POPE FRANCIS ON HIS UPCOMING TRIP TO CANADA, HEALTH ISSUES – POPE FRANCIS: DIGITAL MEDIA RAISES SERIOUS ETHICAL ISSUES

POPE FRANCIS ON HIS UPCOMING TRIP TO CANADA, HEALTH ISSUES

Sunday, July 17, 12,000 faithful populated St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus with Pope Francis, standing close at times to the two fountains in the square to cool off from the sweltering heat that has enveloped Italy for many weeks.

After the Angelus, Francis asked for prayers, saying, “I’m about to make a penitential pilgrimage that I hope, with God’s grace, will contribute to the journey of healing and reconciliation already undertaken.” He explained that, “unfortunately, in Canada, many Christians, including some members of religious institutes, contributed to the policies of cultural assimilation that, in the past, have severely harmed indigenous communities in various ways.”

The Holy Father leaves Sunday, July 24 for a multi-city visit to Canada, arriving back in Rome on July 30.

Addressing Canadians specifically, the Pope Sunday recalled a series of meetings he held in the Vatican in April with delegations from Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, listening to stories about life in the residential school system. As Vatican news reported, this was the forcible integration of indigenous children into Canadian culture by separating them from their families and communities and placing them in boarding schools.

On April 1, Pope Francis expressed his profound sorrow to the delegations, asking for pardon for the suffering inflicted by some members of the Catholic Church. He also mentioned he wanted to travel to Canada.

The fact the Canada trip is still on the papal agenda seems to be positive news about the Pope’s health.

In a recent interview, he spoke about his cancelled July trip to Africa: “I suffered so much for not being able to do this trip, but the doctor told me not to do it because I was not able to do it yet. I’ll go to Canada because the doctor told me at that time, ‘With 20 more days you will recover.’

Francis further explained his knee problem: “A ligament became inflamed and, because I walk badly (due to sciatica), this …. moved a bone and caused a fracture…and that’s the problem. …I am slowly improving, and technically the calcification has already occurred, thanks to all the work done with the laser … and magnet therapy. Now I have to start moving because there’s a danger of losing muscle tone if one doesn’t move.”

POPE FRANCIS: DIGITAL MEDIA RAISES SERIOUS ETHICAL ISSUES

Pope Francis says SIGNIS “can play an important role” in meeting the challenge of “toxicity, hate speech, and fake news” in the media.

By Christopher Wells (vaticannews)

Although modern means of communication can be “a powerful means of fostering communion and dialogue within our human family,” they can also become “places of toxicity, hate speech, and fake news,” warns Pope Francis, in a message to the lay communications network SIGNIS, which is holding its annual World Congress in Seoul in August.

“It is appropriate,” the Pope says, “that, in these days marked by new outbreaks of violence and aggression in our world, you have chosen as the theme of your World Congress ‘Peace in the Digital World.”

Serious ethical issues

Pope Francis notes, “The use of digital media, especially social media, has raised a number of serious ethical issues that call for wise and discerning judgment on the part of communicators, and all those concerned with authenticity and the quality of human relationships.” SIGNIS, he continues, “can play an important role” in meeting this challenge, especially through “media education, networking Catholic media, and countering lies and misinformation.”

In his message, the Pope encourages SIGNIS members to persevere in their efforts by helping people “develop a sound critical sense, learning to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, good from evil, and to appreciate the importance of working for justice, social concord, and respect for our common home.” At the same time, recognizing that many communities have limited access to “the digital space,” he calls on SIGNIS communicators to make “digital inclusion a priority” in their planning.

The value of listening

The Holy Father also calls attention to the importance of listening “as the first and indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication,” an issue he highlighted in his message for World Communication Day 2022.

“Communication is not just a profession, but a service to dialogue and understanding between individuals and larger communities in the pursuit of a serene and peaceful coexistence.”

Listening, he says, “is likewise essential to the synodal journey that the whole Church has undertaken in these years,” recalling the ongoing Synod on Synodality that will culminate at the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

“It is my hope,” Pope Francis says, “that, in your communication, you will contribute to this process by assisting the holy and faithful people of God in our commitment to listen to one another, to the Lord’s will, and to grow in the awareness that we participate in a communion that precedes and includes us.”

“In this way, your efforts to foster ‘Peace in the Digital World’ will help to create an ever more ‘symphonic’ Church, whose unity is expressed in a harmonious and sacred polyphony.”

