Speeches 2003 - Saturday, 1 March 2003
Tuesday, 4 March 2003
Dear Brother Bishops,
1. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rm 1,7). With fraternal affection I warmly welcome you, the Bishops of Scotland, on the occasion of your first visit ad Limina Apostolorum in this new millennium. Our meetings give us the opportunity to affirm once again our collegial communion and to deepen the bonds of love and peace which support and encourage us in our service of the Church of Christ. I join you in thanking God for the faith and dedication of the priests, deacons, Religious and laity whom you have been called to shepherd in love and truth. In your local communities we see the marvellous power of the Holy Spirit, "who down the centuries has drawn from the treasures of the Redemption achieved by Christ and given new life to human beings, sanctifying them so that they can repeat with Saint Paul: ‘We have received.... the Spirit which is from God’ (1Co 2,12)" (Dominum et Vivificantem DEV 53). It is this same Spirit who guides us into all truth (cf. Jn Jn 16,13) and who impels us in this new millennium to start out anew, sustained by the hope which "does not disappoint" (Rm 5,5).
2. The reports you have brought from your various Dioceses attest to the new and demanding situations which represent pastoral challenges for the Church today. In fact, we may observe that in Scotland, as in many lands evangelized centuries ago and steeped in Christianity, there no longer exists the reality of a "Christian society", that is, a society which, despite human weaknesses and failings, takes the Gospel as the explicit measure of its life and values. Rather, modern civilization, although highly developed from the standpoint of technology, is often stunted in its inner depths by a tendency to exclude God or keep him at a distance. This is what I referred to in my Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente as "the crisis of civilization", a crisis which must be countered by "the civilization of love, founded on the universal values of peace, solidarity, justice and liberty, which find their full attainment in Christ" (No. 52). The new evangelization to which I have summoned the whole Church (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte NM 40) can prove a particularly effective instrument for helping to usher in this civilization of love.
Of course, the new evangelization, as all authentic Christian evangelization, must be marked by hope. For it is Christian hope that sustains the proclamation of the liberating truth of Christ, enlivens faith communities and enriches society with the values of the Gospel of life, which always upholds the dignity of the human person and enhances the common good. In this way, Christian life itself is revitalized and pastoral initiatives are more readily directed towards their one true end: holiness.In fact, holiness is an intrinsic and essential aspect of the Church: it is by holiness that both individuals and communities are configured to Christ. Through baptism, the believer enters into the holiness of God himself, being incorporated into Christ and made a dwelling place of his Spirit. Thus, holiness is a gift, but a gift which in turn becomes a task, a duty "which must shape the whole of Christian life" (Novo Millennio Ineunte NM 30). It is a mark of authentic Christian discipleship, attainable by all who truly desire to follow Jesus with all their heart and all their mind and all their soul (cf. Mt Mt 22,37).
3. The concept of holiness should not be thought of as something extraordinary, as something outside the bounds of normal everyday life. For God calls his people to lead holy lives within the ordinary circumstances in which they find themselves: at home, in the parish, in the workplace, at school, on the playing field. There is much in society that lures people away — sometimes intentionally — from the difficult yet profoundly satisfying quest for holiness. As shepherds of souls, you should never let yourselves become discouraged in your efforts to direct the whole of Christian life and the entire Christian community ever further along the path of holiness. Formation for all your flock in practical and joyous holiness, within the context of sound, theologically informed spirituality, must therefore be a primary pastoral concern (cf. Congregation for the Clergy, Instruction The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community, 28). It calls for the committed participation of all sectors of diocesan life. The work done by priests, deacons, Religious and laity in parishes and schools, and in the fields of health care and social service, makes an invaluable contribution to attaining the holiness of life to which all the faithful are called. It could prove particularly beneficial to enlist the active involvement of monastic communities and other communities of Consecrated Life, within the proper scope of their particular charism and apostolate, especially in projects aimed at the formation of young people in the school of holiness.
