In the lead-up to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to the U.S., we are launching #FrancisontheFamily, a Diocesan-wide campaign that focuses on the catechesis of #PopeFrancis pertaining to family life. We have chosen to highlight some of Francis’ most repeated challenges to us – encounter, accompany, witness, and welcome – as a way of sharing the joy of family life.
By: Elise Italiano, Director of Communications
It seems odd to ask since we live so close to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, but did you know that Pope Francis is coming to the United States?
A poll released on August 25th revealed that over half of Americans surveyed didn’t know that the Holy Father was coming this month for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia with stops along the East Coast.
How can we respond? We can share the joy of our faith and celebrate all that Pope has taught us about family life. And we can tell everyone we know how excited we are that Pope Francis is coming to America for the first time in his life.
1. Each day ahead of the Pope’s arrival, we are sharing the Pope’s Wednesday catechesis on the family. Follow the campaign with #FrancisontheFamily, and take the daily challenge with your own family to be “fully live” in the love of Christ.
2. Watch ABC’s 20/20 tonight to watch a virtual encounter between Pope Francis and Americans in Texas, California, and Chicago. It’s a papal visit preview like no other!
3. Our shepherd, Bishop Loverde, has asked us to prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Father’s message:
…[I] is evident that many people, both Catholic and non-Catholic, are reading the Holy Father’s words and actions through ideological and political lenses. Many are hoping that Pope Francis will speak to our political questions, economic dilemmas, public policy disputes and culture wars. He may very well address these topics on his trip; his visits to other countries suggest he wants to address concrete situations. But selective listening carries with it the risk of missing the actual message.
As Christians, we know that the Gospel is too expansive for ideological and political categories, and they are often at odds with its fullness. Ideologies are reductive, and Catholicism will never find its home in them. As Pope Francis has stated, “In ideologies there is not Jesus: [H]is tenderness, His love, His meekness … When a Christian becomes a disciple of ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of an attitude of thought …” (Homily, Oct. 17, 2013).
Archbishop Kurtz, President of the USCCB, also shared a similar message this week.
4. Speaking of Bishop Loverde, it’s not too late to celebrate his birthday. Give him the gift of your prayers in thanksgiving for his upcoming Jubilee Anniversary in the form of a spiritual bouquet.
These students wished him a great day:
Click on the image below to see a collage of others who shared their birthday wishes with Bishop Loverde.
5. Lastly from Our Holy Father:
The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crashed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing. Pope Francis
On this Labor Day Weekend, let us pray for the Holy Father’s intentions for the month of September, that opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Have a blessed long weekend!
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