The focus of today’s episode of EWTN’s “At Home with Jim and Joy” is: “How may we celebrate and give thanks for the lives and contributions of grandparents and the elderly?”
For my weekly contribution to this show, I quoted some of Pope Francis’ words on January 31 when he announced that he had instituted the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly (to be celebrated July 25).
I then spoke of my own grandparents: on Mom’s side we are Swiss and German and on Dad’s side, Irish and Welsh.
I explained that my German-born grandfather (who died when I was 10), Grandpa Bromann, came to America at the age of 18 months with his parents and 3 older brothers (more would be born in America) on a steamship called the Vandalia, sailing from Hamburg, Germany on its maiden voyage of June 28, 1871. And I was speechless when I realized that was 150 YEARS AGO TODAY!
Grandpa married my grandmother Theresa and his brother Charles married one of her sisters, Dora! Seven Bromann siblings and seven Blattner siblings. Sounds like someone should maker a movie!
My main message was to children and grandchildren: All the tools exist today for the younger generations to make video and audio tapes, to create legacy books with photos, to do Facebook live posts to share with other family members…maybe even cousins in a distant land! Ask a million questions and record every answer, every smile, every memory! Above all, be close to your grandparents and thank them for being your grandparents!
POPE WELCOMES DELEGATION FROM ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
The Holy See and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople exchange regular annual visits and send delegations for the feast days of their respective patrons. The Vatican celebrates the June 29 feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles and the Orthodox patriarchate marks the November 30 feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (photo Vatican media)
The Holy Father this morning greeted Metropolitan Emmanuel who led the delegation in the name of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and noted, “This year we will celebrate Saints Peter and Paul in a world still struggling to emerge from the dramatic crisis caused by the pandemic. This scourge has tested everyone and everything. Only one thing is more serious than this crisis, and that is the risk that we will squander it, and not learn the lesson it teaches. It is a lesson in humility, showing us that it is not possible to live healthy lives in an unhealthy world, or to go on as we were, without recognizing what went wrong.”
Francis said that Christians too “are called to reflect seriously on whether we want to go back to doing what we did before, as if nothing happened, or instead to take up the challenge of this crisis. Crisis, as the original meaning of the word shows, always implies a judgement, a distinction between good and bad. … The present crisis calls us to distinguish, discern and sift, in everything we do, between what is enduring and what is passing.”
“We believe, as the Apostle Paul teaches,” said the Pope, “that what endures forever is love, because, while everything else passes away, “love never ends,” a love “that is concrete, modelled on that of Jesus.”
“In the end, the Gospel promises abundant fruit not to those who acquire riches for themselves, or to those who seek their own advantage, but to those who generously share with others, sowing abundantly and freely in a humble spirit of service.”
Pope Francis explained that, “For us Christians on the path to full communion, taking seriously the current crisis means asking ourselves how we wish to move forward.
“Dear brothers,” Francis asked, “has not the time come for giving further impetus to our efforts, with the help of the Spirit, to break down ancient prejudices and definitively overcome harmful rivalries? Without ignoring the differences that need to be resolved through charitable and truthful dialogue, could we not begin a new phase of relations between our Churches, marked by walking more closely together, by desiring to take real steps forward, by becoming more willing to be truly responsible for one another?”
The Holy Father concluded by asking Metropolitan Emmanuel to tell Patriarch Bartholomew, “I joyfully await his visit here in Rome next October, an occasion for giving thanks to God for the thirtieth anniversary of his election. Through the intercession of Saints Peter and Paul, Princes of the Apostles, and of Saint Andrew, the First-Called, may Almighty God in his mercy bless us and draw us ever closer to his own unity.”
POPE FRANCIS RECEIVES U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE BLINKEN
I know Blinken is not a head of State or head of government but could more have been said about his meeting with the Pope? Here’s the terse statement by the head of the press office, in answer to questions from journalists on this morning’s meeting between Pope Francis and U.S. secretary of State Antony Blinken:
“This morning’s audience with US Secretary of State Antony John Blinken took place in a cordial atmosphere. It lasted about 40 minutes and was an opportunity for the Pope to remember the journey he made in 2015 and to express his affection and attention to the people of the United States of America.” (vatican media)
Click here for the CNA story and photos of Blinken’s tour of the Sistine Chapel and his morning meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State: Pope Francis meets Secretary Antony Blinken at Vatican (catholicnewsagency.com)
A by-product of the visit were some traffic problems in and around the Vatican this morning (including just across from my apartment building) for some time, prior to and during Blinken’s arrival and departure, with numerous police motorcycles and escort cars as well as those of Blinken and his entourage.