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Rectory of the Shrine

 

Purpose

1. To encourage and promote the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as well as the spirituality associated to the Solemnity of Christ-King, through various initiatives, both by means of publications and by the way the life of the Shrine is organized.

2. To impart the Message of Peace to visitors, by seeking to create an environment of Pilgrimage.

3. To sensitize the Church in Portugal for the Message of the Shrine.

4. To manage the current structures, to create new ones, taking into account what was said in the previous articles.

(2003 - …)

The Rector - Father Sezinando Luis Felicidade Alberto

Son of Francisco Claudino Alberto and of Maria Felicidade Jacinto, Sezinando Luis Felicidade Alberto was born in Azinheira dos Barros, Grândola, on June 19, 1970, the youngest of four children.

Attended Elementary School in his native town and High School in Grândola.

Studied at the Seminaries of Beja, Setubal and Olivais (Lisbon), and studied Theology at Portuguese Catholic University, in Lisbon. Was ordained priest on June 13, 1999, in the Cathedral of Setubal, by Bishop Gilberto Canavarro dos Reis.

On July 29, 1999, is appointed Pastor of the Parish of Quinta do Conde, Sesimbra, of which he takes charge on October 3 and where he remains until September 1, 2002.

From 2000 to 2002, while still Pastor of Quinta do Conde, exercises the ministry of Chaplain at the District Hospital of Montijo and of Diocesan Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Setubal.

Due to the death of Fr. Manuel Frango, Pastor of Azeitão, he is appointed Administrator of this Parish for the period of December 2000 to March 2001.

Still in 2001 he acts as Diocesan Assistant Director of the Movement ' Cursilhos de Cristandade' (Little Courses of Christianity) of his Diocese.

In July 2001 he is appointed Pastor of the Parish of Miratejo/Laranjeiro, of which he takes charge on September 8 of that same year. On December 20, 2008, he is discharged of his duties at this Community, staying only in charge of the Presidency of the Parochial Center.

On August 15, 2002, he is appointed Rector of the Shrine of Christ-King, in Almada, of which he takes charge on January 1, 2003.

On November 10, 2008, he is invited by the President of the Bishops Committee for Human Mobility to join a work-group to plan the creation of a National Service of Support to the Pastoral Ministry of Tourism, Pilgrimages and Thermal Spring Resorts.

He has made part, since January 2007, of a work-group planning to create an Association of Portuguese Shrines. On January 13, 2009, he is elected President of the Permanent Council of the newly-created Association of Shrines of Portugal.

Since being ordained priest, he helps run the Youth Movement of Fraternal Gatherings of the Diocese of Setubal.

Following the work of previous Rectors, his main preoccupation is the creation of better conditions for pilgrims and visitors.

To that end, he concluded the construction work being done at the All-Purpose Building, namely the residence for religious Sisters, dormitories for youths and dining halls.

With the conclusion of this Building, the Shrine can now begin its pastoral activity, including receiving groups.

The Shrine's grounds have been fenced off, so that new green spaces can be created, as well as picnic grounds and the plantation of hundreds of trees can be made possible.

The parking lot has also been improved, new restroom facilities installed and the existing Cafeteria and Religious Articles Shop renovated.

In order to better serve visitors and pilgrims, an old pavilion has been renovated and turned into the Reception Service. It is here that all the Shrine's services are computerized and the Shrine's official Internet Site is created.

A lot of restoration, remodeling and improvement work has been done lately, namely: total replacement of drainage pipes for pluvial waters; restoration of the Sacristy; renovation of the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace, adding works of art; creation of the Blessed John XXIII Hall; remodeling of the entrance hall of the zone of access to the elevator.

In the Hall before the terrace, the Chapel of the Confidants of the Heart of Jesus is built in 2008; there are deposited the relics of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Saint Faustina Kowalska and Blessed Maria do Divino Coração, all of them donated to the Shrine in 2007.

Having in mind to embellish the Monument's pedestal with works of art capable of expressing the great mysteries of the Catholic Faith, he arranges for the placing of the Ten Commandments, in bronze, on the Main Door of the Monument. The Creed, the Our Father and the Seven Sacraments, also in bronze, are in the works for the other three faces of the Monument.

It is also planned for 2009 the placing, above the Main Door of the Monument, of a bronze medallion allusive to the Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, in order to thus show the strong spirituality of this Shrine.

It is also planned for this year the inauguration of a hall dedicated to the Mercy of God, displaying several oil paintings.

Besides this, there is planned the inauguration of a Way of the Cross on the grounds of the Monument.

Upon Fr. Alberto's request, Architect João José de Sousa Araújo, artist also with links to the Shrine of Fatima, has come to collaborate by producing works of spiritual and artistic value.

It is to Fr. Alberto that the Patriarchate of Lisbon delivers the Chalice that Pope John XXIII donated to the Shrine in 1963.

Foreseeing the creation of a Museum dedicated to Peace, he begins a campaign for the acquisition of pieces of world figures linked to Peace, amongst which there stand out articles belonging to Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, Bishop Zacarias Kamuenho, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Upon his request, the old Tall Cross of the Shrine of Fatima is donated to the Shrine of Christ-King, on February 16, 2007, and inaugurated on May 17 of that same year.

In order to advance the spiritual dimension of the Shrine, he invites a religious Community to support that effort. This Community takes up residence, in 2005, in the Lodgings prepared for them in the All-Purpose Building.

For the purpose of better accompanying the life of the Shrine, he creates the Residence of the Rector in the All-Purpose Building, where he resides since 2004.

There are several projects in the planning, of which the most important is "The Study of the Strategic Framing of the Shrine of Christ-King within the City of Almada". This study was ordered by the Local Government and will be a reference for future infrastructures to be developed on the Shrine's grounds.
 

Economic Council

This Council, besides the Rector, is composed of three other elements named by the Bishop of Setubal for a term of office of five years.

Its main purpose is to help the Rector to deliberate and decide within his competence.

The matters beyond the competence of the Rector and respective Council are presented to the Diocesan Bishop for decision.
 

Pastoral Council

This council is to be created shortly and its purpose is to help the Rector in the spiritual and pastoral ministry of the Shrine.

It will be composed of the Rector, Chaplain, a member from the religious Community serving at the Shrine and four lay persons connected to the principal ecclesial movements present in the Diocese of Setubal.
 

Technical Office

This service is composed of the Rector of the Shrine, two architects and one civil engineer.

The main purpose of this Office is to help the Rector make decisions related to the construction of infrastructures, as well as to other projects involving the Shrine, namely opinions requested by the Local Government of Almada.