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Theme: The Hope of Christendom

January 6, 2007

National Post: Zealotry of South shaping the world

There is hardly a diocese of Canada that does not depend upon priests from Eastern Europe, India and Africa to keep parishes open that would otherwise be without a priest. In Europe, the situation is even more advanced.

“African dioceses have made gestures for the centenary or 150th anniversary of their creation by sending priests to the dioceses from which their first missionaries came,” explains Father Maurice Pivot, director of the French Pontifical Missionary Works office, calling it “a sign of the Church’s catholic dynamic” to return priests from missionary countries to the home countries of their evangelizers.

The number of foreign clergy working in French parishes increased six fold in the five years between 1997 and 2002. This year, the number reached 1,060, two-thirds of whom are from outside Europe, mostly from France’s former colonies in Africa and Vietnam.

The Catholic Church’s membership has already shifted to Latin America, Africa and Asia, away from the situation a century ago, when the majority of the world’s Catholics were in Europe. As those burgeoning Catholic populations develop their own schools, colleges and seminaries, they will increasingly assume roles of global leadership. Catholics in India, for example, are already more numerous than Catholics in Canada, have much higher levels of church attendance, far better catechical formation and a more evangelistic outlook. As religious orders of men and women die out in North America and Europe, the growing religious communities of Africa and Asia will fill the gap.

Catholic News Service: French parishes count on foreign priests to preserve the faith

When Father Joseph Longo arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he planned to stay a few months to complete his studies.

Three years later, he is one of a growing number of resident foreign priests who are helping preserve the church’s life in this traditionally Catholic country.

The Guardian: Devout Poles show Britain how to keep the faith

One little-noticed side effect of the influx of young Poles to Britain since their country’s accession to the European Union in 2004 has been an extraordinary boost to Catholic worship. Congregations that were formerly waning have been restored and expanded by the arrival of devout young Poles from the land of Pope John Paul II and they may yet change English Catholicism for ever.

Related Posts:
Theme: The De-Christianization of Britain
Theme: France – The Prodigal Daughter
Theme: Battle for Souls in Poland

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