Ryan Brady, a seminarian at Mundelein Our Lady of the Lake Seminary in Chicago will be ordained a transitional deacon this afternoon at 4 pm Chicago time in Mundelein’s chapel. I will be up late here in Rome to watch that beautiful ceremony online (https://usml.edu/aoc-diaconate-ordination/) when Ryan joins 12 other young men in the diaconate. Ten will become deacons for the Archdiocese of Chicago, two for the diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana in Uganda and one for the American Province of the Vincentians.

Say a prayer for all of these wonderful young men. It is my heartfelt intention to be in Chicago in May 2021 for Ryan’s ordination to the priesthood as we have a special bond – the bond of a chalice that was in my family for decades that is now in Ryan’s hands.

Here is the story of that chalice and our friendship: https://joansrome.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/a-chalice-goes-home/


The second general audience of August took place this morning in the papal library of the Apostolic Palace and was carried online as has been the custom now for many months due to the Covid-19 crisis. When he resumed the weekly general audiences on August 5, after a staycation in the Vatican, Pope Francis announced a new series of catechesis and spoke of that as he introduced today’s audience.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” began Francis, “in our continuing catechesis on the effects of the current pandemic in the light of the Church’s social doctrine, we now consider the theme of human dignity.”

He explained that “the pandemic has made us more aware of the spread within our societies of a false, individualistic way of thinking, one that rejects human dignity and relationships, views persons as consumer goods and creates a “throw away” culture. In contrast, faith teaches that we have been created in God’s image and likeness, made for love and for communion of life with him, with one another and with the whole of creation.”

“In the light of faith,” continued the Pope, “we know instead that God looks at a man and a woman in another manner. He created us not as objects but as people loved and capable of loving; He has created us in His image and likeness. In this way He has given us a unique dignity, calling us to live in communion with Him, in communion with our sisters and our brothers, with respect for all creation.”

The Holy Father said that, “Jesus tells us that true discipleship consists in following his example by spending ourselves in service of others. Our God-given dignity and the rights that arise from it are the ultimate foundation of all social life, and have serious social, economic and political implications. In responding to the pandemic we Christians are called to combat all violations of human dignity as contrary to the Gospel, and to work for the well-being of our whole human family and our common home.”

Pope Francis was joined in the papal library by monsignori from the Secretariat of State – seated at safe distances from each other – who read syntheses of the audience catechesis in several languages.

In greetings to Arabic faithful, the Pope, said: I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful. The Bible teaches that every human being was created out of love, made in the image and likeness of God. This statement shows us the immense dignity of every person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of knowing himself, of possessing himself, of giving himself freely and of entering into communion with others. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil!

In greetings to faithful from Poland, Francis said:I cordially greet the Polish faithful. In particular, I spiritually accompany the hundreds of pilgrims who walk from Warsaw, Krakow and other cities to the Shrine of the Black Madonna. May this pilgrimage, made with caution because of the pandemic, be a time of reflection, prayer and fraternity in faith and love for all. August 15 marks the centenary of the historic victory of the Polish army, called “Miracle on the Vistula” that your ancestors attributed to Mary’s intervention. Today may the Mother of God help humanity to defeat the coronavirus. To you, your families and the Polish people, I assure you abundant graces. I heartily bless you!”