4. An important aspect of the new evangelization is the deeply felt need for an evangelization of culture. Human cultures themselves are not static but are constantly changing through the contacts that people have with one another and through the new experiences which they share. The communication of values is what enables a culture to survive and flourish.Cultural context itself permeates the living out of the Christian faith, which in turn contributes to the shaping of that context. Christians are called, therefore, to bring the unchanging truth of God to every culture. And since "the community of the baptized is marked by a universality which can embrace everything", the faithful are to be helped to foster whatever is implicit in different cultures "to the point where it will be fully explicit in the light of the truth" (Fides et Ratio FR 71).
In societies where faith and religion are seen as something that should be restricted to the private sphere, and therefore as having no place in public or political debate, it is of even greater importance that the Christian message should be clearly understood for what it is: the Good News of truth and love which sets men and women free. When the foundations of a specific culture rest on Christianity, the voice of Christianity cannot be silenced without seriously impoverishing that culture. Moreover, if culture is the context in which the individual transcends himself, then removing the Absolute from that context, or pushing it off to one side as irrelevant, results in a dangerous fragmentation of reality and gives rise to crises, as culture will no longer be able to present to the younger generation the source of meaning and wisdom which it ultimately seeks. For this reason, Christians should be united in diakonia to society: in a true spirit of ecumenical cooperation, with your active participation, Christ’s disciples must never cease to make present in all areas of life — public and private — the light which the Lord’s teaching sheds upon the dignity of the human person.
This is the light of truth that dispels the darkness of selfish interests and social corruption, the light that illuminates the path of just economic development for all. And Christians are not alone in the task of making this light shine ever brighter in society. Together with men and women of other religious beliefs and with people of good will with whom they share common values and principles, your Catholic communities are called to work for the advancement of society and for the peaceful coexistence of peoples and cultures. Thus inter-religious commitment and partnership is also an important vehicle for serving the human family. Indeed, when the light of truth is not allowed to shine forth in public debate, error and illusion are easily multiplied and often come to dominate in policy decisions. This situation becomes all the more critical when those who have lost or abandoned belief in God attack religion: a new strain of sectarianism can emerge which is as bitter as it is tragic, adding a further element of divisiveness within society.
5. In the task of the new evangelization, there is perhaps no group to which you will want to be more attentive and show more concern than your young people. They are the new generation of builders who will respond to humanity’s aspiration for a civilization of love marked by true freedom and authentic peace. At the World Youth Day last year in Toronto, I confidently entrusted this very duty to them and I encourage you to do the same, giving them every available assistance in meeting this challenge. From your reports, I am pleased to see that the youth of Scotland are showing enthusiasm for their faith and a steadily increasing desire to meet and work with you, their Bishops. The Church, as both mater et magistra, must guide them towards an ever fuller knowledge and experience in faith of Jesus of Nazareth: for it is Christ alone who is the cornerstone and sure foundation of their lives; it is he alone who enables them to embrace fully the "mystery" of their lives (cf. Fides et Ratio FR 15).
The powerful forces of the media and the entertainment industry are aimed largely at young people, who find themselves the target of competing ideologies which seek to condition and influence their attitudes and actions. Confusion is created as youth are beset by moral relativism and religious indifferentism. How can they come to grips with the question of truth and the requirements of consistency in moral behaviour when modern culture teaches them to live as though absolute values did not exist, or tells them to be content with a vague religiosity? The widespread loss of the transcendent sense of human existence leads to failure in moral and social life. Your task, dear Brothers, is to show the tremendous relevance for contemporary men and women — and for the younger generation — of Jesus Christ and his Gospel: for it is here that the deepest human aspirations and needs find fulfilment. The saving message of Jesus Christ needs to be heard anew in all its freshness and power, so that it can be fully experienced and savoured!
6. In speaking of the new evangelization, we are not presenting a "new programme" but taking up once more the call of the Gospel as embodied in the living Tradition of the Church. Nevertheless the revitalization of Christian life does require pastoral initiatives adapted to the actual circumstances of each community, built upon dialogue and shaped by the participation of the various sectors of God’s holy people. Joint efforts on the part of Bishops, priests, deacons, Religious and laity are essential for addressing issues of grave concern not only for the Church but for the whole of Scottish society. Marriage and family life represent two areas where such cooperation is not only advisable but necessary: in this regard I am pleased to note the forthcoming gathering of the Bishops of Scotland with agencies involved in these very fields. Another matter which the combined energies of all the faithful will prove particularly valuable in addressing is the welcome which your communities can give to refugees and asylum-seekers, especially through programmes aimed at assistance, education and social integration. Similarly, the process of consultation and planning upon which you embarked in respect to the question of Scottish seminaries shows the importance of a collaborative approach in dealing with urgent matters relating to the Church at the national, diocesan or local level.
