IT’S TIME FOR TIME OFF!

IT’S TIME FOR TIME OFF!

It has been a while, a year, since I’ve taken some vacation time so I am looking forward to boarding my flight tomorrow to spend some time in several states with family and friends.

I start my visit with some time in Chicago, principally to attend a gala investiture weekend with my fellow Dames and Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.  I was one of the keynote speakers last year at their investiture in Cincinnati. I was invested in Rome but was recently invited to be a member of the wonderful, dynamic North Central Lieutenancy of the Order.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I can never spend enough time in Chicago – so many great memories of growing up in the suburb of Oak Park but going downtown with classmates or with my family to visit museums, the Art Institute, the Planetarium, and to visit and perhaps shop on the celebrated Magnificent Mile.

I always stop by Lewis Towers, built about 100 years ago. A great uncle, Frank J. Lewis, bought the building at one point and it was renamed Lewis Towers.  From the website:

Built for the Illinois Women’s Athletic Club in 1926, the building originally known as Tower Court had a pool, bowling alley, and gymnasium in addition to offices and lodging. During World War II the US Naval Reserve Misdhipmen’s School used the building to train officers and provide cover for a counter-espionage unit. In 1946 philanthropist Frank J. Lewis purchased the building and gifted it to Loyola University. Renamed Lewis Towers, 2,000 students arrived at the new downtown campus for the fall of 1946. Lewis Towers housed offices, classrooms, and the Julia Deal Lewis Library (Lewis Library).

Today it houses offices and classrooms of Loyola University Chicago as well as offices of the Illinois Club for Catholic Women, founded by my great-Aunt Julia in 1958.

In searching for a specific date about Uncle Frank, I came across this great site. I’ve corresponded with officials at Lewis University for years but have yet to visit! https://www.lewisu.edu/welcome/frankjlewis.htm

When I think of Chicago, I always think of family – pardon my little history lesson!

Speaking of family, I so look forward to visiting several states, and to seeing my sister, sister-in-law and my dozens of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews. And maybe a new one while I’m there!

I’ll be back before you know it, se Dio vuole (Lord willing), as the Italians say!

VATICAN INSIDER: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND “TERESA OF CALCUTTA. NO GREATER LOVE” – POPE FRANCIS GIVES INFLGHT PRESS CONFERENCE

VATICAN INSIDER: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND “TERESA OF CALCUTTA. NO GREATER LOVE”

Returning this week to the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” are Patrick Kelly, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and David Naglieri, writer and director of the film produced by the Knights, “Teresa of Calcutta: No Greater Love.”

Last week, we talked about what inspired the Knights of Columbus to do this film, how David was brought in as writer and director, and the stages of filming and some of the highlights.

This week we look at some of the challenges and highlights of filming this documentary, and I ask both Patrick and David if they learned something they never knew about Mother Teresa during the filming.

As I wrote after the Rome premiere: “Teresa of Calcutta’s love was a no-holds-barred love that embraced all of God’s children but absolutely above all, ‘the least of God’s children,’ the heart-wrenchingly poor and destitute, the forgotten and rejected ones such as the disabled, victims of leprosy, the starving, those who were left to die in the hovels they called home or on the streets of their villages or towns, on the peripheries of large, well-to-do urban centers where people truly did not care about the “people they could not see.”

I interviewed Patrick and David at one of the sports centers built in Rome by the Knights of Columbus. They have an office in Rome as well (another story for another day).

The movie premiered in Rome at the end of August and will be shown in 940 theaters in the United States for two days only, Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4. Go to motherteresamovie.com for tickets.

The official website (where you can watch a trailer): Mother Teresa: No Greater Love Film – HOME (motherteresamovie.com)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE FRANCIS GIVES INFLGHT PRESS CONFERENCE

Yesterday, September 15, on his six-hour flight from Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan to Rome, Pope Francis gave an in-flight press conference to the 80 journalists who had accompanied him on his 38th international apostolic trip.

Here are two reports you might like to read that summarize the Q and A:

Pope: ‘Difficult to dialogue with those who started a war, but it must be done’ – Vatican News

Pope Francis: ‘The West has taken the wrong paths’ | Catholic News Agency

POPE TO KAZAKHSTAN CLERGY: ‘BEAR WITNESS TO JOY OF THE GOSPEL’ – POPE AT 7TH CONGRESS IN KAZAKHSTAN: ‘WE NEED PEACE, WOMEN, YOUNG PEOPLE’

Pope Francis departed Kazakhstan’s Nur-Sultan airport just before 5:20 pm local time this afternoon, and is due to arrive in Rome about 8 pm, Rome time. The nation’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was on hand to bid the Holy Father farewell.

