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

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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.”

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTION FOR FEBRUARY: SAY “NO” TO CORRUPTION – SUPER PRELATES MAKE A WINNING BET

IN BRIEF: According to the Vatican paper, L’Osservatore Romano, for the first time ever, the CIO – International Olymic Committee – has formally invited a delegation of the Holy See to participate in the inauguration of the Winter Games in Pyeonchang, Korea on February 9. Led by under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Msgr. Melchior Sanchez de Toca, the delegation will also be able to attend an Olympic session as an observer from February 5 to 7. This meeting is a kind of general assembly of CIO members as they discuss great themes of the world’s sport agenda.

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTION FOR FEBRUARY: SAY “NO” TO CORRUPTION

Pope Francis has released a video message accompanying his monthly prayer intention for February 2018.

http://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-02/pope-francis-prayer-intention-february-corruption.html#play

This month’s intention – “Say ‘No’ to Corruption” – is that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.

The text of the video message reads: “What is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and goods held in common? Corruption, a process of death that feeds the culture of death. Because the thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.

“Corruption is not countered with silence. We must speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness. Let us pray that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.”

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.

SUPER PRELATES MAKE A WINNING BET

Minneapolis, Minn., Jan 31, 2018 / 05:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will go head-to-head in Super Bowl LII, facing off to claim the Lombardi Trophy at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The archbishops of Boston and Philadelphia have already placed wagers on the game.

The archbishops jointly announced a bet Wednesday: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said he would donate $100 to Catholic Charities Boston if the Patriots prevail, while Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston said he would donate $100 to St. John’s Hospice in Philadelphia if the Eagles win.

Catholic Charities Boston offers social services to thousands of individuals and families in the Massachusetts area. St. John’s Hospice is an emergency service provider to the homeless in Philadelphia and also helps the homeless to find stable residences.

To raise the stakes, Archbishop Chaput and Cardinal O’Malley, who are both Capuchin Franciscans and friends from their seminary days, also said they would add Philadelphia cheesesteaks and Boston lobsters to the wager.

“Each year the Super Bowl is viewed by millions of people throughout the world,” read a Jan. 31 statement.

“In the spirit of friendly competition, we have issued our wager because we have confidence in our teams and, more importantly, based on our admiration for the commitment of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots to assist their local communities and respond to the needs of the less fortunate,” the statement continued.

Archbishop Chaput and Cardinal O’Malley also made predictions for the Super Bowl outcome. The Philadelphia shepherd is counting on an Eagle’s victory, 24-20, while the Boston shepherd believes the Patriots will claim the trophy, 34-21.

No matter the outcome, they both pray for a safe sporting event for everyone involved.

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH A MIRACOLATA – POPE REFLECTS ON PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE – PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR NOVEMBER: WITNESSING THE GOSPEL IN ASIA

Pope Francis tweeted today: When we pray, we need to have the courage of faith. Have trust that the Lord hears us!

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH A MIRACOLATA

My special guest this week on Vatican Insider is Audrey Toguchi of Honolulu. It was her miraculous cure from cancer that led to the canonization in 2009 of Blessed Damien of Molokai, and Audrey tells us her story. The Italian word for the person undergoing what has been recognized as a miraculous cure is “miracolata.”

Last week you met Kate Mahony whose miraculous cure from a total organ shutdown through the intercession of Mother Marianne Cope of Molokai led to her beatification in 2005. Years before meeting Kate, however, I met another woman, Audrey and heard her story.

Two women, two miracolata….

I saw both of them at the recent Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference in Honolulu, and that is where I interviewed Kate. I saw Audrey a number of times in that period and listened to her story – not the first time I had heard it. That was in 2008, my first trip to Hawaii when I met Audrey and her husband Yuki.

We met again when they came to Rome with a Hawaii delegation for Damien’s canonization in 2009. I interviewed Audrey at that time and that is the conversation you will hear today.

