POPE AT CANONIZATION MASS: NEW SAINTS “KINDLY LIGHTS” IN THE GLOOM OF THE WORLD

Better late than never! Some day I will publish a moment-by- moment account of participation in or covering a major event in the Vatican such as a synod or yesterday’s Mass in St. Peter’s Square with a canonization ceremony. If you’d been by my side yesterday (I had a privileged seat in an area to the right of but on the same level as the papal altar!), from early morning to late night, and then again, this morning and afternoon, you’d understand perhaps just a bit the delay in publishing the news and photos of the canonization.

And sometimes I simply like to enjoy a Sunday and participate in a papal Mass as a member of the faithful, not the media (leaving that to other colleagues).

In any case, here’s part of the papal homily yesterday as well as some photos I took from my wonderful seat.

POPE AT CANONIZATION MASS: NEW SAINTS “KINDLY LIGHTS” IN THE GLOOM OF THE WORLD

Pope Francis presided over the canonizations of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Sister Marian Thresia, Sister Giuseppina Vannini, Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, and Marguerite Bays on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square. In his homily, the Pope reflected on the Gospel account of the lepers, and on the verbs “to cry out, to walk, to give thanks”.

And he spoke on the new saints
Noting that three of the new saints canonized this Sunday were religious women, the Pope said they show us that “the consecrated life is a journey of love to the existential peripheries”. Laywoman Marguerite Bays, on the other hand, “speaks to us of the power of simple prayer, enduring patience and silent self-giving.

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Pope Francis concluded his homily by quoting Saint John Henry Newman, who described the holiness of daily life in these words: “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming; has no pretence… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man.”

Let us ask God to be like that, said Pope Francis: “Kindly lights” amid the encircling gloom.

To read the rest of the Pope’s homily and his words in the Gospel story of the 10 lepers whom Jesus cured but only one returned to thank him, click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-canonization-mass-st-peters-newman.html

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA DIOCESE CELEBRATES A NATIVE SON – VATICAN INSIDER AND SAINT JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

Synod participants met yesterday and again today in circoli minores, that is, small language groups, for discussions. As they have done by publishing syntheses of speeches given in the synod hall, the Vatican does not publish remarks from or about these language groups.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA DIOCESE CELEBRATES A NATIVE SON

As the diocese of Birmingham in England prepares to celebrate the canonization Sunday of English Cardinal John Henry Newman, another diocese of Birmingham – this time in Alabama – is rejoicing today as a native son, Archbishop Joseph Marino was named by Pope Francis to head the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Vatican school for diplomats.

Archbishop Marino has been in the Holy See’s diplomatic service since 1988, having served in the Philippines, Uruguay, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Malaysia, East Timor and Brunei.

His studies include degrees in theology and biblical theology from the Rome’s Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University while he was in residence at the North American College from 1975 to 1980. He was an associate pastor at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Birmingham for four years. In 1984 he entered the very academy that he now heads, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and also returned to the Gregorian for a doctorate in canon law.

Ordained a priest in Birmingham in 1979, he was ordained to the episcopate by the late Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran in Birmingham’s cathedral of St. Paul in March 2008.

VATICAN INSIDER AND SAINT JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

Such an exciting weekend here in Rome as English Cardinal John Henry Newman will be canonized this very Sunday as the first new English saint in about 50 years. Learn more about this prolific prelate, a convert from the Anglican Church to Catholicism, in my conversation with Sister Birgit Dechant, FSO of the International Center of Newman Friends in Rome.

Sr. Birgit is a follower of, expert on and author about the life, work and writings of Cardinal Newman. We examine why Cardinal Newman was so exceptional, his life as an Anglican, his conversion, his work and body of writings as a Catholic priest and his impact on millions over his life ….a rich and multifaceted life…. and since his death.

By the way, on Sunday the Holy Father will give the Universal Church 5 new saints! In addition to Cardinal Newman, the new saints will include Indian Sister Marian Thresia, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini, co-foundress of the Daughters of St. Camillus, Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, founder of the Charitable Works Foundation of Sister Dulce and Marguerite Bays, a Swiss consecrated virgin of the Third Order of St. Francis.

I learned that Cardinal John Henry Newman is not only the first new English saint in about 50 years, he is the first English person who has lived since the 17th century officially recognized as a saint!

