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Below is text from the inaugural address given by Eric F. Spina, 19th president of the University of Dayton, during his installation ceremony April 4, 2017.

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you all for being here. Your presence and support mean more to me than you can know.

I thank all who helped create this four-day celebration of the University of Dayton community. While there are far too many selfless people to name, I express special gratitude to the chairs of the Inauguration Committee, Molly Wilson and Deb Bickford. Please know that I am deeply appreciative of everyone’s creativity, dedication, and hard work to make this such a joyful, meaningful moment.

I’ll begin my address with a few personal comments, intended to be short because, as my family knows, I am a bit of a sentimentalist, and if I allow myself to go unchecked, I will wind up fighting back sobs rather than just a few tears.

Karen and I have learned so much about ourselves this year in Dayton, and this year of discovery has revealed for me certain truths about my life. I am now able to see my life through a Marianist lens — a lens that has helped me to understand better the intertwining communities that have nurtured, supported, and shaped me over the course of my life.

I see more clearly than ever the family spirit of my Canisius High School community, the challenge and collegiality provided by my Princeton University community, the examples of care and loving provided by my community of cousins and siblings, the impact of colleagueship and mentoring received from half a lifetime of deep friendship in the greater Syracuse community, and now the warmth and caring of a Dayton community that has wrapped its arms around us. I’m especially grateful to the Marianists and trustees for your faith in me to lead this great university. All of these communities have made me who I am, and to my great joy, all are here today. I offer you a too-meager, but deeply felt, “thank you” for your love and support.

I want to end my personal reflections by dedicating my installation to my parents and family. Mom, Dad, and Julie: thank you for your examples of goodness, integrity, perseverance, and loyalty, and for showing me how to live a love-filled life. A son could ask for no better examples, no better parents. Beloved Karen, Kaitlyn, and Emery: you are my everything — my sun, my moon, my stars. Thank you for the joy and pride you bring me every single day, for filling my life with unending laughter, for your constant love and support. Very simply, I would not be here without you.

As we saw in the video, I invited the University of Dayton community this year to dream big, to imagine a future of extraordinary possibilities. This “strategic visioning” exercise, led so ably by co-chairs Paul Benson and Michelle Pautz, helped me learn about the University’s proud history and deep values. It also generated a wealth of creative ideas about how to maintain the heart and soul of the University of Dayton while aspiring for greater excellence. I’m deeply grateful to the more than 3,000 people who participated in this highly inclusive process. I have listened carefully and engaged deeply with the steering committee who worked hard to distill the conversations and imagine our future — not just tomorrow, but about where we want to be in 20 years, how we will continue to prepare servant-leaders and make a difference two and three generations in the future.

I hope my framing of our aspirational strategic vision does justice to the work and the hopes of so many.

Before sharing elements of that emerging vision, it is appropriate to pause and reflect on our history as we gaze toward a future of immeasurable opportunity. Our Historic Journey Together
We are stewards of an extraordinary legacy that began with faith, providence, and a call to serve. In 1849, Father Leo Meyer and three Marianist brothers traveled from France to establish a foothold for the Society of Mary in America. They started a primary school for 14 boys that has blossomed from those humble roots into a pre-eminent Catholic university with worldwide influence.
Our story throughout our 167-year history has been one of both humility and boldness. This is not a paradox for leaders in the Marianist mold, who pair selflessness and unwavering faith with courageous vision.

We lead change in the spirit of the founder of the Society of Mary, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, by bringing diverse people together in a common mission. Together, with God’s grace, we imagine our future and work collaboratively to create it.

The University of Dayton has quietly, yet dramatically, transformed itself by turning big dreams into bold moves — always with the common good at the center. That entrepreneurial spirit has shaped us, time and time again, allowing us to model innovation, creativity, and servant-leadership in service to our students, the Catholic church, the Dayton community, and the world.
My predecessor, Dan Curran, dramatically expanded the University of Dayton’s footprint, enhanced our physical plant, and introduced a groundbreaking four-year fixed-tuition plan in response to calls for greater accessibility.

Dan’s predecessor, Brother Ray Fitz, championed community engagement and had the farsightedness to start purchasing turn-of-the-century homes that once housed former NCR factory workers. We’re now one of the nation’s most residential private universities, with student neighborhoods that have the ambiance of a small town with an unmatched sense of community.

Today, our sponsored research volume is on par with elite research universities. The University of Dayton ranks ninthin the country for external funding among private research universities without medical schools, and among Catholic universities, we top the list for sponsored research in engineering.

The entrepreneurial spirit that drives our work in the research laboratories extends to the classroom and beyond. For example, Flyer Enterprises, the fourth-largest student-run business in the country, breeds a can-do spirit and passion in students destined to lead with the values and integrity gained in a holistic Marianist education. And as we will see tonight at the “Celebration of the Arts,” our arts programs are high quality, richly diverse, and connected to the Dayton community.

We are deeply engaged in the city of Dayton and consider our status as an anchor institution a sacred privilege. From offering high ground and safety to refugees of the devastating 1913 flood to working closely with community leaders to imagine the future of the Fairgrounds property, we build community.

Indeed, we have developed one of the best models in the country for educating students to be community builders. The Fitz Center for Leadership in Community has helped redefine the relationship between universities and their communities in the way it builds and sustains mutually beneficial partnerships.

And through our renowned Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, the University serves our Catholic diocese and more than 70 others worldwide by offering online adult faith formation courses — in English and Spanish.

We’ve come a long way from our simple origins. Yet, we have remained true to our mission: We’re a Catholic university committed to a common search for truth and a respect for the dignity of all people. We’re a Marianist university dedicated to recognizing the diverse gifts and talents of all members of our campus community, where we educate students holistically to be servant-leaders and community builders.

Our Catholic, Marianist philosophy of education is unwavering. That’s the strong foundation upon which we build for the future. Today, we look to the future with faith, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a renewed commitment to engagement with our community.

Our Aspirational Vision
As we look to the year 2037 and beyond, we make foundational commitments to be true to our Catholic, Marianist values and to respond to the hopes and expectations of our community.
We must ensure that a University of Dayton education is affordable and accessible to all who are qualified, and we must achieve greater diversity from the boardroom to the student body.
As a private University in a hypercompetitive environment, it would be easy for us to become a university only for the wealthy, but that would not be true to the spirit of the Marianists or our legions of alumni from humble means. This is an existential challenge for which there is no panacea. We must contain rising costs, generate new revenue, and secure greater philanthropic support to ensure that a UD diploma remains within reach of middle- and low-income students.

We must also create a more diverse, welcoming, and interculturally inclusive campus. By definition, excellence requires greater diversity, as it enriches our learning environment and expands our institutional intelligence and creativity. While we welcome all forms of diversity, including religious, gender, sexual orientation, geography, country of origin, (dis)ability, and ideology, we recognize a special obligation to embrace socio-economic and racial diversity.

We also proclaim our foundational support for excellent teaching and learning and the agility needed to adopt new models. We renew our commitment to teaching that engages students and prepares them for servant-leadership roles. We recognize the essential role the arts and humanities play for the development of critical thinking and forward-thinking leadership, and we seek to enhance the dialogue between faith and reason, a centerpiece of Catholic intellectual tradition.

University for the Common Good

Our Marianist commitment to building community and our history of adapting to the needs of a changing world compel us to ask how we will educate students to confront the tests facing humanity.
Forty-nine years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and I still hear the echo of his words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Our city, country, and world confront seemingly insurmountable challenges — including racism and religious intolerance, poverty and its effects on education and health, economic stagnation, environmental degradation, and violent conflict.

We have a fear of difference that precludes solidarity with our neighbor. As a society, we haven’t built adequate structures for creating collective change.

Our Catholic, Marianist values and our faith in our ability to work together to shape a more just future call us to lead in service to the common good. We can no longer afford to have these societal issues as background for our education, research, and engagement. Rather, we need to place them in the foreground, such that they are a compelling motivation for our strategic direction, investments, partnerships, teaching, learning, and research.

As we reflect on our mission to Learn. Lead. Serve., we declare proudly and clearly that we are “a University for the Common Good.” We prepare servant-leaders who contribute to solutions through community collaboration (LEARN). We perform research that addresses critical issues and supports economic growth (LEAD). We engage in mutually beneficial partnerships to strengthen our communities (SERVE).

We are not so naïve and self-flattering to think that University of Dayton efforts alone will “solve” the world’s ills, but we also understand that we are an influential research enterprise, a powerful economic engine, and a university dedicated to graduating servant-leaders prepared and eager to make a difference.

As we embrace the future, let us design the ideal, integrated education to prepare students for leadership roles in building socially just communities. Let us deepen our reciprocal partnerships in the Dayton community and do our part to enhance its vitality. Let us conduct research that matters, with an impact locally and globally. And finally, let us harness the innovative spirit of faculty, staff, and students and spin out ventures that create jobs and economic value, especially here in Dayton. Let us become known, nationally and globally, as THE University for the Common Good.

While we are not the only university that aims to impact the public good, I call on all of us to work together to make the University of Dayton the destination for students who want to be innovators and leaders; the destination for faculty and staff who relish forging partnerships and leading community-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship; and the destination for pragmatic dreamers who see the development of community as essential in our world and are willing to work hard to achieve it.

What is the path for us to become known as The University for the Common Good?

Servant-Leadership Curricular Requirement

First, we must further develop an integrated, engaged education for our students in the Catholic, Marianist tradition. We must set the expectation for servant-leadership and put in place programs, courses, learning-living environments, and experiences that will prepare our graduates to be innovative leaders ready to build community and advance solutions to complex issues.
I call on the University community to ensure that EVERY student receives an integrated curricular, residential, and experiential education designed to build capacity for leadership in civic engagement, community building, and innovation. I urge the faculty to weave into this initiative shared, thematic first-year experiences, courses in our distinctive Common Academic Program, and disciplinary content in every department and school.

Beyond this integrated curriculum, we must ensure that every student — every student — will leverage classroom learning by engaging in substantive, deeply meaningful experiential learning in one of three overlapping leadership-building areas: 1) Community engagement in Dayton; 2) Innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurship for either for-profit ventures or community-focused innovations; or 3) Community-engaged intercultural immersion. I’ll touch briefly on each to give a sense of our aspirations.

Community Engagement

Many faculty, staff, and students are already engaged in reciprocal partnerships in the Dayton community, but we envision deeper collaboration and greater impact. We extend our deep gratitude for our partners and seek to work collaboratively to further strengthen Catholic and urban education; help alleviate food insecurity and improve nutrition and health; build community across differences in race, religion and nationality; develop environmentally sustainable neighborhoods; and create alternatives to violence.

We look forward to working with community leaders and neighborhood organizations to identify the most effective ways to extend our partnership for greatest mutual benefit —building upon community assets and elevating the education of our students as community leaders.

To support this initiative, we commit to adding “community geographers,” faculty and staff who will analyze neighborhood-based data and trends to help identify and prioritize the greatest issues for our common mission. Further, as part of our plans to renovate the historic Chaminade Hall, we pledge to create “community co-working space” to bring non-profit community organizations to the heart of campus where they can work closely with each other and our students. We envision Chaminade Hall housing other strategically pivotal, community-based centers and serving as a hub of student and faculty activity.

Innovation, Applied Creativity, and Entrepreneurship

Across the University, we have built a robust and highly regarded set of programs and initiatives in innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurship.

The Dayton region — once the cradle for innovation — is coalescing resources and working toward re-centering our regional economy on innovation and the collaborative harnessing of creative ideation.

We seek to capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of our campus and the strategic focus of the greater Dayton region with investments and initiatives that will be catalytic for our community and transformational for the University of Dayton.

First, if current development plans proceed, the University of Dayton will become an anchor in the historic Dayton Arcade in the heart of Dayton. We envision locating faculty and staff offices there, offering courses, and partnering in an ideation center intended to fuel economic growth and promote entrepreneurship.

This downtown hub, envisioned as a collaboration among entrepreneurs, higher education, research institutions, and arts and cultural organizations, will be available for students, faculty, and staff pursuing innovation. This will be a place where students from a variety of disciplines engage in experiential learning by innovating or supporting others from across the community who are creating new ventures. It will be a place where our students gain confidence that they can, indeed, work in community to change the world.

We cannot be a driving force of innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurism if we do not exhibit these qualities as an institution. Enabling faculty and staff who wish to pursue commercialization and venture creation demands that we step outside of our comfort zones and develop innovative policies, practices, and incentives.

Secondly, we aspire to partner with Dayton neighborhoods, local foundations, banks, economic development organizations, and regional businesses to develop a “community innovation center,” an incubation site for neighborhood businesses and non-profit ventures, with a special focus on women- and minority-owned companies. At the community innovation center, students will share their expertise, learn practical lessons by working alongside practitioners, and develop skills in working across differences in a highly collaborative environment.

Finally, because innovation and adaptive leadership are at a premium in our world, we should strive to become the first university in the country in which EVERY STUDENT will take at least one course on innovation, humanity-centered applied creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking. I urge the faculty to develop imaginative ways to support this ambition and extend its academic scope across the entire campus.

Intercultural and Global Engagement

The issues we are addressing in our city resonate across our country and around the world. We believe all students can benefit from a challenging intercultural or international experience.

Here at home, we will increase the racial, ethnic, and cultural composition of our faculty and staff, and enrich the curriculum to expand students’ intercultural competencies.
We also see special value in the inclusion of deep international and intercultural living/learning immersion experiences as one of the ways in which students can satisfy the expectation of meaningful experiential learning.

We have been blessed by the Marianist order’s global orientation and longstanding educational presence in numerous parts of the world, including East Africa, India, and our own inner cities. We will grow the opportunities available for such immersions and ensure that they are available to all students, no matter their financial circumstances.
Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, we have strengthened STEM education that supports our status as a national research university. The scholarly focus of our distinctive Ph.D. program in theology supports the Catholic church’s commitment to social justice and human solidarity. Beyond these offerings, though, is the opportunity to enhance a wide range of other graduate programs so that we further build a reputation as the university for graduate training that prepares professionals for the work of social transformation. We might also explore a capstone requirement in select master’s programs to give students the opportunity to serve leadership roles in community engagement and innovation initiatives.

We will provide clear incentives to departments and programs aimed at diversifying our graduate offerings to not only align with our strategic aspirations but also grow revenue and research capacity.

Research

In becoming “The University for the Common Good,” we cannot neglect the essential role that research plays in addressing societal problems, driving economic development, and expanding opportunity.

Our research has grown through the extraordinary efforts of faculty and staff and collaboration among the University of Dayton Research Institute and academic units. This collaboration, joined by robust partnerships with corporations, government, and higher education, is essential. We cannot go it alone. We must leverage our greatest strengths and pursue a well-defined research agenda that fulfills societal needs and represents great opportunity. We also must be prepared to make investments in faculty, staff, graduate students, and facilities in three focus areas: sustainability and human rights; autonomous systems; and health and bio-sciences.

Research Focus: Sustainability and Human Rights

In Laudato Si, the papal encyclical on environmental stewardship, Pope Francis writes, “The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all…The notion of the common good also extends to future generations…We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity.” These interlocking needs identified by Pope Francis — sustainability and human rights — present an extraordinary opportunity as a research focus for a Catholic, Marianist university.

We have already invested in and achieved notable progress in renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the establishment of the Hanley Sustainability Institute, specialized energy labs, and new interdisciplinary academic programs. Our Human Rights Center, co-located with the Hanley Institute, presents an unparalleled opportunity to conduct research at the intersection of technology and human rights.

We must build upon our cross-University strengths in energy efficiency, biofuels, batteries, energy integration and management, and energy informatics. Success in these areas cannot be measured by technological achievement alone, but also by the impact that our work will have on the common destiny of all. As we look to expand our energy and environmental research, we will pay special attention to opportunities where sustainable energy and human rights researchers can work together to advance the common good, preparing students to be leaders in improving standards of living and creating a more sustainable environment.

Research Focus: Autonomous Systems

Autonomous systems will impact every sector of the economy and touch our daily lives — from driverless transportation to banking, education, and medicine. This rapidly growing field emerges as another focus for the University of Dayton because it builds on our research strengths, provides ample opportunity for investment from industry and government, and benefits from regional partnerships. We want our students and researchers involved in this intelligent systems work because they will bring to bear a holistic perspective, including technology, humanities, law, and business.

Our investments in developing an autonomous systems research focus will leverage University strengths, including sensing, controls, machine learning, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. We have an opportunity to be a leader in this area, but only if we act quickly and boldly. I challenge us to be the first university in the country to develop and deliver a dedicated, interdisciplinary autonomous systems master’s program. In the long term, if we select the right research niche and invest deeply in faculty, staff, and quality programs, I believe we can compete for designation as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in the next decade. I look forward to working with University researchers and faculty to shape what will be a signature area of research and graduate education, and what could be a cornerstone of economic development in the region.

Research Focus: Health and Bio-Sciences

For our final research focus, we should explore the expansion of research and creation of new graduate programs in health and bio-sciences. The increasing demand for better, more accessible, and more affordable health care coupled with the availability of substantial funding in this area present an unparalleled opportunity for us.

While we may not have a medical school, we have expertise in bioengineering, biology, medicinal chemistry, and applied health sciences. These can be building blocks for a competitive, high-impact research program if we perform an honest assessment of how our strengths can be supplemented by key partnerships and aligned with funding opportunities. I challenge our faculty, researchers, and administrators to work together to identify a coherent thrust worthy of University seed investment.

