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(Vatican Radio) Keeping the central truth of our faith – that Jesus Christ is Our Divine Lord, that He died and is risen from the dead, never to die again – front and center in our lives, so as to witness always and everywhere to His divine Lordship and victory over death: this was the central theme and focus of Pope Francis’ homily on Sunday morning, which he delivered during the Mass he celebrated to mark the Jubilee of Catechists – on Sunday the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Jubilee of Catechists in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.
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“This centre around which everything revolves, this beating heart which gives life to everything is the Paschal proclamation, the first proclamation: the Lord Jesus is risen, the Lord Jesus loves you, and he has given his life for you; risen and alive, he is close to you and waits for you every day. We must never forget this,” Pope Francis said.
The Pope went on to explain how the Readings of the Day, especially the Sunday Gospel, which contained the parable of the pauper, Lazarus, and the rich man, teaches us how the Lord looks at and cares – through us – for those who are neglected and discarded by the world – and how he gives us the opportunity, the mission and the duty to bring the Good News to those most in need of it.
The Holy Father went on to say, “On this Jubilee for Catechists, we are being asked not to tire of keeping the key message of the faith front and centre: the Lord is risen. Nothing is more important; nothing is clearer or more relevant than this. Everything in the faith becomes beautiful when linked to this centrepiece, if it is saturated by the Paschal proclamation. If it remains in isolation, however, it loses its sense and force.”
“And so, dear catechists, dear brothers and sisters,” concluded Pope Francis, “may the Lord give us the grace to be renewed every day by the joy of the first proclamation to us: Jesus died and is risen, Jesus loves us personally! May he give us the strength to live and proclaim the commandment of love, overcoming blindness of appearances, and worldly sadness. May he make us sensitive to the poor, who are not an afterthought in the Gospel but an important page, always open before all.”(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered prayers and encouragement to deaf people everywhere on Sunday – the World Day of the Deaf, which marks the close of the International Week of the Deaf.
“I want to salute all deaf persons – some of whom are here [at the Angelus] – and encourage them to give their part for a Church and for a society that are both ever more ready and willing to welcome everyone.”
First launched in 1958 in Rome, the International Week of the Deaf takes place annually in the last full week of September, and is the only week in a year that sees highly concerted global action to raise awareness about the needs of deaf people and the contributions of the deaf community to broader society.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, following a Mass to mark the Jubilee of Catechists celebrated as part of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.
In remarks to the faithful ahead of the mid-day prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father recalled the beatification – which took place in the German city of Würzburg on Saturday – of the Servant of God, Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig CMM, a Czech-born priest who ministered in Austria and was martyred in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau.
“[Saturday], in Würzburg,” said Pope Francis, “Engelmar Unzeitig, priest of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill, was proclaimed Blessed.”
The Holy Father went on to say, “Killed in hatred of the faith in the extermination camp of Dachau, he opposed hatred with love, and answered ferocity answered with meekness: may his example help us to be witnesses of charity and hope even in the midst of trials.”(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered prayers for slain Mexican priests on Sunday, and put his support behind the ongoing pro-family and pro-life efforts of the Mexican Bishops.
Speaking with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, following Mass to mark the Jubilee of Catechists celebrated as part of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, and ahead of the traditional noonday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis said, “I am very happy to associate myself with the Bishops of Mexico, in supporting the commitment of the Church and of civil society in favor of the family and of life, which in this time require special pastoral and cultural attention in all the world.”
The Holy Father went on to say, “I assure my prayer for the dear Mexican people, that the violence, which has in recent days reached even several priests, might cease.”
Two priests were abducted and murdered in Poza Rica, Veracruz state.
Their abductions and murders took place at a time in which Church leaders have been calling for increased protection for clergy, as the Church in Mexico advocates in defence of traditional marrigage while the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto pushes for a change in the law to allow legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriages.
