FROM ‘FALLING IN LOVE’ TO MATURE LOVE: POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES – FRANCIS SPEAKS OF WORLD AIDS DAY, HIS TRIP TO CYPRUS AND GREECE

What a great catechesis today on St. Joseph in this series that Pope Francis is dedicating to the father of Our Savior at this end of the Year of St. Joseph! I have been touched by every weekly audience catechesis on St. Joseph but perhaps this is my favorite so far. I’m sure you know that this year dedicated to Joseph ends on December 8 but for many, I am also sure, like myself, St. Joseph will continue to be a focus of our prayers and petitions.

In this last year, I read what I could and learned a lot about St. Joseph that I had not known. I feel closer to him than ever before and have turned to him very frequently this past year, as I will continue to do, especially every time I look at my Sleeping St. Joseph figurine, just inches from my laptop!

FROM ‘FALLING IN LOVE’ TO MATURE LOVE: POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES

Continuing his catechesis on St Joseph, Pope Francis offered engaged couples a reflection on moving beyond the ‘enchantment’ that comes with falling in love, toward a mature love that can stand the test of time.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis offered his catechesis at Wednesday’s General Audience as a message for all engaged couples, as he reflected on St Joseph as a “just man” and “Mary’s betrothed spouse.”

St Joseph, a just man

Turning to the Gospel of St Matthew, the Pope noted that in ancient Israel, the official betrothal, or engagement, was an integral part of the marriage customs. The woman, although continuing to live in her parents’ home, was considered the “wife” of the betrothed spouse.

So “when Mary was found with child,” she was exposed to the accusation of adultery; Joseph was “just” precisely because, while following the letter of the law, he chose – out of love for Mary – not to expose her to the rigour of the law, but to send her away quietly.

The voice of God in discernment

At that moment, however, an angel appeared to Joseph; as Pope Francis explained, “God’s voice intervenes in Joseph’s discernment.” The Pope emphasized the importance for each of us, too, to cultivate a just life, and at the same time to recognise the need for God’s help “to consider the circumstances of life” from a broader perspective.

Being engaged, Mary and Joseph “probably cultivated dreams and expectations for their future,” the Pope said. When God intervened “unexpectedly” in their lives, He also opened their hearts.

Where true love begins

Pope Francis recognised that life is often not what we imagine it to be, that it can be difficult to move from “falling in love” to “the logic of mature love.” The former is often marked by a kind of “enchantment,” that fades with time. But it is precisely when that first excitement of love ends, that “true love begins.”

Love, he said, does not mean that the other person, or our life, should correspond to our imagination, but that we choose “in complete freedom to take responsibility for one’s life as it comes,” as Joseph did when he chose, at God’s command, to take Mary as his wife.

From falling in love to mature love

Pope Francis continued, “Christian engaged couples are called to bear witness to a love like this that has the courage to move from the logic of falling in love to that of mature love.” A couple’s love, he said, “advances in life and matures every day.”

And he repeated to engaged couples the advice he had given before: Never let the day end without making peace with your spouse.

A prayer to St Joseph

Pope Francis concluded his catechesis once again with a prayer to St Joseph:

Saint Joseph,
you who loved Mary with freedom,
and chose to renounce your fantasies to give way to reality,
help each of us to allow ourselves to be surprised by God
and to accept life not as something unforeseen from which to defend ourselves,
but as a mystery that hides the secret of true joy.

Obtain joy and radicality for all engaged Christians,
while always being aware

that only mercy and forgiveness make love possible. Amen.

FRANCIS SPEAKS OF WORLD AIDS DAY, HIS TRIP TO CYPRUS AND GREECE

At the end of the general audience catechesis on St. Joseph, Pope Francis highlighted World AIDS Day and also spoke of his trip, starting tomorrow, to Cyprus and Greece, He asked people to accompany him with and through prayer. He said he will make this journey “to visit the beloved peoples of those countries, rich in history, spirituality and civilization,” where there are sources of apostolic faith and fraternity among Christians of diverse denominations.

He also noted that meetings with migrants and refugees will be among the highlights of the trip, including another visit to the Greek island of Lesbos where many wait in camps for documentation allowing them to go to other countries. Of Lesbos, he said, “I will also have the opportunity to approach a humanity wounded in the flesh of so many migrants in search of hope. …I ask you, please, to accompany me with your prayers.”

 

THANKSGIVING BLESSINGS: A LITLE BIT OF THIS AND A LITTLE BIT OF THAT!

