Fides | marras 10, 2023 | 0
FEATURED IN FIDES 7/23
Bishop of Tromsø, Norway, Retires
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from pastoral care of the territorial prelature of Tromsø, Norway, presented by Bishop BerislavGrgić. At the same time, Bishop Erik-Varden, O.C.S.O., bishop prelate of Trondheim, was appointed as apostolic administrator sedevacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same territorial prelature of Tromsø.
The Diocesan Feast Drew a Large Crowd
The opening Mass of the annual Diocesan Feast, which was celebrated in Turku on August 19, was attended by at least 700 people. The Mass was offered by Bishop Emeritus Teemu Sippo, with 15 other priests.
In his sermon the Bishop mentioned that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Fr. Johannes Michael Buckx (SCJ) having been ordained as the first Catholic Bishop in Finland since the Reformation. He also emphasized the great value of Mother Mary.
After the Mass, lunch was served in the facilities of the local Lutheran parish, and the work of charitable organization Caritas was introduced. Those present were invited to participate in the work, as well as to become members.
In the afternoon the remaining ca. 200 attendees gathered and walked to the cross in Koroinen, where the Diocesan Administrator Fr. Marco Pasinato gave the final blessing. In his short speech, Fr. Pasinato mentioned that many of the first Catholic Bishops in Finland had been buried at this very site in the 13th century. Indeed, the Catholic Church has deep roots in this country, and we can find joy in that we, 800 years later, still profess the same Catholic faith as our earliest Bishops.
The Pope’s Prayer Intentions for 2023
For People Living on the Margins of Society
We pray for those persons living on the margins of society, in inhumane life conditions; may they not be overlooked by institutions and never considered of lesser importance.
For the Synod
We pray for the Church, that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a lifestyle at every level, and allow herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the peripheries of the world.
World Youth Day in Portugal
The World Youth Day took place in Lisbon, Portugal in early August. The Saturday night Vigil and the Mass on the following morning together with the Holy Father were attended by ca. 1,5 million pilgrims. There were more than a hundred young people present representing Finland, as our Diocese, the Silta Club of Opus Dei, the Neocatechumenal Way, and the Lutheran parish of Mikaelinseurakunta from Turku each sent a group.
Sermon of Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Lisbon on the Feast of the Transfiguration
Back in Finland: Bishop Emeritus Returns to His Homeland
In the beginning of the year, Bishop Emeritus Teemu Sippo travelled to Germany, to the monastery of the Sacred Heart in Freiburg, where he had originally started his life in the order in 1969. “It was a return to the place where my priestly life, as well as life in the Order, had started. It was a much loved place and city for me. It was as if I had returned to my other home,” said the Bishop Emeritus. However, much had of course changed in the past 50 years. The Bishop found himself the youngest of the older priests, as well as the one in the best condition.
Little by little, the Bishop Emeritus started to feel that he had no specific task as a priest and a Bishop, which caused him to consider his life in Germany “not meaningful enough.” Meanwhile, he realized that his presence in Finland brought joy to people and that he clearly still had a task in Finland. This leaving Germany was not difficult. There is plenty for each priest in Finland to do.
States the Bishop Emeritus: ”I will do what I am asked. I want to do something for the Diocese, as people have hoped. It is also personally important for me.”
Secular Franciscan Order in Finland Turns 75
The Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) is celebrating the 75th anniversary in our country. This is a cause for both gratitude and joy.
This third branch has been a part of the life of the Order from the very beginning. In Finland the history of the Order in the modern times continued in year 1948, when Gertraud (Kerttu) Vornanen and Augusta Räsänen began their novitiate. They made their professions on April 22, 1948, which is considered to be the date of founding of the Finnish fraternity. It is interesting to note that there have not been any Franciscan monks or nuns in Finland since the Reformation, due to which the moderators of the group have been priests belonging to other orders (mainly that of the Sacred Heart), which has been allowed by the Vatican since the 1970’s.
St. Therese of Lisieux honored by UNESCO
On November 11, 2021, the General Conference of UNESCO Member States validated the registration of Thérèse of Lisieux for the commemoration with which UNESCO will be associated for the years 2022/2023, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary in 2023, of the birth of Thérèse Martin in Alençon, January 2, 1873.
Financial State of the Diocese in Mid-2023
The finances of our Diocese rest on the support of parishioners and friends. While we do receive some aid from Finnish and foreign organizations, the impact of these diminishes each year. Especially this year the aid from abroad has decreased. It is understandable that problems and insecurities in various parts of Europe are seen in the aid organization’s ability to donate funds to us. More precise facts about the financial state of the Diocese will be published later in the fall, and information can also be view in Finnish on the website of the Diocese at https://www.katolinen.fi/hiippakunnan-talous.
It is increasingly important to be independent in our funding. The central component in this is income from members (membership fees, Mass collections, and donations). The full expense of the functioning of the Diocese in recent years have been ca. 2,3-2,8 million euros. Income from members has covered about 40% of this. The financial situation would be more secure if we were able to cover 2/3 of the costs with income from members. The amount of income from members would in this case need to increase from 1 million euros to 1,6 million euros, which means that each employed member of the Diocese would, on average, give 60 euros more than the current amount. Unfortunately, currently some members do not pay the membership fee. While some have a valid reason for this, some do not seem to have such. It would be great if also those would begin to pay the monthly membership fee. Even a small amount would be very helpful if many persons paid it. This way we would make sure that the work of the Church will be possible also in the future, when the large foreign aid organizations are no longer able to support us to the current extent. It is also worth noting that the amount of income from members per each member is, in all Catholic parishes in Finland, much smaller than the amount paid in church tax by the members of the Lutheran and the Orthodox churches.