful Fr. General invited all Zonal Coordinators to attend. We had great days with our VIVAT International representatives, our new aspirants of five Mission Societies wishing to join VIVAT, and our SVD AFRAM ZONE Provincial JPIC Coordinators. We met with 80 000 idealists and “ambassadors” and multiplicators for the ideas of “Another World is possible” the motto of that big important meeting for Social Justice, which counter-acts the Davos-Meeting of the big Industrial and Financial Powers of this world, the G8 so to speak, the WTO and EPA promoters, who in their very selfish ways try to secure and perpetuate exploitation of the poor through rich of this globe.
I wish all Province JPIC coordinators would get such a chance, at least once in their time of office, if they have served their provinces for more then one term of office. It was so inspiring, also to our SVD host communities in Nairobi!
Highlights of the meeting for me: meeting with Desmond Tutu of SA! Listening to the good talks of the VIVAT WORKSHOP on HOW TO HOLD TRANSNATIONAL COMPANIES RESPONSIBLE FOR INVIRONMENTAL HAVOC CAUSED IN POOR COUNTRIES.

It wa a very good preparation for our Workshop in Rome with the five new members wishing to join our VIVAT INTERNATIONAL. Our Coordinator General Michael Heinz together with Sr. Mary John SSpS and our two VIVAT leaders Gretta Fernandes and Bernard Espiritu have done extremely well in organising the workshop and let us in presentations and group work find out, what we could do together, if we stay, pray and work united. I was tasked to bring these five Congregations also together on a national level in Germany. That proved not successful, b´se all we could do, is and was done also by NAD (Network Africa Germany). We can avoid doubling! But in Rome, these congregations should cooperate closely. There they are together already. There they can also see, how best to share costs and personell ¡!

Both events prepared me also excellently for The G8 Anti Summit in Rostock /Heiligendamm in June 2007. It had the same theme: Another World is Possible. If only the Big Shots had attended our Anti Summit! If only they would have listened to our speakers and the concerns from the grass roots!!
But of course they didn’t. We strongly stood in for the Millennium Goals also prepared by our 80 big pupits depicting scenarios of injustices, the have-s against the have – nots, the exploiters versus exploiters. But it achieved something: conscientisation of Heads of States and Ministers of “Third World Countries. We told them of the true and dictatorious intentions of the EU, to force them to sign up to the end of December 2007 through signing EPA- s, so-called Economic Partnership Agreements, which in fact would have been merely to the economic and financial advantage of the rich European Countries and to keep the poor as perpetual providers of completely underpaid raw materials. But they resisted EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, when the Heads of State and Prime Ministers of Africa met the Heads of State in Lisbon in November 2007. Yes we can be proud, that net-working with many others, our Network Africa Germany (NAD) together with the other national antenna of AEFJN had prepared us to prepare them to frustrate their collective selfishness, they had planned to inflict on those we support through our work of advocacy.
Let’s continue that way for the benefit of all the poor of all the world! We frustrated somehow the WTO and the EU, but in the name of our God, who is on the side of the poor. Well done, my good servant and my maid, I hear him say one day.

Go into the joy of your Lord!

Norbert Mushoff, SVD

Divine Word Missionaries Polish Province (SVD)

Fr. Jacek, SVD

Report 14

The Justice and Peace and Integration of Creation (JPIC) apostolate in the SVD Polish Province makes an effort to overcome various problems that are caused by migration, dysfunctional families, alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, and youth unemployment.

There is a strong migration movement from East to Europe with Poland regarded as a transit country. The biggest number of immigrants that comes with the purpose to work in Poland is from Vietnam. There are about 60 thousands of Vietnamese immigrants and the majority of them is in Poland illegally. There is also a significant number of refugees from Chechnya and other countries of the ancient Soviet Union. Refugees from Africa and Asia regard Poland as a transit country on their migration journey to West Europe. A rising number of immigrants from China have been recently noticed.

The JPIC activities are to a large degree based on the work of volunteers and lay people. The JPIC activities take place in the three SVD communities as follows:

1/ The “Family Help Association – DROGA” in Białystok www.stowarzyszeniedroga.pl

The Association DROGA was founded by Fr Edward Konkol 20 years ago based on his experience of pastoral ministry amongst drug addicted youth in Białsytok. Since six years Fr Edward has been running the association together with Fr Gregory Lelang SVD from Indonesia. Every year students after the second year of theology are send to Białystok to do their regency program. This year there are two, Fr Andrzej Fałat and Robert Grzybek.

DROGA has two main projects: the Environmental Family House - “Nasz Dom” (eng. “Our Home”) that is run by Mrs Anna Tomulewicz and the Youth Centre for Therapy and Readaptation – “Etap” (eng. “Stage”) run by Mrs Elżbieta Powichrowska. There are also some other minor social and formation projects.

