POPE FRANCIS “GRATEFUL” FOR COURAGE OF D-DAY SOLDIERS – JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: PRIESTS’ SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR

I am back in Rome, well, safe and happy, after an astonishing week in my native Chicago and at my alma mater, St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, Indiana. Memories are as alive now as the events were when they occurred – not only the Alumna Achievement Award ceremony at SMC with friends and family but celebratory meals and visits with great friends in Chicago.

My June calendar has filled up rapidly in the past day or two so now a good night’s sleep is on my agenda in order to be ready to go for those events, receptions, parish meetings.

Heartfelt apologies, by the way, to those of you who look forward to getting “Joan’s Rome” in your daily email. I was silent on these pages during my travels but, as usual, I did post a few things on my Facebook page. It’s good to be back with you. Now I’m about to work on this week’s edition of “Vatican Insider.”

POPE FRANCIS “GRATEFUL” FOR COURAGE OF D-DAY SOLDIERS

As world leaders and veterans commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Europe, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for the courage of soldiers who committed themselves to fighting for freedom and peace.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

Pope Francis sent his gratitude to the soldiers who fought in World War II, in a message read out at Mass by Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of Bayeux-Lisieux, France. (Vatican photo)

The Holy Father said the Allied landings on June 6, 1944 in Normandy and elsewhere in Europe were “decisive in the fight against Nazi barbarism.”

He said the campaign “opened the path to end World War II, which has so deeply wounded Europe and the world.”

Gratitude
The Pope said he was grateful to the many soldiers who “had the courage to commit themselves and give their lives for freedom and peace.”

He also prayed for the souls of all the fallen soldiers and the millions who died in the war.

Pope Francis expressed his hope that the 75th commemoration of D-Day would allow all generations around the world to recognize that “peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect for the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for the richness of the moral tradition inherited from past generations.”

JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: PRIESTS’ SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR

Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which is that priests may commit themselves to “solidarity with those who are most poor.” In that message, the Pope calls us to pray that priests, “through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

Following is the full text of that message:

“I would like to ask you to look at the priests who work in our communities.
They are not perfect, but many give it their all until the very end, offering themselves with humility and joy. They are priests who are close to the people, ready to work hard for everyone. Let us be thankful for their example and testimony. Let us pray that priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity. (vaticannews)

For video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-francis-prayer-intention-june-2019.html#play

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL – APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES – CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

In his only appointment for the day, Pope Francis this morning attended the 4th Lenten sermon given by preacher of the papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION

Tune in to Vatican Insider on this first weekend of April when my guest in the interview segment is Joe Boland, Vice President of Mission at Chicago-based Catholic Extension. In a nutshell, Catholic Extension’s mission is to provide funding to help the Catholic Church grow in poor mission dioceses by investing in people, infrastructures and ministries. It is a wonderful, vibrant organization and I learned a lot – as you will! – when I spoke with Joe.

As I learned on its website, in 1907, Catholic Extension received its first papal approval by an Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius X. In 1910, the Pope raised Catholic Extension to the dignity of a canonical institution directly under his own guidance and protection. As a Papal Society, Catholic Extension’s president is appointed by the Pope himself. The current president is a native Chicagoan, Fr. Jack Wall. He was named in 2007 by Pope Benedict, (www.catholicextension.org)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State, sent the following telegram of condolences in Pope Francis’ name to Bishop Paul Simick of the Vicariate of Nepal: “Upon learning the sad news of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of homes caused by the recent storm in southern Nepal, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to express his solidarity with all affected by this disaster and assures those grieving for deceased and injured family members of his prayers at this difficult time. His Holiness prays especially for the victims and encourages the emergency personnel as they continue to aid those in need. Upon all the people of Nepal Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of consolation, healing and strength.”

APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ video message with his prayer intention for April which is for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in conflict zones.

Following is the English translation of his April video message: “The presence of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in war-torn areas is a sign of hope. They are wise, valiant, and good-hearted people who, following their vocation, work under extremely dangerous conditions. Let us pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.”

April’s video (click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-04/pope-francis-prayer-intention-april-2019.html#play) is prepared by the Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer.

CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Responding to questions from journalists, interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, stated on Friday: “Today in the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin received a group of approximately 50 persons working in various ways against the criminalization of homosexuality. During the meeting, research on the criminalization of homosexual relationships in the Caribbean was presented to the Vatican Secretary of State.

