FATHER WERENFRIED IN PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH THE HOLY FATHER
Vatican/Germany 30th April 2002, Germany. From 22 - 28 April this year the first ever meeting of all the spiritual assistants of the International Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need was held in Königstein, near Frankfurt, Germany and subsequently at the Vatican in Rome. This was an occasion to focus upon the spiritual dimension of this international charity, founded in 1947 by the Norbertine priest Father Werenfried van Straaten, and on its particular charism, which is rooted above all in a spirit of prayer and the contemplation of Christ - especially as the Good Samaritan. The goal of Aid to the Church in Need is to serve the suffering and persecuted Church and her mission of new evangelisation throughout the world. The spiritual assistants met together in Rome, along with Father Werenfried, the president of ACN, Mr Hans-Peter Röthlin and the general secretary of the organisation, Antonia Willemsen, where they met and spoke with high-ranking Vatican representatives. Both the prefect of the clergy congregation, Cardinal Dario Castrillón, and the president of the pontifical aid society Cor Unum, Archbishop Paul Cordes, expressed their gratitude and recognition for the work of ACN, as did also the secretary of the pontifical laity council, Professor Guzmán Carriquiry. The high point of this pilgrimage to Rome was the participation in the morning Mass of the Pope on Saturday 27 April. Following this the Holy Father received the senior representatives of the charity in a private audience, during which he gave Father Werenfried a copy of the Marian icon of Czestochowa and also the Paschal candle that has been burning in his own private chapel during this Easter of 2002.
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