„Our Home” is a no public, multifunction, care and upbringing station for 1-18 years old children with hostel and daily part.

Main aim of “Our Home” is to help children and make their families more independent (which have a lot of problems – alcohol, unemployment, poverty, violence).
“Our Home” can take care of about 60 families (100 children).

Our station helps children and their families which live in Bialystok and its environs. They are directed by : Family Court, social workers, school pedagogic or other social institutions. Aspect and scope of help on each stage determines family assistant with family’s therapist (after specialist consultation) based on family background diagnosis, needs, weak and strong points of family.

Organisational structure is adapted to actual needs consideration with permanent components:
- kindergarten – to 20 children
- family groups – to 50 children (in 4 groups)
- group of youth becoming independent – to 15 children
- support groups for children and families benefit from monitoring help (daily support centre) – to 30 persons
- parents groups – initial motivation, therapeutic, moulding parental and marital skills, monitoring – support, mutual assistance.
- intervention group – to 10 persons
- hostel group – to 10 persons.

“ETAP” was founded in 1998. Its main goal is giving a wide range of help to the people from groups of risk, experimenting and addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet, gambling). It helps also young people with behavioural and emotional disturbances or after suicidal attempts. ETAP helps their families too.

The employees of ETAP are: psychotherapeutics, clinical psychologist, certified specialists of therapy of addictions, social therapists and psychiatrist. ETAP is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m.
It realizes tasks related with preventive maintenance and therapy in 4 ways:

Guidance centre of addiction treatment. The range of actions:
- individual psychotherapy
- group psychotherapy
- system therapy of families
- psychiatric and psychological diagnosis; diagnosis of the specialist of therapy of addictions
- Guidance and consultations
- specialist consultations for professionals who have contact at work with the problem of drug addiction ( teachers, educators, judicial curators, policemen, doctors, nurses etc.)

Daytime Centre of addiction treatment:
- open Monday – Friday from 2p.m. till 8 p.m.
- therapeutic program lasts 6 months
- it was made for young people (aged 16-24) who are drug addicted and were diagnosed before in the Guidance Centre

The range of actions:
- group psychotherapy for people addicted to drugs
- therapeutic community
- individual psychotherapy for people addicted to drugs
- individual psychotherapy for parents of the people addicted to drugs
- psycho educational classes
- spirituality classes
- alternative forms of spending free time

Intervention and Guidance Outlet for Children and Youth with drug addiction problem “Dom Powrotu” (“House of Return”)
- street therapy for people addicted to drugs; contact with clients in places of high risk of drug addiction (shebeens, pubs, bars, discos, mass events in open air)
- guidance for people addicted to drugs and their families regarding:
* crisis situation in private life – legal and social advice
* making people aware of addictive substances
* different forms of getting help from specialists
* different forms of spending free time
- Crisis interventions for people addicted to drugs and their families:
* replenishment of shortage of clothes, hygienic staff, cleaners etc.
* food
* medical help, psychological help
- Motivation and support in starting addiction treatment

Prevention Centre - Range of actions:
- Prevention of addictions classes (for children, youth and students)
- psycho educational classes for people from groups of risk
- psycho educational classes for volunteers
- trainings for young leaders (preparing to work with people addicted to drugs)
- trainings for professionals who have contact at work with the problem of drug addiction (teachers, educators, judicial curators, policemen, doctors, nurses etc.)
- Parents Academy – workshops for parents
- Prevention Specialists Academy – workshops for teachers, educators


2/ Fu Shengfu Migrant Center in Warsaw

Since 10 years Fr Edward Osiecki SVD has been involved in the pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese Catholics in the area of Warsaw. Based on his experience the SVD Polish Province has opened a refugee center in Warsaw. The center was registered in September 2005 as the Fu Shenfu Migrant Center. The Center is on the second floor in the Publishing House ‘Verbinum’ building in Warsaw and consists of a reception hall, three offices and a language classroom.

Pastoral ministry is mostly focused on the Vietnamese immigrants. Two persons are fully involved in the pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese people in the area of Warsaw. The Vietnamese Catholic Community office is based in the Center. Sunday Mass is said for them once a month in the neighboring parish for the community of 200 people. The SVD house chapel is also used for other religious services. The Vietnamese Catholics have an opportunity to come for the pre-sacramental catechesis and learn in their native language in the Center.

The Holy Eucharist is also said every Sunday in one of the refugee reception centers in Warsaw. A group of volunteers comes every week for a meeting prayer together with refugees. There is a Catechesis classes for those refugees who are interested in Christianity.

