Funchal (Agenzia Fides) - "We hope that the commemorations of the 500 years of the Diocese may help to revive the memory of our values, to create new projects and new forms of the Church's commitment to the people and society of our time. We entrust to the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - our desire and our commitment to build apostolic Christian communities, to renew our feasts and traditions, to revive and intensify the missionary spirit of the institutions of the Church, so that it becomes more and more, a 'Church in mission!'. "This was written by His Exc. Mgr. Antonio Carrilho, Bishop of Funchal, the suffragan diocese of the Patriarchate of Lisbon, which includes the islands of Madeira, presenting the program of the celebrations for the 500 years of its creation.
Created on June 12, 1514 with the Pro Excelenti praeminentia Bull of Pope Leo X, Funchal was the first and largest diocese since the beginning of the expansion of the Iberian peninsula beyond the European borders. "In these 500 years, many wonderful stories of holiness have enlightened us", the Bishop recalls.
The "Jubilee Week" opened on Sunday, June 8, the Solemnity of Pentecost, with the administration of the sacrament of Confirmation, the presentation of a book on the diocese and a concert. Among the various events scheduled today, June 11, the first Mass celebrated in Madeira will be remembered, while tomorrow, June 12, the solemn Eucharistic Concelebration on the day of the 500 years of the diocese will be presided by the Patriarch of Lisbon and President of the Portuguese Bishops' Conference, His Exc. Mgr. Manuel Clemente. On Sunday, June 15, with the Diocesan Jubilee Assembly at the "dos Barreiros" stadium, the festivities will conclude. There will be a dance commemorating the 500 years of the diocese, and the solemn Jubilee Eucharistic Concelebration presided by the Special Envoy of the Holy Father, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. "His presence is proof of the recognition of the missionary dynamism that marks the history of this Diocese, which we desire to revive in the commitment to the new evangelization" wrote Mgr. Carrilho. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 11/06/2014)