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JOYFUL GIFT Your weekly newsletter from the Chapel of Penha de França in Funchal

Edition #1 th Sunday 5 June 2011

Welcome to the Chapel of Penha de França, founded by António Dantas in 1622 and built on a “penha” or peak, by the sea. This soon became so famous a shrine that people came to it on pilgrimage from all parts of the Island, and in 1721 the chapel was restored and enlarged. When the Diocese of Funchal took possession of the chapel it was used for the bishops as a Country House or Summer Residence for many years. In the meantime, the Franciscans have been coming to Madeira to carry out apostolic duties however it was only in 1935, on Easter Sunday, that they founded the Franciscan Residence of Our Lady of Penha de França, with the request of Bishop D. António Ribeiro.

You are also more than welcome to the English Mass, a tradition

Capela da Penha de França Funchal, Madeira

that dates back to 1966, when Fr Rafael Andrade, having just returned from his first visit to England, complied to the Bishop´s request to start an English celebration. It was first held in the Church of Santa Clara but a few months later it changed to Penha de França. It was closer to Funchal and of easier access to the visitors. Fr Rafael presided this mass for over 20 years, until in 2007 Fr Bernardino took over the celebration, and still does today.

We also serve tea & coffee in the little house in front of the chapel (by the garden) so do come and join us! There is a Visitor’s Book if you wish to leave any comments, we look forward to hearing your thoughts! Have a lovely time in Madeira Island and we hope to receive your visit again soon. Find us on Facebook (Search for Capela da Penha de França) & Our blog

Thoughts on the Scripture Readings Brought to you by Chris Oliver, UK 5th June – Ascension


Gospel ended with Jesus commissioning the Apostles, the Ascension and the Apostles blessing God continually in the Jerusalem Temple where the Gospel started. Luke links Acts to his Gospel by repeating the Lord's promise of the Holy Spirit and his Ascension, after commissioning them to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. Acts will end in Rome after the gospel has been spread over all the known world. The first reading ends with the promise that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives, the place to which the Jews expect all the nations to stream for the Lord's return at the end of time. The early Christians expected the second coming to come soon. But we are "not to know" when it will be.

Paul opened his letter to the Ephesians by reminding them that God has made known to us the mystery of his "plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in Jesus". In this reading he describes the hope - i.e. confidence - that this revelation gives us. Matthew's Gospel ends with Jesus commissioning the Apostles to "make disciples of all the nations". Both Luke and Matthew, writing about 40 years after the Ascension, emphasise that Christians are to show their commitment by being baptised with both water and the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:1-11 Ps 46

Eph 1:17-23

Mt 28:16-20

Further Information,


From My Heart to Your Heart Brought to you from Father Bernardino, Madeira Cecilia’s Place


is an English tourist who attends Mass at the Chapel of Penha de França in Funchal every time she visits Madeira with her Family. Some time ago I had a back problem that bothered me for awhile with excruciating pains. My legs felt like they were ready to explode into pieces. Being the presider at the English Mass it was normal to look a little funny. Freddy Teixeira, like a father taking care of his baby, was always attentive to my movements and my pains. He had always a chair ready for me to sit down at the right time and at the right place even if it was not in the most appropriate of moments. Pain doesn’t choose proper moments. One day, in one of those worst days, Cecilia approached me after Mass and said, “Father, I will take you right now to the Hospital Emergency Room.” Cecilia didn’t offer to take me to the hospital. She commanded me, no questions asked. My answer was, “No, thank you. I will be fine. What I really need now is rest. I am going home, to take a good nap and I will be OK.”

Cecilia didn’t pay attention to what I said. She simply instructed me to enter her car and took me to the hospital. After spending six boring hours in the Emergency Room… waiting, taking exams and a million naps, I looked at Cecilia and asked, “Cecilia..! We hardly know each other. I don’t even remember seeing you before because you are always lost among those people attending Mass. You are English and I am Portuguese..! Why did you do this for me? Why did you worry and waste a beautiful Sunday afternoon to do this for a person you hardly know?” Cecilia’s answer shocked me deeply, she said “I believe that my place in the world is where I am needed.” Since then I made Cecilia’s answer part of my morning prayer. “Lord, let me find my place in the world today. Open my eyes, my years and my heart to see where there is a hurt to be healed and a need to be filled. That will be my place in the world today.” This is People Helping People. Fr. Bernardino Andrade []

Fr. Bernardino was born in Ponta do Sol, and together with his 10 brothers and sisters, grew up to be a true inspiration to us all. He was ordained in Africa, Mozambique and also lived in California for over 30 years, having finally returned to his homeland later in 2006. He has been presiding the English Mass since then, but wherever he is or wherever he goes he wins the heart of his community. He will always be known for his larger than life compassion and love for others, even if they are smelly, poor or fortunate. “He leads us by example,” Nancy Marquez, California (2006) “The best Easter Day Sermon I have ever heard. God bless you,” Steve W, England (2011 – from Visitor’s book)

