VATICAN INSIDER VISITS BETHLEHEM UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION – POPE TO SERRANS: “YOU ARE SPECIAL FRIENDS IN THE LIVES OF SEMINARIANS AND PRIESTS”

For many years my Father was the president of a local chapter of Serra International and very often I was invited to attend events in Oak Park, and sometimes in the larger chapter in Chicago. I attended many of the father/daughter dinners and have such a wonderful memories of those events.

There were also father/son dinners, of course. Serra events naturally focused on vocations to the priesthood but also the religious life as a nun, for example. Speakers usually highlighted the importance and the beauty of a vocation but also – and in some ways, more importantly – underscored the contribution that a good, loving, spiritually rich family can make to the creation of and support for a vocation.

During those “Serra years,” I also accompanied my parents to a number of Serra International conventions in the U.S and Canada, and I still have terrific memories of some of those gatherings and the marvelous people working to promote vocations to the priesthood. Obviously I also met a great number of seminarians and priests, in addfition to a number of bishops and cardinals.

Mom, Dad and I usually made the city of the Serra convention our final goal on a long car vacation, driving, for example, from Illinois to Toronto or Vancouver or San Francisco. We never forgot the miles we traveled for the Vancouver convention (Dad always set the odometer for a trip) – 5,280. We probably remembered because that is how many feet there are in a mile. (I cannot explain the reason I remember trivia like this).

I was so hoping to be part of this convention in Rome but at the moment it doesn’t seem possible. Will keep you posted if things change!  In any event, below you’ll find some of the Pope’s words to 600 Serrans whom he received in audience today.

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS BETHLEHEM UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION

This weekend promises to be, in many places around the world, a very hot weekend, weather-wise. But you can stay cool in your home or car as you listen to this week’s “Vatican Insider” when my special guest in the interview segment is John Schlageter, director of the Bethlehem University Foundation.

In the midst of the violence and conflicts and religious persecution in the Middle East, including, of course, the Holy Land, there is one oasis of peace – Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, Palestine. John and I both know and love this university so tune in as we talk about his work.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) 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. 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 9:00am (ET). 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 YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

POPE TO SERRANS: “YOU ARE SPECIAL FRIENDS IN THE LIVES OF SEMINARIANS AND PRIESTS”

Serra International,, a Catholic organization designed to help foster vocations to the priesthood, is currently celebrating its 75th annual convention in Rome, and 600 Serrans from around the world were received Friday by Pope Francis.

He urged members to “keep moving forward with courage, creativity and boldness,” and noted that a Serran, “is a special friend whom the Lord has brought into the lives of seminarians and priests.”

Speaking about friendship, the Holy Father said “friends stand at our side, they listen to us closely, and can see beyond mere words; they are merciful when faced with our faults; they are non-judgmental. “This is the kind of friendship that you seek to offer to priests.”  The Serra Club, he added,  “helps foster this beautiful vocation of being laity who are friends to priests.”

“Vocation,” Pope Francis explained, “is an invitation to go forth from ourselves, to rejoice in our relationship with the Lord, and to journey along the ways that he opens up before us. But we cannot make progress unless we take a risk, and have the courage to dare, not to let fear stifle creativity, not to be suspicious of new things, but instead to embrace the challenges which the Spirit sets before us, even when this means changing plans and charting a different course.”

 

AN UPDATE FROM ROME

AN UPDATE FROM ROME

Please excuse my absence on this page yesterday. As you know I write a fresh column every day and, if I’ll be absent, I always explain the reason why – a trip, vacation, etc.

Yesterday was simply a question of being in too much pain to write.

For about 10 or so days I have been bothered by pain, first very slight, and a touch of swelling on my right ankle. I thought it night be the temporary result of a very slight twisted ankle on the cobblestone of St. Peter’s Square about two weeks ago. I did visit some doctors in the Vatican, was told by each of them that it was an infection in my ankle and even had a Doppler test to exclude phlebitis. I followed their orders, took the prescribe antibiotics and there was just no improvement.

Yesterday and today the pain was unbearable, thus my decision this morning to go to the emergency room at the very nearby Santo Spirito hospital. Busses, trains and planes were all on strike throughout Italy today and for this reason it was close to impossible to find a taxi – waits were very long. I tried, as my Mother advised us when we had disappointments growing up, to “offer it up for the poor souls in purgatory!”

