Vatican News

Pope Francis: Taking care of the sick, a reminder of Christian grace

Vatican News - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 07:43
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday received the Italian League for the Fight against Tumors, stressing the importance of accompanying families and those on the margins on the path of prevention and cure. Listen to this report: Thanking those gathered for their commitment, Pope Francis told them that their  work was a very useful tool of awareness and training, adding that there was a real need to promote  a culture of life, based on attitudes and behaviors. The League’s commitment to the fight against cancerous tumours is based mainly on three fronts: primary prevention in the form of lifestyle, promotion of a culture of early diagnosis and rehabilitation and social reintegration with attention to the family unit. In particular the Pope noted, that families need to be accompanied on a path of prevention; A path he said, that involves the various generations. But he also said, that  equally valuable was the collaboration of volunteers from the league who provide assistance to families, so that they can continue their everyday lives. Another aspect the Holy Father touched on was the pastoral help of the ecclesial community who are called by vocation and mission, he observed to be at the service of  those who suffer. During his discourse the Pope stressed the importance of helping those on the peripheries of society who have to deal with a disease like cancer, saying that every Christian filled with a desire to do good, “is a conscious instrument of grace.” In conclusion, Pope Francis said that "Taking care", of the sick was an invaluable wealth for society and was a reminder to  the entire civil and ecclesial community of the importance of  offering support, comfort and tenderness.     (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis salutes Lithuania’s first Soviet-era martyr

Vatican News - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 09:45
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent special greetings to Lithuanian Catholics on Sunday as he recalled the Beatification, in Vilnius, of the nation’s first Soviet-era martyr. “Today in Vilnius, Bishop Teofilius Matulionis , who was murdered because of hatred towards the faith in 1962 when he was almost 90-years-old, will be Beatified” the  Pope said to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus. “Let us give thanks to the Lord for the witness of this courageous defender of the faith and of human dignity. Let us pay our respects to him and to the entire Lithuanian people with applause” he said. Bishop Matulionis was a priest and bishop who continually defied communist rule and spent much of his ministry in prison. He was declared a martyr by Pope Francis on December 16, clearing the way for his beatification.   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope prays for victims of landslide tragedy in China

Vatican News - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 09:10
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his closeness and grief for the victims of a landslide that engulfed a village in Sichuan province in south-western China . Speaking on Sunday after the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peters’ Square, the Pope said “I am close to the population of the Chinese village of Xinmo that was struck yesterday morning by a landslide caused by heavy rains”. “I pray for the dead and for the injured, he said, and for those who have lost their homes. May God comfort affected families and sustain rescuers.” Meanwhile almost 100 people remain missing after the huge landslide buried homes in Xinmo and hopes of finding survivors are fading. The bodies of fifteen people have so far been recovered, but many more are feared trapped beneath the rubble. Thousands of rescuers were deployed after some 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county. Emergency workers have been digging through earth and rocks for a second day, with rescue dogs scouring the debris for some 93 people who remain unaccounted for. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis to Resurrectionists: have courage to go forth

Vatican News - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 08:42
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Resurrection on Saturday. Listen to the report by Chris Altieri : The Congregation of the Resurrection, or “Resurrectionists” were founded in 1836 under the leadership of Polish revert to Catholicism, Bogdan Janski , who served especially the Polish faithful who had emigrated from their native country to take up new lives in France in the 19 th century, along with Peter Semenenko, and Jerome Kajsiewicz, in order to administer parishes and educate young people. In remarks to the participants, who have been spending the past two weeks exploring the theme, “Witnesses of the presence of the Risen Lord: from community to the world,” Pope Francis encouraged the General Chapter and the whole Congregation to go forward boldly in their mission of service. One Mission, past, present and future “[R]emember the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, and embrace the future with hope,” Pope Francis said. “Those who believe in the Risen One have the courage to ‘go forth’ and bring to others the Good News of the resurrection,” Pope Francis also said, “embracing the risks of testimony, even as the Apostles did.” The Holy Father went on to say, “How many people are waiting for this joyful proclamation!  It is not right for us to deprive them of it.  If the resurrection of Christ is our greatest certainty and our most precious treasure, how can we not run to proclaim it to others?” The 33 rd General Chapter of the “Resurrectionists” opened in Rome on June 11 th , and concludes Sunday, June 25 th . Click below to hear our report   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope to Settecolli swimmers: virtue, gratitude, stewardship

