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WEDNESDAY      May 5, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 88

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE

"Call out to Me in humility and I will answer. Beware of spiritual pride, lest you forget the words and signs I am giving to you to warn you."

      Those words come from Our Lord on June 15, 1994 which He imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in Message #507 imploring His children to come to Him humbly and sincere and knock and He shall open the door to His Heart wide. He beseeches all to remain faithful to Him and His Vicar on earth. His Blessed Mother Mary follows her Divine Son's Message four days later on Father's Day June 19 in which Our Lady reminds the fathers of their responsibilities in the Sacrament of Matrimony and to emulate her chaste earthly spouse Joseph For Messages #507 and #508, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages 507 and 508

Message Five-Hundred-seven, June 15, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus)

Message Five-Hundred-eight, June 19, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Father's Day)

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News and ZENIT International News Agency



      VATICAN CITY ( - With traditional ceremonies later this week, the Vatican's Swiss Guard is almost fully recovered following the tragic events of just a year ago and a series of changes and reforms, according to the Guard's commander.

      A good selection of new candidates and new regulations within the body of the Guard were the subject of a press statement by Colonel Pius Segmuller, a year after the death of commander Alois Estermann and of his wife, Gladys Mesa Romero, killed by Vice-Corporal Cedric Tornay before he killed himself on May 4, 1998.

      For Colonel Segmuller, who was assigned to his post on August 1, "the tragic year of 1998 is finished. Many scars and still open wounds are the silent witnesses of May 4, 1998." It is however necessary "to look towards the future with confidence," he declared. After nine month of service and of observation, the 47-year-old colonel arrived at the conclusion that the Guard is an "elderly lady" who must be treated with "patience and respect and especially with sensitivity to not upset important customs and habits," whereas some would like the 100-strong Guard to "change quickly."

      The primary changes, according to the statement, include the installation of a new recruitment and information service in Switzerland in order to centralize enrollment within the Swiss Guard and to base this recruitment on "objective criteria." Candidates must thus subject to a professional examination and especially "personality tests when that is necessary." The vice-corporal who killed the Estermanns had acted, according to results of an inquiry, in a "fit of madness."

      In addition, three new directives will come into effect on May 6, the day of the renewal of oaths and the acceptance of new recruits for this year, including the Order of Service, the Order of Discipline, and directives on qualifications and promotions concerning internal regulations and discipline of the Guard.

      In other significant matters, the current captain, Roman Fringeli, will be leaving the Guard after thirty years of service. A German speaker, he will be replaced by a French-speaking captain, Jean-Daniel Pitteloud. Four of the officers of the Guard (the colonel, the lieutenant-colonel, the major, and the captain) have all been German speakers over the past several years.

      While May 6, 1998 was a day of mourning in the Swiss Guard with the funerals of Guard commander Col. Alois Estermann and his wife in Saint Peter's Basilica, May 6, 1999 will be a day of celebration for the 35 new guards who will take their oath of service. It is a tradition for all new recruits over the past year to take their oath on this date, in memory of 147 guards who died on May 6, 1527 during the Sack of Rome by the soldiers of Emperor Charles V.

      The new recruits and their parents will be received by Pope John Paul II the day before on the evening on May 5 for a brief audience. May 6 will begin with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran of the Secretariat of State, which will be followed by a commemoration of guards who have died in service.

      The service of the oath itself will be done after midday in the Court Saint Damasus, as in each year, with the exception of last year when it was done privately on June 28. The Commander of the Swiss Military, General Simon Kucher, will be taking part in the ceremony.

      Among the guards who will take the oath are 32 halberdiers and 3 officers, including the commander Col. Pius Segmuller who entered the service of the Guard on August 1 to succeed commander Alois Estermann who was killed on May 6. The service of the oath will be done in the primary language of the guards: 29 will take the oath in German, five in French, and one guard in another language.


      VATICAN CITY ( - Pope John Paul II on Tuesday spoke of the "formidable challenge" that faces the Church today: "the evangelization of the urban culture," as he received the Canadian bishops of Ontario on their ad limina visit to Rome.

      The Church is called to undertake "a methodical urban evangelization and with a great effort," said the Pope. He added that the phenomenon of the large city creates "a culture of discrimination and of indifference" and leads to "new forms of exploitation and of domination."

      "For many, and especially for young people, the city becomes an experience of rootlessness, anonymity and inequality, with the consequent loss of identity and sense of human dignity," he said. The result is often violence, which has its source in a "disappointment" and a "loss of confidence in institutions," in which he includes not only "political, legal, and educational institutions, but also Church and family."

      For the Holy Father, the elements of this new urban evangelization are "the catechism, the liturgy, and the organization of pastoral structures." The objective is "a new and deeper experience of the community in Christ," he said.

      He then spoke of the important role of "urban lay missionaries" and of "truly zealous priests inhabited by the missionary spirit," and asked "that seminaries and houses of formation be clearly seen as schools for the missions." In addition the parish must remain "the privileged place" for leading the faithful "to an intimacy with Christ," in showing the necessity of a "deep spirit of fraternity" between the members of the same community, to avoid "the anonymity of cities."

      Lastly, the Holy Father insisted on the role of some schools and other Catholic institutions in the evangelization of cities, to guard against. He exhorted Catholic institutions to keep their identity free from "influences linked to secularization" -- a sometimes "heavy" influence in Canada -- which risks their "Catholic identity."


      WARSAW ( - The leader of a grassroots movement to place crosses near the former Auschwitz Nazi death camp said on Tuesday that dozens of new crosses would be placed there despite government action on laws to remove them.

      Kazimierz Switon said 50 new crosses were being placed in the location to bring the total number to 293. Jewish groups have protested the presence of the crosses at what they consider a Jewish cemetery, but Polish Catholics want at least the original, papal cross to remain as reminder of the Catholics who died there.

      Last month, Poland's Senate voted to allow the papal cross to remain, but to remove the others. The bill still needs to be considered by the Sejm lower house.


Franciscans and Salesians do not register as Religious Congregations

      MOSCOW, MAY 4 (ZENIT).- The Russian Ministry of Justice's refusal to register the Jesuits has caused concern among religious communities throughout the world. It is possible that the Russian authorities will disallow the registration of Catholic religious congregations and orders.

      According to 'VID,' the religious communities' information service, the Franciscans and Salesians in Russia have had to "play games" to be able to operate. Consequently, they have decided not to register as independent orders, and have found other ways to avoid the hundreds of obstacles the law places as, for example, having to demonstrate that they have been in the country for at least fifty years, and have a minimum of three communities, with at least ten Russian members in each one.

      The Salesians decided to register their l7-student seminary as part of the jurisdiction of a local parish on the outskirts of Moscow. Salesian Father Wladyslaw Kloch, professor of English and Latin, has said they are in no hurry to present the petition for registration as an independent congregation.

      As regards the Franciscans, Father Grigory Cioroch, superior in Poland, has disclosed that the conventual friars of Moscow decided to register as the Catholic Community of Saint Francis in 1998. They have not called themselves an order, which avoids a lot of problems. "From the practical point of view, there is no difference," the religious explained. ZE99050403

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


    Effective this past Monday the Vatican web site has added a special section for the Swiss Guard which can be found at VATICAN SWISS GUARD with photos and the history of the elite guard plus requirements for becoming a member of the corps. Since it has just been inaugurated, some of the sections may not be complete yet.

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

May 5, 1999 volume 10, no. 88   DAILY CATHOLIC