POPE FRANCIS’ FINAL DAY IN JAPAN – THERE’S ALSO THIS….

POPE FRANCIS’ FINAL DAY IN JAPAN

Pope at Sophia University in Japan: Seek, find, and spread Divine Wisdom
Pope Francis visits Sophia University in Tokyo at the conclusion of his Apostolic Visit to Japan, and affirms that “quality education should not be the privilege of a few.” (+ VIDEO) https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-at-sophia-university-seek-find-and-spread-divine-wisdom.html

Social media takes on personal face as Pope visits Sophia University
As Pope Francis concludes his Apostolic Journey to Japan, students and staff at Sophia University wonder at how they came to greet him in person. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-11/tokyo-japan-sophia-university-welcomes-pope-francis.html

Pope bids farewell to Japan, leaves hearts overflowing with gratitude
Pope Francis concludes his Apostolic Journey to Japan, fulfilling his dream to be a missionary to the country and spurring the Japanese Church to protect all life. It was a bittersweet farewell that Pope Francis bade to the people of Japan on Tuesday, as he boarded the papal plane at Tokyo-Haneda airport. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-departs-japan-journey-overview.html

THERE’S ALSO THIS….
The Holy Father has named Msgr. Robert J. McClory of the clergy of the archdiocese of Detroit and rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Michigan as bishop of Gary in Indiana. His Vatican bio notes that in addition to his native English, he speaks, Italian, Spanish and knows sign language.

A longer biography can be read here: https://www.shrinechurch.com/monsignor-robert-j-mcclory-bio/

In part: Monsignor Robert J. McClory is the Pastor and Rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was appointed by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron on July 1, 2017. As a newly ordained priest he offered his first Mass at Shrine on May 23, 1999.

He currently serves on the Archdiocese of Detroit Episcopal Council, College of Consultors, Priest Assignment Board, and New Evangelization Council. He is a leadership consultant with the Catholic Leadership Institute, offering leadership training to priests, deacons, seminarians, parish and diocesan leaders. He serves as the spiritual advisor to Detroit Team Eight for Teams of Our Lady, a marriage enrichment apostolate.

He has earned degrees at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and completed his license in canon law at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a third degree Knight of Columbus.

ROMAN CURIA NEWS: In the event you want to occasionally follow news from a few of the congregations, councils, dicasteries and other offices in the Roman Curia, here are some interesting links:

http://www.cultura.va/content/dam/cultura/docs/pdf/coms/newsletter27.pdf

http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/laityfamilylife/en.html

This was the highlight piece of news from Laity, Family and Life: On the Feast of Christ the King, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is happy to announce the establishment of an International Youth Advisory Body made up of 20 young people from different regions of the world and some international movements, associations and communities. A specific request was made in the Final Document of the 2018 Synod for the creation of an entity like this in order to reinforce the work being done by the Youth Office of the Dicastery (cf. no. 123).

POPE FRANCIS IN JAPAN – AMERICAN BISHOPS CONTINUE AD LIMINA VISITS TO ROME

POPE FRANCIS IN JAPAN

The Holy Father has had an amazing trip to Asia, first in Thailand as you saw from the colorful photos and videos and media reports, and now in Japan where he arrived late afternoon on Saturday, November 23. He is due back in Rome tomorrow, November 26, when he will surely visit Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major) and the image he so loves and that is so dear to Romans, Salus Populi Romani (Protectress or salvation of the Roman people).

Pope Francis’ final day in Japan is tomorrow, November 26. His schedule includes Mass with Jesuits in the chapel of Sophia University, followed by breakfast and a private meeting with the Collegium Maximum and a visit of the university. After a ceremony at Tokyo-Haneda airport, the papal plane departs for Rome at 11:35 local time, arriving back in Rome at 5:15 pm Rome time. There is an 8-hour time difference between Tokyo and Rome. The flight to Rome is estimated to take over 12 and a half hours.

Following are links to Vatican news reports of the various stops, visits and events of Pope Francis in Japan (Several have videos). The last Pope to visit Japan was Pope St. John Paul in 1981. The photo slideshow is from vaticannews.va

NOVEMBER 23

Pope to Japanese bishops: witness to the Gospel and protect life
In his first meeting in Japan, Pope Francis encourages Japan’s tiny Catholic community to witness daily to the Lord by protecting life and proclaiming the Gospel of compassion and mercy. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-apostolic-visit-japan-bishops-message.html

NOVEMBER 24
Pope in Nagasaki urges commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons – News Video
Visiting the Peace Memorial in Nagasaki on Sunday morning, Pope Francis confirms that peace and security cannot be guaranteed through false security based on fear and mutual mistrust. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/news-video-pope-nagasaki-urges-nuclear-free-world.html