“Cardinal Parolin extended a brief greeting to those present, repeating the Catholic Church’s position in defense of the dignity of every human person and against every form of violence. After having listened to the presentations of some of the participants at the meeting, Cardinal Parolin then assured that he would inform the Holy Father of the contents of the research.”

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL – APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES – CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

In his only appointment for the day, Pope Francis this morning attended the 4th Lenten sermon given by preacher of the papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION

Tune in to Vatican Insider on this first weekend of April when my guest in the interview segment is Joe Boland, Vice President of Mission at Chicago-based Catholic Extension. In a nutshell, Catholic Extension’s mission is to provide funding to help the Catholic Church grow in poor mission dioceses by investing in people, infrastructures and ministries. It is a wonderful, vibrant organization and I learned a lot – as you will! – when I spoke with Joe.

As I learned on its website, in 1907, Catholic Extension received its first papal approval by an Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius X. In 1910, the Pope raised Catholic Extension to the dignity of a canonical institution directly under his own guidance and protection. As a Papal Society, Catholic Extension’s president is appointed by the Pope himself. The current president is a native Chicagoan, Fr. Jack Wall. He was named in 2007 by Pope Benedict, (www.catholicextension.org)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State, sent the following telegram of condolences in Pope Francis’ name to Bishop Paul Simick of the Vicariate of Nepal: “Upon learning the sad news of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of homes caused by the recent storm in southern Nepal, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to express his solidarity with all affected by this disaster and assures those grieving for deceased and injured family members of his prayers at this difficult time. His Holiness prays especially for the victims and encourages the emergency personnel as they continue to aid those in need. Upon all the people of Nepal Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of consolation, healing and strength.”

APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ video message with his prayer intention for April which is for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in conflict zones.

The Holy Father calls on the faithful to pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas as they risk their lives to save the lives of others.

Following is the English translation of his April video message: “The presence of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in war-torn areas is a sign of hope. They are wise, valiant, and good-hearted people who, following their vocation, work under extremely dangerous conditions. Let us pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.”

April’s video (click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-04/pope-francis-prayer-intention-april-2019.html#play) is prepared by the Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer.

CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Responding to questions from journalists, interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, stated on Friday: “Today in the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin received a group of approximately 50 persons working in various ways against the criminalization of homosexuality. During the meeting, research on the criminalization of homosexual relationships in the Caribbean was presented to the Vatican Secretary of State.

“Cardinal Parolin extended a brief greeting to those present, repeating the Catholic Church’s position in defense of the dignity of every human person and against every form of violence. After having listened to the presentations of some of the participants at the meeting, Cardinal Parolin then assured that he would inform the Holy Father of the contents of the research.”

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION…. – POPE’S DECEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF THE TRANSMISSION OF FAITH – POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IN FEBRUARY

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION….

As you know, Pope Francis started a new catechesis at his weekly general audiences, focussing on the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, after discussing the Ten Commandments.

It will be interesting to follow these catecheses as I’m sure the Holy Father will parse each phrase of the prayer, also known as the Prayer of Seven Petitions, studying and explaining one phrase at a time. He did this with several of the Ten Commandments and on other, similar occasions.

Based on a number of rumors I’ve heard and articles I’ve seen, the most interesting phrase the Pope would explain may well be “lead us not into temptation.”

Vaticanista Sandro Magister, in a post today on his “Settimo Cielo” column, wrote that, in the November Italian Bishops’ plenary session, Francis “ordered them to replace the petition ‘and lead us not into temptation’ in the “Our Father” at Mass, because in his judgment it is “not a good” translation of the text of the Gospel.

He added: “The assembly was held behind closed doors, and at the end of the work only the result of the discussion was released, with the passing of the new formula: “and do not abandon us to temptation.”

It seems, writes Magister, “When the question was put to discussion in the hall, on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 14, a few bishops spoke out in defense of the traditional version, asking that it be kept alive and if anything explained better to the faithful, instead of being changed.

“In effect, the words ‘e non ci indurre in tentazione’ – on a par with the English version in use in the United States: “and lead us not into temptation” – are an exact reproduction of the Latin translation still in effect in liturgical chant: “et ne nos inducas in tentationem,” which in turn is strictly faithful to the original Greek: “kai me eisenénkes hemás eis peirasmón.”

What most interested me were Magister’s words “Francis ordered them to replace the petition ‘and lead us not into temptation’ in the “Our Father” at Mass….”

Does this mean that as we pray the Our Father outside of Mass, for example in the rosary, we can keep the traditional words, “lead us not into temptation” but that in Mass the prayer will be changed?