The Center runs the following projects:
- internet café free of charge for refugees is opened 5 days a week from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Polish classes are given by teachers voluntarily; there are two classes for Vietnamese and a couple of small groups for Africans and Asians;
- tolerated stay office for Vietnamese people (tolerated stay is a temporary residency card for foreigners in Poland); since the year 2006 thanks to our project two hundred Vietnamese have been granted with the tolerated stay and 400 are waiting for the decision;
- Chechen refugee-children project “Children of the World Kindergarten” (artistic workshops, integration dance activities, excursions, etc.);
- law and psychological counseling;
- religious and social meetings on various occasions (World Day of Migrants and Refugees, World Refugee Day, Christmas, Easter, International Volunteer Day, Chinese New Year, etc.);

Two new projects:
- “Artists without borders” – a theatre project for refugees that consists of preparing a play based on a refugee story in Poland in which refugees themselves will star together with Polish amateurs actors;
- Polish classes for Chinese immigrants.

Four confreres and two sisters are involved in this apostolate:
- Fr Antoni Koszorz SVD – director, pastoral ministry amongst Chinese immigrants, member of the editorial staff of “China Heute” (Polish edition).
- Fr Edward Osiecki SVD – vice-director, pastoral ministry amongst Vietnamese immigrants, tolerated stay project coordinator, refugee reception center chaplain.
- Fr Jacek Gniadek SVD, Justice and Peace referent, finance officer, Chechen refugee-children project coordinator, in charge of preparing new projects from the European Refugee Found, Polish teacher in the new project for Chinese immigrants.
- Fr Vo Khanh Thanh Joachim SVD – pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese Catholics in Warsaw.
- Sr Maria Kwapisiewicz FMM, secretary, social worker, Polish classes coordinator, prayer group coordinator.
- Sr Weronika Klebba SSpS, social worker, language teacher, ministry amongst Chinese immigrants (new initiatives).

3/ JPIC apostolate of the coordinator in Chludowo

Fr Mirosław Piątkowski, JPIC coordinator in Poland, belongs to the community of Chludowo near Poznan where he is JPIC various activities.

For the year 2007/08 Fr Piątkowski is in charge of young foreign students who are studding Polish language at the University of Poznań and are accommodated in Chludowo. There are two conferees from Indonesia, two from Togo and one from China.

The coordinator is in charge of developing SVD students’ awareness of the JPIC. For this purpose last year a three days workshop was held in Białystok for confreres in temporary and perpetual vows who were interested in JPIC issues. Two representatives of the Foundation for homeless People “Barka” (eng. Bardge) from Poznań were invited with lectures. This year a workshop on volunteers’ formation will be held in Pieniężno in autumn.

The coordinator runs a formation project for volunteers (JUPIC Net for God) together with the International Ecumenical Fraternity – ‘Net for God’ for unity and peace in the world of the francophone Community Chemin Neuf. After two year of working together an idea of creating an Association has been born to support Christian initiatives for building justice and peace and missionary animation. A group of volunteers is working at present on drafting a status and preparing necessary documents for the registration.

The coordinator in collaboration with the local school and commune runs a familial project “Parafiada” that lasts two weeks in summer. The project activities include competition between children and youth in many sport disciplines, promotion of fair play rules, artistic performances and competitions.

Three ten days holiday camps “JUPIC – Youth without borders” for poor children with some aspects on missionary formation were organized by the coordinator in Nysa (2006), Zakopane (2007) and Bieszczady (2008).

The coordinator is also in charge of Christian formation meetings for the pro-family political party League of Polish Families that are held once a month in Chludowo.

The coordinator works for the Provincial Arnold Janssen Spirituality Team. Last year together with Fr Jacek Gniadek prepared and led a retreat focused on some aspects of the JPIC issues. The retreat was given in four different communities for all the confreres in temporary vows and 50 confreres in perpetual vows.

Mirosław Piątkowski SVD,
JPIC Coordinator
SVD Polish Province

SSpS of Poland Province

Report 13

Read by Sr. Yuvensia Daso, SSpS

JPIC WORK IN POLAND

Since the downfall of Communism we have seen rapid changes in our society both positive and negative. One of the more negative ones is a growing number of unemployed people which in return increases poverty and widens the gap between rich and poor. This is also a reason for which we as a province became more sensitive to the cry of the poor and we moved into the regular social work.

