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To journey, to build and to confess. Last month, the English translation of Pope Francis’ address
to participants in the pilgrimage of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem which took place on
Friday 13 September 2013, became a,vailable from the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Life Ethics Information Centre. The Holy Father’s words on that occasion not only offer an insight into the work of that ancient charitable order, but also offer guidance to each of us, as we make choices in our own lives, on how we spend our time and our resources.

Upon this Rock magazine is published monthly by EuropeAxess Media, Gibraltar. Editor: Fr. S. Chipolina: Production Editor: A. Sargent Cover: Marianne. Portrait by her father, Maurice Hook. Upon this Rock magazine is entirely supported by advertising and donations. It is run in liaison with the Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar by EuropeAxess Media Ltd. as a not-for-profit project. For Advertisers: This magazine is hand-delivered to homes, churches, hospitals and many businesses around Gibraltar every month. To discuss your advertising requirements, or promote your church group or charity, call Tel: +350 200 79335 email: Editorial is selected by EuropeAxess Media in liaison with the Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar. Neither of these parties is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained herein, nor do the views and opinions expressed herein necessarily reflect the views and opinions of either party. Advertisers are not endorsed by virtue of advertising in this magazine. EuropeAxess Media Ltd. reserves the right to refuse space to any submissions or advertisements. Efforts have been made to establish copyright owners of images, but if we have used your material, and have not credited you, please contact us to discuss restoration. The magazine is online – You’ll find exclusive gifts with a Christian message in the WebShop.


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Gibraltar’s Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem on a Pilgrimage of Faith to Rome where they took part in the Order’s World Consultation.


Pope Francis’ Address: ear Brothers and Sisters, you are gathered in Rome for the Order’s World Consultation which takes place every five years to reflect on the situation of the Catholic Community in the Holy Land, to evaluate the achievements and determine directives for the future. At the same time the International Pilgrimage is taking place with more than 2,000 participants. I thank you for coming and wish to express my appreciation and my encouragement for the initiatives of solidarity that the Order fosters in the Holy Places and that in recent years have been further developed and broadened. In this Year of Faith, your pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Apostle Peter is marked by prayer and catechesis on the theme of faith. Starting with these elements, I would like to let my thoughts be guided by three words that I already presented at the start of my ministry as Bishop of Rome, but that can also offer motives for reflection for your Order’s activity. The three words are: to journey, to build and to confess. 1. To journey. You are living the experience of pilgrimage, which is a great symbol of human and Christian life. Each one of us can either be a ‘wanderer’ or a ‘pilgrim’. The time in which we live sees so many people who are “wanderers,” because they lack an ideal life and often are unable to make sense of what is happening in the world. With the sign of pilgrimage, you show the world not to be ‘wanderers’. Your journey is through history. In a world whose confines are always broadening, barriers are being broken down and our journey is connected ever more closely to the journey of others. You are witnesses of the profound meaning, of the light that faith brings; may you preserve the great riches of values, of wisdom of the past, while living intensely in the present, committing yourselves to today with your gaze on the future, opening the horizons of hope through your work to give society a more human face. 2. To build. To journey in order to build a community, above all with love. The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has an almost thousand years of history: yours is one of the oldest charitable Orders that is still active. Established by the Custody of the Holy Sepulchre, it has enjoyed the special attention of the Bishop of Rome. To build with charity, with compassion, with love. In fact your pilgrimage has a charitable purpose, to benefit our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, especially those most in need who are living through a time of suffering, tension, and fear. With great affection I send them a greeting and an embrace, to all, Christian and nonChristian, assuring them of my daily prayer.

3. To Confess. However your journey to build is born of confessing in an ever deeper way the faith; it grows from continued commitment to nourish your spiritual life, from permanent formation to an ever more authentic and consistent Christian life. This is an important point for each one of you and for the Order as a whole, so that each person is helped to deepen his adherence to Christ: the profession of faith and the testimony of charity are closely connected and are the strong key points that qualify your action. Continued overleaf.

