ACN News: Friday, 15th July 2016 – POLAND
“Let’s be One”: Aid to the Church in Need encourages youth to remember the suffering Church during the World Youth Day
By Maria Lozano
The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will launch the campaign “Let’s be One” during the World Youth Day in Krakow from 26th – 31st July.The “Let’s be One” campaign was developed to raise awareness for, and to show solidarity with, the suffering Church - specifically those many young Christians worldwide who for different reasons are not able to travel to Krakow.
Through a variety of communications channels and personal testimonies the charity intends to inform the youth at the WYD about the suffering of Christians around the world and so enable a bridge of prayer and solidarity between the young people. “It is our call to be one with the suffering Church; but also that young people experiencing challenges to the Faith around the world are also united with us in Krakow through this campaign. They will join us in prayer knowing that we are one body, one Church”, explains Mark von Riedemann, ACN’s Director of Communications.
(Pilgrims lifting up the World Youth Day’s Cross before the celebrations of Saint Stanislau in Krakow © Konrad Myszkowski/krakow2016.com)
Under the title of “Let’s Be One” ACN has produced, in collaboration with the production studio Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN), short “selfie” spots reflecting a day in the life of young Catholics in such countries as Israel, Papua New Guinea, Iraq, Cuba, Kenya and Poland, with the common message: “We are not able to be there in Krakow because of war, poverty, distance, or volunteer work for others, but we will be united with you in prayer”. To provide a greater insight to the day to day realities of the distressed Christians in different countries CRTN has also been offered the opportunity to screen a selection of its documentaries and short productions at the Kijów cinema throughout the WYD.
One of the highlights of the “Let’s Be One” campaign will be a musical presentation titled “Because of My Name”. Fr Waldemar Cisło, Director of the ACN national office in Poland describes the purpose as follows: “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. We cannot remain silent in the face of such suffering and cruelty. As word and music are one of the best means to reach young people, ACN decided to prepare for the World Youth Day an Oratorio, “Because of My Name”, dedicated to persecuted Christians. Nowadays young people are being told that Faith is not important, that it is not fashionable. Meanwhile in many places around the world Christians are being forced to make a dramatic decision: to renounce Christ and save their life, or remain faithful. Very often they chose the latter. With the Oratorio we want to show young people that Christ and Faith are what is the most important in life. This musical piece is also a call from ACN to those who rule this world to not stay indifferent to the drama of Christians who die for their Faith.”
The Oratorio has been composed by Piotr Rubik, one of the best known modern Polish composers. It will be presented at the Main Square (Rynek Główny) in Krakow on Friday, July 29th at 21:00, after the Way of the Cross celebrated by the Holy Father Pope Francis.
(A poster outlining the Oratorio dedicated to persecuted Christians that will be presented in Krakow's Main Square during WYD © Aid to the Church in Need)
To help allow as many disadvantaged young people to see and to share the joy of Faith with the Holy Father and with other young Christians, ACN is supporting approximated 40 groups from different countries around the world to travel to Krakow. “For each World Youth Day we support various groups of young people from different parts of the world, in particular where there is persecution or where Christians are a minority. Countries like Iraq, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Chad, Algeria, Syria, Haiti, Pakistan and Bangladesh to mention a few. Through the WYD these young people have the possibility to know what it is to be a part of the Universal Church, to see that they are not alone in their Faith. And it gives them the momentum and motivation in their own countries to act as missionaries to other young people”, explains Regina Lynch, head of the Project Department at Aid to the Church in Need International.
An extraordinary joy was the invitation by the WYD Committee for the charity to participate in the Way of the Cross. “Our group is comprised of 21 representatives from different countries: youth from the ACN national offices together with young people whose presence in Krakow we are supporting. This group will carry the Cross from the 2nd to the 3rd Station: Jesus falls for the first time. This visible sign of unity – ACN staff carrying the Cross hand in hand with youth from countries the charity is supporting around the world – is the witness to our campaign ‘Let’s be One’, says Mark von Riedemann, ACN’s Director of Communications.
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 172 languages and 50 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
While ACN gives full permission for the media to freely make use of the charity’s press releases, please acknowledge ACN as the source of stories when using the material.
For more information or to make a donation to help the work of Aid to the Church in Need, please contact the Australian office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153.
On Line donations can be made at www.aidtochurch.org