This week we joyfully welcome our Holy Father to the United States! Let Encourage and Teach serve as your resource on where to live-stream, locate live coverage, daily text, download resources and more!
By: Office of Communications
We live in a culture that digests things in sound bites; in 140 characters; in images which fit on smart phone screens. The messages so far from Holy Father are so rich, that to limit them by these forums will never do them justice. But in order to offer you an overview of Pope Francis’ priorities so far, we’d do it in the form of our Friday Five.
1 People. Francis has been keeping real people, with “faces and stories” as he says, at the heart of all of his speeches and visits. His face lights up with joy when we shakes the hands of the many people lined up to see him. And it’s more than evident that families, children, and the elderly are the people to which he is calling our attention!
2 Dialogue. The Holy Father is continually encouraging his audiences, in Catholic and secular settings, to dialogue with the people they see as “other.” The Holy Father believes that Jesus’ example of speaking , sitting , and dining with those who are unfamiliar– and even at times seem threatening — is the only way toward peace. It’s also part of our mission as Catholics. Pope Francis encourages us not to be afraid of bringing the Gospel to those who might not even know they long to hear it but who desperately long for it.
Pope Francis joins representatives of religious communities for meditations on peace in Foundation Hall at the ground zero 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York Sept. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-GROUND-ZERO Sept. 25, 2015.
3 Joy in mission. The Holy Father encouraged the bishops of the United States to joyfully proclaim Jesus throughout the nation. He preached at Saint Junipero Serra’s Canonization Mass about the need to remind ourselves of the mission God entrusts us with in order to be free from any apathy in our work and vocation. “Keep moving forward!” he reminded us, even in turbulent times.
4 Care for all of creation. Pope Francis has called for a renewed understanding of our role as stewards of creation – everything the Lord has made and given us as gift. He has also pointedly reminded us that the weakest and most vulnerable human beings are those the Creator most asks us to protect and defend. The integral ecology which he outlined in Laudato Si is getting significant attention.
5 Religious and interior freedom. From the moment he touched down on American soil, the Holy Father has kept religious freedom at the forefront of his addresses. His addresses to the President, the Bishops, Congress, and the United Nations all emphasized the protection and support of this fundamental freedom. The most significant message on this came not from a speech, but from a quiet visit with the Little Sisters of the Poor. But just as Pope Francis has called on leaders to protect this, he’s also called on the faithful to cultivate an interior religious freedom, in which we abandon selfishness for selflessness, from things that keep us in the darkness and away from the Light.
We’re on Day 4 of 6. There is surely more to come from the Holy Father as he proclaims that “Love is Our Mission!”
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