ZENIT – English https://zenit.org/ The World Seen From Rome Tue, 16 Jul 2024 00:40:41 +0000 es hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.5.5 https://zenit.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/8049a698-cropped-dc1b6d35-favicon_1.png ZENIT – English https://zenit.org/ 32 32 An American Is Elected Superior General of the Most Important Traditionalist Fraternity https://zenit.org/2024/07/14/an-american-is-elected-superior-general-of-the-most-important-traditionalist-fraternity/ Sun, 14 Jul 2024 22:58:11 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215825 Father John Berg had already been superior general from 2006 to 2018

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(ZENIT News / Denton, Nebraska, 14.07.2024).- The General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, being held from July 3 to 18, 2024, in the International Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton, Nebraska, elected, in its Plenary Session, Father John Berg as Superior General for a six-year period.

This election, in which 32 capitulars were present, took place on Tuesday, July 9. Succeeding Father Andrzej Komorowski, Father Berg intends to continue the work carried out over the last six years at the service of the Fraternity.

A few days later, they elected, in the Plenary Session, the Assistants and Advisers of the Superior General. They are as follows:

Assistants: Father Hubert Bizard, Father Andrzej Komorowski and Father Arnaud Evrat.

Advisers: Father Josef Bisig and Father Benoît Paul-Joseph.

The New Superior General

American Father John Berg, born in 1970, studied Philosophy at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, USA, and Theology in the International Seminary of Saint Peter in Wigratzbad, Bavaria, Germany. He is a graduate of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. Ordained a priest in 1997, Father Berg was a Professor in the International Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Nebraska, USA. He was Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter from 2006 to 2018. In the last six years he returned to parish work with the faithful as parish priest in the Fraternity’s parishes in Providence, Rhode Island and Omaha, Nebraska.

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is one of the ecclesial realities growing fastest vocationally. At present it has 569 members, of which 368 are incardinated priests, 20 incorporated, two postulates and four associates. It has 22 deacons and 179 seminarians. The average age is 39.

The Fraternity

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, that is, a community of priests that do not take religious vows, but that work together for a common mission in the Catholic Church, under the authority of the Holy See. The Fraternity has a double mission: in the first place, the formation and sanctification of the priests and, in the second place, the care of souls and pastoral activity at the service of the Church. The Fraternity of Saint Peter carries out this mission using the liturgical books current in 1962, as specified in its decree of erection in 1988, confirmed by Pope Francis’ decree on February 11, 2022.

The Fraternity was founded on July 18, 1988 in the Abbey of Hauterive, Switzerland by a dozen priests and some twenty seminarians. Shortly after the Fraternity’s foundation and at Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s request, Bishop Josef Stimpfle of Augsburg granted the Fraternity headquarters in Wigratzbad, a Marian Shrine in Bavaria. It is here that the Fraternity’s European Seminary is located and the Community’s Motherhouse. Its General House is in Fribourg, Switzerland.

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Face to Face Between Number Two of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow and the Pope: Fiducia Supplicans on the Agenda https://zenit.org/2024/07/14/face-to-face-between-number-two-of-the-orthodox-patriarchate-of-moscow-and-the-pope-fiducia-supplicans-on-the-agenda/ Sun, 14 Jul 2024 22:54:09 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215821 This is the fourth occasion in which the Second in the Hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox meets with the Holy Father.

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 14.07.2024).- In the late afternoon of Thursday, July 11, Pope Francis received in private audience the President of the Department for Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Metropolitan Antonij of Volokolamsk. The audience took place in Saint Martha’s Residence and, hence, was a more relaxed audience.

This is the fourth occasion in which the Second in the Hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox meets with the Holy Father. The first was on August 5, 2022, shortly after his appointment; the second on September 15, 2022, in the capital of Kazakhstan, and the third on May 3, 2023, at the end of the General Audience.