This morning the Pope spoke to the Church’s bishops, clergy and religious men and women, and later made remarks at the concluding session of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Links to both of those events follow. There are some great photos and video in the first report.

Earlier, on Twitter and Facebook, I posted the wonderful, happy story of the family of 23 who musically entertained the Pope (video and photos): Muslim family of 23 plays for Pope Francis in Kazakhstan – Vatican News

POPE TO KAZAKHSTAN CLERGY: ‘BEAR WITNESS TO JOY OF THE GOSPEL’

In his address to the Church’s ministers in Kazakhstan, Pope Francis encourages bishops, priests, and religious men and women to embrace their spiritual inheritance with joy and “bear generous witness to it,” in order to testify to the promise of Christian hope.

By Sophie Peeters (vaticannews)

The strength in diversity of the Church and the richness in different experiences must be shared with others to witness to the living Church.

Pope Francis offered that encouragement in his address to Bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and lay pastoral workers on Thursday morning at the Cathedral of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help in Nur-Sultan, Kazakstan. Pope to Kazakhstan clergy: ‘Bear witness to joy of the Gospel’ – Vatican News

POPE AT 7TH CONGRESS IN KAZAKHSTAN: ‘WE NEED PEACE, WOMEN, YOUNG PEOPLE’

In his concluding remarks at the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Pope Francis urges all religions and societies to involve women and young people in the quest for world peace.

By Francesca Merlo (vaticannews)

Concluding the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on his 38th Apostolic Journey abroad, Pope Francis thanked those present for coming from so many different parts of the world.

“We have travelled this road together,” he said. The Holy Father added that the members’ commitment in the service of dialogue over the course of the conference is more valuable than ever “when the problems of the pandemic have been compounded by the utter folly of war.” Pope at 7th Congress in Kazakhstan: ‘We need peace, women, young people’ – Vatican News

 

A CAPITAL NAME CHANGE? – POPES OF PEACE VISIT KAZAKHSTAN

A CAPITAL NAME CHANGE?

There has been one very interesting development during Pope Francis’ visit to Kazakhstan and its capital Nur-Sultan for the inter-religious meeting. The capital was named Astana until three years ago when the current president Tokayev agreed to change the name to Nur Sultan to honor his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev who led the country for three decades after declaring independence from what was once the USSR, the Soviet Union.

It seems that the nation’s capital will once again be named Astana.

The first indication was a tweet today from President Tokayev’s press secretary that said, “The president of Kazakhstan supports the initiative of members of parliamentary to rename the capital of the country from Nur Sultan to Astana.”

It seems the president was informed of this initiative by the MPs who had put forth this proposal, having talked among themselves, and also to citizens who supported the name change during a referendum.

The June referendum called for constitutional changes, one of which, according to a bill written by parliament, will be the name change of the nation’s capital.

The Vatican always prepares a fascinating, informative booklet for the journalists covering a papal trip. In that booklet, the name Nur Sultan is used for the capital, as it is in Vatican news reports, thus suggesting that the name change has not officially taken place.

POPES OF PEACE VISIT KAZAKHSTAN

St. John Paul II was the first pontiff to visit this central European nation, visiting shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. At the time, he applauded the peaceful coexistence of religions and ethnicities such as Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, and many others, within the country. The capital of Kazakhstan in 2001 was Astana.

At the September 23 Angelus, John Paul said: “To Mary I entrust all of you: Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers. She is the Mother of all, because Christ her Son is the Saviour of all. May Mary help all of you, dear Brothers and Sisters, to accomplish in your daily lives Christ’s command: “Love one another”, which is the guiding theme of this pastoral visit of mine. To the perpetual help of the Queen of peace I also entrust the countries bordering Kazakhstan, and I greet especially the pilgrims who have come today from those lands to demonstrate their faith and affection.”

Pope Francis’ trip to Kazakhstan shared one aspect with Pope John Paul’s trip that took place right after the 9-11 attacks in the US, Pope Francis trip took place just after the 21st anniversary of those attacks. (Vatican photo)

In words spoken at the end of today’s Mass, the Holy Father pointed to areas of the world marked by violence and war, especially Ukraine, and stressed that the world must never grow accustomed to war or resigned to its perceived inevitability. “The one solution is peace and the only way to arrive at peace is through dialogue. …What still needs to happen, and how many deaths will it still take, before conflict yields to dialogue for the good of people, nations and all humanity?”

