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From: The World Seen From Rome
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Even if we fall, and our culture is full of problems and self-interest, God is betting on us, wishing to extend to us His mercy.

Pope Francis stressed this in the video message he sent for the occasion of the Jubilee Celebration for the Americas, which started Saturday in Bogotá, Colombia, and was sponsored by the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (CAL), in collaboration with the Bishops’ Conferences of the United States and Canada.

Bishops, priests, religious and laity of the 22 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, together with delegates from Canada and the United States and representatives of the Holy See, are taking part in the event.

In the video message, Francis drew inspiration from the words of the apostle St. Paul to his disciple Timothy, in which he stresses how Christ showed him mercy and “appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence.” (1 Tim 1:12-16a) Francis underscored that as Paul speaks to Timothy, he wants to speak to each of us.

The Provocation

Francis noted that Paul’s words are an “invitation,” or as he stressed, “I would even say, ‘a provocation.’ They are words that cannot leave us indifferent; rather, they profoundly affect our lives.”

“Paul minces no words: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom Paul considers himself the worst. He is clearly aware of who he is, he does not conceal his past or even his present. But he describes himself in this way neither to excuse or justify himself, much less to boast of his condition.”

Turning to those celebrating the Jubilee, the Pope noted how all of us in our lives in some way have received mercy.

Despite Our Failings

“For all our sins, our limitations, our failings, for all the many times we have fallen,” he continued, “Jesus has looked upon us and drawn near to us. He has given us his hand and showed us mercy. To whom? To me, to you, to everyone. All of us can think back and remember the many times the Lord looked upon us, drew near and showed us mercy. All those times that the Lord kept trusting, kept betting on us (cf. Ez 16).”

During this time of the Jubilee, the Pope urged, we ought to reflect on this truth, to think back on how throughout our lives the Lord has always been near us and showed us mercy. “To concentrate on remembering our sin and not our alleged merits, to grow in a humble and guilt-free awareness of all those times we turned away from God – we, not someone else, not the person next to us, much less that of our people – and to be once more amazed by God’s mercy.”

Francis stressed that this is “a sure message,” “sound teaching,” and “never empty talk.”

How God Relates to His Children

Francis explained that experiencing God’s mercy for those who feel crushed by the burden of their sins can feel relieved at being given another chance. “Far from a mere beautiful word, mercy is the concrete act by which God seeks to relate to his children.”

“Paul’s God,” he noted, “starts a movement from heart to hands, the movement of one who is unafraid to draw near, to touch, to caress, without being scandalized, without condemning, without dismissing anyone. A way of acting that becomes incarnate in people’s lives.”

The Pope encouraged all faithful to act out of hope, not fear.

“Acting on the basis of hope for change, for conversion, encourages and incites,” he said, noting, “it looks to the future, it makes room for opportunity, and it keeps us moving forward. Acting on the basis of fear bespeaks guilt, punishment, “you were wrong”. Acting on the basis of hope of transformation bespeaks trusting, learning, getting up, constantly trying to generate new opportunities.”

“How many times? Seventy times seven.”

For that reason, treating people with mercy, he noted, is not “married to one model or recipe, but enjoys a healthy freedom of spirit, and can thus seek what is the best for the other person, in a way they can understand. This engages all our abilities and gifts; it makes us step out from behind our walls. It is never empty talk – as Paul tells us – that entangles us in endless disputes.

“Acting on the basis of hope for change is a restless way of thinking that sets our heart pounding and readies our hands for action. The journey from heart to hands.”

The Holy Father noted that although we are all sinners, the Lord has unfailingly treated us with mercy. Paul, he recalled, never forgot that “he was on the other side.”

Throwaway Culture

“We are part of a fragmented culture, a throwaway culture,” Francis said. “A culture tainted by the exclusion of everything that might threaten the interests of a few. A culture that is leaving by the roadside the faces of the elderly, children, ethnic minorities seen as a threat. A culture that little by little promotes the comfort of a few and increases the suffering of many others. A culture that is incapable of accompanying the young in their dreams but sedates them with promises of ethereal happiness and hides the living memory of their elders. A culture that has squandered the wisdom of the indigenous peoples and has shown itself incapable of caring for the richness of their lands.”

“All of us are aware, all of us know that we live in a society that is hurting; no one doubts this,” he said, noting it is “bleeding, and the price of its wounds normally ends up being paid by the most vulnerable.”

However, he reminded those listening, it is to this society, to this culture, that the Lord sends us. He sends and urges His faithful “to bring the balm of “His” presence,” and with one program alone: “to treat one another with mercy.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-sends-video-message-to-americas/

 

2 hours 30 min

It could have been a tragedy like that of Rouen, France, this Sunday, in Indonesia, where, in the Church of Saint Joseph in the North Sumatran capital of Medan, entered a knife-wielding fanatic during Sunday Mass, trying to harm the priest and all faithful present.

According to local sources, this was an attempted terrorist attack, intending to detonate a bomb in the crowded church, but there are no casualties.

According to witnesses, the bomber was sitting among the faithful when he attempted to set off a homemade explosive device, which exploded in his backpack, but only burned without setting off the explosives. Wounded, he still managed to rush toward 60-year-old, Father Albert Pandianga, to wound him with his knife.

The police evacuated the church and secured the area. In the young man’s backpack, materials with the logo of the Islamic State were found.

Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world in terms of its great number of believers. The majority of its people practice a moderate Islam, but in recent years, there has been an emergence of fundamentalist groups which have perpetrated terrorist attacks, the most serious of which, was the massacre in Bali in 2002, which killed 202 people.

4 hours 43 min

Two American nuns said to be loved by everyone for their kindness and concern for the needy have been killed in Mississippi.

According to Fides, Sisters Margaret Held, of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN), and Sister Paula Merrill, of the School Sisters of St. Francis (SSSF), were killed with knives in their home in Durant, in Mississippi. More than 40 percent of the population in this area lives below the poverty line.

From the first investigations, it is believed that they were killed by a robber, who then fled with their car which was found abandoned nearby. Police have arrested a person.

The two nuns, both 68, were serving as nurses at the Lexington Medical Clinic, health center that assists, free of charge, families who cannot afford medical care.

On Aug. 25, not seeing them arrive punctually, as they always had done, colleagues alerted the police, who found signs of forced entry in their home and found their bodies.

This weekend, various celebrations were held for the repose of the two late sisters. Several sources confirm that they were loved and well-liked by everyone for their kindness, their availability in particular towards those in need.

The President of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sister Susan Gatz,  asked that all people pray in gratitude for the “precious lives” of both sisters, who”served the poor so well.”

“Because we are gospel women, please also pray for the perpetrators,” she said.

Moreover, the two congregations released a joint statement asking, that “we move forward together at this time in a prayerful and healing manner, focusing on the lives of Sisters Paula Merrill and Margaret Held, two compassionate, faith-filled women.”

“We want to reiterate our beliefs as women of faith, that we value life,” it continued. “For years now, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and the School Sisters of St. Francis have worked to abolish the death penalty, even as we seek justice and truth.”

5 hours 24 min

“The presence in Europe of so many people who, although baptized, are not aware of the gift of faith they have received, have not experienced the consolation, and do not fully participate in the life of the Christian community represents a challenge for all the Churches present in the continent,”

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stated this in a message he sent yesterday to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the occasion of the XIV Inter-Christian Symposium taking place in Thessalonika, Aug. 28-30, on the theme: “The Need for a Re-evangelization of the Christian Communities in Europe.”

The symposium is sponsored by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University Antonianum and the Department of Theology of the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the Aristoteles University of Thessalonika, and seeks to foster theological and cultural dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox.

“In a reality like that of Europe, in which where there are ever fewer bonds with its Christian roots,” the Pope highlighted in his message, “there is clearly the need for a new work of evangelization.”

“This missionary duty,” the Holy Father continued, “is sustained by the profound conviction that ‘with this newness, Christ is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old.”

 

5 hours 52 min

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the keynote address given yesterday by President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson, at World Water Week 2016, during the conference taking place in Sweden’s capital of Stockholm, Aug. 28 -Sept. 2:

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World Water Week – Stockholm, Sweden

Session “Water and Faiths: Faith based Organizations contributing to the Water SDGs”

29 August 2016

Keynote Address – Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson

“Faith and Development”

Distinguished representatives of various Religions, Organizers, dear Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to greet you in the name of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Having been asked to speak on “Faith and Development”, I notice that many religions are represented here. This suggests that indeed there are many links between faith and development. Fruitful inter-religious collaborations and synergies have already started in several sectors, such as healthcare, food security, investment, education, stewardship of natural resources, and assistance to migrants.

From a Catholic perspective, our planet, its resources and ecosystems are a marvellous gift. So too, human life is a gift – we are not self-created, we receive our bodies and our first relationships through the same grand course of divinely-given nature. Hence, we readily understand that nature is intended to be shared between all the humans, one generation after the other, and that the whole human family is expected to take care of our common home. These fundamentals are easily found in other religions and spiritual traditions as well, regardless of their specific unique features.