Why was Newman special? Born in 1801, he was ordained as a Church of England, that is, Anglican priest and was famous already in his 30s for his homilies and writings, including poems, and his dialectical skills. Newman went on to found the Oxford Movement that tried to return to the Church of England many Catholic beliefs and liturgical rites present before the Reformation. In 1845 Newman, joined by some of the Oxford Movement followers, left the Church of England and his teaching post at Oxford University and converted to Catholicism, a life-changing decision after which huge numbers of friends and followers deserted him. But this also enriched the Catholic Church with his thoughts and writings.

Benedict XVI said of Cardinal Newman at his 2010 beatification in Birmingham, English: “Cardinal Newman is a modern man, who took on all of the problems of modernity, he experienced the problem of agnosticism, the impossibility of knowing God, of believing; a man who throughout his life was on a journey, a journey to let himself be transformed by the truth, in a search of great sincerity and great willingness, to learn more, to find and to accept the path to true life.” And we are always on a journey of faith transformed by truth so let’s allow ourselves be inspired by this great English saint.

So tune in Sunday to EWTN to watch the Eucharistic liturgy with the always-moving rite of canonization presided over by Pope Francis

THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH WILL WELCOME 5 NEW SAINTS OCTOBER 13

THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH WILL WELCOME 5 NEW SAINTS OCTOBER 13

The banners are up on St. Peter’s Basilica as the Universal Church prepares to welcome five new saints this Sunday, October 13 when Pope Francis canonizes them during a Eucharistic liturgy in St. Peter’s Square.

The following photos were taken by CNA/EWTN photographer Daniel Ibanez. Kudos ro my colleague who has done an amazing job in the past week of documenting Vatican events, including the consistory for 13 new cardinals last Saturday and last Sunday’s Mass to open the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, as well as the daily meetings and synod-related events of recent days.

Cardinal John Henry Newman –

 

Indian Sister Marian Thresia, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family –

Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini –

Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes –

Marguerite Bays, a Swiss consecrated virgin of the Third Order of St. Francis –

POPE TO CELEBRATE MASS FOR MIGRANTS, REFUGEES JULY 8 – POPE TO CANONIZE CARDINAL NEWMAN AND FOUR OTHERS OCTOBER 13 – MOSCOW ARCHBISHOP: POPE-PUTIN MEETING A QUEST FOR DIALOGUE, PEACE

Three important stories for today (supposedly the first day of a monthlong “working” vacation for Pope Francis). The big story today, however, is from the Apostolic Penitentiary and regards the seal of confession and I’m posting that in a separate column.

POPE TO CELEBRATE MASS FOR MIGRANTS, REFUGEES JULY 8

From Holy See Press Office July 1: In memory of the 6th anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa, on Monday, 8 July, the Holy Father Pope Francis, will celebrate a Mass for Migrants, at 11:00, in St Peter’s Basilica. Around 250 people will participate in the celebration, among whom will be migrants, refugees and those who are dedicated to saving their lives. Taking part in the Mass, presided over by the Pope at the Altar of the Chair of St Peter, will be only those persons invited by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, to whom the Holy Father has entrusted the organization of the event.

While Vatican Media will provide a live broadcast of the Mass, the presence of the press in the Basilica is not anticipated. The Holy Father desires that the moment be as recollected as possible in the remembrance of how many have lost their lives fleeing war and misery, and so as to encourage those who strive day after day to sustain, accompany and welcome migrants and refugees.

POPE TO CANONIZE CARDINAL NEWMAN AND FOUR OTHERS OCTOBER 13

The Vatican announced the date of the canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman along with four others on the second Sunday of October 2019.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

At a consistory of cardinals on Monday, July 1 Pope Francis formally approved Blessed John Henry Newman’s canonization along with that of Sister Mariam Thresia, Giuseppina Vannini, Dulce Lopes Pontes and Margarita Bays.

In February, the Pope signed a decree recognizing a second miracle attributed to Blessed John Henry Newman, the inexplicable healing of a woman with a “life-threatening pregnancy.”

Blessed John Henry Newman was one of the most prominent converts to Catholicism from Anglicanism of the 19th century. He was already an esteemed Anglican theologian when he founded the Oxford Movement to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots, before himself converting to the Catholic faith. He was renowned as a brilliant thinker and was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. He died in Birmingham in 1890, aged 89, after founding the Birmingham Oratory (of St. Philip Neri).