Vatican News - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 07:55
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received athletes, organisers and sponsors of the "Settecolli" international swimming competition on Saturday. The Settecolli event is the last major competition ahead of the  World Championships in Budapest in July  In remarks to his guests, who were gathered in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on Saturday, Pope Francis said that swimming - especially competitive swimming - is an extremely demanding form of athleticism that requires the cultivation of many virtues, and also presses us to reflect on the gift of water. "Your competitiveness, your racing, your living in contact with water, can also be a contribution to a different 'culture of water': water is life - without water there is no life - and to talk about life is to talk about God, the origin and source of life. Even our Christian life begins with the sign of water, with Baptism," Pope Francis said. More than 700 athletes from 36 countries are participating in the Settecolli competition this weekend.   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Programme of Pope Francis' Apostolic Journey to Colombia in September

Vatican News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:03
(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican has released the details of Pope Francis' Apostolic Journey to Colombia, due to take place from 6 to 11 of September 2017. Please find below the full programme: Wednesday 6 September 2017 ROME-BOGOTÁ 11:00  Departure by air from Rome Fiumicino airport for Bogotá 16:30  Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport WELCOME CEREMONY Thursday 7 September 2017 BOGOTÁ 09:00  ENCOUNTER WITH THE AUTHORITIES in Plaza de Armas de la Casa de Nariño 09:30  COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT in the Protocol Hall of the Casa de Nariño 10:20  VISIT TO THE CATHEDRAL 10:50  BLESSING OF THE FAITHFUL from the balcony of the Cardinal’s Palace 11:00  MEETING WITH BISHOPS in the Hall of the Cardinal’s Palace 15:00  MEETING WITH THE DIRECTIVE COMMITTEE OF CELAM in the Apostolic Nunciature 16:30  HOLY MASS in the Simon Bolivar Park Friday 8 September 2017 BOGOTÁ-VILLAVICENCIO-BOGOTÁ 07:50  Departure from the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport for Villavicencio 08:30  Arrival at the Apiay air base in Villavicencio 09:30  HOLY MASS in the CATAMA area 15:40 GREAT PRAYER MEETING FOR NATIONAL RECONCILIATION in the Parque Las Malocas 17:20  PAUSE AT THE CROSS OF THE RECONCILIATION in the Parque de los Fundadores 18:00  Departure by air per Bogotá 18:45  Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport. Saturday 9 September 2017 BOGOTÁ-MEDELLIN-BOGOTÁ 08:20  Departure by air from the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport for Rionegro 09:10  Arrival at the Rionegro air base. 09:15  Helicopter transfer to Medellin airport 10:15  HOLY MASS at the Enrique Olaya Herrera airport of Medellin 15:00  MEETING IN THE HOGAR SAN JOSE’ 16:00  ENCOUNTER with PRIESTS, MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS, CONSECRATED PERSONS, SEMINARIANS and their FAMILIES in the La Macarena indoor stadium Helicopter transfer to the Rionegro air base 17:30  Departure by air for Bogotá 18:25  Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport Sunday 10 September 2017 BOGOTÁ-CARTAGENA-ROME 08:30 Departure by air for Cartagena 10:00  Arrival at Cartagena airport 10:30  BLESSING of the FIRST STONE of the HOUSES for the HOMELESS and the work of TALITHA QUM in St. Francis of Assisi Square 12:00  ANGELUS in front of the Church of St. Peter Claver 12:15  VISIT TO THE SHRINE HOUSE OF ST. PETER CLAVER 15:45  Helicopter transfer from the naval base to the port area of Contecar 16:30  HOLY MASS in the port area of Contecar 18:30  Helicopter transfer to Cartagena airport 18:45  FAREWELL CEREMONY 19:00  Departure by air for Rome Ciampino airport Monday 11 September 2017 ROME 12:40  Arrival at Rome Ciampino airport (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope's homily: Become small to hear the voice of the Lord

