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Day: March 3, 2017

Vatican releases Pope’s liturgical calendar for March, April

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff on Friday published the calendar of liturgical celebrations at which Pope Francis will preside during March and April of 2017. 
The list includes the Masses to be celebrated during the Holy Father’s pastoral visits to Milan on March 25 and Carpi on April 2, as well as other events surrounding Holy Week and Easter.
Please find below the full list:
Friday 17: at 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, penitential celebration.
Saturday 25: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Lord. Pastoral visit to Milan.
Sunday 2: Fifth Sunday of Lent. Pastoral visit to Carpi.
Sunday 9: Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, commemoration of the entry of the Lord in Jerusalem, and Holy Mass.
Thursday 13: Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass.
Friday 14: Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Passion of the Lord.
At 9.15 p.m. at the Colosseum, Rome: Via Crucis (Way of the Cross).
Saturday 15: Holy Saturday. At 8.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter vigil.
Sunday 16: Easter Sunday. At 10 a.m., in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
At midday, from the Central balcony of the Vatican Basilica, “Urbi et Orbi” blessing.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Vatican workshop on ‘Twitter Diplomacy at Holy See’

(Vatican Radio)  A one-day workshop was held on Friday in the Vatican on ‘Twitter Diplomacy at the Holy See’. The event was hosted by the Vatican Secretariat for Communications (SPC), in conjunction with the British Embassy to the Holy See.
Participants in the workshop included Britain’s Ambassadors to the Holy See, Sally Axworthy, and to Austria, Leigh Turner, along with Hungary’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Eduard Habsburg, and Professor Giovanni Maria Vian, Director of the Osservatore Romano.
Pope Francis touches minds and hearts on social networks
“Where people are, the Church is. This is why the Pope is present on Twitter and Instagram .” That was the explanation given by the SPC’s Secretary, Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz.
The event brought together diplomats and other personalities who, in the Vatican and the Church, seek to spread the message of the Gospel through social media, especially on Twitter.
Workshop participants shared their experiences and the ways in which communications have changed after the spread of social networks – even at the institutional level.
Participants gave particular attention to the positive role offered by Pope Francis daily through his account @Pontifex , which is followed by more than 32 million people in 9 languages.
They called the Pope a leader on social networks, because he knows how to touch minds and hearts through his interventions on important themes for all people, believers and non-believers alike.
Digital media holds an ever more important role in diplomacy
Sally Axworthy, Britain’s Ambassador to the Holy See, told Alessandro Gisotti after the event that the digital dimension is assuming an ever greater role in diplomacy. She said there are many points on which, even via Twitter, that the Holy See and international diplomacy can find a way to collaborate.
Ms. Axworthy also underlined that, as Pope Francis has eloquently shown, social networks can help reach an extremely wide public on themes of common interest.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope to receive European Union heads of State

(Vatican Radio)  The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, said Friday that Pope Francis will hold an audience with the heads of State and government of the European Union on March 24, 2017.
The EU leaders will be in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
Their audience with Pope Francis is to take place in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace on the eve of a summit marking the EU’s founding treaty.
The Holy Father previously addressed EU leaders last May at his acceptance speech for the Charlemagne prize for promoting European unity .
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope: true fasting is helping others

(Vatican Radio) True fasting is helping your neighbour; while false fasting mixes religiosity with dirty deals and the bribes of vanity. That was the message of Pope Francis at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday.
Listen to Christopher Wells’ report: 

The readings of the day speak about fasting; that is, the Pope explained, “about the penance that we are called to do in this time of Lent,” in order to draw closer to the Lord. God delights in the “contrite heart,” the Psalm says, “the heart of one who feels himself a sinner, who knows he is a sinner.” In the first Reading, taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, God rebukes the false religiosity of the hypocrites who fast, while at the same time carrying out their own pursuits, oppressing their workers, “striking with wicked claw”: on the one hand, doing penance, while on the other being unjust, making “dirty deals.” The Lord calls us, instead, to a true fast, where we are attentive to our neighbour:
“On the other hand there is a fasting that is ‘hypocritical’ – it’s the word that Jesus uses so often – a fast that makes you see yourself as just, or makes you feel just, but in the meantime I have practiced iniquities, I am not just, I exploit the people.
“‘But,’ [someone might say,] ‘ I am generous, I give a good offering to the Church.’
“‘But tell me,’ [one might answer,] ‘ do you pay a just wage to your help? Do you pay your employees under the table? Or, as the law demands, [enough] so that they are able to feed their children?’”
Pope Francis told the story of an event that happened immediately after the second World War to Jesuit Father Pedro Arrupe, when he was a missionary in Japan. A rich businessman gave him a donation for his evangelical activities, but brought with him a photographer and a journalist. The envelope contained just ten dollars:
“This is the same as what we do when we do not pay a just wage to our people. We take from our penances, from our acts of prayer, of fasting, of almsgiving… we take a bribe: the bribe of vanity, the bribe of being seen. And that is not authentic, that is hypocrisy. So when Jesus says, ‘When you pray, do it in secret; when you give alms, don’t sound a trumpet; when you fast do not be sad,” it is the same as if He had said: ‘Please, when you do a good work, don’t take the bribe of this good work, it is only for the Father.’”
He quoted the passage from Isaiah where the Lord tells the hypocrites about true fasting – words, the Pope said, that seem to be spoken to us today:
“‘This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.’
“Let us think on these words, let us think in our own hearts, how do we fast, pray, give alms? And it would help us to think about how we would feel about a man who, after a meal that cost 200 euros, for example, returns home and sees someone hungry, and doesn’t look at him and keeps walking. It would do us good to think about that.”
(from Vatican Radio)…