Inviting prayers from everyone so that the world can learn to create peace, Francis said, “I thank all those who believe in this. I thank all of you, and all those men and women who are heralds of peace and unity!”

Francis had said Sunday at the Angelus that his trip would be a “pilgrimage of peace. … It will be an opportunity to meet a great many religious representatives and to dialogue as brothers and sisters, animated by our common desire for peace, peace for which our world is thirsting.”

POPE FRANCIS BEGINS HIS APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KAZAKHSTAN – A FUTURISTIC NUR-SULTAN READY TO WELCOME POPE FRANCIS TO KAZAKHSTAN – POPE’S PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN TO HELP ‘MAP WAY OUT OF CONFLICTS’

I am following Pope Francis’ trip to Kazakhstan as many of you are – on television and online for news reports. Television brings the living, colorful, in-the-moment images, as I know you have seen today and will for the next two days. Below are three stories from Vatican news about the papal trip to Kazakhstan, including video, photos and commentary.

A preview of the trip was given last night on EWTN News Nightly by EWTN’s Alexey Gotovsky of our Rome office: EWTN News | News from a true Catholic perspective

POPE FRANCIS BEGINS HIS APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KAZAKHSTAN

Pope Francis departs from Rome’s Fiumicino airport aboard the papal plane bound for Nur-Sultan, as he begins his Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

The papal plane took off from Rome’s Fiumicino airport on Tuesday at 7:36 AM with Pope Francis aboard, along with a compliment of around 80 journalists in the papal entourage.

The Pope’s 38th Apostolic Journey abroad takes him to the Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, where he is expected to arrive at around 5:45 PM local time (GMT+6) after a roughly 6.5-hour flight.

His first official visit comes soon afterwards on Tuesday as he makes a courtesy visit to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, before meeting with the country’s authorities, civil servants, and diplomatic corps. FOR MORE: Pope Francis begins his Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan – Vatican News

A FUTURISTIC NUR-SULTAN READY TO WELCOME POPE FRANCIS TO KAZAKHSTAN

As Pope Francis prepares to depart for Kazakhstan on Tuesday, our correspondent in Nur-Sultan takes a look at his upcoming participation in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, as well as the small Catholic community’s great joy to receive the Holy Father.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov – Nur-Sultan (vaticannews)

Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the immense Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan are preparing and looking forward to welcoming Pope Francis to their country on Tuesday.

Pope Francis will embark on his 38th Apostolic Visit abroad, marking his 57th country visited and his fourth Apostolic Journey since the beginning of the year.

Working day and night

“They have been working day and night,” Fr. Pawel, a Franciscan priest, told Vatican News during a visit to the pavilion where the Holy Father’s Mass will be held for the nation’s Catholics, though not only Catholics will be present.

According to the rector of the Cathedral where the Pope will meet bishops, clergy, religious, and those pursuing vocations on Thursday, not only the Catholics are greatly anticipating the Mass, but even Kazakhs of other faiths.

To some non-Catholics, Pope Francis is like a father

He says even some Muslims will be there. “When I inquired as to their reasoning or interesting in being present, they said to me ‘Pope is Papa.’ He is also like a father to us.” FOR MORE: A futuristic Nur-Sultan ready to welcome Pope Francis to Kazakhstan – Vatican News

POPE’S PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN TO HELP ‘MAP WAY OUT OF CONFLICTS’

As Pope Francis prepares to take part in an interfaith congress in Kazakhstan, Professor Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, says the Pope can help religious leaders map out ways of resolving and avoiding conflicts.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

“Pope Francis is a faith leader whom many others, even outside the Catholic community, tend to listen to and respect very highly.”

The Secretary General of Religions for Peace, Prof. Azza Karam, offered that insight into the Pope’s footprint in interreligious dialogue.

Prof. Karam spoke to Vatican News ahead of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan, on 13-15 September, which will see him participate in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan.

Nearly 100 delegations are expected to attend from 60 nations, representing Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and other religions.