THANKSGIVING BLESSINGS: A LITLE BIT OF THIS AND A LITTLE BIT OF THAT!

Having four days off in a row is such a special time, more so, of course, when it occurs because of an important holiday such as Thanksgiving.

This past Thursday I had so many great joys. The day started with Mass at St. Patrick’s and, at the end of Mass, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy to the Holy See, Patrick Connell, read President Biden’s Thanksgiving Proclamation. Seeing so many friends on a Thursday, a work day here, of course, was wonderful!

After Mass I went to Homebaked for brunch and picked up an entire Thanksgiving dinner that I had ordered days earlier from Jesse. Most of this week he spent baking all sorts of pies and blueberry muffins, filling orders for family turkey dinners and planning a lot of single Thanksgiving dinners such as the one I ordered.

If you don’t prepare a turkey dinner at home, you don’t have leftovers and, for me at least, leftovers are implicit in Thanksgiving! So I had my second turkey dinner on Friday (although I always eat fish on Fridays but made an exception). It was pouring rain and turning cold and so staying home with turkey and stuffing was the logical choice.

At 5pm I went to NAC, the North American College, for the first time in almost 21 months!! The seminarians, at the start of the Covid outbreak last year had gone back home to the U.S. or Australia, and then, throughout 2020 and up to this Thanksgiving Day, all events that involved guests – Thanksgiving Day, the December 8 celebration of the Immaculate Conception and the annual springtime Rector’s Dinner – were cancelled. As were the weekly Wednesday lunches to which guests are invited.

Mass in NAC’s beautiful chapel started the Thanksgiving celebrations. The rector, Fr. Peter Harman, in fact, in brief remarks at this turkey dinner, stressed the excitement everyone felt at finally being able to invite guests to the College! And it was indeed a special evening, a superb dinner and the magnificent pumpkin pies, paraded in by the fifth year students. I was seated at the California table. On Thanksgiving Day, tables are arranged by states with seminarians at NAC. Sometimes two states may share a table.

We’ve had rain here every day since Thanksgiving and the greyness is starting to weigh on people. The temps have gone down quite a bit and all of a sudden it is winter coat weather.   The positive side of rain and this kind of weather, however, is that it is conducive to taking care of a lot of projects around the house (and a few errands outside) and even to finding some extra time for something like reading! Sitting down for an hour or two and not feeling guilty because of other things on your daily agenda, including work!

Thanksgiving Day, as I was waiting at the bus stop outside our apartment building, I saw something fascinating on what is always advertisement space. Seems there is a campaign to provide people with something to read as they wait for or travel on a bus. I clicked on the QR code and downloaded a short story by one of the Grimm brothers! As you can see, it is supposed to be a 20-minute read. What a great idea! Or should I say, what a novel idea!

As I went out for dinner Saturday night, I read a new sign posted inside our building that said our doorman Carlo had Covid! Our building is being renovated, as you know, and all of the perhaps two dozen workers – with whom Carlo interacts daily – had to have Covid tests as did Vittorio at the nearby tabacchi store where Carlo and Francesco, another doorman, and several others gather daily.

Sunday, of course, was the start of Advent, a season I’ve always loved, a season of anxiety but also joy as we await the birth of our Savior, Jesus. I usually spend Sunday afternoons preparing a brief segment for each Monday’s edition of “At Home with Jim and Joy.” I either focus on their topic of the week or bring them breaking news from the Vatican. Tune in on a Monday and drop me a line!

The big news this week will be Pope Francis’ trip to Cyprus and Greece that starts Thursday, December 2 with his flight to Nicosia. I’d love to be reporting on that as I have terrific memories of my time in June 2010 to cover Pope Benedict’s trip to Cyprus, and in fact, just re-read several of my blogs on that apostolic journey. I also reported several times a day for EWTN’s Open Line radio program and did TV coverage as well.

Just a few post -Thanksgiving thoughts….