1) A Children’s Home is one of the activities developed in this time of rapid changes.
Children’s Home, opened on January 9, 1995 has been caring for children from dysfunctional families. The main focus of our program is placed on education, formation into self-education, self-reliance, self-discipline, and spiritual growth. There are also recreational occupations and art-therapy that help the children to relax and to develop their own hobbies, skills and abilities.
Every year some special prophylactic programs are offered on alcohol, drug-addicts and others. Our goal is to help the children to stand on their own feet so that with God’s help they can be prepared for life better than their parents were. In our Home for Children we create an atmosphere of acceptance, loving care and security so that the children feel loved. Besides, one hot meal a day is served. At Christmas time we organize Christmas Eve dinner (an important polish custom), celebrating together. Easter we celebrate together as well. Before important feasts, the children are prepared to the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist. During the winter and summer vacations many excursions are organized to visit beautiful spots and cities in our country. Unforgettable memories of joy that bind us into one family are shared and treasured for a long time. The local government of Racibórz, evaluating our activities, put our Home for Children on the list of priorities and consequently, sponsored renovation of the house (roof, windows, dining room, bath-rooms, hot water and heating system, etc). As the time goes on we have been receiving a lot of finances from the Local Fund of Racibórz. By taking part in competitions and winning different prices our Home for Children received enough money to purchase material for the art-therapy, manual work and food for children. Recently we also received some computers that are a great help for us.
Let me add that the children take part in various ecological competitions. Sisters of our community in Racibórz help them a lot but there are many lay helpers who carry out this important project.
Since the very beginning teaming up with lay volunteers we have been working on to turn a house received from the government into a real Home for Children. It is a great joy to see how the street rascals have been slowly growing into young people who care for life and are able to express their gratitude for the hand one day given to them. Let me share here, that some of them by now are gr. 12 graduates who carry out their studies.


2. Working with the Poor and Needy

In the recent years we had many poor families coming to our provincial house’s door. First of all, they have been served with soup only and gradually other services were offered to them. Since Sr. Antonia Gruntowska started to work in the apostolate among the poor and needy (2001) the help have been offered on different levels. E.g.: the families affected by alcoholism have been helped through:
Awareness raising and hospitalized cure
Care for the mothers with children whose husbands are alcohol addicted
Helping those unemployed to find a job
Since the beginning of 2005 we started a Prophylactic Program for the Families which fosters sober life. The program is sponsored by the Local Government. Staff members who carry out the program are well prepared professionally (social worker, psychologist, lawyer and one of our sisters who dedicates her service to women). According to both: the participants and the teaching-staff, the program has good impact on the participants.

3. Migrant Centre: meeting people of different cultures and religions migrants became a challenge for our society in the last decade. The Migrant Centre in Warsaw was opened by the SVD in September 2005, to create a gathering Centre for different groups of the national minority existing in Poland, mainly in Warsaw and surroundings. Four of our junior sisters and two of the finally professed sisters took up a voluntary work in the Centre in order to serve the people of these groups in form of social and spiritual help taking into focus especially those who are most in need, who are alienated, seeking a shelter and dignified living conditions in our country. Our sisters work mainly with the children, young people and women of Chechnya. It has been a good experience to work with the people of different culture, mentality, language and religion. The Fathers work with Asian (e.g.: Vietnamese) and African people, teaming up with different institutions.

Sr. Miriam Długos SSpS

SVD of Slovak Province

Fr.Pavel Kobliha, SVD

Report 12


For many centuries the area of today’s Slovak Republic was centre of interests of many nations. Romans, Germans, Turks and Hungarians. All of them wanted to conquer the territory between the Danube and High Tatras and settle there. But none of them were able to subjugate Slavs and stay here forever. But right because of these interests Slovakia is influenced by many nations now and they take part in Slovak citizenship. The biggest minority group, with about 10% of inhabitants, is Hungarian minority. They inhabit mostly the southern part of Slovakia, along the boarder with Hungary. The fact is that they have their own political party, which is widely supported also by non-Hungarians, and has its place in coalition. However, in real life, there are different relations between Hungarian and non-Hungarian people. In minds of Slovaks is deeply engraved, that we had to live under pressure of Hungarian reign for many years. And so people behave. Though, when one gets any closer contact with them, he realizes that they are like other normal people. What a surprise!
Ethnic groups:With our EU entrance is joined the discussion about some racial problems with gipsy ethnic group. Actual problem is illegal interruptions of young gipsy girls. However is the truth, everybody knows how these people live, in what conditions. We know it, and people from abroad know it as well. But they believe this is because of big discrimination and generally bad social conditions for ethnic groups in Slovakia. I think, maybe as most Slovaks that they caused it themselves. They have this way of life simply in their blood. So, the fact is that every employer rather employs a guy with a good social hinterland, and whom he can trust. So then the bigger half of gypsies does not have any job. It means no nice income, what reflects in bad home and social hinterland. This is a very simple view, but we can call it vicious circle. Anyway, there live many other minorities in Slovakia. For example Czechs, Germans, many other Slavs tribes, like Croatians, Slovenians, Russians, Ukraine’s, and polish people and so on. The newest minority which is rising are people from East Asia. We can see “Chinese” shops on every corner.

