POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JULY – VATICAN INSIDER VISITS WINE COUNTRY (WOMEN IN THE NEW EVANGELIZATION)

Good heavens, a new month – again! And we are just days away from July 4th and, as I say below, I will be taking the day off – not something I do with any frequency! I have to prepare three segments for “At Home with Jim and Joy” for the coming week so that is probably how I will spend most of my “day off.”

UPDATE. As of Saturday  I have received well over 500 messages and emails for my birthday yesterday and they are still coming in! I was floored and delighted and filled with joy at the sentiments of love and friendship and caring and gratitude that everyone expressed. I felt so blessed and special. I feel I am awash in prayers and blessings, and I’ll use them bit by bit, each day of my new year, trying to live up to your expectations and my goals.

Thank you for the wishes from around the world in many languages! Thank you for the flowers and drawings and photos and poetic expressions – some were Biblical, some were Shakespeare and most were handwritten, heartfelt sentiments.

This was especially meaningful from my friend Mark:

“Watch over thy child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she fall; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

To all who shared a birthday with me, I share that beautiful prayer!

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JULY

The Holy Father’s universal prayer intention for July is: “That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect.”

His mission intention is: “That the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, by means of her mission to the continent, may announce the Gospel with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.”

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS WINE COUNTRY (WOMEN IN THE NEW EVANGELIZATION)

Welcome to Vatican Insider on this long July 4th weekend. Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! I’ll be taking this day off, joining my EWTN colleagues in saluting our nation on its 240th birthday!

My special guests this week in the interview segment are two very special people and special friends – Kelly Wahlquist of WINE – Women in the New Evangelization – and Teresa Tomeo. We talk about our recent pilgrimage in Italy to discover the country’s beautiful women saints! You’ll feel like you are overhearing a wonderful converation between three friends! Lots of fun and wonderful insights!

20160621_112250

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=

 

Advertisements

VIDEO FEATURES POPE FRANCIS’ MARCH PRAYER INTENTIONS

VIDEO FEATURES POPE FRANCIS’ MARCH PRAYER INTENTIONS

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis is urging Christians to support families in need so that children are raised in “healthy and peaceful environments.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/510kBYj57cc

In a short video message in Spanish (with English subtitles) issued Thursday, the Pope offers a prayer intention for the month of March. He reflects on the theme: “the family is one of the most precious assets of humanity. But, is it not perhaps the most vulnerable?”

“When a family is exposed to economic, health, or other difficulties, the children grow up in an environment of sadness.”

Meditating on this issue, Pope Francis says,  “I want to share with you and with Jesus my prayer intention for the month: That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments.”

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR NOVEMBER – VATICAN INSIDER: CARDINAL WUERL TALKS ABOUT THE SYNOD – THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR NOVEMBER

His general prayer intention is: “That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.”

His missionary intention is: “That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.”

VATICAN INSIDER: CARDINAL WUERL TALKS ABOUT THE SYNOD

Tune in this weekend to “Vatican Insider” for my conversation with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, who was in Rome for 3 weeks for the synod on the family – his 7th synod  – and talks to us about that event,  the media coverage, the methodology and the final document. The cardinal was one of 10 people on the commission who put that final document together – and he will tell you how. The original synod message is in Italian, and we are awaiting translations. The relatio has been given to the Holy Father who will write an Apostolic Exhortation.

20151018_165425

Cardinal Wuerl and I first met in Rome during the September 1975 canonization of St. Elizabeth Seton when then-Father Wuerl was the priest secretary to American Cardinal John Joseph Wright, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. His Eminence wanted a secretary for personal correspondence on weekends and, given his great love for Joan of Arc and his vast book collection about her, when my name was proposed, he was apparently enthusiastic (I originally wrote ‘he jumped at the chance’) about the idea of a Joan becoming his secretary. Father, then Bishop and now Cardinal Wuerl and I have followed each other over the years and, as the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome!  At least for a synod!

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 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 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

MY FAVORITE STORY OF THE DAY – Pope Francis has received an unusual gift aimed at boosting relations between the Catholic and Anglican Churches – a cricket bat signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his team following their recent rematch with the Vatican’s XI on Rome’s Campanelle grounds. Australian Cardinal George Pell, a former rugby player who nevertheless knows cricket, gave Francis the bat on Thursday after the St. Peter’s Cricket Club beat the Church of England’s XI by 43 runs in a 20-over match this weekend.  Pope Francis promptly signed it himself.

