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Day: April 14, 2016

Bulletin for 4/24/2016

Click to download bulletin for April 24, 2016

Vatican announces the schedule for Pope’s visit to Lesbos

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will spend six hours on the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, April 16, where – together with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymus II – he will spend time with refugees.
“Lesbos … is very close to the Turkish coast, just a few kilometers,” explained Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, at a press briefing on Thursday. “This is the reason so many migrants go to the island of Lesbos.”
Father Lombardi said the visit will have a humanitarian and ecumenical perspective.
“It does not directly touch on political positions, or other such things, but their focus is fundamentally humanitarian, experienced in an ecumenical key,” Father Lombardi said.
After arriving by plane on the island, Pope Francis will meet briefly with the Prime Minister of Greece, and then travel to the Mòria refugee camp, which is home to about 2,500 people.
The three religious leaders will have a special meeting with minors at the camp, as well as 250 selected asylum-seekers.
“The presence of minors, children, orphans – even those on their own – is very typical in these situations,” – Father Lombardi said – “Therefore, it is right to give them particular attention.”
While at the camp, a joint declaration will be signed, and Pope Francis and the other religious leaders will have lunch with some of the refugees.
Pope Francis will also have a meeting with the small local Catholic community. There are about 100 Catholics on Lesbos, and other Catholics in Greece will travel to the island to attend the encounter.
“Keep in mind that there is also a presence of the Catholic Church in Greece. Although very small in quantitative terms, it is still present,” Father Lombardi said.
At the end of the visit, the three religious leaders will hold a memorial for all the victims of the migration crisis, and observe a moment of silence for those who have died.
Returning to the airport, Pope Francis will meet privately with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymus and have a second private meeting with the prime minister before leaving for Rome.
The full schedule of Pope Francis’ visit to the island of Lesbos in Greece (all times local)
07:00  Departure from Rome-Fiumicino International airport for Mytilene (capital of Lesbos)
10:20 Arrival at the international airport of Mytilene
The Holy Father is received by the Prime Minister; and is then welcomed by His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His Beatitude Ieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, and after this, by  Bishop Franghískos Papamanólis, O.F.M. Cap., Chairman of the Greek Episcopal Conference.
10:55  Transfer by minibus with His Holiness Bartholomew and his Beatitude Ieronymos to Mòria refugee camp(16 Km).
11:15 Arrival at Mòria refugee camp(home to around 2.500 asylum-seekers)
Along the barricades will be gathered about 150 minors who are guests of the center. The religious leaders will go across the courtyard dedicated to the registration of refugees and will arrive at the big tent to individually greet about 250 asylum seekers.
12.25:  Speech by Archbishop Ieronymos; by Patriarch Bartholemew;  and by Pope Francis at the podium of the courtyard for refugee registration.
12.40:  Signing of the joint declaration.
12.45:  Lunch with the three religious leaders with the some of the refugees in the space behind the podium.
13.30  transfer by minibus to the port (8 Km)
13.45  arrival at the headquarters of the Coast Guard.
At the end, the three religious leaders will each recite a brief prayer for the victims of migration.
After a minute of silence is called for, the three leaders will receive from three children laurel wreaths, which will be thrown into the sea.
14:15  transfer by minibus to the airport (3 Km).
14:30 In the airport:
15:15  Departure by plane from the international airport of Mytilene for Rome.
16:30 Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis to Scots College: be courageous, merciful priests