POPE AT ANGELUS DECRIES TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN, FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

POPE AT ANGELUS DECRIES TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN, FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Yesterday at the Angelus, Pope Francis reflected on two International Days and he blessed a statue of St. Josephine Bakhita that had been brought to the square by representatives of Talitha Kum, an international network of Catholic nuns against trafficking in persons.

The sculpture group, “Let the Oppressed Go Free,” was created by Canadian Catholic artist Timothy Schmalz, the same sculptor who created the “Angels Unawares” sculpture in St. Peter’s Square that depicts migrants throughout history crammed on a boat. (Let the Oppressed Go Free – photo from Holy See Press Office)

Francis created the day of prayer and reflection for human trafficking victims in 2015 and is expected to release a message tomorrow.

After reflections on the day’s Gospel and then praying the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope noted that February 6 is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, a widespread practice, he said, “that demeans the dignity of women and gravely undermines their physical integrity.”

He then noted that Tuesday, February 8, the liturgical memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, is the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking.”

Trafficking “is a deep wound, inflicted by the shameful pursuit of economic interests without any respect for the human person. So many girls – we see them on the streets – who are not free, are slaves of traffickers, who send them to work and, if they do not bring the money, beat them. This is happening in our cities today. Let us really think about it!”

St. Josephine, patron of human trafficking victims and of Sudan, was born in Sudan in 1869. She was kidnapped at age 7 and sold into slavery during which she was beaten, tortured, and left scarred. She eventually discovered Christ and the Catholic Church in her early 20s and, once freed from slavery, was baptized into the Catholic faith. She joined the Canossian Sisters in Italy.   She was canonized in Rome on October 1, 2000. (For her biography: Saint Josephine Bakhita | Franciscan Media)

I took these photos of the Angels Unawares sculpture yesterday in St. Peter’s Square. The Bakhita statue group was only in the square for the Angelus and I arrived afterwards:

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JULY 11: POPE FRANCIS AT THE ANGELUS FROM GEMELLI HOSPITAL

JULY 11: POPE FRANCIS AT THE ANGELUS FROM GEMELLI HOSPITAL

Photos from EWTN’s Pablo Esparza: Pope Francis delivering Angelus reflections and blessing from balcony of papal suite on Sunday, July 11:

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In this photo, it seems Francis has a bandage on his right hand:

 

POPE: MARY’S ASSUMPTION, A “HUGE LEAP FORWARD FOR HUMANITY” – POST-ANGELUS REMARKS ON EGYPT, NIGERIA AND SHRINE OF LORETO – THE POPE EXTENDS LAURETAN JUBILEE TO DECEMBER 2021

POPE: MARY’S ASSUMPTION, A “HUGE LEAP FORWARD FOR HUMANITY”

During the Angelus on the feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis said that the Virgin Mary shows us that our goal is not to gain the things here on earth, which are fleeting, but the homeland above, which is forever.

By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)

Pope Francis on Saturday invited Christians to thank and praise God for the good that He has done in our life just as the Virgin did in the Magnificat, which became the source of her joy.

Pope Francis made the exhortation at the midday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square on the day the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into heaven.

The dogma of faith that Pope Pius XII proclaimed on November 1, 1950, asserts that the Virgin Mary, “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”  Pope Francis said the Assumption shines “as a sign of sure hope and solace to the People of God during its sojourn on earth,” as the Second Vatican Council puts it.

Addressing a holiday crowd from the window of his studio overlooking the square, the Pope said that in Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, we celebrate an infinitely greater conquest than the “giant step for mankind” when man first set foot on the moon.  When the lowly Virgin of Nazareth set foot in paradise, body and spirit, he said, it was “the huge leap forward for humanity.”

This, the Pope said, gives us hope that “we are precious, destined to rise again. …God does not allow our bodies to vanish into nothing. With God, nothing is lost!”

Pope Francis thus invited all to ask ourselves whether we, like Mary, praise and thank God for the good things He does for us, for His love, forgiveness, tenderness and for giving us His Mother and our brothers and sisters.

“If we forget the good,” the Pope warned, “the heart shrinks. … But if, like Mary, we remember the great things that the Lord does, if at least once a day we were to ‘magnify’ Him, then our hearts will expand and our joy will increase.”

POST-ANGELUS REMARKS ON EGYPT, NIGERIA AND SHRINE OF LORETO

After reciting the Angelus, Francis said, “the Virgin Mary, whom we contemplate today in heavenly glory, is the ‘Mother of hope’. This title of hers has been recently included in the Litany of Loreto. Let us invoke her intercession for all the situations in the world that are most in need of hope: hope for peace, for justice, hope for a dignified life. Today I would like to pray in particular for the population of the northern region of Nigeria, victim of violence and terrorist attacks.”