Pope a ‘spokesperson for peace’

Pope Francis will join religious leaders in seeking to plot a course for humanity’s renewal in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, amidst numerous wars and conflicts across the globe.”Pope Francis has positioned himself by virtue of his speech and what he symbolizes to be, in some respects, the spokesperson of what peace should look like in people’s ordinary lives, but also on the level of government.” FOR MORE: Pope’s presence in Kazakhstan to help ‘map way out of conflicts’ – Vatican News

FRANCIS PRAYS AT ST MARY MAJOR FOR TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN – CARDINAL PAROLIN: WAR IS NEVER INEVITABLE

FRANCIS PRAYS AT ST MARY MAJOR FOR TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN

As is his custom both before and after making an apostolic journey, Pope Francis today prayed before the beloved Roman image of Salus populi romani in the basilica of St. Mary Major.

The Holy Father departs tomorrow for Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, to attend and address the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions that will be held here on September 14 and 15. This is his 38th apostolic trip abroad and the 57th country he will have visited.

St. John Paul II was the first pontiff to visit this central European nation, arriving shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. At the time, he applauded the peaceful coexistence of religions and ethnicities, such as Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, and many others, within the country. (Vatican media photo)

CARDINAL PAROLIN: WAR IS NEVER INEVITABLE

On the eve of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan, the Vatican Secretary of State looks at the war in Ukraine with hopes that the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which the Pope will attend, might become an opportunity for encounter and dialogue, and underscores the fruitful diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Kazakhstan.

By Massimiliano Menichetti (vaticannews)

Everything is ready on the eve of Pope Francis’ 38th Apostolic Journey outside Italy. The destination is Kazakhstan and participation in the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The international background of the event includes the ongoing, tragic war in Ukraine and many other conflicts around the world.

Once again, Pope Francis at Sunday’s Angelus in St. Peter’s Square asked for everyone to continue praying the people suffering from the war in Ukraine. He also thanked those involved in the journey’s preparations who made possible this trip to the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, where the focus will be on the capital, Nur-Sultan.

The predominantly Muslim country is home to a small Catholic community that awaits the arrival of the Pope with hope. The busy program is condensed into three days with five addresses he will give.

Ahead of the Pope’s departure on Tuesday, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sat down with Vatican Media to explore various themes of the Journey.

For full interview: Cardinal Parolin ahead of Pope’s Kazakhstan visit: ‘War is never inevitable’ – Vatican News

 

TRIBUTE TO A CHRISTIAN MONARCH: ELIZABETH II AND 4 POPES

The following is a riveting 11-minute video of all royal ceremonial events linked to the death of the queen, from Day 1 (her death) to Day 1+1 (today), etc. right up to the funeral:   Operation London Bridge: How the Queen’s funeral will work | ABC News – YouTube

TRIBUTE TO A CHRISTIAN MONARCH: ELIZABETH II AND 4 POPES

The following photos, with many thanks to Vatican Media and the Vatican’s photo archives,, depict the various meetings that Queen Elizabeth had with four Popes.

The Queen’s 96 years spanned 8 pontificates, starting with Pius XI who was Pope when she was born in 1926. She met Pius XII as a princess in 1951 and then, as Queen, met with 4 Popes: John XXIII, John Paul II (whom she met 3 times 1980, 1982 and 2000), Benedict XVI and Francis. It seems she never met St. Paul VI, nor did she meet Blessed John Paul I during his brief, 33-day pontificate.

For reasons I do not understand, I was unable to do my usual slideshow presentation with the photos provided

POPE JOHN XXIII

POPE JOHN PAUL II

POPE BENEDICT XVI (There were many photos of Benedict and the Queen but each photo had a lengthy technical description that I could not eliminate (lens size, shutter speed, light, etc), I only have these three:

POPE FRANCIS

VATICAN INSIDER: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND “TERESA OF CALCUTTA. NO GREATER LOVE”

VATICAN INSIDER: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND “TERESA OF CALCUTTA. NO GREATER LOVE”

This week on Vatican Insider, I welcome two new guests in the interview segment – Patrick Kelly, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and David Naglieri, writer and director of the film produced by the Knights, “Teresa of Calcutta: No Greater Love.” The movie premiered in Rome at the end of August and will be shown in 940 theaters in the United States for two days only, Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4. Go to motherteresamovie.com for tickets.

In Part I of our conversation, we talk about what inspired the Knights of Columbus to do this film, how David was brought in as writer and director, the stages of filming and some of the highlights.   More on this film when our conversation continues net week

As I wrote after the premiere: “Teresa of Calcutta’s love was a no-holds-barred love that embraced all of God’s children but absolutely above all, ‘the least of God’s children,’ the heart-wrenchingly poor and destitute, the forgotten and rejected ones such as the disabled, victims of leprosy, the starving, those who were left to die in the hovels they called home or on the streets of their villages or towns, on the peripheries of large, well-to-do urban centers where people truly did not care about the “people they could not see.”