I see challenge and opportunity in these three research initiatives. Given our size and resources, we need to be highly selective and tightly focused with our investments. Given the stakes and the rapid pace at which technology advances, we also must proceed with some urgency to define our distinctive approach. As our research prowess grows, so will our national reputation and our opportunities to build initiatives in other areas of inquiry that today may only be embryonic.

As part of our research strategy, we will aggressively pursue corporate partners who may, like GE Aviation and Emerson, make major investments on campus and work with researchers, faculty, and students to advance these focused research realms.

At the undergraduate level, we offer excellent opportunities for students to perform research. Faculty and staff truly engage our young scholars, and the quality of students’ research is extraordinary, rivaling that at the best research universities. We must invest to create even more opportunities for undergraduate research both in these strategic areas and more broadly.

Strategic investments will not enable greater research success if we do not align faculty policies and practices to support these ambitions. I ask the provost, deans, department chairs, and the academic senate to work together to evaluate tenure and promotion guidelines, release time, differential course load, and mentoring of undergraduate students.

Faculty and Staff of the Future

We cannot realize our aspirations without appropriately supporting the reason for our success — the faculty and staff. Their “family spirit” is the source of our community on campus and among our alumni. Whether it is the deep commitment of a faculty member to a research mentee, or the extra time that a faculty or staff member devotes to advising a social action club, or the way the Academic Senate and the administration work together for the benefit of the entire University — the faculty and staff are the heart of our campus.

During the visioning process, proposals surfaced calling for the creation of new institutes or schools focused on interdisciplinary areas; others called for a move away from departments and schools altogether. I hold that discipline-based education is important. In a world where our graduates need to solve complex, interconnected challenges, it’s also critically important to create connections between faculty and students across disciplines. Rather than inventing new units, I propose we maintain the integrity of departments and schools while creating loose-knit, cross-University “transdisciplinary faculties” to provide leadership along the three themes that define our aspiration as a University — community engagement, innovation, and intercultural engagement.
Intended to break down silos, these transdisciplinary faculties would include a faculty member from each unit. In collaboration with their home schools and departments, these faculties would be responsible for the development and oversight of experiential learning opportunities in each of these domains along with the development of relevant curricula.

We will emphasize building critical mass in the research focus areas with faculty and staff hires in each school. We also intend to add individuals who will contribute distinctively to the transdisciplinary faculties that will advance community partnerships, innovation, and intercultural engagement. We will encourage joint hires across departments and schools, and be prepared to create cross-unit structures for mentoring, evaluation, and recommendations on tenure and promotion.

Finally, I call on the provost and the Academic Senate to broaden tenure and promotion criteria to also reward community-engaged scholarship, sponsored research, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and venture creation/commercialization activities. Ultimately, we need to hire and support faculty who will advance our strategic aspirations and thrive in an environment focused on leadership in community engagement and innovation.

Graduates of the Future

Now, envision the year 2037 and the highly diverse University of Dayton graduating class, born in this very year of our strategic visioning conversations.

As students, the Class of 2037 will be inspired learners focused on a self-transcendent purpose, discerning their vocation and profession, and seeking their passion. They will see the value of their learning within and outside of their disciplines, as it will be anchored in experiential learning.

As innovators, scholars, and builders, they will have learned how to both fail and rebound from failure. They will be culturally nimble, as they will have worked across differences in diverse communities on meaningful issues. They will be prepared for success in life because they will have gained skills in self-learning, problem solving, collaboration, and conflict resolution.

The Class of 2037 will consist of self-aware, socially conscious leaders, and, thus, will be in great demand by employers, here in a revitalized Dayton, across the world in Shanghai where their intercultural excellence will be viewed as essential, and in small rural towns and large inner cities where their community-building skills will be highly valued.

Because of the work we will do together, we will prepare generations of servant-leaders who are known for their community-building skills, practical wisdom, ethical compass, and ability to partner for the common good.

Because of the work we will do together, we will expand scholarship and research in fields that benefit our human community and help build an innovation economy here in Dayton.
Universities have always had a special obligation to society, but in this age of institutions turning inward or abrogating their responsibilities to the greater good, that obligation is heightened and creates a special opportunity for the University of Dayton.

We view serving the community and our world as a fundamental part of our Catholic, Marianist mission, our raison d’etre, and we find that we are called to be — indeed, we must be— “The University for the Common Good.”

2 hours 26 min
A statue of St Joseph once sold by John Stokes sits framed by Arborvitae bushes and Cineraria, Siberian Iris, meadow sage (“Mary’s Shawl”) and snowdrop (Anemone sylvestris, “Flower of the Field”). (COURTESY PHOTOS/BRIANA SNYDER)A statue of St Joseph once sold by John Stokes sits framed by Arborvitae bushes and Cineraria, Siberian Iris, meadow sage (“Mary’s Shawl”) and snowdrop (Anemone sylvestris, “Flower of the Field”). (COURTESY PHOTOS/BRIANA SNYDER)

Brent Ogburn, Director of Business Development for Grunder Landscape Co., planned the indoor garden at UD’s Marian Library around plants that would be available from local nurseries and in bloom during the exhibit dates. Taken from the writings of John Stokes, Jr., who popularized the idea of Mary Gardens, all the plants have medieval names related to Mary or the Bible. When perusing Stokes’s lists or the list below, Ogburn said, it’s important to remember that nurseries frequently introduce and feature new varieties of old plants, so a particular variety may not be available at any given time. Look for any variety of the type of plant meant by “Black-eyed Susan,” “Daylily,” or “Clematis,”, not necessarily the variety indicated below:

From the exhibit’s complete run:
“Our Lady’s Veil” (Baby’s Breath – Gypsophila ‘Festival Star’)
“Mary’s Heart” (Bleeding Heart – Dicentra spectabilis)
“Virgin’s Bower” (Clematis ‘Gillian Blades’
“St.Joseph’s Lily” (Daylily – Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’)
“Michaelmas Daisy” (New England Aster)
“Pentecost Rose” (White Peony)
“Mary Flower of God” (OxEye Daisy – Luecanthemum m., ‘Snowcap’)
“Mary’s Shawl” (Meadow Sage – Salvia viola ‘Cardonna’)
“Mary’s Pink” (Maiden Pink – Dianthus ‘Neon Star’)
“Golden Jerusalem” (Black-eyed Susan – Fudbeckia fulgida “Early Bird Gold’)
“Our Lady’s Gloves” (Foxglove – Digitalis purpurea ‘Excelsior’)
“Mary’s Drying Plant” (Lavender – Lavenudla a. ‘Kielapro’)
“Ave Maria” (Hydrangea – Hudrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’)
“Our Lady’s Nightcap” (Bellflower – Campanula glomerata ‘Superba’)

For Spring:
“Mary’s Gold” (Sunflower – Cineraria)
“Mary’s Prayer” (Tulip)

For Summer:
“Star of Bethlehem” (Rieger Begonia)
“Lily-Among-Thorns” (Hyacinth)

For Fall
“All Saint’s Flower” (Chrysanthamum)
“Our Lady’s Little Ladles” (Cyclamen)

For Winter
“Christmas Kalanchoe” (Kalanchoe)
“Mary’s Star” (Daffodil)

Suggested but not available for the UD garden:
Lily of the Valley
Hollyhock
Viola

Brent Ogburn’s particular suggestions for home gardeners:
Iris
Lavender
Black-eyed Susan
Clematis
Arborvitae (shrub)
Roses
Garden phlox
Hydrangea
Aster

For a full list of plants from UD’s exhibit, download: udayton.edu/libraries/_resources/docs/mg-exhibit-planting-list.pdf

2 hours 40 min

St. Francis de Sales in Lebanon hosted a gathering for young women who are discerning a call to the consecrated life on April 26th. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr was in attendance to meet young women discerning one of the varied Consecrated Life options present in the Archdiocese. Here are some photos of a very special evening.


For more information for women discerning a vocation in religious life, click here

3 hours 4 min

Editors Note: In the May 2017 Print Edition of The Catholic Telegraph, Body and Soul on page 24 featured a story on Donna Marie Cooper. Below is her featured recipe:
Ingredients:
nonstick spray
1 baguette, cut into 20 one inch slices (you can use a wholegrain bread for extra nutrition or even a gluten free bread)
6 eggs
3 cups of milk
1 cup brown sugar (I use honey or pure maple syrup)
vanilla to taste
nutmeg to taste (or just use cinnamon)
Cinnamon (I sprinkle it all over the top as well as into the egg batter)
1 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preparation:
Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with the nonstick spray and arrange the baguette slices in a single layer in the dish. I cheat and do a couple of layers! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, three-fourths of the brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
Cover and chill the mixture overnight. There will appear to be a lot of moisture when the mixture goes into the refrigerator, but most of it will soak into the bread by morning.
Just before baking, sprinkle the remaining one-quarter cup brown sugar, (or honey or pure maple syrup). pecans and blueberries over the bread. Bake the dish in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour (the recipe says 30 minutes, but I found that it could take longer, so check at 30 but be sure to have allowed for 45 minutes to 1 hour) or until golden and bubbling. Serve with pure maple syrup. For an added treat, heat the syrup with blueberries and have blueberry-flavored syrup.

Enjoy!

6 hours 24 min
The congregation stands during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD)

As St. Stephen Parish in Cincinnati’s Columbia Tusculum neighborhood celebrates 15 decades of serving the area’s Catholics, the congregation is as focused on the future as on looking at the past.

“There are more than 200 families now and we are beginning to grow,” said Mike Keating, life-long parishioner and unofficial parish historian, who oversees the building and grounds committee. “That’s why we are putting such an emphasis on the 150th anniversary: to promote ourselves.

“There is a population change in Columbia Tusculum. There is a significant rebuilding effort surrounding the community. Private residences and businesses are growing. New blood is coming in.”We are hoping to bank off of that and be here when they arrive. They’re renovating old homes, building new homes, opening new businesses. People are tearing down old houses… and building new ones on the same footprint, the same lot,” said Keating.

The way the neighborhood is reinventing itself harkens back to 1867, when the parish was founded by Archbishop John Baptist Purcell.

“The reasoning for founding the parish was because at that time Columbia was growing. Tusculum, on the hillside above, came later,” Keating said. “The people here were going all the way up to St. Francis de Sales in Walnut Hills for Mass. The people felt it to be too far to go to up on the hill (and) petitioned Archbishop Purcell to build a church. He gave the permission, and within a year, construction began on the first church, on property leased by the parish from the Longworth family known for the family’s Mount Adams vineyards.

“When it was dedicated and began serving as a parish, it was a German-speaking church and remained so until about 1880,” Keating said.

The original church was destroyed by fire in 1922. The current church was dedicated a couple years later. Between 1944 and 1946 the interior was renovated, including the addition of a mural of the risen Christ by well-known Cincinnati artist Carl Zimmerman. It rises above and behind the altar. Stained glass windows from the C.G. Riordan Company, Cincinnati, were installed.

Besides the trek to Walnut Hills, the other key reason St. Stephen was founded was community growth: a bit of serendipity when looking at the community as it reinvents itself today.

“This was a significant retail business community back then and there was a lot of farming, especially up on the hill. There were a lot of businesses serving the community: a lumber mill, a sand and gravel operation, small retail stores,” Keating said. “It was a magnet and it was … a self-contained community at that time.”

Turn the pages forward to present day.

“We are going back to the service concept much like in 1867. The community has a lot of service-oriented restaurants, small businesses, carryouts, a bank. It’s a flashback to the old days,” Keating said.

“If you go to St. Stephen today you would find a parish that is motivated to grow. You would find a parish that is motivated on the part of the parishioners in the pews to move past the 150th anniversary and get to the future. You would find a parish that’s a bit nervous about the future, but anxious to find out what it is,” Keating said. “There’s nervousness because we don’t know what the neighborhood is going to bring. We are concerned about the number of people who don’t go to church today.”

Beth Worland, parish administrator, said, “St. Stephen is a hidden jewel that offers those who enter its doors unique artwork, meaningful liturgies, beautiful music, and spectacular stained glass windows. At St. Stephen, individuals and families choose to be a part of the faith community because our church welcomes, supports and cherishes each and every person who enters its doors.

“Now as St. Stephen celebrates its sesquicentennial, the responsibility for our church’s future is passed on to us in expectation that St. Stephen remains the jewel it is, by being a special, spiritual home for many generations to come.”

The parish is a canonical pastorate: a parish where there is no permanent pastor in residence. Father Edward Smith, pastor at Our Lord Christ the King Parish in Mount Lookout, oversees the parish and serves as sacramental administrator. Retired Father Tom Fitzsimmons is in residence. Worland supervises day to day parish business and operations.

“Right now,” said Keating, “our demographic is the elderly parishioner. We have a large number of retirees here, but our plan is to reach out to the younger crowd who are into their first jobs and just married. We see them coming here, trickling in. We are having a big increase in couples coming here for marriage which is a significant change.

“We see light at the end of the tunnel. There are significant things that cause us to be looking up, and there are things we can do and make us believe that our effort is going to succeed by reaching out to the younger community by making ourselves known by encouraging parishioners to go out and bring a friend to Mass, and by promoting our 150th as widely as we possibly can to the community.”

For more information about upcoming anniversary events, check the parish website at http://saintstephen.church, Facebook, or bulletin for updates.

Jeff Pieper carries the processional cross during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) Liz Glassmeyer gives the Second Reading during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) Rev. Ed Smith delivers his Homily during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) The Holy Eucharist is prepared during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) Rev. Ed Smith and Rev. Tom Fitzsimmons offer the Holy Eucharist during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD)

 

 

6 hours 44 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tanya Connor, The Catholic Free Press

By Tanya Connor

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) — The congregation, numbering about 50, gathered for their last Easter Mass together on the DCU Center’s arena floor.

The chaplain, Father George “Jerry” Hogan, borrowed one of their colorful boxes to use as an altar. The altar cloths and his chasuble sported circus images. Costume designers had sewn pieces of old elephant blankets together to make his stole.

The backdrop suggested the reason for such an unusual liturgical environment: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had come to town to offer shows on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

But it isn’t all “fun and games” for performers and other circus workers, some of whom attended the Mass before the Easter shows. While “they’ve always performed during Holy Week,” they are now going through the paschal mystery themselves, Father Hogan told The Catholic Free Press, newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.

The Ringling circus was nearing the end of its 145-year run and the workers, including frontline performers, were in a quandary about their future. They learned Jan. 14 that the circus was closing.

Father Hogan, who has been national circus chaplain for 24 years after being appointed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recalled the anguish of the workers when they learned of show’s fate just hours after he celebrated Mass for them in Orlando, Florida, where they were performing.

His cellphone “went wild” at his winter home in Sarasota, Florida, where he ministers at St. Martha Parish, the national circus church, as shocked circus workers called him with the news they received: “We’re closing.” The 145th edition of “The Greatest Show on Earth” would be its last.

The priest of the Boston Archdiocese had to ask himself, “How can I help these people?”

Over the years, Father Hogan has dealt with five circus tragedies, three of which included fatalities, he said, but this was different.

“First of all, you’ve got to deal with your own feeling, because you become numb,” he said. Then you have to look past that to what God is calling you to do. It’s more than hearing; it’s listening, being physically present.”

Such tragedies affect not only those who get hurt, and their families and co-workers, but the managers and owners too, he said.

He described Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment Inc., Ringling’s parent company, as very caring when tragedy strikes.

The same is true with the circus closing.

“He’s a very good businessman,” Father Hogan said. “He didn’t want to close. This is tough for him, too.”

Reasons cited for the closing included costs, declining attendance and battles with animal rights groups. Employees were to be helped with the transition.

Ringling’s Red Unit and Blue Unit each have at least 300 employees, about 100 of whom are performers, Father Hogan said. The circus runs two different shows simultaneously, for two years each, performing in various cities.

Worcester was one of the last stops for the Red Unit, which was to perform its final show in Providence, Rhode Island, May 7. The Blue Unit’s final show is May 21 in Uniondale, New York.

“I will be with you all week in Providence,” Father Hogan told Red Unit workers at the Easter Mass. “You’ll grow. It’s not the end of the world. You’ll be able to survive this.”

In his homily, he told circus employees, “Easter is a time to celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead,” and to celebrate with family.

There had just been an Easter egg hunt for the children who travel with their parents, Father Hogan said. When old enough, they often perform, too. Some families have been in one circus or another for generations.

Some performers from abroad are far from loved ones. During the intercessions, Father Hogan offered an intention for “all your family and relatives who you can’t be with because you’re working.” He asked that God would watch over the people in the Red Unit in this time of transition, and also prayed for the Blue Unit.

He likened his listeners to the beloved disciple in the Gospel, who was reflecting on what was important that first Easter. He acknowledged that the circus workers’ life is totally changing and they may wonder, “How am I going to move from this show?”

“This is a time to really talk to the Lord in prayer, like you’re talking to another person,” Father Hogan said. “You also have to listen. … Be open to that experience.” 

A silver lining Father Hogan sees in the dark times people are experiencing is the reception of sacraments in Uniondale several days before the final show. He said a baby is to be baptized, 12 children are to receive their first Communion, five adults are to be confirmed and one is to be received into the church.

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Connor is a staff writer for The Catholic Free Press, newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

19 hours 26 min

IMAGE: NS photo/L’Osservatore Romano

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As someone accustomed to the stress of the gridiron, University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh said he was touched by Pope Francis’ peaceful presence.

“The way he talks is peaceful, it’s calm. It felt like this is what it would be like to meet Jesus Christ. That’s what it felt like to me. It was very emotional,” the coach told journalists April 26.

Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, briefly greeted the pope following his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square earlier that day.

“I said, ‘Buenos dias, Santo Padre’ (‘Good morning, Holy Father’), and then my wife came in and told him that she loved him. He held her hand and prayed and asked that we pray for him,” Harbaugh recalled.