14 priests have been killed since Peña Nieto took office in 2012, along with scores of thousands of kidnappings and homicides since that same year, most of which are related to the ongoing violence between rival drug cartels in the country.(from Vatican Radio)
Pope Francis on Saturday sought to comfort relatives and close friends of the more than 80 victims of the attack in Nice in July, who were run down by a man driving a truck as they celebrated France's national day. The pope began his solemn address by apologising for not speaking French because he said his was not "bon". Then, shifting to Italian, he urged those who were "attacked by the demon" to respond with "forgiveness, love and respect for your neighbour" rather than giving in to the temptation to react with hate and violence. Among the some 1,000 people who attended the ceremony were members of Nice's Jewish community and a local Muslim imam. "It makes me happy to see that inter-religious relations are very vibrant among you, and this cannot but soothe the wounds left by this dramatic event," Francis said. Islamic State (IS) militants claimed responsibility for the July 14 Nice attack. Less than two weeks later, IS militants killed an elderly French priest, Father Jacques Hamel, in his church, prompting the pope to declare the "the world is at war". But the pope also insisted the war was not a religious one, and that it was wrong to "identify Islam with violence", suggesting instead that the lack of economic opportunities for young people in Europe was one of the causes of terrorism. After speaking briefly, the pope descended from the pulpit and spent more than 45 minutes meeting those who attended the ceremony, many of whom were in tears.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday held an audience with the “Hospital Sisters of Mercy,” and encouraged them in their mission despite challenges posed by secular culture.
Listen to Ann Schneible’s report:
Delivering his address in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the sisters, and said they are “a concrete sign of how to express the Father’s mercy”.
He recalled how Servant of God Teresa Orsini Doria Pamphili Landi, a noble lay woman who was supported by two priests, established the congregation in accord with Jesus’ call to care for the sick.
In the face of the weakness brought about by illness, “distinctions of social status, race, language, and culture cannot exist,” the Pope said. “All of us become weak, and we must entrust ourselves to others.”
Pope Francis stressed the Church’s commitment and responsibility towards those who suffer, and reflected on the particular charism of the sisters, which is to care for those in hospitals.
He urged the sisters to persevere in their work, despite the difficulties they may face.
“At times, in our days, a secularist culture aims to remove even from hospitals every religious reference,” including the sisters themselves, he said.
Despite this, the Holy Father encouraged the sisters to never tire of “being friends, sisters, and mothers to the sick,” and reminded them that “prayer is the life-blood which sustains [their] evangelizing mission.”
Finally, the Holy Father reminded the sisters of how Jesus is always present in the person who lies suffering in the hospital bed.
“The closeness to Jesus, and to the weakest, is your strength.”(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message marking the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Quilmes in Argentina.
“I know that you are preparing enthusiastically for this anniversary, and I join you in thanksgiving to God for the gifts received from His divine goodness,” – Pope Francis wrote to Bishop Carlos José Tissera – “He has remained faithful, giving you shepherds, from the first bishop, Jorge Novak, to this day; many priests and consecrated persons have given their lives to make Christ present among you. This fills me with joy.”
Pope Francis said he urged the people of the Diocese to be attentive to the Lord “passing before them,” and to help Him present in those who are “oppressed, exploited, disillusioned, sick, or suffering because of any other needs.”
Pope Francis also sent a message to the Diocese of San Carlos de Bariloche to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Argentinian town, Ingeniero Jacobacci.
Noting the damage to the town once caused by the Puyehue volcano in nearby Chile, Pope Francis said “after the ashes came the cloud of solidarity and a renewed effort to move forward,” and he noted the “creative solidarity” expressed by the town’s citizens.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with the Italian National Council of the Order of Journalists, telling them that truth, professionalism and respect for human dignity were essential elements in their work.
Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report
Meeting with the assembled Italian journalists in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall on Thursday, Pope Francis told them that there were few professions that have “so much influence on society like that of journalism.” He noted that they are usually the ones who are there to record what he called, the "first draft of history”, “the building of the news agenda and introducing people to the interpretation of events.”
He also noted that the journalistic profession was one that was continually adapting to changes in the way people digest news through new forms of media.
In his discourse the Pope stressed three essential elements in the work of a journalist, that he said, could serve to “improve the society in which we live”: To love the truth, to embody professionalism and to respect human dignity.
He said that loving the truth meant not only stating it, but living it and bearing witness to it in their work, adding, even in journalism we must be able to discern between shades of grey surrounding the events that we are called to tell.”
Speaking about the second element, professionalism, Pope Francis underlined that when there was professionalism, journalists remained “a cornerstone, a fundamental element for the vitality of a free and pluralistic society.”
Respecting human dignity
On the subject of human dignity, the Pope stressed the importance of responsible journalism and he reiterated earlier comments he made about rumours being a form of "terrorism", and how you can kill a person with language. The Holy Father went on to say that “journalism cannot become a '' weapon of destruction "of people and even nations.” Criticism, is legitimate, he added, “as well as the denunciation of evil, but this must always be done respecting the other, his life, his affections”.
Holy See communications
Pope Francis during his discourse also commented on the changing communication’s environment of the Holy See. He said that it was experiencing a renewal process from which journalists should benefit, adding “the Secretariat for Communication will be the natural point of reference for your valuable work.”
(from Vatican Radio)