The Holy See Press Office only reported the audience. Instead, the Communication Service of the Department for Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow expanded the information through a publication, specifying the topics the Metropolitan discussed with the Pope and those addressed with the Roman Curia.

According to the note, Pope Francis discussed “questions of inter-ecclesial relations and joint efforts in the humanitarian ambit.” On July 12, after celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Great Martyr Saint Catherine in Rome, Metropolitan Antonij held several work meetings in the Roman Curia. In particular, he informed his interlocutors about the current persecution of the Canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine. In addition, Metropolitan Antonij explained in detail the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding the “Fiducia Supplicans” document, and familiarized them with the response of the Biblical-Theological Synodal Commission.”

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Vatican speaks out on assassination attempt against Trump https://zenit.org/2024/07/14/vatican-speaks-out-on-assassination-attempt-against-trump/ Sun, 14 Jul 2024 22:48:41 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215817 Vatican Press Room issues statement

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Valentina di Giorgio and Tim Daniel

(ZENIT News / Vatican City-Washington, 07.14.2024).- A day after the attack on former President Donald Trump, the Holy See Press Office issued a statement regarding the incident:

“The Holy See expresses its concern over last night’s violence, which harms people and democracy, causing suffering and death. It joins the prayers of the US bishops for America, for the victims, and for peace in the country, so that the motives of the violent may never prevail.»

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Pope Francis has not personally commented, unlike virtually all other world leaders from different countries, who, even without sharing Trump’s political views, have condemned the attack.

In contrast, the leader of the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated:

“Together with my brother bishops, we condemn political violence, and we offer our prayers for President Trump, and those who were killed or injured. We also pray for our country and for an end to political violence, which is never a solution to political disagreements. We ask all people of goodwill to join us in praying for peace in our country. Mary, Mother of God and Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.”

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Earlier this summer, the USCCB issued a statement on political violence, urging all Christians and people of good will to abstain from political violence, and instead, ‘pursue what leads to peace and building up one another’ through dialogue, seeking justice.

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The Gospel passage explained by the Pope with two words: communion and sobriety https://zenit.org/2024/07/14/the-gospel-passage-explained-by-the-pope-with-two-words-communion-and-sobriety/ Sun, 14 Jul 2024 22:42:44 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215814 Allocution on the occasion of the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, July 14, 2024

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 07.14.2024).- Around 12,000 people joined Pope Francis for the recitation of the Angelus, as usual, in St. Peter’s Square. Appearing from the window of the papal apartment, the Pope began with the traditional Sunday address centered on the day’s Gospel. We offer below the English translation of the Pope’s words:

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Dear brothers and sisters, happy Sunday!

Today the Gospel tells us about Jesus who sends His disciples on the mission (cf. Mk 6:7-13). He sends them “two by two”, and recommends something important: to take with them only what is necessary.

Let us pause a moment on this image: the disciples are sent together, and must take with them only what is necessary.

We do not proclaim the Gospel alone, no: it is proclaimed together, as a community, and to do this it is important to know how to preserve sobriety: to know how to be sober in the use of things, sharing resources, capacities and gifts, and doing without the superfluous. Why? In order to be free: the superfluous enslaves you, and also so that we all have what we need to live in a dignified way and to contribute actively to the mission; and then to be sober in thoughts, to be sober in feelings, abandoning our preconceived ideas and abandoning the inflexibility that, like pointless baggage, weigh us down and hinder the journey, fostering discussion and listening instead, and thus making witness more effective.

Let us think, for example, of what happens in our families and our communities: when we are content with what is necessary, even with little, with God’s help we are able to go forward and get along, sharing what there is, everyone renouncing something and supporting each other (cf. Acts 4:32-35). And this is already a missionary proclamation, before and even more than words, because it embodies the beauty of Jesus’ message in the tangibility of life. Indeed, a family or a community that lives in this way creates around it an environment rich in love, in which it is easier to open oneself to faith and the newness of the Gospel, and from which one starts out better, one starts out more serene.