7. Priestly formation of course remains one of your highest priorities. It is essential that candidates to the priesthood should be firmly grounded in a relationship of deep communion and friendship with Jesus the Good Shepherd (cf. Pastores Dabo Vobis PDV 42). Without this personal relationship, through which we "talk heart to heart with the Lord" (Instruction The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community, 27), the quest for holiness, which marks the priesthood as a life of intimacy with God, would be absent and not only the individual priest but the entire community would be impoverished. Today more than ever the Church needs holy priests whose daily journey of conversion inspires in others the desire to seek the holiness which the whole People of God is called to pursue (cf. Lumen Gentium LG 39). Men in formation for priesthood, as they prepare to be instruments and disciples of Christ the eternal priest, must therefore receive every assistance in striving for a life truly marked by poverty, chastity and humility, in imitation of Christ, the Eternal High Priest, of whom they are to become living icons (cf. Pastores Dabo Vobis PDV 33).
In this same context, we may note that the permanent formation of the clergy is rightly viewed as an integral part of priestly life. In my Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, I have already commented on and further articulated the Second Vatican Council’s call for post-seminary training (cf. Optatam Totius OT 22). Without repeating everything said in that document, I would like to stress that "the ongoing formation of priests, whether diocesan or religious, is the natural and absolutely necessary continuation of the process of building priestly personality" (No. 71). I urge you always to look upon your priests as "sons and friends" (Christus Dominus CD 16) and to take their welfare to heart in the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral aspects of their priestly life: be close to them, listen to them and encourage fraternity and fellowship among them.
8. Dear Brothers, these are some of the thoughts which your visit to the tombs of the Apostles brings to mind. With thanksgiving and affection I share these reflections with you and encourage each of you in your role as "a true father" to your people, in the image of the Good Shepherd "who knows his sheep and whose sheep know him" (cf. Jn Jn 10,14). I assure you of my prayers as you "preach the word in season and out of season, convincing, rebuking and exhorting, with unfailing patience and teaching" (cf. 2Tm 4,2). Yours is the sublime duty of proclaiming the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ: fulfil this duty in the confident knowledge that the Holy Spirit continues always to guide and enlighten you. The message of hope and life which you announce will not fail to evoke fresh fervour and a renewed commitment to Christian living in Scotland. In this Year of the Rosary, I commend you to Mary, "Star of the New Evangelization", that she may sustain you in pastoral wisdom, strengthen you in fortitude and enkindle in your hearts love and compassion. To you and the priests, deacons, Religious, and lay faithful of your Dioceses, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
To my Venerable Brother in the Episcopate
Bishop Jayme Henrique Chemello
President of the Bishops' Conference of Brazil
"Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain wisdom of heart" (Ps 89 ,12).
With special affection I greet the Bishops of Brazil and all the people of this beloved nation who, on Ash Wednesday, begin their journey towards Easter with the mandate for action from a new Campaign of Fraternity whose motto this year is: "Life, Dignity and Hope".
The sincere call to reflect more deeply, during the Lenten season, on the topic of brotherly relations with the elderly, can be classified as "wisdom". The elderly are asked to live in their lives the plan that God has for each one, repeating with the Psalmist, "I do not turn aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me" (Ps 118,102). For their part, the certainty that the span of life reaches a limit induces them to weight all things in the light of divine truth, recognizing the relativity of every other reality. Every human life, despite its limitations and sufferings, always retains its real value and must be accepted until it comes to its end. For the Christian, it "can be seen ... as a "passage', a bridge between one life and another, beween the fragile and uncertain joy of this earth to that fullness of joy which the Lord holds in store for his faithful servants" (Letter to the Elderly, n. 16).