 

 

IN BRIEF

IN BRIEF

POPE RECEIVES CROATIAN PRESIDENT ZORAN MILANOVIĆ: Pope Francis on Monday received Zoran Milanović, president of the Republic of Croatia, who also met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. A Vatican statement said, “ During the cordial discussions, the parties expressed their appreciation for the good existing bilateral relations, and the intention to further develop collaboration. They also discussed several international and regional issues, including the situation of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” (source: vaticannews)

POPE CALLS SECULAR FRANCISCANS TO CLOSENESS, COMPASSION, TENDERNESS: Pope Francis addressed the Secular Franciscan Order in Rome for their General Chapter, expressing his hope that they might fight for justice, work for an integral ecology, collaborate in missionary projects, and become artisans of peace and witnesses of the Beatitudes. He also “recalled some elements proper to your vocation and mission” such as “the universal call to holiness.” Francis noted that secular Franciscans are “men and women committed to living in the world according to the Franciscan charism,” and expressed his hope that “your secularity be full of closeness, compassion, and tenderness,” and they be “men and women of hope,” committed to “living” their secularity, but also ”organising it, translating it into the concrete situations of every day, into human relationships, into social and political commitment; nourishing hope in tomorrow by alleviating the pain of today.”

ITINERARY RELEASED FOR PAPAL TRIP TO CYPRUS, GREECE: Pope Francis will be travelling to Cyprus and Greece from December 2 to 6, embarking on his next international apostolic journey to the two nations. The Holy See Press Office released his planned schedule over the five days that includes a busy schedule of meetings with local authorities, Church leaders, liturgical celebrations and ecumenical encounters. The Pope will also return to Greece’s Lesbos island to visit with migrants. For full vaticannews story: Itinerary released for Pope’s journey to Cyprus and Greece – Vatican News

POPE TO VISIT FLORENCE TO MEET BISHOPS AND MAYORS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis will travel to Florence, Italy on February 27, 2022, for a meeting dedicated to issues and dynamics that are particularly relevant and of impact for cities, towns, and communities bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The meeting will include mayors, the highest-ranking officials of Mediterranean cities. Francis will also meet with families of refugees and migrants. Francis previous to Florence was in 2015 when he participated in the V National Convention of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, expressed “deep gratitude” to the Pope for “this gesture of attention towards the initiative that involves the ecclesial and civil communities of the Mediterranean.” (source:vaticannews)

VATICAN INSIDER: ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS ALL’ITALIANA – POPE MARKS 60 YEARS OF CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY MEDICAL FACULTIES – POPE FRANCIS TO TRAVEL TO CYPRUS AND GREECE IN DECEMBER – POPE: NEW APOSTOLIC LIBRARY EXHIBIT SPACE BEARS WITNESS TO BEAUTY

VATICAN INSIDER: ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS ALL’ITALIANA

In Vatican Insider on this first weekend of November, in place of what is normally the interview segment after the news and a Q&A, I offer a special look at some lovely traditions in Italy, a slice of life that is just a few days each year – holy days and holidays celebrated in big fashion, year after year. I look at the feasts of All Saints and All Souls and their celebrations all’italiana.

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IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at 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 www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are serarching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE MARKS 60 YEARS OF CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY MEDICAL FACULTIES

Pope Francis on Friday morning celebrated an outdoor Mass at Rome’s Gemelli Catholic University Hospital to mark the 60th anniversary of its Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, named for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The hospital and its University campus is one of the most important and internationally acclaimed care providers in Italy.

Francis in his homily reflected on the faculty’s name and on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to whom we dedicate the first Friday of the month.

He thanked the staff for the care he received there in July, and reflected on how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can help care workers be guided in their mission to heal and comfort the sick.

For the 60th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Sacred Heart Catholic University is donating basic necessity medicines to health facilities in Lebanon, Syria and Sudan through the almsgiver of the Holy See Cardinal Konrad Krajewski.

POPE FRANCIS TO TRAVEL TO CYPRUS AND GREECE IN DECEMBER

The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis will undertake a 5-day Apostolic Journey to Cyprus and Greece in early December, spending December 2 to 4 in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus and journeying to Greece from the 4th to the 6th. In Greece he will visit Athens and Lesbos. The trip is upon the invitation of the countries’ civil authorities and Bishops’ Conferences.

POPE: NEW APOSTOLIC LIBRARY EXHIBIT SPACE BEARS WITNESS TO BEAUTY

Pope Francis visited the Vatican Apostolic Library Friday afternoon to inaugurate a new permanent exhibition area, and he urged the Church to bear witness to the importance of beauty and culture.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

The Apostolic Library is opening up to the public for the first time with a dedicated space for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

Pope Francis inaugurated the new space on Friday evening, which was financed by the heirs of the American entrepreneur and philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian.

Beauty touches the soul
In a speech to participants in the event, the Pope reflected on the theme of beauty and how the Church must bear witness to the importance of beauty and culture.