POPE-CRICKET BAT

The Vatican team includes seminarians and priests studying at Rome’s pontifical universities. They are 4-0 this season ahead of an April rematch with the Royal Household.  Australia’s Vatican ambassador, John McCarthy, said the Anglicans’ visit “strengthened personal and institutional relations” between the two churches.  (Source: Vatican Radio: AP)

POPE WELCOMES SALVADORAN PILGRIMS – (VIS) – Friday morning 500 pilgrims from El Salvador, who are in Rome to give thanks for the beatification of Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero, met with the Holy Father in the Paul VI Hall. The Pope defined the Salvadoran bishop martyr as a “good pastor, full of love for God and close to his brothers who, living the dynamism of the Beatitudes, gave his life in a violent way while celebrating the Eucharist, the supreme sacrifice of love, sealing with his own blood the Gospel that he announced. … From the very beginning of the life of the Church, Christians have always believed that the blood of martyrs is a seed for Christians, as Tertuliano said. Today too, in a dramatic way, the blood of a great number of Christian martyrs continues to be shed on the fields of the world, with the certain hope that will bear fruit in a rich harvest of holiness, justice, reconciliation and love of God. But we must remember that one is not born a martyr. …. “Indeed, the martyr is not someone relegated to the past, a beautiful image that adorns our churches and which we recall with a certain nostalgia. No, the martyr is a brother, a sister, who continues to accompany us in the communion of saints and who, united with Christ, does not ignore our earthly pilgrimage, our sufferings, our anxieties.”

PAPAL MESSAGE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING – (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to the Santa Marta Group, an initiative he personally launched in the battle against human trafficking, involving the security forces of various countries, episcopates, social organisations and representatives of various religious confessions. The group is currently meeting at San Lorenzo del Escorial in Spain. It was inaugurated today by Queen Sofia and attended by cardinals, bishops, social activists and around fifty heads of police from around the world. In his message, Francis wrote that, in the short time of its existence, “this worthy group has made significant achievements and is called upon to play a decisive role in the eradication of human trafficking and modern slavery.” He noted that during the last year there have been important institutional changes that have without doubt supported its activity, starting with the meeting of mayors in Vatican City on 21 July, in which key figures signed a declaration expressing their commitment to eliminating the new forms of slavery that constitute a crime against humanity.

Human trafficking

FRANCIS MARKS CELAM’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY – (VIS) – To commemorate 60 years of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), Pope Francis wrote a message to CELAM president, Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, in which he expresses his gratitude for all the good the Lord has gradually sown there, and that has borne fruit through the service of God’s Church in Latin America. “I hope that CELAM, making pastoral and missionary conversion its priority, may increasingly participate in, support and give momentum to this evangelising movement towards all environments and all frontiers. It is important that our communities be ‘homes and schools of communion’, which attract by a surprising fraternity based on the recognition of the common father, and help always to keep alive in the Church in Latin America the passion for our peoples, the bearing of our sufferings and the capacity for Christian discernment of the vicissitudes of their recent history, to open up paths of greater equality, peace and justice.”

 

Cardinal Wuerl and I first met in Rome during the September 1975 canonization of St. Elizabeth Seton when then-Father Wuerl was the priest secretary to American Cardinal John Joseph Wright, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. His Eminence wanted a secretary for personal correspondence on weekends and, given his great love for Joan of Arc and his vast book collection about her, when my name was proposed, he was apparently enthusiastic (I originally wrote ‘he jumped at the chance’) about the idea of a Joan becoming his secretary. Father, then Bishop and now Cardinal Wuerl and I have followed each other over the years and, as the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome!  At least for a synod!

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 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 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

MY FAVORITE STORY OF THE DAY – Pope Francis has received an unusual gift aimed at boosting relations between the Catholic and Anglican Churches – a cricket bat signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his team following their recent rematch with the Vatican’s XI on Rome’s Campanelle grounds. Australian Cardinal George Pell, a former rugby player who nevertheless knows cricket, gave Francis the bat on Thursday after the St. Peter’s Cricket Club beat the Church of England’s XI by 43 runs in a 20-over match this weekend.  Pope Francis promptly signed it himself.

