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For Immediate Release From Vatican News!
(A Ten-Minute Read)

Pope's May Prayer Intention: For The Formation Of Men And Women Religious

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of May: For the formation of men and women religious and for seminarians. In his video message, the Pope emphasises the ongoing development of their vocations through grace, prayer, community, and witness to the Gospel.
By Francesca Merlo

This May, Pope Francis has invited us to offer our prayers for "the formation of men and women religious, and seminarians".

In his video announcing his Prayer intention for the month of May, Pope Francis recalls that every vocation is a “diamond in the rough” that needs to be polished, worked, and shaped on every side.

The Holy Father notes that "a good priest, sister, or nun, must above all else be a man, a woman who is formed, shaped by the Lord’s grace". These are people who are aware of their own limitations and who are willing to "lead a life of prayer, of dedicated witness to the Gospel".

In his message entrusted to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the Pope reminds us that beginning in the seminary or novitiate, their preparation must develop integrally in direct contact with the lives of other people. This, he added, "is essential".

It is important to note that formation does not end at a specific moment, such as ordination, but rather continues throughout life, integrating the person intellectually, humanly, affectively, and spiritually.

Preparation continues into that of living in a community. "Life in community is so enriching, even though it can be difficult at times".

"Living together is not the same as living in community", adds the Pope.

Finally, Pope Francis asks that we pray that "men and women religious, and seminarians, grow in their own vocational journey through human, pastoral, spiritual, and community formation, that leads them to be credible witnesses of the Gospel".


Pope: Education Must Form People, Not Offer Impossible Ideals

Pope Francis meets with members of the Blanquerna Foundation from Barcelona, and urges Catholic universities to provide education that helps people form their minds and hearts, without seeking to create “illusory replicas of impossible ideals.” By Devin Watkins

“How much pain and frustration are produced by the unattainable stereotypes that markets and pressure groups try to impose on us.”

Pope Francis offered that analysis of modern life on Friday as he met with members of the Blanquerna Foundation at the Ramon Llull University, in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

In his address, the Pope noted the foundation’s name—Blanquerna—was drawn from a literary character created by Blessed Ramon Llull, a 13th-14th century philosopher and theologian.

Blessed Ramon Llull employed the character to give a “precise description of his time,” said the Pope, adding that his pedagogy continues to uphold a model of Christian life.

The Holy Father said Blessed Llull moved away from the “fantastic heros who seek to evade our reality” and instead proposed “simple and natural life models, in which one can serve the Lord and be happy.”

Christian path is call, not a career
Pope Francis noted that young people today, as in the 13th century, must overcome many obstacles to discover God’s plan for them.

“Your foundation, and the entire Ramon Llull University, by taking this name, assumes this exciting commitment,” he said.

The Blanquerna Foundation, he added, works to help the family rediscover its original vocation in society, offer young people different paths of life and overcome challenges, and teach society that the path of a Christian hero is “not marked by careerism but is a response to a call.”

The Pope invited university professors to help students realize that even when they have achieved their goals, they must still “strive for an encounter with the Lord and dedicate themselves fully to service of God.”

Educate Based On Analysis Of Reality, Not Escapism

The Holy Father urged the Blanquerna Foundation to educate, “with a contemporary, modern, agile, pedagogical language, based on a precise analysis of reality.”

However, he added, education must “always bear in mind that we form full men and women, not illusory replicas of impossible ideals.”

The goal of education, said the Pope, is to form “holistic people who try to give the best of themselves in the service to which God calls them, knowing that they are pilgrims, that in reality everything is a path towards a goal that surpasses this reality, the meeting of the friend with the beloved, in that love poured into our hearts that gives us the strength to move forward.”

Illuminating presence of Jesus in education
In conclusion, Pope Francis expressed his hope that Catholic universities might “illuminate the lives of your students with the presence of Jesus.”

“May this certainty,” he prayed, “make them aware of their dignity as friends, of God and other people, and that they are capable of dispelling the darkness that covers this world estranged from its true essence.”

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/20...


Pope: 'All Young People Deserve Equal Job Opportunities'

Meeting with the National Vocational Training Confederation (CONFAP), Pope Francis encourages the Italian Catholic network to focus its attention on young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are marginalized by the job market and feel rejected by society. By Lisa Zengarini

Pope Francis welcomed to the Vatican on Friday members of the Italian Vocational Training Confederation (CONFAP) on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of foundation.

The Confederation was established in 1974, upon the initiative of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), to serve as a coordinating body of existing faith-based vocational education and training organizations that help lower-skilled young people and adults learn new skills to find an employment and remain employable.

Today it is a network of 36 organizations and associations with a total of 285 Professional Training Centres, some 8,000 trainers and around 70,000 students trained every year.

An Important Service To Society

Addressing some 6,000 members of CONFAP in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis warmly thanked them for their work which, he said, , inspired by the social doctrine of the Church, provides a “vital service” to society, not only because they offer state-of-the-art courses but, most importantly, because they reserve special care and attention to disadvantaged and marginalized young people.

