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 –

VATICAN INSIDER STUDIES SAINT-TO-BE CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN – POPE CONSECRATES SYNOD FOR THE AMAZON TO SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI – POPE TO NEW BISHOPS: WATCH OVER THE FLOCK WITH LOVE

If you want short but interesting reads about what is going on at the Pontifical Council for Culture, the council sends out periodic emails with links to news about their latest events, gatherings, visitors, etc. To learn more, you may access information and stories at the following links: English and Spanish. As the most recent email from the council said: “We hope it interests you and gives you inspiration for your own work promoting dialogue with the cultures of our time!”

VATICAN INSIDER STUDIES SAINT-TO-BE CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

My special guest this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider is Sister Birgit Dechant, FSO of the International Center of Newman Friends in Rome – an expert on all things Cardinal John Henry Newman who becomes a saint of the Universal Church in Rome on October 13, 2019. We look at so many aspects of Newman’s life this weekend and next weekend – when he will be canonized in Rome – when Sister returns to Vatican Insider and we explore more of his work, writings, influence as an Anglican and then as a Catholic, his legacy and the miracle that led to has canonization and much more!

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POPE CONSECRATES SYNOD FOR THE AMAZON TO SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI

During a highly symbolic tree-planting ceremony in the Vatican Gardens on Friday, Pope Francis placed the upcoming Synod for the Amazon under the protection of Saint Francis of Assisi.
By Vatican News

The phrase “Everything is connected” recurs often in Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Sì.

During a unique ceremony in the Vatican Gardens on Friday, signs, symbols and songs ensured that everything really was “connected.”

Saint Francis and ecology
Starting with the timing: October 4 is the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, and closes the “Season of Creation” that began on September 1. This year also marks 40 years since Pope Saint John Paul II proclaimed St. Francis the Patron Saint “of those who promote ecology.” And, in just two days, the Synod for the Amazon will open, the first Synod ever to address the issue of integral ecology.

Organizers and participants
Members of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, the Order of Franciscan Friars Minor, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement organized the event, while various religious congregations and representatives of the indigenous people of the Amazon Region played important roles in providing color and creativity.

Signs and symbols
The ceremony culminated with the planting of a holm oak from Assisi. The name of the tree is believed to come from the old Anglo-Saxon word for “holly” – “holy.”

Even the soil in which the tree was planted was steeped in significance. There was soil from the Amazon, celebrating the wealth of the bioregion’s cultures and traditions; earth from India, representing countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis, where droughts and floods leave millions devastated; soil representing refugees and migrants, forced to leave their homes because of war, poverty, and ecological devastation. There was earth from places of human trafficking, and from sustainable development projects around the world. And there was more soil from the Amazon, earth bathed in the blood of those who have died fighting against its destruction.

The Canticle of the Creatures
But the tree also stands in soil coming from the places where Saint Francis walked in and around Assisi: a place of encounter with the Creator, where the Saint composed the first part of his “Canticle of the Creatures.” Written in the 13th Century, it is believed to be one of the first works of literature in the Italian language. A musical version of this prayer-poem accompanied the tree planting ceremony in the Vatican Gardens.

Celebrating the Season of Creation
The prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Peter Turkson, was present at the ceremony and described how the “Season of Creation” is “not only a time for prophetic gestures…but a time for wisdom, a season to respond to the ecological crisis.” Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Prayer for Creation, said the cardinal, suggests “a time of change: humanity’s turning a new leaf to save the planet.”

(JFL: Pope Francis led the gathering in praying the Our Father, and did not recite his prepared remarks. Click here and scroll down to watch video of Vatican Garden tree-planting ceremony with Pope Framcis: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-synod-amazon-saint-francis-vatican-gardens.html)

POPE TO NEW BISHOPS: WATCH OVER THE FLOCK WITH LOVE

Pope Francis Friday afternoon presided over Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica and conferred Episcopal ordination on Fr. Michael Czerny SJ, and Msgrs. Antoine Camilleri, Paolo Rudelli and Paolo Borgia.