The Church, expert in humanity, out of obedience to the Redeemer's mandate, points the way to our spiritual and human good, a way of reconciliation and penance that passes through personal conversion and solidarity with one's neighbour. Today, the special need for this solidarity with the elderly is due to the prolonging of the average lifespan which medical progress has made possible.
Old age has always existed, but today it has special features due to the greater life expectancy for everyone. It is therefore necessary to plan immediately to help these brothers and sisters. This demands a change of mentality: there is an urgent need to replace the utilitarian and materialistic culture that calculates a person's worth on the basis of what he produces and consumes, with a culture that recognizes the "absolute" value of each person, regardless of his ability or productivity.
I wish and hope that the social and health-care programmes for the elderly may be revived and expanded, not only by public and private institutions, but also by diocesan programmes of pastoral care. I think of all the elderly of Brazil, of widowers and widows, of ageing men and women religious, and of my dear brothers in the priesthood. I send my warm embrace and encouragement to those who are living in homes for the elderly, in nursing homes, hospitals, and especially to the poor, so that they may not lose heart. If God permits suffering because of illness, loneliness or for any other reason, "he always gives us the grace and strength to unite ourselves with greater love to the sacrifice of his Son and to share ever more fully in his plan of salvation" (ibid., n. 13).
I impart to all our beloved elderly Brazilians to show appreciation for their valuable presence in society and as a pledge of abundant favours from God, a special Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 4 January 2003.
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear Roman Priests,
1. This year our regular meeting at the beginning of Lent takes place, as Cardinal Ruini, Vicar of Rome, has pointed out, during the 25th year of my pastoral service as Bishop of Rome. It is an observance that recalls the priestly ministry in which the Bishop and his priests are closely united in the consciousness of the gift that God has given them and in the obligation to "reciprocate", joyfully spending their lives in the service of Christ and their brethren.
I greet you, one and all with affection, and I thank you for your generous service to the Church of Rome. I thank you especially for the climate that we enjoy together today: a special climate, which I would describe as open. I greet and thank the Vicar, Cardinal Ruini, the Vicegerent, the Auxiliary Bishops and those who have had kind words for me.
2. "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (Jn 20,21). "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me" (Mt 10,40).
The two assertions of Jesus contain the mystery of our priesthood, that finds its truth and identity in being the derivation from and the continuation of Christ and of the mission he received from the Father.
Two other words spoken by Jesus help us enter more deeply into this mystery. The first concerns Him in person: "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing" (Jn 5,19). The second is addressed to us and to all our brothers and sisters in the faith: "Without me you can do nothing" (Jn 15,5). This repeated "nothing" sends us back to Christ and from Christ to the Father. It is the sign of our total dependence, of the need for detachment from ourselves, but it is also the sign of the greatness of the gift that we have received. United with Christ and with the Father, we can indeed forgive sins and say the words over the bread and wine, "This is my Body ... this is my Blood". In the celebration of the Eucharist, we truly act "in the person of Christ". What Christ accomplished on the altar of the Cross and what earlier still He had instituted as a sacrament in the Upper Room, the priest now renews by the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Pope John Paul II, Gift and Mystery, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1996, p. 93).
3. Dear brother priests of Rome, this requires us, in the exercise of our ministry and in our lives, to be truly men of God. Not only the faithful who are close to us, but those who are weak and uncertain in their faith and far from the practice of Christian life are not immune to the presence and witness of a priest who is truly "a man of God": on the contrary, to the extent that they know him, they respect him and tend to be open with him.
For this reason, it is very important that we priests be the first to respond sincerely and generously to the call to holiness that God addresses to all the baptized. The royal and indispensable way to advance on the path of holiness is prayer: being with the Lord, we become friends of the Lord, his attitude gradually becomes our attitude and his heart our heart. If we truly want our communities to be "schools of prayer" (cf. Novo Millennio ineunte NM 33), we must first be men of prayer, then in the school of Jesus, Mary and the saints, teachers of prayer.
The heart of Christian prayer and the key to the mystery of our priesthood is certainly the Eucharist. For this reason, for each one of us the celebration of the Mass can only be the centre of our life and the most important moment of each day. Dear brothers, we really have no alternative! If we do not try humbly and confidently, to make progress on the path of holiness, we end up by being content with little compromises that gradually become more serious and can even result in the open or hidden betrayal of that special love which Christ has shown us by calling us to the priesthood.