Why is this shared fundamental understanding so important for development?

First of all, science can only explain concrete reality, its substances and causal relationships. Science can quantify the pollution in deep oceans or around a mining site, foreseeing its negative consequences and proposing remedies. But science cannot provide the motivation for virtuous action. The same holds beyond the realm of the natural sciences: sociologists, economists and lawyers can analyse and explain the negative effects of unemployment, speculation and corruption; they can warn us about rising inequalities, contradictory policies or geopolitical unrest. But in the end they cannot supply the motivation for virtuous action.

Pope Francis, in the Encyclical letter Laudato Si’, asks: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? […] What is the goal of our work and all our efforts?” (§160). Observing numerous alarming environmental and social indicators leads us to the daunting question: why should I care? Science and technology will not help here. Any technical solution is powerless “if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony, to make sacrifices and to treat others well” (§200). Pope Francis shares his conviction “that change is impossible without motivation and a process of education” – and for those purposes he proposes “some inspired guidelines for human development to be found in the treasure of Christian spiritual experience” (§15), since “faith convictions can offer Christians, and some other believers as well, ample motivation to care for nature and for the most vulnerable of their brothers and sisters” (§64).

Simply put, motivation to virtue is the valuable contribution that religious faith and spiritual practices can and must bring to development, through their spiritual leaders and the multitudes of believers and adherents. They “must constantly feel challenged to live in a way consonant with their faith and not to contradict it by their actions” (200). They must contribute, for example, to the adoption and further extension of ambitious and ethically-rooted frameworks for development action such as those pertaining to the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

A second perspective grounded in faith touches on human dignity. We are much more than items or data to be measured and represented by GDP. We are not simply factors of production and consumption. When human beings are just human resources, they cease to be the measure of success of policies. Instead, humans become disposable. Throw these people away in favour of better producers. Displace those people in favour of more profitable consumption of water.

Our vision of being human must be much more complex. Pope Francis teaches that we must integrate spirituality, social relationality, and our connections with nature. This lies behind his conviction that “what is at stake is our own dignity. Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us. The issue is one which dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn” (§160).

Since we are gathered during the World Water Week, I would like to conclude by giving a few examples of the contributions that Faith-based-organizations can provide concerning water.

– Educate youth to embrace solidarity, altruism and responsibility. The latter of these virtues will help them to be honest administrators and politicians.

– In teaching Sacred Scriptures and spiritual traditions, show that water is a precious and even a divine element. It is used extensively in liturgy. This should inspire us to use water with respect and gratitude, reclaim polluted water sources and understand that water is not a mere commodity.

– Organize interreligious campaigns for cleaning rivers or lakes, in order to foster mutual respect, peace and friendship among different groups.

– Reaffirm human dignity and the common good of the whole human family in order to promote a wise hierarchy of priorities for the use of water, especially where there are multiple and potentially competing demands for water.

All this will help in making universal and sustainable access to drinkable water a reality. This most vital challenge has been a focus for the Catholic Church for many years. It is a continuing shame that so many of our brothers and sisters are systematically thirsty or compelled to drink unsafe water; that their needs are secondary to industries which take too much and that pollute what remains; that governments pursue other priorities and ignore their parched cries. We already know how Jesus judges these matters. In the Gospel of Matthew (25:35), Jesus teaches what we are supposed to do: “I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink”. I pray that this conference will help the world to be more alert to the thirst of Jesus and give him sufficient, clean water to drink! Thank you.

[Original Text: English] [Courtesy of the Vatican]

6 hours 2 min

Portrait photographer Michael Collopy has worked with many famous people, but when he recalls his work photographing Mother Teresa, he says, “I have never met anyone who could compare to the spiritual depth of character and selfless love that Mother displayed over the course of my 15 years of knowing her.”

A painting of one of Michael Collopy’s photographs in his book Works of Love Are Works of Peace has been chosen to be the official sainthood image of Mother Teresa. The image will be revealed at the canonization on Sunday, and then it will be in the homes of the Missionaries of Charity worldwide.

Another one of Collopy’s photographs from Works of Love Are Works of Peace is being used for both the official Vatican Saint Teresa stamp, as well as for the recent cover of Time magazine.

Works of Love Are Works of Peace is now available in paperback. It was more than four years in the making and published with the cooperation of Mother Teresa. This large-format 224-page book offers the most comprehensive photographic documentation of the apostolic work and prayer life of the Missionaries of Charity published. Destined to serve as an important historical record, this “illustrated prayer book” vividly portrays the peace and joy that can come when “small things” are done with great love.

The book has more than 180 fine art quality tri-tone photographs, along with spiritual counsel from Mother Teresa. Also included with Mother Teresa’s special permission, is the contents of the Missionaries of Charity daily prayer book as well as a personal letter on the interior life written by Mother Teresa to her entire order. Though meant originally as an instruction to those in her order, this “I Thirst” letter has become a source of spiritual light and encouragement, drawing innumerable hearts and souls closer to God.

Zenit asked Collopy to share some of his photos with us, as well as his reflections on his time with Mother Teresa.

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“Mother had a very different and special light and a magnetic, personable charisma. She was truly a Mother to all of us, filled with unconditional, selfless love.”
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“She was joyful and wise and also had a very quick wit and sense of humor. She was also quite normal in that she liked chocolate, ice cream and sweets. Having said that, Mother was asked quite a lot about what it was like to be a saint and she always responded by saying that Being a Saint wasn’t the luxury of a few but a simple duty for each one of us. That is what we were all created for: to love and to be loved and to share the joy of loving with each person we come into contact with.”

 

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“One day I was taken back by witnessing the myriad of emotions of people coming up to Mother. Some would want a blessing or something from her or to pour out their inner most confessions to her. When we got back into the car, I asked Mother: Mother you don’t seem to judge anyone? Mother very quickly told me: ‘I never judge anyone because it doesn’t allow me the time to love them.’
Mother never seemed to get tired or overwhelmed with the amount of poverty in the world. She often said: ‘Had I not picked up the first person in Calcutta, I would never had picked up 42,000.’ She said: ‘I can only love one person at a time and I can only serve one person at a time.’ So, that is how she went about doing her work, one by one.”

 

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“Some of my most favorite moments with Mother were without the camera. These were times when Mother motioned over to me to kneel right next to her in the chapel at mass and share her prayer book and missal with me. I remember listening intently to her deep speaking voice and her very high sweet singing voice. Also, witnessing her feed our oldest son the bottle when he was a baby. Driving her around in my car to her appointments and asking her deep questions while having her in the front seat next to me. Some of the more personal moments, such as Mother giving me spiritual guidance or teaching me simple prayers to help me better navigate some of the obstacles of life. Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from Mother was just how much God loves each one of us, intimately and tenderly. Each one carved in the palm of God’s hands, each one of us is precious to him.”

 

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“There was one night that Mother walked me to the door after an exhausting day, in her novitiate house in San Francisco. The chapel is right to the left of the front door. As we walked towards the door. She paused and genuflected and looked up at the large cross of Jesus crucified above and behind the altar with the large words: ‘I Thirst’ printed next to it. As she looked up at the cross Mother said to me:’Look at him, he is so innocent and pure.’ At this point I looked at Mother’s face. She then said: ‘But his head is bent to kiss you, and his arms are outstretched to hold you, and his heart is open to enclose your heart with his.’ ‘That is the great love that God has for each of us.'”

1 day 2 hours
[From Vatican Radio]

Pope Francis has sent a message to the bishop of the northern Italian city of Ventimiglia, where scores of migrants and refugees have congregated in the hopes of crossing the nearby border into France. The Pope’s message, which was published on the diocesan website, comes in response to a letter from Bishop Antonio Suetta of Ventimiglia–San Remo, which recounted the situation on the ground.

In the Holy Father’s letter, which was signed 17 August, he expressed his spiritual closeness with “affection and prayer” to the bishop, the entire diocese, and all those who “strive to meet the needs of these people who are escaping war and violence, in search of hope and a peaceful future.”

“I wish so much to thank you for the efforts which this diocesan community is deploying with admirable evangelical charity, establishing human, logistical, and economic resources to support these, our brothers and sisters, who are living an immense tragedy.”

Pope Francis encouraged the bishop, along with the priests, consecrated persons, pastoral workers, and other Church entities to continue with their “generous commitment to welcome and solidarity,” thereby becoming “ever more a ‘Church in exit,’ the joyful herald of the Gospel of mercy and a witness to hope.”

The Pope concluded his message by reiterating his “sincere appreciation” for the fervor of the diocesan community, and assuring them of his prayers, while bestowing on them his apostolic blessing.

 

1 day 3 hours

In the lead-up to this Thursday’s Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and other Christian leaders of Europe released a joint statement.

This World Day was began in 1989 under the leadership of the Orthodox Church, and last year in August, Pope Francis established the day for the Catholic Church.

