POPE TO TRUMP: MAY YOUR DECISIONS BE GUIDED BY SPIRITUAL, ETHICAL VALUES THAT SHAPED AMERICAN HISTORY

POPE TO TRUMP: MAY YOUR DECISIONS BE GUIDED BY SPIRITUAL, ETHICAL VALUES THAT SHAPED AMERICAN HISTORY

Following is the message that Pope Francis sent yesterday to Donald Trump on the occasion of inauguration as president of the United States:

The Honorable Donald Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington

“Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.

“At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.

“Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door.

“With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.

FRANCISCUS PP.”

 

OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE… – POPE FRANCIS MEETS “SILENCE” DIRECTOR SCORSESE – HOLY FATHER CONCLUDES CATECHESES ON WORKS OF MERCY – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR CRASH KILLING 71, INCLUDING BRAZILIAN SOCCER PLAYERS

OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE…

As I walked through St. Peter’s Square this morning to go to some Vatican offices, I took a few photos with my phone of the Nativity scene that is under construction near in the square near the obelisk.

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The tree has been up about a week but the building of the Nativity scene started only Monday. The tree will be lit and the nativity scene unveiled on Friday, December 9.

It was St. John Paul who started this tradition in the Christmas season of 1982 when he noticed that, with all the great Nativity scenes or presepe in the papal palace and apartments, in Roman Curia offices and in St. Peter’s Basilica, there was no such scene in the square. He asked that henceforth both a tree and presepe be placed in the square.

Trees in the past have come from countries like Austria, Switzerland and Germany and from various regions in Italy. This year features as a 25-meter (82 feet) tall red spruce from Trento, northern Italy. In its place, local schoolchildren have planted some 40 new spruce and larch seedlings to replace trees suffering from a parasite that had killed many of them. After the Christmas season, the wood from the Vatican tree will be used for charity.

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The ornaments for this year’s spruce are ceramic and were made by children in hospitals across Italy who are receiving treatment for cancer and other illnesses. The beautiful tree will be lit by 18,000 LED Christmas lights that were chosen to respect the environment. The LED technology allows for very low energy consumption.

Boxes of ornaments –

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The Nativity scene this year will pay tribute to the people who are forced to flee their countries and undertake dangerous journeys across the sea. In 2016 alone, says the International Organization of Migration, over 3000 people died in the Mediterranean, although many believe that number is higher as many vessels and sinkings go unrecorded.

As I studied the Christmas scene this morning, it seemed to be that the area enclosed by canvas where workers from Malta are building the presepe, was much larger than in the past, wider for sure. An earlier Vatican communique noted that the Nativity scene will measure 19 meters in width – just over 62 feet – and will feature 17 statues dressed in traditional Maltese costumes as well as a replica of a traditional “Luzzu” Maltese boat.

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That communique explained that the boat not only represents tradition – fish and life – but also, unfortunately the realities of migrants who in these same waters cross the sea on makeshift boats to Italy.

And these – if you remember my post on Monday – are the 8 men from the Maltese island of Gozo who are building the Nativity scene.:

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Both the Nativity and the Christmas tree will be lit on December 9, and will remain illuminated until Sunday, January 8.

POPE FRANCIS MEETS “SILENCE” DIRECTOR SCORSESE

(Vatican Radio) Wednesday morning, before holding the general audience, Pope Francis met the Italo-American movie director Martin Scorsese whose latest film “Silence” recounts the persecution of a group of Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan. Scorsese was accompanied at the audience in the Vatican by his wife, his two daughters, the producer of the “Silence” film and the prefect of the Secretariat for Communications Monsignor Dario Viganò. A Vatican statement said the meeting was very cordial and lasted 15 minutes.

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Pope Francis told those present that he had read the novel on which the film “Silence” was based, written by the late Japanese author Shusaku Endo.

Scorsese gave the Pope two paintings on the theme of “hidden Christians,” one of them a much-venerated image of the Madonna painted by a 17th century Japanese artist. Pope Francis gave his guests rosaries.

