MCDONALD’S TO GIVE MEALS TO HOMELESS ON MONDAYS – THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING…..IN THE VATICAN

Two heartwarming stories from the Vatican and a papal tweet…

01/12/2017: Young migrants, especially when unaccompanied, are especially defenceless. Let everyone offer them a helping hand.

MCDONALD’S TO GIVE MEALS TO HOMELESS ON MONDAYS

(Vatican Radio) The controversial McDonald’s fast-food restaurant that has just opened only steps away from St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City State is to provide thousands of free meals to homeless people in the area.

mcdonalds

The restaurant was opened at the beginning of the year after months of protest from locals and prelates who deemed it inappropriate for the unique historical setting of the building it is housed in, with a prime view on the Vatican’s Saint Anne Gate.

But a collaboration between the Borgo Pio branch of McDonald’s and a local charity organization called Medicina Sociale has yielded a fruitful agreement that promises to hand out over 1000 McDonald’s meals to homeless persons every Monday at lunchtime starting from January 16th.

The special “McVatican” – as the outlet has immediately been nicknamed – lunch boxes will include a double cheeseburger, fresh apple slices and a bottle of mineral water.

Lucia Ercoli, director of the charity organization, said she was “very satisfied with this agreement with McDonald’s” and pointed out that the fast-food chain responded “promptly” to their request.

‘Medicina Solidale’ has been working with the papal almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski over the past year, providing health check-ups and medical care to the local homeless community. Volunteers and workers at the charity will be charged with distributing the McDonald’s meals.

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING…..IN THE VATICAN

(Vatican Radio)  “He made boots for the Pope and was released from prison.” This is the story of Bobby Penny, the first inmate taken under the care of Deacon Thaddeus Horbowy, a retired chaplain for the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Deacon Horbowy told Devin Watkins the story of the pair of Texan boots during a recent trip to Rome.

boots

“Bobby Penny was my first inmate. He walked into my office and said, ‘Chaplain, I’ve been sent here by the warden to work as your helper.'”

The encounter took place in Abilene, Texas some 25 years ago at a prison facility which houses 3,000 inmates. Deacon Horbowy said he noticed that Mr. Penny was “somehow different; he didn’t have an attitude”.

Having worked well together for several years, Deacon Horbowy was promoted and moved to another prison in Texas but was allowed to have Bobby Penny transferred with him.

Despite being trained only in boot repair, Deacon Horbowy told Mr. Penny to make him a pair of boots, saying “You’ve got plenty of time. Learn it!” The result was impressive, he said.

After retiring, Deacon Horbowy was invited to come to Rome for Pope Francis’ Jubilee audience for Deacons. Not long before his pilgrimmage, Deacon Horbowy saw Mr. Penny in the Texas prison and asked him to make a pair of boots for the Pope.

Despite resistance from the prison’s warden, Mr. Penny was able to make the boots. Not long after their meeting, in a development which may or may not be related, Deacon Horbowy received a letter from Mr. Penny announcing he had made parole and was released from prison.

During his recent trip to Rome, Deacon Horbowy brought that pair of boots in hopes of presenting them to Pope Francis as a gift.

 

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POPE FRANCIS CALLS FOR COMMISSION TO STUDY REINSTATING FEMALE DEACONS – “UNPLUGNPLAY” TENNIS TABLE FOR POPE FRANCIS – VATICAN BANK’S ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2015

As soon as I solve a few issues with dowloading my photos from the Academy of the Holy Names reunion on Tuesday, I will post that story. In the meantime, here is a link with photos to Janet Lado’s Facebook page (I have posted this on my FB page) about our amazing gathering!

ALERT: At 6 pm today in the EWTN D.C. studios, I will be taping with Raymond Arroyo for “The World Over.” I am not sure if this will air tonight or is being taped for a later date – tune in and you’ll find out!

A PAPAL TWEET – May 12: Dear Religious: wake up the world! Be witnesses to a different way of thinking, acting and living!

POPE FRANCIS CALLS FOR COMMISSION TO STUDY REINSTATING FEMALE DEACONS

Dialogue with the International Union of Superiors General, or UISG

Pope Francis led an in-depth discussion on Thursday about the role of women in the Church, saying he wants to set up a commission to study the possibility of reinstating female deacons. His conversation was part of a question and answer session with some 900 heads of female religious orders and congregations who form part of the International Union of Superiors General, or UISG.

Pope Francis spoke off the cuff during his closed door encounter with the sisters, who are currently holding their General Assembly in Rome this week, marking the 50th anniversary of the foundation of their organisation. During the hour and a half long conversation about the mission and ministry of women in religious life, the Pope responded to several delicate questions, including one about the history of female deacons. He said understanding about their role in the early Church remained unclear and agreed it would be useful to set up a commission to study the question.

Women deacons in the early Church

Up to the 5th century, the Diaconate flourished in the western Church, but in the following centuries it experienced a slow decline, surviving only as an intermediate stage for candidates preparing for priestly ordination. Following the Second Vatican Council, the Church restored the role of permanent deacon, which is open to single and married men. Many experts believe that women should also be able to serve in this role, since there is ample evidence of female deacons in the first centuries, including one named Phoebe who is cited by St Paul in his letter to the Romans.

More women in leadership positions

Pope Francis reiterated that he wants to see an increase in the number of women in decision-making positions in the Church, saying women’s perspectives are very important for both the elaboration and the carrying out of such decisions. The integration of women into the life of the Church has been “very weak”, he said, adding that “we must go forward”.

Asked about the possibility of women preaching the homilies during Mass, the Pope said it’s important to distinguish between other types of liturgies, where the sermon can be preached by consecrated or lay women, and the Mass, where the homily is connected to the role of the priest serving “in persona Christi”.

Changes to Canon Law

Questioned about the prospect of changes to Canon Law which would facilitate the reform process being undertaken by many women’s congregations, the Pope said such changes could be possible, providing they were the result of a process of discernment by the competent authorities.

Service not servitude

Finally Pope Francis spoke about the vital work of the sisters who care for the poor and marginalized. He said this is a vocation of service to the Church and must never be confused with servitude, which is sometimes still asked of them. They should not fear being labelled as ‘activists’, in their service to the needy, he said, but they should also find time for rest and for listening to older or sick members of their communities who are a precious source of wisdom and memory. (Vatican Radio)

“UNPLUGNPLAY” TENNIS TABLE FOR POPE FRANCIS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday received a special white Table Tennis table with personalized paddles in an effort to promote UnPlugNPlay Day, which encourages family and friends to put away their computers, mobile phones, and other devices in order to have fun, and connect with those they love.

TENNIS TABLE

The table tennis equipment was given to the Holy Father by Franco Sciannimanico, the President of the Italian Table Tennis Federation, and Robert Blackwell Jr., managing director of the American company Killerspin, which manufactures Table Tennis equipment.

The two men said during the encounter, which took place shortly before the General Audience, Pope Francis recalled the role of table tennis in the 1970’s détente between China and the United States.

This year, UnPlugNPlay Day will take place on August 29.

VATICAN BANK’S ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2015

Click here for the annual report of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), aka the Vatican Bank, for 2015. It is lengthy and thorough and makes interesting reading:

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/05/12/vatican_ior_releases_annual_report_for_2015_/1229209

Information is also available on the IOR website www.ior.va