Racism is not widespread in Slovakia. The fact is that over centuries, the inhabitants lived an isolated existence and were not used to meet people of other races, except for Roma (Gypsies). Slovakia has never had colonies so that people from Africa and other continents apart from Europe were practically never seen here until well into the 20th century. Their lifestyles and social institutions, including slavery, were totally unknown to people here.
The Roma people (as Slovak Gypsies prefer to be called), form a relatively important minority group in Slovakia. Their problem is a very high unemployment rate, reaching 100% in some settlements. This is the main cause of their low living standards, which in turn bring about high crime rate and misuse of social resources. As a result a gulf developed between them and the majority population. However, racist physical attacks are few and far between.
The number of foreigners of different skin coloring increased during the past years mostly due to students from African and Asian countries. Many of them have learned the Slovak language, married local people and happily raising families. They have very nicely integrated into the society.
When shopping in open-air markets, you will see many vendors of bargain-price Asian clothes and electronics. almost exclusively they have some from Vietnam. They can speak little more than a few phrases in Slovak, other than the prices of their goods, but many people like to do business with them, because their goods are cheaper than similar articles in regular shops.

The Vatican championed the rights of gypsies, admitting its own past prejudices and calling on governments to improve the shunned nomads' lot. Presenting a new document on gypsies, Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao said while they had a right to their identity as a traveling people, they frequently met with "indifference or opposition“.
The report - Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of Gypsies - said gypsies were a people "abandoned by men but not by God" and outlined the "special pastoral approach" that the Catholic Church intended to adopt to help them
Key objectives were education and professional training for the population, as well as equal rights for men and women, it said .
"Of course they, too, have duties" towards the society in which they live, Cardinal Fumio Hamao said.
In this connection, the guidelines referred to the need to encourage "honesty and righteousness" in those who lived on the fringes of the law, helping them to abandon drug trafficking, theft and other routes to "easy money“.

War and terrorism in Slovakia /Muslim threats?

So far, touch wood, there were no terrorist attacks in Slovakia. Because Slovakia is a very small player on the international scene and there are no cities with over half a million inhabitants, the risk is not as high as in some other countries and cities. (For instance: the Czech Republic). Nevertheless the threat of terrorism is taken seriously and all necessary preventive measures are in place.

Social Ministry with the drug and alcohol addicted:

Following the rehab program, it is used to restore the former addict's ability to focus on real life goals and to return a level of self-control to the individual. This greatly improves the former addicts' ability to face the realities of life and reduce the need for drugs to escape the difficulties of life. Often, an addict commits harmful acts, both to themselves and their loved ones that traps them into further drug use.

Our “Novy Svet” rehab campus, in which Br. Maros Butala, (svd supervisor) works, is a comfortable house aimed at healing and appropriate for all ages. The addicts are treated with respect and are allowed to be themselves. Fr.Pavel is a spiritual director of these addicts. Br.Maros is a supervisor and Mr. Ladislav Nemeth is in charge of all rehabilitation centre. Of course there is a whole team of people working with them. A group of at least two people are necessary to provide the weight to break through the denial of the addicted person. An especially effective member of the confronting group is the employer or supervisor.

SSpS Slovak Province


Sr. Yuvensia Daso, SSpS

Report 11

In the last few years the SSpS in Slovakia have started and are developing some new projects.

1. Working with the Roma Children (Gypsies)

We are developing our apostolate among the Roma people who make up approximately 5 % of Slovak population. One of the groups most affected by the current social and economic situation is the Roma minority. This group has the highest unemployment and the least chance of finding a job, along with low level of education and nearly no possibilities for re- qualification. Roma people are one of our priorities. Our Sisters work with Roma people esp. children in almost all of communities in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic. We started a special project with Roma‘s children in Nitra - Orechov Dvor.