Vatican News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:58
(Vatican Radio) In order to hear the voice of the Lord, you need to make yourself small. That was the message of Pope Francis in his homily at the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning, as the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus . The Lord has chosen us, He has “mixed Himself up with us in the journey of life,” and has given “His Son, and the life of His Son, for our love.” In the first Reading, taken from the book of Deuteronomy, Moses says that God has chosen us “from all the nations on the face of the earth to be a people peculiarly His own.” Pope Francis explained how God is praised because “in the Heart of Jesus He gave us the grace to celebrate with joy the great mystery of our salvation, of His love for us”; that is, celebrating “our faith.” In particular, the Pope dwelt on two words contained in the reading: “to choose,” and “smallness.” With regard to choosing, the Holy Father said it is not we who have chosen God, but rather, God has made Himself a “our prisoner”: “He has attached Himself to our life; He cannot detach Himself. He is strongly yoked! And He remains faithful in this attitude. We were chosen for love and this is our identity. ‘I have chosen this religion, I have chosen…’ [we might say]. No, you have not chosen. It is He Who has chosen you, has called you, and has joined Himself to you. And this is our faith. If we do not believe this, we don’t understand the message of Christ, we don’t understand the Gospel.” For the second word, “smallness,” Pope Francis recalled how Moses said that the Lord had chosen the people of Israel because it was “the smallest of all nations”: “He was enamoured of our smallness, and for this reason He has chosen us. And He chooses the small: not the great, the small. And He is revealed to the small: ‘you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.’ He is revealed to the little ones: if you want to understand something of the mystery of Jesus, lower yourself: make yourself small. Be mindful of being nothing. And He not only chooses and reveals Himself to the little ones; He calls the little ones: ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest.’ You that are the smallest – because of suffering, because of fatigue – He chooses the little ones, He is revealed to the little ones, and He calls the little ones. But the great, does He not call them? His heart is open, but the great do not recognize His voice because they are not able to hear it because they are full of themselves. To hear the voice of the Lord, you must make yourself little.” And thus we come to the mystery of the Heart of Christ, which is not a “holy card” for the devout: the transfixed Heart of Christ is “the heart of revelation, the heart of our faith, because He made Himself small, He has chosen this way”: that of humbling Himself, of emptying Himself “even to death on the Cross.” It is, the Pope said, “a choice for smallness, so that the glory of God might be manifest.” From the Body of Christ transfixed by the soldier’s lance, “blood and water” flowed out, the Pope reminded us; and “this is the mystery of Christ” in today’s celebration of “a Heart that loves, that chooses, that is faithful,” and that “is joined to us, is revealed to the little ones, calls the little ones, makes itself little”: “We believe in God, yes; yes in Jesus too, yes… ‘Is Jesus God?’ [someone asks.] ‘Yes,’ [we respond]. This is the manifestation, this is the glory of God. Fidelity in choosing, in joining Himself and making Himself little, even for Himself: to become small, to empty Himself. The problem of the faith is the core of our life: we can be so much, so virtuous, but with little or no faith; we must start from here, from the mystery of Jesus Christ, Who has saved us with His faithfulness.” Pope Francis concluded his homily with the prayer that the Lord might grant us the grace to celebrate in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, “the great acts, the great works of salvation, the great works of redemption.” Listen:  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope to Serra International: Keep moving forward with courage

Vatican News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:58
(Vatican Radio) “Keep moving forward with courage, creativity and boldness.” Those were Pope Francis’ words to Serra International whom he met on Friday on the occasion of their 75th convention. Listen to our report:  To quote St John Paul II, Serrans “accept as their responsibility the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life”, and on Friday, his successor to the See of Peter,  Pope Francis said that above all else a Serran, “is a special friend whom the Lord has brought into the lives of seminarians and priests.” The Holy Father made the comment during an address to the 600 participants attending the 75th Convention of Serra International taking place in Rome this week. Speaking about friendship, the Pope said friends stand at our side, they listen to us closely, and can see beyond mere words; they are merciful when faced with our faults; they are non-judgmental.  This, Pope Francis commented is, “also the kind of friendship that you seek to offer to priests.”  The Serra Club, he added,  “helps foster this beautiful vocation of being laity who are friends to priests.”  The Holy Father noted another phrase that is used to describe the Serrans, that is Siempre adelante!  or Keep moving forward!  Like you, the Pope went on to say, “I believe that this is a synonym for the Christian vocation.” Vocation, Pope Francis said “is an invitation to go forth from ourselves, to rejoice in our relationship with the Lord, and to journey along the ways that he opens up before us.” But he stressed, “we cannot make progress unless we take a risk, and have the courage to dare, not to let fear stifle creativity, not to be suspicious of new things, but instead to embrace the challenges which the Spirit sets before us, even when this means changing plans and charting a different course.” In conclusion, the Pope invited those gathered to keep moving forward with courage, creativity and boldness.  “Do not rest on your laurels, he said, but be ever ready to try new things.”  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope to ROACO recalls suffering of Eastern-rite Christians