The Pope’s day in Nagasaki and Hiroshima
A sixty-second video sums up Pope Francis’ poignant day in two Japanese cities that symbolise the tragedy of nuclear warfare: Nagasaki and Hiroshima. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-apostolic-visit-japan-nagasaki-hiroshima-video.html

Pope in Hiroshima: Use and possession of atomic energy for war is immoral
On his first full day in Japan, Pope Francis visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and describes it as a place where death and life, loss and rebirth, suffering and compassion have met. He reaffirms that the use and possesson of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-in-hiroshima-use-and-possession-of-atomic-energy-for-war-i.html

NOVEMBER 25
Pope to victims of Japan’s “triple disaster”: We are part of one another
Pope Francis meets with victims of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident that struck the Japanese city of Fukushima in 2011. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-to-victims-of-triple-disaster-we-are-part-of-one-another.html

Pope Francis meets victims of Japan’s “triple disaster” – News Video
On his third day in Japan, Pope Francis meets the victims of the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. He reminds us we are all members of one family, and that if one member suffers, we all do. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-meets-victims-of-japan-s-triple-disaster.html

Pope Francis meets with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito
Pope Francis meets with the Emperor of Japan, Naruhito, at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on Monday. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-private-meeting-japan-emperor.html

Pope to young people in Tokyo: ‘Japan needs you, the world needs you!’
One rendezvous Pope Francis never misses during an Apostolic Visit abroad is meeting with young people, “the builders of tomorrow’s society”. That meeting took place on the penultimate day of his visit to Japan, when he took time to meet with the youth in Tokyo. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-tokyo-japan-meeting-young-people.html

Pope at Mass in Tokyo: Gospel of life urges us to be a “field hospital”
Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Monday afternoon at the Tokyo Dome stadium. In his homily, the Pope says we need to get our priorities right, in line with the life of Jesus. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-apostolic-journey-japan-mass-tokyo0.html

Pope to authorities: your heritage is precious, your morals high
Pope Francis addresses members of civil society and the diplomatic corps, in Japan, and urges them to cherish their precious cultural heritage, maintaining solidarity with all members of our human family. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-address-authorities-civil-society-japan.html

Pope receives Scholas Occurrentes on its launch in Japan
On the penultimate day of his November 19-26 Apostolic Journey in Thailand and Japan, Pope Francis met representatives of the Scholas Occurrentes at the Apostolic Nunciature in Japan. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-apsotolic-journey-japan-sholas-occurrentes-inaugura.html

AMERICAN BISHOPS CONTINUE AD LIMINA VISITS TO ROME

American bishops from New Jersey and Pennsylvania are in Rome for their ad limina visit. The last time that U.S. prelates were in Rome for an ad limina (they are normally held every five years, the mandatory quinquennial ad limina apostolorum (to the threshold of the Apostles) was in 2011 with Pope Benedict.

New Jersey has 5 Latin rite dioceses and 2 Eastern rite dioceses, Pennsylvania has 8 Latin rite dioceses and 2 Eastern rite. Only Latin Rite bishops are in Rome for this 2019-2020 series of ad limina visits that end in January. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have a total of 32 bishops, including auxiliaries and emeritus bishops.

The bishops will be visiting various congregations, pontifical councils, dicasteries and other Roman Curial offices during the week and will have an audience with Pope Francis on Friday. They are scheduled to be at the Thanksgiving Day festivities on November 28 at the North American College that include a late afternoon Mass to be celebrated by Bishop James Chechhio of Metuchen, New Jersey, former rector of NAC. An abundant turkey dinner for invited guests will follow Mass.

PAPAL TRIP TO THAILAND AND JAPAN STARTS THIS EVENING – CARDINAL PAROLIN: POPE TRAVELS TO THAILAND, JAPAN TO PROMOTE LIFE AND PEACE – TUESDAY IN THE VATICAN

I get an email daily from http://www.FranciscanMedia.org about the saint of the day and today I thought that perhaps you’d be interested in a saint from Assisi with whom you might not be that familiar – St. Agnes! Here is her story….

Born Caterina Offreducia, Agnes was the younger sister of Saint Clare, and her first follower. When Caterina left home two weeks after Clare’s departure, their family attempted to bring her back by force. They tried to drag her out of the monastery, but her body suddenly became so heavy that several knights could not budge it. Her uncle Monaldo tried to strike her but was temporarily paralyzed. The knights then left Caterina and Clare in peace. Saint Francis himself gave Clare’s sister the name Agnes, because she was gentle like a young lamb.