In year 2005 we were asked by the vice mayor of Nitra to start apostolate with people who were not able to pay the rent for their houses and ended on the street. The vice mayor of Nitra wanted to help them and so they built for them outside the city 2nd class flats in Orechov Dvor. They saw that the people esp. their children need help and that they need somebody who has time for them. At that time an international junior sisters group who prepared themselves for final vows in Ivanka pri Nitre was asked by the PLT to start this apostolate. In Orechov Dvor live presently 250 people. Our sisters offer their help to those children by helping them with their homework, by playing and singing with them, drawing, painting and so on. The Tertians visited the children in 2005 once a week but since 2 years Sr. Pia Michalicova and Sr. Katerzyna Niezgoda go every day from 1 .pm to 5 .pm to them. Bishop Viliam Judak of Nitra is ready to help us and came already few times to visit the place. Since the beginning of this year one Salvatorian-Father comes twice a week to give the catechesis and prepare the people to receive sacraments. Most of the Roma people are Catholics and are proud to be Catholics. They love Mary very much and take refuge to her. Since 2 months also the students from the University of Nitra come twice a week to work together with our sisters. The main problem is the isolation of the people in this place and a very poor infrastructure Our Sisters share one room with the Kindergarten which uses it in the morning and they use it in the afternoon. We initiated the project to get there portable structures in which the people can meet and which can serve as social centre. The city of Nitra got already the structure and they should be put there this year. We feel that our apostolate with Roma people is a real priority here and now. In our last Provincial chapter in November 2007 we discussed this issue at length and decided to collaborate in this apostolate with the Roma Cathedra of the University in Nitra. In the meantime we prepared the contract about the collaboration between the City Nitra, the University of Nitra and our Congregation. The contract will be signed this year. It is not easy to carry out this ministry but we are glad that we are doing it. We try to introduce to these children spiritual values, which can bring them much more happiness than merely physical pleasures. They can see and experience that God is able to bring them many good things and they can put their trust in God.

2. Working with women.

Working with women and for women has been practiced by the community of the provincial house for more than 10 years in Women prison in Nitra. The sisters go there every Sunday for visiting, preparing the Holy Mass, and teaching catechism. They do this ministry in collaboration with the prison chaplain. In February this year at the meeting with Bishop R8bek, the prison chaplain and the directress of the prison we evaluated this apostolate. We saw the need to have more time for catechesis. We see also very important the collaboration not only with the prison chaplain but also with the psychologist of that place. The prison in Nitra is the only one women prison in Slovakia.
The Novitiate in Nitra assists to abandoned mothers with their children in collaboration with the city Nitra.
In the Czech Republic our sisters work with abandoned women in the Christian charity. Women who are there are mostly refugees. They openly share their life experiences with the sisters. Our sisters also look after their children when their mothers go to work.
One of our sisters works together with an MSC father and psychologist, helping sexually abused women.
Another sister works with AA in Pereš nearby Nitra and the community in Ivanka pri Nitre is ready to welcome those people so that they can share their experiences about the change in their lives.
We are happy that since 10 years also these areas remain not only not taboo but the needed help can be given to the people.

3. Mass Media

In this field we try to keep alive our history esp. from the communist time. Sr. Ivica Kúšiková is presently working on a project called Witnesses of Faith in which religious women from different congregations are telling stories from the communist regime. We feel responsible to pass on the truth to the next generations. A documentary film with that topic was made about the Slovakian province two years ago.

These are the main areas in which we are developing our social and cultural and spiritual work as a part of our JPIC program. There are many other smaller fields in which we work in the frame of JPIC.
Sr. Yuvensia Daso, SSpS,

SVD NEB _ Province


Br.Toon van Bijnen, SVD
Report 10

Organisation
Because there are many new coordinators among us, I like to present you a little bit the organisation of our JPIC working.
Since 1986 we have not only a JPIC-coordinator but a commission of 6 members, belonging to different communities so that all confreres are presented. There has been a strong continuity in this commission. Three of the actual six members are from the very beginning up to now full members and even coordinator. The commission is very well rooted in the provincial structures, because three of us are members of the provincial council. This has been all the 22 years so. So we enjoy the full support of the provincial authorities and a sufficient budget. Sometimes the provincial is attending a meeting. The commission is advising from time to time the provincial council.
We are meeting 7 or 8 times a year, in different communities so that all confreres are aware of our apostolate. Once a year there is a joint meeting with the SSpS-commission in a SVD or SSpS-community. The agenda is made up by the coordinator and sent to the members. All members are in turn making the report, which is sent to all our members, to the provincial and to the SSpS members of their commission. A summary in English is made for VIVAT International, the general coordinator, the Euro zone coordinator and everyone who wants to receive it. Maybe we will send it also to the members of the VIVAT International-antennas in Belgium and the Netherlands. But up to now these antennas are not yet functioning. Included in an internal news bulletin, that is distributed every two months among the Dutch and Belgian confreres, we provide always a JPIC bulletin with information about campaigns and situations; three items in each edition.