I interviewed Patrick and David at a sports center in Rome, one of a number built in the Eternal City by the Knights of Columbus. They have an office in Rome as well (another story for another day). The Missionaries of Charity were the special guests at that day’s showing of No Greater Live. Fr. Brian Kolodeijchuk, postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause for canonization, spoke to the sisters.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The official website (where you can watch a trailer): Mother Teresa: No Greater Love Film – HOME (motherteresamovie.com)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

HOLY SEE DIPLOMATIC CORPS DATES TO 325 – POPE TO PONTIFICAL REPRESENTATIVES: ‘WORLD SHAKEN BY RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR’

Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth! I somehow never thought I’d be using the past tense with Queen Elizabeth! She’s been queen most of my life, as she has been for anyone 70 and under!

She met Pope Pius XII as a princess and, as queen, she met Popes John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

Though not a Catholic, she was deeply Christian and I find it lovely she died on the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We await, as I write, a papal message.

HOLY SEE DIPLOMATIC CORPS DATES TO 325

Every three years, a Pope receives as a group the Holy See’s representative to the States of the world. Known as apostolic nuncios, they are, with only one exception, archbishops: that exception is Cardinal Mario Zenari, the nuncio to Syria, whom the Pope made a cardinal in 2016.

In recent weeks, even months, the Holy Father has been receiving many of the nuncios one by one, in private audiences. I have always imagined such conversations to be among the more fascinating ones a Pope can have as a nuncio recounts life in the country to which he is accredited – the lights, the shadows, the situation of the Church or, as in Cardinal Zenari’s case, the description of a warn torn and impoverished country.

The Holy See’s nuncios are some of the best-trained diplomats in the world, and in most cases are the dean of the diplomatic corps in the country where they are serving. Many nuncios, like Cardinal Zenari, have spent their entire career in the Vatican’s diplomatic service. One of the more signal traits of the Holy See diplomatic corps is that most all nuncios are pluri-lingual, speaking their native language, in addition to Italian and one or two others. art of their training as diplomats is studying the language of the country to which they are assigned before their departure from Rome, and then learning it in situ.

The Church’s diplomatic service is actually one of the oldest on the planet and can be traced to the years 325 when Pope Sylvester I sent his personal representatives to the first Council of Nicea. The exchange between papal representatives and those of other nations has continued uninterruptedly since then, with the main vicissitudes being the birth of new nations, the disappearance of others, or a breakup within a nation to form new ones (such as happened with the fall of the Berlin Wall and other historical moments).

There are, of course, notable exceptions. The Holy See, for example, does not have, full diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China or Vietnam. Where diplomatic ties do not exist, however, there may be a counsellor, a priest or monsignor, assigned by the Vatican to be present in the country.

The Holy See is also represented at 25 international organizations such as the United Nations.

The diplomats are trained in Rome at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. Founded in 1701 as the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles, its first seat was the building in Rome known today as Villa Taverna, now the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Italy. In 1706, the Academy was transferred to Palazzo Severoli on Pza. Della Minerva, its actual seat today. The interior of the building was renovated under Pope St. John XXIII

Popes Clement XIII, Leo XII, Leo XIII, Benedict XV and St. Paul VI were among the academy alumni.

Birmingham, Alabama-born Archbishop Joseph Marino has headed the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy since his appointment by Pope Francis in October 2019. He has been in the Holy See’s diplomatic service since 1988.

POPE TO PONTIFICAL REPRESENTATIVES: ‘WORLD SHAKEN BY RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR’

Pope Francis held a triennial meeting with pontifical representatives in the Vatican, and called attention to the Holy See’s efforts to seek peace amid a “third world war fought piecemeal,”

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

The Pope’s representatives in nations across the globe met with the Holy Father on Thursday as part of their triennial encounter in the Vatican.


The group includes 91 Apostolic Nuncios and 6 Permanent Observers, while 5 Pontifical Representatives were unable to attend due the health reasons or other impediments.

Pope Francis spoke to his representatives about various global issues affecting nations and the Church in the world.

World shaken by war

The Pope noted that this encounter comes in the wake of the pandemic.