MOSCOW ARCHBISHOP: POPE-PUTIN MEETING A QUEST FOR DIALOGUE, PEACE

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican on July 4. According to the Catholic Archbishop of Moscow Paolo Pezzi, issues such as dialogue, peace and the environment are likely to dominate the talks but he is not optimistic about a possible papal visit to Russia.

By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia, is enthusiastic about the next meeting between Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin, scheduled for Thursday in the Vatican.

Dialogue, peace, common home
“Even though we are not aware of the program of the meeting, I can imagine that themes dear to the Holy Father such as peace and safeguarding our common home, are likely to be on the agenda of discussion,” the Italian-born archbishop told FM radio Radio Vaticana Italia.

The July 4 meeting will be the third between Pope Francis and Putin in the Vatican. They first met on November 25, 2013, and in less than two years they met again on June 10, 2015.

The Holy See and the Russian Federation re-established bilateral relations in 1990 and re-established full diplomatic relations in 2009.

While underscoring Russia’s importance in the quest for world peace, Arch. Pezzi noted the pope’s deep commitment to peace among peoples. What the Church expects from this third meeting between Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said, is to be able to continue to dialogue.

Even though the agenda of the upcoming meeting is unknown, the 58-year old archbishop hopes that issues very dear to Pope Francis, such as peace in the world and the defense of our common home, creation, will be on the table.

Commenting on the style of dialogue of the Holy Father, he said the Argentine pope wants to know about and listen a lot to the other while at the same time allowing himself to be questioned and be challenged by what he hears. At the same time, without being verbose, he prefers to go to the heart of the matter with gestures and few words.

Possible papal visit?
Even though everyone would greatly wish that Putin’s visit would result in a possible invitation for the Pope to visit Moscow, Archbishop Pezzi believes it is not likely. Even though it is the political power that formally invites the pope, most importantly it is the religious authority of the place that seeks to have the Pope as a guest.
“As it appears up till now,” the archbishop said, “there hasn’t been any official invitation from the part of the Russian Orthodox Church, the most important religious element of the country, and it is not likely the Russian president will invite the pope on his own without the backing of the Orthodox Church.

Catholic-Orthodox relations
Pope Francis and Putin are meeting this week amid improving relations between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The two leaders will be meeting for the first time since the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in 2016, regarded as a major step in healing the bitterness of the Great Schism of 1054 that split the followers of Christ into Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism.

With 165 million faithful out of some 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, the Russian Orthodox Church is the largest in the Orthodox world.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, and Boris Yeltsin, the first president of post-Soviet Russia, had invited the late Pope St. John Paul II to visit Russia.
Pope Francis has made several trips to countries with predominantly Orthodox populations.

IRAQI DELEGATE AT SYNOD: YOUNG PEOPLE NEED A “FAST RESPONSE” – SYNOD OF BISHOPS: “HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO FIND DAWN IN TWILIGHT”

I posted news yesterday on Facebook about the canonization ceremony for seven news saints during Mass in St. Peter’s Square, including St. Pope Paul VI and murdered Salvadoran Archbishop St. Oscar Romero.

If you tune it tonight to EWTN’s “At Home with Jim and Joy,” you will hear me share two interesting stories about the first Pope I ever spoke to, the new saint, Paul VI. John XXIII was the first Pope I ever saw in a general audience but no words were exchanged.

It was a very busy morning today for Pope Francis as he addressed thousands of pilgrims who had come to Rome for St. Romero’s canonization, welcomed the president of Poland and later, in the Secretariat of State, presented the new Substitute for General Affairs, 58-year old Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra. Appointed by Pope Francis on 15 August, he succeeds Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was recently named Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The Romero pilgrims –

Read on for synod news: I am puzzled by some words, a bad translation probably, in one part of the press briefing, as you can see here:  Fr Marco Tasca, O.F.M., the Franciscan General, said that he has been reflecting on St Francis of Assisi who had to make a radical choice to follow a different lifestyle. He said that this is what the Church offers today. Listening, he said, has been key. He told a story that he heard about a bishop who visited a family. A young person in the house told the bishop that he is fake. He said that the bishops responded by asking the young person to help him not to be fake.

IRAQI DELEGATE AT SYNOD: YOUNG PEOPLE NEED A “FAST RESPONSE”

Iraqi auditor, Mr Safa al Abbia, speaks about his experience of the Synod and the response to his presentation to the Synod assembly.
(vaticannews – Russell Pollitt, SJ)

Mr Safa al Abbia is a 26-year-old Chaldean Catholic dentist from Iraq. He was invited to the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment currently underway in Rome.