Actions of the commission
The actions of the commission are mostly dealing with lobbying; so working for structural change.
Most of our actions are undertaken in co-operation with other NGO's so as VIVAT International, Oxfam, Pax Christi, AEFJN, Lenten campaign, Jubilee 2000, Amnesty International. The last three years we have been campaigning for:
1. Fair trade. We signed petitions to EU commissioner Peter Mandelson, Heads of State, Prime Ministers, defending the rights of the poor countries in the WTO conference of Hong Kong. Several times petitions to de EU authorities, demanding to change the proposed new EPA's at January 1, 2008.
2. Every year we signed petitions to the Heads of State of the G8 for cancelling the foreign debt of the poor countries For this question our members have a subscription to the magazine Jubilee Nederland, what is regularly discussed in our meetings One of our members prepared a detailed study for the AEFJN 3 We pay a special attention to the EU policy for Africa. There were several protests against the unfair trade by dumping Belgian class-books as a “gift” to Congo; dumping medicines to African countries, and most of all against the protection of European agro products and the free export to African countries.
4. More than 2 years we have been dealing with the water provision in African countries. We campaigned against privatisation of water by big companies. One commission-member was co-editor of a detailed study about people’s right to water.
5. Another member is in the AEJPN responsible for food-sovereignty of the African people. The commission signed petitions for this right.
6. In our Peace Apostolate we participated in the campaign Control Arms and several times we signed petitions against the trade in small arms and against the system of child-soldiers; against the new Japanese army (changing article 9 of the Constitution). Every year the International Peace-day and the Peace-day of the religious and the Peace-weeks in the Netherlands and in Belgium are celebrated. We are actively cooperating.

7. Over the years the commission is dealing with alternative banking. On the proposal of the commission the province co-finances a small banking project in the Philippines.
8. Belgium and the Netherlands are among the most "multinationalised" countries in the world. Amsterdam is the number one in the world with the most nationalities, Antwerp is the number second. This is for our commission the main challenge: building a peaceful multinational, multicultural and multi-religious society. One community is living in the most multicultural and multi-religious area of the town. Others are working in parishes where there are over 90 nationalities.
One of us has been halftime working for refugees, providing lodging and legal assistance; others are doing so regularly.
We are taking part in campaigning for asylum-seekers. We have signed petitions against the detention of children in refugee camps. We take regularly part in vigils of asylum-seekers. In the Netherlands we signed petitions to the government demanding a “general pardon” for people without legal documents, who are over 5 years in our country. Every year we are present at the vigil in memory of 11 asylum-seekers who died by fire in a detention camp. Regularly there are manifestations against racism, where we are present. In short, we are campaigning against every restriction of migration.
For the cohabitation with other religions one community is organising multi-religious meetings in our house, where Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians are invited. Also a multi-religious Christmas party was held in our house. We are taking part in iftars and the end of Ramadan-celebrations and joint prayer services and workshops on this matter. One of us is working in a diocesan commission to promote harmony among religions, by preparing the liturgy for the 7 Sundays between Eastern and Pentecost, (which give a good opportunity to open up the minds for other people), by organising conferences with a imam, a rabbi and a catholic priest, by writing a booklet about the meaning of Abraham for Jews, Christians and Muslims, by publishing about multi-religious conferences and documents. Another confrere is giving instructions to migrant imams for their integration in the European situation. Some have regular contact with Muslim leaders.


Actions of all confreres
2 or 3 times a year the commission invites all confreres for prayers and for petitions. We see it as our duty to animate all SVDs in our province. The coordinator is sending an appeal to the rectors of the communities. The response is very good; about 90%, we may say. So, every year there are prayer services and celebrations in every community at World Peace-day: also at World Aids day ad some others. Actions as "stand up against poverty" and "1 minute put out the lights" are well done in the communities.
The last years the confreres signed petitions to the Top G7/8 for cancelling if the foreign debt of the poor countries; They signed petitions to Ministers and Commissioners in order to change the WTO-policy and the EPAs There were petitions, addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, to change the Africa-policy: a petition addressed to the Minister of Home Affaires, protesting against the detention of children in refugee camps; a petition for the regularisation of illegal migrants without documents. For these problems prayers are said during Eucharist and prayer services.
So we are happy about this good response. Sometimes it happens that a confrere does not agree with the commission. But we are happy about his attention for world problems and we give him a proper answer. We think, that the JPIC commission in our province is well accepted by all SVDs. In the annual report of the province the coordinator is invited to write his survey over the last year. Finally the coordinator is as observer admitted to the provincial chapter, where he is presenting his report and proposals, which can be discussed. So, JPIC is well integrated in the NEB province.


Toon van Bijnen svd
JPIC Coordinator

SVD of Province Austria

Fr. Patrick Kofi Kodom, SVD

Report 9

Our situation in general:

There is a team of three confreres involved in JPIC issues:
Fr. Oskar Becker, Br. Franz Eichhorn, Fr. Patrick Kofi Kodom

The dialogue with Muslims was formerly done by Fr. Markus Solo.

Other main fields are:

Migration issues

Refugees, prisoners, asylum seekers, deportees

Statement of concern from our communication and media

Regular meetings with the SSpS

Ecological concerns e.g. St. Gabriel is heated mainly by solar power.