The audience in the Vatican came after a special screening of “Silence” in Rome on Tuesday night for more than 300 Jesuit priests. The movie is due to premiere in the United States this December.

HOLY FATHER CONCLUDES CATECHESES ON WORKS OF MERCY

In his weekly general audience held in the Paul VI Hall this morning, Pope Francis concluded his cycle of catecheses dedicated to the works of mercy, having looked at all 14 spiritual and corporal works of mercy. This also ends his series of weekly catecheses on mercy that began at last year’s opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The Holy Father told those present today that although the cycle has reached conclusion, we must continue to practice mercy in our lives. Many of his remarks during the general audience were off the cuff.

Speaking of the corporal work of mercy which invites us to bury the dead,  Pope Francis said it could appear a strange request. In fact, he said, it is sadly meaningful in the present day when we think of the many people who risk their lives in order to give decent burial to the victims of war who live in fear under constant fire and bombardment.  And for us Christians, he said, burial is an act of great faith because when we lower the bodies of our loved ones into the tomb, we do so in the hope of their resurrection.

He also underscored the importance of praying for the living and the dead which he said is part of the work of mercy of burying the dead, noting this is especially meaningful in this month of November when we commemorate all the faithful departed.

Even more, said Francis, praying for the living and the dead is an eloquent expression of the communion of saints and reminds us of how we are all united in God’s great family.

“This is why we pray for each other” he said.

In one of his off-the-cuff moments, Francis also recalled the story of a young business owner present at yesterday’s daily Mass in the Santa Marta residence. This man, he noted, had to close his company because they couldn’t sustain it anymore. This man, the Pope said, “cried, saying: ‘I don’t feel that I can leave more than 50 families without work. I could declare the company’s bankruptcy: I go home with my money, but my heart will cry my entire life for these 50 families’.”

“This is a good Christian who prays with the works: he came to Mass to pray so that the Lord would give him a way out, not only for him, but for the 50 families,” Francis said, pointing to him as a clear example of what it means to pray for one’s neighbor.

As he concluded, the Pope encouraged the faithful “to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, who knows our deepest desires and hopes, and embrace in our prayer all those in any kind of need:” He also admonished to not forget to thank God for the good things in our lives.”

The catechesis “ends here,” he said. “We made this path of the 14 works of mercy, but mercy must continue and we must practice it in these 14 ways.”

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR CRASH KILLING 71, INCLUDING BRAZILIAN SOCCER PLAYERS  

We all know that Pope Francis is a great soccer fan so we could easily imagine his grief when he learned that members of a Brazilian soccer team perished in a plane crash in Colombia minutes before the plane was due to land.

Vatican Radio reported that Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolences to the cardinal archbishop of Brasilia in Brazil following a plane crash that killed 71 people including members of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense. They were on their way to a South American cup final in Colombia when the accident happened. In the message signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis said he was dismayed by the tragic news of the plane crash in Colombia that caused numerous victims, and he sent his condolences to all those who are mouning and commended the deceased to God the Father of Mercy.

POPE SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR DEATH OF SHIMON PERES

POPE SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR DEATH OF SHIMON PERES

Pope Francis, upon learning of the death overnight of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, sent the following telegram to current Israeli President Reuven Rivlin:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Excellency Shimon Peres, and I wish to convey to you and to all the people of Israel my heartfelt condolences. I fondly recall my time with Mr. Peres at the Vatican and renew my great appreciation for the late President’s tireless efforts in favour of peace. As the State of Israel mourns Mr. Peres, I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples. In this way, his legacy will truly be honoured and the common good for which he so diligently laboured will find new expressions, as humanity strives to advance on the path towards enduring peace. With the assurance of my prayers for all who grieve, especially for the Peres family, I invoke the divine blessings of consolation and strength upon the nation. FRANCISCUS PP.”