The coach and his wife presented the pope with a Michigan football helmet along with a pair of size-10 Air Jordan sneakers in the football team’s maize and blue colors.

Harbaugh said the pope smiled and graciously accepted the gifts, despite their unusual nature.

“I’m not sure the Holy Father knows a lot about ‘futbol americano,’ but he doesn’t need to. There’s a lot of distress, too, when you look into his eyes; there’s pain there. There’s so much injustice in the world, so much poverty and war and you can tell and feel that he feels that,” he said.

Also present at the audience were several of the 150 players and staff visiting Rome as part of their spring practice program April 22-30.

According to the press release by the university’s athletic department, the program was Harbaugh’s way of giving the team players “a major life experience, traveling to Rome to practice, but also to take part in social projects and offer them a look into a foreign country and culture.”

Speaking to journalists after the audience, Harbaugh said the experience was “more emotional than he anticipated,” and that meeting the pope gave him the chance “to live in a state of grace.”

“I’ve been trying to figure out what this experience means and what am I supposed to do with it. At least he gave me the marching orders to pray for him so I have that part of it down.”

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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22 hours 5 min

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians always have hope, no matter how bleak, bad or uncertain the journey, because they know God is always by their side, Pope Francis said.

In fact, “even crossing parts of the world (that are) wounded, where things are not going well, we are among those who, even there, continue to hope,” he said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square April 26.

Just a few days before his visit to Cairo April 28-29, the pope continued his series of talks on the nature of Christian hope, saying it is rooted in knowing God will always be present, even to the end of time.

The Gospel of St. Matthew, he said, begins with the birth of Jesus as Emmanuel — “God with us” — and ends with the risen Christ telling his doubtful disciples to go forth and teach all nations, assuring them that “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

The apostle shows how “ours is not an absent God, sequestered in a faraway heaven. Instead he is a God ‘impassioned’ with mankind,” so tenderly in love that he is unable to stay away, the pope said.

Human beings are the ones who are really good at cutting off ties and destroying bridges, not God, he said.

“If our hearts get cold, his remains incandescent,” the pope said. “Our God always accompanies us even if, through misfortune, we were to forget about him.”

In fact, the decisive moment between skepticism and faith is “the discovery of being loved and accompanied by our Father,” the pope said.

Life is a pilgrimage, a journey in which “the seduction of the horizon” is always calling the human “wandering soul,” pushing people to go and explore the unknown, he said.

“You do not become mature men and women if you cannot perceive the allure of the horizon — that boundary between heaven and earth that asks to be reached” by those who are on the move, he said.

Christians never feel alone “because Jesus assures us he not only waits for us at the end of our long journey, but accompanies us every day,” even through dark and troubled times, he said.

God will always be concerned and take care of his children, even to the end of all time, he said. “And why does he do this? Quite simply because he loves us.”

The pope said the anchor is one of his favorite symbols of hope.

“Our life is anchored in heaven,” he said, which means “we move on because we are sure that our life has an anchor in heaven” and the rope “is always there” to grab onto.

So if God has promised “he will never abandon us, if the beginning of every vocation is a ‘Follow me,’ with which he assures us of always staying before us, why be afraid then?” the pope asked. “With this promise, Christians can walk everywhere,” even in the worst, darkest places.

“It’s precisely there where darkness has taken over that a light needs to stay lit.”

Those who believe only in themselves and their own powers will feel disappointed and defeated, he said, “because the world often proves itself to be resistant to the laws of love” and prefers “the laws of selfishness.”

Jesus promising “I am with you always” is what keeps the faithful standing tall with hope, believing that God is good and working to achieve what seems humanly impossible.

“There is no place in the world that can escape the victory of the risen Christ, the victory of love,” the pope said.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 40 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/TED.com

By Keanine Griggs

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While searching for a connection today often means looking for Wi-Fi, Pope Francis said real connections between people are the only hope for the future.

“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,” he said in a video talk played April 25 for 1,800 people attending TED 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and posted online with subtitles in 20 languages.

“How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us,” the pope said in the talk that TED organizers had been advertising as that of a “surprise guest.”

Pope Francis spoke to the international conference about combating the current “culture of waste” and “techno-economic systems” that prioritize products, money and things over people.

“Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough,” he said. “Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face.”

Many people in the world move along paths “riddled with suffering” with no one to care for them, the pope said. Far too many people who consider themselves “respectable” simply pass by, leaving thousands on “the side of the road.”

“The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people,” he said, the greater the responsibility one has to act and to do so with humility. “If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.”

“There is a saying in Argentina,” he told his audience: “‘Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.’ You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.”

“The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies,” he said, even though they all have power and responsibility. “The future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us.'”

Pope Francis said that when he visits someone who is sick or in prison or has been forced to flee war, he always asks himself, “Why them and not me?”

Telling the tech-savvy crowd that he wanted to talk about “revolution,” the pope asked people to join a very connected and interconnected “revolution of tenderness.”

Tenderness, he said, is “love that comes close and becomes real,” something that begins in the heart but translates into listening and action, comforting those in pain and caring for others and for “our sick and polluted earth.”

“Tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women,” he insisted. “Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.”

Pope Francis also urged the crowd to hold on to hope, a feeling that does not mean acting “optimistically naive” or ignoring the tragedies facing humanity. Instead, he said, hope is the “virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness.”

“A single individual is enough for hope to exist.” he added. “And that individual can be you. And then there will be another ‘you,’ and another ‘you, and it turns into an ‘us.'”

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a media organization that posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” TED was founded in February 1984 as a conference, which has been held annually since 1990.

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Editors: The pope’s TED talk is online at https://www.ted.com/talks/pope_francis_why_the_only_future_worth_building_includes_everyone

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 1 hour
 Father John-Paul Bevak of Old St. Mary’s; Father Felix Selden, representing Rome; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr; Fathers Adrian Hilton and Lawrnce Juarez of Old St. Mary’s; and homilist  Msgr. Frank Lane. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)Oratory Father Mario Aviles (reading) with some of the concelebrating priests, Deacon Duy Nguyen, and servers. Left to right: Father John-Paul Bevak of Old St. Mary’s; Father Felix Selden, representing Rome; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr; Fathers Adrian Hilton and Lawrnce Juarez of Old St. Mary’s; and homilist Msgr. Frank Lane. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)

On April 25, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr celebrated the establishment Mass for the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Cincinnati, based at Old St. Mary’s Church in Over-the-Rhine. Known for splendid liturgies, the Oratory welcomed the archbishop, representatives from Rome, and supporters with new Officially approved by Pope Francis earlier this spring, it is the 87th Oratory in the world and one of only a few in the United States. Look for full coverage in our June issue.

Archbishop Schnurr, standing under the canopy built for the Mass, reads a prayer. Deacon Duy Nguyen, who will be ordained a priest next month, is beside him. (CT/Photo Gail Finke)Archbishop Schnurr, standing under the canopy built for the Mass, reads a prayer. Deacon Duy Nguyen, who will be ordained a priest next month, is beside him. (CT/Photo Gail Finke) Archbishop Schnurr censing the altar at the beginning of Mass. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)Archbishop Schnurr censing the altar at the beginning of Mass. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)  Bro. Henry Hoffman and Bro. Brent Stull, both seminarians; Father Adrian Hilton, Father Jon-Paul Bevak, Father Lawrence Juarez. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)Father Mario Aviles, C.O., presents the Cincinnati Oratorians with the official establishment degree from Pope Francis. Oratorians, from left to right: Bro. Henry Hoffman and Bro. Brent Stull, both seminarians; Father Adrian Hilton, Father Jon-Paul Bevak, Father Lawrence Juarez. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)  Fathers James Reuetter and Matt Feist. The painting depicts Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Oratorian and one of the leading figures of the 19th century English Catholic revival. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)Msgr. Frank Lane delivered the homily. To his right are some of the concelebrating priests, including the representatives from Rome and the Cincinnati Oratory priests. Also pictured: Fathers James Reuetter and Matt Feist. The painting depicts Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Oratorian and one of the leading figures of the 19th century English Catholic revival. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)
1 day 3 hours

By Tim Puet

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNS) — A priest’s “office hours” are unlimited and the priesthood is not solely focused on administrative work, the apostolic nuncio to the United States told students at the nation’s only Vatican-affiliated seminary.

“It’s important to say this to young seminarians: Don’t prepare yourselves to be administrative people, to say ‘I work from 8 to 6 and after that, it’s finished and I take my rest.’ No, you are full time,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre said during a question-and-answer session April 23 at the Pontifical College Josephinum.

“Your enthusiasm is so important,” he continued. “This country needs the church announcing the beauty of the presence of God in Jesus Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the power of transformation found in the Gospel, in which whenever a person met Jesus, he became different.”

The nuncio’s remarks came after he delivered the college’s annual lecture honoring the late Cardinal Pio Laghi, who served from 1980 to 1990 as the Vatican’s apostolic delegate to the United States and, after the title was changed, as nuncio, the equivalent of an ambassador.

As nuncio, Archbishop Pierre also is chancellor of the college, the only seminary outside of Italy with pontifical status, an honor Pope Leo XIII granted to the institution in 1882.

The archbishop frequently referred in his talk on “The Priests We Need Today” to a Vatican document on priestly formation, “Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis,” (“The Gift of the Priestly Vocation”), which the Congregation for Clergy revised Dec. 8.

The document echoes a phrase made familiar by Pope Francis: “Seminaries should form missionary disciples who are ‘in love’ with the master, shepherds ‘with the smell of the sheep,’ who live in their midst to bring the mercy of God to them. Hence, every priest should always feel that he is a disciple on a journey, constantly needing an integrated formation, understood as a continuous configuration to Christ.”

The archbishop referred to Pope Francis’ description of priests in formation as “uncut diamonds, to be formed both patiently and carefully, respecting the conscience of the individual, so that they may shine among the people of God.”

“Formation for the priesthood is best understood within the concept of the journey of discipleship,” Archbishop Pierre said.

“Christ himself calls each person by name,” first through baptism, followed by the other sacraments of initiation, the archbishop said. “The journey begins with his family and parish. It is there … that his vocation is nurtured, culminating in entrance into the seminary. The gift of the vocation comes from God to the church and to the world. A vocation should never be conceived as something private, to be followed in an individualistic or self-referential manner.”

The model of formation proposed in the document “prepares the seminarian and priest to make a gift of himself to the church, to go out of himself, to not be self-referential, but to look to the essential needs of the flock,” Archbishop Pierre said.

He said six characteristics are particularly needed by the 21st-century priest: missionary spirit, humility, communion and unity, prayerfulness, discernment, and closeness to the flock.

The nuncio returned to the document’s phrase describing priests as missionary disciples, saying such a person is “one who follows the Lord, but who also goes out with joy,” who, in the words of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) “obey(s) his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel.”

“This call to be a disciple and this raising up to be a priest is a gift,” the archbishop added. “The church needs priests today who are willing to receive this gift as men of communion.” He also quoted from a talk earlier this month in which the pope told seminarians at the Pontifical Spanish College, “It is an ongoing challenge to overcome individualism, to live diversity as a gift, striving for unity of the presbyterate, which is a sign of the presence of God in the life of a community.”

Archbishop Pierre also was at the Josephinum for the rededication April 24 of the college’s chapel of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, archbishop of Lima, Peru, from 1580 to 1606, who is patron of the Latin American episcopate and founder of the first seminary in the Americas.

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Puet is a reporter at the Catholic Times, newspaper of the Diocese of Columbus.

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1 day 22 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying that God would protect Egypt from all evil, Pope Francis told the nation’s people that a world torn apart by indiscriminate violence needs courageous builders of peace, dialogue and justice.

“I hope that this visit will be an embrace of consolation and of encouragement to all Christians in the Middle East; a message of friendship and esteem to all inhabitants of Egypt and the region; a message of fraternity and reconciliation to all children of Abraham, particularly in the Islamic world,” the pope said in a video message broadcast April 25, ahead of his April 28-29 trip to Cairo.

“I hope that it may also offer a valid contribution to interreligious dialogue with the Islamic world and to ecumenical dialogue with the venerated and beloved Coptic Orthodox Church,” he said.

The pope thanked all those who invited him to Egypt, those who were working to make the trip possible and those “who make space for me in your hearts.”

He said he was “truly happy to come as a friend, as a messenger of peace and as a pilgrim to the country that gave, more than 2,000 years ago, refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family fleeing from the threats of King Herod.”

“Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land, needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace, free and liberating people, courageous people able to learn from the past to build a future without closing themselves up in prejudices; it needs builders of bridges of peace, dialogue, brotherhood, justice, and humanity,” he said.

Honored to visit the land visited by the Holy Family, the pope asked everyone for their prayers as he assured every one of his.

“Dear Egyptian brothers and sisters, young and elderly, women and men, Muslims and Christians, rich and poor … I embrace you warmly and ask God almighty to bless you and protect your country from every evil.”

He said it was “with a joyful and grateful heart” that he was heading to Egypt — the “cradle of civilization, gift of the Nile, land of sun and hospitality, where patriarchs and prophets lived” and where God — benevolent, merciful, and the one and almighty — made his voice heard.

The day the video was released, April 25, was also the feast day of St. Mark, who evangelized the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, Egypt, before being martyred there.

Pope Francis dedicated his morning Mass to “my brother Tawadros II, patriarch of Alexandria” of the Coptic Orthodox church, asking that God abundantly “bless our two churches.”

In Egypt, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Egypt would welcome the pope and “looks forward to this significant visit to strengthen peace, tolerance and interfaith dialogue as well as to reject the abhorrent acts of terrorism and extremism.”

Christians in Egypt, Syria and Iraq struggle with mounting pressures from extremists challenging their religious identity and the right to practice their faith and continue to exist in their ancestral homelands.

Pope Francis has urged an end to what he called a “genocide” against Christians in the Middle East, but he also has said it was wrong to equate Islam with violence.

Christians are among the oldest religious communities in the Middle East, but their numbers are dwindling in the face of conflict and persecution. Egypt’s Christian community makes up about 10 percent of the country’s 92 million people.

A high point in the pope’s schedule is an international peace conference at Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the world’s highest authority on Sunni Islam, hosted by Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of the educational institution.

Pope Tawadros and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox churches, are also expected to participate.

The pope will also meet separately with el-Sissi and other officials. Observers will be watching whether the pope will take on thorny issues with his hosts, such as the detention of thousands of Egyptians, without due process, simply held on suspicion of opposing el-Sissi.

Others will watch to see if Pope Francis prods the Sunni Muslim religious establishment to take a more forceful stand on religious extremism perpetrated in the name of God.

Many hope the al-Azhar meeting will sound a moral wake-up call to leaders worldwide to combat religious intolerance while seeking greater cooperation to fight growing threats by Islamic State and other extremist groups.

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Contributing to this story was Dale Gavlak in Amman, Jordan.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 23 min

Pat Goedde, a 1991 La Salle alum and the top assistant and JV Head Coach for the Lancers, has been named the 4th Head Varsity Basketball Coach in the 56 year history of La Salle High School, Director of Athletics Keith Pantling announced on Tuesday.

“After hours of conversations with Pat, it became very clear to us that the best candidate to lead our basketball team was already on campus,” said Keith. “While there was great interest in this position, Pat’s genuine passion and love for La Salle was very evident. I am confident that La Salle basketball will continue to grow and reach new heights under Pat’s leadership.”

“I have been privileged to be a Lancer since 1987,” said Pat. “This is not just a coaching promotion, this is a dream come true for me. I am very excited to lead our program. This is not just a job, this is my life mission!”

Pat became an assistant coach in 1991 under Dan Fleming immediately following his playing career at La Salle. As an assistant coach for the varsity team for 26 seasons, Pat helped the Lancers to 14 Sectional Titles, seven District Titles, seven GCL South Titles, two Regional Titles and two Division 1 State Championships.

In 1995, Pat was asked to be the Freshmen Head Coach. After seven seasons and an overall record of 102-33, Pat was promoted to JV Head Coach in 2002. He has compiled a 221-84 overall record including 112-57 conference record in his 15 seasons leading the JV.

Off the court, Pat builds strong, personal relationships with his student-athletes. “The basketball alumni have made their voice heard.” Keith added. “Pat is relationship-driven and truly strives to help each student-athlete reach their full potential in mind, body and spirit.”

“We are excited to have Pat as our next basketball coach,” says Principal Aaron Marshall. “He understands the importance of helping our young men develop their full potential on and off the court.”

“The one thing that stands out with Pat is how hard the kids play for him,” says former La Salle Head Basketball Coach Hep Cronin. “Pat was never afraid to ask questions and always listened and learned. His work ethic and humility have allowed him to develop from a young coach to an experienced leader of young men.” Hep is the father of La Salle alum Mick Cronin, classmate and friend of Pat and current UC Bearcats Head Basketball Coach.

Pat earned an Associates of Arts in Pre-Education and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Cincinnati. He will continue to serve as physical education and health teacher at St. Jude Elementary School where he has served for 15 years. He and his wife, Angela, have three children: Andrew (9), Austin (7), and Anna Grace (5). They reside in Lakehills in Colerain Township and are proud members of St. Ignatius Parish.

“There is a spirit at La Salle where teachers, coaches and administrators build extraordinary relationships with their students and players,” says Pat. “I want to thank the La Salle community for their support as we move this program to the next level. Let’s go to work!”

La Salle is located at 3091 North Bend Road in Green Township and has served students from the Greater Cincinnati area since 1960. The school website is www.lasallehs.net. Follow us on Twitter @LaSallePride and Facebook facebook.com/CincinnatiLaSalle

MISSION: As a Catholic School in the Lasallian tradition, La Salle High School prepares young men to achieve their full potential in body, mind and spirit.

