Greetings from Rome! I’m back in town after a marvelous, memorable and very, very happy vacation time that included, at the very end, four days in Cincinnati for a meeting with Knights and Dames of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Those were four of the most remarkable days of my life, not just of my vacation.

I’ve been working today on uploading photos – hundreds of them – in an effort to share with you some small idea of where I have been and what I have been doing this past month – an idea of what a vacation could and should be!

Thanks for staying with me in this period. I heard from a number of you in this time and am grateful for your interest and friendship! Stay tuned for coming posts!

Here are two stories from the Vatican today……


At today’s general audience held in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis announced that, “in our continuing catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians, we now consider Saint Paul’s teaching on justification.” (Vatican photo)

He defined justification in his opening paragraph, speaking in part off the cuff: “What is justification? We, who were sinners, have become just. Who justified us? This process of change is justification. We, before God, are just. It is true, we have our personal sins. But fundamentally, we are just. This is justification. …In the Letter to the Galatians, just as in the Letter to the Romans, Paul insists on the fact that justification comes through faith in Christ. “But, Father, I am just because I keep all the commandments!” Yes, but justification does not come from that. It comes before that. Someone justified you, someone made you just before God. “Yes, but I am a sinner!” Yes, you justified, but a sinner. But fundamentally, you are just. Who justified you? Jesus Christ. This is justification.

“For the Apostle,” said the Holy Father, “God in his mercy, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, has offered definitive forgiveness and salvation to sinners, thus reconciling us to Himself. Paul’s encounter with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus led him to understand that we are justified not by the observance of precepts and our own efforts, but by the grace of God through faith in Christ.”

Pope Francis stated that, “While the law remains a holy gift of God, and obedience to the commandments is essential to our spiritual life, the grace of God, freely bestowed in Christ, is primary. The faith born of our experience of God’s saving love should transform every aspect of our lives and bear fruit in acts of charity…”

Following the catechesis, Francis said he had “learned with sorrow of the news of the armed attacks last Sunday against the villages of Madamai and Abun, in northern Nigeria. I pray for those who have died, for those who were wounded, and for the entire Nigerian population. I hope that the safety of every citizen might be guaranteed in the country.”

Click here for full catechesis in English and video of the general audience: General Audience – Activities of the Holy Father Pope Francis | Vatican.va


Pope Francis has chosen the single word, “Listen!” as the theme for the 56th World Communications Day, which will be celebrated in 2022. Announcing next year’s theme, the Holy See says, “Pope Francis is asking the world to listen again.”

By Holy See Press Office

This is the theme that the Holy Father Francis has chosen for the 56th World Communications Day, to be celebrated in 2022: “Listen!”

After the Message of 2021, which focused on going and seeing, in his new Message for World Communications Day 2022 Pope Francis asks the world of communication to learn to listen again.

The pandemic has affected and wounded everyone, and everyone needs to be heard and comforted. Listening is also fundamental for good information. The search for truth begins with listening. And so does witnessing through the means of social communication. Every dialogue, every relationship begins with listening. For this reason, in order to grow, even professionally, as communicators, we need to relearn to listen a lot.

Jesus himself asks us to pay attention to how we listen (cf. Lk 8:18). To be able to truly listen requires courage, and a free and open heart, without prejudice.

At this time when the whole Church is invited to listen in order to learn to be a synodal Church, we are all invited to rediscover listening as essential for good communication.