Vatican News - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:36
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with members of ROACO , (Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches) who have been holding their 90th plenary assembly in Rome this week. The meeting brings Church leaders from countries across the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe together with donor organisations which raise funds for Christians in the Eastern-rite Churches. Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report: The four day meeting has been focused on the difficult situation of Christians in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Holy Land, as well as reflecting on the training of priests and seminarians in all the Eastern-rite Churches. In his message to participants, Pope Francis thanked them for their constant work of charity and solidarity over the past half century in support of Latin and Eastern-rite communities under the care of the Vatican’s Congregation for Oriental Churches. Persecution and emigration These Churches of the Middle East, as well as in Eastern Europe, he said, have often suffered from “terrible waves of persecution and pain”. Emigration has also significantly weakened the presence of these Churches in places where they flourished for centuries. Freedom has now returned to some of those regions, the Pope said, but others, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, are still devastated by “wars and absurd violence perpetrated by fundamentalist terrorism.” These experiences are a source of both suffering and salvation, he said, as we experience the Cross of Christ. Temptations of social status Speaking about the formation of priests and seminarians, Pope Francis noted the dedication and heroic witness of so many prelates. But he also warned about the temptations of seeking social status that is associated with the priesthood in some parts of the world. The Congregation for Oriental Churches and donor agencies must continue to support projects and initiatives which build up the Church in an authentic way, the Pope said. We must remember we are living stones, built around Christ as our corner stone, he added. Witness to the Gospel Finally, the Pope remembered all those Christians – Catholics, Orthodox or Protestant – whose blood continues to be spilled because of their witness to the Gospel. When Eastern-rite Christians are forced to emigrate, he said, they must be welcomed in their new countries and allowed to continue their worship according to their own traditions (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Mass: Discern and denounce evil, care for others

Vatican News - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:11
(Vatican Radio) A shepherd must be passionate, must know how to discern and how to denounce evil. Those were Pope Francis’ words during Mass on Thursday at the Casa Santa Marta, where he focused on the figure of the Apostle Paul and then turned his attention to the example offered by Don Milani. Like the parish priest of Barbiana, the Pope said, one should take care of one’s neighbour. "The Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep," said Pope Francis during his homily, drawing inspiration from the readings of the day and dwelling on the characteristics that a shepherd should have. The Pope noted in Saint Paul, the figure of the "true shepherd", who does not abandon his sheep unlike a "mercenary". The first quality, therefore, the Holy Father indicated, is that St Paul  is "passionate". Passionate,  he added, "to the point of telling his people, 'I feel for you all a kind of divine jealousy'." He  is "divinely jealous," the Pope commented. The true shepherd knows how to discern, on guard against at the seduction of evil A passion therefore becomes almost "madness", "stupidity" for his people. "And this – the Pope added - is that which we call apostolic zeal: he cannot be a true shepherd without this fire." A second characteristic, he continued, the pastor must be "a man who knows how to discern": "He knows what seduction in life is. The lying father is a seducer. The Shepherd, is not. The shepherd loves. Instead, the snake, the father of lies, is a seducer. He is a seducer trying to turn away from fidelity, because that divine jealousy of Paul was to bring the people to a single groom, to keep the people loyal to their bridegroom. In the history of salvation, in Scripture many times we turn away from God, disloyalty towards the Lord, idolatry as if it were a maternal infidelity. " You must know how to report evil, not be naïve The Shepherd’s first characteristic, then, "is to be passionate, zealous, zealous". The second feature is, "someone who knows how to discern: to discern where the dangers are, where the graces are... where the real road is". This, the Pope said, "means he always accompanies his sheep: in beautiful moments and even in bad moments, even in moments of seduction, with patience he brings them to the fold." And the third feature: is "the ability to denounce": "An apostle cannot be naive: 'Ah, it's all right, let's go ahead, eh? It's all right ... Let's party, everyone ... everything is possible ...'. because there is the fidelity to the only groom, to Jesus Christ, to be defended. And he knows how to condemn it: that concreteness, to say ' no,' like the  parents say to the baby when he starts to clap and goes to the electric socket to put his fingers in : 'No, no! It's dangerous!'. But, I think so many times of that 'tuca nen' (do not touch anything ndr) that my parents and grandparents told me at those moments where there was a danger. " Take care of others  as Don Milani did  "The Good Shepherd – Pope Francis said - can denounce, by name and surname" as St. Paul did. The Holy Father returned to his visit to Bozzolo and Barbiana, this week, referring, "to those two good shepherds of Italy." And speaking of Don Milani, he recalled his "motto" when he "taught his boys": "I care. But what does it mean? They explained to me that he wanted to say 'I care'. He taught that things were to be taken seriously, against the fashion motto at that time that was 'I do not care,' but said in another language, which I dare not say here. And so he taught the kids to move on. Take care: take care of your life, and this no! '" Paul's apostolic zeal, was passionate, zealous. Man, commented the Holy Father knows how to discern because he knows the power of seduction and knows the devil seduces. The Pope then concluded with a prayer "for all the shepherds of the Church, for Saint Paul who intercede before the Lord, for all of us pastors in order to serve the Lord." (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope donates funds to support aid projects in South Sudan