VISION: Students will be guided to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Pat Goedde Coaching Timeline

1991-2017: Assistant Coach Varsity Basketball, La Salle

1995-2002: Head Freshman Basketball Coach, La Salle

2002-2017: Head JV Basketball Coach, La Salle

2017: Head Varsity Basketball Coach, La Salle

2 days 36 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carrie McClish, Catholic Voice

By Carrie McClish

OAKLAND, Calif. (CNS) — A new shiny truck is bringing food to senior citizens in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood and nearby communities.

A year in the making, the Mercy Brown Bag Program has expanded, with the truck visiting several locales and offering assistance to seniors faced with the high cost of rent and medication.

Krista Lucchesi, director of the program that is part of the services of the Mercy Retirement and Care Center, couldn’t stop smiling as she looked at the vehicle parked behind the residential care facility.

Having the truck “now is kind of amazing for all of us,” she told The Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Oakland Diocese.

Staff and volunteers cheered the truck as it arrived April 2 after a cross-country trip from St. Louis, where it was built. Nicole St. Lawrence, Mercy Brown Bag’s assistant director, brought the truck west on a mission to help stem the tide of senior hunger in Alameda County.

Most recipients enrolled in the Mercy Brown Bag Program have an average yearly income of less than $12,000 in a county where the annual median income is $82,000. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,663 a month, Lucchesi said. In such a costly environment, many seniors must make difficult choices about buying food, medication or shelter in order to survive.

“Healthy food is usually the first thing they will give up,” Lucchesi said.

That’s where the Mercy Brown Bag Program comes in. The program delivers food to 5,000 seniors at 17 sites and through 45 social service providers. Most of the food that the program distributes comes from the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Each registered person can take home up to 20 pounds of groceries. Much of the food from a variety of food groups can be considered senior-appropriate: low in sodium and easy to chew.

Contacts at the distribution sites indicate which foods are more desired or more popular.

“Some sites say to bring rice every single time and say, ‘we are always going to want rice’ or ‘we love sweet potatoes,'” Lucchesi said. “Whenever we can find them we try to make sure we have certain foods available for that site.”

Fresh produce makes up the majority of the food delivered. The new truck is equipped with a system that will lower baskets of produce to street level, making food selection easier. The truck has a refrigerated area, allowing for the transport of milk and other products that must be chilled.

The food truck, which cost about $200,000, was paid for with donations from the Thomas J. Long Foundation and the Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation.

The truck is allowing the program to reach up to 3,000 more seniors in need, Lucchesi said. “We are currently building our route to see which areas are not as well served,” she said.

The truck also will help address new challenges facing seniors.

“We kept getting calls from low-income seniors who are homebound and with little or no social support,” Lucchesi said. “We used to be able to ask them, ‘Do you have a child or a friend or a neighbor who can come and get your bags for you?’ People had some social connections. But now the isolation is so much deeper and we are hearing more and more from people who say they have no one who can come out to pick up their bag, which makes us sad. So we have been trying to figure out how to get closer to those folks.”

The truck may also help address public transportation concerns.

“We have been getting calls where people are saying, ‘I don’t have any money to get on public transportation to get to one of your sites.’ They are really, really living on the edge. This (truck) is a way to get food to them so that they don’t have to go on public transportation,” Lucchesi said.

A formal dedication of the truck took place April 19 and deliveries were to begin as soon as drivers were hired and trained.

– – –

McClish is a staff writer for The Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Diocese of Oakland.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 18 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/EPA

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Despite the ongoing risk of terrorism, Pope Francis planned to travel to Egypt as a sign of being close to the people there, said Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman.

Heightened security is part of the “new normal” in many countries, but even in the wake of the Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt, it is the pope’s desire “to go ahead, to also be a sign of his closeness” to those affected by violence and all the people of Egypt, Burke told journalists April 24.

At a Vatican briefing outlining some details of the pope’s trip to Cairo April 28-29, a reporter asked if there were any worries or concerns about the pope’s security.

Burke, speaking in Italian, said he wouldn’t use the word “worries” or concerns, but would say that “we live in a world where it is now something that is part of life.” He added, “However, we move ahead with serenity.”

The pope has requested that a “normal car” — not an armored vehicle — be used when he is driven from one venue to another, Burke said. It will not be an open-topped vehicle, he added.

The pope will use a “golf cart,” however, rather than the open-air popemobile when he makes the rounds through the crowds at the air defense stadium, where Mass will be celebrated April 29.

He also will use the golf cart for circulating among the more than 1,000 seminarians, religious and clergy expected to attend an outdoor prayer service at the Coptic Catholic Church’s St. Leo’s Patriarchal Seminary in the Cairo suburb of Maadi April 28.

Burke said that after Pope Francis’ private meeting with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, at the patriarch’s residence April 28, the two leaders will go together to the nearby church of Sts. Peter and Paul, which had been bombed during a Sunday Mass in December 2016, killing 24 people and injuring at least 45 others.

They will pray “for all the victims from these past years and months, pray for Christians killed,” Burke said.

The two will leave flowers outside the church, light a candle and then have a moment of prayer for the victims from the December attack, the Vatican spokesman said.

Soon afterward, the pope will go to the apostolic nunciature, where he will be staying, and will greet a group of children who attend a Comboni-run school in Cairo and later will greet more than 300 young people who made a pilgrimage to Cairo to see the pope, he added.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 23 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The World Seen From Rome
Posted

Pope Francis stressed this today to members of the Papal Foundation, who are in Rome for their annual pilgrimage. The foundation is a charity which financially supports the pastoral activities of the pontiffs.

According to its website, the Papal Foundation began in 1988 as a response to the desire of Catholic clergy and laity in the U.S. for a unique, sustainable way to support the Holy Father and his witness in the world.

Income generated from the investment of capital creates a perpetual source of revenue. The portfolio does not invest in any companies that engage in activities inconsistent with our faith.

In his address this morning, Pope Francis expressed that their meeting today was “pervaded by the joy of the Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord’s victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit.”

He expressed his hope that their pilgrimage will strengthen them in faith and hope, and in their “commitment to promote the Church’s mission by supporting so many religious and charitable causes close to the heart of the Pope.”

Our Witness to Gospel Is Needed

“Today’s world, so often torn by violence, greed and indifference,” the Pope went on to say, “greatly needs our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love.”

The Pontiff thanked them for their desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim the message of hope “to the ends of the earth” and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.

Each Called to Foster Unity, Peace

“Each of us, as a living member of Christ’s body,” he stressed, “is called to foster the unity and peace that is the Father’s will, in Christ, for our human family and all its members.”

Pope Francis, before concluding and giving his Apostolic Blessing, said: I ask you, as a vital part of your commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal.”

“And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me!”

***

On ZENIT’s Web page

Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-papal-foundation-2/

On the NET:

Official Site of the Papal Foundation: https://www.thepapalfoundation.org/

 

3 hours 3 min

Pope Francis met this Thursday morning with the participants in Catholic Action’s 2nd International Congress on the theme “Catholic Action Is Mission with All and for All.”

Speaking in Spanish and off-the-cuff, the Pontiff addressed some 300 participants and said: ”I’m going to permit myself to put the text aside and to tell you what I feel.”

He divided his address into six points: charism in the light of Evangelii Gaudium, guidelines for action, the subjects or agents, the recipients and the style Catholic Action must have and its Plan.

On Catholic Action’s style, he wondered: “How can we re-formulate the charism in the light of Evangelii Gaudium, which is the framework of the whole apostolic action in the Church today?” Francis pointed out that CA’s charism must be that of the “Church deeply incarnated in the today and here of each diocesan Church,” supported on four fundamental pillars: prayer, formation, sacrifice and apostolate, of which — given the characteristics of this moment –, the apostolate “must be distinctive,” stressed Francis. “There is an integrating dynamism in the mission. It is the mission that integrates,” he added.

Thinking how to renew the evangelizing commitment, the Holy Father said that the mission is the fundamental task of Catholic Action and he invited them to renew and actualize this commitment to evangelization, reaching in truth everyone and all the existential peripheries, assuming the totality of the Church’s mission “in generous belonging to the diocesan Church from the Parish.”

Speaking of the agents, Francis pointed out that all the members of Catholic Action are dynamically missionaries, and he exhorted them to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them, abandoning old criteria and “adopting the criteria that is necessary today.”

He invited Catholic Action to “be present in the political, entrepreneurial, and professional world, in prisons, hospitals, villages, factories, so that it is not transformed into an institution of the “exclusive, which does not say anything to anyone, and neither to the Church herself. All have a right to be evangelizers,” he stressed.

And, in this context, the Pontiff affirmed that Catholic Action must popularize itself more.

“Catholic Action cannot be far from the people but in the midst of the people” and, to be able to follow this way, “it is good to receive a deluge of people,” he added.

The Pope also pointed out the steps through which Catholic Action’s “plan” must pass: to “get in first,” to involve itself, to accompany, to fructify and celebrate, walking together.

 

And he exhorted them: Spread with the joy of the faith! Do not fall into the temptation of structuralism. The Catholic passion, the Church’s passion is to live the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.

3 hours 39 min

On April 22, 2017, Pope Francis wrote in Latin to Cardinal Franc Rode, his special envoy for the celebration of the 550th anniversary of the arrival of the icon of Our Lady of Scutari, Albania, at the church of Genazzano, near Rome.

The celebration, taking place on April 26 in the National Shrine of Scutari in Albania, commemorates the arrival of the statue of Our Lady of Scutari at the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel of Genazzano, after the Albanian Shrine was destroyed by the Ottomans in 1467.

Celebrations are also being held in the Italian town. Earlier this week, Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, Archbishop Emeritus of Palermo, celebrated a solemn Mass.

The Slovenian Cardinal Franc Rode is Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

3 hours 53 min

Like Jesus, we are to be witnesses of obedience.

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis urged this today, April 27, 2017, during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, his last before departing for his Apostolic Visit to Egypt, April  28-29.

The Pope’s homily focused on today’s reading, in which Peter says before the Sanhedrin: “You must obey God rather than men.”  Francis recalled that an angel had freed Peter and the Apostles from prison and that they were forbidden to teach in Jesus’s name. Yet the high priest said: “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us”.

To help those present in his chapel better understand this event, the Jesuit Pontiff also referred to the Book of Acts, regarding the early months of the Church  which describes a growing Christian community and many miracles.

While there was the faith of the people, Francis said, there were also “wily” people trying to take advantage of the situation and “wanting to make a career for themselves,” he lamented.

Happens Too Today

Today, we see the same kind of dynamics, the Holy Father observed, especially when we refer to those who despise “God’s faithful people.”

In today’s reading, the Pope noted, Peter, who betrayed Jesus on Holy Thursday, this time, courageously answered the high priest saying: “we must obey God rather than men.”

Peter’s answer, the Successor of Peter said, makes it clear that “a Christian is a witness of obedience” as Jesus was. He recalled when Jesus said to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane: “not my will but yours be done.”

“The Christian is a witness of obedience,” he said, pointing out,  “if we are not on this path and growing in our witness we are not Christians.”

He stressed that being Christian demands this trait.

“Jesus,” the Pope clarified, “is not the testimonial of an idea, of a philosophy, of a company, of a bank or of power: he is a testimonial of obedience”.

Holy Spirit’s Grace

To become a “witness of obedience,” the Pontiff highlighted, we need the “grace of the Holy Spirit”.

“Only the Spirit can make us witnesses of obedience. It’s not enough to listen to spiritual guides or to read books…. all that is fine but only the Spirit can change our heart and make us witnesses of obedience,” he said.

We must ask for this grace, the Pope said, recommending we say: “Father,  Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.”

To be witnesses of obedience, Francis also warned, implies consequences. In the first reading, after Peter responded, the high priests wanted to put him to death.

Crosses to Be Expected

“Persecutions were the consequences of this witness of obedience. When Jesus lists the Beatitudes he ends with the words ‘Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you,’” he said.

The cross, the Pope pointed out, cannot be taken away from the life of a Christian.

“Being a Christian has nothing to do with social status, it is not a lifestyle that makes one feel good; being a Christian means being a witness of obedience and the life of a Christian is full of insults and persecutions.”

Pope Francis concluded his homily saying that in order to be witnesses of obedience like Jesus, it is necessary to pray, to recognize that we are sinners with much “worldliness” in our hearts.

He also encouraged those present to ask God for the grace of becoming witnesses of obedience” and to not be afraid when we are insulted and persecuted “because as the Lord said: the Spirit will tell us what to answer.”

 

 

4 hours 4 sec

Here is the Vatican-provided text of an address Pope Francis gave today to members of the Papal Foundation, who are in Rome for their annual pilgrimage. The foundation is a charity which financially supports the pastoral activities of the pontiffs.

__

I am pleased to greet the members of The Papal Foundation on this, your annual visit to Rome. Our meeting today is pervaded by the joy of the Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord’s victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit. It is my hope that your pilgrimage to the Eternal City will strengthen you in faith and hope, and in your commitment to promote the Church’s mission by supporting so many religious and charitable causes close to the heart of the Pope.

Today’s world, so often torn by violence, greed and indifference, greatly needs our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love. I am grateful for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries. Each of us, as a living member of Christ’s body, is called to foster the unity and peace that is the Father’s will, in Christ, for our human family and all its members. I ask you, as a vital part of your commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me!

Dear friends, with these words of encouragement, and with great affection, I commend you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church. To all of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.

Thank you.

[Original Text: Italian] [Vatican-provided translation]

 

 

8 hours 44 min

“Ours is not an absent God, sequestered in a very distant heaven. Instead, He is a God “passionate” for man, so tenderly loving that He is incapable of separating Himself from him. Also in today’s General Audience, April 26, 2017, Pope Francis put the accent on the message of hope contained in the Gospel. He did so, evoking the Christian symbol of the anchor, which represents the indissoluble bond  between us and Heaven.

His reflection began with the last words of Saint Matthew’s Gospel: “I will be with you always, to the close of the age,” which “recall the prophetic proclamation we find at the beginning, that is, “He will be given the name Emmanuel, which means God with us.” Francis pointed out that the whole Gospel is enclosed in these two quotations.

They demonstrate God’s closeness to our human affairs. Francis reflected: “We humans are clever in cutting bonds and bridges. He, instead, does not; if our heart becomes cold, His remains incandescent. Our God accompanies us always even if, unfortunately, we were to forget Him. On the ridge that divides incredulity from faith, the discovery is decisive of being loved and accompanied by our Father, of not being left alone by Him,” he continued.

The Father’s company persists throughout our “pilgrimage,” added the Pontiff, recalling the figure of Abraham who obeyed the divine command “Go from your country.” A journey that we Christians undertake with Jesus beside us, because He assures us that He “not only waits for us at the end of our long journey, but that He accompanies us in every one of our days.”

In fact, “the heavens will pass away, the earth will pass away, human hopes will be cancelled, but the Word of God is greater than all and will not pass away,” said the Holy Father. The Pope’s invitation, therefore, is to remember that “God will surely provide for all our needs; He will not abandon us in the time of trial and darkness,” – a certainty that we call “Providence.”

See then why the Pope brought to mind the Christian symbol of the anchor. “It expresses that our hope is not vague; it is not confused with the changing sentiments of one who wants to improve the things of this world in an unrealistic way, relying only on his will power,” he affirmed. This symbol “is an instrument for navigators who throw it on the beach and grip the rope to bring the boat to the shore,” and therefore “our faith is the anchor in heaven, faith brings us close to heaven,’ he added.

Finally, the Pontiff recalled the old Latin adage “Homo viator, spe erectus,” which means that “man is a wayfarer, supported by faith.” All that remains then is to trust “that the good God is already at work to bring about what humanly seems impossible, because the anchor is on heaven’s beach.” After all, “there is no part of the world that escapes the victory of the Risen Christ, the victory of love,” concluded the Pope.

 

1 day 48 min

Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, has reiterated that Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinals are continuing to discuss curial reform.

During a briefing held this afternoon in the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican spokesman informed journalists about the 19th Session of the “Council of Cardinals,” often called the “C9,” which began Monday and ends this afternoon in the Vatican.

Director Burke noted that the Pope participated in all, but this morning’s meeting, due to his weekly General Audience.

The working sessions were held in the morning from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm, and in the afternoon, from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, and were dedicated to further considerations on several dicasteries of the Curia, in particular, the discussion continued on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), and on the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

The Cardinals also studied texts proposed by the Holy Father regarding the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts; and three tribunals: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

During these days, the council also studied the selection and formation of staff at the service of the Holy See, laymen and clergymen. Participating were officials and superiors of the State Secretariat, of the Council for the Economy, and of the Labor Office of the Apostolic See (ULSA).

Present for the State Secretariat were Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher and Monsignor Jan Romeo Pawlowski. Intervening for the Council for the Economy, in addition to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, was Professor Franco Vermiglio, member of the same council. Reporting to the Cardinals for ULSA were Monsignor Giorgio Corbellini and lawyer Salvatore Vecchio.

Another important topic addressed by the C9, the Vatican spokesman noted, was the relation between the Episcopal Conferences and the Roman Curia.

Cardinal George Pell gave an update on the work of the Secretariat for the Economy presided by him, with special attention to the monitoring of last year’s budget.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley updated the Council on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, with particular attention to the programs of global education, the last Plenary Meeting and the visit to several Dicasteries.

The Council of Cardinals consists of the following nine prelates: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago, Chile; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston; Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy; Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.

The next session of the Council of Cardinals is scheduled for June 12-14.