4. The gift of the Spirit who unites us with Christ and the Father, binds us indissolubly to the Body and the Spouse of Christ, which is the Church. To be priests according to the heart of Christ, we must love the Church as he loved her by giving himself up for her (cf. Eph Ep 5,25). We must not be afraid of being identified with the Church, giving ourselves for her. We must genuinely and generously be men of the Church.
The priest's bond with the Church develops according to the formative Christological pattern of the Good Shepherd who is both head and servant of the people of God. The priest is essentially a man of communion, who never tires of building the Christian community as "a house and school of communion" (cf. Novo Millennio ineunte NM 43). The Synod which we celebrated [for the diocese of Rome] from 1986 to 1993, was a great concrete school of communion for the entire Diocese of Rome, and now the task of the priest is to translate the message of the Synod into the daily life of the community. However, this requires that he should first know how to give an example and a witness of communion in the presbyterate of diocese, and in his relations with the priests who live and carry out their own ministry in the same parish or community. Pastoral experience confirms that priestly communion greatly contributes to the credibility and fruitfulness of the ministry, according to Christ's words: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13,35).
5. Dear Brothers, after the Synod we lived the City Mission and now our diocese is firmly involved in giving a definite missionary orientation to pastoral activity.
In the daily exercise of our ministry, we must form a truly missionary consciousness in the faithful close to us, so that our communities may gradually become genuine evangelizing communities and each believer may do his/her best to be a witness of Christ everywhere. It is in this way that we fulfil more fully and genuinely the "gift" and "mystery" of our priesthood.
Indeed, the ministerial priesthood of the New Testament by its nature is an apostolic priesthood, since it is handed on to the community through "apostolic succession", that is, the transmission of the ministry and charism of the Apostles to the bishops. Through the priesthood of the bishop, the priesthood of priests "is incorporated into the apostolic structure of the Church" (Pastores dabo vobis PDV 16), thereby participating in her essentially missionary orientation.
6. Dear Brothers in the priesthood, let us never tire of being witnesses and heralds of Christ, let us never be discouraged by the difficulties and obstacles we find either within us, in our human frailty, or in the indifference or lack of understanding of those to whom we are sent, including sometimes the persons who are close to us.
Whenever difficulties and temptations weigh on our hearts, let us very much remember the greatness of the gift we have received to be able in our turn to "give with joy" (cf. II Cor 9,7). Indeed, in the confessional above all, but also in our whole ministry, we are witnesses and instruments of divine mercy, we are and should be men who know how to instil hope and perform a work of peace and reconciliation.
Dear Brothers, it is to this that God has called us with a special love of choice and God deserves our entire confidence: His will for salvation is greater and more powerful than all the sin of the world.
Thank you for this chance to be together. Thank you too for the gift of the book, fresh from the press, which brings together all the texts of my talks to you at the beginning of Lent, since 2 March 1979. I also hope that this initiative will serve to keep alive and fruitful the dialogue that has been taking place among us in the course of these years.
And it is already 25 years! This is the 25th year. My priestly life began in 1946, with the ordination that I received from the hands of my great predecessor in Kraków, Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha.
After 12 years I was called to the episcopate, in 1958. Since 1958, I have spent 45 years of episcopate: that is enough!... Of these 45 years, I spent 20 in Kraków, first as Auxiliary then as Vicar Capitular, then as Metropolitan Archbishop and Cardinal; but 25 years in Rome! With these figures you see that I have become more Roman than "Krakovian". But all this is Providence.
Today's meeting reminds me of all my meetings with the priests in my first Diocese of Kraków. I must say that there were many more meetings. Above all I was able to visit many parishes. But even in Rome I have visited 300 out of 340.... A few are still left! I can say that I am living with this capital that I accumulated more or less in Kraków; a capital of experiences, but not only, also of reflections, of all that my priestly and then episcopal ministry has given me.