Pope Francis met President Shimon Peres in 2014 during his three-day trip in late May to Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.A month later, he welcomed Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to the Vatican and together they planted an olive tree in the gardens. The pontiff met Peres again in September 2014 in the Vatican. Peres’ term as presidemnt had ended in July of that year-

The closest I ever was to former Israeli President Shimon Peres was on December 29, 2008 when I attended the reception he offered at his residence for the heads of the Christian Churches in Israel. This is a yearly event for the exchange of New Year’s greetings between the president and the religious leaders.

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At the time, I was in Bethlehem at the Jacir Palace Hotel for a 10-day visit over the Christmas period. On the 29th, I had gone to Jerusalem with a pastor friend of mine in Beit Sahour, Fr. Faysal, who had business at the Latin Patriarchate. There was the usual stop at the Israeli checkpoint (Bethlehem is in Palestine), documents were shown, questions were asked and the car was examined from top to bottom. We were okayed to pass through and I spent the day at the Patriarchate before going to President Peres’ home.

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Just last Monday evening in the Vatican, Pope Francis met with members of the World Jewish Congress.

JOAN’S HONOLULU: A BOOK SIGNING AT THE CATHEDRAL – POPE FRANCIS’ RECENT TWEETS – POPE DEPLORES “SENSELESS AND BRUTAL” ATTACK ON PAKISTANI HOSPITAL

JOAN’S HONOLULU: A BOOK SIGNING AT THE CATHEDRAL

I have been with my friends Trip and Jan McKinney at their home in Aiea    since August 5th. The view from my lanai is rather spectacular and I’ll post some photos in a day or two, including several of Pearl Harbor.

Sunday Jan and I attended Mass at Honolulu’s Our Lady of Peace cathedral after which I spent several hours signing books in the gift store next to the church. As people came in before or after a Mass, I met quite a number of fans, in addition to making new ones here in Honolulu.

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As you can see in these photos, I received two magnificnt leis Sunday morning when my name was announced at Mass as the “star” of EWTN television and radio!

Jan and I share a Kodak moment during the signing.

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One of my friends here is Alika Cullen, general administrator of the diocese of Honolulu: We became friends a few years ago and see each other at least once during my Hawaii vacations when I visit the diocesan offices.. Alika is a valuable assistant to Bishop Larry Silva, a friend since 2008 whom I will see tonight. He recently returned from Krakow and World Youth Day and I am anxious to hear all about it.

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Jan and I walked through part of the Hyatt Regency lobby on our way to lunch at the Moana Surfrider.

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We enjoy lunch at the Beach Bar terrace restaurant at the Moana Surfrider.

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A Sunday afternoon ride along the coast outside of Waikiki –

My favorite tree, the monkey pod tree –

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Look at this crater –

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Now look at this path that people are walking on to reach the top

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A beach made famous in the movie “From Here to Eternity” –

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Surf crashing against the lava rock –

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A blow hole in the lava rocks –

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POPE FRANCIS’ RECENT TWEETS

AUGUST 9: We ask for respect for indigenous peoples whose very identity and existence are threatened.

AUGUST 8: When there is dialogue in the family, tensions are easily resolved.

AUGUST 7: We oppose hatred and destruction with goodness. We live in societies of different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and sisters.

POPE DEPLORES “SENSELESS AND BRUTAL” ATTACK ON PAKISTANI HOSPITAL

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his condolences after the attack on the hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, which killed over 70 people.

The majority of the victims were lawyers who had gathered to mourn the assassination of the president of the Baluchistan Bar Association, Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was killed earlier in the day.

The telegram sent by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin reads:

Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life following the attack on a hospital in Quetta, His Holiness Pope Francis sends heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased, to the authorities and to the entire nation, as he offers the assurance of his prayers for the many injured victims of this senseless and brutal act of violence.  Upon all who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy, His Holiness invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength.

CHURCH RESPONSE

Earlier the Catholic Bishop of Faisalabad, Arshad Joseph who’s also the President of the Church’s National Commission for Justice and Peace, condemned the bombing calling it “an inhuman gesture that cannot be tolerated.”  Bishop Joseph urged the government to take action, saying “it has a duty to improve security measures” in order to guarantee the right to life of its citizens. The Bishop noted that the province of Balochistan where the attack occurred has suffered more than 14 hundred violent incidents during the past 15 years.