In any case, staff at Santo Spirito (in a totally renovated emergency area) was great. The doctor confirmed a very bad infection and I had a procedure that made the pain of previous days seem like child’s play! I totally forgot why but he did give me a reason they could not use anesthesia to kill the pain.

I have a topical medicine to use twice a day for 5 days and an antibiotic, twice a day for 6 days. I have been told the pain should diminish each day as my body rids itself completely of any residual infection, swelling, etc. As I write, no one understands how this occurred – an insect bite has been the favorite hypothesis.

I can tell you one thing when physical pain is excruciating: it is very hard to pray.

Working helped take my mind off things so, until yesterday, I wrote a daily column and also managed all this past week and last to write and then film segments of AT HOME with Jim and Joy for the film crew came to my home: Thanks so much, my friends! Last night I wrote until about 8 as I had to prepare “Vatican Insider” news segment and my Vatican radio weekly show, “Joan Knows,” that I usually tape on Fridays – did it today over the phone.

So many people wanted to know how things turned out today that writing these lines was easier than responding to each email.

Thanks for continued prayers.

VATICAN INSIDER this weekend: For a number of reasons, the interview segment will be “The Best of” but the news segment is current. My guest is Eliyo. Eliyo is the professional name of Sarah Ego, an Assyrian Orthodox singer who was born in Augsburg, Germany. We met at one of her concerts in the Vatican where she sang traditional German Christian chorals as well as several songs in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and the Apostles, Schubert’s Ave Maria in Latin and several Christmas carols in English. We talk about her concerts and her dreams.

VATICAN INSIDER: WHEN WOMEN PRAY – POPE CALLS TEHRAN ATTACK “SENSELESS ACT OF VIOLENCE” – CENTRAL ROLE OF WOMEN IN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE

VATICAN INSIDER: WHEN WOMEN PRAY

This weekend on “Vatican Insider” I offer a rather unusual edition of the interview segment. For the past 2 weekends you have heard Kathleen Beckman and Dr. Luis Sandoval talk about exorcisms, exorcists and the course they took on this subject recently in Rome. After we had finished the interview, Kathleen suggested we do a special interview and talk about women and prayer – not only the book we collaborated on, “When Women Pray” – but women and prayer in general. So this weekend I offer a real off-the-cuff conversation about prayer. I hope you will be as surprised and delighted as I was Friday when I listened to our taped interview for the first time (I was also truly humbled as I listened to Kathleen’s words).

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) 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. 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 9:00am (ET). 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 YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

POPE CALLS TEHRAN ATTACK “SENSELESS ACT OF VIOLENCE”

Pope Francis on Friday sent his condolences for the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Tehran, Iran, saying he “laments this senseless and grave act of violence”. The telegram was sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State:

“His Holiness Pope Francis sends his heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the barbaric attack in Tehran, and laments this senseless and grave act of violence. In expressing his sorrow for the victims and their families, His Holiness commends the souls of the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, and he assures the people of Iran of his prayers for peace.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State

CENTRAL ROLE OF WOMEN IN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Friday with participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who have been discussing the key contribution of women to interfaith relations. (photo: news.va).

Philippa Hitchen reports that the Pope began by noting how often women’s work and dignity is threatened by violence and hatred which tears families and societies apart.

Faced with the challenges of our globalized world, he said, there is a vital need to recognize the abilities of women to teach values of unity and fraternity which can transform the human family.

It is therefore to the benefit of society that women have a growing presence in social, political and economic life – as well as in the life of the Church – at national and international level, the Pope said. Women’s rights, he insisted, must be affirmed and protected, including, if necessary, through legal means.

In their role as educators in the family and beyond, the Pope continued, women have a particular vocation to foster innovative ways of welcoming and respecting others. Whether or not they are mothers, the contribution of women in the field of education is invaluable, he said.

Women and men, Pope Francis said, through their different roles and intuitions, are both called to the task of teaching fraternity and peace. Women, who are so intimately connected to the mystery of life, can contribute much through their care of life and their conviction that love is the only power able to make the world more habitable for each one of us.

Women, the Pope noted, are often the only ones to be found accompanying others, especially the weakest members of families or societies. Through their care of victims of conflict and all those facing the daily challenges of life, they teach us how to overcome our throwaway culture.

The Pope concluded by highlighting the importance of these values in the work of interreligious dialogue. In the so-called dialogue of life, where women are often more involved than men, they can help us better understand the challenges of our multicultural societies.