Music for Everyone Brought to you by Vânia Fernandes voice & Larysa Makarova violin Vânia is a successful Portuguese singer from Funchal known for winning a reality music TV Show (Operação Triunfo 3) in 2007 and also representing Portugal in the Eurovision Festival in 2008. Her first solo album “Coração do Alto Mar” was released last summer. Larysa was born in Ukraine but has been in Madeira island for almost 8 years now. She has been playing the violin since she was six years old. Having dedicated her life to her beloved violin, she now teaches kids & grownups! She has also been performing in several orchestras and bands in both countries. 2

The World Seen from Rome Brought to you by ZENIT, the Catholic Church news agency Church Worried on Both Sides of Sudan's New Border - Secession of South Means Uncertain Future


violence in Abyei has people worried on both sides of Sudan's new border. Abyei is on the line that will divide North Sudan from South Sudan now that the southerns have voted to secede and are set to declare their independence July 9. The north recently sent its troops into the town and wreaked destruction. The violence threatens to complicate the whole plan of forming two separate nations. The Church is active on both sides of the line that will divide Sudan, and representatives from the northern Diocese of Khartoum and the southern Diocese of Torit have their own fears and hopes, noted Secours Catholique-Caritas France in L'Osservatore Romano.

July -- international debt and oil issues primary among them, Father Hakim Dario from Torit noted the strong will among southerns to proceed with independence. In any case, Father Modi asserted that "the Sudanese have become wiser" and "they know that if they take up arms, this will mark the end of the process of independence." Father Dario claims independence won't change the activities of either diocese, though he notes concern about his Christian brothers and sisters in the Muslimmajority north. "The Church will be much in the minority," he said, "and I fear that the persecutions that she already suffers will increase and that Christians will be expelled." The United Nations, meanwhile, is trying to solve the Abyei issue, as the international community awaits to see what the Sudanese will make of their future. Further Information,

While Father Jangara Modi from Khartoum spoke of the problems that need to be resolved before

Enjoying Funchal the Most Brought to you by Laurinda Machado, Windsor Travel


is definitely the month for music and fireworks. And what a

combination! Starting on Friday 3rd June, we celebrate the XXXII Madeira Music Festival 2011, with concerts every evening offering a variety of recitals, performers and genres for every audience. In June there is also the Madeira Fireworks Festival 2011 (Atlantic Festival), a contest where three international companies dispute a trophy, so on Saturday stroll down to the harbor around 10.30pm and enjoy the Pyromusical firework show! ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡

6th June (Monday) – Ensemble Organum @ Colégio Church 9.30pm 7th June (Tuesday) – Robert Andres & Honor O’Hea @ Baltazar Dias City Theatre 9.30pm 8th June (Wednesday) – Wiener Instrumental Solisten © Baltazar Dias City Theatre 9.30pm 9th June (Thursday) – Oxalys Ensemble @ Baltazar Dias City Theater 9.30pm (In the image above) 10th June (Friday) – Lilian Akopova © Baltazar Dias City Theater 9.30pm 11th June (Saturday) – Quinteto Pavão & Victória @ Baltazar Dias City Theater 6.00pm

Further Information, &


Food for Thoughts Brought to you by some great minds with even bigger hearts ♡ “Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

♡ “Help carry one another’s burdens.” – Gal 6:2 (Drawing inspired on Good News Bible – Today’s English Version) ♡ “Nobody frees anybody. Nobody frees himself by himself. We free ourselves together.” – Anonymous

People Helping People A small project founded in the Chapel of Penha de França to help those in need

Mother Theresa used to say that small things, done by small people, in small places can change the world. We are simply a small group of people in a very small island, trying to reach out for those who have lost all hope and love. Even more than feeding the hungry only once or many times over, our utopia is to take the poor from their condition of poverty by fighting injustices, supporting families, improving health, finding jobs and constantly fighting loneliness. Always with a helping hand and friendship, we try to meet the basic needs like food and rent. Afterwards we want to walk beside them until they get a job, recover their dignity and can stand on their own two feet. Maybe one day they can even help other people too. Our help is based on respect for human dignity and knowing that I have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another’s feet. Jn 13:14


If you identify with People Helping People, always remember that help has many forms (a kind word, a lift to the hospital, a birthday cake) and can be anywhere. Start your own People Helping People and lets create an international community that looks after one another. If you wish to know more about the project, don’t hesitate to contact Fr. Bernardino [] and remember, If you can’t feed one hundred people, then feed just one. [Mother Theresa] Finds us online on facebook searching for People Helping People We would like to express our gratitude to FIGOS in Garajau for always providing a fabulous meeting point, Fr Rafael for all the information on the English Mass, Fr Nélio for kindly giving the booklet on the story of Penha de França and all of you that, with your endless generosity, support this cause.

Editors: Laura Machado & Susana Costa © Funchal, 2011


Joyful Gift  

Your weekly newsletter from the Chapel of Penha de França in Funchal, Portugal

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