Vatican News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:28
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has pledged to donate about half a million dollars to support Church-run education, healthcare and agricultural projects in South Sudan. At a press conference in the Vatican on Wednesday, Cardinal Peter Turkson , head of the office for Integral Human Development, led a panel of speakers giving details of those humanitarian projects, run by Caritas and by missionaries from different religious institutes. The cardinal also outlined numerous initiatives that the Holy See has taken to stop the war, which flared across the country in 2013. Listen to Philippa HItchen's report: Pope Francis may have postponed a planned visit to war-torn South Sudan this year, but he’s clearly more determined than ever to raise awareness about the need to support those suffering from conflict and starvation. Over half the population doesn’t have enough food to eat, a million and a half people have fled their homes, thousands are suffering from a cholera epidemic and untold numbers are victims of killings, rapes and other violent crimes. Faces behind the statistics But beyond the shocking statistics of this largely forgotten war, it’s vital to remember the individual victims – that’s why aid workers have started a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #southsudanwecare Among those speaking at the Vatican press conference was Sr Yudith Pereira-Rico , from Solidarity with South Sudan, an organisation founded by male and female religious congregations over a decade ago: “ We don’t talk about numbers, we talk about individuals who are suffering….any time a young man or woman in South Sudan clicks this hashtag they will know how many people care.....this moral support is very important " Part of the pope’s donation will go to support a college in Yambio run by Solidarity with South Sudan to train teachers, nurses, midwives, farmers and community leaders. As well as learning vital job skills, the students from many different ethnic groups learn about the values of diversity and collaboration, an important sign of hope for the country which gained independence in 2011. Caritas and Comboni missionaries Other beneficiaries of the initiative entitled ‘ The Pope for South Sudan ’ include two hospitals run by Comboni missionaries and an agricultural project, run by Caritas, to provide livelihoods for 2.500 families in the dioceses of Yei, Yambio and Torit. Michel Roy , secretary general of Caritas Internationalis , told journalists that while peace must be the priority for South Sudan, the international community must also do more to save lives of those dying from hunger and disease “ The UN has launched an appeal, right now it is half funded, there’s a real need for the international community to engage more, much more. This cannot be just another forgotten conflict, like Darfur …” Holy See mediation efforts Asked about Vatican initiatives to try and stop the fighting, Cardinal Peter Turkson said he had been personally involved in two mediation efforts to bring together warring leaders President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. Amid concerns that the conflict was spreading across the region, the nuncio in Kenya also met with Machar last December to urge the parties to come to the negotiating table. Planned peace pilgrimage So far, these attempts have failed to bring peace, but Cardinal Turkson stressed the Holy See continues to do all it can to stop the fighting in South Sudan. That’s a key condition before a planned visit to the region by the pope and by Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, can take place. While they had hoped to travel together in October to endorse peace efforts of all Christians in the region, that trip has been postponed until at least 2018. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope to NFL Hall of Famers: foster fair play, teamwork

Vatican News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 09:19
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received a delegation from the National Football League’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Addressing the 43-member delegation representing the trustees and members of the organization that honors the great players in the history of the premier professional American football league, the Holy Father spoke of sport as a bridge-builder that can be a powerful tool in creating a culture of encounter, especially by fostering virtues of fair play, teamwork, and pursuit of excellence. Click below to hear our report “Our world,” said Pope Francis, “and especially our young people, need models, persons who show us how to bring out the best in ourselves, to use our God-given gifts and talents, and, in so doing, to point the way to a better future for our societies.” Pope Francis concluded expressing the hope that the delegates’ visit to Rome might help them grow in gratitude for gifts received and inspire them to share those gifts ever more generously in shaping a more fraternal world. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis at General Audience: ‘Saints are sign of Christian hope’

