Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Carver/Plympton, MA

Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Pope appeals for end to conflicts, climate change in fight against hunger, migration

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Monday appealed to the international community not only to guarantee enough production and fair distribution of food for all but also to ensure the right of every human being to feed himself according to his needs without being forced to leave his home and loved ones. 

He made the call at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, where he marked World Food Day, which this year has as its theme, “Change the future of migration. Invest in Food Security and rural development.”  (Click here for the video of the Pope's FAO visit)

Conflicts and climate-change

Addressing the UN’s specialized agency that leads the international community’s fight against hunger and malnutrition in the world, the Pope urged governments to work together to end the conflicts and climate-change related disasters that force people to leave their homes in search of their daily bread. Citing the 2016 Paris climate accord in which governments committed themselves to combatting global warming, the Pope who spoke in Spanish, regretted ‎that “unfortunately some are distancing themselves from it.”‎  

He noted that negligence and greed over the world's limited resources are harming the planet and its most vulnerable people, forcing many to abandon their homes in search of work and food.  He called for a change in lifestyle and the use of resources, adding it cannot be left for others to do. 

World hunger

A UN report in September pointed out that the number of chronically hungry people in the world was growing once more after a decade of decline because of ongoing conflicts and floods and droughts triggered by climate change.  While the 815 million chronically undernourished people last year is still below the 900 million registered in 2000, the UN warned that the increase is cause for great concern.

Love, fraternity, solidarity

Describing population control as a “false solution” to tackling hunger and malnutrition in the world, Pope Francis said what is needed instead is a better management of the earth’s abundant resources and prevention of waste in food and resources.  What is needed, he said, is a new model of international cooperation based on love, fraternity and solidarity that respond to the needs of the poorest.  Pity, he pointed out, is limited to emergency aid, but love inspires justice that is needed to bring about a just social order.

As a token of his visit and message, Pope Francis gifted to the UN food agency a marble sculpture of Aylan, the three-year-old Syrian toddler of Kurdish origin, whose image in the media made global headlines after his body washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015 after he drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. The Vatican explained that the sculpture featuring a weeping angel over the little boy's corpse, symbolized the tragedy of migration. 

 

(from Vatican Radio)

Amazon bishop grateful to Pope for Pan-Amazon Synod

(Vatican Radio) Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne in French Guyana reacted with joy when he heard Pope Francis’s announcement of a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region.  

French Guyana and Suriname are part of the Amazon territory together with Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.

As well as being an essential ‘lung’ for the entire planet as Pope Francis said when he made the announcement, the six million square kilometers that define the region are home to indigenous tribes and even uncontacted peoples whose cultures and whose very existences are threatened by large-scale logging, mining and other industrial projects as well as by pollution and climate change 

Speaking to Vatican Radio Bishop Lafont said he is very grateful to Pope Francis for having called this Synod.

Listen

“I am very happy, grateful to the Holy Father for having called this Synod which is most important” he said.

For the benefit of the indigenous peoples

First of all, Bishop Lafont continued “for the benefit of the indigenous people – the First Nations – of the Amazonian region, because they have a long history, for the past 500 years of submission, of exploitation, of misunderstanding.”

For the protection of Creation

The second reason for which he is grateful, the Bishop said, that “the Amazon is one of the most important regions in the world for the protection of Creation” and it is currently facing many challenges.

“The Church, he said, ought to speak even more loudly for the protection of the region, and for the sake of the protection of the whole world”.

(from Vatican Radio)

Catholics say diplomacy with North Korea, Iran needed to keep peace

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 750 Catholics called on President Donald Trump and Congress to seek diplomatic solutions to defuse rising tensions between the United States and North Korea and to assure that the U.S. remains a party to the Iran nuclear deal.

Planned giving called 'key part' of future of parishes, schools, ministry

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Colleges, hospitals and universities "are well-established" in the area of planned giving, but such programs are just as applicable to Catholic parishes, schools, dioceses and many other institutions, said one of the organizers of an upcoming national seminar in Los Angeles.

In India, schoolkids say Virgin Mary appeared amid scent of jasmine

Kochi, India, Oct 14, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Both Hindu and Catholic schoolchildren in India claim to have witnessed an apparition of Christ and several appearances of the Virgin Mary accompanied by the scent of jasmine, the gift of contrition, and the healing of a girl’s ear problem.

Vatican City court finds former hospital president guilty of corruption

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Vatican City announced Saturday the conclusion of the corruption trial of the former president and treasurer of the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome.

Pope says new Saints show us how to say 'yes' to God's love

(Vatican Radio) Inviting all faithful to practice Christian love every day, Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, holding them up as models who “point the way”.