1 day 57 min

This morning’s General Audience was held at 9:25 in St. Peter’s Square, where Pope Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.

In his address in Italian, the Pope focused his meditation on the theme: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (cf. Matthew 28:20): The Promise that Gives Hope.”

After summarizing his catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father expressed special greetings to groups of faithful present.

The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

Below is a ZENIT working translation of Pope Francis’ address this morning:

* * *

The Holy Father’s Catechesis

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The last words of Matthew’s Gospel recall the prophetic proclamation that we find at the beginning: “His name shall be called Emmanuel, which means, God with us” (Matthew 1:23; cf. Isaiah 7:14). God will be with us, every day, to the close of the age. The whole Gospel is enclosed in these two quotations, words that communicate the mystery of a God whose name, whose identity is to be-with: He is not an isolated God; He is a God-with, in particular, with us, namely, with the human creature. Our God is not an absent God, sequestered in a very distant heaven; instead, He is a God “passionate” for man, so tenderly loving as to be incapable of separating Himself from him. We humans are clever in cutting off bonds and bridges. He, instead, is not. If our heart becomes cold, His remains always incandescent; our God accompanies us always, even if, unfortunately, we were to forget Him. Decisive on the ridge that divides incredulity from faith is the discovery of being loved and accompanied by our Father, of never being left alone by Him.

Our existence is a pilgrimage, a journey. Even all those who are moved by a simply human hope perceive the seduction of the horizon, which drives them to explore worlds they still do not know. Our spirit is a migrant spirit. The Bible is full of stories of pilgrims and travelers. Abraham’s vocation began with this command: “Go from your country” (Genesis 12:1). And the Patriarch left that piece of the world that he knew well and that was one of the cradles of the civilization of his time. Everything conspired against the good sense of that trip. Yet Abraham left. We do not become mature men and women if we do not perceive the attraction of the horizon: that limit between heaven and earth, which calls to be reached by a people of walkers.

In his journey on earth, man is never alone. The Christian especially never feels abandoned, because Jesus assures us that He does not only wait for us at the end of our long journey, but that He accompanies us in every one of our days.

Until when will God’s care continue in His dealings with man? Until when will the Lord Jesus, who walks with us, until when will He care for us? The Gospel’s answer leaves no room for doubt: to the close of the age! The heavens will pass away, the earth will pass away, human hopes will be cancelled, but the Word of God is greater than all and will not pass away. And He will be the God with us, the God Jesus who walks with us. There will be no day in our life in which we will cease to be of concern for God’s heart. But someone might say: “But what are you saying?” I say this: there will be no day in our life in which we will cease to be of concern for God’s heart. He is concerned about us, and walks with us. And why does He do this? — Simply because He loves us. Is this understood? He loves us! And God will surely provide for all our needs; He will not abandon us in the time of trial and of darkness. This certainty calls for being nested in our spirit to never be extinguished. Some call it with the name “Providence,” that is, God’s closeness, God’s love, God’s walking with us is also called “God’s Providence”: He provides for our life.

It is no accident that among the Christian symbols of hope there is one that I like so much: the anchor. It expresses that our hope is not vague; it is not confused with the changing sentiment of one who wishes to improve the things of this world in an unrealistic way, relying only on his will power. Christian hope finds its root in fact not in the attraction of the future but in the certainty of what God has promised us and realized in Jesus Christ. If He has guaranteed that He will never abandon us, if the beginning of every vocation is a “Follow Me,” with which He assures us that He will always stay ahead us, then why fear? With this promise, Christians can walk everywhere, also going across portions of the wounded world, where things are not going well, we are among those that even there continue to hope. The Psalm says: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). It is precisely where the darkness increases that it is necessary to have a light lit. Let us return to the anchor. Our faith is the anchor in heaven. We have our life anchored in heaven. What must we do? <We must> grip the cord: it is always there. And we go ahead because we are sure that our life has as an anchor in heaven, on that shore where we will arrive.

If we entrusted ourselves only to our strength, we would certainly have reason to feel disappointed and defeated, because the world often shows itself refractory to the laws of love. So often it prefers the laws of egoism. However, if the certainty survives in us that God does not abandon us, that God loves us and this world tenderly, then the perspective changes immediately. “Homo viator, spe erectus,” said the ancients. Along the way, Jesus’ promise “I am with you” makes us stand, erect, with hope, confident that the good God is already working to bring about what humanly seems impossible, because the anchor is on heaven’s beach.

The holy faithful people of God are people that stand – “homo viator” — and walk, but stand, “erectus,” and walk in hope. And, wherever they go, they know that God’s love has preceded them: there is no part of the world that escapes the victory of the Risen Christ. And what is the victory of the Risen Christ? <It is> the victory of love. Thank you

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester] 

In Italian

A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the youngsters of the Profession of Faith of Treviso and the couples of the Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo, who are observing their 50th wedding anniversary: I hope that this pilgrimage will arouse in each one the rediscovery of the Sacraments received, efficacious signs of God’s grace in our life. And you, who observe your 50th wedding anniversary, say to young people that it is beautiful: beautiful is the life of Christian marriage!

I greet the participants in the congress on the anti-earthquake building industry in Latin America at the Italo-Latin American Institute promoted by the European University; the third-age Divine Word Fathers; the Blue Telephone Association; the Choir of Clusone; the faithful of Cardito, Belvedere and Pellezzano, as well as the “Soccer Priests” sports society and those of Andria and Oriolo. May the visit to the tombs of the Apostles foster in all the sense of belonging to the ecclesial family.

A special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Yesterday we celebrated the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. May his discipleship in following Saint Paul be an example for you, dear young people, to put yourselves in the following of the Savior; may his intercession support you, dear sick, in the difficulty and trial of sickness; and may his brief and incisive Gospel remind you, dear newlyweds, of the importance of prayer in the matrimonial course you have undertaken.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
1 day 7 hours

Pope Francis has participated tonight (3:30 a.m. Rome time) in TED 2017, which is taking place in Vancouver Canada, with a ‘TED Talk’ which lasted 18 minutes.

The video, recorded in the Vatican, is available on the website www.ted.com with subtitles in more than 20 languages: https://www.ted.com/talks/pope_francis_why_the_only_future_worth_building_includes_everyone?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co&utm_content=talk&utm_term=global-social%20issues

This marks the first-ever papal TED Talk.

A non-profit organization, TED is dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short talks. It had begun in 1984 as a conference covering Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), and today provides talks from a wide range of different speakers.

Sources report that those following TED’s annual Conference were promised a surprise “world figure” who would deliver his 18-minute message on the conference theme, “The Future You,”alongside tennis and chess champions, including Serena Williams, and entrepreneurs.

Yet, no one expected it to be the Supreme Pontiff.

Below is the Vatican – provided working English translation of the Pope’s words:

***

His Holiness Pope Francis TED Talk

Recorded in Vatican City

First shown at TED2017, Vancouver, Canada, 25 April 2017

English translation

Video available at www.ted.com

***

Good evening – or, good morning, I am not sure what time it is there.

Regardless of the hour, I am thrilled to be participating in your conference. I very much like its title – “The Future You” – because, while looking at tomorrow, it invites us to open a dialogue today, to look at the future through a “you.”

“The Future You:” the future is made of yous, it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others. Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.

As I meet, or lend an ear to those who are sick, to the migrants who face terrible hardships in search of a brighter future, to prison inmates who carry a hell of pain inside their hearts, and to those, many of them young, who cannot find a job, I often find myself wondering:

“Why them and not me?” I, myself, was born in a family of migrants; my father, my grandparents, like many other Italians, left for Argentina and met the fate of those who are left with nothing. I could have very well ended up among today’s “discarded” people.

And that’s why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: “Why them and not me?” First and foremost, I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent “I,” separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone.

We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state. Even the harsh judgment I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancor that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a fight that I carry within me, a flare deep in my heart that needs to be extinguished before it goes up in flames, leaving only ashes behind.

Many of us, nowadays, seem to believe that a happy future is something impossible to achieve. While such concerns must be taken very seriously, they are not invincible. They can be overcome when we don’t lock our door to the outside world.

Happiness can only be discovered as a gift of harmony between the whole and each single component. Even science – and you know it better than I do – points to an understanding of reality as a place where every element connects and interacts with everything else.

And this brings me to my second message. How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.

How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries.

Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the “culture of waste,” which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.

Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary. Solidarity, however, is not an automatic mechanism. It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and everyone. Yes, a free response!

When one realizes that life, even in the middle of so many contradictions, is a gift, that love is the source and the meaning of life, how can they withhold their urge to do good to another fellow being?

In order to do good, we need memory, we need courage and we need creativity. And I know that TED gathers many creative minds. Yes, love does require a creative, concrete and ingenious attitude. Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough. Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The “you” is always a real presence, a person to take care of.

There is a parable Jesus told to help us understand the difference between those who’d rather not be bothered and those who take care of the other. I am sure you have heard it before. It is the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

When Jesus was asked: “Who is my neighbor?” – namely, “Who should I take care of?” – he told this story, the story of a man who had been assaulted, robbed, beaten and abandoned along a dirt road. Upon seeing him, a priest and a Levite, two very influential people of the time, walked past him without stopping to help. After a while, a Samaritan, a very much despised ethnicity at the time, walked by. Seeing the injured man lying on the ground, he did not ignore him as if he weren’t even there. Instead, he felt compassion for this man, which compelled him to act in a very concrete manner. He poured oil and wine on the wounds of the helpless man, brought him to a hostel and paid out of his pocket for him to be assisted.

The story of the Good Samaritan is the story of today’s humanity. People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people. And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves “respectable,” of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.

Fortunately, there are also those who are creating a new world by taking care of the other, even out of their own pockets. Mother Teresa actually said: “One cannot love, unless it is at their own expense.”

We have so much to do, and we must do it together. But how can we do that with all the evil we breathe every day?

Thank God, no system can nullify our desire to open up to the good, to compassion and to our capacity to react against evil, all of which stem from deep within our hearts.

Now you might tell me, “Sure, these are beautiful words, but I am not the Good Samaritan, nor Mother Teresa of Calcutta.” On the contrary: we are precious, each and every one of us. Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God. Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.

To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.

Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life.

And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist.

And that individual can be you. And then there will be another “you,” and another “you,” and it turns into an “us.” And so, does hope begin when we have an “us?” No. Hope began with one “you.” When there is an “us,” there begins a revolution.

The third message I would like to share today is, indeed, about revolution: the revolution of tenderness.

What is tenderness? It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands. Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.

Tenderness is the language of the young children, of those who need the other. A child’s love for mom and dad grows through their touch, their gaze, their voice, their tenderness. I like when I hear parents talk to their babies, adapting to the little child, sharing the same level of communication. This is tenderness: being on the same level as the other.

God himself descended into Jesus to be on our level. This is the same path the Good Samaritan took. This is the path that Jesus himself took. He lowered himself, he lived his entire human existence practicing the real, concrete language of love.

Yes, tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.

Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.

There is a saying in Argentina: “Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.” You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.

Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.

The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they do hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a “you” and themselves as part of an “us.”

We all need each other.

And so, please, think of me as well with tenderness, so that I can fulfill the task I have been given for the good of the other, of each and every one, of all of you, of all of us.

Thank you.

[Original Text: Italian] [Vatican-provided working translation]

***

On the NET:

To watch the Pope’s video-message: https://www.ted.com/talks/pope_francis_why_the_only_future_worth_building_includes_everyone?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co&utm_content=talk&utm_term=global-social%20issues

1 day 7 hours

Through the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the Holy Father Francis sent a message to the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM), meeting in its 103rd Plenary Assembly, in which he exhorts to work tirelessly to foster the values of the family and the building of a more supportive, fraternal and just society.

The message, sent to the Apostolic Nunciature, was read on Monday afternoon by the Archbishop Emeritus of Morelia, Alberto Suarez Inda, in the Mass prior to the event, celebrated in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and in the framework of the centenary of the National Union of Parents (UNPF).

“Cardinal Jose Francisco Robles Ortega, Archbishop of Guadalajara, President of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, His Holiness Pope Francis greets warmly the Mexican Bishops gathered to begin the 103rd Plenary Assembly, as well as the members of the National Union of Parents, on the occasion of the centenary of this institution’s foundation,” reads the message.

And he exhorts those in the assembly “to seek, in the example of the Family of Nazareth, the inspiration and stimulus necessary to continue working together and tirelessly in favor of the fostering of values of the family and the building of a more supportive, fraternal and just society, where God’s love shines,” says the Pope in the message.

“With these sentiments, while entrusting you to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, the Holy Father imparts his heartfelt implored Apostolic Blessing, which he is pleased to extend to all those who join this celebration,” ends the message signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, His Holiness’ Secretary of State.

The celebration was presided over by Cardinal Jose Francisco Robles Ortega, Archbishop of Guadalajara and President of CEM. Concelebrating with him were the Bishops of the Mexican Episcopal Conference.

The 103rd Plenary Assembly of the Mexican Episcopal Conference began today and will end on April 28. Some 134 Bishops are attending it, from the country’s 95 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, grouped in 18 provinces. Also attending is the Apostolic Nuncio, the President of the Conference of Major Religious Superiors of Mexico (CIRM), and the Executive Secretaries of the Episcopal Commission and members of the team of Vicars of Pastoral Care.

1 day 8 hours

“I give a warm welcome to the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, particularly those from the Middle East!”, said Pope Francis during the General Audience of April 26, 2017.

This morning’s General Audience was held at 9:30 in St. Peter’s Square, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.

The Pope spoke in Italian, translated immediately into Arabic by one of his collaborators in the Roman Curia: “Dear brothers and sisters, remind yourselves always that our existence is a pilgrimage and that the love of God precedes us, and sustains us in our journey.”

“May the Lord bless you all!” he said.

 

1 day 8 hours

Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:

***

Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: During this Easter season, our catechesis on Christian hope reflects on the resurrection of Jesus the basis of our firm trust in God’s constant protection and love. Saint Matthew’s Gospel begins with the birth of Jesus as Emmanuel – “God with us” – and concludes with the Risen Lord’s promise that he will remain with us always, to the end of the age. At every step of life’s journey, God is at our side, leading us as he did the patriarchs of old, to the goal of our earthly pilgrimage. His care lasts “to the end of the age”; the heavens and the earth will pass away, yet he will continue to watch over us in his loving providence. From ancient times, Christian hope has been symbolized by the anchor, as a sign of its firm basis in God’s promises, which have been fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Because our trust is in God, and not in ourselves or this world, we readily take up Jesus’ invitation to follow him, nor do we lose heart before life’s difficulties, disappointments and defeats. May our hope in victory of the Risen Christ confirm us on every step of our journey towards the fullness of eternal life.

Speaker:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!

[Original text: English]

© Libreria editrice vaticana

1 day 9 hours

We are to proclaim the Gospel with humility.

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis urged this today, April 25, 2017, the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, his second since the Easter break.

The Pope’s homily focused on the passage from the Gospel of St Mark, which relates the story of the Great Commission. He said “the Gospel is always proclaimed on the journey, never seated, always on the journey.”

The Gospel, Francis stressed, must be proclaimed with humility, overcoming the temptation of pride, and Christians, he encouraged, must go out to proclaim the Good News, remaining on that journey, without stopping.

On Preachers Who Seek Life Insurance Policies

A preacher, Francis also said, must always be on a journey and not seek “an insurance policy,” seeking safety by remaining in one place.

Christians, the Pope said, need “to go out where Jesus is not known, or where Jesus is persecuted, or where Jesus is disfigured, to proclaim the true Gospel.”

“To go out in order to proclaim. And, also, in this going out there is life, the life of the preacher is played out. He is not safe; there are no life insurance policies for preachers. And if a preacher seeks a life insurance policy, he is not a true preacher of the Gospel: He doesn’t go out, he stays in place, safe.

So, first of all: Go, go out. The Gospel, the proclamation of Jesus Christ, goes forth, always; on a journey, always. On a physical journey, on a spiritual journey, on a journey of suffering.

But what is “the style of this proclamation?” the Pope asked.

The Pope observed that Saint Peter, who was St Mark’s teacher, was perfectly clear in his description of this style, namely that the Gospel must be announced in humility, because the Son of God humbled Himself, annihilated Himself.”

This, the Pope said, “is the style of God,”noting there is no other.

Not a Carnival, Nor Party

“The proclamation of the Gospel,” he said, “is not a carnival, a party.”

With humility and overcoming the temptation of worldliness, the Gospel must be preached, the Pope said. Never can it be announced, he cautioned, “with human power, cannot be proclaimed with human power, cannot be proclaimed with the spirit of climbing and advancement.”

“This is not the Gospel,” he said.

The Pope then asked those present why is this humility necessary.

“Precisely because,” he answered, “we carry forward a proclamation of humiliation – of glory, but through humility. And the proclamation of the Gospel undergoes temptation: the temptation of power, the temptation of pride, the temptation of worldliness, of so many kinds of worldliness that they bring [to] preaching or to speaking; because he does not preach a watered down Gospel, without strength, a Gospel without Christ crucified and risen.”

“And for this reason,” the Jesuit Pope recalled, “St Peter says: ‘Be vigilant, be vigilant, be vigilant… Your enemy the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.’ The proclamation of the Gospel, if it is true, undergoes temptation.”

Lord Will Comfort

If a Christian says he is proclaiming the Gospel “but is never tempted,” Francis highlighted that it means that “the devil is not worried,” because “we are preaching something useless.”

For this reason, the Holy Father continued, “in true preaching there is always some temptation, and also some persecution.” However, when we are suffering, Francis explained, the Lord is there “to restore us, to give us strength, because that is what Jesus promised when He sent the Apostles.”