Seminars and talks

Fr. Patrick is especially involved in the ministry of refugees and deportees. Many asylum seekers end up in deportation camps waiting to be send back to their home countries. The regulations in the EU are getting tougher and to work with and for these people seems to be a bit dangerous sometimes.

Patrick Kofi Kodom, SVD

English/Irish Region SSpS

Sr. Sujata Sawarimuthu, SSpS

Report 8

The Sisters in England and Ireland are very much involved in justice and peace issues in and outside of their communities

WOMEN'S PEACE GROUP: We have joined the Birmingham Women's peace group. It is a group of women from all faith backgrounds, who have been meeting regularly for the past 15 years, listening to one another's stories, sharing common concerns and discussing issues of peace and justice in our world. They represent all faiths, races and ethnic backgrounds, all age groups and come from a wide variety of social positions. We try to put aside our differences in the common quest for peace and explore practical ways of giving expression to our feelings of compassion for those in need.

Few examples will be given

DROP-THE -DEBT-FAST: A 36 day rolling fast will demand debt cancellation for 36 poor countries. The fast will begin as the World bank and International Monetary Fund hold their Spring meeting from 12th April and end on Sunday, 18th May when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Birmingham G8 Human Chain. Each day we will focus on one country that urgently needs the chains of unpayable and unjust debts to be broken.

We will join the fast for a day or more in our areas and the rest of the actions will be explained.

IMMIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS: Some of us are involved working with Asylum seekers and of their concerns. We had few failed Asylum seekers living under our roof until their cases were heard once again and have become the part of UK refugee status. Our main work with refugees is to teach them English, help them with their paper work and to be a moral support whenever and wherever is possible.

Few examples will be given.

MEDAILLE TRUST: It is a charity founded by Catholic nuns, brothers and priests with the aim of helping women, young men and children who have been freed from sex-trafficking and their empowerment, enabling them to regain their sense of dignity and self worth. This is done by providing safe housing and offering opportunities for physical and psychological healing and rehabilitation.

Please read "my story" from this magazine. More explanations will be given later.

Sr. Sujata Sawarimuthu


SSpS Province of Austria

Sr. Felixine Kofler, SSpS

Riport 7

1) Themes of self-awareness carried out in a concrete way:
· Trafficking women in Austria and Europe (Angelika Kartusch)
· A series of reports about Islam (P. Dr. Markus Solo)
· Workshop on Reconciliation in every day life Dr. Pete Hämmerle)
· Persevering development (Dr. A. Strigl)
· Forming Creation and Preservation - a Contradiction? (Dr. W. Stark)
To all these meetings were invited our sisters and people from the parishes.
· Workshops "Christian Hospital" for the leading members of the staff by Dr. P. Zulehner.
· Seminars: to get off drugs, alcohol, smoking
· Evaluation-Day "Coping with conflict and stress-situations"

2) Participation in Signing Actions (CSI, AI), yearly March of Demonstration in Silence for the persecuted Christians; candle of Hope
3) Supporting GFS-magazines: "Ost-Westwind", "Pax-Christi", "Unser Projekt", „Missio"
4) Fair trade: EZA and Bio products from small shops in the surrounding area
5) Some community have their own bio garden
6) Cooperation with Local Authorities in cleaning promenades of the river banks.
7) Donations for Projects producing lasting energies (wind, sun, foto voltaik)
8) Very important is the direct contact to people in need: cooking and distributing soup
to the homeless; one sister gives medical help; counselling of people (Oase); Hospiz; Caritas work in the parish; commitment regarding threatened unborn life - accompanying traumatized women; women in crises and language-students can live with us for a
limited time; eg. 4 Sisters from Zambia stayed with our Vienna-Community a few months A new challenge is our own school with ever more children from different cultures and Churches.
Hospital-projects: "Village of Peace". "International Alliance for children", sick, handi­capped children from war-torn countries get medical help and care. Our senior-nurses give special attention to patients before and after operation. Club-food-project in Mali/West Africa. The same Orthopedic Hospital releases doctors 3­4 times a year for this mission. Pro iect "Donationsbox" for HIV/AIDS. Project "Family-friendly-Hospital" to make life easier for nurses with a family.
9) Attitudes
Mediation of peace; simple life style; second hand-clothing; getting together with neighbours and owners.
Careful and gentle way with the gifts of the creation and gratefulness for the beauty of The nature. Trips with public traffic whenever possible.
10) Celebration - Prayer: Day of Creation and "Erntedankfest". Prayer-Hotline:
We notice a growing interest for GFS. Yet our co-responsibility of the consumer-goods of our Western World - as we are part of it - is in need of improvement.

As women following Jesus, we are happy to give our power and voice to the poor who challenge us and enrich us with their gifts.

Sr. Felixine Kofler SSpS