Agnes matched her sister in devotion to prayer and in willingness to endure the strict penances that characterized the Poor Ladies’ lives at San Damiano. In 1221, a group of Benedictine nuns in Monticelli near Florence asked to become Poor Ladies. Saint Clare sent Agnes to become abbess of that monastery. Agnes soon wrote a rather sad letter about how much she missed Clare and the other nuns at San Damiano. After establishing other monasteries of Poor Ladies in northern Italy, Agnes was recalled to San Damiano in 1253, as Clare lay dying.

Three months later Agnes followed Clare in death, and was canonized in 1753.

Reflection: God must love irony; the world is so full of it. In 1212, many in Assisi surely felt that Clare and Agnes were wasting their lives and were turning their backs on the world. In reality, their lives were tremendously life-giving, and the world has been enriched by the example of these poor contemplatives.

PAPAL TRIP TO THAILAND AND JAPAN STARTS THIS EVENING

Pope Francis is expected to start his 32nd foreign apostolic trip today when he departs the Santa Marta residence this evening about 6:20 for Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for his flight to Bangkok, Thailand, the first leg of his trip to Asia. He will also visit Japan before returning to Rome.

The papal plane is scheduled to leave at 7 pm, Rome time, arriving Wednesday, November 20 at 12:30 local time at Bangkok’s Military Air Terminal 2 where there will be an official welcome ceremony. Interestingly, it seem that no Thai media will be on the papal plane but Japan is present with nine media representatives out of an estimated 70 press people aboard the plane.

No events are planned for the Pope and his entourage on Wednesday. On Thursday, however, his Thai visit starts with a welcome ceremony at 9 am local time at the Government House where he will meet the prime minister and then a greeting and speech to civil authorities and members of the diplomatic corps.

CARDINAL PAROLIN: POPE TRAVELS TO THAILAND, JAPAN TO PROMOTE LIFE AND PEACE

In the run-up to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin says the Pope will highlight the themes of mission, environmental protection, and peace.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews.va)

Pope Francis travels to Thailand from 19-23 November, and to Japan from 23-26, as part of his 32nd Apostolic Journey.

In an interview with Vatican News’ Massimiliano Menichetti on Monday, the Vatican Secretary of State gave some indication about the Pope’s hopes and the themes he intends to highlight.

Centered on the human person
Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the world has undergone vast changes since Pope St. John Paul II visited Thailand in May 1984 and Japan in February 1981. Globalization, he said, has made it much smaller, allowing people to speak face-to-face despite stunning physical distances.

But, he added, Pope Francis wants to travel to far-flung places in order to encounter people in the flesh, because, “the human person lies at the heart of the Church’s attention.” The Church must proclaim the Gospel to each and every person, the Cardinal said, to help them answer life’s difficult questions and to help them find meaning.

Thailand: Missionary disciples
Asked about the visit to Thailand, Cardinal Parolin said Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of the Jesuit missionaries who first proclaimed the Gospel there 350 years ago. Thus, he said, an important part of the Pope’s message will regard the Christian call to be missionary disciples.

Cardinal Parolin said the Pope will likely encourage the estimated 400,000 Catholics in Thailand to open themselves to the Holy Spirit, “the true protagonist” of the mission. Mission, he said, “is fulfilled in a fullness that transforms itself into attraction and witness.”

Japan: Denuclearization and peace
Cardinal Parolin then turned to the second part of the Pope’s visit.

“The Japan leg of the journey will be particularly important,” he said, adding that the Pope will likely encourage efforts toward denuclearization.

The Cardinal called Japan “a complex nation” that has “suffered greatly” due to the two nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, though it has made a magnificent recovery. He said the nation finds itself “between tradition and innovation,” as it searches for responses to global problems.

While in Japan, he said, the Pope will touch on “care for our common home, the pursuit of peace, and disarmament as a requisite for peace.”

Pope hopes to share people’s lives
Finally, the Cardinal Secretary of State said Pope Francis travels to Asia to be “close the people entrusted to him, desiring to share their joys, expectations, and hopes, as well as their sorrows, sufferings, and contradictions.”

As the Pope meets with the local Catholic communities, Cardinal Parolin said, he will also proclaim several messages that are “valid for the whole world and the entire Church.”

These, he concluded, include the message of the mission as a foundational element of the Christian experience, the protection of creation, and the promotion of peace in a fragmented and conflictual world.

