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Month: August 2017

Pope Francis: prayers for Harvey victims

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressing his condolences to the loved-ones of the victims of hurricane Harvey, promising continued spiritual solicitude for all those affected, and asking for the prayerful solidarity that has already been shown, to continue in the days and weeks to come.
Below, please find the full text of the Message
Message of the Holy Father addressed to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
His Holiness Pope Francis asks you kindly to convey the assurance of his spiritual closeness and pastoral concern to all those affected by the violent hurricane that swept through the states of Texas and Louisiana in these days.  Deeply moved by the tragic loss of life and the immense material devastation that this natural catastrophe has left in its wake, he prays for the victims and their families, and for all those engaged in the vital work of relief, recovery and rebuilding.  He likewise trusts that the immense and immediate needs of so many individuals and communities will continue to inspire a vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation.  With these sentiments, and with the renewed promise of his prayers, the Holy Father sends his blessing as a pledge of consolation, strength and peace in the Lord.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope greets Rabbis highlighting dialogue and cooperation

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday greeted a Delegation of Rabbis in the Vatican for the presentation of the Statement “Between Jerusalem and Rome”.
Listen to our report: 

Below find the English translation of Pope Francis’ address
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
         I offer a cordial welcome to all of you, and in a special way to the representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in dialogue with the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. I thank Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt for his kind greeting in your name.
         In our shared journey, by the graciousness of the Most High, we are presently experiencing a fruitful moment of dialogue.  This is reflected in the Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome which you have issued and which you present to me today. This document pays particular tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate, whose fourth chapter represents the “Magna Charta” of our dialogue with the Jewish world.  Indeed, the ongoing implementation of the Council’s Declaration has enabled our relations to become increasingly friendly and fraternal.  Nostra Aetate noted that the origins of the Christian faith are to be found, in accordance with the divine mystery of salvation, in the Patriarchs, in Moses and in the Prophets.  It also stated that, given the great spiritual heritage we hold in common, every effort must be made to foster reciprocal knowledge and respect, above all through biblical studies and fraternal discussions (cf. No. 4).  Consequently, in recent decades, we have been able to draw closer to one another and to engage in an effective and fruitful dialogue.  We have grown in mutual understanding and deepened our bonds of friendship.
         The Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome does not hide, however, the theological differences that exist between our faith traditions.  All the same, it expresses a firm resolve to collaborate more closely, now and in the future.  Your document is addressed to Catholics, speaking of them as “partners, close allies, friends and brothers in our mutual quest for a better world blessed with peace, social justice and security”.  It goes on to say that “despite profound theological differences, Catholics and Jews share common beliefs” and also “the affirmation that religions must use moral behavior and religious education – not war, coercion or social pressure – to influence and inspire”.  This is most important: may the Eternal One bless and enlighten our cooperation, so that together we can accept and carry out ever better his plans, “plans for welfare and not for evil”, for “a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).
         On the occasion of your welcome visit, I would like to express to you and to your communities beforehand my best wishes for the Jewish New Year which will begin in a few weeks.  Shanah tovah!  Once more I thank you for coming and I ask you to remember me in your prayers.  Finally, I would invoke upon you, and upon all of us, the blessing of the Most High for the shared journey of friendship and trust that lies before us.  In his mercy, may the Almighty bestow his peace upon us and upon the entire world.  Shalom alechem!     
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope at Audience: ‘Youthful, searching heart fans flame of love’

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis at his Wednesday General Audience continued his catechesis on Christian hope, reflecting on the relationship between hope and memory and inviting all to have a youthful, searching heart.
Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:

Pope Francis invited the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday to have a youthful, searching heart, one full of desire for life and happiness.
It is this restless heart, he said, which allows one to come to Jesus.
Reflecting on the call of the first disciples, the Pope said, “Jesus appears in the Gospels as an expert on the human heart.”
When two young men “with healthily restless” hearts come seeking the day after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, Jesus inflames their hearts.
“From here there comes that question of His that attempts to bring out the desire for life and happiness, which every young person carries within: ‘What are you seeking?’”, he said.
Pope Francis said young people “who seek nothing are not young, they are pensioners, they have aged before their time.”
Turning to the theme of vocations, the Holy Father said the first disciples found their call in meeting Jesus.
He said this encounter ignited a flame in their hearts, which transformed them immediately into missionaries.
Their story, the Pope said, reminds us of our own vocation.
“This page of the Gospel tells us that the first indicator is the joy of the encounter with Jesus. Marriage, consecrated life, priesthood: every true vocation begins with an encounter with Jesus that gives us a new joy and hope; and it leads us, even through hardships and difficulties, to an ever fuller encounter with Him – it grows greater, that encounter –and to the fullness of joy.”
Pope Francis advised the faithful to be like the Virgin Mary, who “keeps the flame of her love” for Jesus.
“Certainly, there are trials in life, there are moments when we need to keep going despite the cold and the counter winds, despite much bitterness. But Christians know the road that carries them to that sacred fire that has inflamed them once and for all.”
Finally, Pope Francis presented the faithful with a way to keep the flame of love alive in their hearts.
“Here, therefore, is a fundamental dynamic of Christian life: remembering Jesus… Remember Jesus, the fire of love with which one day we conceived of our life as a plan for good, and to revive our hope with this flame.”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: greetings for AFC Chapecoense

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis  had special greetings on Wednesday for the players, coaches, and staff of Brazil’s  Chapecoense  soccer club, who were present at the weekly  General Audience .
“My desire for you is that you grow in the wisdom that comes from God,” said Pope Francis in greetings to Potruguese-speaking pilgrims, which included the soccer club-members, “in order that, having been made experts in the things of God, you might be able to communicate to others the sweetness of His love.”
Air tragedy
Chapecoense suffered tragedy on November 28 th , 2016, when the  LaMia Flight 2933  carrying the  club’s first team crashed en route from Bolivia to Colombia, killing all but three members of the squad. Two of the survivors, Jackson Follman and Alan Ruschel, were in attendance, and met with Pope Francis along with the other members of the club on the sidelines of the  Audience  on Wednesday.
Friendly match in spirit of solidarity
Chapecoense  is in Rome for a friendly against  A.S. Roma  at Olympic Stadium on Friday, organized to raise funds for the Brazilian club.
“This is a friendly organized for purposes of solidarity,”  A.S. Roma ’s ticketing manager, Carlo Feliziani, explained earlier this week to Radio Roma. “We hope our fans will come to the stadium, both to see the match and to help  Chapecoense  get back on their feet,” he continued. “Ticket prices will be very low,” he explained, “€10 for end-zone seats and €25 for more central seats.”
Kick-off  is scheduled for 20:45 on  Friday, September 1 st .
(from Vatican Radio)…

Sunday Gospel Sept. 3, 2017

(Vatican Radio) In this week’s edition of There’s More in the Sunday Gospel than Meets the Eye , Jill Bevilacqua and Seàn-Patrick Lovett bring us readings and reflections for the Twentysecond Sunday in Ordinary Time. Listen:

Gospel  – Mt 16: 21-27
Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised. 
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. 
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me. 
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? 
Or what can one give in exchange for his life? 
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
(from Vatican Radio)…