He went on to say he was “following with particular attention the situation of the difficult negotiations regarding the Nile between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. I invite all parties to continue on the path of dialogue so that the Eternal River might continue to be a source of life that unites, not divides, that always nourishes friendship, prosperity, fraternity, and never enmity, misunderstanding or conflict. Let dialogue, dear brothers and sisters of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, let dialogue be your only choice, for the good of your dear populations and of the entire world.”

THE POPE EXTENDS LAURETAN JUBILEE TO DECEMBER 2021

Archbishop Fabio dal Cin, Pontifical Delegate to the Shrine at Loreto announced that Pope Francis is extending the Lauretan Jubilee to December 2021. In his words, he thanks the Pope for a gift that allows people to enjoy for another twelve months the benefits of this spiritual jubilee in this time of pandemic.

By Vatican News

On Saturday evening, to the applause of the faithful, Archbishop Fabio Dal Cin, Pontifical Delegate to the Shrine at Loreto announced the Pope’s decision to extend the Lauretan Jubilee until December 10, 2021. The Jubilee was granted on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation by Pope Benedict XV of Our Lady of Loreto, Patroness of all airmen.

Imparting the news from the Shrine of the Holy House, the archbishop said, “In this difficult time for mankind, Holy Mother Church gives us another twelve months to start anew with Christ, letting us be accompanied by Mary, a sign of consolation and sure hope for all.”

The Jubilee was officially inaugurated on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, with the opening of the Holy Door presided over by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin but “unfortunately not celebrated in all its entirety because of the Covid-19 epidemic.” It was to end this coming December 10, 2020.

An Apostolic Decree issued on July 16 by the Apostolic Penitentiary states that there will be another twelve months to experience grace and forgiveness for all the faithful who visit the Pontifical Shrine, and this also extends to the many chapels of the civil airports and air force bases around the world.

 

POPE TO YOUNG PEOPLE: USE THE “FANTASY OF LOVE” TO REACH OUT TO THE ELDERLY

A heads up: I leave tomorrow afternoon for a few days in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast, my first excursion out of Rome since March 13! It should be very interesting, even with all the Covid-related rules, regulations and restrictions. However, Sorrento and surroundings are a small slice of paradise so this will be more a delightful change of place, than a change of pace. I’ll be working, writing blogs (no promises for Monday!), posting stories and photos and doing radio shows, etc. It might be a “Joan’s Rome” lite but that’s OK!

I so enjoyed the Angelus today, especially Pope Francis’ remarks about grandparents on this day when we celebrate Sts. Joachim and Ann, Mary’s parents, thus Jesus’ grandparents. I don’t remember if I ever asked anyone when I was little about Jesus’ grandparents – I just knew his parents, Mary and Joseph.

When I became aware of Joachim and Ann (also spelled Anne), I started to imagine Jesus as a toddler, following his grandparents around the house when they came to visit or he went to their house. I pictured him perhaps helping in a garden or in the kitchen and surely in St. Joseph’s carpenter shop, asking a lot of questions. Were they around when Jesus was a teen? We know so little about them that we don’t know how old he was when they died.

By the way, this is one of my very favorite pictures! (from Pinterest)

Pope Francis has spoken of grandparents countless times in his papacy – one could write a short book on the subject. In addition, he has reminisced often about his own grandmother Rosa: On one trip, he said; “I had the grace to grow up in a family where faith was lived in a simple and concrete way; but it was above all my grandmother, my father’s mother, who marked my path of faith. She was a woman who explained to us, who spoke to us about Jesus, who taught us the Catechism.

“I always remember that on Good Friday evening she would take us to the candlelight procession, and at the end of this procession… my grandmother would make us children kneel and she would say: ‘Look, he is dead, but tomorrow he will rise again.” I received the first Christian announcement from this woman, from my grandmother! That’s beautiful! The first announcement at home, with the family! And this makes me think of the love of many mothers and grandmothers in the transmission of the faith. It is they who transmit the faith.”  

If you are blessed enough to have living grandparents; visit as often as possible, collect stories, ask a thousand questions, learn about the richness of your past! And with today’s technology be sure to record their stories and memories – and take pictures!

POPE TO YOUNG PEOPLE: USE THE ‘FANTASY OF LOVE’ TO REACH OUT TO THE ELDERLY

Pope Francis urges young people to show tenderness to the elderly by connecting with them, “calling them, video-chatting with them…sending them hugs.”

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

After reciting the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Ann, Jesus’ grandparents.