“With your daily commitment, you are an expression of the rich and varied spirituality of various Religious Institutes, which have in their charism service to young people through professional training.”

The Vulnerabiliy Of Young People In The Work Market

The Pope noted that young people are particularly vulnerable in the work market today: some are neither employed nor in education (NEEN), some are forced to seek a job elsewhere often not finding opportunities that match their dream; other are employed in precarious and underpaid jobs, and others even resign.
In the face of this situation, Pope Francis stressed the need of an adequate labour legislation, but also to build a “generational turnover where the skills of those leaving are at the service of those entering the job market”, that is where “ adults share the dreams and desires of young people, introduce them, support them, encourage them without judging them.”

The Pope urged the Catholic vocational training agencies to focus their attention in particular on young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who often feel rejected by society

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/20...


After Rome Meeting, Parish Priests Head Home As ‘Missionaries Of Synodality'

Vatican News speaks to three of the 300 clergymen who gathered in Rome this week for a conference entitled 'Parish Priests for the Synod'. By Joseph Tulloch

This week, some 300 priests gathered just outside Rome to discuss how to implement synodality at the local level.

On Thursday morning, they met with Pope Francis, sharing their visions and hopes for synodality in the different communities they minister to across the world.

Afterwards, a number of them spoke to Vatican News about their experience over the course of the week, and their new task of returning to their dioceses as “missionaries of synodality.”

Synodality: the basics
For many Catholics, synodality remains something of an abstract concept. It’s often explained as meaning something like ‘journeying together’, after the two Greek words (syn meaning ‘with’, and hodos meaning ‘journey’) that the word ‘synod’ derives from.

Speaking to Vatican News, Fr Stefan Ulz from the Austrian Diocese of Graz-Seckau expanded on this definition.

Synodality, he says, means recognising that “the Holy Spirit speaks through everybody, not only through the Pope, and bishops, and priests.”

“Even me as a parish priest,” he continued, “I can discover many things. It’s not my job just to tell people what is right. The Holy Spirit can surprise me through other people.”

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/...


Fr. Patton: Holy Land Needs Leaders To Commit To Reconciliation

In an interview with Vatican Media, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, discusses the wounds caused by the war, the Two-State solution, the role of Christians, and paths to peace. By Andrea Tornielli

In a wide-ranging interview with Vatican Media, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, reflects on the war in the Holy Land. He illustrates what it means to stand, despite everything, in the midst of the warring parties,and to bear witness to the Easter proclamation and to the awareness that evil has already been vanquished.

Q: Father Patton, how would you describe the atmosphere in Jerusalem?

Since 7 October, there has been a very heavy air because it is as if a balance within the State of Israel, between the Jewish-Israeli component and the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli, component has been broken. And also the balance that existed between Israel and the West Bank has broken as well. There used to be the possibility to come and go, without great problems; and also for Palestinians from the West Bank, it was quite easy to come and work. You could go out from Gaza to work in the neighbouring kibbutzim. It used to be possible to go out to get treatment in Jerusalem with therapies not administered in Gaza. After the 7 October attack, however, all these balances broke down. Now within the State of Israel itself, the Jewish-Israeli component has begun to look with distrust at the Arab-Israeli component, and the Arab-Israeli component has begun to feel increasingly insecure, both in the workplace and in everyday life, even walking down the street. Several of our Christians told me: "When I walk around the city, in Jerusalem, I avoid speaking Arabic." This says a lot about the climate that has been created.

Q: How is the tragedy of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas being experienced?

The hostage situation has severely tested these families who are almost all, with rare exceptions, very open-minded. They were not families hostile to the Palestinian element in Israel or the West Bank, on the contrary. Their suffering has been and continues to be terrible, as one does a sad countdown, wondering how many are still alive.

Q: And what about the tragedy in Gaza?

The Palestinian component obviously feels solidarity with Gaza. They belong to the same people and they suffer from seeing so much destruction: 35,000 dead, of these probably more than 15,000 are children, and we don't know how many are still under the rubble... Systematic destruction. This has created a sense of frustration, anger, an inner conflict. Then, let's not forget that there are even Christians, especially from Galilee, who are part of the army, fighting in Gaza. There is a discomfort and a great difficulty in addressing these issues even for us Christians in the Holy Land because we realise very well the suffering on both sides. We realise the reasons and wrongs on one side and the other. We want this war to end, because otherwise the furrow of hatred gets deeper every day, and putting the pieces back together afterwards will be, indeed, very difficult.

Q: In recent months, we have also witnessed the escalation of violent acts by settlers...

In the West Bank, we have seen an unprecedented escalation. Whereas before their actions were somewhat more controlled, during these six months, not so. We also know that several thousand Palestinians in the West Bank have been detained under administrative detention, that is, essentially without rights. And there are also several hundred Palestinians who have been killed in the West Bank, in the course of military operations, by settlers or otherwise, and therefore not in circumstances related to attacks, attacks or in any case violent actions, but also in ordinary life. Farmers who went to pick olives and met settlers who then shot at them. It will take a long time to overcome this kind of wound, because the emotional dimension in this conflict has been very strong.