His plea to the Bishops is that the universal Church helps young people in Iraq who are being persecuted for their faith. He explained that the main challenge for youth in Iraq is “peace and stability and their right to live in dignity.”

In his intervention at the Synod, which ended with rapturous applause, he told the Bishops that young people were struggling to remain as faithful witnesses to Jesus and hold onto their traditions, values and liturgy. He said that many of them have watched their brothers and sisters being martyred and their churches bombed.
He also related a painful experience. He said that he will never forget the face of his friends who, after Mass, said, “See you next week”. He never saw them again because they were “burned under the fire of the bombed car” near their church.

He told Pope Francis that he had a message for him from the young people of Iraq: “They hope one day to see you in Iraq.”

He said that he had two important experiences at the Synod: First, that he was able to tell the world what was happening in Iraq because it was important that others knew the inside story. He said he felt supported by many who were at the Synod who heard his story. Second, he discovered that many young people across the world are suffering for different reasons. He mentioned sexuality, social media and the breakdown of family life. He said that it was important because knowing what happens in other places means that young people can support each other in all sorts of ways – including through prayer and by helping people rebuild what has been destroyed.

Mr Al Abbia said that he believes that he was really heard at the Synod. He said that after the applause he received in the general assembly, many people came to him and asked how they could help the people of Iraq.

He hopes that the Synod will, in the end, result in an accurate account of reality. He does not want the Synod to be “saying a speech and clapping and support [for] the talk” but a real “positive feedback” of reality on the ground, the lived experiences of many young people.

He says that he had more than one opportunity to speak to Pope Francis. Smiling broadly he says that the first time he met the Holy Father he could not speak because he was so stunned to be standing in front of the Pope. He tells of how, in Brazil, at World Youth Day, they only saw the Pope in the distance. Now he stood before him!

The second time he met Pope Francis he says he asked him to pray for his country in general but also for all the Christians of Iraq and for him and his family.

The third time he met the Pope he made a video, asking the Holy Father to give a message to the young people of Iraq which he intends playing to them next week when the young people of Iraq will gather to pray for the Synod currently underway.

He said that Pope Francis is a wonderful person.

The Holy Father responded telling him that he would pray for the people of Iraq. Mr Al Abbia explains how, when talking about Iraq, he sees a real sadness in the Pope’s eyes.

At the end of his speech he told the Pope that the Iraqi people, especially young people, hope he will visit the country. He says that the Holy Father laughed when he heard that.

Mr Al Abbia said that his message to the world is to ask for prayer for Iraq. He also says “do not forget us.” He said that he realises that there is a lot of suffering in the world and maybe the attention of the world has shifted to places like Syria. Although the situation in Iraq is a bit better, he says that nothing is guaranteed. “Don’t forget us because we have a wonderful group of young people that are steadfast in their faith, salt to the earth as Jesus said.”

He says that he is afraid that young people in Iraq will lose their faith and become hopeless. This he believes leads to two possibilities: young people leave the Church or immigrate from Iraq. He said that in 2003 there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, now there are only 400 thousand. This is a “miserable thing!” He reminds the world that Christianity was in Iraq from the first century.

“It is not possible to say, one day, oh there were Christians in Iraq, no, the Christians have to still be in Iraq. This is the message, we need the world to support us and at the same time we support all the young people around the world and we pray for them and their countries and their families.”

He says that the biggest challenge of this Synod will be that young people are waiting for results, they want “fast results.” He says that young people are tired and bored and they want something that reflects reality.

Mr Al Abbia said that in an email he was told that the Synod was a waste of money, that the Vatican brought people from all over the world and that this could have be done through electronic means, like Skype. He said that it was important that people came together in Rome, to share their stories like he shared his. He said that being able to share his story helped him tell the world, for example, about what is really happening in Iraq.

He said that it was important that the Church listened to young people and then responded. He adds, “but we need a fast response.”

Mr Al Abbia had to return to Iraq soon after doing this interview. His mother is unwell and he needed to be with her. He told Vatican News that he could not come back to the Synod of Bishops on Young people because his visa only allowed him one entry into the EU.

