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Eastern Churches Ordaining Numerous Priests

Aid Agencies to Focus on Supporting Clergy

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 18, 2010 ( The Assembly of Societies for Aid to Eastern Churches (ROACO) will focus their next meeting on finding ways to support the clergy, especially in Europe and the Middle East.

A note from the Congregation for Eastern Churches, which oversees the assembly, explained that this 82nd session will take place Tuesday and Wednesday in the Vatican.

The focus on clergy was inspired by the Church's celebration of the Year for Priests.

The communiqué stated that "following the changes of 1989, the Eastern Catholic Churches of Central and Eastern Europe have had the joy of being able to ordain numerous young priests, including married ones, in keeping with the ancient tradition of their Churches."

It continued, "Because of the modest economic conditions of their countries, and the absence of self-financing ecclesiastical structures, the maintenance of priests has been guaranteed to a large extent by the Churches of the West through the aid agencies, members of ROACO."

The congregation stated that "after twenty years, the time has come for an evaluation of each effective projection for the future."

Regarding priests in the Middle East, this evaluation will particularly focus on health care and old age. The session participants also plan to give attention to the situation of the Eastern Churches in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Iraq.

The meetings will be held in the conference hall of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Representatives of some twenty Catholic agencies from ten Western countries will participate in the meeting along with the apostolic delegate to Jerusalem, Archbishop Antonio Franco, and the apostolic nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea, Archbishop Leo Boccardi.

ROACO is an organization that was founded in 1968 by the Congregation for Eastern Churches. Twice a year it brings together agencies committed to the support of these Churches in their dimensions: worship, clergy, pastoral formation, education, health care and social aid.

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ZE10011805 - 2010-01-18

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead!

My soul, O my soul, rise up! Why are you sleeping? The end draws near, and soon you will be troubled. Watch, then, that Christ your God may spare you, for He is everywhere present and fills all things.

From the Great Canon of Andrew of Crete

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by boredom, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'

A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him: 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.

The Desert Fathers
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