“The tempest of the Covid-19 pandemic forced various constraints on our daily lives and pastoral activities,” he said. “Now it seems the worst may be behind us, and thank God we are able to meet.”

However, added Pope Francis, the spectre of war has descended on Europe and the world.

“Unfortunately, Europe and the entire world are shaken by a particularly serious war, due to the violation of international law, the risks of nuclear escalation, and the grave economic and social consequences.”

Pope’s closeness amid world war

The Pope added that a “third world war fought piecemeal” has gripped the globe, and that Pontifical Representatives are present in the countries involved in the various conflicts.

He thanked them for bringing his closeness to peoples who are suffering.

“You bring the Pope’s closeness to peoples and the Church. You are points of reference in moments of extreme bewilderment and turbulence.”

Focusing on mission

Pope Francis urged his representatives to entrust their work to the Lord, as they labor in the “today of the Church and world.”.

He noted that the Church is currently journeying through the Synod on synodality, while the Roman Curia seeks to apply the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium.

The Pope also recalled two apostolic nuncios who died while in office: Archbishop Joseph Chennoth and Archbishop Aldo Giordano.

“Our brothers have preceded us in our journey, and they invite us to keep our gaze fixed on the path ahead and on the heavens.”

 

DISCERNMENT OFTEN COMES IN UNEXPECTED SIGNS FROM GOD – A PAPAL SALUTE TO MOTHERS AND A PLEA FOR PEACE

Since we learned yesterday that China’s President Xi Jinping will be in Kazakhstan at the same time as Pope Francis (in one week!), it will be interesting to see if diplomats from either side – or both sides – would attempt to arrange a meeting between the two. Usually meetings at such a high level would take months to arrange but stranger things have happened in life. Many are asking: Would such a meeting be wise? Which side would gain – or lose – the most?

Stay tuned….

DISCERNMENT OFTEN COMES IN UNEXPECTED SIGNS FROM GOD

The weekly general audience took place today in St. Peter’s Square that, while hot and sun-splashed, was not enveloped by the scorching heat of weeks past.

Pope Francis took a ride around the piazza in the open papal jeep and was even joined by several children at one point.

Some Vatican media photos of the morning:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He introduced the second catechesis on his new series on discernment by saying, “in the process of making sound decisions about the meaning and direction of our lives, we now consider the witness of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. As a young soldier, Ignatius was gravely wounded in battle. During his long convalescence, he was unable to read his favorite novels of chivalry and heroic exploits. The only books at hand were the lives of the saints.”

And this is often how the Lord works, said Francis. He works through what we see as “apparent randomness in the events of life.” Ignatius did not have his preferred reading but was instead driven to the unexpected joy of reading about saints, about lives that changed his life, the books that became a turning point.

“Reading them, at first reluctantly,” said the Holy Father, “Ignatius came to realize that the stories of the saints brought him lasting joy and happiness, while the other stories left him ultimately arid and empty. This insight was the origin of the method of prayer and discernment that Ignatius left us in his celebrated Spiritual Exercises.”

Pope Francis explained that Ignatius, in his Spiritual Exercises, “speaks of the importance of distinguishing between worldly and spiritual thoughts, cultivating the latter, and allowing them, by God’s grace, to mature within our hearts. In time, then, we come to discern in prayer the often unexpected signs by which God makes himself known to us, leads us to conversion and shows us his will for our lives.”

A PAPAL SALUTE TO MOTHERS AND A PLEA FOR PEACE

At the end of the catechesis on discernment, Pope Francis pointed out that, “tomorrow we will celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. Mary experienced God’s tenderness as a daughter, full of grace, and went on to give this tenderness as a mother, through union with the mission of her Son Jesus.”

He then expressed his “closeness to all mothers. In a special way, to those mothers who have children who suffer: those who are sick, those who are marginalized, those who are imprisoned. A special prayer goes to the mothers of young detainees: let hope never be lacking. Unfortunately, in prisons there are many people who take their own life, at times also young people. A mother’s love can save them from this danger. May Our Lady console all mothers distressed by the suffering of their children.”

The Pope also prayed for Ukraine and its people who have undergone a war for over six months. “I do not forget martyred Ukraine,” he said. asking everyone to “be a builder of peace and to pray that thoughts and plans of concord and reconciliation will spread in the world, …Today we are experiencing a world war, let us please stop!”

He entrusted the victims of all ways, especially the “dear people of Ukraine” to the Blessed Virgin Mary.