But beyond that, he stressed, many women are well prepared to contribute to the religious and theological discussions at the highest levels, alongside their male counterparts. It is more necessary than ever that they do so, he said, so that their skills of listening, welcoming, and openness to others can be of service in weaving the delicate fabric of dialogue between all men and women of good will.

VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES EXORCISM: PART II – VATICAN MESSAGE TO MUSLIMS AT RAMADAM

Pope’s Prayer Intention for June 2017: That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.

Moments before posting this column, I heard from Kathleen Beckman that her mother died unexpectedly on May 31 as she, Kathleen, was bringing her father to the hospital for some tests. There never are the right words on such an occasion to express the grief and loss of a parent so I simply ask that you remember Kathleen, her Dad, her siblings and, of course, her late Mother, in your prayers.

VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES EXORCISM: PART II

Tune in this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Kathleen Beckman and Dr. Luis Sandoval who recently traveled from the Orange County Diocese to Rome to attend a course on Exorcism at Regina Apostolorum seminary.

Kathleen is well known to so many as a prolific author, engaging speaker and retreat master and founder of Foundation of Prayer for Priests. We recently collaborated on the newly-released book, “When Women Pray.”

Dr. Luis Sandoval is a Santa Ana physician who is board certified in psychiatry and family medicine and who also serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors for NAMI Orange County (NAMI: National Alliance for Mental Illness). The Diocese of Orange sponsored a forum on mental illness last February entitled, How do we respond to mental illness in  our community? I will talk to him about any possible connection between mental illness and a person who is possessed and undergoes an exorcism.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) 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. 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 9:00am (ET). 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 YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

VATICAN MESSAGE TO MUSLIMS AT RAMADAM

The following Message to Muslims is from the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and is entitled “Christians and Muslims: Caring for our Common Home.” It is dated May 19, 2017:

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

We wish to assure you of our prayerful solidarity during this time of fasting in the month of Ramadan and the celebration of ‘Id alFitr that concludes it, and we extend to you our heartfelt best wishes for serenity, joy and abundant spiritual gifts.

This year’s Message is especially timely and significant: fifty years ago, in 1967, only three years after the establishment of this Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) by Pope Paul VI on 19 May 1964, the first Message was sent for this occasion.

In the years that have followed, two Messages have been particularly important: the Message of 1991, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, entitled “The Path of Believers is the Way of Peace”, and the Message of 2013, in the first year of Pope Francis’ pontificate, entitled “Promoting Mutual Respect through Education”. Both Messages were signed by the Pontiffs.

Among the many activities of the PCID for promoting dialogue with Muslims, the most important and longstanding is this yearly Message for Ramadan and for ‘Id al-Fitr addressed to Muslims throughout the world. To share this Message in the widest way possible, the PCID is assisted by local Catholic communities, as well as Papal Representatives present in almost every country.

The experience of both our religious communities affirms the value of this Message for promoting cordial relations between Christian and Muslim neighbours and friends, by offering insights on current and pressing issues.

For this year, the PCID offers a theme related to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “ Laudato Si’– On Care for Our Common Home”, which was addressed not only to Catholics and Christians, but to the whole of humanity. Pope Francis draws attention to the harm our lifestyles and decisions are causing to the environment, to ourselves and to our fellow human beings. There are, for example, certain philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives that present obstacles which threaten humanity’s  relationship with nature. To take up this challenge involves all of us, regardless of whether or not we profess a religious belief.

The Encyclical’s title itself is expressive: the world is a “ common home”, a dwelling for all the members of the human family. Therefore, no one person, nation or people can impose exclusively their understanding of our planet. This is why Pope Francis appeals “ for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet…, since the environmental challengewe are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affects us all” (n. 14). Pope Francis states that “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion” (no. 217).

What is needed is education, spiritual openness and a “global ecological conversion” to adequately address this challenge. As believers, our relationship with God should be increasingly shown in the way we relate to the world around us. Our vocation to be guardians of God’s handiwork is not optional, nor it is tangential to our religious commitment as Christians and Muslims: it is an essential part of it.

May the religious insights and blessings that flow from fasting, prayer and good works sustain you, with God’s help, on the path of peace and goodness, to care for all the members of the human family and for the whole of creation.

With these sentiments, we wish you once again serenity, joy and prosperity.

From the Vatican, 19 May 2017

Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President

Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.l., Secretary

VATICAN INSIDER EXAMINES EXORCISMS – ARCHBISHOP GETS TO KNOW DIOCESE BY GOING UNDERCOVER

Several things before I post this column before the long Memorial Day weekend….