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: “HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO FIND DAWN IN TWILIGHT”

Three General Superiors and an auditor from Chile were present at the daily press briefing on the Synod of Bishops on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment
By Russell Pollitt, SJ (vatiannews)

The message of young people to bishops

Ms Silvia Teresa Retamales Morales said that it was a great privilege and responsibility for her to be at the Synod. She said that she was here to express the voices of all those young people who wanted to come to Rome and talk to the bishops. She says that when the young heard she was coming to the Synod they reached out to her, many of whom were non-Catholic. They told her that they wanted her to bring this message: they want a multi-cultural Church that is open to all, not a Church this is judgmental. They want a Church that makes everyone feel at home, a Church that reflects the message of Jesus Christ. She also said that young people say that the Church should not discriminate against minorities – especially people of different sexual orientations and the poor.

Addressing, specifically, homosexuality, she said that young people believe that gay people have the same rights as everyone else and that they too want to live their faith in the Church. She says that she sees discrimination, people who are not open to gays. She said that the Church’s first mandate is love. Gay people must be fully recognised as brothers and sisters that need to be accompanied by us. She said that this had been discussed in the Synod assembly.

Ms Morales said that young people also want women to be given a bigger role and responsibility in the Church. In Chile, she said, women are becoming more empowered in both society and in the Church, they must be given more responsibility.

Opportunity for a renewed mission

Fr Arturo Sosa, S.J., said that many challenges, like secularisation and the digital world, are an opportunity to renew the mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel. He said that the challenge of how to educate young people in an unpredictable world needs consideration.

Fr Sosa also said that a sign of our times is migration and the way that migrants are treated in every country. Migrants, he said, are people who are looking for a better life. He said that the reaction to migrants and refugees shows us just how inhumane we are becoming. He said we need to understand why people leave their countries and also why there is massive internal movement. He says this necessitates that we ask questions like why democracy seems to be weakening and nationalism is on the rise and how this is linked to migration.

The Jesuit Superior General said that people are helped in emergency situations but that he was also shocked to see how much time refugees spend in camps, some most of their lives. Can you imagine what happens to young men and women who spend their lives in refugee camps, he asked. He explained that the Jesuits are trying to use technology, the digital world, to provide education in the camps.

Listening must move to action

Dominican General, Fr Bruno Cadoré, said that Church, through the Synod, wants to pass from listening to conversation. He says that the preparation for the Synod was accurate and detailed and that young people were listened to inside and outside of the Church.

Fr Marco Tasca, O.F.M., the Franciscan General, said that he has been reflecting on St Francis of Assisi who had to make a radical choice to follow a different lifestyle. He said that this is what the Church offers today. Listening, he said, has been key. He told a story that he heard about a bishop who visited a family. A young person in the house told the bishop that he is fake. He said that the bishops responded by asking the young person to help him not to be fake. Fr Tasca said that this is the meaning of the word listening: being open to what young people say, their style. He said that the Synod was taking place to build the Church, together. He said that the Synod must move from listening to conversation so that the Church can find its way. He said that sometimes it is “difficult to find dawn in twilight.”

Fr Sosa said that he personally believed that Vatican II introduced an ecclesiological model that has not become a reality. He said that we made some progress and then took steps back. He said that at the heart of that model is that the people of God are in the centre. This model, he said, needs to be embodied in history.

Fr Cadoré said that a hallmark of the Church is that it is open to change, orientated towards the future.

At the briefing Dr Paolo Ruffini, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communications, clarified that on Saturday 27 Oct. 2018 the Synod Father’s will vote paragraph by paragraph on the final document. Each paragraph needs a two-third majority to be part of the final text.

The question of women auditors being allowed to vote was asked again. The Superiors present reminded journalists that this was a Synod of Bishops and the Church is marked by its culture. Fr Sosa said that Pope Francis wants a deeply synodal Church so changes might be forthcoming. He said that the discomfort with this is important as it means something is not right and it needs to be addressed.

ARCHDIOCESAN PHASE OF CAUSE FOR CANONIZATION OF FATHER VINCENT CAPODANNO IS CLOSED – ‘GRUNT PADRE’ COULD BE PATRON SAINT OF MEMORIAL DAY

ARCHDIOCESAN PHASE OF CAUSE FOR CANONIZATION OF FATHER VINCENT CAPODANNO IS CLOSED

From the U.S. Military Archdiocesan website:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—An archdiocesan tribunal looking into whether the life of Vietnam War hero and U.S. Navy Chaplain Father Vincent R. Capodanno, M.M., merits consideration for sainthood by the Catholic Church has wrapped up its nearly four-year inquiry. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, declared the archdiocesan phase of the Cause closed in an announcement on Sunday at the end of the 23rd annual Memorial Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The decision clears the way for the tribunal’s findings to go to the Holy See’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints for review and a possible decision on whether to advance the Cause to the next stage of consideration.