Pope – bat

The Vatican team includes seminarians and priests studying at Rome’s pontifical universities. They are 4-0 this season ahead of an April rematch with the Royal Household.  Australia’s Vatican ambassador, John McCarthy, said the Anglicans’ visit “strengthened personal and institutional relations” between the two churches.  (Source: Vatican Radio: AP)

POPE WELCOMES SALVADORAN PILGRIMS – (VIS) – Friday morning 500 pilgrims from El Salvador, who are in Rome to give thanks for the beatification of Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero, met with the Holy Father in the Paul VI Hall. The Pope defined the Salvadoran bishop martyr as a “good pastor, full of love for God and close to his brothers who, living the dynamism of the Beatitudes, gave his life in a violent way while celebrating the Eucharist, the supreme sacrifice of love, sealing with his own blood the Gospel that he announced. … From the very beginning of the life of the Church, Christians have always believed that the blood of martyrs is a seed for Christians, as Tertuliano said. Today too, in a dramatic way, the blood of a great number of Christian martyrs continues to be shed on the fields of the world, with the certain hope that will bear fruit in a rich harvest of holiness, justice, reconciliation and love of God. But we must remember that one is not born a martyr. …. “Indeed, the martyr is not someone relegated to the past, a beautiful image that adorns our churches and which we recall with a certain nostalgia. No, the martyr is a brother, a sister, who continues to accompany us in the communion of saints and who, united with Christ, does not ignore our earthly pilgrimage, our sufferings, our anxieties.”

PAPAL MESSAGE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING – (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to the Santa Marta Group, an initiative he personally launched in the battle against human trafficking, involving the security forces of various countries, episcopates, social organisations and representatives of various religious confessions. The group is currently meeting at San Lorenzo del Escorial in Spain. It was inaugurated today by Queen Sofia and attended by cardinals, bishops, social activists and around fifty heads of police from around the world. In his message, Francis wrote that, in the short time of its existence, “this worthy group has made significant achievements and is called upon to play a decisive role in the eradication of human trafficking and modern slavery.” He noted that during the last year there have been important institutional changes that have without doubt supported its activity, starting with the meeting of mayors in Vatican City on 21 July, in which key figures signed a declaration expressing their commitment to eliminating the new forms of slavery that constitute a crime against humanity.

PHOTO

FRANCIS MARKS CELAM’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY – (VIS) – To commemorate 60 years of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), Pope Francis wrote a message to CELAM president, Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, in which he expresses his gratitude for all the good the Lord has gradually sown there, and that has borne fruit through the service of God’s Church in Latin America. “I hope that CELAM, making pastoral and missionary conversion its priority, may increasingly participate in, support and give momentum to this evangelising movement towards all environments and all frontiers. It is important that our communities be ‘homes and schools of communion’, which attract by a surprising fraternity based on the recognition of the common father, and help always to keep alive in the Church in Latin America the passion for our peoples, the bearing of our sufferings and the capacity for Christian discernment of the vicissitudes of their recent history, to open up paths of greater equality, peace and justice.”

 

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JULY – POPE FRANCIS’ JULY JOURNEY TO LATIN AMERICA – FR. LOMBARDI ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL SITUATION IN GREECE

July is traditionally one of the two hottest months here and one of two months, August being the other, when a fair number of Vatican employees take their vacation. The normal work load occupies many offices, is reduced for some but continues to be quite heavy in the Secretariat of State where staffers work on proof-reading and translating papal speeches and homilies for both his July 5 to 12 trip to Latin America, and his September 19 to 28 apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States.

I was hoping for a quiet Wednesday as there was no general audience this morning but a number of tasks – regular and special – filled my agenda, including taping some segments for “At Home with Jim and Joy.”  As is usual on a Wednesday, I was to join Teresa Tomeo on “Catholic Connection” but it seems there was an avalanche of calls about a segment and that ate up our time.

I’m now working on this short post-birthday column, preparing my weekly show on Vatican Radio, “Joan Knows” and trying to finish both early enough to attend the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See’s annual July 4th party tonight.

My birthday celebration last night was one of the loveliest nights of my life – filled with friends and love and joy and laughter and terrific food and beautiful decorations and a cake that took our collective breath away!

20150630_225100 20150630_225155

Friends took photos and videos and I’ll post a few of those as they arrive. My home looks like a florist shop  – in fact, I am sure that some florist shops do not have the selection I have of floral arrangements, bouquets, plants, etc.  I had to leave some flowers at La Vittoria as, even with all the help I had bringing flowers and gifts home after the party, our arms could not carry everything. I’ll get those later today.

My friend Claudio and his wife Palmerina and their staff (including a son, Leonardo, who is a budding chef!) pulled out all the stops. The restaurant was decorated in white and yellow – Vatican colors – flowers and balloons and banners proclaiming “Happy Birthday Joan.”

