News & Blog

Poor Clares relive moments of their meeting with the Pontiff

  Poor Clares relive moments of their meeting with the Pontiff Where prayers are said for the Pope and for the Church   In the late morning of 14 July we received an unexpected telephone call while Pope Francis’ visit to Castel Gandolfo was in full swing: a friendly voice told us to be ready because, before visiting the community of Jesuit Fathers as planned, the Holy Father would probably call in at our monastery to greet us. The news gave rise to amazement, joy and wonder. In a few minutes we realized that the secret hope nourished silently  in each sister’s heart during the past few days was now about to come true. We had no time to do almost anything except to abandon ourselves to that deep sense of gratitude and joy that welled up from within;...

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Pope Francis’ accommodations for World Youth Day revealed

Pope Francis’ accommodations for World Youth Day revealed     The room where Pope Francis will stay during his visit to Brazil for World Youth Day Rio 2013. Credit: Intermirifica.net.  The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has posted a series of photos of the room where Pope Francis will stay during his visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, which will take place July 23-28. The accommodations are located at the Sumare House in Rio de Janeiro, where Blessed John Paul II also stayed in October, 1997. The late pontiff had traveled to Brazil for the Second World Meeting of Families. The room where Pope Francis will stay has a simple bed, a night stand with a telephone, and a small desk. A crucifix hangs on the wall over the bed. The room reflects the simplicity and humility that...

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Annual Day for Life

Pope Francis sends message of support to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales for the annual Day for Life     Message values the weak and vulnerable as “masterpieces of God’s creation” In a special message to Catholics across Britain and Ireland, ahead of the annual Day for Life, Pope Francis has emphasised the need to care for life from conception to natural end. In his message, he says that all life has inestimable value ‘even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect’. He has promised his prayers that ‘Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that it is due.‘...

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Concerns Rising Over Slow Appointments of Bishops

Concerns Rising Over Slow Appointments of Bishops by Edward Pentin   Comments (42) Cardinal Marc Ouellet (left), prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, at a press conference July 5th marking the release of Pope Francis’ first encyclical, Lumen Fidei. A crisis of sorts is developing in the appointment of Catholic bishops worldwide as a backlog of 187 sees (not including China) remain vacant. According to figures on Catholic-Hierarchy.org, eight U.S. dioceses are without a bishop, plus two U.S. eparchies (dioceses of Eastern rite churches). These include the diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut which hasn’t had a bishop since March 2012 when Mons. William Lori was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore. Others include Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Fort Worth, Texas; Rochester, NY; and Marquette, Michigan, vacated by Mons. Alexander Sample in January on his appointment as Archbishop of Portland,...

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Eymardian literature and legacy

Eymardian literature and legacy   Saint Peter Julian Eymard     Eymard literature in English: A bibliography   Christabel Wescombe     The Eymard legacy and its transmission: An essay   Anthony McSweeney, SSS http://eymardbibliography.wordpress.com/     Christabel Wescombe MA(Syd) DipLib (UNSW) is a former research librarian at the University of Sydney. Her academic background in international and comparative education has resulted in bibliographical publications on education in Australia, and Papua New Guinea. Her professional interests are centered on information retrieval for research purposes.     Fr Anthony McSweeney SSS is a member of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation and is located at St Francis’ Church, Melbourne. He was elected to the Congregation’s General Council in Rome in 1976 and served as the Congregation’s Superior General 1981-1993. He has also served as head of the Union of Superiors General (representing all male religious...

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Why Blessed Pope John XXIII needs no miracle to become a saint

Blessed Pope John XXIII The Italian bishops’ newspaper “Avvenire” explains Pope Francis’ reasons for canonizing the Pope who convoked the Second Vatican Council Andrea Tornielli In an article for Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops, journalist Stefania Falasca recalls people’s wish for Blessed Pope John XXIII to be made a “saint straight away” and explains the reasons that led to Pope Francis’ decision to canonize John XXIII, even in the absence of a confirmed second miracle. During the Second Vatican Council meetings, theologian Yves Congar, wrote in his diary that Belgian Cardinal Léon Joseph Suenens planned to conclude his “De Ecclesia” speech asking for John XXIII’s immediate canonization “by acclamation”. Many other fathers of the Council and faithful shared the same wish. Last 5 July, Pope Francis promulgated a decree approving John Paul II’s second miracle and...

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Diplomacy and Faith

Diplomacy and Faith How will religion shape foreign policy in the next ten years? – Jubilee Dialogue event in London, 10 July 2013. I spent part of this week in London looking at the interaction between diplomacy and faith. In particular, I attended one of the Foreign Office’s flagship series of debates, ‘The Jubilee Dialogues’, which bring together leading thinkers to discuss some of the major drivers behind transformation in societies across the world. The subject of the debate I attended was: “How will religion shape foreign policy in the next ten years?”, organised by Wilton Park. As one would expect from a cast list that included an FCO Minister, an Anglican Bishop, journalists, a Catholic priest, representatives of the Hindu, Muslim and Jewish faiths, a leading figure from the British Humanist Association, ambassadors and senior FCO officials, discussion...

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The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Address to His Holiness Pope Francis

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Address to His Holiness Pope Francis  on the occasion of the Archbishop’s first fraternal visit to Rome          Apostolic Palace, Vatican City, 14 June 2013   Your Holiness, Dear Friends: I am full of love and gratitude to be here.  In the last few days we have been remembering the death of Blessed Pope John XXIII in the midst of the Second Vatican Council.  At the Requiem said at LambethPalace fifty years ago this weekend by Archbishop Michael Ramsey, my much-loved predecessor said of him:  ‘Pope John has shown us again the power of being, by being a man who touches human hearts with charity.  So there has come to many a new longing for the unity of all Christians, and a new knowledge that however long the road may be, charity...

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Pope holds first meeting with the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

Pope Francis holds first meeting with the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby POPE RECEIVES ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: PATH TOWARD UNITY, PRAYING AND WORKING TOGETHER This morning in the Vatican, Pope Francis received the Primate of all England and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, with the same words that Paul VI greeted his predecessor, Michael Ramsey, during his historic visit to the Vatican in 1966: “Your steps have not brought you to a foreign dwelling … we are pleased to open the doors to you, and with the doors, our heart, pleased and honoured as we are … to welcome you ‘not as a guest or a stranger, but as a fellow citizen of the Saints and the Family of God’.” He also recalled that, at the ceremony of his taking possession...

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