By Vatican News


Pope Francis began by reflecting on the ecclesial responsibilities to which the new Bishops are called. These responsibilities include perpetuating the Apostolic Ministry of the first Apostles from generation to generation.

Unbroken succession
“The Twelve gathered together collaborators”, said the Pope, and by the laying on of hands, they “transmitted to them the gift of the Spirit received from Christ”. Through the unbroken succession of Bishops in the living tradition of the Church, continued Pope Francis, “this primary ministry has been preserved and the work of the Saviour continues and develops to our times”.

It is Christ
It is Christ, said the Pope, “who in the ministry of the Bishop, continues to preach the Gospel of salvation and to sanctify believers through the sacraments of faith”. It is Christ, he continued, “Who in the wisdom and prudence of the Bishop, guides the People of God on their earthly pilgrimage to eternal happiness”.

Chosen by the Lord
Addressing the new Bishops directly, the Pope told them they are “chosen by the Lord”. “Episcopate”, he said, “is the name of a service, not of an honour”. The Bishop is more responsible for service than for domination.

Pope Francis also told them to announce the Word on every opportune and inopportune occasion: “admonish, reprove, exhort with all magnanimity and doctrine”, he said.

Faithful custodians
The Pope continued his advice to the new Bishops, asking them to be “faithful custodians and dispensers of the mysteries of Christ”, always following the example of the Good Shepherd, “who knows His sheep, is known by them and does not hesitate to give His life for them”.

Love the defenseless
Pope Francis said the Bishops need to love all those God entrusts to them, especially their priests and deacons but also “the poor, the defenseless and all those in need of hospitality and help”.

Watch over the flock
In conclusion, the Pope said they should watch over the whole flock with love. Watch, he said, “in the name of the Father, whose image you make present; in the name of Jesus Christ, his Son, by whom you are made teachers, priests and pastors; in the name of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the Church and who, by His power, sustains our weakness”.

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.

NEWS IN BRIEF –THURSDAY JUNE 27

NEWS IN BRIEF – THURSDAY JUNE 2

POPE FRANCIS MET WITH NATIONAL DIRECTORS, CHAPLAINS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM THE STELLA MARIS APOSTOLATE, urging them to be missionaries of compassion and to confront issues that are the fruit of human greed. The Stella Maris apostolate – the name means Star of the Sea – is active in over 300 ports worldwide, offering spiritual and material assistance to sailors, fishermen and their often-distant families. The Pope said, “without sailors, the global economy would come to a standstill; and without fishermen, many parts of the world would starve.” He asked those present to convey his esteem and encouragement to all the sailors and fishermen they come across in their work. He also noted that, “the life of a sailor or fisherman is not only marked by isolation and distance. At times it is also painfully affected by shameful experiences of abuse and injustice, by the snares of those engaged in human trafficking.”

THE VATICAN ANNOUNCED THAT ON MONDAY JULY 1, 2019, at 10 am in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis will preside over the celebration of the Third Hour and the Ordinary Public Consistory for the Canonization of 5 Blesseds, including John Henry Newman, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Founder of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in England. Others to be canonized at a date to be announced Monday include: Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini (born Giuditta Adelaide Agata), founder of the Daughters of Saint Camillus; Indian Sister Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family; Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes (born Maria Rita) of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God and Marguerite Bays of Switzerland, virgin of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi.


POPE FRANCIS ADDRESSED 500 PARTICIPANTS IN THE 41ST GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE ROME-BASED UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO), urging the cooperation of all in order to tackle the “scourges of hunger and food insecurity” in the world. One way to fight hunger and food insecurity, the Holy Father suggested, is to reduce the wastage of food and water. Addressing the group in his native Spanish, the Argentine Pope called for tackling the underlying causes of the lack of food and access to drinkable water. He blamed the tragedy on “a failure of compassion, the lack of interest on the part of many and a scant social and political will to honor international obligations.” The lack of food and water, he pointed out, is not an internal and exclusive affair of the poorest and most vulnerable countries, but one that concerns each of us. He said that responsibility lies on all for increasing or alleviating the suffering of many of our brothers and sisters whose desperate cries we are called to hear. (source: vaticannews.va)