The Pope invited them to reach out tenderly to the elderly by doing something concrete for those “who are most alone in their homes or retirement residences, and who have not seen their loved-ones for months”.

“Dear young people, the Pope continued, “each elderly person is your grandparent!” He then begged young people not to leave the elderly alone. “Use the fantasy of love”, he told them. Then he gave them some suggestions: “Call them, videochat with them, send them messages, listen to them, go and visit them when it is possible while observing health precautions, send them a hug.”

Pope Francis then picked up one of his favorite themes, reminding young people that the elderly are their “roots.”

“An uprooted tree does not grow or bear flowers or fruit”, he said. Being united and connected with the elderly is important because that is how we remain connected to our roots, he explained. He then quoted an Argentinean poet, who said that the flowers that we see on trees come from what is underground.

After his words, the Pope asked for a round of applause for grandparents.

 

 

WHEN NO NEWS BECOMES THE NEWS – DISTINGUISHING REPORTING FROM SPIN ON THE POPE AND HONG KONG

WHEN NO NEWS BECOMES THE NEWS

No news becomes the news story of the day when you have news but cannot publish it. Sunday, as always happens before a papal speech or homily, the Holy See Press Office emailed an embargoed copy of the papal remarks to the media accredited to the press office. Embargo means we cannot publish or even hint at the content until the moment the Pope actually speaks the words in the text.

What happens when our embargoed text contains words the Pope does not say?

That happened last Sunday.

The original Italian-language text arrived at 11:15. Shortly before the Pope spoke at the Angelus the media was informed that a certain part of the text regarding Hong Kong would not be read by the Pope, and the eventual daily bulletin, in fact, did not have that part of the text, nor did the English and Spanish translations.

A non-text or deleted text, especially if somewhat sensitive, provokes many questions. The questions about the Sunday text are still being asked and explored and parsed today.

The embargo was broken and once that happened, other media felt free to go with the story, citing not the original Vatican text but the story as reported by the one who broke the embargo. I could not and did not say a thing until I knew that I would be working within EWTN’s standards, as well as those of the press office. I got clarification last night. Rather than re-tell Sunday’s story, here’s a link to John Allen’s piece in Crux as he tells the story and aftermath very well.

If we had been able to publish the original text Sunday, I’d have written a very long column. Pazienza! Maybe some day…..!

DISTINGUISHING REPORTING FROM SPIN ON THE POPE AND HONG KONG

ROME (July 7) – Reporters covering the Vatican find ourselves in a frustrating bind right now, because we’ve got news we can’t fully report — in part because we’re bound by journalistic ethics, and in part because we don’t know ourselves what happened. That vacuum hasn’t stopped the left v. right ideological sausage grinders from swinging into action anyway, running the risk of making it less likely we’ll ever get the full story.

I realize that sounds terribly cryptic, so let me try to break it down.

On Sunday, Pope Francis was set to deliver his usual noontime Angelus address, which often features a brief comment or two on the international situation. As it always does, the Vatican circulated a draft of the address in advance to help reporters prepare, which comes with a strict embargo: We can’t refer to its contents before it’s delivered, and only what the pope actually says is considered official. Anything he skips, therefore, is regarded as having never existed.

Normally popes don’t veer terribly far from the prepared text, sometimes injecting a word or two here or there, skipping a random line for one reason or another, and so on.

However, it’s now a matter of public record that yesterday, Pope Francis omitted a sizeable chunk of text on Hong Kong. I can’t report what the text contained, because I’m bound to honor the conditions under which I received the information. I can report, however, that several Italian news sites have published the text or commented on why it was omitted, and there’s certainly no embargo on their content.

In a nutshell, commentators and news outlets known to be critical of Pope Francis are styling the omission as the latest chapter in what they see as the Vatican’s appeasement of China and its Communist leadership, generally linking it to a deal signed two years ago and shortly up for review that afforded Chinese authorities a role in the nomination of Catholic bishops.

TO CONTINUE: https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2020/07/distinguishing-reporting-from-spin-on-the-pope-and-hong-kong/

“THE ACTION OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, A SINGLE PLAN OF LOVE THAT SAVES HUMANITY” – “THE HEART OF JESUS, A WELLSPRING OF GOD’S MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND TENDERNESS”

For the first time in its history, the Holy See Press Office today released English and Spanish translations of the Holy Father’s reflections at today’s Angelus, as well as his words after praying the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.   Though I usually post a summary, following are those English texts in full as they offer some wonderful food for reflection about the Holy Trinity and Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am sure you know that the Church always dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

For the second Sunday in a row, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace that overlooks St. Peter’s Square where a small group of faithful, having gone through two security checks, gathered to pray with him.