(Vatican Radio) Offer your lives “completely” to the Lord; “we too are living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel:”  that’s the message Pope Francis gave to staff and students at the Pontifical Scots College Thursday as they celebrate the 400 th anniversary of its founding as a seminary.
The Scots College in Rome was founded by Pope Clement VIII in 1600 for Catholic education at a time when Catholic instruction and preaching were illegal at home. On 10th March 1616, the Pontifical Scots College became a seminary.
In his discourse to those present Thursday, Pope Francis held up as a model of committed priesthood the martyred Scottish Jesuit Saint John Ogilvie who died for the faith in 1615. The saint was hanged and drawn at Glasgow Cross for clandestinely celebrating Mass in the homes of the few Catholics remaining in Scotland and for refusing to pledge allegiance to King James VI.
In 1616, and inspired by Ogilvie’s determined ministry, the College’s first 16 students vowed to return to Scotland as priests to follow in his footsteps.
Pope Francis said that the martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie, “which was meant to silence the Catholic faith, instead was an impetus for its promotion and for defending the Church’s freedom to remain in communion with the See of Peter.  The ‘yes’ proclaimed by the sixteen men four hundred years ago was eloquent not simply for their good intentions, but rather because they persevered, and prepared themselves in every way, returning to Scotland to face the hardships that awaited them, even if it meant becoming martyrs themselves.”
Below please find the official English translation of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks:
Dear Archbishop Tartaglia, Archbishop Cushley,
Dear Members of Staff and Seminarians of the Pontifical Scots College,
            It am pleased to welcome you today, as together we commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of the transformation of the Pontifical Scots College into a seminary for priestly formation.   This anniversary is significant not only for the many years it marks, but even more so because we recall the fidelity of the sixteen men who, on 11 March 1616, were resolute in their determination to return to Scotland as priests to preach the Gospel.  That decision was born of a martyr’s blood.
            The martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie, which was meant to silence the Catholic faith, instead was an impetus for its promotion and for defending the Church’s freedom to remain in communion with the See of Peter.  The “yes” proclaimed by the sixteen men four hundred years ago was eloquent not simply for their good intentions, but rather because they persevered, and prepared themselves in every way, returning to Scotland to face the hardships that awaited them, even if it meant becoming martyrs themselves.  Theirs was a life which sought the joys and peace that Christ alone could offer.  Looking out at you today, I can see that, through the grace of God, the martyrdom of Saint John and the courage of those sixteen men has borne fruit in your beloved homeland.
            We too are living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel.  I urge you to have that same selfless spirit as your predecessors did.  Love Jesus above all things!  Let your “yes” be marked by a firm resolve to give yourselves generously to your priestly formation, so that your years in Rome may prepare you to return to Scotland and to offer your lives completely.  If you have this same passion as your brothers from four hundred years ago, that same love for the Church and Scotland, you will honour the history and sacrifices we recall today.  You will also become in this moment a sign to the Scottish people, especially the youth, if you encounter them in their everyday lives, if you reach out to those who are furthest from Christ.  Show them, each and every one, that God is always with us and that his mercy endures for ever. 
            In this Jubilee of Mercy, I pray that the Lord may grant you the courage and grace to be faithful to his will, by being dedicated to prayer, by loving Jesus, especially in the Holy Eucharist, and by entrusting yourselves to the care of Mary our Mother.  Upon you and all the faithful in Scotland, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.  God bless you all!            
(from Vatican Radio)…

Be docile to the Holy Spirit – Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta

(Vatican Radio) One must be docile to the Holy Spirit, said Pope Francis Thursday at Mass in his residence of Casa Santa Marta, and one must not resist Him. Pope Francis warns against those who resist the Spirit with “so-called fidelity to the law” and invites the faithful to pray for the grace of the docility to the Spirit.
Philip evangelized the Ethiopian, a senior official of Queen Candace. Pope Francis was inspired by this fascinating account in the Acts of the Apostles, in the first reading of today, focusing his attention on the docility to the Holy Spirit.
Do not resist the Spirit under the guise of loyalty to the law
The protagonist of this meeting, Pope Francis noted, is in fact not so much Philip, nor even the Ethiopian, but just the Spirit. “It is Him who does things. It is the Spirit who gives birth to and grows the Church.”
“In days past, the Church has shown us how there can be a drama of resisting the Spirit: closed, hard, foolish hearts resisting the Spirit. We’ve seen things – the healing of the lame man by Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; the words and the great things Stephen was doing … but they were closed off to these signs of the Spirit and resisted the Spirit. They were seeking to justify this resistance with a so-called fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law.”
In referring to the reading, Pope Francis said that “the Church proposes the opposite: no resistance to the Spirit, but docility to the Spirit, which is precisely the attitude of the Christian.” He continued: “Being docile to the Spirit, this docility is the yes that the Spirit may act and move forward to build up the Church.” Here, he added, is Philip, one of the Apostles, “busy as all bishops are, and this day surely he had his plan to work.” But the Spirit tells him to leave what he has planned and go to the Ethiopian – “and he obeyed.” Pope Francis then outlined the meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian, in which the Apostle explains the Gospel and its message of salvation. The Spirit, he said, “was working in the heart of the Ethiopian”, offers him “the gift of faith and this man felt something new in his heart.” And at the end he asks to be baptized, being docile to the Holy Spirit.
Docility to the Spirit gives us joy
“Two men,” the Pope said, “one an evangelist and one who knew nothing of Jesus, but the Spirit had sowed a healthy curiosity, not the curiosity of gossip.” And in the end the eunuch goes his way with joy, “the joy of the Spirit, in the docility of the Spirit.”
“We have heard, these past days, about resistance to the Spirit; and today we have an example of two men who were docile to the voice of the Spirit. And the sign of this is joy. Docility to the Spirit is a source of joy. “But I would like to do something, this … but I feel the Lord ask me to do something else. Joy I will find there, where there is the call of the Spirit!”
It is the Holy Spirit who carries the Church forward
A beautiful prayer asking for this docility, the Pope revealed, we may find in the First Book of Samuel, the prayer which the priest Eli suggests to the young Samuel, who during the night heard a voice calling to him: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
“This is a beautiful prayer that we can always pray: ‘Speak, Lord, because I am listening.’ The prayer asking for this docility to the Holy Spirit and with this docility to carry forward the Church, to be instruments of the Spirit so that the Church can move forward. ‘Speak, Lord, because your servant is listening’. We should pray this many times a day: when we have a doubt, when we do not know what to do, or when we want simply to pray. And with this prayer we ask for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit.”
(from Vatican Radio)…