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Women of

Graduates celebrate The Women of Grace Study Programme leads women on and exciting journey to discover the gift of authentic femininity, holiness of life, and women’s purpose and mission in the world today. Taking the Blessed Virgin Mary as their exemplar and Spiritual Mother participants grow in the feminine virtues and the secrets of true fulfilment. The ladies taking the first course in Gibraltar met weekly for 18 weeks last year with a break over Summer. The sessions comprised of video tutorials which began with the course song and a prayer. The teachings were given by Johnnette Benkovic, a brilliant, engaging, inspired and inspirational speaker. The course materials are available in the form of a text book for study and a workbook


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successful 1st Course which is completed either before or during each session. Participants are expected to prepare modules in advance of the weekly ses-

sions, and indeed much personal benefit is derived from this. By scheduling the ‘prep’ as prayer time it becomes a way to enrich one’s spiritual life. The study time required for each module is approximately 40 minutes. course facilitators lead the group through each session providing a hospitable, even homely environment in which the participants are able to relax and share. The scheduled coffee break gave us less formal time to chat about what we had been studying and build friendships, as well as enjoy the cookies that the facilitators provided! The subject matter is very varied and very rich, providing solid teaching about our Faith, and women’s special place in God’s plan. Emphasis is placed on the mission to ‘aid humanity

in not falling’. But if that sounds a heavy burden, don’t worry, the Course provides the tools and helps individuals to identify support structures available to them so that they may succeed, each one in their chosen path. The first group celebrated their graduation with a Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, and the following week met for dinner at Charlies Bar and Steak House in Ocean Village. If you would like to find out more about the Women of Grace course, there will be an Information Session on Wednesday 8 January at the Catholic Community Centre, on the top floor in the Media Room. Or contact Monique Risso: moniquerisso@hotmail. com, Mob 56001313.

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Pope Francis has been named TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2013, ‘Most Talked About Topic’ on Facebook and has over 3.3 million followers on twitter.


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Person of the Year 2013 Most Talked about Global topic on facebook article mirrors the senti- named him the most Pope Francis celebrated The world ments of Father Lombardi’s influential statement, saying that “what leader on Twitter, this Pope so important as his @Pontifex as “The People’s Pope” makes is the speed with which he has account gets an captured the imaginations of average of 8,200 by TIME Magazine millions who had given up all retweets for every


Pope Francis has been named TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2013. He is the third Pope to receive this honour, after John XXIII in 1962 and John Paul II in 1994. The Head of the Holy See’s Press Office, Jesuit Father Frederico Lombardi, issued a statement saying “The decision didn’t come as a surprise given the great resonance and attention surrounding the election of Pope Francis right from the start of the new pontificate. The fact that one of the most prestigious awards to be attributed by the international press should go to someone who promotes spiritual, religious and moral values as well as calling for peace and greater justice in an incisive manner is a positive sign. As for the Pope himself, he’s not someone who seeks

fame and success, because he has put his life at the service of announcing the Gospel of the love of God for mankind. It is pleasing to the Pope that this service should appeal and give hope to women and men. And if this choice of ‘Person of the Year’ should mean that many people have understood this message–at least implicitly–the Pope is really happy about this.” TIME Magazine unveiled their choice with their article “Pope Francis: The People’s Pope.” Howard Chia-Eoan, TIME contributor, attributes this honor to the historic nature of his papacy, as the first Pope from the New World and from Latin America, and “..the fact that he’s given so many people so much hope and inspiration in the last 9 months, it’s only been nine months. No one else has done that this year.”

hope for the Church. Francis could bring the church into a new relationship with its critics and dissidents—agreeing to disagree about issues that divide them while cooperating in the urgent mission of spreading mercy—he might unleash untold good.” Pope Francis was also the topic most talked about by facebook’s 1.2 billion users in 2014 even though he was only Bishop of Rome for nine months of the year. It was not the first time he was trending on Social Media platforms. A July survey by Twiplomacy

English tweet. The Holy Father is well aware of the power of the internet and hopes to encourage followers to use the web for the New Evangelisation saying, “To proclaim Christ in the digital era is a special area of work for the youth.”

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• 65% of adults used the internet ‘on the go’ in 2013. Contact Angela Sargent on 20079335 for a no obligation chat about how EuropeAxess Media can raise awareness of your 2014 marketing campaign.

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Anne Mesilio

When all you can do is Marianne’s fight for life due to Chickenpox with unusual complications


rayer is a powerful force, often underestimated and if only we understood that it can move mountains surely we would never feel helpless? It is a direct line of communication with God;


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“Truly, I say unto you if you have faith and do not doubt... you say to this mountain, be taken up and thrown into the sea... it will happen. Whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith”. (Matthew 21, 21:25).


Young parents, Maurice and Myca Hook, learned first hand of this awesome might when their one and a half year old daughter, Marianne, succumbed to Chickenpox. Her seven year old sister Mireille had come through it with no difficulties two weeks earlier. Marianne was not so lucky, as her father explained “the first two days she was ok but then things took a turn for the worse, she was feeling unwell, running a temperature and vomiting, so Myca and my mother took her to hospital. Here she was checked for pneumonia, her chest was clear, she was started on antibiotics and sent home.” Watched over anxiously by her mother it became apparent as the day wore on that the little one was not showing signs of improvement, on the contrary as Maurice continued “For a very lively child she had no energy, seemed poorly, her skin was red and blotchy, and she seemed to have swollen up. This was very worrying so while I stayed with Mireille, Myca and my mother took Marianne back to hospital”. She was admitted to Rainbow Ward and started on intravenous antibiotics and when the doctor came around and was asked by the distressed family for an update his answer was enough to strike fear into troubled hearts “All you can do now is pray”. That is how it was left at that scary moment. “My mother by this time had had already made one phone call to friends for prayers.” Maurice told me as Myca continued with the story.