“The Lord will be there to comfort us, to give us the strength to go forward, because He works with us if we are faithful to the proclamation of the Gospel, if we go out of ourselves to preach Christ crucified, and if we do this with a style of humility, of true humility.”

Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May the Lord grant us this grace, as baptized people, all of us, to take the path of evangelization with humility.”

The Cardinal counsellors of the C-9 were among those taking part in the Mass, Vatican Radio reported.

2 days 8 hours

Below is a Vatican-provided working translation of Pope Francis’ video-message in preparation for his visit to Egypt, April 28-29, which was broadcasted this morning in Egypt:

* * *

Dear people of Egypt! Al Salamò Alaikum! Peace be with you!

With a joyful and grateful heart I will come in a few days’ time to visit your dear homeland: cradle of civilization, gift of the Nile, land of sun and hospitality, where Patriarchs and Prophets lived and where God, Clement and Merciful, the One and Almighty, made His voice heard.

I am truly happy to come as a friend, as a messenger of peace and as a pilgrim to the Country that gave, more than two thousand years ago, refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family fleeing from the threats of King Herod (cfr. Mt 2:1-26). I am honoured to visit the land visited by the Holy Family!

I greet you cordially and thank you for having invited me to visit Egypt, which you call “Umm il Dugna” / Mother of the Universe!

I warmly thank Mr. President of the Republic, His Holiness the Patriarch Tawadros II, the Great Imam of Al-Azhar and the Coptic Catholic Patriarch who have invited me; and I thank each one of you, who make space for me in your hearts. I also thank all those people who have worked, and are working, to make this trip possible.

I hope that this visit will be an embrace of consolation and of encouragement to all Christians in the Middle East; a message of friendship and esteem to all inhabitants of Egypt and the region; a message of fraternity and reconciliation to all children of Abraham, particularly in the Islamic world, in which Egypt occupies a primary position. I hope that it may also offer a valid contribution to interreligious dialogue with the Islamic world, and to ecumenical dialogue with the venerated and beloved Coptic Orthodox Church.

Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land – needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace, free and liberating people, courageous people able to learn from the past to build a future without closing themselves up in prejudices; it needs builders of bridges of peace, dialogue, brotherhood, justice, and humanity.

Dear Egyptian brothers, young and elderly, women and men, Muslims and Christians, rich and poor … I embrace you warmly and ask God Almighty to bless you and protect your country from every evil.

Please, pray for me! Shukran wa Tahiaì Misr! / Thank you, and long live Egypt!

[Original text: Italian – working translation] [Vatican-provided working translation]
2 days 8 hours

The funeral of Cardinal Attilio Nicora, President Emeritus of the Administration of the Holy See’s Patrimony (APSA) and of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), who died on April 22, 2017, took place on Monday afternoon, April 24, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope presided over the last farewell.

The funeral rites were celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, at the altar of the Chair of Saint Peter. The Book of the Gospels was placed on the coffin of the deceased Cardinal, as it was for the funeral of St. Pope John Paul II.

In his homily, Cardinal Sodano recalled that Cardinal Nicora’s life was totally consecrated to the service of the Church, stressed Vatican Radio in Italian. At the end of the celebration, Pope Francis presided over the rite of the Ultima Commendatio and of the Valedictio.

In a telegram addressed to the deceased’s family this weekend, the Pope expressed his condolences to the cardinal’s loved ones and to the Church of Milan and rendered homage to the “unique competencies” of Cardinal Attilio Nicora and to his service to the Church.  After offering prayers and expressing his closeness to the late cardinal’s loved one’s, the Pontiff entrusted the deceased to the intercession of Mary and of Saint John Paul II “who sent him to govern the diocese of Verona and made him cardinal.”

After Cardinal Attilio Nicora’s death, the College of Cardinals now has 222 members, 117 of whom are electors – younger than 80 – in case of a Conclave.

According to the biography published by the Holy See, Cardinal Attilio Nicora was born in the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy, on March 16, 1937. Ordained priest in 1964, he did his studies in Canon Law in Rome, up to a doctorate, before teaching this discipline in his native diocese.

Pope Paul VI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1977. In 1984 he was appointed Co-President of the ecclesiastical side of the Mixed Italo-Vatican Commission charged with elaborating — in the framework of the revision of the Lateran Accords – the reform of the discipline of ecclesiastical goods. Then until 1995 he was Co-President of the Mixed Commission for the implementation of the New Accord signed in 1984. From 1990 to 1992, he was also President of the Episcopal Commission for the Service of Charity and President of Italian Caritas.

On June 30, 1992, John Paul II appointed him to the Episcopal See of Verona, which he left in 1997 to dedicate himself to juridical and canonical questions linked to the Concordat, within the Episcopal Conference. Called to the Roman Curia in 2002 as President of the Administration of the Apostolic See’s Patrimony (APSA), he was made cardinal the following year.

Benedict XVI appointed him Papal Legate for the Basilicas of Saint Francis and of Saint Mary of the Angels at Assisi in 2006. From 2007 to 2013 he was a member of the Cardinals’ Commission of Surveillance of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) and from 2011 to 2014, he was President of the Financial Information Authority (AIF)

Cardinal Nicora was the “inventor” of the “eight for a thousand,” amount of tax on revenue that Italians can allocate to the religious confession of their choice.

***

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Telegram: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-sends-telegram-for-death-of-telegram-of-condolence-on-cardinal-attilio-nicora/

 

2 days 8 hours

Governments are to promote the “true development” of indigenous peoples.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, made this appeal on April 25, 2017, to the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, taking place on the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

To promote this development, he insisted, requires harmonizing “their right to cultural and social development alongside economic development.”

When initiatives of economic activities affect the indigenous, the Vatican official stated, it is necessary first to obtain their “informed consent.”

“These deeply ingrained values in indigenous traditions and cultures,” Archbishop Auza underscored, “deserve to be set as examples for all people to protect the environment from further degradation. In this regard, indigenous peoples deserve not only our respect, but also our gratitude and support.”

Below is the Vatican Radio – provided text of Archbishop Auza’s address:

***

Madame Chair,

This year’s High-Level Event to mark the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a welcome opportunity for all stakeholders to take stock of the Declaration’s achievements and to assess the remaining challenges.

Two months ago, Pope Francis met in the Vatican with a group representing indigenous peoples from various parts of the world and discussed two aspects of the economic empowerment of indigenous peoples, namely, the right to development and the right to indigenous identity. On various occasions, especially during his visits to Latin America, the Pope has expressed his desire “to be a spokesman for the deepest longings of indigenous peoples” and, in pleading for respect for indigenous peoples, to raise greater public awareness about the fact that indigenous peoples continue to be “threatened in their identity and even in their existence.”

The Holy See believes that, to promote the true development of indigenous peoples, there must be the harmonization of their right to cultural and social development alongside economic development. This is especially clear when planning economic activities that may interfere with indigenous people’s cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth and to nature, which, if not managed with mutual respect and due regard to their rights could lead to confrontation and conflict of interests.

These concerns can be addressed through “prior and informed consent” of indigenous peoples for initiatives that affect them, be they government initiatives or private sector projects. “In this regard, the right to prior and informed consent should always prevail, as foreseen in Article 32 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Indigenous communities are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners when large projects affecting their ancestral lands are proposed. As Pope Francis affirmed, for these indigenous communities, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values. Hence, they care for it best themselves they remain on their own land. Nevertheless, in various parts of the world, pressure is being put on them to abandon their homelands to make room for agricultural or mining projects that are undertaken without regard for the need to protect nature and to preserve the traditions and cultures of the indigenous peoples who have lived those lands from times immemorial.

The Holy See therefore welcomes those national policies that require consultations with, and the informed consent of, indigenous peoples before development projects in their ancestral lands are approved and implemented.

Moreover, there ought to be development of guidelines and projects that respect indigenous identity. This means recognizing that indigenous communities are a part of the population, whose full participation should be promoted and encouraged at the local and national level, thus preventing their further marginalization and promoting their full integration into society. A lack of respect for indigenous identity is a violation of the spirit and letter of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which demands that no one should be left behind.

Respect for indigenous identity also favors the care for our common home. In fact, indigenous traditions and cultures highlight the important interaction and interdependence of the human person and nature, and features particular care for earth as a nurturing mother. Their approach to nature instils in them a greater sense of responsibility, a stronger sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. They also have a heightened sense of intergenerational solidarity, as they are genuinely concerned to take care of the environment for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

These deeply ingrained values in indigenous traditions and cultures deserve to be set as examples for all people to protect the environment from further degradation. In this regard, indigenous peoples deserve not only our respect, but also our gratitude and support.

Thank you, Madame Chairman.

2 days 9 hours

A family from Bethlehem will teach Pope Francis the words of the Sign of the Cross in Arabic, the day before he leaves for Egypt for his 18th Apostolic Visit to Cairo, April 28-29.

“In this way, the Pope will be more prepared for his visit,” said children Anthony and Lea, who together with their parents, Vincenzo and Carol Bellomo, are representatives of the Holy Land in Catholic Actions 2nd International Congress.

In collaboration with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, the congress begins April 27, 2017, in the New Synod Hall of the Vatican.

The Holy Father is expected to say some words to the Congress, whose theme is “Catholic Action Is Mission, With All and for All.” The Bellomo family, together with the lay people of Catholic Action of Lampedusa and Central Africa, will give a small testimony before Pope Francis’ address.

Some 300 participants from 52 countries will attend the international event, among them bishops and leaders of the laity from several episcopal conferences and from 14 international entities.

The congress is part of the celebration of Catholic Action’s 150th anniversary, which will begin on April 30 in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis.

2 days 9 hours

In an interview with the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, speaks about the contribution of the Church in Africa to the Universal Church, about Islam in Africa and the world, about relations between the Church and politics and the challenges facing the Church in Africa. The cardinal insists that “the Church needs unity of faith, unity of doctrine, unity of moral teaching. It needs the primacy of the Pope.”

Happy to get education – Children in the Basic School JP II, a small Catholic school in Wau – Photo courtesy of Aid to the Church in Need

*** 

What is the relationship between the African Church and the Universal Church?

Your question, as you put it to me, presents me with something of a difficulty, because in reality the Church here in Africa is part of the Universal Church and thus forms together with it a sole and single Church. Hence, there is no such thing as an “African Church” and, as distinct from it, a “Universal Church”. Your question makes it appear as if ecclesiology depends on a communion between the Churches, and in this you are correct. Nonetheless, we need to remember that the Universal Church is not a sort of federation of local churches. The Universal Church is symbolized and represented by the Church of Rome, with the Pope at its head, the successor of Saint Peter and the head of the apostolic college; hence it is she who has given birth to all the local churches and she who sustains them in the unity of faith and love. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch tells us (circa 110 AD) the Church of Rome is the “All-pure Church which presides in charity.” Thus it is the profession of our common faith and our fidelity to Christ and his Gospel, in union with the Pope, that enables the Church to live in communion.

Is this absolutely essential in order to avoid confusion? Can there not also exist national Churches ?

Without a common faith, the Church is threatened by confusion and then, progressively, she can slide into dispersion and schism. Today there is a grave risk of the fragmentation of the Church, of breaking up the Mystical Body of Christ by insisting on the national identities of the Churches and thus on their capacity to decide for themselves, above all in the so crucial domain of doctrine and morals. As Pope Benedict XVI tells us: “It is clear that a Church does not grow by becoming individualised, by separating on a national level, by closing herself off within a specific cultural context, by giving herself an entirely cultural or national scope; instead the Church needs to have unity of faith, unity of doctrine, unity of moral teaching. She needs the primacy of the Pope, and his mission to confirm the faith of his brethren.” Besides, Africa has always considered and seen the Church as a family, the family of God.

And what is the contribution of the Church in Africa to the Universal Church today?

In this we are faithful to the ecclesiology of the Epistle to the Ephesians: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph 2:19). And even though the Church in Northern Africa is very ancient, yet today the Church in sub-Saharan Africa, sees herself as the missionary fruit and the daughter of the Churches of the West. She still needs to be able to rely on the theological, liturgical, spiritual and in particular the monastic experience, and also on the financial support of the Churches of the ancient Christianity of the West. For her part, the Church that is in Africa can humbly offer the West the marvels that God has worked in her through the Holy Spirit, and the tribulations that Jesus continues to endure in the sufferings and material needs of his faithful there.

What are the needs of the Church in Africa?

They are many: disease, wars, hunger, the critical lack of educational and healthcare structures. And then there are the toxic temptations of Western-born ideologies – communism, gender ideology… Africa has become the dumping ground of contraceptive products, of weapons of mass destruction. And she is also the scene of the organized theft of primary mineral resources: it is to this end that they organize and plan the wars and foster disorder on the African continent. So it is that they exploit her natural resources in the absence of any rules or laws. The world economic powers must stop pillaging the poor. They take advantage of their poverty and lack of education, and use their own technology and financial wealth, in order to foment wars and loot the natural riches of the weaker nations without financial resources.

Does Islam represent a threat to the survival of the Catholic Church in Africa?

For many centuries sub-Saharan Islam has coexisted peacably and harmoniously with Christianity. On the other hand the Islam that takes the form of a political organization, intent on imposing itself on the whole world, is indeed a threat, and not just to Africa. In fact it is above all a threat to the societies of the European continent which too often no longer have a true identity or a religion. Those who deny the values of their own tradition, culture and religion are condemned to disappear, for they have lost all their motivation, all their energy and even all the will to fight to defend their own identity.

In what way can ACN, as a pontifical foundation, still better help the Church in Africa?

Today, all the charitable organizations, even the Catholic ones, are focused unilaterally and exclusively on addressing situations of material poverty, but “man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”, as Jesus tells us (cf. Mt 4:4). I therefore encourage ACN to give aid for the formation of priests, seminarians, male and female religious, for catechists, for the construction of churches and seminaries and for spiritual retreats for bishops and priests. I humbly beg all the friends and benefactors of ACN to continue generously supporting the great missionary work of ACN throughout the world and particularly in Africa. For it is true that those bishops and priests who do not take the time – at least for a few days – to place themselves in the presence of God in solitude, silence and prayer, risk dying on the spiritual level, or at the very least, drying out spiritually within. For they will no longer be capable of providing solid spiritual nourishment to the faithful entrusted to them if they themselves do not draw strength from the Lord in a regular and constant manner.

Should we also speak of the political problems?

The Church is gravely mistaken as to the nature of the real crisis if she thinks that her essential mission is to offer solutions to all the political problems relating to justice, peace, poverty, the reception of migrants, etc. while neglecting evangelisation. Certainly, like Christ, the Church cannot disassociate herself from the human problems. Besides, she has always helped here through her schools, her universities, her training centres, her hospitals and dispensaries… Nonetheless, I would like to cite to you the words of an Italian who has converted to Islam (and there are over a hundred thousand like him in Italy). His name is Yahya Pallavicini, and today he is an imam, the President of CO.RE.IS (the Islamic Religious Community) and a professor at the Catholic University of Milan: “If the Church, with the obsession she has today with the values of justice, social rights and the struggle against poverty, ends up as a result by forgetting her contemplative soul, she will fail in her mission and she will be abandoned by a great many of her faithful, owing to the fact that they will no longer recognise in her what constitutes her specific mission.”

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Aid to the Church in Need is an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy See, providing assistance to the suffering and persecuted Church in more than 140 countries. www.churchinneed.org (USA); www.acnuk.org (UK); www.aidtochurch.org (AUS);www.acnireland.org (IRL); www.acn-aed-ca.org (CAN)

 

2 days 9 hours

The 19th meeting of the Council of Cardinals is taking place in the Vatican. The C9, as the group is commonly called, is studying the plans for reforming the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.

The meeting began Monday morning and concludes on Wednesday.

The Council of Cardinals consists of the following nine prelates: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago, Chile; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy; Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.
2 days 9 hours

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university.

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Q: I have looked everywhere for an answer to the question of the required (not just proper) color for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during Lent (and other seasons). I know that the Congregation for Divine Worship, in Eucharistiae Sacramentum, No. 92, mentions that the Benediction is to be done with a white cope and humeral veil, but what about the act of exposing the Blessed Sacrament, apart from the rite of Benediction? I had always thought that only white was to be used, even for the beginning of exposition, but I recently saw a cleric a purple cope to expose the sacrament. I’m pretty sure this is wrong — I believe he should have worn white. But is there a document I could point to so that this can be corrected? — P.K., Cincinnati, Ohio

A: No. 92 of “The Roman Ritual: Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass” says the following regarding the minister of exposition and Benediction:

“The minister, if he is a priest or deacon, should vest in an alb, or a surplice over a cassock, and a stole. … The priest or deacon should wear a white cope and humeral veil to give the blessing at the end of adoration, when the exposition takes place with the monstrance; in the case of exposition in the ciborium, he should put on the humeral veil.”

No. 93-94 also has some details:

“After the people have assembled, a song may be sung while the minister comes to the altar. If the holy eucharist is not reserved at the altar where the exposition is to take place, the minister puts on a humeral veil and brings the sacrament from the place of reservation; he is accompanied by servers or by the faithful with lighted candles.…

“In the case of more solemn and lengthy exposition, the host should be consecrated in the Mass which immediately precedes the exposition and, after communion, should be placed in the monstrance upon the altar. The Mass ends with the prayer after communion, and the concluding rites are admitted. Before the priest leaves, he may place the blessed sacrament on the throne and incense it.”

From these norms we can deduce the following:

The usual color for exposition and Benediction is white for stole cope and humeral veil.

