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Month: May 2017

Pope Francis extends condolences to victims of Kabul bombing

(Vatican Radio) In a telegram signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis has expressed his condolences to all those affected by the bombing carried out in the diplomatic zone of Kabul on Wednesday.
Below, please find the full text of the telegram, addressed to Afghanistan’s ambassador to Italy:
Having learned with sadness of the abhorrent attack in Kabul and of the many dead and seriously injured, Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt condolences to all affected by this brutal act of violence. His Holiness commends the souls of the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, and assures the people of Afghanistan of his continued prayers for peace.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope to Albanian bishops: Work for more priestly vocations

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged Albanian bishops to “work more intensely for vocations” and to be attentive to the dangers of a materialistic society.
Speaking to the Albanian Bishops Conference on their ad limina visit, the Pope also asked them to form young people in Christian values to help them influence society for the better.
Among the bishops was the Maltese Dominican Archbishop George Frendo, recently appointed to the Archdiocese of Tiranë-Durrës.
Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Klaudia Bumci, the Archbishop said the prelates expressed concerns to Pope Francis about the financial situation of the Church in Albania which is “very poor”.
Archbishop Frendo also spoke to the Pope of his worry about numbers of priests in his diocese. “We have the largest number of Catholics now – 150,000,” he said. “But in this big diocese I only have 30 priests. I have started making my pastoral visits and it’s really painful for me when I go to certain villages when the people tell me ‘Please, send us a priest’. But I cannot. We have a big shortage of priests.”
Archbishop Frendo said that Pope Francis told the bishops to work at promoting vocations. “Sometimes it’s only a word of encouragement that is lacking,” the Archbishop added.
Speaking about the Pope’s second priority of accompanying young people, Archbishop Frendo said: “We not only have to inform our youths but form them with that Christian spirit which will enable them in the future to influence more the Albanian society.” He said the Church needs young people to be more present in hospitals, universities, and political life.
“Thirdly the Pope told us to pay attention, to be aware of what he called a worldly spirit, because it is quite easy for us to be influenced by a materialistic society, a consumerist society.” Instead, “we are to be always living images of the poor, Jesus Christ.”
At the end of the ad limina audience, the bishops gave the Pope two books on the lives of the Blessed Albanian martyrs and an image of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Pope Francis urged all members of the Bishops Conference to “walk with hope, dreaming, and looking to the future.”
Click here to listen to Archbishop George Frendo’s interview with Vatican Radio’s Klaudia Bumci:

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope at Audience: Hope pushes us onward

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian Hope at Wednesday’s General Audience, taking as his starting point a reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans:
Rom 15, 13-14: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I myself am convinced about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
The Holy Father said that in light of the upcoming feast of Pentecost, “we cannot fail to speak of the relationship between Christian hope and the Holy Spirit.” Hope, he said, quoting the Letter to the Hebrews, can be compared to an anchor, but also to a sail; like an anchor it gives us security, but like a sail it pushes us forward.
Pope Francis focused on the words “God of hope,” saying that God is not simply the object of hope; He also makes us “joyful in hope,” giving us here and now the joy of hoping, not just the hope of having joy in the future.
This joy comes from knowing that we are made sons of God, and His heirs. Repeating a constant theme in his preaching, the Pope said that “hope does not disappoint,” because the Spirit is within us, always pushing us onward.
But, he continued, the Holy Spirit does not simply give us hope. He also makes us capable of being “sowers of hope.” A Christian can spread bitterness and hopelessness, but one who does that is not a good Christian. Quoting Blessed John Henry Newman, the Pope said we must be “consolers” in the image of the Spirit, always ready to help those most in need.
The Spirit, he said, also gives hope to all of creation, and this impels us to respect the world God has created.
Pope Francis concluded his reflection by pointing once again to the Solemnity of Pentecost, the “birthday of the Church.” He prayed that the feast may find us united in prayer, with Mary, the Mother and Jesus and our Mother; and prayed, too, that the gift of the Spirit might make us abound in hope. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis greets young people at Lednica Lake in Poland

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has greeted young people in Poland gathered for an annual prayer meeting at Lake Lednica, where Poland was “baptized” and became a Christian country in the person of its pagan leader Mieszko in 966.
During his General Audience, Pope Francis asked Mary to guide the Lednica Youth Meeting , which this year carries the motto “Go forth and love”.
He said when Mary heard this call in her heart, she “went to Elizabeth to share the joy of her encounter and to offer her tangible aid.”
The Holy Father went on to call Zacchaeus the “second patron” of the meeting.
He said Jesus “wishes to come to send you to your brothers, so that you share His love. He knows it isn’t easy, so he sends the Holy Spirit who will fill you with His strength”.
The Lednica Youth Movement is a youth ministry promoted by the Dominican friars of Poland.  
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis holds General Audience: English Summary

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis continued his catecheses on Christian hope during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, reflecting on how the Holy Spirit makes us abound in hope as St. Paul writes in Romans 15,13-14.
Please find below the official English-language synthesis of the Pope’s catechesis:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  As we prepare to celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, our catechesis on Christian hope now turns to the Spirit and his saving work.  Saint Paul concludes his Letter to the Romans by praying that “the God of hope” will make us “abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom  15:13).  As a gift of the Spirit, hope is both an anchor (cf. Heb 6:18-19) giving us security amid the storms of life, and a “sail” driving us forward towards the safe harbour of eternal life.  The Spirit bears witness within our hearts to the consoling truth of God’s promises and the inheritance that awaits us as his beloved sons and daughters (cf. Rom 8:16).  Filled with this hope, we can become, in the words of Cardinal Newman, “consolers in the image of the Paraclete… advocates, helpers and bringers of comfort” to others.  The Spirit, who brings hope to all creation (cf. Rom 8:20-22), also inspires in us love and respect for this world in which we live.  May this Pentecost find us, like Mary and the Apostles, gathered in prayer, and may the gift of the Holy Spirit make us “abound in hope”.
(from Vatican Radio)…