Vatican News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 08:07
(Vatican Radio)  We are called to be saints, just like the multitude of witnesses before us, so as to be heralds of hope for the world. That was Pope Francis’ message during the catechesis portion of his Wednesday General Audience, in which he reflected on the Saints as witnesses and companions of Hope. Listen to Devin Watkins’ report: Pope Francis at his General Audience in a sunny St. Peter’s Square said the Saints who have gone before us show us the path of Christian hope and teach us to follow in their footsteps. Taking the Letter to the Hebrews (11:40-12:12a) as his guide, the Pope said the saints are “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith”. He spoke about three important moments in the life of the Church in which the “great cloud of witnesses” is evoked: in the liturgies of Baptism, Matrimony, and Holy Orders. He said the saints are called upon in these moments because “they have passed along our same path, have known the same toil, and live forever in the embrace of God.” “God never abandons us,” he said. “Whenever we are in need, one of His angels will come to pick us up and console us. ‘Angels’ sometimes have a human face and heart, because the saints of God are always here, hidden in our midst.” Pope Francis went on to assure his audience that the Christian ideal is attainable, as the lives of the saints have shown. He said, “It is possible to be saints because the Lord helps us.” Being a saint, he said, means doing your daily duties, like “praying, working, taking care of the kids”, but “doing all with a heart open to God”. In conclusion, the Holy Father said living a saintly life is “the great gift that each of us can offer to the world.” “Our history needs ‘mystics’, that is, people who reject every dominion and aspire to charity and solidarity: Men and women who live by accepting even a portion of suffering, because they take upon themselves the difficulties of their neighbor. Without these men and women, the world would be without hope.” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis greets NFL Hall of Fame delegation

Vatican News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 05:56
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis greeted a delegation from the premier American football league's Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Ahead of the weekly General Audience, the Pope received the delegation from the National Football League Hall of Fame. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father's remarks in their official English translation... **************************************** Greeting of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Wednesday, 21 June 2017 Dear Friends, I am pleased to greet you, the members and directors of the American Pro Football Hall of Fame, and to welcome you to the Vatican.  As many of you know, I am an avid follower of “football”, but where I come from, the game is played very differently! I thank Mr. Anderson for his gracious words of introduction, which stressed the traditional values of sportsmanship that you seek to embody, both on the field and in your own lives, your families and your communities.  Our world, and especially our young people, need models, persons who show us how to bring out the best in ourselves, to use our God-given gifts and talents, and, in so doing, to point the way to a better future for our societies.  Teamwork, fair play and the pursuit of personal excellence are the values – in the religious sense, we can say virtues – that have guided your own commitment on the field.  Yet these same values are urgently needed off the field, on all levels of our life as a community.  They are the values that help build a culture of encounter, in which we anticipate and meet the needs of our brothers and sisters, and combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family.  How greatly our world needs this culture of encounter! Dear friends, I pray that your visit to the Eternal City will increase your gratitude for the many gifts you have received and inspire you to share them ever more generously in shaping a more fraternal world. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you all! (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis holds General Audience: English Summary

Vatican News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 05:12
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope at his Wednesday General Audience, reflecting on the Saints as witnesses and companions of Hope. Please find below the official English-language summary: Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now look to the saints, to “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith”.  The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of the saints as “a great cloud of witnesses” who support us on our pilgrim way through this present life.  In the sacraments of baptism, marriage and ordination, we pray the Litany of the Saints to implore their intercession and help in the particular vocation we have received.  The lives of the saints remind us that the Christian ideal is not unattainable.  Despite our human weakness, we can always count on God’s grace and the prayers of the saints to sustain us in faith and in hope for the transfiguration of this world and the fulfilment of Christ’s promises in the next.  May the Lord enable all of us to become saints, to be living images of Christ in our time.  May he strengthen us to be his witnesses and to bring the Gospel to all our brothers and sisters, especially the suffering and those most in need of its message of undying hope. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis upholds legacy of two 'inconvenient' priests