“Beauty,” he said, “is not a fleeting illusion of an appearance or of an ornament; rather, it is born from the root of goodness, truth, and justice, which are its synonyms.”

He added that the human person needs both bread and culture, “which touches the soul, and which brings the human being to our most profound dignity.”

Pope Francis also encouraged the Apostolic Library to preserve the past while translating Christian history into new languages.

Humanity on its way
During his visit, the Pope also spent some time admiring a site-specific exhibition by Italian artist Pietro Ruffo. The exhibit goes under the title “Everyone: Humanity on its way.” It recalls the Pope’s encyclical Fratelli tutti, and turns part of the space into “a lush tropical forest.”

It offers a journey through historic artefacts from the Library, including charts and a 6-metre-long (19-6 feet) 17th century map of the Nile made by Evliya Çelebi, concluding with utopic and allegorical maps created by Mr. Ruffo.

Journey through human history and dreams
The exhibit, explained Don Giacomo Cardinali who oversees the new space, explores “non-geographical cartography.”

“Throughout the history of humanity,” he said, “people have used the representative power of the map not only to describe the objectivity of the Earth, but also our own interiority, ideals, journeys, discoveries, and convictions.”

Mr. Ruffo, he added, has put together an exhibit that will show the visitor “allegorical, theological, satirical, and sentimental maps, as well as maps of desire and of protest, of humanity’s dreams and desperation.”

In his speech, the Pope noted that humanity needs “new maps” in order to discover fraternity, social friendship, and the common good.

“A closed-off mindset is sterile and full of uncertainty,” said the Pope. “We need a new beauty which is not the usual reflection of the power of a select few but is a courageous mosaic of the diversity of all people.”

The temporary exhibition will be open to the public until February 25, 2022 every Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the website of the Apostolic Library.

Space for culture of encounter
According to Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Archivist of the Apostolic Library, the new exhibition space is meant to promote a culture of encounter.

“One expects such a large library to help realize what Pope Francis has prophetically called a ‘culture of encounter’,” said the Cardinal. “It is a place where books encounter readers to trace new paths, where knowledge preserved as memory may encounter the questions that modern life asks of us, and where history encounters the present, opening up new perspectives not only on what we have been but also on what we can become.”

POPE SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF MARKET EXPLOSION IN IRAQ – ITINERARY FOR PAPAL TRIP TO HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA

As you will see below, the Vatican today published the itinerary of Pope Francis’ September 12 to 15 trip to Budapest, Hungary and to Slovakia. It seems to be a jam-packed few days and hopes are high that the Holy Father will be returned to full health by departure day. I counted about 25 events, including plane trips, meetings, and various liturgies in three and a half days! (I have left the upper case references in the original report).

POPE SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF MARKET EXPLOSION IN IRAQ

The following telegram was sent Tuesday afternoon in Pope Francis’ name by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to the Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, Archbishop Mitja Leskovar:

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life in the explosion at the al-Wuhailat market in Baghdad and he sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have died. Entrusting their souls to the mercy of Almighty God, His Holiness renews his fervent prayers that no act of violence will diminish the efforts of those who strive to promote reconciliation and peace in Iraq.” (AFP photo on Vatican media)

ITINERARY FOR PAPAL TRIP TO HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA

Following is the itinerary for the Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Budapest on the occasion of the concluding Holy Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, and to Slovakia, (12-15 September 2021):

Sunday 12 September 2021 ROME – BUDAPEST – BRATISLAVA

06:00 Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino International Airport for Budapest 07:45 Arrival at Budapest International Airport

07:45 OFFICIAL WELCOME at Budapest International Airport

08:45 MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE PRIME MINISTER at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest

09:15 MEETING WITH THE BISHOPS at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest Address of the Holy Father

10:00 MEETING WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES AND SOME JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN HUNGARY at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest Address of the Holy Father 11:30 HOLY MASS at Heroes’ Square in Budapest Homily of the Holy Father Angelus

14:30 FAREWELL CEREMONY at Budapest International Airport 14:40 Departure by airplane for Bratislava

15:30 Arrival at Bratislava International Airport

15:30 OFFICIAL WELCOME at Bratislava International Airport

16:30 ECUMENICAL MEETING at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava Address of the Holy Father

17:30 PRIVATE MEETING WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava

Monday 13 September 2021 BRATISLAVA

09:15 WELCOME CEREMONY at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava

09:30 COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the “Golden Hall” of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava

10:00 MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava Address of the Holy Father

10:45 MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS, CONSECRATED PERSONS, SEMINARIANS, CATECHISTS at the Cathedral of Saint Martin in Bratislava

16:00 PRIVATE VISIT TO THE “BETHLEHEM CENTER” in Bratislava

16:45 MEETING WITH THE JEWISH COMMUNITY at Rybné námestie Square in Bratislava Address of the Holy Father

18:00 VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENT at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava

18:15 VISIT OF THE PRIME MINISTER at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava

Tuesday 14 September 20 –BRATISLAVA – KOŠICE – PREŠOV – KOŠICE – BRATISLAVA

08:10 Departure by airplane for Košice

09:00 Arrival at Košice Airport

10:30 BYZANTINE DIVINE LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM PRESIDED BY THE HOLY FATHER in the square of the Mestská športová hala in Prešov Homily of the Holy Father

16:00 MEETING WITH THE ROMA COMMUNITY at Luník IX district in Košice Greeting of the Holy Father

17:00 MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE at Lokomotiva Stadium in Košice Address of the Holy Father

18:30 Departure by airplane for Bratislava 19:30 Arrival at Bratislava International Airport

Wednesday 15 September 2021 BRATISLAVA – ŠAŠTIN – BRATISLAVA – ROME

09:10 MOMENT OF PRAYER WITH THE BISHOPS at the National Shrine in Šaštin

10:00 HOLY MASS on the esplanade of the National Shrine in Šaštin Homily of the Holy Father

13:30 FAREWELL CEREMONY at Bratislava International Airport

13:45 Departure by airplane for Rome

15:30 Arrival at Rome/Ciampino International Airport

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MARK CENTENARY IN ROME – POPE FRANCIS TO TRAVEL TO MALTA MAY 31

It all depends on how you look at it – and this is fairly typical for a visit by a head of State or government to the Pope. These stories refer to the visit Saturday by Ukraine’s president who met the Pope and then Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Abp. Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

Vatican press office communiqué:
Talks in the Secretariat of State were mainly devoted to the humanitarian situation and to the search for peace in the context of the conflict that, since 2014, is still plaguing Ukraine. In this regard, the hope was shared that all parties involved show maximum sensitivity towards the needs of the population, the first victims of violence, as well as commitment and consistency in dialogue. Issues related to bilateral cooperation and the contribution of the Catholic Church, present in the country in various rites, were also examined.

Secular news media:
(Breitbart) – ROME — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Pope Francis in the Vatican Saturday, during which Zelensky asked the pope to intervene to secure the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war. While an official Vatican communiqué said that discussions between the Ukrainian leader and Vatican officials focused on “the humanitarian situation and the quest for peace,” President Volodymyr Zelensky became much more specific in a tweet he sent out to followers in both Ukrainian and Italian.

(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked Pope Francis on Saturday for help to win the release of prisoners of war held by Russia and Russian-backed separatists. “(The pope) does everything possible to achieve peace and harmony throughout the world,” Zelenskiy said in a tweet after their meeting at the Vatican. “I asked for help with the release of Ukrainians captured in Donbass, Crimea and Russia.” Relations between Ukraine and Russia collapsed following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and its subsequent support for separatists in a conflict in eastern Ukraine.)

Interestingly enough, if you go to the Vatican site http://www.vatican.va, (the original portal) and go to the News summaries, the same stories do not appear on all language sites. For February 8, English had only two papal addresses and no mention of the visit by the president of Ukraine. The press office communique on the visit was in Italian and appeared only on the Italian language site.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MARK CENTENARY IN ROME

Pope Francis this morning received members of the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus, led by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and noted, they are in Rome on a pilgrimage to “mark the centennial of the charitable activity of the Knights of Columbus in this city.”

“In fact, it was one hundred years ago,” said Francis, “that my predecessor Pope Benedict XV invited the Knights of Columbus to provide humanitarian aid to young people and others in Rome following the terrible conflict of the First World War. The Knights responded generously, establishing sports centers for youth that quickly became places for education, catechesis and the distribution of food and other essentials so needed at that time.

The Holy Father pointed out that, “in this way, your Order proved faithful to the vision of your founder, Venerable Michael McGivney, who was inspired by the principles of Christian charity and fraternity to assist those most in need.”