TUESDAY IN THE VATICAN

The Pope prays at Saint Mary Major for his trip to Asia
Pope Francis entrusts the Virgin Mary with his apostolic journey that from Tuesday until 26th November will take him to Thailand and Japan. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/the-pope-prays-at-saint-mary-major-for-his-trip-to-asia.html

The Holy See ratifies the Addis Ababa Convention on Higher Education
The Convention, already adopted on 12 December 2014, will enter into force on 15 December 2020 and represents a legal recognition also to Catholic universities that will allow students to finish their studies abroad and to find a job in another country, in this case in Africa. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-11/the-holy-see-ratifies-the-addis-ababa-convention-on-higher-educa.html

Pope’s interpreter in Japan is his former student from Argentina
As Japan prepares to welcome Pope Francis on Saturday, Fr Renzo De Luca, SJ, recalls his friendly relationship with the Pope, their time together in Argentina, and what it will be like to act as his interpreter into Japanese. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-11/pope-francis-japan-translator-former-argentine-student.html

‘Work takes priority over religion in Japan’, says Oblate priest ahead of Pope’s visit
Ahead of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Japan, an OMI missionary priest explores how the face of the local Catholic Church is changing and the challenges of preaching the Gospel where people give priority to work, not religion. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-11/omi-missionaries-japan-rozairo-mission-to-migrants.html

MONDAY IN THE VATICAN – INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY IN THE AMERICAS

If you want to experience the sheer joy of the beauty and solemnity of the Latin Mass in the splendid setting of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. I offer you the spectacular video of the Mass of the Americas celebrated Saturday morning in the shrine in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco. There are two links to the EWTN video – one in the moving article by Robert Royal (see below) and a link following that article.

I became so riveted as I opened the video a short while ago that everything else was moved to the back of the burner – work, this column, emails etc. I had to tear myself away from the video – but not the audio – as I proceeded with other work so that I would be done in time for a later appointment.

I had a great reunion with Abp.Cordileone Friday night in Washington as we both attended a book presentation for Kathryn Jean Lopez and her latest work, A Year with the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living.

The archbishop and I had worked many of the same years in the 90s in the Vatican under Pope John Paul. I had not seen him in a while, the last time was probably some encounter at NAC, so it was good to touch bases and talk about a few current topics. Had I only known about the Mass, however! I was scheduled to fly back to Rome on the day of the Mass but believe I could have attended the Mass and made my flight. This Mass will be celebrated again in various U.S. cities so I have hope. What a joy it would be to have it sung in St. Peter’s!

MONDAY IN THE VATICAN

Pope urges support for WFP’s campaign to eliminate food waste
Pope Francis sent a message to the World Food Programme on Monday, calling on all to support the UN agency’s global campaign to eliminate food waste through a change in lifestyle. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-wfp-food-waste-hunger-malnutrition-rights.html

Pope asks people of Japan to protect life, ahead of Apostolic Journey
Pope Francis sends a video message to the people of Japan, and urges them to protect all life – symbolized there by cherry blossoms – and to pray for his upcoming Apostolic Journey. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-video-message-japan-prayer-nuclear-arms.html

Pope meets Argentine Interreligious Dialogue Institute
Pope Francis receives members of the Instituto de Diálogo Interreligioso (I.D.I.) of Buenos Aires, who are meeting to discuss the Document “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-argentine-interreligious-dialogue-institute.html

Pope appoints new President of Vatican Financial Authority
A Holy See Press Office communiqué says Pope Francis has chosen a successor to the current President of the Vatican Financial Authority, René Brüelhart, as his mandate ends. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/vatican-financial-authority-pope-rene-bruelhart-new-appointment.html

INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY IN THE AMERICAS

Robert Royal
By Robert Royal (TCT – The Catholic Thing)

Intimations of eternity are rare in this life. I had one, about this time of the year, when I was in high school. I’m enough of a modern man to know how unreal the claim seems. But it’s true. I was walking with a few friends under autumn leaves. We’d just been reading Virgil together in Latin, during last period. From somewhere, there welled up in me an overwhelming sense of both geologic ages and the immense extent of human life. And something beyond even those. Years later, I came upon an Italian poem – L’infinito – that captures the experience.

I had a similar experience this past Saturday morning. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco celebrated an Extraordinary Form Latin “Mass of the Americas” at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, accompanied by the music of Frank La Rocca, whom the archbishop had commissioned for that purpose. You can watch it by clicking here.

But listening to the recording and even watching the video can’t even begin to convey what the Mass was like in the Basilica. To underscore just one element, Archbishop Cordileone celebrated the Mass on the main altar under the baldacchino, way at the back of the church (instead of the new altar closer to the congregation). That had a marvelous effect. At least for me.