Vatican News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 12:03
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday travelled to two small towns in northern Italy to pay homage to two Italian parish priests of the past century who championed the poor and challenged powerful prelates to step outside their comfort zones.  Arriving by helicopter in Lombardy town of Bozzolo to pray at the tomb of   Don Primo Mazzolari , Pope Francis was greeted by Cremona Bishop Antonio Napolioni who announced the process to beatify Mazzolari will start on September 18th. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : Don Mazzolari, who died in 1959, was the parish priest of Bozzolo. He was also  a scholar who wrote about St. Francis and Blessed John Henry Newman, an anti-fascist activist who opposed the Mussolini regime and an ardent champion of the poor. Sanctioned for a time by diocesan authorities, Mazzolari was a friend of Pope John XXIII and praised by the future Pope Paul VI.  Pope Francis’ lengthy tribute to Mazzolari – whom he described as Italy’s parish priest - was above all a call to priests not to demand perfection from the faithful, but to encourage them to do their best and an exhortation to them to take the Gospel message into the peripheries in poverty and with simplicity, turning away from the temptations of clericalism and careerism.   Francis  then flew to Barbiana, near Florence, to pray at the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani , a man he has described as “a believer, enamored of the Church”  a “passionate educator” who used “original ways.”  Milani, who died in 1967, is universally acknowledged for having been an optimum interpreter of modern and contemporary pedagogy, a priest attentive to formative methods for young people, and  especially alert to the needs of the poor and the rights of workers. Milani , the Pope said, taught the importance of giving the poor the capacity to speak up for themselves, because “without the word, there’s no dignity and therefore no justice or freedom”.   A pilgrimage the Pope himself said was undertaken  in the footsteps of two parish priests whose legacy he described as “scomodo” which means challenging or inconvenient, but that has left a radiant  trace in their service to the Lord and to the people of God.   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope’s condolence for the death of Cardinal Ivan Dias

Vatican News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 08:25
Pope Francis has expressed his sadness at the death of Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias.  The 81 year old retired prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and former archbishop Emeritus of Bombay passed away on Monday in Rome.  Pope Francis sent a condolence message to the late cardinal’s brother Francis Dias, recalling his service to the Holy See, particularly his efforts in rebuilding the Church in Albania. Please find below the full text of the Pope's condolence message: Deeply saddened to learn of the death of your dear brother, I offer heartfelt condolences to you and the Dias family.  I recall with gratitude the late Cardinal’s years of faithful service to the Apostolic See, especially his contribution to the spiritual and physical reconstruction of the suffering Church in Albania and the missionary zeal demonstrated in his work as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.  I likewise unite my prayers to those of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Bombay, where the pastoral concern and broad apostolic vision that marked his service as Archbishop are fondly remembered.  In union of prayer with all who mourn his passing in the sure hope of the Resurrection, I commend the soul of this wise and gentle pastor to the merciful love of God our heavenly Father and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Lord. FRANCISCUS PP. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis pays tribute to "Italy's parish priest"

Vatican News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 08:25
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday made a pilgrimage to northern Italy to honor two 20th-century parish priests whose commitment to the poor and powerless challenged many faithful - inside and outside the Vatican - to step outside their comfort zones. The Pope flew by helicopter to Bozzolo, near Cremona in the region of Lombardy, to pray at the tomb of Don Primo Mazzolari , parish priest of a small town, a scholar who wrote about St. Francis and Blessed John Henry Newman, he opposed the Mussolini regime and emphasized the importance of the poor. Sanctioned for a time by diocesan authorities, Father Mazzolari was a friend of Pope John XXIII and praised by the future Pope Paul VI. He died in 1959. The Pope then travelled to Barbiana, near Florence to pay tribute to Don Lorenzo Milani, a wealthy convert to Catholicism who founded a parish school to educate the poor and workers.  In Bozzolo, Francis stood in silent prayer before the simple tomb of Mazzolari, and then delivered a long tribute to the priest whom he described as “Italy's parish priest.” The Pope quoted Mazzolari’s writings about the need for the Church to accompany its flock and recalled his exhortation that a priest's job isn't to demand perfection from the faithful, but to encourage them to do their best.  Quoting Mazzolari’s own words he said: ``Let us have good sense! We don't to massacre the backs of these poor people.'' He said the legacy of priests like Don Mazzolari is a bright one that challenges us to leave our comfort zones. “Don Mazzolari tried to change the world without regrets for the past; he was not one who hung on to the Church of the past, but tried to change the Church through love and unconditional dedication” he said. Pope Francis warned against those men of the Church who “do not want to soil their hands” and who “observe the world through a window”; he warned against those who engage in what he called “separatist activism” where one runs Catholic institutions like banks or businesses; and he spoke out against the temptation for spiritualism which dehumanizes and is devoted only to the apostolate. Don Mazzolari, the Pope said, conceived the Church going forth into world in the firm belief that that is the only way to reach out to those who do not come to Church any more. “He was rightly described as ‘the parish priest of those who are far’ because he always loved those on the peripheries and to them dedicated his mission. Pope Francis concluded his speech with an exhortation to all priests to “listen to the world”, to “step into the dark areas without fear because it is amongst the people that God’s mercy is incarnate.” He urged them to live in poverty and said that the credibility of the Gospel message is in the simplicity and poverty of the Church and he reminded them always to treasure the lesson of Don Mazzolari.     (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope prays at tomb of Don Milani in Italian town of Barbiana

