Thanks to donations by pilgrims a new hospice has been opened at Lourdes to house the tens of thousands of sick who visit the Marian shrine annually. The 350bed hospice stands across the Gave River from the grotto where the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
The modern centre complements facilities available at two other hospices, both 100 years old. In 1976, nearly 59,000 sick stayed at the old Lourdes hospices. They are staffed by volunteers.
,Pope Paul beatifies Spanish nun
Pope Paul beatified Sister Maria Rosa Molas y Valive, Spanish foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday. It was the 35th beatification by Pope Paul in his pontificate.
Sister Molas, born at Reus, near Tarragona, carried out an especially active pastoral ministry until her death 101 years ago on June II, 1876. The order she founded ministers in schools and hospitals and among the poor. Her nuns now work in four European countries as well as in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and the Ivory Coast.
Pakistan Cardinal's reconciliation call
Cardinal Joesph Cordeiro of Karachi, Pakistan, has appealed to his country's Catholics to promote reconciliation among opposing political parties. Since national elections in March, which parties opposing Prime Minister All Bhutto claimed were rigged, Pakistan has been paralysed by political tension. In the message, released in Rome by the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples the Cardinal said: -1-he Church is an integral part of the country's life, and we cannot be indifferent to what is happening around us. As a Church, therefore, it becomes our foremost duty to pray for peace and reconciliation in our country."
US Laity Secretariat established
America's National Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved a proposal to establish a Secretariat of the Laity. It is intended to assist the bishops in efforts to increase awareness of the role of the laity, and to act as a communications service.
Pope on 'living bread'
Christians must live with, in, and for Christ tis the "living bread" of their thoughts, acts and desires, Pope Paul told his general audience last week, He said: "The desire to have a relationship of communion, friendship and trust with Christ is made a reality through frequent reception of the Eucharist."
Buenos Aires priest disappears
Fr Carlos Bustos, OF:M, one of the few surviving worker priests in Argentina has disappeared in Buenos Aires, and it is feared he may be the latest victim of a series of attacks on priests working with the poor in shanty-town areas. Fr Bustos had already been threatened by the Argentinian authorities, and his friendship with five members of the Pallotine Cons, munity who were recently shot by the secret police had marked him as a potential victim.