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
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, often tell us to “go to the peripheries.” But to him, the peripheries are more than geographical lines or demarcations. They are social, existential, and geographical places in which people are lonely, hurting, marginalized, and forgotten. He begs us to walk to that line, to cross over it, and to journey with that person so that he or she has a tangible encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, we can spiritually accompany the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Those who are grieving need our continued support.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all mean and women and peace among the nations of the earth…
God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events…
Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all. – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Prayer at Ground Zero, 2008
This week the world’s attention was drawn in a startling way to the Syrian refugees who are fleeing persecution. Pope Francis has asked that all European families take in a Syrian family, and President Obama has pledged that our country will take in 10,000 men, women, and children. For more information on the crisis, click here. For more information on Migration and Refugee Services provided through Catholic Charities of Arlington, click here.
For the past week, members of our diocese have joined Father Tom Ferugson, Episcopal Vicar for Faith Formation, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The pilgrims are walking the routes that the Lord Jesus himself did as he preached, healed, and gave us His life for us. Father Tom’s reflections on the pilgrimage are available at the Arlington Catholic Herald.
Our shepherd, Bishop Loverde, has written about the universal call to be missionaries of love, inspired by the upcoming canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra, who brought the Gospel to the peripheries of this country in California. To find out how you can bring Christ’s love to the marginalized, visit your local parish or Catholic Charities.
Our neighbors in the Archdiocese of Washington announced yesterday that there is an opportunity for everyone to be close to he Holy Father when he visits Washington, DC. For more information on greeting Pope Francis on the National Mall, click here.
As someone who walked right up to the barricade in Madrid for World Youth Day to greet Pope Benedict XVI, I can tell you that walking that line was worth all the effort. There is nothing like greeting the Holy Father, accompanying him as he comes to us.
Let us commit to going to the peripheries, to walking the lines, and to crossing over them.
Find Elise on Twitter @eliseanne
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