HOW TO GET TICKETS FOR PAPAL EVENTS (AN UPDATE)
This is a follow up to my Monday post on what seemed to be a big change in procedure for requesting tickets to papal events and liturgies. These changes were indicated in a recent letter sent out by the Prefecture of the Papal Household to dozens of parishes, seminaries, hotels, travel agencies and other Church-related institutions, that said henceforth all tickets requests had to come directly to the prefecture.
Having received the prefecture letter, our parish secretary nonetheless did what she had done for 20 years on Tuesday mornings: she went to the prefecture for tickets. She told me she got “roughly” 200 tickets (a few less than requested) in addition to another copy of the prefecture letter! She asked if there had been changes in the procedure and was told ‘no’. She asked if, under the new rules, she could return next week for tickets and was told ‘yes.’
However, she was told to tell all those who request tickets at our parish that they must now write directly to the prefecture! (http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/index_en.html). I am still trying to figure that out!
POPE FOCUSES AUDIENCE CATECHESIS ON HOSPITALITY
As he began the general audience this morning in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis announced a new catechesis, having concluded his reflections on the Acts of the Apostles last week.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he said. “Today’s catechesis occurs in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, whose theme this year – on hospitality – was prepared by the Christian communities of Malta and Gozo.
Francis explained that, “the theme is based on Saint Paul’s dramatic experience of being shipwrecked at Malta, and the welcome he and his companions received there. Indeed, in contrast to the sea’s violence, the survivors received ‘unusual kindness’ as we saw in Acts 28:2, reflecting God’s love for them. This hospitality was then repaid when Paul healed many sick people, thus revealing God’s merciful love.”
The Pope continued his reflections by noting that, “hospitality is an important ecumenical virtue, which is open to listening to the experience that other Christians have of God. When we welcome Christians of a different tradition we reveal God’s love to them and receive the gifts that the Holy Spirit has sown in them.
“In this way,” he said, “we Christians are challenged to overcome our divisions and to show Christ’s love more effectively to others, especially the many migrants who, like Paul, face danger at sea, as they flee from peril. Working together like this will make us both better disciples of the Lord and more united as the People of God.
“Today,” underscored the pontiff, “the sea on which Paul and his companions were shipwrecked is, once again, a dangerous place for the lives of other sailors. All over the world migrant men and women face risky voyages to escape violence, to escape war, to escape poverty.”
As he greeted the English-speaking pilgrims present, the Pope said, “I offer a special greeting to the students from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. I also greet the priests of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education of the Pontifical North American College. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!”
POPE FRANCIS GREETS CHINESE MARKING LUNAR NEW YEAR
At the end of his general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis greeted all those who mark the lunar new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar. He urged prayers for peace, dialogue and solidarity among nations.
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)
Also referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, the Chinese New Year is one of the several Lunar New Years of Asia. It is celebrated by ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese people worldwide.
It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. The New Year is dedicated to the Rat.
At the end of the general audience the Pope noted that on “January 25, in the Far East and in various other parts of the world, many millions of men and women will celebrate the Lunar New Year.”
“I send them my cordial greetings, wishing them in particular to be places of education in the virtues of welcome, wisdom, respect for each person and harmony with creation,” he said. “I invite all to pray also for peace, dialogue and solidarity among nations: gifts which are so necessary in the world today.”