DUE TO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS ON FRIDAY (NOW RESOLVED), I WAS UNABLE TO POST THIS COLUMN AT “JOAN’S ROME” AT EWTN.COM BUT I DID POST IT TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE (facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420) SO ALWAYS CHECK THERE.
A FUTURE AMERICAN SAINT: Thursday afternoon, January 22 the Holy Father received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorized the Congregation to promulgate 11 decrees – 1 for a miracle, 3 for martyrdom and 7 for heroic virtues, including Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz, American diocesan priest, founder of the Sisters of Mary of Banneux and the Brothers of Christ (1930-1992).
VATICAN INSIDER TO FEATURE SPECIAL ON THE CATACOMBS: This week we again feature a “BEST OF” on Vatican Insider when I bring you on a visit to the catacombs. The technical issues with at least one of my three recorders have been solved, and things should be back to normal next week. In the meantime, enjoy your visit to “underground” Rome, to the burial places of the first Christians.
And I hope you enjoy the Pope’s Message for World Communications Day, released this morning (see below). It is wonderful and will not long to read at all!
Pope Francis has a Message for all of us: communications between individuals, especially in a family setting, was around long before radio, television, telephones, cell phones or tablets, Facebook or Twitter. He writes, “The great challenge facing us today is to learn once again how to talk to one another, not simply how to generate and consume information.”
He is basically urging us all to communicate face to face, parents as a couple, children with each other, everyone in a family setting, surrounded perhaps by several generations of family members. Francis says: “In the family, we learn to embrace and support one another, to discern the meaning of facial expressions and moments of silence, to laugh and cry together with people who did not choose one other yet are so important to each other. This greatly helps us to understand the meaning of communication as recognizing and creating closeness. When we lessen distances by growing closer and accepting one another, we experience gratitude and joy.”
The Pope doesn’t explicitly say that families should be together at dinner time, for example, to share each other’s daily adventures, trials and joys but you can sense it in between the lines.
“COMMUNICATING THE FAMILY, A PRIVILEGED PLACE OF ENCOUNTER WITH THE GIFT OF LOVE”
Every year, on the January 24 feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of Catholic journalists, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications offers a Mass for those who work in the Vatican’s media offices – the council itself, radio, CTV, the press office and L’Osservatore Romano –and those from the world’s media who report on the Vatican.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Cell, council president, was the main celebrant this morning of a concelebrated Mass at 9:30 in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina on Via della Conciliazione, close to all Vatican offices. Later this morning, in the Holy See Press Office, he presented the Holy Father’s Message for the World Day of Social Communications on the theme “Communicating the Family – a Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love.”
The papal Message is traditionally published on the feast of St. Francis de Sales and Communications Day is celebrated in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost, thus, May 17, 2015.
“This year’s message,” says a communique from the council, “calls on the faithful to see families as “a resource rather than as a problem for society” and invites families to be examples of Christ’s love, kindness and fellowship.
“In a world where people often curse, use foul language, speak badly of others, sow discord and poison our human environment by gossip, the family can teach us to understand communication as a blessing,” the Pope writes. “In situations apparently dominated by hatred and violence, where families are separated by stone walls or the no less impenetrable walls of prejudice and resentment, where there seem to be good reasons for saying “enough is enough”, it is only by blessing rather than cursing, by visiting rather than repelling, and by accepting rather than fighting, that we can break the spiral of evil, show that goodness is always possible, and educate our children to fellowship.”
“From this text,” explained the archbishop, “there emerges a positive overall message, given that the Pope affirms that the family continues to be a great resource and not merely a problem or an institution in crisis. As we can see, the Pope is not interested principally in the problem between the family and communication linked to new technologies. He instead focuses on the most profoundly true and human dimension of communication.”
The message affirms, he added, that the family “has the capacity to communicate itself and to communicate, by virtue of the bond that links its various members.” He noted that “a paragraph is dedicated to prayer, defined as a fundamental form of communication that finds in the family its truest environment of discovery and experience.”
“In this context,” said the council president, forgiveness is understood “as a dynamic of communication because, when contrition is expressed and accepted, it becomes possible to restore and rebuild the communication which broke down.” He also remarked that a long paragraph is devoted to the most modern media and their influence on communication in and among families, both as a help and a hindrance.
He noted that the text clearly restates what has already been underlined in the teachings of St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. “But it is important to rediscover yet again that the parents are the first educators of their children, who are increasingly present in the digital sphere. The presence of parents does not have a primarily technological dimension – generally children know more than their parents in this field – but is important on account of the wisdom they contribute.”
“It is well-known that one of the great risks is that children or teenagers may isolate themselves in a ‘virtual world’, significantly reducing their necessary integration in real everyday life and in the interrelationships of friendship. This is not to say that the relationships of affection or friendship that develop in the context of the web are not real. It must also be remembered that the young – and the not so young – are called upon to give witness to Christ in the digital world too, in the social networks we all inhabit.”
Click here to read Pope Francis’ Message for World Commnications Day in English: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/communications/documents/papa-francesco_20150123_messaggio-comunicazioni-sociali.html
BEING A CARDINAL IS A VOCATION, NOT A PRIZE, SAYS POPE FRANCIS
Pope Francis has sent a letter to each of the 20 prelates who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals during the consistory on February 14th in the Vatican. In his letter, the Pope reminded the prelates that being a Cardinal is a vocation to serve and stressed the need to be humble.
“Staying humble, while serving is not easy,” he wrote, especially when people consider the cardinalate “as a prize, or the peak of one’s career,” a dignified position of power or of superior distinction. The Pope urged them to strive every day to stay away from such considerations. And when celebrating the elevation to your new vocation, he continued, do so with humility and ensure that these celebrations are not contaminated by the spirit of worldliness which can intoxicate more than drinking brandy on an empty stomach, and can separate one from Christ’s Cross. (Vatican Radio)
PHILIPPINE CONGRESS TO PASS RESOLUTION THANKING POPE FRANCIS
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives will immediately pass various resolutions filed by lawmakers thanking Pope Francis for inspiring and bringing hope to Filipinos during his historic five-day visit last week, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday.
Belmonte is among those who filed resolutions expressing the Filipinos’ gratitude to the pope, whose recent visit centered on the universal message of “mercy and compassion.”
The Speaker and other legislators filed House Resolution 1816, which stressed that Pope Francis “provided inspiration and encouragement to millions of Filipinos to make Jesus Christ the center of their lives.”
“Despite the harsh weather conditions brought about by (Tropical Storm) Amang, Pope Francis proceeded to the Province of Leyte to hold mass for 150 thousand pilgrims and survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, braving the strong winds and rains to personally bring his message of hope and renewal to our countrymen,” the proposed bill read.
To read rest of story, click here: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/01/24/1416140/house-pass-resolutions-gratitude-pope-francis