ASIA/MONGOLIA - Appointment of the Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar
03/04/2020

Vatican City - The Holy Father has appointed Father Giorgio Marengo, IMC, currently regional councilor of Asia, Superior for Mongolia and parish priest of Mary Mother of Mercy in Arvaiheer, as Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar , assigning him the titular see of Castra Severiana
Fr. Giorgio Marengo, I.M.C., was born on June 7, 1974 in Cuneo, Italy. From 1993 to 1995 he studied Philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy and from 1995 to 1998 Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University . From 2000 to 2006 he completed further studies at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, obtaining his Licentiate and Doctorate in Missionology. He was ordained a priest on May 26, 2001.
Since his priestly ordination he has held the following roles: Pastoral Ministry in Mongolia in Arvaiheer ; since 2003: Assigned to the Mission in Mongolia ; since 2016: Regional Councilor for Asia, Superior for Mongolia and parish priest of Mary Mother of Mercy in Arvaiheer.
AFRICA/NIGERIA - Elevation of the Apostolic Vicariate of Kontagora to Diocese and appointment of the first Bishop
03/04/2020

Vatican City - The Holy Father Francis elevated the Apostolic Vicariate of Kontangora to Diocese, with the same denomination and territorial configuration, making it suffragan of the Metropolitan See of Kaduna. The Pope has appointed His Exc. Mgr. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna, currently Apostolic Vicar of the same see, as first Bishop of the Diocese of Kontagora.
The Diocese of Kontagora with an area of 46,000 sq km is located in north-central Nigeria and includes the States of Niger and Kebbi. The Apostolic Vicariate was led by the Fathers of the Society of African Missions . The seat of the new Diocese is the same, as well as the Cathedral , the residence of the Bishop and chancellery.
ASIA/CAMBODIA - Covid-19, Catholics nurture faith with "spiritual communion"
03/04/2020

Phnom Penh - As Holy Week approaches, Catholics in Cambodia continue to stay at home, given the Covid-19 emergency and, given the suspension of religious services following the epidemic, nurture their faith with "spiritual communion".
The Cambodian government has also banned all public meetings, has imposed the closure of businesses and closed schools, imposing a "community quarantine". There are over a thousand infections in the country, with 17 deaths.
The leaders of Cambodia's Catholic communities have invited the faithful to stay home and participate in religious activities via online streaming. As Fides learns, many lay Catholics are promoting their faith through prayers, reading the Bible, parying the Rosary and other forms of devotion at home. "We are in an emergency situation. Since we are told to stay home, we cannot do anything other than carry out some domestic worship activities and maintain our faith and trust. We are in spiritual communion with our Priests and with other members of the community", says 23-year-old Catholic social worker Hun Sophea. "We continue to pray intensively for these extraordinary times to end soon", she added.
Another lay person, Kim Chea, tells Fides: "Like everyone else, we are blocked at home, but above all many poor people are affected. Furthermore, it is so bad that we cannot attend masses, especially during Holy Week. Depending on the situation, we are united with the universal church and pray hard that the world will overcome this pandemic with the grace of God".
According to Catholic lay woman Khieu Yi, "we pray the family rosary and recite morning and evening prayers. Now is the time to value our faith more than before".
With the lockdown, the woman said, "the poor are seriously affected, as thousands of people in Cambodia live by the day".
EUROPE/ITALY - Lebanese San Charbel "co-patron" of a large trade fair and exhibition center in the Italian city of Milan for Covid-19 patients
03/04/2020

Milan - Lebanese Saint Charbel, together with the Lombard San Riccardo Pampuri, will be co-patron of the new hospital set up in record time in the building of a large trade fair and exhibition center in the Italian city of Milan to host patients affected by the coronavirus epidemic. On Monday, March 30, during the blessing rite of the new health facility, the Archbishop of Milan, Mario Delpini, entrusted "this place of care and hope to the intercession of the saint doctor Friar Riccardo Pampuri and the holy Lebanese thaumaturge Friar Charbel Makhluf". Archbishop Delpini also addressed "Mary, mother of the sick, our prayer to obtain the divine blessing on this hospital, on those who designed and set it up, on the sick who will be welcomed there and on those who will do their utmost to serve".
Riccardo Pampuri the young doctor from Trivolzio who entered the Fatebenefratelli family, is a dear and familiar saint for many Lombard Catholics. And Lebanese priest Assaad Saad, at the head of the church of Santa Maria della Sanità in via Durini, entrusted to the Maronite community, reports to Agenzia Fides that "even before the pandemic many sick people came to Milan from southern Italy for cancer treatment. They asked to venerate the saint's relics before entering the hospital".
The mortal remains of San Charbel, a monk of the Lebanese Maronite Order, are venerated in Lebanon in the monastery of San Marone in Annaya, kept in a cedar urn. Countless healings, bodily and spiritually, of Christian and Muslim people are connected to the intercession of Saint Charbel, in Lebanon and throughout the world. The prodigious phenomena began to occur post mortem among those who prayed around the monk's tomb, which at that time oozed blood mixed with water. "The pandemic crisis is global", remarked Father Assaad - and perhaps the facto f having both Lebanese Charbel and Lombard Pampuri as patrons of the new hospital for coronavirus patients suggests that there is a universal horizon also in the intercession of saints, much need now".
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