I am so excited about this story as I have followed the cause of Fr. Vincent Capodanno for a number of years now. I’ve participated in several events and Masses commemorating him in Italy, and I went to Vietnam in 2013 to see where he served as a Catholic Maryknoll chaplain – called “the Grunt Padre” – and where he died. I attended a memorial Mass in his honor in DaNang in Sacred Heart Cathedral that was packed  – SRO! – with vibrant Catholic Vietnamese faithful. I posted a ton of videos and photos at the time – Vietnam was an awesome visit from a spiritual and a personal standpoint.

Ted and I with the then Bishop of DaNang, Joseph Tri

Sacred Heart Cathedral in DaNang

A Vietnamese St. Joseph and Jesus

Mass celebrated in a parishioner’s house near spot where Fr. Capodanno died

This man knew Fr. Capodanno!

Just a few hundred yards from where Fr. Capodanno died Sept. 4, 1967

Now I want to go back because a number of us want to help build a chapel to honor him in the very Catholic village where he died. My friend in D.C., retired Navy Captain Ted Bronson, has spearheaded many of these tributes and was instrumental in persuading me to go to Vietnam in 2013. He is also a prime mover in an attempt to work with the Church and government in Vietnam to build this chapel.  More about that story as time goes on!

A few more of the hundreds and hundreds of pix that I took:

Our Lady of La Vang at a statue makers factory. Her shrine north of DaNang is the equivalent of a Guadalupe for Vietnamese!

Loved this little one –

One way to get around in Vietnam

The announcement occurred on Memorial Day. To read more:

http://www.milarch.org/archbishop-broglio-closes-archdiocesan-phase-cause-beatification-canonization-father-vincent-capodanno-m-m/

And here’s a great piece in CRUX:

‘GRUNT PADRE’ COULD BE PATRON SAINT OF MEMORIAL DAY

Archbishop Timothy Broglio has formally closed the archdiocesan phase of the cause of canonization for Father Vincent Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest and Navy chaplain killed during a fierce battle in Vietnam almost 50 years ago at the age of 38. The chaplain was nicknamed the “Grunt Padre,” because of his personal care for and ministry to the “grunts,” meaning members of the infantry.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CRUX) – For many Americans, Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, a time when pools open and families celebrate backyard barbecues.

But for Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who leads the military archdiocese in the United States, “Memorial Day now has a face. It’s a face that I recognize. You meet the relatives, the spouses and parents of men and women who have died as a result of combat,” he told Crux in an interview. “Also, you meet countless young men and women who are willing to take the risks to serve our country.”

When people lose a loved one in combat, “you always sense the loss,” he said.

Some day, Memorial Day may also have a patron saint, especially for those killed or wounded in action, for their families, and for military chaplains and those they serve.

At the end of the Military Archdiocese’s 23rd annual Memorial Day Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Broglio formally closed the archdiocesan phase of the cause of canonization for Father Vincent Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest and Navy chaplain killed during a fierce battle in Vietnam almost 50 years ago, on Sept. 4, 1967 at the age of 38. Now the cause goes on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

For the rest of this fascinating CRUX story, click here: https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2017/05/29/grunt-padre-patron-saint-memorial-day/

 

POPE FRANCIS TO CANONIZE FATIMA SHEPHERD SIBLINGS MAY 13 – POPE FRANCIS, PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW TO MEET IN CAIRO

I’m in New York as I write but will be back in Rome on Monday, April 24.

I was invited to attend an event this evening at the residence of the Vatican’s nuncio and Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza. He is hosting a reception for the Bethlehem University Foundation, headed by my good friend, John Schlageter. John and I and other members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre will be there, as will friends of the Order and supporters of the university in an effort to help raise both awareness and funds for this Christian Brothers-run University. I’m also scheduled to interview Abp. Auza for “Vatican Insider.”

I’ll dedicate an entire column in the future to the university as it does amazing work not just in the educational field but in Christian-Muslim relations, in helping to build lives for young people as professionals in many fields who hope to bring peace to their part of the world.

