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Day: June 23, 2017

Programme of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Colombia in September

(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
11:00  Departure by air from Rome Fiumicino airport for Bogotá
16:30  Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport
Thursday 7 September 2017
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
10:50  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
16:30  HOLY MASS in the Simon Bolivar Park
Friday 8 September 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
19:00  Departure by air for Rome Ciampino airport
Monday 11 September 2017
12:40  Arrival at Rome Ciampino airport
(from Vatican Radio)…

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

(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.”

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope to Serra International: Keep moving forward with courage

(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)…