“THE ACTION OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, A SINGLE PLAN OF LOVE THAT SAVES HUMANITY”

Dear brothers and sisters, good day! Today’s Gospel (see Jn 3: 16-18), on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, demonstrates – with John’s succinct language – the mystery of God’s love for the world, His creation. In the brief dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus presents Himself as He who brings to fulfilment the Father’s plan of salvation for the world. He affirms: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (v. 16). These words are to indicate that the action of the three divine Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is all a single plan of love that saves humanity and the world. (photo vatican media)

The world is marked by evil and corruption, and we men and women are sinners; therefore, God could intervene to judge the world, to destroy evil and castigate sinners. Instead, He loves the world, despite its sins; God loves every one of us even when we make mistakes and distance ourselves from Him. God the Father loves the world so much that, to save it, He gives what is most precious to Him: His only-begotten Son, who gives His life for humanity, rises again, returns to the Father and together with Him sends the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is therefore Love, all in the service of the world, which He wishes to save and recreate.

When Jesus affirms that the Father has given His only-begotten Son, we spontaneously think of Abraham and his offering of his son Isaac, about whom the Book of Genesis speaks (cf. 22: 1-14): this is the “measure without measure” of God’s love. And let us also think of how God reveals Himself to Moses: full of tenderness, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and full of grace and fidelity. The encounter with this God encouraged Moses, who, as the book of Exodus tells us, was not afraid to stand between the people and the Lord, saying to Him: “Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance” (34: 9).

Dear brothers and sisters, today’s feast day invites us to let ourselves once again be fascinated by the beauty of God; beauty, goodness and inexhaustible truth. But also humble, close, who became flesh in order to enter into our life, into our history, so that every man and woman may encounter it and have eternal life. And this is faith: to welcome God-Love who gives Himself in Christ, to let ourselves be encountered by Him and to trust in Him.

We live faith in Christ in listening to the Word and partaking in the Sacraments, through which the Holy Spirit gives us God’s grace. Through the Sacraments we can remain in a continuous relationship with the divine Persons, we are stimulated to bear witness to evangelical charity, and we are sustained in our effort to live in unity and in peace, so that everything may be to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, of God-Love.

May the Virgin Mary, dwelling-place of the Trinity, help us to welcome with an open heart the love of God, which fills us with joy and gives meaning to our journey in this world, always guiding us towards our destination, which is Heaven.

“THE HEART OF JESUS, A WELLSPRING OF GOD’S MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND TENDERNESS”

Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims: individual faithful, families and religious communities. Your presence in the square is a sign that the acute phase of the epidemic is over in Italy, even though it remains necessary to follow the rules in force carefully. But unfortunately in other countries, especially in Latin America, the virus continues to claim many victims. I wish to express my closeness to those populations, to the sick and their families, and to all those who care for them.

The month of June is dedicated in a special way to the Heart of Christ, a devotion that unites the great spiritual teachers and the simple among the people of God. Indeed, the human and divine Heart of Jesus is the wellspring where we can always draw upon God’s mercy, forgiveness and tenderness. We can do so by focusing on a passage from the Gospel, feeling that at the centre of every gesture, of every word of Jesus there is love, the love of the Father. And we can do this by adoring the Eucharist, where this love is present in the Sacrament. Then our heart too, little by little, will become more patient, more generous, more merciful.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and arrivederci.

POPE ANNOUNCES EXTRAORDINARY URBI ET ORBI BLESSING – COMMUNIQUE FROM PAPAL ALMSGIVER

I took a little bit of a hiatus from news yesterday, that is, I researched a lot, reposted some stories on Facebook but did not write a blog about the latest developments in Italy regarding quarantine, what we can do and cannot do, what some of the news measures are, etc. Tune in tomorrow!

I greatly enjoyed some Face Time with a niece last evening, and her two sisters and their children will join me later today. That is such a terrific way to stay in touch!

I don’t know where the time goes every day but I do know I am very behind in correspondence with so many of you who have sent me messages, emails, comments on Facebook, etc. I’ll try to be in touch personally in coming days.

Great news from my Rome parish of St. Patrick’s! Paulist Fathers Greg Apparcel and Steve Petroff have been posting videos of daily Mass in the small rectory chapel and that has been heart-warming but today’s Mass was quite special. Three of us who are lectors prepared the two readings and the Prayers of the Faithful in our homes, recording these segments on our iPads and then putting them on Google Drive. Ditto for our cantor and his wife who recorded music in their home. All segments were sent to Paulists in the U.S. who had the equipment needed to put the whole thing together, including putting sheet music online so we could sing as if in church. I was SO grateful for the sense of community!