He underscored the work of the knights today, “in particular, your faithful witness to the sacredness and dignity of human life, evident at both the local and national levels. This conviction has also led the Knights of Columbus to aid, both materially and spiritually, those Christian communities in the Middle East that are suffering the effects of violence, war and poverty. I thank all the members of your Order for seeing in our persecuted and displaced brothers and sisters of that region neighbours for whom you are a sign of God’s infinite love.

He also noted the Order’s “unswerving devotion to the Successor of Peter. The establishment of the Vicarius Christi Fund is a testimony to this devotion, as well as to the desire of the Knights to share in the Pope’s solicitude for all the Churches and in his universal mission of charity. In our world, marked by divisions and inequalities, the generous commitment of your Order to serve all in need offers, especially to young people, an important inspiration to overcome a globalization of indifference and build together a more just and inclusive society.”

The knights are in Rome from February 7 to 13.

POPE FRANCIS TO TRAVEL TO MALTA MAY 31

The Holy See Press Office announced this morning that Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Malta and Gozo on May 31. He has accepted invitations from Malta’s president and civil and religious authorities.

The Vatican will publish the itinerary at a later date but today did reveal the logo and the motto: “They showed us unusual kindness” Acts 28, 2 (vaticannews photo. Church of St. Paul)

The logo of the visit shows hands pointing towards the Cross, coming from a ship at the mercy of the waves. The hands represent a sign of the Christian’s welcome towards his neighbor and assistance to those who are in difficulty, abandoned to their destiny. The boat recalls the dramatic story of the shipwreck of the Apostle Paul on the island of Malta (see Acts 27.27-44) and the welcome given by the Maltese to the Apostle and shipwrecked (see Acts 28.1-10).

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS VICE POSTULATOR FOR VENERABLE FULTON SHEEN – POPE FRANCIS SUMMARIZES ASIA JOURNEY AT GENERAL AUDIENCE – TRANSCIPT OF PAPAL PRESSER ON TOKYO-ROME FLIGHT

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS VICE POSTULATOR FOR VENERABLE FULTON SHEEN

As I mentioned last week in this same spot, you all know by now that the Vatican has approved a miracle through the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and the diocese of Peoria in Illinois where he is buried announced on Monday, November 18 that Sheen will be beatified in Peoria on December 21st.

Given that great news, last weekend I re-aired Part I of a conversation I had some time ago with Msgr. Richard Soseman, a pastor in the diocese of Peoria and also the vice postulator of the cause for sainthood of Archbishop Sheen. This weekend, I will re-air Part II of that conversation.

We talk about Msgr’s priestly life, his time studying in Rome and then working at Congregation for clergy, how his life and priesthood was impacted by Sheen, how he was assigned to the cause for sainthood, the role of a vice postulator and the miracle that led to Sheen’s beatification. A second miracle, by the way, is needed for canonization.

So stay tuned after the News and Q&A for Part II of that conversation.

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: https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

Here is Part I of my interview with Msgr. Soseman about Venerable Fulton Sheen – soon to be Blessed Fulton Sheen – that aired last weekend: https://soundcloud.com/ewtn-radio/vatican-insider-112319-archbishop-fulton-j-sheen

POPE FRANCIS SUMMARIZES ASIA JOURNEY AT GENERAL AUDIENCE

Though he had to be exhausted after his long and grueling trip to Asia, Pope Francis presided at the Wednesday general audience Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square. As is customary after an apostolic visit, Francis focused the general audience catechesis on his just-completed trip to Thailand and Japan. He began by thanking civil and religious authorities and all those responsible for preparing the visit.

“In Thailand,” said the Pope, “I met with the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch as a sign of esteem and of the importance of promoting respect and cooperation between the religions, and I encouraged the local Church’s support of the sick and poor at Saint Louis hospital. Among the highlights of my visit were the meetings with priests, consecrated men and women, the bishops and finally a group of young people. In the two celebrations of Mass we saw clearly how the Gospel is being inculturated among the Thai people.

“In Japan,” said the Pope, “the motto for my visit was ‘Protect All Life’: a vital theme for a county that experienced the devastation of the atom bomb and more recent disasters. I was able to spend time in prayer at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where I met with survivors and their families, and I repeated my appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons. In my meeting with young people, I encouraged them to face the future without fear by opening their hearts to God’s love in prayer and in service of others. I ask you to join me in entrusting the people of Thailand and Japan to God’s loving providence. May he bless them with prosperity and peace.”

