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Home / Newsletters / Spring 2005

Newsletter: Spring Issue 2005

From the President's Desk . . .

Dear friends of Path to Peace,

The month of April began with the sad news of the death of Pope John Paul II, and ended with the joyful news at the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

Reflecting upon our beloved Holy Father John Paul II, we could paraphrase the sentiments expressed by Saint Augustine at the death of his mother, Saint Monica: "Lord, we do not ask why you took Pope John Paul II, rather, we thank you for having given him to us."

John Paul II embodied the true meaning of the title Supreme Pontiff, that is, "builder of bridges." He inspired new courage and hope to the oppressed and the weak throughout the world, to the four points of the compass: in the West, he confronted unbridled capitalism; in the East he confronted the repressive Communist system. In the South he gave voice for those oppressed at living on less than a dollar a day; in the North he spoke in favor of a renewed culture of life. All over the world, he witnessed to the greatness and fecundity of man who lives creatively his relationship with God.

In this diplomatic Mission, we like to remember the pope as a world leader, one who never ceased to inspire admiration and respect, because his leadership was not one of power, but of moral authority. His political impact did not come from deploying what political realists recognize as the instruments of power. His power lay in the charism of moral persuasion capable of being translated into political effectiveness.

Pope John Paul clearly took his place among those who would have the United Nations fulfill its high calling for the cause of peace and for the cause of the poorest and the weakest.

It was he who was the inspiration for the creation of the Path to Peace Foundation. We salute his extraordinary legacy and we thank God that we knew this mighty man of peace.

We thank God too, for the gift of moral authority, of moral leadership that he gives us in Pope Benedict XVI a pastor who is resolved to lead us out of the desert of which he spoke on the day of his installation, a desert of darkness, of distance from God; a desert of destroyed love, towards a land of peace, justice and life.

Sincerely,

+ Celestino Migliore

Path to Peace Events

PATH TO PEACE AWARD

We are pleased to announce that the 2005 Path to Peace Award will be bestowed upon His Most Eminent Highness Fra. Andrew Bertie, the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. As Grand Master he oversees the numerous international charitable activities of the Order, which has observer status at the United Nations. Kindly SAVE THE DATE, Thursday, 10 November 2005, for this Gala Dinner. Further details will be forthcoming. Please see the SAVE THE DATE insert.

CULTURE OF PEACE CONTEST

Earlier this year, the Path to Peace Foundation sponsored an essay contest in the inner city Archdiocesan high schools. The contest was open to senior high school students who were asked to compose an essay on how one can be an instrument in promoting peace. Two winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship which will be awarded at the Gala Dinner.

AUDIT

We have the pleasure to inform that we engaged the services of the firm Cipolla Sziklay, with offices in New Jersey and New York, to conduct our annual audit. We are pleased to report that we have received a favorable account and copies were distributed to the Board of Directors.

40th ANNIVERSARY OF GAUDIUM ET SPES

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. For this occasion the Holy See Mission sponsored a Side-Event at the UN on March 3rd, on "The Integral Path of Sustainable Development." The keynote presentation was delivered by His Excellency Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and former Permanent Observer at the UN Office in Geneva. Other presentations were given by Mr. Chris Bacich (AVSI), Prof. Amelia Uelmen (New Humanity), Dr. Joe Holland (Pax Romana), and Prof. Dr. Mark J. Wolff (St. Thomas University, FL). You may access these texts by visiting our website at www.holyseemission.org/un_seminars.html

60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS

The United Nations celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The date will be observed not only with a commemoration but also with the adoption of important pieces of reform of the Institution, namely the composition and working methods of the Security Council, the strengthening of the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and Commission for Human Rights; and the adoption of a resolution on the legitimacy and legality of the use of force.

We are pleased to announce that His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the Secretary of State of the Holy See will be attending the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, slated for September 14-16.

RESOLUTION ON HUMAN CLONING

The debate on human cloning at the United Nations was tabled four years ago. Right from the start, there was a split between the supporters of a total ban of human cloning and those who supported a partial ban, that is to say a ban on reproductive cloning that would still permit therapeutic cloning. The Holy See is in favour of a total ban because, given the apparent medical promise to be found in the use of stem cells taken from adult human beings, the use and destruction of embryos in order to harvest cells is intolerable. On February 18, 2005 the General Assembly finally adopted a resolution that asks States to prohibit all forms of cloning contrary to human dignity and the protection of life.

Projects

The Path to Peace Foundation has received the following thank you notes for the various projects we have supported:
a donation was made to the Diocese of Baton Rouge in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Deborah A. Roe, M.S.W., Executive Director of Catholic Community Services, wrote: "We are proud to be a recipient of this gift."

a donation was given to support a high school in the Ivory Coast run by religious sisters. "Your contribution will help me to support the indefatigable work of the Sisters who have built and run a school for the cultural and professional formation of young girls in the region of Abidjan" –Msgr. Luciano Suriani.

from Fr. José Manuel Acosta of Colombia, we received the following: "In the name of the Family Ministry of the Diocese of Pereira, I wish to express to you our sincere appreciation for your support of our work and the good of families."

a donation was sent to Vietnam to help with the installation of sanitation tanks in the Province of Long XuyLn, located in the region of An Giang. The pastor of the village, Fr. NguyLn Tân Khoa writes: "Right after we received your message, we started the project. Everybody has a great joy and enthusiasm. Everybody thanks you and prays for you. May God bless you."

News Brief

JOHN PAUL II's LEGACY

Among the last words uttered by Pope John Paul II, those who were near him tell us that he was pleased to know that thousands of young people were praying in St. Peter's Square to be with him in his last hours. He said: "I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you."

To honor and treasure Pope John Paul II*s special trust and support for young people, the Path to Peace Foundation would like to establish a program at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations to give students a broader exposure to the moral and social teaching of the Catholic Church in the line of John Paul II.

As we are still in the planning phase, we invite anyone with suggestions or comments to please submit them to the Board of Directors. Your input is most welcome.

MEMORIAL TO A "SERVITOR PACIS"

The Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi has requested some assistance in aiding children and schools in memory of the late Archbishop Michael Courtney, the former Nuncio who was brutally murdered in December 2003, and the posthumous recipient of the Path to Peace Servitor Pacis Award in September 2004. This is certainly a cause worthy of support. You may send your tax deductible contribution to the PTP Foundation. Please earmark your gift "Burundi."