Here are some links from Fr. Greg:
Mass for Sunday, March 22, 2020: +https://www.facebook.com/cacrome/videos/215511813030397/
YouTube: https://youtu.be/vB_Y27nL12A
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/399556467

Also look for our Stations of the Cross service that is now posted on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cacrome/videos/2508066879456605/
YouTube: https://youtu.be/dZvp2qHMsYA
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/399552697
For Sunday Mass, we thank our musicians, Dafrosa Cho and Raimundo Pereira; our Lectors: Joan Lewis, Gabriella Spadaro and Ann Haring; and our Paulist brothers in Washington DC and New York who edited all this together and upload the Mass on the different sites.
Next week we will be Livestreaming our daily Masses on Facebook, beginning at 9:30 AM, Monday through Friday.

Personally, I am so very grateful to Fathers Greg and Steve and the thousands of priest throughout the world who work so hard to bring us Mass every of these trying times!

After Mass I treated myself to brunch, as you can see here! This is how I usually spend every Sunday – Mass and then brunch at Homebaked, but brunch today was at my home!

POPE ANNOUNCES EXTRAORDINARY URBI ET ORBI BLESSING

At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis invited all Christians to join together in praying the Our Father as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis on Sunday called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness,” adding, “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried.”

Speaking after the traditional recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called on all Christians to join together in prayer. “In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven.”

The “Our Father” on the Annunciation

On Wednesday, March 25, feast of the Annunciation, he invited “the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us – the Our Father.”

“On that day on which many Christians recall the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word,” Pope Francis prayed, “may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ.”

A special Urbi et Orbi blessing

The Pope also announced that on the following Friday, March 27, he will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrato of St Peter’s Basilica, the platform at the top of the steps immediately in front of the façade of the Church. “I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication,” he said, referring to the fact this would be done without the presence of the faithful in the square.

The ceremony will consist in readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through the various forms of communication. The blessing “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” is normally only given on Christmas and Easter.

The Director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed that the moment of prayer on Friday will be broadcast live from the Vatican, beginning at 6 pm Rome time. He noted that the plenary indulgence attached to the Urbi et orbi blessing is subject to the conditions foreseen by the recent Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
Prayers for Croatia

At the close of his remarks following the Angelus, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Croatia, which was struck by magnitude 5.4 earthquake Sunday morning. The Holy Father prayed, “May the Risen Lord give them the strength and solidarity to face this calamity.”

COMMUNIQUE FROM PAPAL ALMSGIVER

The Holy Father’s almsgiver, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, sent out a note Saturday in which he wrote that he “wishes to sincerely thank all the volunteers and people of good will who continue to take care of the poorest and most needy, especially the homeless who live on the street, and do not abandon them right now at this even more difficult time. These brothers of ours not only don’t have a home, but now they can’t even ask for charity to buy something to eat. Now more than ever, they “depend” on our heart. Mercy is a very concrete word and only “charity covers a multitude of sins” (1Pt 4,8).”

He added that, “the office of the papal almoner also wishes to express its gratitude to all those companies and commercial entities that in these days have generously donated their products to prepare the “envelope of the heart” (tuna, small canned goods, fruit, cheese, packaged salami, bread …) which, in place of lunches and dinners, is offered to the poor by various soup kitchens, dormitories, parishes, voluntary associations and religious communities. An example comes from the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo that send hundreds of packs of fresh milk and yogurt daily.

“As for the soup kitchens, parishes and associations that prepare packed lunches or help the poor of the street in other forms,” the communique ended, “if they find themselves in difficulty, financially or due to the lack of food, they can contact the almoner via his cell phone (he gave his Roman number here), as he remains available also for those who wish to donate food useful for preparing meals, to receive them directly or direct them to other charitable realities that help the poor homeless.”

POPE APPEALS FOR SELF-CONTROL AMID HEIGHTENED THREAT OF WAR – POPE FRANCIS: LIKE THE MAGI, OUR LIVES ARE CHANGED BY ENCOUNTERING JESUS

As is usual on Sundays and religious holy days, the Pope appears at his study window at noon to recite the Angelus with the faithful gathered below in St. Peter’s Square. Pope Francis recited the Angelus on Sunday, January 5, noting that there is a “terrible air of tension” in many parts of the world, obviously referring to the escalating crisis between the United States and Iran.