To the over 35,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Canonization Mass, the Pope said “They did not say a fleeting ‘yes’ to love, they said ‘yes’ (to God's love) with their lives and to the very end”.  

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:

Those canonized included thirty martyrs, both priests and lay persons, who suffered anti-Catholic persecution in 1645 at the hands of Dutch Calvinists in Brazil, while three indigenous children in 16th century Mexico were martyred for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith and return to their ancient traditions. The other two new saints are a 20th-century priest from Spain and an Italian priest who died in 1739.

The Lord's desire for a true communion of life with us

The Pope’s homily inspired by the Parable of the Wedding Banquet speaks of the Lord’s desire for a true communion of life with us, a relationship based on dialogue, trust and forgiveness.

“Such, he said, is the Christian life:  a love story with God.  

We are all invited, Francis said, and no one has a better seat than anyone else.

“At least once a day, he continued, we should tell the Lord that we love him” because once love is lost, the Christian life becomes empty.  It becomes a body without a soul, an impossible ethic, a collection of rules and laws to obey for no good reason.  

Every day is a wonderful opportunity to say 'yes'

“We are the beloved, the guests at the wedding, and our life is a gift, because every day is a wonderful opportunity to respond to God’s invitation” he said.

But he added, the Gospel warns us that the invitation can be refused.  Many of the invited guests said no, because they were caught up in their own affairs.  

"They were more interested in having something, he explained,  rather than in risking something, as love demands: this is how love grows cold, not out of malice but out of a preference for what is our own: our security, our self-affirmation, our comfort…"  

The temptation of settling into the easy chair of profits

And the Pope warned Christians against the temptation of “settling into the easy chair of profits, pleasures, or a hobby that brings us some happiness.  And we end up aging badly and quickly, because we grow old inside.  When our hearts do not expand, they become closed in on themselves”.

God never closes the door

He said the Gospel asks us then where we stand: “with ourselves or with God?  Because God is the opposite of selfishness, of self-absorption.  The Gospel tells us that, even before constant rejection and indifference on the part of those whom he invites, God does not cancel the wedding feast. He does not give up, but continues to invite.  When he hears a “no”, he does not close the door, but broadens the invitation.  In the face of wrongs, he responds with an even greater love”.

Love is the only way to defeat evil

This is what love does, the Pope said, because this is the only way that evil is defeated. 

And inviting us all to live in true love and “practice” love every day, Francis said “the Saints who were canonized today, and especially the many martyrs, point the way: They did not say a fleeting ‘yes’ to love; they said they ‘yes’ with their lives and to the very end”. 

At Baptism, he concluded, we received a white robe, the wedding garment for God: Let us ask him, through the intercession of the saints, our brothers and sisters, for the grace to decide daily to put on this garment and to keep it spotless” by approaching the Lord fearlessly in order to receive his forgiveness”.  

“This is the one step that counts, for entering into the wedding hall to celebrate with him the feast of love” he said.

Who the new saints are

The newly-declared saints include 30 so-called “Martyrs of Natal,” who were killed in 1645 in a wave of anti-Catholic persecution by Dutch Calvinists in Natal, Brazil.

Also from Latin America was a group of three indigenous martyrs from Mexico - Cristobal, Antonio and Juan - known as the “Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala.” Aged between 12 and 13, they were among the first indigenous Catholics of Mexico, murdered between 1527 and 1529 for refusing to renounce their faith and return to their ancient ‎traditions.‎

And then there are Father Faustino Miguez, a Spanish priest who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries, and Father Angelo d‘Acri, an Italian itinerant preacher who died in 1739 after serving in some of the most remote areas of southern Italy.

Announcement of Special Assembly of Synod of Bishops for the Amazon

After the Mass, Pope Francis recited the Angelus prayer and announced a  Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon regionm to take place in October 2019. 

 

(from Vatican Radio)

The future of the US Church is missionary encounter, nuncio says

Jefferson City, Mo., Oct 13, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The American cultural situation poses great challenges, but these can be overcome through a missionary renewal following Pope Francis’ proposed “culture of encounter,” said the apostolic nuncio to the U.S.

Sessions' memo praised for reaffirming laws protecting religious liberty

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' memo on religious freedom issued for all federal agencies and departments to follow "helpfully reaffirms that the law protects the freedom of faith-based organizations to conduct their operations in accordance with their religious mission," a U.S. archbishop said.

Advocates find there's little to like in White House immigration plan

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- There's little, if anything, that immigrant advocates like in the Trump administration's latest immigration plan.