If, on the other hand, everyone goes his or her way, if only material things count – which are never enough – if one does not listen, if individualism and envy prevail – envy is something lethal, a poison! – individualism and envy prevail, the air becomes heavy, life becomes difficult, and encounters become an occasion of restlessness, sadness and discouragement, rather than an occasion of joy (cf. Mt. 19:22).

Dear brothers and sisters, communion and sobriety are important values for our Christian life: communion, harmony among us, and sobriety are important values, indispensable values for a Church to be missionary at all levels.

We can ask ourselves, then: do I taste the pleasure of proclaiming the Gospel, of bringing, where I live, the joy and light that come from an encounter with the Lord? And in order to do this, do I commit myself to walking together with others, sharing ideas and skills with them, with an open mind and with a generous heart? And finally: do I know how to cultivate a lifestyle that is sober, a lifestyle that is attentive to the needs of my brothers and sisters? They are questions that it is good to ask ourselves.

May Mary, Queen of Apostles, help us to be true missionary disciples, in communion and sobriety of life. In communion, in harmony among us and in the sobriety of life.

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Knights of Columbus decide to cover Rupnik mosaics at John Paul II National Shrine https://zenit.org/2024/07/14/knights-of-columbus-decide-to-cover-rupnik-mosaics-at-john-paul-ii-national-shrine/ Sun, 14 Jul 2024 22:36:39 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215811 “The Knights of Columbus has decided to cover these mosaics because our first concern must be for victims of sexual abuse, who have already suffered immensely, and who may be further injured by the ongoing display of the mosaics at the Shrine,” said Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly.

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(ZENIT News / Washington, 07.14.2024).- The Knights of Columbus announced July 11 the conclusion of a careful and thorough process to review the display of mosaic artwork in worship spaces at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. (installed 2015), and in the Holy Family Chapel at the Knights’ headquarters in New Haven, Conn. (installed 2005). As a result of this review, the Knights of Columbus will cover the mosaics in fabric, which will remain in place at least until the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) issues its decision on the pending sexual abuse cases against artist Father Marko Rupnik, at which time a permanent plaster covering may be in order. Rupnik, who previously incurred excommunication (subsequently lifted) and was expelled from the Jesuit order in 2023, has been accused by multiple women of grave and disturbing instances of abuse when they were adults, from the mid-1980’s until at least 2015. Rupnik was a religious superior of most of these women.

These cases are pending before the DDF, which has described them as being at “a fairly advanced stage.” While Rupnik’s cases are under formal investigation, he remains a priest in good standing of the Diocese of Koper, Slovenia. The Knights of Columbus was unaware of any sexual abuse allegations against Rupnik until they came to light in December 2022.

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“The Knights of Columbus has decided to cover these mosaics because our first concern must be for victims of sexual abuse, who have already suffered immensely, and who may be further injured by the ongoing display of the mosaics at the Shrine,” said Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly.

“This decision is rooted in a foundational purpose of the Knights of Columbus, which is to protect families, especially women and children, and those who are vulnerable and voiceless.” “Today’s decision is the fruit of an extensive process,” Kelly said, “including confidential consultations with individual victims of sexual abuse and those who minister to them, individual pilgrims, moral theologians and art historians, as well as bishops and other clergy. While opinions varied among those consulted, there was a strong consensus to prioritize the needs of victims, especially because the allegations are current, unresolved, and horrific.”

“The Knights are also committed, from their founding, to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. In the end, that is our reason for sponsoring the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, and for our patronage of sacred art at the shrine and elsewhere. The art we sponsor must therefore serve as a steppingstone — not a stumbling block — to faith in Jesus Christ and his Church.”