First, I won’t be posting on Monday as that is one of the holidays I take each year. I hope all of you are able to celebrate in some splendid, memorable way and that, above all, you can do so as a family.

Secondly, in case you are curious about Melania Trump’s Twitter account, here it is: https://twitter.com/flotus  I have really enjoyed following her. And, of course, it is now public knowledge that she is the first Catholic First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy!

Speaking of the First Lady: she has been in the news these last days, as has First Daughter Ivanka, for their headcovering in both Saudi Arabia and at the Vatican. Both praise and criticism (the latter not deserved as some people did not do their research on the topic) have surfaced and I hope to clarify matters:

RE: Saudi Arabia: head covering such as that worn by Saudi women is not required for foreigners and non-Arab women. I was told that White House staffers had asked about this as preparations for the trip were underway and were told that the women did not have to have their heads covered.

RE: The Vatican: Both women were perfectly dressed, head to toe, per Vatican protocol. I spoke to Vatican officials from the Secretariat of State on Wednesday evening and they assured me that the two women were protocol perfect. Pope Francis is said to be trying to relax some of the protocol but so far, most people, men and women, adhere to the current rules. There is an exception known as the “white privilege” for 7 reigning female Catholic monarchs (and the former queen of Spain) wherein they may wear white or ivory dresses, suits and head covering in the presence of the Holy Father.

Whether one is a visiting dignitary or simply a visiting citizen in a foreign country it is always a wise choice to study some of the culture – how people dress, the dos and dont’s of dressing and eating, what to wear in churches or other places of worship, even the correct use of hand gestures: a thumbs up may mean A-OK in one culture and be an insult in another.

Lastly, I hope you enjoy the rather amazing story about a bishop in the Philippines going undercover!

VATICAN INSIDER EXAMINES EXORCISMS

My special guests this weekend are Kathleen Beckman and Dr. Luis Sandoval from the Diocese of Orange in California. They were recently in Rome to attend a course on exorcism and exorcists at Regina Apostolorum, the Rome seminary of the Legionaries of Christ.

Kathleen is well known to so many as a prolific author, engaging speaker and retreat master and founder of Foundation of Prayer for Priests, to list just a few of her projects. In addition, we recently collaborated on the newly-released book, “When Women Pray.”

Dr. Sandoval, a Santa Ana physician who is board certified in psychiatry and family medicine also serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors for NAMI Orange County – NAMI is National Alliance for Mental Illness. The Diocese of Orange in fact sponsored a forum on mental illness in February this year: “How do we respond to mental illness in  our community?” I ask Dr. Sandoval about any possible connection between mental illness and a person who is possessed and undergoes an esorcism.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) 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. 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 9:00am (ET). 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 YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

ARCHBISHOP GETS TO KNOW DIOCESE BY GOING UNDERCOVER

Adding an unusual flavor to his pastoral ministry, a Catholic archbishop in the Philippines went undercover to personally find out how parishes under his jurisdiction deal with the poor.

Weeks before assuming his post as the new head of Lipa, Archbishop Gilbert Garcera disguised himself as a farmer and visited parish offices. The archbishop went to great lengths to make sure he wasn’t recognized, even wearing dirty and ragged clothes.  “I wanted to know how [parish] secretaries are dealing with the poor,” said the prelate. “I went into their offices and I know what is happening there,” he said.

The 58-year old archbishop said he was satisfied by what he saw, but added that some offices continue to face challenges in serving people.  To address issues in his archdiocese, Archbishop Garcera is conducting a survey “to better understand and meet the spiritual needs” of people, especially the youth.  He said the study will involve the clergy and lay people from the archdiocese’s 64 parishes and 40 church-run schools.

“I want to reflect on one question: What are you doing to shape the minds and consciences of our young people today,” said the prelate.  He said the result of the survey “will help us shape how we could continue to find ways to meet the needs of our people.”  The 58-year-old archbishop said he wants to make sure that everyone in his archdiocese finds a home and place in the Catholic Church.

Garcera was bishop of Daet from 2007 until February 2, 2017, when Pope Francis transferred him to Lipa in Batangas.  He was installed on April 21, taking over from Archbishop Ramon Arguelles who stepped down.  At his formal installation at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Batangas, Archbishop Garcera plans to visit the different parishes, besides visiting Catholic schools and parish organizations as well as examining existing programmes and improving services to the faithful.