Audrey and I had quality time together in Honolulu on my recent visit but our conference schedule was so busy that I did not have time to interview her. However her story, be it 2009 or today, is the same. So stay tuned as Audrey and I talk in Rome in 2009 right after Fr. Damien’s canonization. Hear how she became aware of Fr. Damien at the age of 8 when the ship bearing his remains came into Honolulu harbor on a trip that would return Damien to his native Belgium…..that and much more.

This was taken at a farewell dinner given for me by my friends Trip and Jan McKinney just hours before my departure for Rome. Audrey and her husband could not stay for dinner. Audrey is seated between Jan and me, and Yuki is standing next to Trip

In the second photo you see Kate Mahoney, her mother Mary and a priest from the diocese of Syracuse, early home to St. Marianne and home of her Franciscan sisters. Fr. Andrew Baranski. The sun had set, as you can tell! This lanai overlooks Pearl Harbor, gorgeous at night!

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. 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.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

POPE REFLECTS ON PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for all those cardinals and bishops who have died over the past year. During his homily the Pope reflected on the reality of death, but he also reminded us of the promise of eternal life which is grounded in our union with the risen Christ. Linda Bordoni reports for Vatican Radio:

“Today’s celebration,” Pope Francis said, “once more sets before us the reality of death.  It renews our sorrow for the loss of those who were dear and good to us.” But more importantly, reflecting on the liturgical reading of the day, he said it increases our hope for them and for ourselves, as it expresses speaks of the  resurrection of the just.

The resurrection of the just

“They are the multitude,” Franicis continued, “that, thanks to the goodness and mercy of God, can experience the life that does not pass away, the complete victory over death brought by the resurrection”. And recalling Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross the Pope said that “by His love, He shattered the yoke of death and opened to us the doors of life”.

Our faith in the resurrection opens the doors to eternal life

The faith we profess in the resurrection, Pope Francis explained, makes us men and woman of hope, not despair, men and women of life, not death, for we are comforted by the promise of eternal life, grounded in our union with the risen Christ. He urged the faithful to be trusting in the face of death as Jesus has shown us that death is not the last word. Our souls, he said, thirst for the living God whose beauty, happiness, and wisdom has been impressed on the souls of our brother cardinals and bishops whom we remember today.

Hope does not disappoint

Pope Francis concluded giving thanks for their generous service to the gospel and the Church and reminding those present that Hope never disappoints.

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR NOVEMBER: WITNESSING THE GOSPEL IN ASIA

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has released a video message accompanying his monthly prayer intention for November 2017.

This month’s intention is for Evangelization: To Witness to the Gospel in Asia. That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions

The text of the video message reads:

The most striking feature of Asia is the variety of its peoples who ar  heirs of ancient cultures, religions and traditions.On this continent where the Church is a minority, the challenges are intense. We must promote dialogue among religions and cultures.
Let us pray that Christians in Asia may promote dialogue, that peace and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions
.

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 PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST DEDICATED TO ARTISTS

Apologies for the fact that the link to OWL in my story yesterday about the Vatican Apostolic Library did not work. I had tested it and for some reason it worked for me but when I went back to my piece today, I could not access it either.

OWL means Online Window into the Library and you can access it here: https://www.vatlib.it/newsletter/201708EN.pdf

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST DEDICATED TO ARTISTS

A few days late but here is the papal prayer intention for the month of August:

Pope Francis has released a video message with his monthly prayer intention for August:: “That artists of our time, though their creativity, may help us discover the beauty of creation.”

The text of the video message: The arts give expression to the beauty of the faith and proclaim the Gospel message of the grandeur of God’s creation. When we admire a work of art or a marvel of nature, we discover how everything speaks to us of Him and of His love. That artists of our time, though their creativity, may help us discover the beauty of creation.

The worldwide Apostleshièp of Prayer develops these intentions for Pope Francis. For decades it was traditional for Popes to have two monthly prayer intentions – a general intention and a missionary one. Pope Francis has changed that, creating only one intention for each month and releasing it with a video.