“The decision also reflects common elements of the mission of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine and the Knights of Columbus, which include strengthening families, prioritizing persons over things, strongly and clearly proclaiming the Catholic faith, and fostering a culture that helps faith and families thrive,” Kelly said. “We were also particularly grateful for the thoughtful decision of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, which both informed and confirmed us in our own decision-making,” Kelly said.

Puede ser una imagen de 12 personas y la Basílica del Santuario Nacional de la Inmaculada Concepción

“Shrines are places of healing, prayer and reconciliation. They should not cause victims further suffering.” Finally, Kelly made clear that the situation of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine is unique and that the decision is tailored to its particular circumstances. “Context and mission matter,” he concluded. “Every situation is different. In the United States, Catholics continue to suffer in a unique way from the revelations of sexual abuse and, at times, from the response of the Church. It is clear to us that, as patrons of a national shrine, our decision must respect this country’s special need for healing.” In addition to removing the mosaics from sight, the Knights will immediately implement several pastoral measures to express the Knights’ solidarity with victims of sexual abuse.

These include:

  • Providing educational materials about the mosaics that will make clear that the continued display of the mosaics at the shrine during the process of consultation was not intended to ignore, deny, or diminish the allegations of abuse;
  • Including in all shrine Masses a prayer of the faithful for victims of sexual abuse; and
  • Specially commemorating at the shrine, the feast days of saints with a special connection to victims of abuse, such as St. Josephine Bakhita. About the Saint John Paul II National Shrine Located in Washington, D.C., the Saint John Paul II National Shrine is a place of prayer, pilgrimage, and cultural formation dedicated to promoting in the United States the life and legacy of its patron. The shrine has been a major pastoral initiative of the Knights of Columbus since 2011. It was designated a national shrine by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2014.

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Who is the person appointed bishop by the Pope who also becomes prince of a country? https://zenit.org/2024/07/13/who-is-the-person-appointed-bishop-by-the-pope-who-also-becomes-prince-of-a-country/ Sat, 13 Jul 2024 22:15:09 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215808 The Bishop of Urgell is one of the two heads of state of the Principality of Andorra. This peculiarity dates back to the 11th century, when a feudatory distribution was established between two vassals of the Count of Urgell: the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Caboet.

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(ZENIT News / Urgell, Spain, 07.13.2024).- On July 24, Archbishop Joan-Enric Vives i Sicília of Urgell will celebrate his 75th birthday and, as required by canon law, submit his resignation from his pastoral duties in the diocese of Urgell, Catalonia, Spain. In a proactive move, Pope Francis has already named his successor, revealing on Friday, July 12, that a seasoned diplomat will step into this pivotal role.

The diocese of Urgell is not just any diocese. Its bishop holds a unique dual role as one of the two co-princes of the Principality of Andorra, sharing the head of state duties with the President of France. This arrangement dates back to the 11th century when the title was split between the bishop of Urgell and the count of Caboet. Over centuries, these co-princely rights evolved to include the bishop of Urgell and the French head of state, creating a rare blend of religious and secular authority.

The New Bishop of Urgell and Co-Prince of Andorra

Pope Francis has appointed Josep-Lluís Serrano Pentinat as the new coadjutor bishop of Urgell. Currently serving as a Counsellor of Nunciature in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Serrano will automatically assume the position of bishop once it becomes vacant, as stipulated by the Code of Canon Law.

Born on March 19, 1977, in Tivissa, Tarragona, within the diocese of Tortosa, Serrano has an impressive academic and clerical background. He completed his studies in Philosophy and Theology at the major seminary of Tortosa and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia in Barcelona. Ordained as a priest on April 21, 2002, in Tortosa Cathedral, he furthered his education in Rome, obtaining a Licentiate and Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University. He is also a graduate of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in diplomatic studies.

