Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace
1. At the beginning of this New Year, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace to the world’s peoples and nations, to heads of state and government, and to religious, civic and community leaders. I wish peace to every man, woman and child, and I pray that the image and likeness of God in each person will enable us to acknowledge one another as sacred gifts endowed with immense dignity. Especially in situations of conflict, let us respect this, our “deepest dignity”, and make active nonviolence our way of life.
This is the fiftieth Message for the World Day of Peace. In the first, Blessed Pope Paul VI addressed all peoples, not simply Catholics, with utter clarity. “Peace is the only true direction of human progress – and not the tensions caused by ambitious nationalisms, nor conquests by violence, nor repressions which serve as mainstay for a false civil order”. He warned of “the danger of believing that international controversies cannot be resolved by the ways of reason, that is, by negotiations founded on law, justice, and equity, but only by means of deterrent and murderous forces.” Instead, citing the encyclical Pacem in Terris of his predecessor Saint John XXIII, he extolled “the sense and love of peace founded upon truth, justice, freedom and love”. In the intervening fifty years, these words have lost none of their significance or urgency.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased"
With these words of the angelic proclamation I greet my countrymen at home and abroad
Dear Friends of the John Paul II Foundation,
On this holy night the true Light came down
Pope Francis gives his traditional Christmas message and the Apostolic Blessing "Urbi et Orbi" to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square and to those listening to him on radio and television.
Pope Francis’s Christmas message 2016: full text
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!
Today the Church once again experiences the wonder of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the shepherds of Bethlehem, as they contemplate the newborn Child laid in a manger: Jesus, the Saviour.
On this day full of light, the prophetic proclamation resounds:
"For to us a child is born,
The power of this Child, Son of God and Son of Mary, is not the power of this world, based on might and wealth; it is the power of love. It is the power which created the heavens and the earth, which gives life to all creation: to minerals, plants and animals; it is the force which attracts man and woman, and makes them one flesh, one single existence; it is the power which gives new birth, pardons faults, reconciles enemies, and transforms evil into good. It is the power of God. This power of love led Jesus Christ to strip himself of his glory and become man; it led him to give his life on the cross and to rise from the dead. It is the power of service, which inaugurates in our world the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice and peace.
For this reason, the birth of Jesus was accompanied by the angels’ song as they proclaimed: "Glory to God in the highest,
On December 11 2016, the youth group of the John Paul II Foundation Indonesian Chapter, took 60 children (aged 6 to 10) of Atmabrata Foundation to Kidzania Jakarta, a small recreational park which provides children a safe, unique and very realistic educational environment where kids can role-play of real world professions, such as fireman, doctor, baker, news anchor, shopkeeper, etc. Atmabrata Foundation provides education for the children who come from poor fishermen families, unable to afford education by themselves.
The 60 children were accompanied by 25 volunteers from our Foundation. While role playing, the volunteers would chat, teach and joke around with them. The purpose of this one day trip is to educate the children of what possible future professions out there they can try to pursue in their future. It was a day filled with fun learning and to give the opportunity for the children to have dreams and goals.
We were joyful that we were able to spend time with them, to share the blessings we have received from our Lord and pass what we can to them. It is by giving that we also receive.
On Sunday, December 18, 2016, at the John Paul II Foundation Home in Lublin took place the Christmas Wafer meeting in the Ukrainian language initiated by Mykołaj Myszovsky, currently the editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian version of the Catholic magazine “Credo.” The meeting brought together dozens of people from Ukraine, although students from other countries who wanted to share the joy of this special day were also present. Rev. Oleg Zahruk was the main organizer of the Christmas Wafer meeting “Opłatek.” He was supported by a group of 40 people who were directly involved in the liturgy and preparation of the evening. The meeting began with a Mass celebrated by Rev. Andrii Hano. The homily was delivered by Rev. Oleg Zharuk. The Mass was also concelebrated by Rev. Jan Strzałka.
After the Eucharist, we all went to the hall where the rest of the event took place. At first, an excerpt from the Gospel related to the birth of Jesus was read. Then, Rev. Oleg Zahruk and Rev. Jan Strzałka spoke and wished merry Christmas and happy New Year to all gathered. Later, young people were breaking Christmas wafers and exchanging wishes. That part was followed by a humorous spectacle written by Viktor Buynitskiy.