When he and the concelebrants processed to the far altar, near the imposing mosaic of Jesus as Pantocrator (“Ruler of All”), it was as if they were going deep into the divine mysteries. And later, when the priests came forward to distribute Communion, it was as if they were bringing the Body and Blood to the congregation from the depths of God Himself.

Image: The Christ Pantocrator mosaic by Jan Henryk de Rosen, Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

Call this romantic illusion, if you will – though I don’t consider myself prone to that sort of thing. But that’s what the Mass of the Americas conveyed to, I think, more than one person Saturday. Liturgical formality, noble music, serene worship, and the basilica’s very architecture combined to produce that rare experience.

We used to have a lot of that in the liturgy. The Mass, consequently, often impressed non-Catholics, even anti-Catholics. In 1774, John Adams (both non- and anti-) famously wrote to his wife, Abigail, about a Mass at Philadelphia’s Old St. Mary’s: “Here is every Thing which can lay hold of the Eye, Ear and Imagination. Every Thing which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.”

Adams wouldn’t have been so quick to reach for the old anti-Catholic slur about “the simple and ignorant” if he had been in the Basilica Saturday. And he wouldn’t have been so sure that the Protestant Reformation – now ailing and seemingly in terminal decline – had done away with real Catholicism.

Archbishop Cordileone had a brilliant insight in developing this Mass of the Americas (plural). He wanted an instance of real liturgical beauty. As he said in the homily, Catholicism teaches the Three Transcendentals: the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Naturally, we seek to follow and extend the Good in various forms; we cannot do so properly, though, unless we know the Truth; and for most people the Truth has to be manifested, primarily through Beauty.

Archbishop Cordileone also wanted a Mass that would be rooted in both Americas, North and South. And that meant incorporating elements of the two great Marian traditions: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of Latin America, and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States.

There has been a lot of discussion in the Church recently about the old notion of “inculturation.” By the end of Amazon Synod last month, it had become a contentious term, primarily because the Vatican seemed to have chosen to promote a kind of inculturation that bent the Church in the direction of “indigenous spiritualities” more than drawing those indigenous beliefs into the fullness of Catholic truth and practice.

Frank La Rocca’s music struck a much better note of inculturation. The Mass was in Latin, Extraordinary Form, so the music drew appropriately from Church traditions of chant and polyphony, but also spoke a fluid and, above all, contemplative modern musical idiom.

One of the temptations of composers writing modern Masses is to draw attention to the music – and themselves. As Joseph Ratzinger often said, both before and after becoming pope, some sacred music seems more an opera or a concert than a Mass. La Rocca’s lovely work never gives into such temptations. Rather, it serves the spirit of the liturgy at every point.

There were Spanish and Indian motifs, particularly the melody of a popular hymn La Guadalupana woven into traditional musical forms, but never in a way that was intrusive or out of balance. While the archbishop was vesting publicly – quite something to witness in a pontifical Mass – the choir sang La Rocca’s beautiful arrangement of El Cantico del Alba (“The Song of the Dawn”), which contains the line: “Hell trembles three times at the sound of ‘Ave Maria.’”

At the de-vesting after Mass, a soprano sang the equally lovely Aue Maria (sic) – in Nahuatl, the native language in which Our Lady of Guadalupe addressed St. Juan Diego in her appearances on the hill of Tepeyac.

And it all ended with the familiar melody of the Salve Regina, sung in Latin but with La Rocca’s exquisite arrangement surrounding and advancing it.

The Mass of the Americas will be celebrated in other places here in the United States as well as in Mexico. If you have the chance, do yourself – your spiritual life – a great favor: make the effort to attend. Or see if you can bring it to your local cathedral.

My hope is not only that it will be repeated many times in the future, but that some of the aesthetic and spiritual possibilities it has opened up will also find their way into parish Masses – which desperately need fresh inspiration – all over our Hemisphere, and beyond.

VATICAN INSIDER: WILL HAWAII HAVE A THIRD SAINT? – POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THAILAND AND JAPAN IN NOVEMBER

VATICAN INSIDER: WILL HAWAII HAVE A THIRD SAINT?

This week I have prepared what I hope is a fascinating and informative special for what is normally the interview segment of Vatican Insider. I think you all know my love, my passion actually, for the magnificent land that is our 50th state, Hawaii. I have developed a true Hawaiian “ohana,” a family, on my ten trips to this paradise and we all have one thing in common – our love for Hawaii’s two saints, Fr. Damien and Mother Marianne Cope, and our hopes for a possible third saint.