20150630_205035 20150630_204719 20150630_204651

A magnificent, unforgettable time spent with very special people – the wonderful friends that God has brought into my life over the years. I made a few remarks and said that, as I looked around the room and saw friends from the Vatican, from Santa Susanna, from NAC, from Chicago, I saw in each face memories of the good times we have also shared in the past – meals, laughter, great conversation, trips, Masses and other spiritual moments.

Chicago and Milwaukee friends:

20150630_212147

There were seven of us at the head table and Claudio arranged all the seats so that no one sat with their back to the head table. I was joined by Bishop Baker of Birmingham, Msgr. Keith Newton, ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Jack and Linda Del Rio and Julie and Joe Helow. (More photos later as they arrive from the guests.)

As the old song goes, “Thanks for the memories….!!”

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JULY

(VIS) – The Holy Father’s universal prayer intention for July is: “That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.”

His intention for evangelization is: “That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.”

POPE FRANCIS’ JULY JOURNEY TO LATIN AMERICA

(Vatican Radio) For the second time since his election on March 13, 2013 Pope Francis is returning to the continent of his birth – Latin America – on a journey which will see him interact and communicate in his own language – Spanish.  The Pope was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for World Youth Day.

The journey to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, which is scheduled to last from July 5 to 13, was presented Tuesday at the Vatican Press Office by Father Federico Lombardi.

The underlying theme of the journey to all three counties, ravaged by conquest, exploitation and conflict in years not so long gone by is that of reconciliation and renewal.

Linda Bordoni reports: Pointing out that this is the first time Pope Francis will visit three different nations during a single journey, Fr. Lombardi also noted that, just as he did in Europe by choosing Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina as the first nations to reach out to at the beginning of his pontificate, here too he is starting with the “peripheries” as far as the Latin American and global scenarios are concerned.

It will also be the first journey – F. Lombardi observed – in which Spanish – the Pope’s mother-tongue – is spoken throughout, giving him plenty of occasions to set aside prepared texts (including 22 official discourses) and to talk and converse freely with his audiences.

Lombardi also said that in just seven days Pope Francis will be experiencing enormous changes in temperature and in altitude: from 3 degrees to 40 degrees centigrade, from sea level to over 4,100 meters above sea level as he travels from the Atlantic to the Andes and in between.

A swift glance at the Pope’s schedule highlights the fact that the journey will be intense for other reasons as well!

All in all, Pope Francis is to spend 48 hours in each country, and each time he will be involved in a number of “common” events such as an audience with each President; a “sit-down” with the bishops, an encounter with civil society (representatives of business, indigenous people, the world of education, culture); a meeting with consecrated people.

Of course in each country he will also be involved in other events and situations as he is scheduled to visit a home for the aged run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa in Ecuador, a prison (one of the largest in Latin America) and a meeting with members of the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Bolivia; a children’s hospital and a slum area in Paraguay.

Another important feature of the journey will be a Marian one as Pope Francis will gather in prayer before the “Virgen Dolorosa” in Quito and before Our Lady of Caacupé 40 km from Asuncion.

One important characteristic of the whole journey – Father Lombardi pointed out – has to do with the wealth of traditions, cultures and languages that are present on the territory. The Pope’s respect for the diversity and value of each of these is also reflected in all of the liturgies and celebrations.

The Holy See Press Office director recalled that Pope Saint John Paul II travelled to all three nations: Ecuador in 1985, Bolivia and Paraguay in 1988 where he had a memorable meeting with minors, canonized Rocco Gonzales and was witness to the last days of General Alfredo Stroessner’s cruel dictatorship.

Fr. Lombardi concluded a detailed account of the Pope’s day-to-day schedule, pointing out that this journey is Francis’ “homecoming” in the sense that it is the second time he will be back in his own continent since travelling to Rome for the conclave in 2013, and that he will finally be speaking his own language. “All this – he said – should make for a particularly intense occasion for communication

FR. LOMBARDI ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL SITUATION IN GREECE

Fr. Lombard said today, “The news from Greece regarding the economic and social situation of the country is worrying. The Holy Father wishes to convey his closeness to all the Greek people, with a special thought for the many families gravely beset by such a complex and keenly felt human and social crisis. The dignity of the human person must remain at the center of any political and technical debate, as well as in the taking of responsible decisions. Pope Francis invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.”