Stay tuned to the weekly general audiences!

POPE’S DECEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF THE TRANSMISSION OF FAITH

Pope Francis on Thursday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for December: “In the service of the transmission of faith”.
In his prayer intention for the month of December 2018, Pope Francis calls us to pray that people who are involved in the service and transmission of faith may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people’s hearts, and above all, by listening much.

The full text of his intention follows:

If you want to share your faith through the word, you have to listen much and carefully.
Let us imitate the style of Jesus, who adapted himself to the people He had in front of Him so as to bring God’s love to them.
Let us pray that people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people’s hearts, and above all, by listening much.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IN FEBRUARY

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates in February to participate in an interfaith meeting.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates from 3 to 5 February 2019 to attend an interfaith meeting on “Human Fraternity”.

Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, said on Thursday that the visit highlights Pope Francis’ commitment to building a culture of encounter.

The theme of the visit, Burke explained, is “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”.

“That’s the Pope’s intention in going to the United Arab Emirates. How all people of goodwill can work for peace will be a major topic on this trip” he said.

Burke added that like the Pope’s 2017 apostolic journey to Egypt, this visit “shows the fundamental importance the Holy Father gives to inter-religious dialogue”.

Pope Francis visiting the Arab world, he concluded, “is a perfect example of the culture of encounter”.

A press release published by the Vatican Press Office specified that the Pope’s visit comes in response to the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and to the invitation of the Catholic Church in the United Arab Emirates.

THEME: “MAKE ME A CHANNEL OF YOUR PEACE”
Pope Francis has taken his name from St. Francis of Assisi, a saint who has been a shining example of putting into practice the words of Jesus Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) The peace of God heals all forms of hostility within the human person and accompanies the Good News proclaimed by Jesus Christ of a God who reconciles the world to himself. The theme, taken from the opening words of the Prayer of Peace of St. Francis, expresses our own prayer that the visit of Pope Francis to the United Arab Emirates may spread in a special way the peace of God within the hearts of all people of good will.

LOGO: The logo of the visit is a dove bearing an olive branch. The colours of the dove, white outlined in yellow, are taken from the colours of the Vatican Flag. The colours of the flag of the United Arab Emirates are incorporated into the body of the dove, symbolising the visit of the Pope to the country as a herald of peace

ON ELECTIONS AND PATRON SAINTS – PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE – 2019 WORLD DAY OF PEACE MESSAGE: POLITICS MUST SERVE PEACE

ON ELECTIONS AND PATRON SAINTS

Today is, of course, Election Day in the United States. I voted by absentee ballot several weeks ago and friends from San Diego who were visiting Rome took my ballot and mailed it in San Diego! It is such an honor and privilege to vote and I’d not miss this for anything. I have been praying for weeks, and more than ever today, that certain moral issues dominate voters’ thinking processes and, as a result, their choice, in particular prolife and freedom of religion.

The material I got from California for the election – all the choices I could make for candidates for various offices and all the referendum on the ballot – required quite some time to study. I always want to vote intelligently and that does require time – a lot of it – before Election Day. Hopefully voting is a cerebral, not a visceral, process!

My hope and prayer is that when individuals walk into the voting booth, they have calmly studied the people and issues and then cast a thoughtful and intelligent vote for their future and that of the nation.

There is no patron saint of elections, although the story has circulated that St. Chad – yes, there is a real St. Chad of Lichfield, England – was the patron of the disputed 2000 U.S. elections (remember the “hanging chad” on ballots!). He died March 2, 672.

Chad:

There is, however a beloved patron saint for civil servants and politicians – St. Thomas More. The movie about his life, “A Man for All Seasons,” should be shown every election cycle.

I also read a sermon by an Anglican pastor who proposed that the patron saints for electors should be Barsabbas and Matthias. When Judas, one of the Twelve Apostles, betrayed Our Lord and killed himself, the Apostles gathered to choose a new 12th Apostle: Acts 1:23, 26: They proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, and Matthias. Then they prayed, and they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was added to the eleven apostles.”

Matthias:

PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE

Pope Francis on Tuesday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for November 2018, “In the Service of Peace.”

In that intention, Pope Francis says: We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence. We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world. With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one. Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-11/pope-prayer-intention-november-2018.html#play

2019 WORLD DAY OF PEACE MESSAGE: POLITICS MUST SERVE PEACE

The theme of Pope Francis’ Message for the 52nd World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2019, was published today by the Holy See Press Office, “Politics must be at the service of peace.”