“At that moment you cannot believe what is happening to your daughter, you have to leave it all in Jesus’ hands and start praying, we only made two phone calls but the response was overwhelming.”

The call for this intercessory prayer was heard and answered at first in Lourdes and London but word spread as the child’s condition gave rise for greater anxiety, her lack of kidney function was ringing alarm bells. Maurice told me his mobile phone had to be recharged twice, due to the volume of messages and emails flooding in, there was such a wonderful response to the call for prayer. They had to trust, willingly, this burden into God’s hands, trust Marianne to His keeping,

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Pray to be comforted as they became anchored in the unwavering belief that He would help. Myca shared with me how, in the middle of that long night of worry “Suddenly I found a peace flooding into me and I had a sure feeling that she would get well, I felt the results of the prayers.” By the next morning she was substantially recovered, the treatment was beginning to work and when the doctor came round he told them she had been as sick as the hospital could cope with, had she gotten any sicker she would have required more specialised treatment outside Gibraltar. “That is when it really hit us just how seriously ill our daughter was.” She had developed a bacterial infection caused by group A streptococcus, a serious (and rare) complication of chickenpox which, if it spreads to the blood stream, can be life threatening. As Marianne began to recover, her parents started to appreciate the true power of prayer which

those two phone calls had generated. It reads something like this; the two Fathers Grima had offered Mass in Malta, Father Michael had offered his midday Mass, Rosaries had been prayed by friends, the Secular Franciscan Order

had offered Masses, a Minister of the Eucharist had come to hospital to offer the privilege of receiving communion, and on it went, an endless stream to heaven. The power of prayer is awesome, it brings us close to a listening God, and it brings

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home to us our dependence on His mercy, and for those like Maurice and Myca ,deeply rooted in the beliefs, it is an affirmation. “We came to understand the dark side of chickenpox.” Continued overleaf.

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Maria Pin

When all you can do is continued...

This experience brought home the fact that these common childhood illnesses cannot be taken lightly. Often they pass without incident, of course, but if the child’s symptoms worsen, parents/carers should immediately seek medical advice. Maurice and Myca showed courage in their willingness to share this story as a thank you to all who offered prayers which Myca feels produced a ‘miracle’ in restoring her daughter to health. They are sincerely and immensely thankful that though this worrying time, they found the strength, with help, to pray, to demonstrate the love of Christ as a power in all our lives. “All you can do is pray” was indeed a chilling remark which galvanised the need for intercessory prayer, the most powerful force known to humanity. Jesus promised “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my father in heaven”. (M18; 10).


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Cross Border

In November two young people from the YouFra in Spain visited the Rock accompanied by Cloti, the National Minister for Franciscan Youth in Spain.


Here follows a rough translation of their experience. f we had to sum ​​up the visit to Gibraltar this weekend, we could sum it all up with one word Family. You know when they say that you have to go to the wedding of some distant cousins ​​who you do not know very well, and you


are going to be there without knowing anyone? Well that’s how we felt at first. We went to Gibraltar because we were asked to talk about our way of life to a small group that want to form a ‘YOUFRA’ there. But to our surprise, when we arrived, we

found a lot of people had heard of us, and treated us as if we were lifelong friends. Hugs, smiles, questions, shared prayer, interest, affection, adoration, song and so on, without end. This is what we experienced that weekend. But above all, LOVE, love that only ONE can give us, that these brothers of Gibraltar have shared with us. We all know that there are issues getting in and out of Gibraltar, we know this from our own experience. But we have to say one thing. God does not make boundaries and flags, governments make them, the love of God transcends any barrier they can make.

Therefore we can not help but say THANKS, thanks mainly to Javier and Christine and the rest of the local fraternity of the SFO who so carefully organized this meeting in which we have

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Family been treated as one more of His fraternity. We’d also like to mention our beloved Cloti, the SFM who travelled with us, she looked out for us and we wanted for nothing, that is the fact. Now more than ever we know that the Franciscan Youth is part of something big, a family that has no end, that began with a humble man in Assisi and continues today thanks to the love that we have for each other within this great family. Maybe we went to an unfamiliar place, which at first seemed so distant and full of strangers, but we came away the wiser...