I note that, since 2008 and my first visit to Hawaii, I have spent years researching the lives and works of Saints Damien and Marianne, including covering their canonizations in Rome, respectively 2009 and 2012. And Hawaii may well have a third saint – Brother Joseph Dutton. He was not a religious brother but rather received that name from Fr. Damien himself who told Joseph one day as they worked together on Kalaupapa, “You are like a brother to everyone here.” (images: Hawaii Catholic Herald)

On June 23, 2015, Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu approved the statutes of the Joseph Dutton Guild, identified in church terms as a “Private Association of the Faithful with Juridic Personality,” with the mission of spreading knowledge of and devotion to Ira “Brother Joseph” Dutton, as well as addressing the financial and logistical needs for his cause for sainthood.

With my interest in and enthusiasm for the story of Joseph Dutton, I was asked to be a member of that guild. I attend one of the four annual meetings in person, and the other three gatherings via conference call. I was in Honolulu for the Guild’s August 28 meeting.

Here is the Dutton Prayer (Inspired by the Teaching of Pope Francis): God our Father, by the grace of conversion you raised your servant, Joseph Dutton, from the darkness of war, betrayal, addiction, and despair to the liberating joy of charity in the service of the abandoned and isolated chronically ill. Therefore we humbly ask you to allow him to intercede today for all who suffer on the periphery of human existence. May he pray especially for us in our urgent need for __________________________. In doing so may he be listed among your saints in heaven, if it is for your glory and the building up of your kingdom on earth. Amen
With ecclesiastical approval by Bishop Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu


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POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THAILAND AND JAPAN IN NOVEMBER

The Holy See Press Office today announced Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan from 19 to 26 November. He will be the second Pope to visit these two Asian countries, after Pope John Paul II.

By Isabella Piro (vaticannews)

The Pope’s next Apostolic Journey will see him visiting two Asian countries: the Kingdom of Thailand, from 20 to 23 November, and then Japan from 23 to 26 November, where he will visit Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A detailed program of the visit will be announced later.

Thailand
The motto of the first stage of the Apostolic Journey is “Disciples of Christ, Missionary Disciples”, and is a reference to an important anniversary. 2019 marks the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam, erected in 1669. (Logos from Vatican media)

This event is represented in the logo prepared for the visit. Beneath a smiling Pope Francis is a boat that symbolizes evangelization. Its three sails recall the Trinity. The stylized representation of Our Lady’s hand supports the vessel. Finally, a golden cross invites the whole Thai Catholic Church to be a witness to the Good News.

The Asian Continent
In January this year, Pope Francis sent a message to the meeting of Presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences of Asia, and a delegation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in Bangkok. He wrote: “You are gathered in Asia, a vast and multiform continent, marked by religious, linguistic and cultural diversity, in order to reaffirm our common responsibility for the unity and integrity of the Catholic faith, as well as to explore new means and methods of witnessing to the Gospel in the midst of the challenges of our contemporary world.”

Japan
The theme of the Apostolic Journey to Japan focuses on the protection of life and Creation, and is quoted from a phase in “A prayer for our earth” at the end of the Pope’s Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on caring for our common home.

In that document, the Pope encourages us to respect both the dignity of each person, but also the environment. This is particularly poignant in a country like Japan where the nuclear threat, as we read in the description of the motto, “remains a persistent problem.”

Three flames of three different colors characterize the logo: a red flame recalling the martyrs, the foundation of the Church in Japan, a blue flame representing the Blessed Virgin Mary who embraces all humanity as her children, and a green flame symbolizing both the nature of Japan, and the mission to proclaim the Gospel of hope. A red circle, like a sun, embraces all life, and symbolizes love.

 

THE EARLY CHURCH, A PARADIGM FOR ALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES – POPE TO VISIT JAPAN IN NOVEMBER

I heard this story for the first time in my life in a homily during Mass a few weeks back at St. Patrick’s in Rome – an astronaut who had communion on the moon! I had watched the moon landing all those decades ago on television in New York as I was getting ready the following day to sail to Europe. The 50th anniversary is next month! https://www.history.com/news/buzz-aldrin-communion-apollo-11-nasa

I never did sleep because, in addition to being riveted by the moon-landing story, I had to grade the final test papers of my four French classes at the Academy of the Holy Names and place all the grades and tests in a big envelope to mail the next morning to the academy. I had received special permission to take the tests off of school property given the proximity of the final school day to my sailing date for Europe.

The scary part of that hot July night was never the moon landing. It was when I checked into the hotel and realized the huge folder with all my test papers had been left in the taxi! I think I prayed a novena of thanksgiving for that honest taxi driver who remembered at what hotel he had dropped me off!