Vatican News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 08:25
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday visited and prayed at the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani, an Italian priest and educator from the Diocese of Florence, and spoke to the faithful present for his visit in Barbiana. Calling Don Milani a “priest who was as transparent and hard as a diamond”, Pope Francis reflected on his life and legacy as an educator in the northern Italian city of Barbiana from 1954 until 1967. The Pope said he wished to pray at his tomb “in order to pay homage to the memory of a priest who witnessed to how, in the gift of self to Christ, we discover our brothers and sisters in their moment of need, and we serve them”. He told the people of Barbiana that they were “witnesses to his passion as an educator and his desire to reawaken the human aspect in persons in order to open them to the divine.” The Holy Father said education for Don Milani was the concrete expression of his priesthood. “[He sought] to give back the word to poor people, because without language there is neither dignity nor freedom and justice.” Pope Francis went on to thank all educators for their “service towards promoting the growth of new generations, especially those who find themselves in uncomfortable situations.” He said Don Milani’s educative drive was born of his priesthood, which in turn was born of his faith. “His was a totalizing faith, which allowed him to give himself completely to the Lord”. Turning to the priests present, Pope Francis invited them to be “men of faith” and to “love the Church and make her loved by showing her to be a mother for all, especially for the poorest and most fragile”. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis opens annual Diocese of Rome pastoral conference

Vatican News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 02:09
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis made his second visit to Rome’s Cathedral, St. John Lateran, in as many days on Monday evening to open the Diocese of Rome’s annual pastoral conference. Ahead of his visit, the Holy Father met with a group of refugees who have been hosted by some of the thirty-eight Roman parishes and religious communities who responded to his 2015 appeal that parishes to do their part by hosting those persons fleeing war and poverty. Listen to Linda Bordoni's report: Pope Francis opened Rome’s annual diocesan meeting on Monday evening with a reflection on how to accompany parents in educating their adolescent children. Offering several “assumptions” for this aspect of pastoral care, the Bishop of Rome invited the city’s pastors to think in the Roman dialect, that is, with the faces of their flocks fixed in their minds. “Family life and the education of adolescents in a big metropolis like this requires particular attention," he said. "The complexity of the capital does not admit of reductive syntheses, but stimulates us to think in the form of a polyhedron, in which every neighborhood finds its own echo in the diocese”. Pope Francis then reflected on the modern experience of being “uprooted”. He said “an uprooted society or uprooted family is a family without a history, memory, or roots… For this reason one of the first things we must think about is how to provide roots and relationships and how to promote a vital network that allows them to feel at home.” The Pope said the adolescent experience is one of tension and transition between childhood and adulthood. He called this a precious and difficult time in which the whole family is called to grow. And he invited the Roman pastors not to treat adolescence as a “pathology to be medicated”; rather, he called it “a normal part of growth,” since “where there is life there is movement and change”. The Holy Father said this offered parents a unique opportunity to stimulate young people by involving them in projects that challenge them to reach their full potential. In conclusion, Pope Francis said one of the greatest threats to the education of teenagers is the idea of “eternal youth”. He said when adults want to stay young and young people want to be adults there is a hidden risk of leaving teenagers out of their own growth processes, because parents have taken their place. This, the Pope said, deprives teenagers of an experience of confrontation necessary for growth into adulthood. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

© Copyright 2008 - 2017. Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy. All rights reserved.