Pakistani lawyers were taking part in rallies across the nation on Tuesday and are also boycotting court proceedings to protest the violence.

 

PAPAL SPOKESMAN ON “SENSELESS VIOLENCE” OF BASTILLE DAY ATTACK – POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS “BLIND VIOLENCE” OF ATTACK IN NICE – VATICAN INSIDER TALKS WITH DEACON DAN BORNE

Heartfelt condolences to the citizens of France as they mourn the deaths of 84 people – peoples whose lives were cut short by a despicable act of terrorism last night in Nice, France, as the French were celebrating their national holiday, la fete de la Bastille! I add prayers to my condolences!

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PAPAL SPOKESMAN ON “SENSELESS VIOLENCE” OF BASTILLE DAY ATTACK

We awoke this morning to this message from Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi: “Throughout the night we have followed with great concern the terrible news from Nice. On behalf of Pope Francis, we join in solidarity with the suffering of the victims and of the entire French people this day that should have been a great holiday. We condemn in the strongest way every demonstration of senseless violence, of hatred, terrorism and any attack against peace.”

POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS “BLIND VIOLENCE” OF ATTACK IN NICE

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Bishop Andre Marceau of Nice, France in which he condemned the July 14 terror attack and expressed his profound sadness and spiritual closeness to the French people. The telegram was sent on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The message noted that, as France was celebrating Bastille Day, its national day “blind violence has once again hit the nation,” whose victims include many children. Pope Francis once again “condemned such acts” and expressed his “profound sadness and his spiritual closeness to the French people.”

The Holy Father “entrusts to the Mercy of God those who have lost their lives” and he shares “the pain of the bereaved families” and also expressed his sympathy to those wounded.  The Pope concluded by imploring from God the gift of “peace and harmony” and invoking “divine blessings on the families affected by this tragedy and all the people of France.”

VATICAN INSIDER TALKS WITH DEACON DAN BORNE

Welcome to Vatican Insider on this mid-July weekend! After the news and Q&A, stay tuned for the interview segment when I present Part II of my conversation with Deacon Dan Borné of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was in Rome for the Jubilee of Deacons and I invited Dan and his wife Lissette, who was a reader at the papal Jubilee Mass – to my home for a mini-Jubilee along with three other deacons and their wives. We all learned a lot that night and I hope you learn more about the permanent diaconate as you listen to Dan explain it.

I also want to tell you that I’m leaving on vacation on July 19 for a few weeks. However, you will not be bereft of entertainment or information as I’ve prepared “The Best Of….” Vatican Insider for the period I’m gone!

By the way, if you are already on vacation, enjoy every moment. Relax, enjoy family and friends, and perhaps even slow down on social media use – it is amazing how much fuller and more enjoyable life becomes when eople, not gadgets, are first!

As you know, in the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider 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. If you live 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 9:00 am (Eastern time). 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 FOR YOUR TIME ZONE. Past shows are in VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

 

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR DEATH OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT – POPE NAMES 16 NEW MEMBERS TO COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARIAT – HOLY FATHER SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR ITALIAN TRAIN COLLISION – THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR DEATH OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolences to Msgr. Jean-Marie Mate Musivi Mupendawatu, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers following the death today of Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the same dicastery, at the age of 67. The Pope noted that he died, “after a long and painful illness, lived in a spirit of faith and Christian testimony.” (news.va photo ANSA)

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“I wish to express my spiritual participation in mourning with the dicastery and, while I recall his generous ministry, first as pastor of the diocese of Radom and then in the service of the Holy See, I raise fervent prayers to the Lord for the his soul, entrusting him to the maternal intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland. With these sentiments I invoke for the departed collaborator the eternal reward promised to faithful servants of the Gospel, and I gladly impart to you, to the staff and collaborators of the Pontifical Council, and to the relatives of the dear prelate, the comfort of my apostolic blessing”.