Here is the statement from the European leaders:

 

Time for Creation – let’s Pray Together to Appreciate and Care for the Gift of Creation

A common statement of Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), Conference of European Churches (CEC) and European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN)

St. Gallen / Geneva, August 29, 2016
Respect, appreciation and contemplation of Creation are the common concern of Christian Churches. The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC), on the occasion of the Day for Creation, call for common prayers and to strengthen ecumenical work to care for Creation.

According to the Gospel, responsibility for the environment can never be detached from responsibility for other human beings: for our neighbour, for the poor, or the forgotten, all in a true spirit of solidarity and love. Respecting Creation means not only protecting and safeguarding the earth, water and other parts of the natural world. It is at the same time expressing respect for human beings who share those gifts and bear responsibility for them. Therefore, together with all Christians, we endeavour joyfully to witness Jesus Christ, «for in Him were created all things in heaven and on earth» (Col. 1, 16).

We remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s thought that the most urgent problem besetting our Churches is the way in which we live our Christian life in the face of contemporary cultural and social challenges. This means we must relate to each other within the context of the world we all live in. This is an original definition of “oikos”, meaning “the house”. The “common house” we care for, is made up of both the natural world and of human relationships.

Time for Creation from 1st September – 4th October (the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi in the Western tradition) is a special period in the liturgical calendars in a growing number of Churches in Europe. In this period we remember the gift of Creation and our relation to it. Celebration of this Time and its place in the cycle of Christian prayers and worships was commended by the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu 2007. The European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) has been instrumental in promoting and encouraging Christians to pray together in spirit of ecumenical cooperation and to promoting action to care for Creation. The initiative to celebrate a day of prayer for God’s Creation on 1st September which, in the Byzantine tradition is the beginning of the Church Year, started in 1989 by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios. Similarly, in 2015 Pope Francis decided that 1stSeptember be the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in the Catholic Church.

We face urgently challenges of environmental degradation and climate change, and encouraged by the words of Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter Laudato si’acknowledge our shared responsibility. We warmly invite all European Christians, member churches of CEC and bishops’ conferences of CCEE, parishes and Church communities and every person of good will to join in Time for Creation, to celebrate Time for Creation together, within your own liturgical traditions and to uphold the common Christian faith in God the Creator. We urge you, in your respective settings, to offer, prayers for gift of Creation, and join us in praying together:

O Lord, teach us to care for the whole Creation,
to protect all life and to share the fruits of the earth.
Teach us to share our human work with our brothers and sisters,
especially with the poor and those in need.

Grant us to remain faithful to your Gospel
as to joyfully offer to our society in different countries across the continent
the horizon of a better future
filled with justice, peace, love and beauty.
Amen.

Fr. Heikki Huttunen                 Mgr. Duarte da Cunha              Rev.Dr. Peter Pavlovic
General Secretary of CEC     General Secretary of CCEE       Secretary of ECEN

1 day 3 hours
The Knights of Columbus will donate $50,000 to the Holy Father to help provide relief for children affected by last week’s deadly earthquake northeast Rome. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson informed Pope Francis of the donation when he greeted the pope at an audience Sunday, Aug. 28. That conversation followed the Holy Father’s angelus address in which he prayed for the victims and noted that the rapid response to the quake shows “how important solidarity is in overcoming such painful trials.” The Pope continued by noting that “service to one’s brothers and sisters becomes a testimony of love, which makes God’s love credible.” “The Knights of Columbus is pleased to answer the Holy Father’s call and to assist those, especially children, who are suffering so much as a result of this devastating disaster in Italy,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Consistent with our first principle, charity, and as we have done in situations of natural disasters and other needs in the United States and around the world, the Knights of Columbus is committed to showing solidarity and God’s mercy concretely through our help of those most in need.” The Knights’ support for earthquake victims comes at the same time that the organization has donated substantially in terms of funds and volunteers  to the victims of the recent floods in Louisiana. In addition, the Knights of Columbus is supporting the ongoing Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on the American Continent being held in in Bogota, which includes outreach to the poor of that city as a part of the event which has brought together cardinals, bishops, priests and laity from throughout the American hemisphere – from Canada to Argentina. The event is being sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM). Last year, the Knights of Columbus donated in total more than $175 million and 75 million hours to charitable initiatives worldwide including for disaster relief, support for Christians in the Middle East, support for fresh water wells and AIDS orphans in Africa, as well as charitable projects around world at the parish, community and national levels, and at the Vatican. 1 day 6 hours

Pope Francis has received the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in the Vatican.

Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, confirmed this 20-minute encounter in a statement released this morning, noting the young entrepreneur was accompanied by his wife, Priscilla Chan, for the meeting which took place in the Pope’s residence of Casa Santa Marta.

Facebook is a social network that began by allowing Harvard undergraduates to share messages and photos. Since 2007, it has expanded into four languages, and now has more than 1.71 billion users and translations in 70 languages.

According to the statement, the Pope and Zuckerberg discussed “how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter” and how to “help deliver a message of hope, especially to those people who are most disadvantaged.”

 

1 day 6 hours

Here is a Vatican Radio provided translation of the concluding portion of the address that the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, delivered Saturday at the diocesan seminary in the Italian province of Pordenone in northeast Italy:

* * *

In light of these brief reflections on the events surrounding Cardinal Celso Costantini in relation to the vast ‘continent’ that is China, one becomes aware of his singular capacity to ‘build bridges’, that is, his capacities of knowledge, of respect, of encounter, and of dialogue between worlds, very distant, at least in appearance.

Today, as ever, many are the hopes and expectations for new developments and a new season of relations between the Apostolic See and China for the benefit not only of Catholics in the land of Confucius but for the entire country, which boasts of one of the greatest civilizations on Earth. I would dare to say [these relations] would be beneficial even for an ordered, peaceful, and fruitful cohabitation of peoples and nations in a world, like our own, torn by many tensions and conflicts. I consider it important to forcefully underline this idea:  New hopes and good relations with China – including diplomatic ties, if God so wishes! – are neither an end in themselves nor a desire to reach some kind of ‘worldly’ success. They are thought out and pursued – not without fear and trembling because it involves the Church which belongs to God – I repeat, they are pursued only in the measure in which they are ‘ordered’ toward the good of Chinese Catholics, to the good of the entire Chinese people, and to the harmony of the whole society, in favor of world peace.

Pope Francis, as his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XIV before him, knows well the baggage of suffering, of misunderstandings, often of silent martyrdom which the Catholic community in China carries on its shoulders: it is the weight of history! But he also knows, along with external and internal difficulties, how alive is the yearning for full communion with the Successor of Peter, how many advances have been made, how many efforts are made to witness to the love of God and the love of neighbor, especially to the people weakest and most in need, which is the synthesis of all Christianity. [Pope Francis] also knows and encourages, especially in this Jubilee of Mercy, mutual forgiveness, reconciliation between brothers and sisters who have been divided, and the struggle to grow in understanding, collaboration, and love!

We are all called to accompany with caring closeness, respect, humility, and above all prayer this path of the Church in China. It involves writing a new page of history, looking ahead with trust in Divine Providence and healthy realism to insure a future in which Chinese Catholics can feel profoundly Catholic – ever more visibly anchored on the solid rock, which, by the will of Jesus, is Peter – and fully Chinese, without having to deny or diminish all that is true, noble, pure, lovable, honorable (cf. Phil 4,8) of that which their history and their culture has produced and continues to produce. The Second Vatican Council reminds us that nothing is truly human if it does not find an echo in the heart of the disciples of Christ! (cf. GS n.1).

It should be realistically accepted that there is no shortage of problems to be resolved between the Holy See and China and that they can generate, often by their complexity, differing positions and orientations. However, such problems are not completely unlike those positively dealt with 70 years ago. Cardinal Celso Costantini, therefore, remains a source of inspiration and a model of extreme actuality. In this sense, I thank you also because this conference, prepared for you, gave me the occasion to better study the figure and work [of Cardinal Costantini], just as others in this diocese have done and are doing.

On the path which remains to be walked, we commend ourselves with immense trust to Our Lady, invoked under the title “Help of Christians,Auxilium christianorum”. Cardinal Costantini in 1924 crowned her image in Sheshan, near Shanghai.

On 22 May 2016, in light of the liturgical feast of Our Lady venerated in Sheshan, Pope Francis yearned for, in the current Year of Mercy, “an authentic culture of encounter and harmony of all of society, that harmony which the Chinese spirit loves so much” [1]. This spirit finds full consonance in the Bishops of Rome who have always demonstrated maximum consideration, enormous commitment, and unbounded love for the Chinese people.

[1] All’Angelus il Papa ricorda che ogni uomo è un essere in relazione. Orizzonte trinitario. E invita a pregare per il vertice di Istanbul e per la Cina, in L’Osservatore Romano, 23-24 maggio 2016, 7. 