FYI: For those hungry for news from the Pontifical Council for Culture (soon to be merged with who knows what other Vatican office to then become a dicastery, according to rumors about the overhaul of the Roman Curia), here you go:

http://www.cultura.va/content/dam/cultura/docs/pdf/coms/newsletter25.pdf

FYI 2: Today’s weekly general Wednesday audience was the last one until early August as July is the month in which Pope Francis has been traditionally reducing his schedule vis a vis private audiences and general audiences. He is, however, scheduled to appear at his study window on Sundays for the noon Angelus in July.

FYI 3: The news about the papal trip to Japan in November has not been confirmed by the Holy See but I’m sure it will be soon. I have been to a number of events recently where the Japanese ambassador to the Holy See was present. At one event, about 4 or 5 weeks ago, when asked about a possible trip, he said he knew only that the Pope wanted to go to Japan but did not know specific dates.

THE EARLY CHURCH, A PARADIGM FOR ALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

This morning, before going to a sun-splashed and very hot St. Peter’s Square for the weekly general audience, Pope Francis stopped by the Paul VI Hall to greet those pilgrims who were ill and could not be in the square.

“Today,” said Francis, “you came here because it’s too hot outside, too hot … It’s quieter here and you can see the audience well on the (television) screen. There will be two communities: that of the square, together with you. You are definitely attending the audience! Surely they will accommodate you to be able to see the screen well. And now, I give you my blessing, to everyone.”

Later, in the square, the Holy Father began the weekly catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, noting that, “we now consider the way of life of the first Christian community. Saint Luke presents the Church of Jerusalem, gathered in response to the Apostles’ preaching, as the paradigm of all Christian communities. As brothers and sisters in Christ, the first believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”


“Luke,” the Pope explained, “portrays a community united in prayer, fraternity, charity and concern for those in need. In every age, the Church is called to be the leaven of a reconciled humanity and the foreshadowing of a world of authentic justice and peace. In this way, she is enabled to live an authentic liturgical life, experiencing the Risen Lord’s presence in prayer and in the Eucharist, in order then to bring that saving love to the world.

Francis concluded by saying, “like the early Church gathered around the Apostles, may our communities increasingly become places of deep prayer, encounter with the Lord and fellowship with our brothers and sisters, doors that open to the communion of the saints and the heavenly Jerusalem!”

In greetings following the English language summary of the papal catechesis, the Pope acknowledged visitors from England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Japan, Guam and the United States. Archbishops from Australia, the United States and Guam are scheduled to receive the pallium this coming Saturday, feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.

POPE TO VISIT JAPAN IN NOVEMBER

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Pope Francis will visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki on November 24, on the occasion of his four-day apostolic trip to Japan. The pontiff will offer prayers for the victims of the atomic attacks on the two cities, which took place in 1945 at the hands of US aviation during the Second World War. The Japanese media reported this, citing sources close to the organization of the trip.

Last January 23, it was Francis himself who announced the trip, on the flight that was taking him to Panama for the celebration of the 34th World Youth Day (WYD). A few days after the announcement of the apostolic journey, Japanese Catholics invited the pope to launch a message against nuclear weapons from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

According to rumors, the Pope plans to meet the atomic bomb survivors on the second day of his visit, which opens on November 23rd. Francis’ journey will be the second of a pontiff to the Land of the Rising Sun after John Paul II in February 1981. The pontiff will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo, and will celebrate Mass at the Tokyo Dome stadium on November 25th.

Government sources report that the Pope sent letters to the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to the governor of the Hiroshima prefecture last May, promising to offer prayers for their citizens. Officials had extended the invitation to visit the two cities during an audience in the Vatican.

(for more: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope-Francis-in-Hiroshima-and-Nagasaki-on-November-24th-47382.html)

POPE FRANCIS CONGRATULATES NEW EMPEROR OF JAPAN, NARUHITO – POPE ON GROWING THREAT OF “CONFLICTUAL NATIONALISM,” NUCLEAR WAR

POPE FRANCIS CONGRATULATES NEW EMPEROR OF JAPAN, NARUHITO

The new Japanese emperor Naruhito, took up his post on Wednesday, a day after his father gave up the throne in the country’s first abdication in two centuries.

Former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko stepped down on Tuesday after three decades as the nation’s top royals in a brief, simple ceremony, with Akihito thanking the people of Japan and saying he prayed for peace.

Pope Francis sent a congratulatory telegram to Emperor Naruhito, assuring the 59-year old Japanese head of state his prayers and divine blessing on the imperial family and the nation:

His Imperial Majesty
Naruhito
Emperor of Japan

I extend to Your Majesty my cordial greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your solemn accession to the throne, and I assure you of my prayers that you may be endowed always with the gifts of wisdom and strength in your dedicated service to the nation. Upon you, the Members of the Imperial Family and all the people of Japan, I invoke the divine blessings of peace and well-being. FRANCISCUS PP.