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers, died overnight at the age of 67 after a long illness.

He was born in Kupienin, Poland, April 7, 1949; and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1973.

Pope St. John Paul II appointed Zimowski bishop of the Diocese of Radom, Poland, on 28 March 2002; and he was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers by Pope Benedict XVI on April 18, 2009.

In 2014, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

POPE NAMES 16 NEW MEMBERS TO COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARIAT

Two days after naming American Greg Burke as director of the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis named yet another American, a woman, as a member of the Secretariat for Communications. Kim Daniels, an attorney, has served as spokesperson for the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is the director of Catholic Voices USA.

Daniels joins the ranks of 15 other new members of the secretariat in a sign that the Holy Father is further internationalizing this dicastery.

Following are the newly-appointed Members of the Secretariat for Communication: Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon; Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya; Cardinal Chibly Langlios, bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti; Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland; Archbishop Gintaras Grušas of Vilnius, Lithuania; Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy; Bishop Stanislas Lalanne of Pontoise, France; Bishop Pierre Nguyên Văn Kham of My Tho, Vietnam; Bishop Ginés Ramón García Beltrán of Guadix, Spain; Bishop Nuno Brás da Silva Martins, auxiliary of Lisbon, Portugal; Dr. Kim Daniels, advisor to the Episcopal Conference of the United States of America for the ad hoc Commission on religious freedom; Dr. Markus Schächter, professor of ethics of mass media and in society in the Jesuit faculty of philosophy in Munich, Germany; and Dr. Leticia Soberón Mainero, psychologist and expert in communication, formerly advisor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Mexico and Spain).

Bishop Marcello Semeraro is also the Secretary of the C9 Council Cardinals that advises Pope Francis.

The Secretariat is led by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, former head of CTV, Vatican Television Center.

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio “For The Establishment Of The Secretariat For Communications,” was promulgated on June 27, 2015.

The Motu proprio begins:

“The current context of communications, characterized by the presence and development of digital media, by the factors of convergence and interaction, demands both a rethinking of the Holy See’s information system, and a commitment to reorganize it, while appreciating what has been developed historically within the framework of communications of the Apostolic See, certainly moves towards a unified integration and management.

“For these reasons I believe that all of the realities which, in various ways up to the present have dealt with communications, should be incorporated into a new Dicastery of the Roman Curia, which will bear the title Secretariat for Communications. In this way, the Holy See communications system will respond ever better to the needs of the mission of the Church.

“Therefore, after having examined the reports and studies submitted, having recently received the study on its feasibility, and having heard the unanimous opinion of the Council of Cardinals, I institute the Secretariat for Communications and establish it as follows.

Art. 1

The Dicastery, according to what was presented by the Vatican Media Commission, instituted on 30 April 2015, will combine the following Bodies within the set time limit: the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Holy See Press Office; the Vatican Internet Service; Vatican Radio; the Vatican Television Centre; L’Osservatore Romano; the Vatican Printing Press; the Photo Service; and the Vatican Publishing House.

Art. 2

Such Bodies, from the date of publication of the present Motu Proprio, shall continue their respective activities, observing however, the indications provided by the Secretariat for Communications.

Art. 3

The new Dicastery, in accord with the Secretariat of State, will assume responsibility for the Holy See’s institutional website: www.vatican.va, and the Twitter service of the Supreme Pontiff: @pontifex.

Art. 4

The Secretariat for Communications will begin its proper functions on 29 June 2015, having as its provisional headquarters Palazzo Pio, Piazza Pia, 3, 00120 Vatican City State.

All that I have determined with this Apostolic Letter, issued Motu Proprio, I prescribe that it be observed in all its parts, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention, and I dispose that it shall be promulgated by publication in the daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, and thereafter in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

HOLY FATHER SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR ITALIAN TRAIN COLLISION

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolences to the local archbishop after Tuesday’s deadly train collision in southern Italy.