He recited the Marian prayer again today, Monday, January 6, feast of the Epiphany, after presiding at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

POPE APPEALS FOR SELF-CONTROL AMID HEIGHTENED THREAT OF WAR

Amid an escalating crisis between the United States and Iran, Pope Francis urges nations to exercise self-control and dialogue.
By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

“War brings only death and destruction.”

Pope Francis spoke those words of warning on Sunday, following the Angelus prayer.

Without referring to any specific countries, the Pope said there is a “terrible air of tension” in many parts of the world. “I call upon all parties to fan the flame of dialogue and self-control, and to banish the shadow of enmity,” he said.
The Pope then invited everyone to pray in silence for a moment for this intention.

US – Iran tensions
Pope Francis’ appeal comes on the heels of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, after a US airstrike killed a top Iranian general in Iraq. General Qassem Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force, the wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for military activities outside Iran. His death on Friday in Baghdad raised the threat of direct confrontation between the US and Iran.

Iraqi concern
The Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako, on Saturday expressed the Iraqi people’s shock at the event. “It is deplorable that our country should be transformed into a place where scores are settled, rather than being a sovereign nation, capable of protecting its own land, its own wealth, its own citizens.” He also called on all nations to exercise moderation, act reasonably, and sit down to seek understanding.

POPE FRANCIS: LIKE THE MAGI, OUR LIVES ARE CHANGED BY ENCOUNTERING JESUS

Pope Francis during the January 6 Angelus spoke of the Magi whose lives were changed after encountering the baby Jesus. He also greeted the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, many of whom celebrate the Lord’s Christmas on the 7th January.

By Vatican News
Following Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Francis during his Angelus, addressed a special thought “to the brethren of the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, many of whom celebrate the Lord’s Christmas tomorrow. We wish them and their communities, he said, “the light and peace of Christ the Saviour.”

During his Angelus address, the Pope drew from the Gospel of the day that spoke of the three wise men.

The Magi on seeing Jesus
The Pontiff described how after encountering the baby Jesus, their lives were changed. “They saw a different king, a king “who is not of this world”, meek and humble, yet indicated in agreement by the stars and the Holy Scriptures.”

The Pope went on to explain that “the encounter with Jesus does not hold back the Magi, on the contrary, it gives them a new impetus to return to their country, to tell what they saw and the joy they felt.”

The experience of knowing God, remarked Pope Francis, “does not block us, but frees us; it does not imprison us, but it puts us back on the road…”

The Gospel passage, he emphasized, “contains a detail which prompts our reflection. At the end of the story, it is said that the Magi were “warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and by another route they returned to their country.”

Every experience of meeting Jesus, noted the Pope, “leads us to take different paths, because from Him comes a good force that heals the heart and detaches us from evil.”

“This is the difference between the true God and traitorous idols, such as money, power, success…; between God and those who promise to give you these idols, such as magicians, fortune tellers, sorcerers,” he said.

The true God does not hold us back
“The true God does not hold us back, nor does He let Himself be held back by us: He opens to us ways of novelty and freedom.”

Following the recitation of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis had a special greeting for those involved in the historical-folkloristic procession on Via della Conciliazione that is inspired by the traditions of the Epiphany. The Pope also extended his greeting to the procession of the Magi in numerous cities and villages in Poland.

POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF MEDITERRANEAN SHIPWRECK – POPE FRANCIS: THE OUR FATHER IS THE SYNTHESIS OF EVERY PRAYER – BONES FOUND IN TEUTONIC CEMETERY DATE TO END OF 1800s

POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF MEDITERRANEAN SHIPWRECK

At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis remembered migrants who drowned in a shipwreck earlier this week.
By Christopher Wells (vaticannews)

Pope Francis has once again called on the international community “to act with speed and decisiveness” to address the issue of migration. His appeal came during the Sunday Angelus, when he prayed for victims of a shipwreck in the Mediterranean earlier this week.

Scores of migrants are feared drowned after a boat carrying migrants from Libya sank about 8 km from the coast of Libya on Wednesday. It is believed to be the worst shipwreck on the Mediterranean this year. Authorities said at least 115 are missing, while 134 were rescued. One body was recovered.

According to the UN refugee office, a total of 164 people had already died on the route between Libya and Europe in the first four months of 2019.

In his remarks on Sunday, Pope Francis called for action “to avoid a repetition of such tragedies, and to ensure the security and dignity of all.” He concluded his appeal by asking those present “to pray with me for the victims and for their families… and also, from the heart, to ask: ‘Father, Why?’”

