83rd plenary assembly of the Czech Bishops’ Conference
Prague (CZ): The traditional ecumenical worship celebration at the eve of the January plenary assembly of Czech and Moravian bishops will be led by the representatives of churches of the Ecumenical Council of Churches (ECC) in the church of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in Prague-Vinohrady on Monday, January 24, at 6.00 pm. Prague Archbishop and president of the Czech Bishops´ Conference Mons. Dominik Duka OP will speak the homily.
The 83rd plenary assembly of the Czech Bishops’ Conference will take place from January 25 to 26, 2011 in the Augustine monastery at Malá Strana in Prague with the participation of all bishops from the Czech Republic as well as representatives of the Conferences of Major Superiors of Men and Women Religious Orders. On their first meeting this year bishops will beside others evaluate the life of the Church in the Czech Republic in the year 2010 and the work of church commissions. Furthermore they will deal with the development of the pastoral preparations for the year 2013, when we will be celebrating 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Ss. Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. They will also discuss the suggestion of the restoring memory of P. Prof. Alois Musil (one of the greatest scientists of Arabic culture) and the participation of bishops at the beatification of Pope John Paul II. in Rome in Mai 1, 2011.
The first day of the plenary (January 25) will be concluded by the Holy Mass in the Church of Our Lady of the Snow in Prague at 6.00 pm, which is as well as an occasion for public to meet with bishops. Jan Graubner, archbishop of Olomouc, will be the main celebrant of the Mass and Jiří Paďour, bishop of Česke Budějovice will deliver the homily. After that bishops will visit the exhibition to honour of 14 Franciscans at the occasion of the 400th anniversary of their martyr´s death in the premises of the Franciscan monastery.
On the second day of the plenary (January 26) bishops will open their program by a concelebrated Mass in the chapel of St. Barbora in the premises of the Augustine monastery, where the meeting of bishops will continue. Members of the Czech Bishops´ Conference will have the opportunity to meet the Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic archbishop Diego Causero during the common lunch in the Apostolic Nunciature.
Journalists will be informed about the outcomes of the plenary during a press briefing of Archbishop Dominik Duka OP on Wednesday January 26, 2011 at 3.00 pm in the premises of the Augustine monastery at Malá Strana. During the entire plenary meeting, press spokesperson of the Czech Bishops' Conference Ms Irena Sargankova will be available for the media through cell phone number +420 731 625 984.
Curriculum Vitae of P. Prof. Alois Musil
Alois Musil´s life work has certainly made him one of the greatest scientists of Arabic culture. His wide range of interest was concerning geography, religious studies, ethnography but also political issues of today's world. He was a specialist in oriental encyclopaedia research and his work even became valued for its diplomatic purposes.
Alois Musil was born June 30, 1868, in a farmer family in the town of Rychtářov by Vyškov. After graduating at a secondary level he went on with studies at a seminary. There he met Prof. Melichar Mlčoch, who influenced him with his interest in the Old Testament. In June 1895, despite very tough conditions, he was able to prepare and pass a doctor degree and he obtained the diploma.
Despite originally thinking of studying a subject of religious life aspects in Bohemia after 30 Years War, he took up biblical studies. This intention corresponded to the encyclic of Pope Leo XIII. called Providentissimus Deus. As a result, French Dominicans opened their Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem and Jesuits established the University of St. Joseph in Beirut. Dr. Musil decided to go to Beirut. He quickly found a good friend, an excellent arabist P. Louis Cheikh who became his advisor. He also started to learn about the country by taking up some trips and visiting historic sites like Petra and Palmyra. In that early stage, his most important trip took place east of Amman in 1898. During this expedition he found a little oriental palace called Kusejr Amra built in the first half of the eight century. Dr. Musil was surprised to see mosaic pictures and wall paintings inside. The most surprising though, was the finding of figural drawings, originating from the early stages of Islam culture. Musil's exploration was a breakthrough into a scientists and explorers. Musil kept on coming back to Arab world until 1917.
He became such famous specialist in Arab culture, that even Sir Edward Grey, the British ministry of foreign affairs, asked Musil to help him with demarcating the Egypt-Turkish Palestinian borders. In 1910 he worked with Dr. L. Kober on mapping the area of Hedjars track, two years later he accompanied Prince Sixtus Bourbon-Parma to Palmyra and Mesopotamia.
He was nominated as a professor of Auxiliary Studies of Orient and Modern Arabistic at the Charles University. Alois Musil worked for the Charles University until 1938. He was lecturing, writing and publishing.
On May 7, 1922 President T. G. Masaryk introduced Musil to an American industrialist Ch. R. Crane. Thanks to the help of both of these influential men, Dr. Musil could start publishing the results of his work in English. Musil's large work about the life and culture of Arab world came finally out within next three years and was called Oriental Explorations and Studies. The author was awarded the Gold Medal of Ch. P. Daly, and his name was embossed with bronze letters in society's Hall of Fame.
It was the March 12, 1938 when Alois Musil - aka Musa ar Rueili - died.