POPE ON GROWING THREAT OF “CONFLICTUAL NATIONALISM,” NUCLEAR WAR

Pope Francis addressed some 50 members of the Vatican’s Pontifical
Academy of Social Sciences, who are discussing the theme, “Nation,
State, Nation-State”, during their plenary assembly, May 1-3.

By Robin Gomes (Vaticannews)
Pope Francis on Thursday expressed concern over the re-emergence of
aggressive feelings against foreigners, especially immigrants, as well
as a growing nationalism that neglects the common good, saying such
trends compromise international cooperation, mutual respect and the
sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

Speaking to some 50 members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of
Social Sciences, the Holy Father also expressed fears over the growing
threat of nuclear confrontation that risks cancelling the progress of
the recent past and multiplies the risk of war.

The Pope spoke to the Pontifical Academy in the light of its May 1-3
plenary assembly on “Nation, State, Nation-State”, in the backdrop of
a growing trend in exclusivist nationalism.

Migration and conflictual nationalism
The Pope pointed out that the Church has always urged the love of
one’s own people and country while respecting the various cultures,
customs and habits of other peoples. At the same time it has warned
against deviations in this attachment that result in excluding and
hating others when it becomes “conflictual nationalism that raises
walls, even racism or anti-Semitism.”

He noted that, too often, states are subservient to the interests of a
dominant group, mostly for reasons of economic profit, which oppresses
the ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities who are in their
territory.

On the contrary, the Pope pointed out, “the way in which a nation
welcomes migrants reveals its vision of human dignity and its
relationship with humanity.”

He urged that a person or a family, forced to leave their own land, be
welcomed with humanity. In this regard he repeated his 4-verb formula
of how to receive a migrant, namely: welcoming, protecting, promoting
and integrating.

While stressing that the migrant is not a threat to the culture,
customs and values of the host nation, the migrant also has a duty to
integrate into the receiving nation, enriching the host while
maintaining his identity.

Pope Francis pointed out that migration is a permanent feature of
human history, and all nations are the result of the integration of
successive waves of people or groups of migrants, who while being
images of the diversity of humanity, are united by common values,
cultural resources and healthy customs.

“A state that arouses the nationalistic feelings of its own people
against other nations or groups of people would fail in its mission,”
he warned, adding history proves where such deviations lead to.

Speaking about the nation-state, the Pope said it cannot be regarded
as absolute and an island in relation to its surroundings and on its
own; it cannot provide its people with the common good and meet the
great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and
peace.

The cooperative vision among nations, the Pope said, requires the
relaunching of multilateralism, which is opposed to new nationalistic
impulses and hegemonic policy.

“Humanity would thus avoid the threat of recourse to armed conflicts
whenever a dispute arises between nation-states, as well as evading
the danger of economic and ideological colonization of the
superpowers, avoiding the overwhelming of the strongest over the
weakest, paying attention to the global dimension without losing sight
of the local, national and regional dimensions.”

Multilateralism
As opposed to a globalization that levels differences and suffocates
localization and leads to the re-emergence of nationalism and
hegemonic imperialism, the Pope called for a “multifaceted” form of
globalization based on mutual recognition between the collective
identity of each people, nation and globalization itself, which leads
to a general state of peace and harmony.

The multilateral bodies, the Pope said, have been created in the hope
of being able to replace the logic of revenge, domination, oppression
and conflict with that of dialogue, mediation, compromise, harmony and
the awareness of belonging to the same humanity in the common home.

On the other hand, the growing hegemony of powers and interest groups
that impose their own visions and ideas, as well as new forms of
ideological colonization, often disregarding the identity, customs and
habits, dignity and sensitivity of the peoples concerned. The
emergence of such tendencies is weakening the multilateral system,
with the result of a lack of credibility in international politics and
a progressive marginalization of the most vulnerable members of the
family of nations.

Nuclear threat
Pope Francis lamented that today the season of multilateral nuclear
disarmament seems outdated and no longer stirs the political
conscience of nations that possess atomic weapons. On the contrary, he
said, a new season of worrying nuclear confrontation seems to be
opening, because it cancels the progress of the recent past and
multiplies the risk of war.

If the offensive and defensive nuclear arms will now be placed on
earth and space, the Pope warned, the so-called new technical frontier
will have raised and not lowered the danger of a nuclear holocaust.

The Pope concluded urging the members of the Pontifical Academy of
Social Sciences to help him spread the awareness of a renewed
international solidarity with respect for human dignity, the common
good, respect for the planet and the supreme good of peace.