The press office statement said, “Political responsibility belongs to every citizen, and in particular to those who have been given the mandate to protect and govern.”

The note also pointed out that, “this mission consists in safeguarding the law and encouraging dialogue between all actors of society, between generations, and between cultures.” The first condition for trust is respect for the given word. It noted that, “political commitment – which is one of the highest expressions of charity – implies concern for the future of life and of the planet, of the youngest and of the smallest, in their thirst for fulfilment.”

 

POPE’S JULY PRAYER INTENTION: FOR PRIESTS – KEEPING UP WITH THE VATICAN’S CRICKET TEAM

I’d like to wish all of my readers a very happy and special JULY 4TH!

I hope we all have time today to reflect on the foundations of the wonderful land in which we live, on the ideas and ideals that prompted our Founding Fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence. July 4 is the day that ‎Thomas Jefferson and 55 others – delegates to the Continental Congress – ratified this now-celebrated document.

There was a Catholic who signed the Declaration of Independence – Charles Carroll, a member of the famous Maryland family of John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in this United States.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton was one of four Marylanders to sign the Declaration of Independence. Carroll was the only Roman Catholic and the last survivor of all 56 signers dying in 1832 in his 96th year. Charles Carroll and his family played a major role in the framing of the governance of Maryland and the emerging United States. Carroll’s accomplishments and persistent efforts to promote and establish the concept of religious toleration were embodied in the founding documents and laws of our country still used today for “all men who are created equal.”  (http://charlescarrollhouse.org/the-carrolls/personal-biography-2)

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence?

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

 

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…..(image from military.com)

Continue here for full text: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

POPE’S JULY PRAYER INTENTION: FOR PRIESTS

Pope Francis on Tuesday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for July, which this month is “For priests and their pastoral ministry”.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-07/pope-francis-july-prayer-priests.html#play

In his prayer intention for the month of July 2018, Pope Francis said: “Let us pray together that priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention follows:
The tiredness of priests… Do you know how often I think about it?
Priests, with their virtues and defects, work in many different areas.
Working on so many active fronts, they cannot remain inactive after a disappointment.

At such times, it’s good for them to remember that the people love their priests, need them, and trust in them.

Let us pray together that priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity. (vaticannews)

KEEPING UP WITH THE VATICAN’S CRICKET TEAM

As you know the Vatican’s cricket team left several days ago for the UK for a tourney of goodwill and friendship and strengthening interfaith relations The team, whose official name is St. Peter’s Cricket Club, was established in 2013 and all players are seminarians in Rome.

If you want to follow their UK adventures, you can do so here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vaticancricketclub/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaticanCricket

POPE’S JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: ‘FOR INCLUSIVE SOCIAL NETWORKS’ – PAPAL TELEGRAMS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GUATEMALA AND NICARAGUA – POPE TO JOURNALISTS: SERVE THE TRUTH, REVIVE HOPE, DON’T IGNORE THE PERIPHERIES

Some days are just so jam-packed with events, appointments, research, meetings, etc. that I realize it is dinner time – maybe a bit beyond – and I’ve not prepared a column. Yesterday was such a day and I apologize for an empty page. However, I always do post important news on my Facebook page. The rest of the week is filled with similar moments, and a lot of time dedicated to my weekend radio show, “Vatican insider” but I’ll do my best to keep you apprised of what’s new, what’s important and so on.

One big problem in my life is that I have been without gas since last Wednesday when a leak was discovered and the gas company came to turn it off and they’ve not done a thing since.

My American coffee machine broke so no way to make coffee and so far I’ve eaten out most nights, although today in a supermarket I did discover two meals I can make in a microwave. Italians love to really cook things the right way, not use a microwave! I like to find a bright side in a bad story and the bright side is: thank the Lord I do not have a gas water heater. A week without hot water! And it will be about another week.

In any event, Thursday was a Vatican holiday and our doorman had the day off so no one could access the building. Nothing happened Friday. Saturday was the Italian equivalent of our July 4 so naturally the gas company employees had the day off. Sunday is, of course, always a day off.

Monday, APSA (a Vatican administration that runs, among other things, the real estate office, the office to which I pay my rent) called and said someone from the gas company would be here between 11 and 1. That meant switching a few appointments around, including TV segments I had to tape

No one ever came.

The doorman rang up to say workers would be coming at 2:30 and start at my apartment. Carlo had called just after 1pm so that gave me time to run over to Pius XII Square to tape the TV segments and be back home for the gas people at 2:30.