At least 25 people were killed and around 50 were wounded in the crash, some of them critically. (news.va photo)

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In Tuesday’s telegram addressed to Archbishop Francesco Cacucci of Bari-Bitonto, and signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope expressed “his warm and heartfelt participation in the suffering” of the families affected by the tragedy.

The Pope assured them of his “fervent prayer of intercession for those tragically killed and,” and prayed for the “swift healing of the wounded.”

Finally, Pope Francis bestowed his apostolic blessing, and entrusted all those affected by the tragedy to the “Maternal protection of the Virgin Mary.”

The crash occurred at around 11:30 in Southern Italy’s Puglia region, tearing apart three carriages and sending debris into the surrounding olive groves.

The two trains collided while on the same track connecting the small towns of Corato and Andria.

There was no immediate indication of the cause of the crash, but the government has promised a full and swift investigation.

Tuesday’s incident is Italy’s worst railway disaster in recent years.

The last major rail disaster in Italy was in 2009 when a freight train derailed the central Italian town Viareggio, killing more than 30 people living close to the tracks in the subsequent fire.

THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

EXPERIMENTAL THIRD ENTRANCE DESIGNED TO REDUCE LINES INTO COLOSSEUM. A third entrance to the Colosseum, at the Via Labicana corner of the amphitheatre, will be in operation on a trial basis from 15 July until 31 October. The entrance will be reserved for groups of up to 50 people that have booked tours with accredited guides. Visitors coming through the new entrance will enter directly onto the arena floor, with daily numbers estimated at between 1,800 and 2,400, depending on the opening hours of the season. Culture officials say the experimental measure is designed to reduce the queues while maintaining current safety standards, which limit the number of visitors to 3,250 at any one time. The news comes ten days after Italy pledged €18 million of state funds to rebuild the Colosseum’s central arena floor, by the end of 2018.

THE TEATRO DELL’OPERA SUMMER SEASON AT THE BATHS OF CARACALLA. The three operas in the Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma summer season at the Baths of Caracalla are Nabucco (9 July-9 Aug), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (18 July-10 Aug) and Madame Butterfly (19 July-8 Aug). Nabucco is a new production by the Teatro dell’ Opera, conducted by John Fiore and directed by Federico Grazzini. Grazzini is young, talented and a graduate of Milan’s prestigious Piccolo Theatre. He won considerable praise for his lively modern interpretation of Rigoletto at the Marcerata opera festival last year. Baths of Caracalla, www.operaroma.it.

RETAKE ROMA, THE VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT that tackles urban decay in the capital, is holding an event aimed at Rome’s international community, in Piazzale Appio on Monday 18 July from 17.30-20.30. In addition to removing illegal graffiti and stickers, the Midsummer Chillout and Retake involves aperitivi at LeFoodie, art, live music and English conversation. Throughout the event Rome-based artist Katherine Krizek will turn rubbish cans into street art and Italian singer songwriter Francesco Bolognesi will perform live. The clean-up is supported by the group American Free Exchange and the U.S. Mission to the UN agencies in Rome, together with refuse management agency AMA Roma and the Roman police décor section PICS.  (The three preceding stories are from www.wantedinrome.com)

 

VATICAN INSIDER: AN INSIDER’S STORY OF MOTHER TERESA – PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR DEATH OF CARDINAL CAPOVILLA – CA’ MAITINO, MEMORIES OF A PONTIFICATE – REFUGEE BOAT IS ALTAR FOR CORPUS CHRISTI MASS – US BISHOPS CONCERN ABOUT ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR EXPULSION OF IMMIGRANTS

VATICAN INSIDER: AN INSIDER’S STORY OF MOTHER TERESA

My special guest this week on Vatican Insider is Fr.. Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC, the official postulator of the cause of canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity. We spoke when he was in Rome for the March 15 announcement by Pope Francis of the decrees of canonization for Blessed Mother Teresa and four others. The September 4 date for her canonization was also announced that day. Listen as Fr. Brian tells riveting stories about this future saint, and how he came to be the postulator for her cause.

