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Day: August 31, 2015

Archbishop Kurtz on preparations for papal visit to the U.S.

(Vatican Radio) The head of the U.S Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, says Pope Francis will come to his country as a pastor and a prophet, to walk with people but also to challenge them to conversion of heart.
With less than a month to go before the papal plane touches down in Washington DC at the start of the Pope’s week-long visit to the U.S, Archbishop Kurtz joined other American Church leaders to brief journalists at the annual Religion Newswriters’ Association Conference, which concluded in Philadelphia on Sunday.
The president of the USCCB spoke of the central theme of the family, which the Pope will address as he closes the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. But he also pointed to freedom of religion and faith in action in service to the poor and needy as important challenges the Pope will deliver to American Catholics during the September 22nd to 27th visit.
Philippa Hitchen caught up with Archbishop Kurtz during the conference and asked him about the practical preparations for this eagerly anticipated papal visit….

The president of the USCCB says that while the papal visit will be hectic, he hopes that people don’t work so hard to prepare that they forget to enjoy and to really welcome the Holy Father to the United States, noting that the Pope himself often says, “don’t be Martha all the time, be Mary…” He says he hopes the trip will be a chance for American Catholics to show their loyalty and gratitude but also for the Pope to appreciate the richeness of the U.S. Church and to challenge it a little…
Asked about recent polls showing that half the American population does not know about the papal visit, Archbishop Kurtz admits that most people “are more aware of the NFL season, what football games are coming up”. “That’s part of our culture”, he says, “let’s be realistic about that”. But he says he hopes the interest of the 8.000 journalists already accredited to cover the visit will offer opportunities “to touch the lives of many people” during the trip. 
Archbishop Kurtz adds that he has visited President Obama and the leaders of Congress and found “a great desire to welcome” among them. Although he says he is concerned about the way soundbites can reduce the meaning of the Pope’s message, he hopes that people will “hear the full teachings” that Pope Francis is bringing
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope’s general prayer intention for September is for jobless youth

The general prayer intention of Pope Francis is for thejobless youth: that opportunities for education and  employment may increase for all young  people.   The Holy Father is greatly concerned about high jobless rates among young people, saying they are becoming a lost generation – victim of today’s “throw-away” culture that casts aside anyone who is not profitable economically.  It’s painful to see young people on the lookout for their first job turned away for lack of previous experience, thus nipping them in the bud.  The Pope says the problem is more than merely economic.  It is a problem of dignity.  Without work, one ‎cannot have the experience of dignity which comes from being able to put food on the table and to have a family and a home.  Pope Francis stressed that high  unemployment among youth is a crisis of the  family, “a true social plague” that leaves young people feeling useless.  If the youth are deprived of hope, then the very future and hope of society and of the Church is jeopardized.   Let’s therefore join Pope Francis in his general prayer campaign during September and in saying “no” to the throw-away culture and “yes” to increased opportunities for ‎education and employment  for young people everywhere, for they are  truly the future of humanity. 
(from Vatican Radio)…