[Original text: Italian]

[Vatican Radio provided translation]

 

 

1 day 7 hours

Below is the Vatican-provided transcription of the video message Pope Francis sent Saturday for the occasion of the Jubilee Celebration for the Americas, which started Saturday in Bogotá, Colombia, and was sponsored by the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (CAL), in collaboration with the Bishops’ Conferences of the United States and Canada. Bishops, priests, religious and laity of the 22 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, together with delegates from Canada and the United States and representatives of the Holy See, are taking part in the event:
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I welcome the initiative of CELAM and CAL, in association with the bishops of the United States and Canada – this makes me think of the Synod of America – to make possible this continent-wide opportunity to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy. I am pleased to know that all the countries of America have been able to take part. Given the many attempts to fragment, divide and set our peoples at odds, such events help us to broaden our horizons and to continue our handshake; a great sign that encourages us in hope.

I would like to begin with the words of the apostle Paul to his beloved disciple: “I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience” (1 Tim 1:12-16a).

So Paul tells Timothy in his First Letter, chapter 1, verses 12 to 16. In speaking to him, he wants to speak to each of us. His words are an invitation, I would even say, a provocation. Words meant to motivate Timothy and all those who would hear them throughout history. They are words that cannot leave us indifferent; rather, they profoundly affect our lives.

Paul minces no words: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom Paul considers himself the worst. He is clearly aware of who he is, he does not conceal his past or even his present. But he describes himself in this way neither to excuse or justify himself, much less to boast of his condition. We are at the very beginning of the letter, and he has already warned Timothy about “myths and endless genealogies” and “meaningless talk”, and warned him that all these end up in “disputes”, arguments. At first, we might think that he is dwelling on his own sinfulness, but he does this so that Timothy, and each of us with him, can identify with him. To use football terms we could say: he kicks the ball to the center so that another can head the ball. He “passes us the ball” to enable us to share his own experience: despite all my sins, “I received mercy”.

We have the opportunity to be here because, with Paul, we can say: “We received mercy”. For all our sins, our limitations, our failings, for all the many times we have fallen, Jesus has looked upon us and drawn near to us. He has given us his hand and showed us mercy. To whom? To me, to you, to everyone. All of us can think back and remember the many times the Lord looked upon us, drew near and showed us mercy. All those times that the Lord kept trusting, kept betting on us (cf. Ez 16). For my part, I think of the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel, and the Lord’s constant betting on each one of us. That is what Paul calls “sound teaching” – think about it! – sound teaching is this: that we received mercy. That is the heart of Paul’s letter to Timothy. During this time of the Jubilee, how good it is for us to reflect on this truth, to think back on how throughout our lives the Lord has always been near us and showed us mercy. To concentrate on remembering our sin and not our alleged merits, to grow in a humble and guilt-free awareness of all those times we turned away from God – we, not someone else, not the person next to us, much less that of our people – and to be once more amazed by God’s mercy. That is a sure message, sound teaching, and never empty talk.

There is one particular thing about Paul’s letter that I would like to share with you. Paul does not say: “The Lord spoke and told me” or “The Lord showed me or taught me”. He says: “He treated me with mercy”. For Paul, his relationship with Jesus was sealed by the way he treated him. Far from being an idea, a desire, a theory – much less an ideology –, mercy is a concrete way of “touching” weakness, of bonding with others, of drawing closer to others. It is a concrete way of meeting people where they are at. It is a way of acting that makes us give the best of ourselves so that others can feel “treated” in such a way that they feel that in their lives the last word has not yet been spoken. Treated in such a way that those who feel crushed by the burden of their sins can feel relieved at being given another chance. Far from a mere beautiful word, mercy is the concrete act by which God seeks to relate to his children. Paul uses the passive voice – pardon me for being a bit pedantic here – and the past tense. To put it loosely, he could well have said: “I was ‘shown mercy’”. The passive makes Paul the receiver of the action of another; he does nothing more than allow himself to be shown mercy. The past tense of the original reminds us that in him the experience took place at a precise moment in time, one that he remembers, gives thanks for, and celebrates.

Paul’s God starts a movement from heart to hands, the movement of one who is unafraid to draw near, to touch, to caress, without being scandalized, without condemning, without dismissing anyone. A way of acting that becomes incarnate in people’s lives.

To understand and accept what God does for us – a God who does not think, love or act out of fear, but because he trusts us and expects us to change – must perhaps be our hermeneutical criterion, our mode of operation: “Go and do likewise” (Lk10:37). Our way of treating others, in consequence, must never be based on fear but on the hope God has in our ability to change. Which will it be: hope for change, or fear? The only thing acting out of fear accomplishes is to separate, to divide, to attempt to distinguish with surgical precision one side from the other, to create false security and thus to build walls. Acting on the basis of hope for change, for conversion, encourages and incites, it looks to the future, it makes room for opportunity, and it keeps us moving forward. Acting on the basis of fear bespeaks guilt, punishment, “you were wrong”. Acting on the basis of hope of transformation bespeaks trusting, learning, getting up, constantly trying to generate new opportunities. How many times? Seventy times seven. For that reason, treating people with mercy always awakens creativity. It is concerned with the face of the person, with his or her life, history and daily existence. It is not married to one model or recipe, but enjoys a healthy freedom of spirit, and can thus seek what is the best for the other person, in a way they can understand. This engages all our abilities and gifts; it makes us step out from behind our walls. It is never empty talk – as Paul tells us – that entangles us in endless disputes. Acting on the basis of hope for change is a restless way of thinking that sets our heart pounding and readies our hands for action. The journey from heart to hands.

Seeing how God acts in this way, we might be scandalized, like the older son in the parable of the Merciful Father, by how the father treats his younger son upon seeing him return. We might be scandalized that he embraced him, treated him with love, called for him to be dressed in the best robes even though he was so filthy. We might be scandalized that upon seeing him return, he kissed him and threw a party. We might be scandalized that he did not upbraid him but instead treated him for what he was: a son.

We start being scandalized – and this happens to us all, it’s almost automatic, no? – we start being scandalized when spiritual Alzheimer’s sets in: when we forget how the Lord has treated us, when we begin to judge and divide people up. We take on a separatist mindset that, without our realizing it, leads us to fragment our social and communal reality all the more. We fragment the present by creating “groups”. Groups of good and bad, saints and sinners. This memory loss gradually makes us forget the richest reality we possess and the clearest teaching we have to defend. The richest reality and the clearest teaching. Though we are all sinners, the Lord has unfailingly treated us with mercy. Paul never forgot that he was on the other side, that he was chosen last, as one born out of time. Mercy is not a “theory to brandish”: “Ah! Now it is fashionable to talk about mercy for this Jubilee, so let’s follow the fashion”. No, it is not a theory to brandish so that our condescension can be applauded, but rather a history of sin to be remembered. Which sin? Ours, mine and yours. And a love to be praised. Which love? The love of God, who has shown me mercy.

We are part of a fragmented culture, a throwaway culture. A culture tainted by the exclusion of everything that might threaten the interests of a few. A culture that is leaving by the roadside the faces of the elderly, children, ethnic minorities seen as a threat. A culture that little by little promotes the comfort of a few and increases the suffering of many others. A culture that is incapable of accompanying the young in their dreams but sedates them with promises of ethereal happiness and hides the living memory of their elders. A culture that has squandered the wisdom of the indigenous peoples and has shown itself incapable of caring for the richness of their lands.

All of us are aware, all of us know that we live in a society that is hurting; no one doubts this. We live in a society that is bleeding, and the price of its wounds normally ends up being paid by the most vulnerable. But it is precisely to this society, to this culture , that the Lord sends us. He sends us and urges us to bring the balm of “his” presence. He sends us with one program alone: to treat one another with mercy. To become neighbors to those thousands of defenseless people who walk in our beloved American land by proposing a different way of treating them. A renewed way, trying to let our form of bonding be inspired by God’s dream, by what he has done. A way of treating others based on remembering that all of us came from afar, like Abraham, and all of us were brought out of places of slavery, like the people of Israel.

All of us still vividly recall our experience in Aparecida and its invitation once more to become missionary disciples. We spoke at length about discipleship, and wondered how best to promote the catechesis of discipleship and mission. Paul gives us an interesting key to this: showing mercy. He reminds us that what made him an apostle was how he was treated, how God drew near to his life: “I received mercy”. What made him a disciple was the trust God showed in him despite his many sins. And that reminds us that we may have the best plans, projects and theories about what to do, but if we lack that “show of mercy”, our pastoral work will be cut off midway.

All this has to do with our catechesis, our seminaries – do we teach our seminarians this path of showing mercy? – our parish structures and pastoral plans. All this has to do with our missionary activity, our pastoral plans, our clergy meetings and even our way of doing theology. It is about learning to show mercy, a form of bonding that we daily have to ask for – because it is a grace – and need to learn. Showing mercy among ourselves as bishops, priests and laity. In theory we are “missionaries of mercy”, yet often we are better at “mistreating” than at treating well. How many times have we failed in our seminaries to inspire, accompany and encourage a pedagogy of mercy, and to teach that the heart of pastoral work is showing mercy. Being pastors who treat and not mistreat. Please, I ask you: be pastors who know how to treat and not mistreat.