The humeral veil is practically always white. The only exception that is foreseen in the rubrics is the option of using a red or violet humeral veil to carry the Blessed Sacrament from the altar of reservation to the altar during the rite of Holy Communion on Good Friday. Considering that this exception is for one day a year, few places go to the trouble of obtaining such humeral veils.

Since the humeral veil is almost always white, then the stole would be of the same color.

However, the norms themselves imply possible exceptions with respect to exposition. For example, in the case mentioned in No. 94 above, the priest would expose wearing the chasuble and stole of the corresponding Mass. Since this form of exposition is not tied to particular feasts, the exposition could use any liturgical color.

The above would be the most common exception. Another would be if solemn vespers are celebrated at the conclusion of a prolonged period of adoration. In this case the celebrant could wear a stole and cope of the proper liturgical color of the office and then give the Benediction using a white humeral veil. Otherwise he could wear white for the hour of the Divine Office.

Due to these exceptions, we cannot say that the rule that white is always the required color is a strict rule. However, the exceptions are always in the context of another liturgical act being in some way combined with exposition or Benediction.

In the case mentioned by our reader, if solemn lauds or vespers were to immediately follow exposition, then it could be an option to expose in a cope of a different color than white.

If this is not the case, then it would not be correct to use stoles or copes of any color other than white for the moment of exposition and Benediction.

* * *

Readers may send questions to zenit.liturgy@gmail.com. Please put the word “Liturgy” in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city and your state, province or country. Father McNamara can only answer a small selection of the great number of questions that arrive.

 

2 days 10 hours

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received participants in the Congress of the International Forum-Catholic Action on Thursday morning in the Synod Hall at the Vatican. The Congress is focused on the theme: “Catholic Action in Mission with All and for Everyone”, and is marking the 150 th anniversary of the organization’s founding. The charism of Catholic Action is one of lay-led missionary discipleship: faithful to the Pope, rooted in the local Church, and active in service especially and particularly at the parish level. Listen to our report In his remarks to the participants, Pope Francis focused on renewing the mission of Catholic Action by recovering the original sense of the apostolate and applying that sense of self-understanding to the concrete conditions encountered in contemporary life. Delivered in his native Spanish, and based on bullet-points, Pope Francis encouraged the participants to foster renewal by becoming prayerfully active, outgoing, docile to the Spirit, willing to sacrifice, and open to surprises. Among the highlights of the special audience was the presentation to the Holy Father of several gifts, including an English-language psalter found aboard a boat carrying migrants to Lampedusa, thousands of whom drown during the course of the dangerous voyage. The fate of the psalter’s owner is not known. (from Vatican Radio)... 4 hours 27 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday reflected on the fact that being Christian is not a social status.Speaking during the homil y at the Mass in the Casa Santa Marta the Pope said Christians must be witnesses of obedience to God, like Jesus was. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : Recalling the reading of the day Pope Francis quoted Peter’s words before the Sanhedrin when he  said “You must obey God rather than men."  Peter and the Apostles had been freed from prison by an Angel, and forbidden to teach in Jesus’s name  And yet the high priest said “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man's blood upon us”. In order to better understand this event the Pope also referred to the Book of Acts regarding the early months of the Church  which describes a growing Christian community and many miracles.  There was the faith of the people, he said, but there were also “wily” people trying to take advantage of the situation and “wanting to make a career for themselves” like Hananiah and Sapphira.   The same kind of dynamics take place today, the Pope noted, and there are those who despise “God’s faithful people.” Turning back to the reading of today, the Pope said that Peter, who out of fear had betrayed Jesus on Holy Thursday, this time courageously answered  the high priest saying that “we must obey God rather than men."  This answer, he said, makes it clear that "a Christian is a witness of obedience" as Jesus was, when in the garden of Gethsemane, he addressed these words to the Father: “not my will but yours be done”. "The Christian is a witness of obedience; if we are not on this path and growing in our witness we are not Christians. We must at least walk this way” he said. The Pope pointed out that “Jesus is not the testimonial of an idea, of a philosophy, of a company, of a bank or of power: he is a testimonial of obedience”. However, Francis explained, to become a “witness of obedience” we need the "grace of the Holy Spirit". "Only the Spirit can make us witnesses of obedience. It’s not enough to listen to spiritual guides or to read books…. all that is fine but only the Spirit can change our heart and make us witnesses of obedience” he said. The Pope said it is a grace we must ask for: “Father,  Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.” Francis also said that to be witnesses of obedience implies consequences, as narrated by the First reading; in fact, after Peter's response, the high priests wanted to put him to death: "Persecutions were the consequences of this witness of obedience. When Jesus lists the Beatitudes he ends with the words ‘Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you’” he said. And pointing out that the cross cannot be taken away from the life of a Christian, the Pope said “being a Christian has nothing to do with social status, it is not a lifestyle that makes one feel good; being a Christian means being a witness of obedience and the life of a Christian is full of insults and persecutions”. Pope Francis concluded his homily saying that in order to be witnesses of obedience like Jesus, it is necessary to pray, to recognize that we are sinners with much “worldliness” in our hearts and to ask God for the grace of becoming witnesses of obedience" and to not be afraid when we are insulted and persecuted "because as the Lord said: the Spirit will tell us what to answer."   (from Vatican Radio)... 4 hours 56 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received members of the Papal Foundation on Thursday who are on their annual visit to the Vatican. The Holy Father thanked them for supporting many religious and charitable causes and encouraged them, as a vital part of their "commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal." Below please find the English translation of the Pope's address to members of the Papal Foundation. I am pleased to greet the members of The Papal Foundation on this, your annual visit to Rome.  Our meeting today is pervaded by the joy of the Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord’s victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit.  It is my hope that your pilgrimage to the Eternal City will strengthen you in faith and hope, and in your commitment to promote the Church’s mission by supporting so many religious and charitable causes close to the heart of the Pope.             Today’s world, so often torn by violence, greed and indifference, greatly needs our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love.  I am grateful for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.  Each of us, as a living member of Christ’s body, is called to foster the unity and peace that is the Father’s will, in Christ, for our human family and all its members.  I ask you, as a vital part of your commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal.  And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me!             Dear friends, with these words of encouragement, and with great affection, I commend you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.  To all of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord. (from Vatican Radio)... 7 hours 47 min
(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, held a briefing for the press on the XIX Meeting of the Cardinal Councillors with Pope Francis. The Council of Cardinals, he said, met with the Holy Father for three days: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 24-26 April. All of the members of the Council were present. Pope Francis was absent from the morning meeting on Wednesday on account of the General Audience. The working sessions took place in the mornings from 9-12:30 and in the afternoons from 16:30-19:00. The sessions were dedicated to further considerations on the various dicasteries of the Curia; in particular, there were continued discussions concerning the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The Cardinals also considered texts to propose to the Holy Father regarding the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; and three tribunals: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. During the meetings, the Council also studied the selection and formation of the personnel in the service of the Holy See, both clerics and members of the lay faithful. Officials and superiors from the Secretariat of State, from the Council for the Economy, and from the Labour Office of the Holy See took part in the discussions. Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, and Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawłowski were present on behalf of the Secretariat of State. For the Council for the Economy, in addition to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Prof. Franco Vermiglio, a member of the Council, spoke at the meeting. Bishop Giorgio Corbellini and Avv. Salvatore Vecchio addressed the Cardinals for the Labour Office. Another important theme treated by the Council was the relationship between the Episcopal Conferences and the Roman Curia. Cardinal George Pell gave an update on the work of the Secretariat for the Economy, of which he is the President, with special attention to the review of the budget for the current year. Cardinal Seán O’Malley updated the Council on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of minors, focussing especially on the programme of global education, the last plenary assembly, and the visits to various dicasteries. The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place 12-14 June.  (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 3 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, during which he continued his catechetical reflections on the theme of Christian hope, focusing specifically on the final words of comfort and consolation the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew records Our Lord speaking to the  disciples immediately before ascending into heaven and taking His place at the right hand of the Father. “‘I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Mt 28:20)’” began Pope Francis in his main catechesis, quoting the very last words of Matthew’s Gospel. “These last words of the Gospel of Matthew,” he went on to say, “recall the prophetic proclamation we find at its beginning: ‘[T]hey shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us, (Mt 1:23; cf. Is. 7:14)’” Then, departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis said, “God will be with us, every day, until the end of the world.” Click below to hear our report Returning to his prepared remarks, the Holy Father explained, “Jesus will walk with us every day until the end of the world. “The whole gospel is encapsulated in these two quotations, words that convey the mystery of God, whose name, whose identity is being-with: He is not an isolated God, He is God-with-us, especially with us, that is, with the human creature.” Again departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis said, “[T]he closeness of God, the love of God, the journey of God with us, is also called the ‘Providence of God’: He provides for our lives.” In a final major departure from his prepared text, Pope Francis reflected on a suggestive nautical image: that of the anchor. “[T]he anchor,” said Pope Francis, “is the instrument that navigators throw on the beach – and then they grab onto the anchor line to pull the ship to shore. Our faith is the anchor [we have] in heaven: we have our lives anchored in heaven. What must we do? Grab hold of the line – it’s always there – and let us go forward, for we are certain our life has something like an anchor in heaven, on that shore to which we’ll come one day.” (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 7 hours
(Vatican Radio) At the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his series of catecheses on Christian Hope. The Holy Father spoke on the theme of “the promise that gives hope,” reflecting on Christ’s words in the Gospel, “I am with you all days, to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). Below, please find the English language synthesis of Pope Francis’ catechesis at the General Audience for Wednesday, 26 April 2017: Speaker: Dear Brothers and Sisters:  During this Easter season, our catechesis on Christian hope reflects on the resurrection of Jesus the basis of our firm trust in God’s constant protection and love.  Saint Matthew’s Gospel begins with the birth of Jesus as Emmanuel – “God with us” – and concludes with the Risen Lord’s promise that he will remain with us always, to the end of the age.  At every step of life’s journey, God is at our side, leading us as he did the patriarchs of old, to the goal of our earthly pilgrimage.  His care lasts “to the end of the age”; the heavens and the earth will pass away, yet he will continue to watch over us in his loving providence.  From ancient times, Christian hope has been symbolized by the anchor, as a sign of its firm basis in God’s promises, which have been fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.   Because our trust is in God, and not in ourselves or this world, we readily take up Jesus’ invitation to follow him, nor do we lose heart before life’s difficulties, disappointments and defeats.  May our hope in victory of the Risen Christ confirm us on every step of our journey towards the fullness of eternal life. Pope Francis [in Italian]: I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States of America.  In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.  May the Lord bless you all!   (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 8 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has broken new ground in the way he communicates his message when the first-ever papal TED Talk went on line. TED is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short talks. What began in 1984 as a conference covering Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), today provides talks from a wide range of different speakers – except popes. Until today. Listen to Seàn-Patrick Lovett's report: Those of us following TED’s annual Conference in Vancouver had been promised a surprise “world figure” who would deliver his 18-minute message on the conference theme, “The Future You”, alongside tennis superstar, Serena Williams, entrepreneur, Elon Musk, and chess champion, Garry Kasparov. But no one expected to see the Pope’s face appear on the screen. “I very much like this title – ‘The Future You’”, began Pope Francis, “because, while looking at tomorrow, it invites us to open a dialogue today, to look at the future through a ‘you’…The future is made of you’s…because life flows through our relations with others”. Speaking in his typically personal and informal style, the Pope reminded us of how “everything is connected” and of how “life is about interactions”. “None of us is an autonomous and independent ‘I’”, he said. “We can only build the future by standing together, including everyone”. His second message regarded “educating people to a true solidarity” in order to overcome the “culture of waste” that puts products at the centre of techno-economic systems, instead of people. “The other has a face”, he said. “The ‘you’ is…a person to take care of”. The Pope illustrated his point by quoting Mother Teresa and the parable of the Good Samaritan, before going on to talk about Hope – which he described as “a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree”. “A single individual is enough for hope to exist”, he said. “And that individual can be you”. Pope Francis’ third and final message was dedicated to what he called “the revolution of tenderness”. Tenderness means “being on the same level as the other”, he said. It is not weakness, but strength: “the path of solidarity…of humility”. And through humility, even power becomes a service and a force for good. The Pope concluded by affirming that the future of humankind is not in the hands of politicians or big companies but, most of all, in the hands of those people “who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us’”. Because: “We all need each other”. Listen to the English-dubbed version of the Pope's TED talk: (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 12 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ meeting with the Coptic Orthodox leader, Pope Tawadros in Cairo on Friday will be an important sign of solidarity with Christians who suffer and die for their faith in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. That’s the view of Msgr Gabriel Quicke who heads the office for dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches at the Vatican’s Council for Christian Unity. Last week he accompanied Cardinal Kurt Koch and Pope Francis’ private secretary to Egypt with a personal message of condolences in the wake of two bomb attacks on churches in Alexandria and Tanta , north of Cairo. The twin attacks on Palm Sunday, claimed by so-called Islamic State militants, left at least 45 people dead and dozens of others injured. Msgr Quicke says the Coptic Pope was deeply “touched by that sign of spiritual attention” and closeness to the suffering Christian communities. Speaking to Philippa Hitchen, he says Pope Francis’ encounter with Tawadros will be an important “continuation of the ecumenical path towards full and visible unity” of the Churches. Listen Msgr Quicke recalls that in 2015, following the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya, the Coptic bishop in Italy, Msgr Barnaba asked if Pope Francis could send a message of solidarity with the Coptic community. On Palm Sunday, he said, following the latest attacks, the Holy Father asked him to accompany Cardinal Kurt Koch, together with his own private secretary, to Egypt with a message of condolences. It was a very brief visit, with an overnight stay at the Apostolic nunciature in Cairo, followed by an early morning journey to Alexandria to the residence of Pope Tawadros there. Spiritual closeness to victims The Catholic delegation brought a message of condolences and solidarity, expressing Pope Francis “spiritual closeness in prayer, in heart and mind” to all those affected by the attacks. Msgr Quicke says the Coptic leader was “very touched emotionally, by that sign of spiritual attention” and  asked “to express his closeness as well” recalling that during their meeting in Rome in 2013 , “they promised one another to pray for one another every day”. Ecumenism of blood During that encounter in the Vatican, shortly after both men were elected, Msgr Quicke notes that Pope Francis spoke forcefully about “the ecumenism of blood” of the Coptic martyrs. He repeated the phrase following the beheadings in 2015, stressing that “they are not persecuted because they are Orthodox” or Copts, but “because they are Christian”. Citing the early Christian author from Carthage, Tertullian, he said “as the blood of the [first] martyrs became the seed for the growing of the Christian Church, [so] the blood of the martyrs becomes the seed nowadays for the unity of Christians”. Strengthen solidarity among Christians During the brief visit to Cairo, Msgr Quicke says he sensed that “not only the Coptic Orthodox Church, but all Christians, the whole Muslim community and all Egypt is waiting for the visit of the pope ”. Although the encounter between two popes will be an important “continuation of the ecumenical path” towards Christian unity, the papal trip will also be an opportunity for the Holy Father to meet with the small Catholic community “ to strengthen the bonds of solidarity and fraternity between all Christians”.  (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 2 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a video message to the people of Egypt ahead of his Apostolic Journey to the country, saying the “world needs peace, love and mercy”. Listen to Devin Watkins’ report: Pope Francis began his video message to the people of Egypt with the traditional greeting in Arabic: “ As-salamu alaykum! (Peace be with you!)” He said he is “coming as a friend, as a messenger of peace, and a pilgrim to the country that, over two thousand years ago, gave refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family as they fled the threats of King Herod.” The Pope thanked those who invited him, including the President, Patriarch Tawadros II, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and the Coptic-Catholic Patriarch, as well as all those people preparing for his arrival. He said he would like his visit to “be a witness of my affection, comfort and encouragement for all the Christians of the Middle East”. He called his interreligious and ecumenical visit “a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world, in which Egypt holds so important a place.” Speaking about recent “blind violence” in the country, Pope Francis said, “Our world needs peace, love and mercy. It needs peacemakers, people who are free and who set others free, men and women of courage who can learn from the past in order to build the future, free of every form of prejudice.” He went on to say “Our world needs people who can build bridges of peace, dialogue, fraternity, justice and humanity.” Finally, Pope Francis extended a warm embrace to the Egyptian people of all religions, age, and means. “ Shukran wa Tahiaì Misr! (Thank you and may Egypt flourish!)” Please find below the official English translation of the Pope’s video message: Dear People of Egypt, As-salamu alaykum! Peace be with you! With a heart full of joy and gratitude I will soon visit your beloved country, the cradle of civilization, the gift of the Nile, the land of sun and hospitality, the land where Patriarchs and Prophets lived, and where God, Benevolent and Merciful, the Almighty and One God, made his voice heard. I am truly happy to be coming as a friend, as a messenger of peace, and a pilgrim to the country that, over two thousand years ago, gave refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family as they fled the threats of King Herod (cf. Mt 2:10-16).  I am honoured to visit the land visited by the Holy Family! I greet all of you warmly and I thank you for your invitation to visit Egypt, which you call ‘Umm il Dugna – Mother of the universe! I offer heartfelt thanks to the President of the Republic, to His Holiness Patriarch Tawadros II, to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and to the Coptic-Catholic Patriarch, all of whom invited me.  I also thank each of you for opening your hearts to me, and in particular all those who worked so hard to make this journey possible. I would like this visit to be a witness of my affection, comfort and encouragement for all the Christians of the Middle East, a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world, in which Egypt holds so important a place.  I would also hope that my visit will make a fruitful contribution to interreligious dialogue with the followers of Islam and to ecumenical dialogue with the venerable and beloved Coptic Orthodox Church. Our world is torn by blind violence, a violence that has also struck the heart of your beloved land.  Our world needs peace, love and mercy.  It needs peacemakers, people who are free and who set others free, men and women of courage who can learn from the past in order to build the future, free of every form of prejudice.  Our world needs people who can build bridges of peace, dialogue, fraternity, justice and humanity. Dear Egyptian brothers and sisters, young and old, women and men, Muslims and Christians, rich and poor…  I embrace you warmly and I ask Almighty God to bless you and protect your country from every evil. Please pray for me!  Shukran wa Tahiaì Misr! (Thank you and may Egypt flourish!).  (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 6 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Tuesday for the intentions of his “brother,” Coptic Patriarch Pope Tawadros II, whom he will be meeting in three days’ time as he makes an Apostolic Voyage to Egypt. The day’s Mass commemorates Saint Mark the Evangelist, who is recognized as the founder of the patriarchate of Alexandria. “I offer this Mass for my brother, Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts,” Pope Francis said. He prayed for “the grace that the Lord might bless our two churches with the abundance of the Holy Spirit. The Cardinal counsellors who make up the C-9 advisory group were among the faithful taking part in the Pope’s daily Mass. In his homily during the liturgy, Pope Francis said the Gospel must be proclaimed with humility, overcoming the temptation of pride. The Holy Father spoke about the necessity for Christians of “going out to proclaim” the Good News. A preacher, he said, must always be on a journey, and not seek “an insurance policy,” seeking safety by remaining in one place.  Listen:  Jesus gave His disciples a mission: to proclaim the Gospel, “to not remain in Jerusalem, but to go out to proclaim the Good News to all. In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on passage from the Gospel of St Mark, which relates the story of the Great Commission. He said “the Gospel is always proclaimed on the journey, never seated, always on the journey.” Going out to proclaim the Good News, never remaining stopped but always on the journey Christians, the Pope said, need “to go out where Jesus is not known, or where Jesus is persecuted, or where Jesus is disfigured, to proclaim the true Gospel”: “To go out in order to proclaim. And, also, in this going out there is life, the life of the preacher is played out. He is not safe; there are no life insurance policies for preachers. And if a preacher seeks a life insurance policy, he is not a true preacher of the Gospel: He doesn’t go out, he stays in place, safe. So, first of all: Go, go out. The Gospel, the proclamation of Jesus Christ, goes forth, always; on a journey, always. On a physical journey, on a spiritual journey, on a journey of suffering: we think of the proclamation of the Gospel that leads to so many wounded people – so many wounded people! – who offer their sufferings for the Church, for the Christians. But they always go out of themselves.” But what is “the style of this proclamation?” the Pope asked. “Saint Peter, who was St Mark’s teacher, was perfectly clear in his description of this style”: “The Gospel must be announced in humility, because the Son of God humbled Himself, annihilated Himself.” This, the Pope said, “is the style of God”; there is no other. “The proclamation of the Gospel,” he said, “is not a carnival, a party.” This is “not the proclamation of the Gospel.” The Gospel must be announced with humility, overcoming the temptation of worldliness The Gospel, the Pope said, “cannot be announced with human power, cannot be proclaimed with human power, cannot be proclaimed with the spirit of climbing and advancement.” “This is not the Gospel.” All of us, then, are called to vest themselves with “humility, one towards another,” because “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”: “And why is this humility necessary? Precisely because we carry forward a proclamation of humiliation – of glory, but through humility. And the proclamation of the Gospel undergoes temptation: the temptation of power, the temptation of pride, the temptation of worldliness, of so many kinds of worldliness that they bring preaching or to speaking; because he does not preach a watered down Gospel, without strength, a Gospel without Christ crucified and risen. And for this reason St Peter says: ‘Be vigilant, be vigilant, be vigilant… Your enemy the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.’ The proclamation of the Gospel, if it is true, undergoes temptation." Pope Francis said that if a Christian says he is proclaiming the Gospel “but is never tempted,” it means that “the devil is not worried,” because “we are preaching something useless.” Let us ask the Lord that we might go out of ourselves in order to evangelize For this reason, the Pope continued, “in true preaching there is always some temptation, and also some persecution.” He said that when we are suffering, the Lord is there “to restore us, to give us strength, because that is what Jesus promised when He sent the Apostles”: “The Lord will be there to comfort us, to give us the strength to go forward, because He works with us if we are faithful to the proclamation of the Gospel, if we go out of ourselves to preach Christ crucified, a scandal and a folly, and if we do this with a style of humility, of true humility. May the Lord grant us this grace, as baptized people, all of us, to take the path of evangelization with humility, with confidence in Him, announcing the true Gospel: ‘The Word is come in the flesh.’ The Word of God is come in the flesh. And this is a folly, it is a scandal; but doing it with the understanding that the Lord is at our side, He works with us, and He confirms our work.” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 6 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a letter to Cardinal Franc Rodé, CM, his special envoy at the celebration of the 550th anniversary of the Madonna of Shkodra’s arrival in the Church of Genazzano near Rome, Italy. The celebration takes place on 26 April at the National Shrine of Shkodra in Albania. It commemorates the arrival of the Madonna of Shkodra at the Madonna of Good Council Church in Genazzano after the Albanian sanctuary was destroyed by the Ottomans in 1467. Cardinal Franc Rodé is the Prefect-emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Please find below the Latin text of the Pope’s letter: Venerabili Fratri Nostro FRANCISCO S.R.E. Cardinali RODÉ, C.M. Praefecto olim Congregationis pro Institutis vitae consecratae et Societatibus vitae apostolicae  Quingentesima et quinquagesima anniversaria memoria appropinquante adventus praeclarae imaginis Dominae Scodrensis in sacram aedem Genatiani, prope Romam, Matri Boni Consilii dicatam, fideles dilectae terrae Albaniae Beatam Mariam Virginem singulari cultu prosequuntur eaque intercedente Salvatori gratias agunt pro omnibus beneficiis saeculorum decursu acceptis. In archidioecesi potissimum Scodrensi-Pulatensi varia incepta suscipiuntur in praeparanda praecipua festivitate die XXVI mensis Aprilis celebranda. Mater Dei enim, cuius memorata icona peculiari splendore eminet, christifideles Albanienses difficilibus temporibus auxiliis est prosecuta apud Filium suum et Dominum nostrum divina dona efflagitans. De hac re sanctus Ioannes Paulus II clare est locutus qui in visitatione apostolica in Albaniam die XXV mensis Aprilis anno MCMXCIII in cathedrali Scodrensi lapidem benedixit novi sanctuarii aedificandi atque totum Albaniensem populum Matri Boni Consilii concredidit. His rerum adiunctis diligenter consideratis Venerabilis Frater Angelus Massafra, O.F.M., Archiepiscopus Metropolita Scodrensis-Pulatensis atque Conferentiae Episcopalis Albaniensis Praeses, humanissime rogavit ut eminentem virum mitteremus, qui Nostras vices memorato die gereret Nostramque erga istum populum dilectionem manifestaret. Ad Te autem, Venerabilis Frater Noster, qui, Sloveniae clarus filius, olim pergrave munus Praefecti Congregationis pro Institutis vitae consecratae et Societatibus vitae apostolicae diligenter exercuisti, mentem Nostram vertimus atque Te hisce Litteris MISSUM EXTRAORDINARIUM NOSTRUM nominamus ad celebrationem quae die XXVI huius mensis Aprilis apud Sanctuarium Nationale Scodrense agetur.   Sollemni ibidem praesidebis Eucharistiae atque Archiepiscopum Metropolitam aliosque sacros Praesules, sacerdotes, religiosos viros mulieresque, publicas auctoritates atque universos christifideles Nostro salutabis nomine. Optamus etiam ut de pondere Marialis cultus in historia Ecclesiae quae est in Albania loquens, omnes adstantes sermone tuo ad diligentiore usque modo viam per Mariam ad Iesum prosequendam cohortaberis. Nos autem Te, Venerabilis Frater Noster, in tua missione implenda precibus comitabimur intercessionem ipsius Dominae Scodrensis invocantes atque beatorum martyrum Albaniensium Vincentii Prennushi et XXXVII Sociorum. Denique Benedictionem Nostram Apostolicam libentes Tibi impertimur, signum Nostrae erga Te benevolentiae et caelestium donorum pignus, quam omnibus celebrationis participibus rite transmittes. Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die XXII mensis Aprilis, anno MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto. FRANCISCUS (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 8 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis celebrated the funeral rites for Cardinal Attilio Nicora in St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday. Cardinal Nicora, the former president of the Vatican’s Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), died on Saturday at the age of 80. The funeral rites and homily were delivered by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Sodano recalled the long and generous service offered by Cardinal Nicora to the Holy See, saying he “was consecrated to the service of the Church”. During the Mass at the Altar of the Chair, Pope Francis presided over the rites of Commendatio and Valedictio. In a telegramme sent on Sunday , the Holy Father expressed his gratitude for the Cardinal’s precious service to the Church and to civil society in Italy, especially in the legal field, noting his contribution to the revision of the Lateran Pacts and later his work as President of APSA and AIF. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 10 hours