...Thanks be to God, we were reminded that we not only have family in our own land, but the Franciscan community is so big that everywhere you go, you will find a home, and a place to feel the warm love of family.



TAU T-SHIRT This design is based on the Tau rose window in the ruin of a 15th century convent, super-imposed on the mosaics found in one of the Vatican Basilicas, with part of St. Francis’ blessing to Br. Leo ‘May the Lord show you his face and be merciful to you.’

£14.99 witness wear Witness Wear is online at

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2013 Christmas

St. Bernard’s First School

Crib Competition T

he high standards of the Nativity Scenes in this year’s competition made judging very difficult. A total of eleven Homes, nine Schools and four ‘Places of Work / Clubs or Associations’ entered into the competition this year. Due to lack of space we have only shown the school cribs, but winner of the Home Cribs was Mrs Fenella Ferrary

and Family. Winner of Places of Work / Clubs or Associations was St. Bernardettes Resource Centre. A big thank you to this year’s judges, Mrs Bibi Garcia, Mrs Belinda Camilleri, Mrs Tina Mosquera, Mrs Mari Napoli, and Mrs Elvira Hook, and also to Mr Aaron Mosquera for the photographs.

Loreto First School


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Bayside School

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Loreto Middleschool

Governor’s meadow First School Sacred heart middle school

NOTRe Dame First School

Bishop Fitzgerald middle school

Governor’s meadow School

St. Anne’s Middle School

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Anne Mesilio

GOLDEN YEARS “At 10.30am on a rather wet morning which later brightened up, I married Miss Lilian Borastero at the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned with his Lordship the Bishop John Farmer Healy officiating.” Manolo Gomez shared his memory with me as he recounted their wedding day, 50 golden years ago on September 14th 1963. Later at the reception it transpired that the lovely bride and the Bishop shared in common the fact that they had both been born in Jamaica where Gibraltarians had been evacuated to during World War two. Later that day another wedding took place, that of Manolo’s friend since school days, Johnny Llamas who married Miss Marie Carmen Netto at St. Joseph’s church. Both marriages and friendships have endured and


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both couples celebrated with a holiday as indeed they shared their honeymoon trip through Spain, France and Italy, 50 years ago. In this 21st century of technological advances once undreamed of and mans quest of ever pursuing new horizons, what keeps a marriage grounded. Especially after 50 years of this new ‘throw away’ society? Once the wedding finery is packed away the learning begins, not just about the person you have pledged your lifetime to, but also about yourself. This lifelong pledge has been seen by Pope Francis as “Promising love forever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love.” Historically, celebrating wedding anniversaries dates back to the days of the Holy Roman Empire when husbands crowned their wives with a silver wreath for their 25th anniversary and a golden wreath for the 50th anniversary. It certainly calls for celebrations when couples have



cherished their marriage through change, growth, stumbles, and the sharing of sad and happy times. By any calculation, 50 years is a long time, half a century even! It is indeed a solemn moment but one filled with joy and festivity. Once upon a time man communicated by way of smoke

signals but communicated is the operative word. Couples who share by listening and talking to each other with respect, warmth and love will keep a friendship alive in the relationship. The writer Anais Nin put it beautifully when she said, “Each friend represents a world in us,

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a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born”. I know we have been shot into the digital age of instant communication at the touch of a button, but nothing can beat switching off the television and mobiles, unplugging the phone and sitting comfortably to actually enjoy an uninterrupted chat together, this has to be the foundation of any marriage where ‘going for gold’ becomes a focus. Manolo, Lilian, Marie Carmen, Johnny and all those who will celebrate a milestone anniversary this year, my prayer for you...

“May the Lord bless and continue to guide and protect you within the holy bonds of marriage. May love and friendship help you overcome the challenges you may yet face together, and may you always rejoice in the gift of your love”.

The Annual Wedding Anniversary Celebrations Registration Form

Cut out (or photocopy) this form and hand it in to the Catholic Bookshop next to the Cathedral no later than the Saturday 11 January 2014.

Mr. & Mrs._ _________________________________________ Forenames: Husband _ ________________________________ Forenames: Wife_____________________________________

Neé_________________________________________________ Address_ ____________________________________________


Tel. No. Home________________________________________ Tel. No. Work ________________________________________

Mobile_ _____________________________________________ Date of Marriage _____________________________________ Church______________________________________________ N.B. If marriage took place outside Gibraltar please produce a copy of the marriage Certificate when handing in this form. This form should be handed in at the Cathedral bookshop as soon as possible and no later than Saturday 11th January. You can e-mail above detail/form to:

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Jan 2014 151  

The Power of Prayer

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