PAPAL PRAYER FOR FAITHFUL WHO HAVE STRAYED FROM THE FAITH – CARDINAL MEISNER, ONE OF THE 4 “DUBIA” CARDINALS, HAS DIED

PAPAL PRAYER FOR FAITHFUL WHO HAVE STRAYED FROM THE FAITH

The Holy Father’s July Prayer Intention has been released in writing and on video by the Apostleship of Prayer. The July 2017 intention is: “That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the beauty of the Christian life.”

The text of the video message: “Let us never forget that our joy is Jesus Christ — his faithful and inexhaustible love.When a Christian becomes sad, it means that he has distanced himself from Jesus.But then we must not leave him alone! We should offer him Christian hope — with our words, yes, but more with our testimony, with our freedom, with our joy.Let us pray that our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the beauty of the Christian life.”

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.

CARDINAL MEISNER, ONE OF THE 4 “DUBIA” CARDINALS, HAS DIED

(CNA/EWTN) – BAD FUSSING, Germany – Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany and one of four cardinals who sent the “dubia” to Pope Francis last year, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 83.

According to a press release from the archdiocese pf Cologne, the cardinal died July 5 while on vacation in Bad Füssing, Germany. Recently, the prelate had lived in Cologne.

Archbishop of Cologne from 1989-2014, he retired with the permission of Pope Francis in February 2014, at the age of 80, the same year his age made him ineligible to vote in a conclave.

Cardinal Meisner, alongside Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Raymond Leo Burke, submitted five “dubia,” or doubts, about the interpretation of Amoris laetitia to Pope Francis on Sept. 19, 2016.

The letter, made public in November, asked for clarification on Chapter 8 of the document, which touches on the reception of communion for divorced and remarried couples.

In May, the four – dubbed the “dubia cardinals” – sent a letter to the Pope requesting a private audience to discuss the content of the “dubia,” since they have yet received no response.

Cardinal Meisner, considered a leading conservative Catholic figure in Germany, stood in contrast to other German prelates who have propagated one of the more liberal interpretations of Chapter 8 of the post-synodal document.

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Cardinal Rainer Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne, July 5, expressing his sorrow at the death of Cardinal Meisner, as well as his closeness to Cardinal Woelki and the faithful of the archdiocese.

“With profound emotion I heard the news that suddenly and unexpectedly Cardinal Joachim Meisner has been called from this earth to the God of mercy,” he said.

“With profound faith and sincere love for the Church, Cardinal Meisner dedicated himself to the announcement of the good news,” it continued. “May Christ our Lord reward him for his faithful and courageous commitment on behalf of the people of the east and west, and make him a participant in the communion of saints in heaven.”

The telegram concluded with the Pope’s bestowal of the apostolic blessing on all those “who remember the deceased pastor with prayer and sacrifice.”

Born in Breslau, Germany on December 25, 1933, Cardinal Meisner was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Erfurt-Meiningen in 1962. Later he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, receiving his doctorate in theology in 1969.

He was appointed auxiliary bishop to the Apostolic Administrator of Erfurt Meiningen in 1975, and elected a delegate to the fourth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in 1977, where he renewed a friendship with then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.

Cardinal Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II one year later, and appointed Meisner Bishop of Berlin in 1980, elevating him to the position of cardinal in 1983.

In 1988 Cardinal Meisner was made Archbishop of Cologne, serving in this position until his retirement at age 80 on Feb. 28, 2014.

He participated in the 2005 and 2013 papal conclaves which elected Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He had close relationships with both Pope St. John Paul II as well as Joseph Ratzinger, now-Benedict XVI, whom he would visit at the Vatican.

(Catholic News Agency)

 

VATICAN INSIDER GOES TO THE UNITED NATIONS – PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MAY: CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA – POPE TO ROMANIAN SEMINARY: PRESERVE MEMORY, CULTIVATE HOPE – POPE TO WELCOME PRESIDENT TRUMP ON MAY 24

As is traditional on May 6, the newest Swiss Guards will be sworn in tomorrow in the Vatican in what is always a colorful and memorable ceremony. Say a pray for these young men from Switzerland as they take the oath to defend the person of the Supreme Pontiff:

“I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honourably serve the Supreme Pontiff Francis and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also my life to defend them. I assume this same commitment with regard to the Sacred College of Cardinals whenever the See is vacant.