Today we are asked especially to show mercy to God’s holy and faithful people – they know a lot about being merciful because they have a good memory –, to the people who come to our communities with their sufferings, sorrows and hurts. But also to the people who do not come to our communities, yet are wounded by the paths of history and hope to receive mercy. Mercy is learned from experience – in our own lives first – as in the case of Paul, to whom God revealed all his mercy, all his merciful patience. It is learned from sensing that God continues to trust in us and to call us to be his missionaries, that he constantly sends us forth to treat our brothers and sisters in the same way that he has treated us. Each of us knows his or her own story and can draw from it. Mercy is learned, because our Father continues to forgive us. Our peoples already have enough suffering in their lives; they do not need us to add to it. To learn to show mercy is to learn from the Master how to become neighbors, unafraid of the outcast and those “tainted” and marked by sin. To learn to hold out our hand to those who have fallen, without being afraid of what people will say. Any treatment lacking mercy, however just it may seem, ends up turning into mistreatment. The challenge will be to empower paths of hope, paths that encourage good treatment and make mercy shine forth.

Dear brothers and sisters, this gathering is not a congress or a meeting, a seminary or a conference. This gathering is above all a celebration: we have been asked to celebrate the way God has treated each of us and all his people. For this reason, I believe that it is good time for us to say together: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord; take me once more into your redeeming embrace” (Evangelii Gaudium, 3).

Let us be grateful, as Paul told Timothy, that God trusts us to repeat with his people the immense acts of mercy he has shown us, and that this encounter will help us to go forth with renewed conviction as we seek to pass on the sweet and comforting joy of the Gospel of mercy.

[Original text: Spanish] [Vatican provided translation]

 

1 day 7 hours

Pope Francis today warned against seeking the best places in life, even elbowing neighbors out of the way, and reminded that in any case, “God pays a lot more than man! He gives us a place much more beautiful than any given us by man.”

The Holy Father offered this reflection as he considered the Gospel of today, from Luke 14, before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The lesson Jesus gives in the Gospel, the Pope said, is on the value of humility.

“History teaches us that pride, ambition, vanity and ostentation are the cause of many evils,” he said. “And Jesus helps us see the need we have to choose the last places, that is, to seek littleness and hiddenness: humility.”

Our Lord’s lesson underscores the opposing nature of two attitudes: the one who “chooses his own place” and the one who “allows his place to be assigned by God and awaits from him his reward.”

“Let’s not forget this,” Francis added: “God pays a lot more than man! He gives us a place much more beautiful than any given us by man. The place given us by God is close to his heart and his reward is eternal life. ‘Blessed indeed will you be,’ Jesus says, ‘For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’”

Jesus also shows his preference for the poor in these parables, the Pontiff noted.

“Today Jesus becomes the voice of the voiceless and directs to each of us a grief-filled call to open our hearts and make our own the suffering and the anguish of the poor, the hungry, the marginalized, the fugitive, those cast down by life, those rejected by society and the arrogance of the powerful. And these who are thrown away represent, in reality, the majority of the population.”

The Pope invited the faithful to ask for Our Lady’s help in the path of humility.

“She has been humble her whole life; may she make us capable of actions given gratuitously, acts of welcome, of solidarity with the marginalized, so as to come to be worthy of the divine reward.”

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/on-humility-and-giving-generously/

2 days 2 hours

After praying the midday Angelus today with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said that as soon as he can, he plans to visit the sites devastated by earthquakes this week.

“I wish to renew my spiritual closeness to the inhabitants of Latium, the Marches and Umbria, hard hit by the earthquake in these past days,” he said, mentioning specifically the people of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Norcia.

“Again I say to those dear people that the Church shares their suffering and their worries,” he said.

The death toll from Wednesday’s quake and aftershocks was reaching 300 over the weekend.

Inviting the faithful to pray, the Holy Father praised the work of the responders, saying their efforts show “how important solidarity is in order to overcome painful trials.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, as soon as it is possible, I hope to come to see you, to bring you in person the comfort of the Faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope,” he said.

Then he prayed the Hail Mary with the people in the Square.

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/on-humility-and-giving-generously/

2 days 3 hours
[From Vatican Radio]

Pope Francis called attention on Sunday to the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to be celebrated this coming Thursday, September 1st. A major global ecumenical stewardship initiative, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation began in 1989 under the leadership of the Orthodox Church.

Pope Francis established the Day for the Catholic Church by a letter dated August 6th, 2015, and addressed to Cardinals Peter Turkson and Kurt Koch, respectively the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

In the letter, Pope Francis says, “The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

Speaking to the faithful following the midday Angelus on this final Sunday in August, Pope Francis looked forward to the event, saying, “This coming Thursday, September 1st, we will mark the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with our Orthodox brothers with Churches,” and describing the event as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.”

 

 

2 days 4 hours

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The episode recounted by the Gospel of today shows us Jesus at the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees, focused on observing how the guests at the meal made such an effort to choose the best places. It’s a scene we’ve seen many times: people looking for the best spots, even ‘elbowing’ each other out of the way.

In seeing this scene, he narrates two brief parables with which he offers two counsels: one refers to place, the other to reward.

The first parallel is set in a nuptial banquet. Jesus says: “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man.’”

With this recommendation, Jesus is not giving norms for social etiquette, but rather a lesson on the value of humility. History teaches us that pride, ambition, vanity and ostentation are the cause of many evils. And Jesus helps us see the need we have to choose the last places, that is, to seek littleness and hiddenness: humility.

When we place ourselves before God in this humble way, then God exalts us, he reaches out to us to elevate us toward him: “For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (v. 11).

The words of Jesus underscore two attitudes that are completely different and opposed: The attitude of one who choses his own place and the attitude of one who allows his place to be assigned by God and awaits from him his reward.

Let’s not forget this: God pays a lot more than man! He gives us a place much more beautiful than any given us by man. The place given us by God is close to his heart and his reward is eternal life. “Blessed indeed will you be,” Jesus says, “For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

This is what is described in the second parable, in which Jesus indicates the disinterested attitude that should characterize hospitality. He says, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.”

This is about choosing gratuitousness instead of opportunistic calculations which aim to obtain a reward, which seek interest and getting richer.

Indeed, the poor, the simple, those who count for nothing, never could repay an invitation to dinner. Thus Jesus shows his preference for the poor and excluded, who are the privileged of the Kingdom of God, and transmits the fundamental message of the Gospel, which is to serve our neighbor for love of God.

Today Jesus becomes the voice of the voiceless and directs to each of us a grief-filled call to open our hearts and make our own the suffering and the anguish of the poor, the hungry, the marginalized, the fugitive, those cast down by life, those rejected by society and the arrogance of the powerful. And these who are thrown away represent, in reality, the majority of the population.

At this time, I think with gratitude of the soup kitchens where so many volunteers offer their service, giving food to people who are alone, in difficulties, without work or without a home.

These soup kitchens and other works of mercy — such as visiting the sick or the imprisoned — are beacons of charity that spread the culture of gratuitousness, because those who work in them are moved by love of God and are enlightened by the wisdom of the Gospel. In this way, service to our brothers becomes a testimony of love, which makes credible and visible the love of Christ.

Let us ask the Virgin Mary to guide us each day on the path of humility. She has been humble her whole life; may she make us capable of actions given gratuitously, acts of welcome, of solidarity with the marginalized, so as to come to be worthy of the divine reward.

[Angelus]

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish to renew my spiritual closeness to the inhabitants of Latium, the Marches and Umbria, hard hit by the earthquake in these past days.

I think in particular of the people of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Norcia. Again I say to those dear people that the Church shares their suffering and their worries.

Let us pray for the dead and for the survivors.

The solicitude with which authorities, police, civil protection workers and volunteers are operating, shows how important solidarity is in order to overcome painful trials.

Dear brothers and sisters, as soon as it is possible, I hope to come to see you, to bring you in person the comfort of the Faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope.

Let us pray for these brothers and sisters, all together:

[Hail Mary]

Yesterday in Santiago del Estero, in Argentina, Sister María Antonia de San José was beatified. She is known as Mama Antula. Her exemplary Christian testimony, especially her apostolate to promote the spiritual exercises, can nourish the desire to follow Christ and the Gospel ever more closely.

Next Thursday, Sept. 1, we will celebrate the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and other churches. It will be an occasion to reinforce our common efforts to protect life, respecting the environment and nature.

I now greet all the pilgrims from Italy and other countries, in particular the altar servers from Kleineraming, Austria, and the sailors of the Argentina navy school Fragata Libertad — I’ve said it in Spanish because, “la tierra tira” [the homeland exerts its influence]. To the faithful of Gonzaga, Spirano, Brembo, Cordenos and Daverio, the youth of Venaria, Val Liona, Angarano Moncalieri and Tombello.

I wish all of you a good Sunday and please don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and arrivederci.