About 3:15, Carlo called the company to ask where the workers were, they said they would not be coming after all and he asked why he had to call – why was he not informed no workers would be around! (The answer is; it’s Italy)

At least I could now go to the Gregorian University for my afternoon appointment with Fr. Alan Fogarty, SJ, president of the Gregorian University Foundation. We had a delightful visit – we’ve met on a few previous occasions – and I will be sharing that visit with you on Vatican Insider. After the interview we visited some Gregorian buildings as well as the Pontifical Biblical Institute., the Biblicum, shared a cappuccino and talked some more.

I did detour a bit on the way to get a bus home, stopping to pray at the nearby beautiful and very historical church of the XII Santissimi Apostoli (the Apostles James the Lesser and Philip are buried here!). I saw a priest hearing confessions and knew the Lord had given me a gift after the trials of earlier in the day. I didn’t even have to wait after the previous penitent had left and I enjoyed more time in this church.

By the time I got home and checked a few emails, I was beyond hungry and went to La Vittoria for dinner. A wonderful priest friend from the US had just arrived in Rome and was eating alone so we combined forces – and were later joined by Amb. Gingrich.

As Shakespeare said, “All’s well that ends well!”

The day ended well but the gas saga continues. Nothing was done today. I feel like sending my restaurant bills to Italgas!

POPE’S JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: ‘FOR INCLUSIVE SOCIAL NETWORKS’

Pope Francis on Tuesday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which this month is “For inclusive and respectful social networks”.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-06/pope-francis-june-prayer-social-networks.html#play
In his prayer intention for the month of June 2018, Pope Francis said: “Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of the message follows:
The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility.
Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people.
It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.
May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity.
Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

PAPAL TELEGRAMS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GUATEMALA AND NICARAGUA

Pope Francis has been busy in past days sending telegrams of condolences, one for a natural disaster and the other for the death of a cardinal.

In a telegram to Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, the apostolic nuncio in Guatemala, Francis said he is praying for the dead and for all those affected by a powerful volcanic eruption in Guatemala in which at least 69 people have died. He said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the news of the violent eruption of the Volcano of Fire, which has claimed numerous victims, caused enormous material damage and affected a significant number of people who live in the area”.

The Pope also sent condolences for the death of Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, SDB, archbishop-emeritus of Managua in Nicaragua. Cardinal Bravo died on Sunday at the age of 92. The Pope expressed his sorrow to the “beloved Archdiocese” of Managua upon receiving news of the Cardinal’s death, adding that the late-Cardinal Obando Bravo gave his life to the service of God and the Church.

POPE TO JOURNALISTS: SERVE THE TRUTH, REVIVE HOPE, DON’T IGNORE THE PERIPHERIES

Pope Francis on Monday met in the Vatican a delegation from the “Biagio Agnes” International Journalism Prize of Italy during which he urged journalists to serve the truth, revive hope and not to ignore the peripheries.

By Robin Gomes

Meeting the 70-member delegation of the Biagio Agnes International Journalism Prize, ahead of this year’s awards in Sorrento June 22-24, the Pope said that theirs is a demanding job in an age marked by “digital convergence” and “media transformation.” During his journeys and other meeting, the Pope said he notes classic televisions and traditional radios alongside young people making news and interviews with mobile phones, and urged the foundation to continue being “educators of the new generations.”

In this task, Pope Francis particularly urged them to be mindful of the peripheries, the truth and hope.

Even though the nerve centres of news production are found in large centres, said the Pope, one must never forget the stories of people who live far away in the peripheries. Sometimes they are stories of suffering and degradation; other times they are stories of great solidarity that can help everyone to look at reality in a renewed way.

The Pope said a journalist needs to be very demanding with himself to avoid falling into the trap of a mentality of opposing merely for the sake of interests and ideologies. In today’s fast world, it is very urgent, he said, to pursue “in-depth research, confront and to be silent, when needed, rather than hurt a person or a group of people or delegitimize an event.” It is a difficult job he said, but it must help us become “brave and, I would say, also prophetic.”

The Holy Father said, a journalist should not feel satisfied just recounting an event in accordance with his or her free and conscious responsibility. It is a question of opening up areas of hope while denouncing situations of degradation and despair. A journalist, he said, is “called to keep open a space of exit, of meaning, of hope.”

Pope Francis expressed appreciation for a project of the Biagio Agnes Foundation which aims to investigate medical-scientific topics through accurate information to counteract the proliferation of “do-it-yourself” information and vague news on the web that attract the attention of the public much more than science.”