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PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR DEATH OF CARDINAL CAPOVILLA

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the Bishop of Bergamo, Italy for the death of Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla, the former private secretary of Pope John XXIII.

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Upon hearing of the Cardinal’s passing 26 May 2016 at the age of 100, Pope Francis wrote in a telegram to Bishop Francesco Beschi, in whose diocese Cardinal Capovilla lived the last years of his life:  “I think with affection of this dear brother who in his long and fruitful existence gave witness to the Gospel with joy and obediently served the Church, first in the diocese of Venice, then with attentive affection at the side of Pope John XXIII, of whose memory he was the zealous custodian and expert interpreter. In his episcopal ministry, especially in Chieti-Vasto and Loreto (Italy), he was always a pastor totally dedicated to the wellbeing of all priests and the faithful …with a solid fidelity to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.”

Pope Francis concluded his telegram with a prayer, “with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Mark the Evangelist,” so that the Lord will receive his soul “nel Gaudio” and “in eternal peace, ” and offered his apostolic blessing to all those who grieve his passing.

Cardinal Capovilla was born on 14 October 1915 in Pontelungo, northern Italy.

He was ordained a priest in Venice, Italy, in 1940; he was appointed and ordained Archbishop of Chieti, in 1967.  From 1971 to 1988, he served as prelate of Loreto, Italy.

On 22 February 2014, Pope Francis elevated him cardinal and, cardinal-priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome.

CA’ MAITINO, MEMORIES OF A PONTIFICATE

Ca’ Maitino is the residence in Sotto il Monte (the town where Pope St. John XXIII was born) where Cardinal Loris Capovilla, secretary to John XXIII lived in recent years, until his death yesterday, May 26, 2016, at the age of 100.

It was here that Angelo Roncalli, priest, bishop and Cardinal Patriarch of Venice, spent his annual vacation, together with his secretary, Msgr. Capovilla. In many ways, it was a second home to both men, and was thus a place that Msgr. Capovilla felt drawn to upon retirement. Today, it houses many mementoes and belongings of the late pontiff, and offers the visitors time to pray in the lovely, intimate chapel where Angelo Roncalli celebrated daily Mass when he was in residence.

The following slideshow photos depict both the grounds and the interior of Ca’ Maitino:

REFUGEE BOAT IS ALTAR FOR CORPUS CHRISTI MASS

“Someone who lets people drown in the Mediterranean also drowns God — every day, thousands of times.”

The archbishop of Cologne, Germany, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, spoke these striking words on Thursday to condemn Europe’s increasingly tough attitude toward refugees. He spoke during a Mass in one of the German city’s main squares.

Woelki also used a seven-meter-long former refugee boat as his altar for the service to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi. The boat had previously been recovered by the Maltese military during a search-and-rescue operation.REFUGEE ALTAR

The cardinal emphasized the significance of choosing the boat, saying that altars had always symbolized Jesus Christ. “To see those in need and help them is the task the Lord has given to us as Christians,” said Woelki.

“Their cry for justice, for dignity and peace are also God’s cry,” the archbishop commented, according to a translation by Austria’s Catholic Press Agency.

Click here for entire story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/26/the-stunning-way-a-catholic-priest-marked-the-deaths-of-refugees-in-the-mediterranean/

US BISHOPS CONCERN ABOUT ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR EXPULSION OF IMMIGRANTS

From Washington (FIDES, a news agency of the Congregation for Evangelization) –   Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration expressed deep concern over reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon begin a month-long series of immigrant deportation raids. Incoming committee chairman, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, also voiced such concern.

The letter sent to Fides by the USCCB, reports that the upcoming operations will cover in particular Central American undocumented mothers and children. “These operations spark panic among our parishes,” said Bishop Elizondo. “No person, migrant or otherwise, should have to fear leaving their home to attend church or school. No person should have to fear being torn away from their family and returned to danger.”

Bishop Elizondo and Archbishop Gomez remind the administration and ICE that enforcement actions that cause families to live in constant fear run contrary to long-standing American values and challenge the God-given dignity of every person. (CE)