Q: Going back to 7 October, what explanation can be given for what happened?

What happened on 7 October will need to be studied and investigated in depth, because the Israeli newspapers themselves have accused both the government and the

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/...


#BeHuman: 30 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates To Attend Human Fraternity Meeting

The second World Meeting on Human Fraternity, under the title #BeHuman, takes place on May 10-11 in Rome and Vatican City State and is organized by the Fratelli Tutti Foundation. Around 30 recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize will participate in the "Roundtable of Peace" and will release a "Charter of Humanity" on fraternal coexistence in this time of uncertainty and fear. By Michele Raviart

The second World Meeting on Human Fraternity, #BeHuman, was presented on Tuesday at the Holy See Press Office.

The meeting, which will take place on May 10-11, involves 12 thematic roundtables in which experts from around the world will engage in fraternal dialogue on the most pressing issues of our contemporary world.

"Roundtable on Peace" To Open The Meeting

The Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, will open the "Peace Table," which will take place on the morning of Friday, May 10, at the Palazzo della Cancelleria.

Women, men, and organizations awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as human rights activists, will also participate.

Subsequently, participants at this roundtable will be received in audience by Pope Francis on Saturday, May 11, and then by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinal Palace.

Pope Francis To Participate At "Children: Future Generation" Roundtable

Pope Francis will participate at the roundtable on "Children: Future Generation," which will take place in the New Synod Hall on Saturday afternoon.

This meeting will be preparatory to the first World Children's Day on May 25-26. The other topics of the panels will be cooperation, sustainability and business, agriculture, education, sports, health, employment, administration, social media, and information.

Among the speakers expected at the roundtables, are economist Jeffrey Sachs, the head coach of the Italian national football team Luciano Spalletti, CEO of Fiat Olivier François, and virtual economy banker Victor Ammer.

The panels will be open to the public and viewable via streaming on the Fratelli Tutti Foundation website with prior reservation.

The two-day meeting will conclude with an event in the portico of St. Peter's Basilica featuring artists Giovanni Allevi, Roberto Vecchioni, and American country singer Garth Brooks.

Gambetti: Recognizing Each Other As Brothers And Sisters To Walk Together

Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican and one of the organizers of the meeting, commented: "We must bring intelligence back to discussing the human person in a world that is dissolving and marked by financial capitalism, by a technology that has become an end rather than a means, and by greed."

There is a need, he reiterated, for a reflection that encompasses all situations in an integral way and to "recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters in order to walk together."


Kenya Floods: Church Grateful To Pope Francis For Prayers And Closeness

Kenya is reeling from devastating torrential rains that have brought floods, death, and injuries and forced tens of thousands from their homes.
Paul Samasumo – Vatican City.

Kenya appears to have been spared the full impact of Tropical Cyclone Hidaya, which was expected to make landfall at the weekend. The storm weakened and dissipated; heavy rains were nevertheless still expected offshore along the Coastal regions. On Saturday, Tanzania reported electricity blackouts, heavy rains and strong winds from Cyclone Hidaya.

As of Monday morning, the number of people killed in the Kenyan floods rose to 228. This was according to the Ministry of Interior.

Kenya is the country most affected, but floods have also occurred in Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia, and Rwanda.

Over the weekend, Vatican News engaged the Metropolitan Archbishop of Nyeri Archdiocese, Anthony Muheria to shed more light on the situation of floods, from a point of view of the Church. Archbishop Muheria is also the Apostolic Administrator of Embu Diocese.

Last Wednesday, during the General Audience, Pope Francis expressed his closeness and solidarity with the people of Kenya. This must mean a lot for the Church and the people of Kenya?

We thank the Holy Father Pope Francis for his solidarity message to us on the 1st of May in the wake of all the flooding we have been experiencing in Kenya. This is truly a great gesture of love by our common father. In spite of so many other things happening in the world, the Pope took this moment to send that word of comfort and to encourage us in these difficult circumstances that many Kenyans find themselves in, especially in the face of the heavy rains that have poured out in our country. We thank him, especially for the promise of prayers for the victims, those who have died and have lost their lives in miserable situations, tragic situations.

We all unite ourselves with those words of comfort from Pope Francis to the families that have lost their loved ones, to those who have lost property, to those who have lost homes and find themselves in a state of distress and disorientation.

Your Grace, from what you are seeing and hearing about the floods, how bad is the situation?

Kenya normally experiences two rainy seasons, one around March and the other around October of each year. On average, the country receives about 900 millimetres of rainfall—some places more than others. This April, we have received almost double the monthly average rainfall this year. There was a tremendous amount of precipitation and rainfall within three weeks. Nairobi, which normally has an average monthly rainfall of 150 millimetres, has received well over 350 millimetres in just three weeks.

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/africa/news/...

Posted By: agnes levine
Tuesday, May 7th 2024 at 12:19PM
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