POPE FRANCIS TO CANONIZE FATIMA SHEPHERD SIBLINGS MAY 13

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday announced that the two young shepherd children from Fatima, Francisco and Jacinta Marto will be canonised during his forthcoming pastoral visit to the Portuguese town on May 13th.

During an ordinary public consistory in the Vatican, the Pope announced the canonization of  35 people, the majority of whom were 16th and 17th century Latin American martyrs. They include 30 Brazilian priests and lay people killed by Dutch soldiers for their refusal to convert to Calvinism during the colonization of north eastern Brazil in 1645. Three other martyrs were young Mexican boys, educated by Franciscan missionaries and murdered for their refusal to follow the local indigenous religion.

The new saints also include a Spanish priest, who founded an institute for abandoned children at the turn of the 20th century, as well as a Capuchin friar from Naples who defended the rights of the poor of his day, in the early 18th century.

Centenary of Marian apparitions

But undoubtedly the best known names on Thursday’s list of newly proclaimed saints are those of Portuguese brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the shepherd children who, along with their cousin Lucia Santos, saw the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima exactly one hundred years ago.

Beatified by Pope John Paul II

Unlike Lucia, who became a nun and lived to the age of 98, Francisco and Jacinta died in childhood, aged just 9 and 11, as a result of the great flu epidemic that swept through Europe in 1918. On May 13, 2000 they were beatified by Pope John Paul II during his pastoral visit to Portugal.

Sr. Lucia’s cause for beatification

Meanwhile the case for Sr Lucia’s beatification concluded its first phase in Portugal earlier this year and is now being examined at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican.

POPE FRANCIS, PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW TO MEET IN CAIRO

(Vatican Radio) On April 28, Pope Francis will journey to the Egyptian capital Cairo, where he will visit the prestigious al-Azhar center of Islamic studies.  Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, is also expected to join the Holy Father, together with Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

Both Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew have been invited by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb to attend an international peace conference there.

During the brief April 28-29 visit, the Pope will meet with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as well as celebrate Mass for the local Catholic community.

His visit comes less than a month after two bomb attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt by so-called Islamic State militants left 45 people dead and dozens of others injured.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald is the former nuncio to Egypt and former head of the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He talked to Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen about expectations ahead of this short but highly significant papal visit…

Archbishop Fitzgerald says it’s significant that the Pope is going to Egypt where there are so many difficulties and uncertainties, with “extremists who are against the institutions and against Christians in a particular way”. He notes it’s not the first papal visit, since Pope John Paul II travelled there in the year 2000 and was “received remarkably well”.

Friendship between two Popes

He says the significance lies also in the relationship between Pope Francis and the head of the Coptic Church Pope Tawadros, whose first journey after being elected patriarch of Alexandria was to visit the Vatican. This trip, he says, “will be another moment consolidating this friendship between the two Popes”.

Personal relations and theological dialogue

Archbishop Fitzgerald says the dialogue with the Oriental Churches about the role of the Pope as bishop of Rome is ongoing and this theological dialogue is important, but it will be personal relationships, rather than theological discussions, that will be at the heart of the Cairo visit.

Reciprocal visit to Grand Imam

Regarding relations with the Muslim world, the archbishop says that one of the main motives for the visit is also to consolidate progress in the relationship between the Vatican and al-Azhar. He recalls that the Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb came to see the Pope in Rome and this reciprocal visit will be “highly appreciated”.

Meeting of leaders “a sacrament”

Archbishop Fitzgerald says that while Pope Francis is known as a man of surprises, it’s unrealistic to expect any big changes as a result of this trip. But in itself the meeting between the two leaders is important: he says “let’s call it a sacrament”, because “it’s not just a symbol” but rather it’s “producing something which goes beyond their own persons”.

Muslims and Christians combating extremism

Commenting on the most recent round of talks between the Vatican and al Azhar, Archbishop Fitzgerald notes that “extremism has been condemned by the majority of Muslim leaders around the world”. He stresses the importance of monitoring social media since so many young people are radicalized through the Internet. He notes that al-Azhar is also working with the Dominicans in Cairo, forming a group to study extremism together.

Finally, Archbishop Fitzgerald recalls that, just as not all Christians see Pope Francis as a figure of authority, in the same way al-Azhar has “a prestigious role within the Islamic world, but it is not followed by all Muslims around the world. So while “we pray for miracles”, he concludes, “we don’t always expect them”.