[Translation by ZENIT]
2 days 5 hours

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

2 days 8 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Vatican City, Aug 30, 2016 / 11:14 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In honor of all "workers and volunteers of mercy," the Vatican is asking those who volunteer in different service opportunities -to share their testimony on social media with the hashtag #BeMercy. 2 hours 58 min
Cairo, Egypt, Aug 30, 2016 / 07:00 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Christians in Egypt are hoping that a new law will make it easier for them to build churches, particularly after old laws effectively forced Christians to celebrate Mass in house churches. 7 hours 12 min
Rimini, Italy, Aug 30, 2016 / 04:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The Brazilian man who received the miracle allowing for Mother Teresa's canonization has shared his story, saying he and his wife were ordinary believers who received an extraordinary sign of God's mercy. 10 hours 8 min
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug 30, 2016 / 01:49 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- The community of the Missionaries of Charity in Mar del Plata, Argentina, became the target of criminals late last week, as three men broke in, beat the sisters and desecrated their chapel. 12 hours 23 min
Rome, Italy, Aug 30, 2016 / 01:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Shia Muslim religious leaders from Iran and U.S. Catholic bishops say they have a common fight against weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and violent religious extremism. 13 hours 10 min
Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug 29, 2016 / 12:10 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A priest suffered minor injuries after a man armed with a suicide bomb and an axe attacked at Sunday Mass in Indonesia this weekend. 1 day 2 hours
Bogotá, Colombia, Aug 29, 2016 / 11:55 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Our Lady of Guadalupe is the model for how Christian works of mercy can cross cultural divides in the Americas, Supreme Knight of Columbus Carl Anderson told a major Catholic gathering in Colombia on Monday. 1 day 2 hours
Vatican City, Aug 29, 2016 / 07:10 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Monday Pope Francis met with Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of social networking giant Facebook, at the Vatican, marking the latest in a string of visits from other major tech-heads this year. 1 day 7 hours
Washington D.C., Aug 29, 2016 / 06:12 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A jump in Texas' maternal mortality rate has sparked criticism that the closures of abortion clinics in the state caused a shortage in life-saving prenatal health care – but is that true? 1 day 8 hours
Vatican City, Aug 28, 2016 / 09:58 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In the wake of the Norcia earthquake, Pope Francis again offered prayers and said he hopes to visit the victims. He also reflected on the gospel call to help the poor. 2 days 4 hours
Denver, Colo., Aug 28, 2016 / 04:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." 2 days 10 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted
Rachael Adams Bronze Medal Winner, Class of 2008 Mount Notre Dame High School. (Courtesy Photo)Rachael Adams Bronze Medal Winner, Class of 2008 Mount Notre Dame High School. (Courtesy Photo)

Mount Notre Dame High School was proud to welcome home Rachael Adams ’08 (and her 2016 Olympic Bronze Medal) on August 29, 2016! Rachael was gracious enough to share her journey and experiences with the Mount Notre Dame community. Mount Notre Dame declared August 29th as Rachael Adams Day!

Rachel Adams began her journey at Mount Notre Dame High School in the Fall of 2004. In her Freshman year she played on the Junior Varsity Volleyball team and Freshman Basketball team. Her sophomore year saw her playing Varsity Volleyball, with an Honorable Mention in the GGCL, and Junior Varsity Basketball Team. The 2006-2007 season at Mount Notre Dame saw her play on two state championship teams: Varsity Volleyball and Basketball. In her senior year, the Varsity Volleyball team was State Runner-Up and she was voted “Miss Likely to Become Famous”.

Judy Back Grewe ’78 Head of the School had this quote: “Mount Notre Dame was thrilled to welcome Rachael Adams home! It is truly a gift to have our current students witness a graduate who is living out our mission “to empower young women to learn, live, lead and serve.” We are so proud of Rachael and the USA Olympic Volleyball Team for winning the Bronze Medal!”

Story Posted August 30, 2016

3 hours 25 min
File photo of Tess Wilfong, left, John Jones and Deacon Royce Winters pose in front of the Church of the Resurrection. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)                                       File photo of Tess Wilfong, left, John Jones and Deacon Royce Winters pose in front of
the Church of the Resurrection. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has encouraged dioceses across the United States to mark a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on Friday, September 9, the Feast of St. Peter Claver, in response to racially motivated violence affecting many U.S. communities.

Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, will celebrate a Mass at 9:30 a.m. September 9 at the Church of the Resurrection in Bond Hill (Cincinnati) to pray for racial justice, peace, and healing. Most Reverend Joseph Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, will preside at a similar Mass at 8:30 a.m. at Precious Blood Church in Dayton.

Each parish of the Archdiocese is encouraged to send at least one representative to one of these liturgies in order to bring together the full diversity of the local Catholic Church.

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the local Catholic community lending its prayers and faithful action to advancing racial reconciliation and peace,” Archbishop Schnurr said.

St. Peter Claver (1581-1654) was a Spanish Jesuit priest and missionary who ministered to slaves for 40 years in Columbia, becoming the patron saint of slaves, the Republic of Colombia, and ministry to African Americans. It has been estimated that he personally baptized around 300,000 slaves.

 

23 hours 15 min

IMAGE: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Continuing his dialogue with leaders in the world of social media and technology, Pope Francis met with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, met the pope Aug. 29 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where the pope lives.

“It is an honor to be with you today,” Zuckerberg told the pope, adding that he hoped to help spread the pope’s “message of mercy and tenderness.”

He also presented Pope Francis with a model replica of Aquila, a solar-powered aircraft that will beam internet connectivity to areas with limited or no connection.

Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, said the pope and Zuckerberg spoke about “how communications technology can be used to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter and help deliver a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged people.”

Pope Francis presented Zuckerberg and his wife with a copy of “The Name of God is Mercy,” a book-length interview he did with Italian journalist, Andrea Tornielli. In the book, he told them, “are my thoughts on tenderness and mercy.”

In a message posted on his personal Facebook page, Zuckerberg expressed his admiration for the pope and “how he’s found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around the world.”

“It was a meeting we’ll never forget. You can feel his warmth and kindness, and how deeply he cares about helping people,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Throughout his papacy, the pope has highlighted the importance of social networks as a means to “facilitate relationships” while warning of their ability to “lead to further polarization and division” if used incorrectly.

“The digital world is a public square, a meeting place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks,” the pope wrote Jan. 24 in his message marking the 50th World Communications Day.

Earlier this year, the pope met with several notable tech-giants in the world of mobile communications, including Google’s Eric Schmidt and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

He also met with Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, two weeks before the Vatican launched the pope’s Instagram account, “Franciscus.” Upon its launch, the account broke a new record for gaining over 1 million followers in 12 hours.

Pope Francis’ Twitter account, @Pontifex, has also left its mark in the social media landscape with over 30 million followers spread across nine different language accounts.

Twiplomacy, a study of the Twitter accounts of world leaders and their retweet rates, declared the pope “by far the most influential” world leader on Twitter.

– – –

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

23 hours 22 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Ciro De Luca, Reuters

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said he wants to visit survivors and those affected by a deadly earthquake in central Italy as soon as possible.

He wants to go to the ravaged area to “bring you personally the solace of faith, the embrace of a father and brother, and the support of Christian hope,” he said after praying the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square Aug. 28.

The pope expressed his closeness and concern for the people “hard hit by the earthquake” in the central Italian regions of Lazio, Marche and Umbria.

Before leading a prayer for the deceased and survivors, the pope praised the rapid response of the Italian government and volunteers, saying their efforts showed “how important solidarity is in order to overcome such painful trials.”

The 6.2 quake rumbled across the region Aug. 24, collapsing roofs, leveling buildings and homes while people slept, and leaving 290 people dead. It also left 388 people injured, with more than 250 of them requiring hospitalization. Rescuers pulled some 238 survivors from the wreckage.

Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole of Ascoli Piceno led a state funeral for victims Aug. 27 inside a gymnasium. More than 2,000 people attended, including Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Set before the altar were dozens of caskets covered with flowers and photos of lost loved ones as well as two small white caskets representing all the children killed in the catastrophe.

“It’s fair for people to say, ‘But Lord, where are you?'” he said in his homily. However, if people look deeper they will find that “the earthquake can take away everything, everything but one thing — the courage of faith.”

“Seismologists try everything to predict an earthquake, but only faith teaches us how to overcome it,” he said.

“Don’t be afraid,” he said. Don’t hesitate to cry out in need, “but make sure you do not lose courage because only together will we be able to rebuild our homes and churches,” he said.

He concelebrated the funeral Mass with the bishop of Rieti and archbishop of L’Aquila. Bishop D’Ercole had served as auxiliary bishop of L’Aquila in the months after a devastating earthquake there in 2009 left more than 300 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

The bishop also celebrated a Mass for survivors at an encampment in Arquata del Tronto Aug. 28. Firefighters built a cross made out of two rescue ladders and decorated it with the helmets of first responders. They wove through the rungs a bright red firehose, which took on the shape of limp arms and legs draped around the cross and the image of blood trailing downward.

Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia celebrated a Mass Aug. 26 in one of the many large tents erected in towns and villages to provide provisional shelter for the 2,100 people rendered homeless by the quake and its strong aftershocks.