“To be an archbishop, to be a bishop, to be a priest is not about position… it’s about pastoral charity. According to Pope Francis it’s about service,” Archbishop Garcera said.   He urged for prayers as he took up the reins of one of the largest archdioceses of the Philippines.  (Source: UCAN)

VATICAN INSIDER: A MENORAH, THE MAGDALA STONE AND AN ARCHEOLOGIST

In case you are in or going to Greece before June 15:

I have always had a great fondness and admiration for St. Helena and featured her in my book “A Holy Year in Rome,” when describing the basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem that was built over her home (starts on page 112). At the venerable age of 80 (when most people did not live that long!) she went to the Holy Land with her son, Emperor Constantine, and brought back to Rome some relics of the passion, now in that basilica.

The relics of Empress St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, and relics of the True Cross left Italy for Greece on a pilgrimage that lasts until June 15, the first time they have left their home since the Crusades. St. Helena was responsible for her son promulgating the great Edict of Milan that granted freedom of worship to all citizens of the empire, and ended, for the time, the bloody persecution of Christians.  She is revered in both the Latin and Eastern Church.

An email from the chancellor of the Constantinian Order in the United States provided some of the details about this pilgrimage. St. Helena’s remains were escorted by military detachments from Rome to Athens.  She was welcomed in Greece with full military honors due a Head of State. The president of Greece and the archbishop of Athens were there to greet the relics.  Tens of thousands of Greeks lined the streets and waited for hours to pass by her relics to venerate them.

VATICAN INSIDER: A MENORAH, THE MAGDALA STONE AND AN ARCHEOLOGIST

My guest this weekend in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” is Dina Gorni, an archeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority with some fascinating stories and a wonderful discovery. Dina was in Rome for the opening several days ago of an exhibit at Rome’s Jewish Museum and the Vatican’s Charlemagne Wing called “The Menorah: Worship, History and Myth.”

Dina tells us about the exhibit, how it began and what it features, including one of the rarest works in archeology – that she discovered! – the celebrated Magdala Stone. The stone has been loaned to this exhibit on an exceptional basis by Israel.

I wrote about this on last Monday after I interviewed Dina, noting that the exhibit was a kind of world premiere as the Vatican, Rome’s Jewish community and the Israeli Antiquities Authority teamed up for the first-ever joint exhibit by their respective museums. The focus, as the title says, is the menorah, the seven-armed candelabrum described in the Jewish Torah and also depicted in both Jewish and Christian art over many centuries.

Dina relates how the Legionaries of Christ wanted to build a hotel for pilgrims on land in Magdala on the shores of Lake Tiberias but the IAA said that, since this was historic land, they’d want to do some excavations – and, as they say, the rest is history. The Magdala stone, in fact, depicts the oldest carved image of the Second Temple’s seven-branched menorah ever found. So tune in for sure!

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) 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. 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 9:00am (ET). 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 YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

 

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS THE FOYER UNITAS IN ROME

Pope Francis is in Fatima, Portugal as I write and the television coverage has been riveting so far. I hope you take time during the 22 or so hours that the Holy Father is in Portugal to follow his 19th apostolic trip, and to that end, my only post today is a preview of “Vatican Insider” and my weekend guest-

If we want to give a spiritual bouquet of flowers to Pope Francis, we might do so by reciting the Rosary – perhaps a decade, perhaps five decades or maybe, over the weekend, all 20 mysteries, including, of course, the Mysteries of Light, the Luminous Mysteries.

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS THE FOYER UNITAS IN ROME

My guest this weekend on Vatican Insider is Donna Orsuto, co-founder and director of the Lay Center Foyer Unitas in Rome, and president of the Center’s Board of Directors. A long time resident of Rome, Donna will tell us what inspired her to found this center, where it is located – in one of the most beautiful settings in Rome! – and what the Center does for its students.

I know Donna and the Center fairly well as there is an annual dinner for visiting presidents of Catholic Universities at which two members of the media and an ambassador speak. I’ve been privileged to speak at this dinner for the past several years.

Donna Orsuto, among other things, is a professor of spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, has written two books and many articles, gives retreats and is active in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.

In our conversation, Donna and I spoke of the beautiful grounds on which the Center is located, and I promised I’d post some photos for our listeners, so here are just a few I took that day:

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In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) 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. 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 9:00am (ET). 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 YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=