POPE FRANCIS: THE OUR FATHER IS THE SYNTHESIS OF EVERY PRAYER

At the Angelus, Pope Francis reflected on the Our Father, “one of the most precious gifts” Jesus has left us.
By Christopher Wells (vaticannews)

In his reflection on Sunday’s Gospel, Pope Francis said that the disciples wanted “to experience the same ‘quality’” of prayer was present in Jesus’ relationship with the Father. “They could see that prayer was an essential dimension in the life of their Master,” he said, noting that, “each of His important actions was characterized by extended periods of prayer.” They recognized, too, that Jesus “did not pray like the other masters of the time,” rather, “His prayer is an intimate link with the Father.”

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, the Pope said, the Lord did not simply “give an abstract definition of prayer, or teach an effective technique for praying in order to ‘obtain’ something.” Instead, Jesus shared with them His own experience of prayer, “putting them directly in contact with the Father, and arousing in them a longing for a personal relationship with Him.”

This, Pope Francis said, “is the novelty of Christian prayer: It is a dialogue between people who love one another, a dialogue based on trust, sustained by listening, and open to the commitment to solidarity.”

The prayer Jesus taught them, the Our Father, “is one of the most precious gifts left to us by the divine Master during His earthly mission,” the Pope said. With this prayer, Jesus teaches us “to enter into the Fatherhood of God, and shows us the way to enter into prayerful and direct dialogue with Him, through the way of filial trust.” The Our Father, he said, “is the synthesis of every prayer, and we always address it to the Father in communion with our brothers and sisters.”

BONES FOUND IN TEUTONIC CEMETERY DATE TO END OF 1800s

The Vatican released communications on Sunday, July 28, on the work done over the weekend in Vatican City’s Teutonic cemetery to analyze bone fragments found in two ossuaries to see if any bones or fragments belong to Manuela Orlando, the daughter of an Italian employee and citizen who disappeared on June 22, 1983, never returning home after a music lesson.

The Vatican has been examining graves and ossuaries since July 11, following an anonymous letter that arrived at the Orlandi home in the summer of 2018 that suggested Manuela’s remains could be found in the Teutonic cemetery where there was an angel and the words “requiescat in pace (rest in peace).”

Workers survey bones taken from an ossuary at the Teutonic cemetery in this image released by the Vatican July 27, 2019. The bones were inspected in the hope of finding the missing remains of a German princess and duchess and possibly the remains of Emanuela Orlandi, who disappeared in 1983. The Vatican announced that none of the bones postdate the 1800s. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) See VATICAN-BONES-ORLANDI July 29, 2019. 

Sunday’s Vatican statement said, “At 9.15 am this morning, as indicated yesterday, the morphological analysis of the findings discovered in the ossuaries in the Teutonic cemetery was resumed, as part of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. Present were Prof. Arcudi and his staff, the staff of the Fabbrica di San Pietro and the COS, the Operative Security Center of the Vatican Gendarmerie, the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State Court, Prof. Gian Piero Milano, and his deputy, Prof. Alessandro Diddi, the lawyer and expert appointed by the Orlandi family and the officer in charge of the Judicial Police of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps.

“At 12.30 the work in the cemetery was concluded. as part of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. Professor Giovanni Arcudi, assisted by his staff – in the presence of a trusted expert appointed by the Orlandi Family – completed the morphological analysis of the contents of the ossuaries (several hundred partially intact bone structures and thousands of fragments). During the forensic anthropological investigations, Prof. Arcudi did not find any bone structures that date back to a later period than the end of 1800.

“The consultant (for the family) requested a laboratory check on about seventy bone findings; Prof. Arcudi and his team did not endorse the request because the same bony structures have very ancient dating characteristics. For these reasons, the samples were collected and kept at the Gendarmerie Command available to the Promoter of Justice.

“In communicating these operations, the Holy See confirms its desire to seek the truth of the story of the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi and categorically denies that this attitude of full cooperation and transparency can in any way mean, as some people sometimes say, an implicit admission of responsibility.

“The search for truth is in the interest of the Holy See and the Orlandi family. The transparent will of the Holy See has already emerged, in addition to the investigations and examinations in progress at the Teutonico cemetery as in those carried out by Italian authorities following a report by the Vatican gendarmerie, at the headquarters of Villa Giorgina, the nunciature in Italy. A request for dismissal by the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Rome was communicated on 3 July.

“As to Villa Giorgina: bones found there July 25, 2018, were ascertained by Italian authorities to date back to a period between 90 and 230 AD. This belies any connection with the painful disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi.”