FYI: We will know the content of the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation on the 2019 Amazon synod on Wednesday, February 12. Title is “Dear Amazon” (from original Spanish)


My guest in the interview segment this week is Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu as he and the bishops of Region XI – California, Hawaii and Nevada – were recently in Rome to fulfill their ad limina visit. He talks about their 3-hour private encounter with Pope Francis, the visits to various offices of the Roman Curia, and the 10 men in the diocese studying for the priesthood! And he tells us what it is like to be bishop of a diocese spread out over a number of islands. We also learn that Hawaii may have a third saint in addition to St. Damien and St Marianne Cope. So don’t miss those insights!

This photo is from the extraordinary collection of photos taken by Bishop Silva’s vicar general, Msgr. Gary Secor during their pre-ad limina days in Rome and environs as well as the weeklong ad limina visit of all the bishops from California, Nevada and Hawaii.

While in Rome, the bishops celebrate four Masses as a group at the four papal basilicas. In two basilicas, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s, they pray as a group before the tombs of the apostles. It is very moving to be present at these Masses.

Click here for a truly amazing pictorial account of people and places, churches and chapels. Kudos, Msgr. Gary, for this wonderful pilgrimage!

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The Holy Father Friday said poverty, discrimination, climate change, the globalization of indifference and the exploitation of human beings all prevent the flourishing of millions of children, thus his call for all to join forces to achieve a broad educational covenant.

He was addressing participants at the end of a two-day conference in the Vatican entitled “Education. The Global Compact.” The conference was one of a series of events leading up to the signing of a “Global Compact for Education,” promoted by the Pope, to be held in the Vatican on May 14, 2020.

Despite objectives formulated by the UN and other international bodies, Pope Francis said humanity is in need of a renewed educational covenant “aimed at forming mature persons capable of mending the fabric of human relationships and creating a more fraternal world.”

(Vaticannews) Reflecting on how basic education has become a “normative ideal throughout the world,” the Pope praised the progress that has been made in making primary education almost universal while also narrowing the gender gap.

“Nonetheless,” he continued, “each generation needs to consider how best to hand on its knowledge and its values to the next, since it is through education that men and women attain their maximum potential and become conscious, free and responsible.”

Education concerns the future of humanity
Thus, Pope Francis underscored, “concern for education is concern for future generations and for the future of humanity. It is a concern profoundly rooted in hope and it calls for generosity and courage.”

He elaborated on the fact that education is not merely about transmitting concepts and that it demands cooperation on the part of all involved: “the family, the school and social, cultural and religious institutions.”

A state of breakdown
“Today what I have called the “educational compact” between families, schools, nations and the world, culture and cultures, is in crisis, and indeed in a state of breakdown,” he said, noting that it is “serious, and it can only be fixed through a renewed universal effort of generosity and cooperation.”

Thus, Pope Francis said, all members of society are called, in some way, to renew and consolidate their commitment in favour of education.

“To achieve this, there has to be an integration of disciplines, culture, sports, science, relaxation and recreation; bridges have to be built to overcome the forms of enclosure that trap us in our little world and to launch into the global open seas in respect for all traditions,” he said.
Teaching a culture of dialogue and encounter
Francis called for an effort that gives value to traditions and cultures so that future generations may develop “their own self-understanding by encountering and appropriating cultural diversity and change. …This will enable the promotion of a culture of dialogue, encounter and mutual understanding, in a spirit of serenity and tolerance.”

Families, schools, communities
Pope Francis called in particular for a greater participation of families and local communities in educational projects.

Concluding, he praised and upheld the work and responsibility of teachers, pointing out that in a new educational compact, the function of teachers, as educators, must be acknowledged and supported by every possible means: “By their knowledge, patience and dedication, they communicate a way of living and acting that embodies a richness that is not material but spiritual, and creates the men and woman of tomorrow.”