I’ll be in transit on my way back to Rome tomorrow so I will probably not have time to post on this page. Next post most likely will be Friday. See you then – but check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420

Say an extra prayer today for the De La Salle Christian Brother Paul McCauley and all his confreres (story below).


As is customary for a general audience after a papal trip, the Holy Father focused his catechesis on the meaning of his just-concluded visit to Morocco.

He began by explaining that, “last Saturday and Sunday I completed an apostolic journey to Morocco, and I thank His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the other authorities, for their warm welcome. Above all I thank the Lord for allowing me to take yet another step along the road of dialogue and encounter with our Muslim brothers and sisters, as a ‘Servant of hope’ in today’s world.”

Francis said that, “to serve hope in our day is to build bridges between cultures, and it was a joy and honor for me to be able to do this in the noble Kingdom of Morocco, meeting both its people and its political leaders. King Mohammed and I reiterated the essential role religions have in defending human dignity, promoting peace and justice, and in caring for creation, our common home.

The Pope noted that, “the question of migration was of particular importance and I was able to thank the Church in Morocco for its commitment towards migrants, and to encourage those who give generous service in realizing the words of Christ: ‘When I was a stranger you welcomed me’.”

Referring to his second day in Morocco, Pope Francis said, “after greeting priests, religious, consecrated men and women and the Ecumenical Council of Churches, thousands gathered for the Sunday Mass, where the parable of the prodigal son spoke to us of the beauty of God’s plan of forgiveness and reconciliation. Indeed, knowing our need of God’s mercy is vital, for only those who have been reborn and live in the Father’s embrace, can be servants of hope for our world.”

According to Vatican media, the Pope, in off the cuff remarks, said that some may wonder “why I go to see Muslims and not just Catholics? Why are there so many religions?” He answered these questions saying, “with Muslims, we are descendants of the same father, Abraham.”

Pope Francis explained that God permits many religions because of His permissive will; He wanted to allow this reality: “there are so many religions, some born from culture, but they always look towards the sky, look to God,” he said.

At the end of the general audience, Pope Francis pointed out that April 3 marks the VI United Nations World Day of Sport for Peace and Development. He said, “sport is a universal language that embraces all peoples and helps to overcome conflicts and unite people. … Sport is also a source of joy and great emotion and is a school where virtues are forged for the human and social growth of individuals and communities. I wish you all the best in both life and sport.”


A member of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Brother Paul McAuley, was found dead on Tuesday in Peru, on the grounds of an international youth hostel he had founded.
By Vatican News

De La Salle Brother Paul McAuley was found Tuesday morning by his students at the La Salle Intercultural Student Community in the city of Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon. Local authorities have announced an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

Brother Paul McAuley was a well-known defender of the environment, and an advocate for the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon region. Originally from England, Paul McAuley moved to Peru in 1995 as a missionary. He worked among the poor in the capital Lima, and later in Moyobamba and San José de Amazonas.

Since 2000, Brother Paul McAuley had lived in Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon. He dedicated himself to various development and educational projects, especially among the indigenous populations.

In a statement released by the Episcopal Conference, the Bishops of Peru said they “mourned” the death of Brother Paul McAuley, and expressed their condolences to the Brother Visitor, Jorge Aguilar, the Superior of the Congregation in Peru; and to all the De La Salle Brothers.

In their statement, the Bishops called on the authorities “to clarify the facts and find those responsible” for Brother Paul’s death.



On the eve of his visit to Morocco, Pope Francis, in a video message, says he is coming to the country as a pilgrim of peace and fraternity.

Pope Francis will travel to Morocco from March 30 to 31 where he will celebrate Mass, travel to a migrant centre, run by the charity Caritas, and visit the Mohammed VI institute, which oversees the training and formation of Imams.

Peace and fraternity
In his video message, the Pope said he was coming to Morocco as “a pilgrim of peace and fraternity, in a world that greatly needs it.”


Pope Francis remarked that both Christians and Muslims believe in God the merciful Creator “who created men and women, and placed them in the world so that they might live as brothers and sisters, respecting each other’s diversity and helping each other in their needs.”

God entrusted to them the earth, our common home, he added, “to guard it responsibly and preserve it for future generations.”

“It will be a joy for me to share these convictions directly with you at the meeting we will have in Rabat”, he said.

Gracious invitation
The Pope expressed his thanks to His Majesty King Mohammed VI for his gracious invitation and to the Moroccan authorities for their considerate participation.

He also thanked the people of Morocco, from the bottom of his heart, for their prayers.

Christian community
Pope Francis underlined that this trip offered him “the precious opportunity to visit the Christian community in Morocco and to encourage its journey.”

The Pope also mentioned that he would be meeting with migrants, who, he said, “together embody an appeal to build a world of greater justice and solidarity.”  (vaticannews)