I must confess to you parish priests that I have never been a parish priest. I have only been a parochial vicar! And then above all I was a professor in the seminary and university. My experience is more than that of a university chair. But even without a direct, first-hand experience as parish priest, I have always been in touch with many parish priests, and I can say that they have given me the experience that they had. Thus I have made before you, during my 25th year, a sort of examination of conscience of my priestly life. I am deeply grateful to you for the words you have spoken to me, for the affection you have shown me and, especially, for your prayers, which I always very much need! Thus we have begun our Roman Lent, my 25th Roman Lent. I wish you a blessed Lent and a happy Easter! Easter is the centre not just of our Christian life but also of our priestly life! I offer you my very best wishes.
I warmly bless you all and, with you, I bless the communities entrusted to your care.
Dear University Students,
1. I greet you with affection and I thank you for your taking part, with devout joy, in this Marian vigil for the First European Day of University Students. I especially thank Cardinal Camillo Ruini for his kind words on your behalf. I also thank Mons. Lorenzo Leuzzi and all who have helped to organize this day. I also thank the choirs, the orchestra, Vatican Radio and Vatican Television Centre which have guaranteed the various radio and television link-ups.
I cordially greet the young people who have joined us with their Pastors from Uppsala, Bratislava, Krakow, Cologne, Fatima, Vienna and from several parishes in Ukraine. Thank you, dear friends, for your witness of faith and brotherhood! I formulate every good wish for your studies and for your plans for the future.
This evening we have prayed for Europe at an important juncture in its history. Young people can and must take part in building the new Europe, with their contribution of aspirations, ideals, study and work, creativity and generous dedication. In a special way, young Christians are called to proclaim and bear witness to Christ and, in His Name, to be builders of unity in diversity, of freedom in truth, of peace in justice, of that peace which the world needs particularly today.
Dear young friends, this evening I entrust to you a desire that is close to my heart: that the new generations be faithful to the lofty spiritual and moral principles which in the past inspired the fathers of the united Europe.
2. During this vigil in which I can sense the usual enthusiasm and faith of young people, our thoughts turn naturally to the World Youth Days. They are events that enable me to meet young people from the various continents, from one end of the earth to another, to listen to them and speak to them of Christ. Every time a special theme is offered for everyone's attention. For the next Youth Day, to be celebrated in every Diocese on Palm Sunday, since we are in the Year of the Rosary, I have chosen the loving words of Jesus to his beloved Apostle: "Behold, your Mother!" (Jn 19,27). This is a strong invitation to all of you, dear young people, to recognize and welcome Mary into your lives as Mother.
Young people of Europe and of the world, open your heart to Mary and docilely follow her example!
3. I now address you, dear young people of Rome, and make an appointment with you for Thursday, 10 April, in St Peter's Square. It will be an occasion of prayer and festivity, as this evening is. We will make together a solemn act of entrustment to Our Lady, asking her to watch over you and to protect your path as young people of the third millennium. On that occasion I will present to each one who is present a pair of Rosary beads asking you to say this traditional Marian prayer, so that it will also be more familiar to young persons today. The fervent praying of the Rosary can change the destiny of the world.
May this consciousness inspire you during the procession you will shortly make to the Church of St Yves at the University, carrying the icon of Mary Seat of Wisdom. I am united with you in spirit as, with affection, I bless you and your loved ones.
I wish to thank Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne for the cordial invitation given to me, who as you see, am not too young any more. Thank you for confirming it.
This television link-up is something wonderful. Here in Rome, in this audience hall, I can see the Church of St Ann in Krakow. It is a church that I know very well. You know that I came to Rome from Krakow and there I often visited that university church, prayed there, made retreats there. Pleasant memories.
They were not left orphans because they have another Cardinal, who can be seen on TV. Both can repeat, this TV is a wonderful invention. Even by way of the TV they can even applaud. That's all.
Today we have been in touch from Rome with Bratislava, Cologne with Cardinal Meisner, Fatima, Uppsala, Vienna, Wien with Cardinal König, we saw him; and Krakow with Cardinal Macharski in St Ann's. We should move to our conclusion, which means the Blessing, something serious, in Latin, making it even more serious. This Blessing should be received with the due spirit of devotion.
Speeches 2003 - Saturday, 1 March 2003