He visited areas in his archdiocese which were affected by the quake, whose epicenter was close to Norcia — the birthplace of St. Benedict. Civil authorities have condemned all the churches in the area as unusable, he said.

“There is no longer any place of worship in the birthplace of St. Benedict where people can gather to pray,” he told SIR, the news agency of the Italian bishops’ conference, Aug. 27. A local Caritas was to provide two temporary structures to be used for pastoral centers.

– – –

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23 hours 46 min
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr (Catholic Telegraph Photo)Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr (Catholic Telegraph Photo)

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has appointed Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati as USCCB treasurer. Archbishop Schnurr will assume the position recently left by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas, who has been appointed by Pope Francis as the first prefect of the Vatican’s new Laity, Family and Life Dicastery.

Archbishop Schnurr was elected USCCB treasurer last November during the U.S. Bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore. With this appointment, he will assume his duties immediately and will continue into his regular term scheduled to begin in November 2016. The treasurer position at USCCB is an officer level position which includes membership on the Executive Committee and the Administrative Committee, in addition to being chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance and vice-chair of the Committee on Priorities and Plans.
1 day 3 hours

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From:
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Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is set to be canonized on Sunday, September 4th. Mother Teresa founded the religious order Missionaries of Charity, which is based in Calcutta, India. She dedicated her life to helping the poorest of the poor. She was beatified by John Paul II in 2003, just 6 years after her death at the age of 87. The current Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity is Sister Mary Prema Pierick, who first met Mother Teresa in 1980. Listen to part 1 of the interview with Sister Prema:  She told Vatican Radio Mother Teresa’s holiness was so present in her life, the members of the congregation took it for granted. “We lived with Mother and we took it for granted that she is available and that she is always attentive to us,” she said. Listen to Part 2 of the interview with Sister Prema: “We enjoyed her presence and we wanted to know from her how she lived the day, and how she went about the work she was doing,” Sister Prema continued. “But deeply, I did not know how she was united with Jesus, and how deeply she lived the Gospel message of Jesus,” – Sister Prema said – “I can see that the works of mercy had become like a second nature to Mother, but that was Mother, and we took it for granted.” (from Vatican Radio)... 4 hours 37 min
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis met with Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, on Monday in a private audience in the Vatican. A statement released by the Holy See Press Office said: “They spoke about how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and help deliver a message of hope, especially to those people who are most disadvantaged.” (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 6 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the occasion of the XIV Inter-Christian Symposium taking place in Thessalonika from 28-30 August. Sponsored by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University Antonianum and the Department of Theology of the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the Aristoteles University of Thessalonika, the Symposium seeks to foster theological and cultural dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox. The theme of this year’s meeting is “The Need for a Re-evangelization of the Christian Communities in Europe.” “The presence in Europe of so many people who, although baptized, are not aware of the gift of faith they have received, have not experienced the consolation, and do not fully participate in the life of the Christian community represents a challenge for all the Churches present in the continent,” Pope Francis said in his message. “In a reality like that of Europe, in which where there are ever fewer bonds with its Christian roots, there is clearly the need for a new work of evangelization.” This “missionary duty,” he continued, “is sustained by the profound conviction that ‘with this newness, [Christ] is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old.” Listen to Christopher Wells' report:  (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 6 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, the final Sunday in the month of August and the twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time. In remarks to the pilgrims and tourists gathered in the Square ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading of the day, taken from the Gospel according to St. Luke (14:1, 7-14), in which Jesus dines as the guest of a leading Pharisee, and teaches a hard truth about pride and the Kingdom of God and issues a challenge to all present to focus their thoughts and order their actions to the promise of the Resurrection. As often happens, Jesus taught the Gospel lesson through parables, the first of which regarded the behavior of guests at a banquet: When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, “Give your place to this man,” and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, “My friend, move up to a higher position.” Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. The Second, equally famous lesson regarded the attitude and behavior of the one, who gives the banquet: When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.   Remarking the lessons, Pope Francis offered words of praise for the many people who have heeded the call and offer their assistance at shelters and soup kitchens, feeding the hungry and performing many other works of mercy. “Let us ask the Virgin Mary – who was humble all her life – to lead us every day on the way of humility,” he said, “so that we are capable of making our own gestures of welcome toward and solidarity with the marginalized, seeking nothing in return, so that we might become worthy of the divine reward.” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 4 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called attention on Sunday to the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to be celebrated this coming Thursday, September 1 st .  A major global ecumenical stewardship initiative, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation began in 1989 under the leadership of the Orthodox Church. Pope Francis established the Day for the Catholic Church by a letter dated August 6 th , 2015, and addressed to Cardinals Peter Turkson and Kurt Koch, respectively the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Click below to hear our report In the letter, Pope Francis says, “The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” Speaking to the faithful following the traditional Angelus prayer on the final Sunday in August, Pope Francis looked forward to the event, saying, “This coming Thursday, September 1 st , we will mark the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and with other Churches,” describing the event as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 5 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered words of encouragement to the people of the quake-damaged border area in central Italy where the regions of Latium, Umbria and the Marches meet, renewing his appeal for prayerful and concrete solidarity, and expressing the desire to visit the stricken places as soon as possible. Addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square following the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis said, “Dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish to renew my spiritual closeness to the inhabitants of Latium, the Marches and Umbria, hard hit by the earthquake in these past days.” Click below to hear our report The Holy Father went on to make specific mention of the towns, which suffered the most grievous loss of life and the most extensive damage. “I think in particular the people of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto, Norcia: again I say to those dear people that the Church shares their suffering and their worries.” “She prays for the dead and for the survivors,” Pope Francis continued. “The solicitude with which [civil] authorities, police, civil protection and volunteers are operating, shows how important solidarity is in order to overcome such painful trials,” he added. “Dear brothers and sisters,” the Pope concluded, “I hope to come to see you as soon as possible, to bring you in person the comfort of the Faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope.” Immediately following these words, the Holy Father led all the gathered faithful in praying a Hail Mary for the victims, their families, and for everyone affected by the deadly quake. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 6 hours

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From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted

A young Turkish man who was convicted in 2006 for killing a Catholic missionary priest has been released from prison after serving just ten years of an 18-year sentence.

8 hours 2 min

A Catholic bishop in South Sudan has spoken out to condemn a rash of vigilante killings in his diocese, as internal conflict continues to beset the young African nation. 

8 hours 17 min

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve is hoping to enlist Muslim leaders in a campaign to reject Islamic extremism, as part of a larger strategy to avoid religious conflicts.

8 hours 24 min

Bishops in the Philippines have welcomed a peace agreement signed between the nation’s government and the National Democratic Front, a Maoist insurgency launched in 1969.

14 hours 30 min

The governing board of a Catholic college in San Antonio has fired its president of 31 years.

15 hours 7 min

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has called upon “Muslims and non-Muslim people of good will” to repudiate the Islamic State, which currently controls approximately 15% of Iraq and 30% of Syria.

15 hours 34 min

The Egyptian government and the bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church have agreed to a revision of 1934 regulations governing the construction and restoration of churches.

15 hours 45 min

A federal judge has ruled that California’s interest in protecting the health of its citizens takes precedence over the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

16 hours 7 min

Cardinal Antonio Tagle of Manila has called for consistency in defense of human life, reminding his people that abortion involves killing.

1 day 1 hour

Marauders roughed up several nuns in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on August 25, desecrating their chapel and ransacking their residence.

1 day 2 hours

"As soon as possible, I hope to come and see you," Pope Francis said on August 29 to survivors of the earthquake that caused more than 200 deaths in central Italy last week.

1 day 2 hours

In an article published in the authoritative Italian journal Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit scholar argues that the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic terrorists should be understood as an attempt to undermine French traditions of secularity and create conflict between religions.

1 day 2 hours

Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, the former Vatican official who was convicted in the "Vatileaks II" trial, has been taken into custody to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence.

1 day 2 hours

In a message to an ecumenical gathering taking place in Thessalonika, Greece, this week, Pope Francis said that "there is clearly the need for a new work of evangelization" in Europe, where "so many people...do not fully participate in the life of the Christian community."

1 day 3 hours

During his Angelus audience on Sunday, August 29, Pope Francis called attention to the annual World Day of Prayer for Creation, which will be observed on September 1.

1 day 3 hours

Pope Francis met on August 29 with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and head of Facebook, and his wife.

1 day 3 hours

A forthcoming biography of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, written by theologian Elio Guerriero, carries a foreward by Pope Francis, in which the Holy Father applauds his predecessor for introducing the concept of a "pope emeritus."

1 day 4 hours

Police in Mississippi have arrested a man and charged him with the murder of two women religious on August 25.

1 day 4 hours

Conservative Anglican clerics in England are meeting this week to set up a "shadow synod" that could provide an alternate system of church governance if they break away from the Church of England.

1 day 8 hours

A teenage Islamic radical attacked an Indonesian Catholic priest with an axe during Mass on August 28. 