Furthermore I promise to the Commanding Captain and my other superiors, respect, fidelity and obedience. This I swear! May God and our Holy Patrons assist me!”

VATICAN INSIDER GOES TO THE UNITED NATIONS

Join me on “Vatican Insider” this weekend where my special guest is Archbishop Bernadito Auza, apostolic nuncio and Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations. We spoke when I was in New York recently and attended an event at his residence for the Bethlehem University Foundation.

Listen to Abp. Auza as he explains Holy See diplomacy and his work at the U.N.. Our conversation, by the way, follows my double Q&A this weekend in which I explain what an apostolic nuncio is and also talk about the work of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State.

The archbishop’s limestone residence in the Upper East side of New York was a delightful setting for the reception for the BU Foundation. The archbishop, in opening remarks to the assembled guests, explained that his five-story residence was once home to New York’s youngest mayor, Hugh J. Grant, but noted with a smile that he was no relation to the actor by the same name! Mayor Grant and his wife hired the same firm of architects that had worked on St. Patrick’s Cathedral and they asked that a small private chapel be installed.

We also saw the bedroom in which Pope Francis slept during his NYC visit. Interestingly enough, we learned that he asked that the flat screen TV be removed from the room.

The crucifix facing the bed –

The residence foyer –

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. 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.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MAY: CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for May is: That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

The Apostleship of Prayer produced the Pope’s Video on this intention. http://www.apostleshipofprayer.org/

Here is the English text of that video:

When we look at Africa, we see much more than its great natural richness. We see its joie de vivre, and above all, we see grounds for hope in Africa’s rich intellectual, cultural and religious heritage. But we cannot fail to see the fratricidal wars decimating peoples and destroying these natural and cultural resources. Let us join with our brothers and sisters of this great continent, and pray together that Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

POPE TO ROMANIAN SEMINARY: PRESERVE MEMORY, CULTIVATE HOPE

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday greeted members of the Pontifical Romanian College or Collegio Pio Romeno on the occasion of its 80th anniversary.

This Roman Pontifical College has been training seminarians from all over the world for eight decades in the Eternal City and on Friday the Pope on this auspicious occasion had two wishes for those present.

The first was to preserve memory and the second, to cultivate hope.

Speaking about the former, the Holy Father said that by tuning into ones ecclesial memory which he added, lives through the events that each era presents us with, “you will be helped to overcome dangerous temptations that may arise, such as settling for mediocrity, settling for a normal life; where one jealously guards their own time and their own well-being.

The Pope described their College as a place where seminarians train as if they were “in a gym” in order to give their lives for the good of others.

On the theme of cultivating hope, Pope Francis said that there was, “so much need to nourish Christian hope, that hope that gives a new outlook, capable of discovering and seeing good, even when it is obscured by evil”.

Concluding his address the Pope had a special greeting for those present from the Pontifical College of St. Ephrem, which provides lodgings for those student priests of the Arabic language from all of the Oriental Catholic Churches and who are welcomed by the Pontifical Romanian College (Pio Romeno).

The Pope said that, “by meeting you I think of the situation in which there are so many faithful in your lands, many families who are forced to leave their homes in the face of waves of violence and suffering. I want to embrace these brothers and sisters in a special way, together with their Patriarchs and Bishops.”

POPE TO WELCOME PRESIDENT TRUMP ON MAY 24

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See press office announced on Thursday that Pope Francis will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Vatican on the morning of May 24th. The U.S. leader will also meet with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See foreign minister.

A senior White House official said Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as U.S. president will also include visits to Belgium, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as Italy and the Vatican.

On May 25th Trump will attend a NATO meeting in Brussels and the following day he will take part in the G7 summit meeting in Sicily.