During his audience, the Holy Father announced that on Sunday, December 1, he will go to Greccio in Italy’s Lazio region to pray at the site of the first living nativity scene set up here by St. Francis in 1223. It is said that Francis wished to attract pilgrims to the presepe or nativity scene in Greccio and to discourage them from going to the real first Nativity scene in Bethlehem because of the dangers to traveling pilgrims as the Holy Land was then under control of Muslims. Since 1223 there has been a living nativity scene here every Christmas season.

Francis previously visited Greccio on January 4, 2016.

Addressing Italian pilgrims, Pope Francis spoke of Albania and its people who have suffered greatly as a result of an earthquake that struck on Tuesday. The Pope said he was praying for the dead, the injured and their families and was close to all the Albanian people. He also noted that Albania was the first country in Europe that he wanted to visit.

TRANSCIPT OF PAPAL PRESSER ON TOKYO-ROME FLIGHT

Following is the transcript in English of the press conference held aboard the papal flight from Tokyo to Rome yesterday, November 26. As you will read at the end, “This unofficial transcript and translation is a collabortion of journalists at CNA, and its Italian and Spanish language news partners. Every effort is made for accuracy and clarity.”

I will go into detail in a separate post about the Pope’s remarks on Vatican finances, questionable transactions, possible corruption and the use of Peter’s Pence funds for investments such as buying real estate.

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-pope-francis-in-flight-press-conference-from-japan-36598

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

POPE FRANCIS’ FINAL DAY IN JAPAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to access newsletter27.pdf

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

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

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

POPE FRANCIS IN JAPAN

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

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

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

NOVEMBER 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMERICAN BISHOPS CONTINUE AD LIMINA VISITS TO ROME

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

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

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

VATICAN INSIDER: VICE POSTULATOR SPEAKS ABOUT ARCHBISHOP SHEEN – THE HOLY FATHER IN THAILAND

VATICAN INSIDER: VICE POSTULATOR SPEAKS ABOUT ARCHBISHOP SHEEN

You must all know by now that the Vatican has approved a miracle through the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen and that on Monday, November 18, the diocese of Peoria in Illinois where he is buried announced that Sheen will be beatified in Peoria on December 21st. Given that great news, this weekend and next in the interview segment of Vatican Insider, we are re-airing a conversation I had with Msgr. Richard Soseman, a pastor in the diocese of Peoria and also the vice postulator of the cause for sainthood of Archbishop Sheen.

We talk about Msgr. Soseman’s priestly life, his time studying in Rome and then working at Congregation for clergy, how his life and priesthood was impacted by Sheen, how he was assigned to the cause for sainthood, the role of a vice postulator and the miracle that led to Sheen’s beatification. A second miracle, by the way, is needed for canonization. So stay tuned after the news highlights and a Q&A for Part I of that conversation.

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THE HOLY FATHER IN THAILAND

What it means to be a Christian
Pope Francis meets with priests, religious, consecrated men and women, seminarians and catechists in Bangkok, and shares guidelines on how to achieve apostolic fruitfulness, and on what it means to be a Christian. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-in-thailand-what-it-means-to-be-a-christian.html

Pope to Bishops: Holy Spirit is the protagonist of mission
Pope Francis addresses the Bishops of Thailand and of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) at the Shrine of Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung in Bangkok. The Pope began his discourse to the Bishops by placing their meeting under the “watchful gaze” of Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd, “so that his example may inspire us with a great zeal for evangelization in all the local Churches of Asia.” https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-to-bishops-in-thailand-be-servants-not-managers.html

Encounter and mutual dialogue needed in a challenging world
Pope Francis meets Christian leaders and leaders of other religions at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, telling them co-operation and mutual respect are needed more than ever in a world filled with complex challenges. In 1897, Thailand’s King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) visited Rome and met Pope Leo XIII, the first time that a non-Christian Head of State was received in the Vatican. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-encounter-mutual-dialogue-needed-in-a-challenging-world.html

Pope to youth in Thailand: rooted in faith through friendship with Jesus
Pope Francis celebrates Mass for young people Friday evening in Bangkok’s Cathedral. A strong faith based on a deep friendship with Jesus, he says, will see them through life’s difficulties, as their elders testify. Pope Francis is asking the young people of Thailand to be deeply rooted and anchored in their faith by cultivating a friendship with Jesus, saying it will provide them with the oil needed to light up the path of their life and those of others around them. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-apostolic-journey-thailand-mass-youth.html