1 day 8 hours

Domestic violence is a sad reality for "almost every family" in his region of eastern Uganda, Archbishop Emmanuel Obbo of Tororo has launched a campaign to address the problem.

1 day 8 hours

To appreciate God's mercy, one must recognize one's own sinfulness, Pope Francis told an audience of American bishps on August 27.

1 day 8 hours

"The destruction in Norcia is serious," reports Father Cassian Folsom, the prior of the Benedictine monastery in the earthquake-ravaged Italian town.

1 day 8 hours

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From: Latest News Releases from USCCB
Posted

WASHINGTON—USCCB Migration & Refugee Services has received a large charitable donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), to further efforts assisting refugees.

The gift of $1.25 million –in cash and donated food and goods –will be used to directly assist newly-arrived refugees via 80 affiliated diocesan resettlement offices throughout the country. A direct response to the ongoing and unprecedented global refugee crisis, the donation will help with both welcoming refugees and assisting them to begin to build new lives in our country.

"We are grateful for the ongoing relationships we have with people of faith for the opportunities it provides to assist in one of the fundamental principles of the gospel – caring for those that may feel like strangers among us," said Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church. "This includes those who have been driven from their homes and find themselves in new and unfamiliar circumstances. This donation today is part of our ongoing relationship with the USCCB and our collective resolve to follow Jesus Christ and assist in bettering the lives of refugees."

Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, responded, "I am extremely grateful that Bishop Waddell and the LDS Church chose to support Migration & Refugee Services in this way. Together, as people of faith, we know that refugees desperately need our help –and this generosity allows us to serve many more."

Migration & Refugee Services represents the bishops' interests in policy formulation, communication, advocacy, education, and other specialized services to at-risk and vulnerable migrant populations, including immigrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and unaccompanied minors.
---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, refugees, migrants, resettlement, refugee crisis, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Bishop W. Christopher Waddell
# # #
MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3202

9 hours 3 min

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From: Tristate Catholic news and features, daily
Posted
Covington's new CMA guild will be open to doctors and medical professionals on both sides of the Ohio River, and will provide area medical professionals with fellowship and support in practicing medicine ethically and in the model of Christ and St. Luke.

Covington’s new CMA guild will be open to doctors and medical professionals on both sides of the Ohio River, and will provide area medical professionals with fellowship and support in practicing medicine with Christ and St. Luke as models.

 

The Diocese of Covington announces the formation and establishment the Sts. Teresa of Calcutta and Faustina Guild of the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) for doctors, dentists, nurses, and other medical personnel on both sides of the Ohio River.

 

“As Catholics we are called to integrate the teaching and principles of our faith into our personal and professional lives,” says a spokesperson for the diocese.

 

“This is particularly challenging today in the field of medicine where being true to our Catholic faith may place us in opposition to some popular cultural values. The Catholic Medical Association provides an excellent opportunity for our Catholic physicians and healthcare professionals to grow in the knowledge and practice of their Catholic faith and at the same time allows these same professionals an opportunity to support each other.”

 

CMA is a national, physician-led organization faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church and dedicated to practicing “virtuous medicine” – the theme  of its 2016 conference this fall. Founded in the early 1900s, when Catholic hospitals were still outside the mainstream of healthcare in the United States, the organization has changed over the decades from one providing a Catholic presence in the established medical community to one opposing the culture of death that has crept into the healing professions and helping members emulate Christ, the Divine Physician.

 

The poster for CMA's fall national conference.

The poster for CMA’s fall national conference.

Open to all medical professions and students in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, the Diocese of Covington Catholic Medical Association guild will hold its first Information night in September and its first event in October.

 

The information night will be held at the Bishop Howard Memorial Auditorium  on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 pm.

 

The guild’s first event will be sponsoring a White Mass for medical personnel at Covington’s cathedral on Oct. 27th at 6:30 pm. Similar to a Red Mass for legal professionals or a Blue Mass for police and firefighters, a White Mass honors and prayers for healthcare workers. It’s named for the white coats and uniforms that are traditional for doctors and nurses and traditionally takes place on the Feast of St. Luke, who was said to be a physician.

 

For more information on the guild, e-mail Mrs. Faye Roch at froch@covdio.org or call (859) 392-1500.

 

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13 hours 57 min
Young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood can earn their undergraduate degrees at Indianapolis's Bishop Simon Brute Seminary, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

Young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood can earn their undergraduate degrees at Indianapolis’s Bishop Simon Brute Seminary, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

A new year of classes began at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis with the minor seminary’s biggest incoming class ever: 24 new seminarians. Established in 2004 for college-aged men, the seminary is attended by many future Cincinnati and Covington priests. Men can earn their undergraduate degrees at the school while discerning their vocations.

Photo by Corey Bruns. For a gallery of orientation photos, see the seminary’s Facebook page.

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14 hours 7 min
For decades, thousands of Glenmary Volunteer Groups have helped rural neighbors from the "Toppa Joppa" Mission Center at Joppa Mountin, TN.

For decades, thousands of Glenmary Volunteer Groups have helped rural neighbors from the “Toppa Joppa” Mission Center at Joppa Mountin, TN.

They’re a hit on TV, why not for missioners? Glenmary Home Missioners, headquartered in Cincinnati, hopes to raise enough money to build four “tiny houses” for its Joppa Mountain, TN, center. Thousands of volunteers have stayed there over the years and with four additional houses, Glenmary can double the number of people who can stay there at once. More from the Missioners:

The Glenmary Home Missioners’ Group Volunteer program site in Tennessee has accommodations for about 20 volunteers. A new crowd-funding effort launched Aug. 10 is designed to raise funds for construction of four “tiny houses” that will expand the capacity to 40.

Glenmary hopes to raise $30,000 in three months through its page on the crowd-funding website Razoo.com. The program site is located on Joppa Mountain in Grainger County, Tenn., which has been fondly nicknamed “Toppa Joppa.”

The four “tiny houses” planned will be of varying construction. One 14- by-30 foot structure will be “off the grid,” using solar power and a compost toilet. The three others will have electricity and running water, with two measuring 14 by 30 feet and one measuring 12 by 28 feet. By building houses with different features, Glenmary will introduce the volunteers to various environmentally friendly options.

Four tiny houses like this would double Glenmary's capacity to house Mission Groups.

Four tiny houses like this would double Glenmary’s capacity to house Mission Groups.

Since 1971, the Glenmary Group Volunteer Program has welcomed more than 20,000 volunteers from across the United States to the home missions for a week of missionary service. The goals of the program are teaching young people to serve others first, to find Christ in others and to connect them with God.

During their mission trips, groups serve the local community by working in the food pantries, visiting nursing homes and making repairs on the homes of low-income residents. Volunteers also learn about the rich culture and traditions present in the Appalachian regions where they serve. In addition, they gain a better understanding of the causes of poverty, oppression and injustice—and how their life choices can impact these issues.

Glenmary is a society of Catholic priests and brothers who, along with coworkers, establish the Catholic Church in rural regions of the United States.

To donate to the Tiny House fund, go to h www.razoo.com/us/story/21ayvf.

Photos courtesy the Glenmary Home Missioners.

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1 day 13 hours
This photo by Cincinnati's E.L. Hubbard has been shared all over the world. Find out more about the subjects below.

This photo by Cincinnati’s E.L. Hubbard has been shared all over the world. Find out more about the subjects below.

 

This photo by Cincinnati’s E.L. Hubbard, who frequently takes photos for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, quickly went viral after he posted it on his Facebook page. Some people labeled it as a little girl running to her deacon father, but while she’s running to a member of the Schwartz family, she is not his daughter. Here is what the Cathedral’s staff says about it:

So this photo, taken by E.L. Hubbard Photography, has been making its way around Facebook. It’s beautiful. It’s adorable. It’s really quite perfect. The four men at the front of this procession are brothers, and a cousin. The father of the brothers has been bringing them to serve at the 11 am Mass here at the cathedral from the time they were young boys. Before that, his father brought him and his brothers to serve at the 11 am Mass here at the cathedral. Not just every once in awhile, but every single weekend. What an awesome example of service and dedication to the Church!

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1 day 14 hours

 

Archbishop Schnurr, elected USCCB Treasurer last fall, will begin the appointment immediately. The current USCCB Treasurer has been appointed to Rome by Pope Francis.

Archbishop Schnurr, elected USCCB Treasurer last fall, will begin the appointment immediately. The current USCCB Treasurer has been appointed to Rome by Pope Francis.

Friday announcement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

August 26, 2016 WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has appointed Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati as USCCB treasurer. Archbishop Schnurr will assume the position recently left by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas, who has been appointed by Pope Francis as the first prefect of the Vatican’s new Laity, Family and Life Dicastery. Archbishop Schnurr was elected USCCB treasurer last November during the U.S. Bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore. With this appointment, he will assume his duties immediately and will continue into his regular term scheduled to begin in November 2016. The treasurer position at USCCB is an officer level position which includes membership on the Executive Committee and the Administrative Committee, in addition to being chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance and vice-chair of the Committee on Priorities and Plans.

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2 days 13 hours