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From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Vatican City, Apr 27, 2017 / 08:25 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Thursday Pope Francis met with members of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, telling them that in a world full of desperation, their charitable assistance helps the Church spread a message of hope to those most in need. 5 hours 15 min
Regina, Canada, Apr 27, 2017 / 07:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Non-Catholic students at Catholic schools in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan will not receive taxpayer funding, a judge ruled last week. 6 hours 39 min
Stockholm, Sweden, Apr 27, 2017 / 04:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A new Swedish study has shown that women who are taking the contraceptive pill might be putting themselves at risk for decreasing their overall health and well-being. 9 hours 39 min
Vatican City, Apr 27, 2017 / 01:08 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis has donated the rent for a private Italian beach that allows disabled people to enjoy the shore, the charity that manages the project announced this week. 12 hours 32 min
Dublin, Ireland, Apr 26, 2017 / 06:04 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Father John Sullivan was a prominent Irish Catholic convert who was known for his healing prayers, his consolation for the troubled, and his devotion to God. 1 day 7 hours
Vatican City, Apr 26, 2017 / 05:38 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Wednesday Pope Francis said Christian hope, rather than coming from the empty promises of other human beings, is rooted in Christ's promise to never leave us, and to stay by our side until the end of time. 1 day 8 hours
Washington D.C., Apr 26, 2017 / 05:09 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Amid a rising tide of violence, imprisonment, and harassment on account of people's religious beliefs, the United States cannot grow weary of defending religious freedom, a leading advocate insisted Wednesday. 1 day 8 hours
Mexico City, Mexico, Apr 26, 2017 / 04:34 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- With abortion illegal in Mexico, a ship providing the procedure has landed on the country's coast, drawing outrage from the local pro-life movement. 1 day 9 hours
Vatican City, Apr 26, 2017 / 04:05 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis and his Council of Cardinals met this week to continue discussion on reforming the Roman Curia, focusing on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council Promoting the New Evangelization. 1 day 9 hours
Washington D.C., Apr 26, 2017 / 04:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- When the leader of the Democratic party pulled an about-face this week, claiming that support for abortion was a non-negotiable part of the platform, pro-life Democrats were utterly dismayed.   1 day 9 hours
Vatican City, Apr 26, 2017 / 03:15 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Early Wednesday morning Pope Francis addressed the TED 2017 conference, telling participants that to have a hopeful outlook for the future, we must plant seeds of humility, solidarity and tenderness today. 1 day 10 hours
Vatican City, Apr 26, 2017 / 01:29 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh, now head coach for the University of Michigan football team, is also a Roman Catholic – and he said Wednesday that faith plays a major role in his life. 1 day 12 hours
Vatican City, Apr 25, 2017 / 11:32 am (EWTN News).- Pope Francis will not use a bulletproof vehicle during his trip to Egypt this weekend, despite recent terror attacks against Christians in the country, according to Reuters.   2 days 2 hours
Lima, Peru, Apr 25, 2017 / 07:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Archbishop José Antonio Eguren of Piura and Tumbes, Peru visited the inhabitants of one of the areas most affected by the recent floods in northern Peru, who asked him to help them get some Bibles.
2 days 6 hours
Vatican City, Apr 25, 2017 / 06:25 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis expressed his joy for his upcoming trip to Cairo in a video message, saying he hopes to bring peace and friendship to all Egyptian citizens. 2 days 7 hours
Denver, Colo., Apr 25, 2017 / 04:38 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- April 25 marks 50 years since Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to legalize abortion. In a statement released Tuesday, the bishops of Colorado called for continued prayers and efforts to build up a culture of life in the state. 2 days 9 hours
Washington D.C., Apr 25, 2017 / 01:21 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- With President Donald Trump's administration signaling that it is not dropping the HHS mandate cases against religious non-profits, plaintiffs are concerned that the action does not reflect promises made during the presidential campaign. 2 days 12 hours

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From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted

Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on April 27 and expressed his gratitude “for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.”

12 hours 10 min

In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 16 nations as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) because they are nations in which there are “particularly severe violations of religious freedom that are systematic, ongoing and egregious.”

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An Egyptian Jesuit expert on Islam said that Pope Francis is visiting Egypt to foster ties with al-Azhar University, which holds a position of high respect in the Sunni Muslim world.

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Citing a dozen federal programs by name, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA called upon members of Congress to “oppose proposed damaging cuts or structural changes to domestic anti-poverty programs that would undermine assistance to people in need.”

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The chairman of the Democratic National Committee said that the Committee would not support pro-life Democratic candidates—prompting criticism from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

13 hours 23 min

The Vatican has expressed support for Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, two weeks after a leftist mob burst into a basilica where he was celebrating Mass.

13 hours 40 min

Leaders of the Knights of Malta have recommended that members select an interim leader, as the date for the election of a new grand master approaches.

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The Council of Cardinals has concluded a 3-day meeting, during which the group discussed plans for the possible reorganization of the Congregation for Evangelization,. the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization, and the Vatican tribunals.

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A Brazilian bishop has endorsed a national strike, called by union leaders for April 28 to protest the government’s plans for labor and pension reforms.

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A Capuchin friar was killed and a deacon badly wounded when would-be robbers broke into a friary in Madagascar on April 22, the Fides news service reports.

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Catholic schools in Pakistan have begun to look like prisons because of the security measures that are needed to guard against terrorist attacks, Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore has said.

1 day 3 hours

St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, an institution administered by the Sisters of Charity, has agreed to provide legal abortions, as part of a deal that will make the National Maternity Hospital a part of St. Vincent’s.

1 day 3 hours

The Pew Research Center has released a study finding that repression of groups of religious believers is on the increase.

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The publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico City has denounced domestic violence and the killing of women.

1 day 12 hours

The primates of Poland, Francis, Spain, and Bohemia gathered in Gniezno, Poland, for the 600th anniversary of the decision that the archbishop of Gniezno would also be Primate of Poland.

1 day 12 hours

Pope Francis has made a surprise recorded video appearance at the annual TED conference in Vancouver.

1 day 13 hours

Pope Francis offered Mass on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark, for Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

1 day 13 hours

Reflecting on Christ’s words at the conclusion of St. Matthew’s Gospel (“I am with you all days, to the end of the age”), Pope Francis devoted his April 26 general audience to “the promise that gives hope.”

1 day 13 hours

The Benedictine monks who established a community in Norcia in 2000 have announced plans to move out of the town, to set up a new monastery in the neighboring hills.

2 days 8 hours

An Indian priest has filed a criminal complaint alleging that his archbishop attemped to poison him, in a bizarre legal case.

2 days 8 hours

Security will be tight when Pope Francis travels to Egypt on April 28, presidential spokesman Greg Burke told reporters, but there are no specific threats.

2 days 8 hours

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo have called for an end to a political impasse, which now threatens plans for new presidential elections this year.

2 days 8 hours

The Council of Cardinals is studying the work of the Vatican tribunals, and addressing questions about Vatican staff appointments, in meetings with Pope Francis this week.

2 days 8 hours

Catholic voters have no clear-cut preference in the French presidential election, which now pits Emmanuel Macron against Marine Le Pen, according to opinion polls.

2 days 8 hours

Pope Francis has issued a video-message to the people of Egypt on the eve of his apostolic journey there.

2 days 12 hours

Appearing on video, Pope Francis has released a message on the occasion of the publication of the collected works of Father Lorenzo Milani (1923-67), an educator.

2 days 12 hours

On June 20, Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to Bozzolo to pray at the tomb of Father Primo Mazzolari, and to Barbiana to pray at the tomb of Father Lorenzo Milani.

2 days 12 hours

The Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement following the first round of the presidential voting, which saw Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen emerge as the two candidates in the May 7 runoff election.

2 days 13 hours

The Atlantic has published a profile of a Protestant congregation in Chengdu, China, that the government neither officially recognizes nor has shut down.

2 days 13 hours

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From: Latest News Releases from USCCB
Posted

WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the announcement by the Democratic National Committee's chair pledging support only for pro-abortion candidates. Calling the pledge "very disturbing," Cardinal Dolan urged party members to "challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position."

Full statement follows:

"The recent pledge by the Democratic National Committee chair to support only candidates who embrace the radical unrestricted abortion license is very disturbing. The Democratic Party platform already endorses abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, even forcing taxpayers to fund it; and now the DNC says that to be a Democrat—indeed to be an American—requires supporting that extreme agenda.

True solidarity with pregnant women and their children transcends all party lines. Abortion doesn't empower women. Indeed, women deserve better than abortion.

In the name of diversity and inclusion, pro-life and pro-'choice' Democrats, alike, should challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position."

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Keywords: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Democratic National Committee, DNC, pro-life, federal funding, abortion.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Judy Keane O: 202-541-3200
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