ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE STAFF OF THE ITALIAN
TV CHANNEL TELEPACE (TV PEACE)
Saturday, 22 March 2003
Dear Telepace Staff,
1. Welcome to this meeting on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of your television channel. I warmly greet you, and, particularly, I greet your founder and director, Mons. Guido Todeschini, whom I thank for his words on your behalf. I cordially greet your relatives, the collaborators, volunteers, listeners to the radio, viewers of the TV channel and the whole family of Telepace.
I was happy to learn that, thanks to eight satellites, your transmitter's signal can now be received on every continent. What a long way you have come in 25 years! I give thanks to God for all you have achieved and I express my gratitude to you for daily making even further progress in developing this radio-television channel that proposes to take the Gospel of peace to the far ends of the earth.
2. Telepace! Its name expresses the objective that the transmitter wants to realize. Telepace wants to be the television of peace, of that peace which is the gift of God and a humble and constant human achievement. When war threatens humanity's destiny, as it does today in Iraq, it is even more urgent for us to proclaim with a loud and decisive voice that peace is the only way to build a more just and caring society. Violence and arms can never solve human problems.
Your channel has made this indispensable education for peace its aim right from the start. In fact, Radio Pace came into being 25 years ago, when Italy was going through a disturbing climate of violence and terrorism, to give "a voice to those who have no voice". You jealously keep a tiny transmitter as a reminder of those days. It was the first means of communication of your radio station from which, over the years, you developed your radio-television channel that today enables you to reach out to nearly all the regions of the globe.
3. For 25 years, trusting in divine Providence, Telepace has kept intact its charism, free from any, even financial, conditioning in order to serve God and the human person in the Church. Since 1985, in collaboration with the Vatican Television Centre, it relays the apostolic journeys of the Successor of Peter and brings his words and teaching daily to countless families in Italy, in Europe and, since last year, in many other countries of the earth. It is not limited to broadcasting events and programmes of religious and ecclesial interest, but stimulates and encourages the generous solidarity of television viewers. In fact, it presents cases of extreme need and appeals for concrete aid for students from developing countries and for other needy persons. It brings comfort to those who are lonely or neglected; with messages of hope it enters prisons and hospitals. Telepace informs, educates in the faith, encourages people to hope, stimulates them to solidarity and spreads the peace that flows from the encounter with Christ.
4. To all this can be added the spiritual assistance that Telepace offers its listeners and viewers by broadcasting the daily celebration of the Mass, the recitation of the Rosary, Eucharistic adoration, spiritual retreats, and the other times it reserves for prayer and Christian formation. During the Holy Year, for example, every day it broadcast the special evening prayer that was held in St Peter's Square. I also know that many persons, including nuns from various monasteries of contemplative life, "mystical antennae", as you call them, accompany you and support you with their prayers, while the sick, hospital patients and prisoners offer up their sufferings for your apostolate.
Dear Telepace staff, pursue your work with unswerving enthusiasm. A vast field for apostolic action opens before you. Be faithful to your mission to proclaim the truth about God and the human person. Spread in the Church and in the world the voice of Christ, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (cf. Jn 14,6), and be vigilant watchmen of his peace.
May Mary, Queen of Peace and Star of Evangelization, guide the progress of your channel so that you may communicate the joy, love and peace of Christ "our peace" (Eph 2,14).
I warmly bless you, along with Your loved ones and all the members of the great family of Telepace.
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