Serrano’s pastoral career began as a deacon in the parish of l’Assumpció de Maria in Amposta and continued with roles as parish priest in several parishes within the diocese of Tortosa. His academic contributions included teaching positions at the major diocesan seminary and the Institute of Theology «San Agustín» in Tortosa. His diplomatic service has taken him to apostolic nunciatures in Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Brazil, and since 2019, he has been a Counsellor of Nunciature in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

Monsignor Vives i Sicília has served as the co-prince of Andorra since July 10, 2003, blending ecclesiastical duties with the constitutional responsibilities of a head of state. His successor, Serrano, will also undertake this dual role, continuing a centuries-old tradition.

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For the first time in 500 years, two women in team of sanpietrini of Vatican basilica https://zenit.org/2024/07/13/for-the-first-time-in-500-years-two-women-in-team-of-sanpietrini-of-vatican-basilica/ Sat, 13 Jul 2024 22:12:20 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215803 The presence of women is not new in the long and ancient tradition of work and art at the Fabbrica, but until now, no women had joined the body of the sanpietrini.

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 07.13.2024).- For the first time in over half a century since the founding of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, two women have joined the maintenance team of the Vatican Basilica, the famous «sanpietrini.»

Lisa (26 years old, from the province of Padua) and Miriana (21 years old, from Reggio Calabria), both with training in artistic studies, have attended the course for decorators, plasterers, and bricklayers at the School of Arts and Crafts of the Fabbrica di San Pietro.

The presence of women is not new in the long and ancient tradition of work and art at the Fabbrica, but until now, no women had joined the body of the sanpietrini. For years, the presence of female mosaic workers in the Vatican Mosaic Studio, adjacent to the Fabbrica, has been well established.

In the past, during the 16th century, widows and orphans, almost always inheritors of a family business from a deceased husband or father, were hired as laborers. The Fabbrica guaranteed them the same economic conditions and work treatment that had been granted to the male head of the family. Over time, women were employed in various artisanal professions within the Fabbrica, but until now, none had managed to join the sanpietrini.

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Jesuits open their first training centre in Bangladesh https://zenit.org/2024/07/13/jesuits-open-their-first-training-centre-in-bangladesh/ Sat, 13 Jul 2024 22:09:00 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215800 There are now 28 Jesuits in the South Asian country, the vast majority of whom are native vocations.

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(ZENIT News / Mothbari, 07.13.2024).- The Society of Jesus has set up its first-ever novitiate in Bangladesh, where less than half a percent of the population is Christian – with help from an international Catholic charity.

The training centre in Mothbari, south-west Bangladesh will help promote vocations by allowing novices to study in their mother tongue, according to Father Ripon Rozario, Jesuit Mission Superior in Bangladesh.

Father Rozario told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that his order used to send novices abroad to train – especially to India – but obtaining visas has become increasingly difficult.

He said that the support provided by ACN for the construction of the centre was “a grace of God”.

Father Rozario added: “We already have four novices in our novitiate programme with six more joining in June.”

He highlighted that the Catholic Church “has contributed immensely to the country” – “particularly in the fields of health and education”.

He said the Jesuits first arrived in Bangladesh in 1576 but were forced to leave soon after for political reasons, adding: “We were only able to re-establish ourselves in the country in 1994.

“We run two schools, a retreat house, various spiritual and pastoral programmes, and a youth ministry.”

There are now 28 Jesuits in the South Asian country, the vast majority of whom are native vocations.

The priest said that “there are approximately 500,000 Christians in Bangladesh [a country with a population of 171 million], around 300,000 of whom are Catholics”.

He added: “The Church is quite vibrant, and we have numerous charitable activities.”

He explained that young Catholics are often inspired to join the Jesuits by witnessing the spiritual and social services offered by the order and the Church in general.

Father Rozario thanked ACN’s benefactors for their “generous support” which has allowed them to complete the construction of the training centre, making it ready to accommodate more vocations.

He concluded: “Thank you for all the support that you have given to the Bangladesh Jesuit Mission through ACN.”

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Missionaries because disciples. https://zenit.org/2024/07/11/missionaries-because-disciples/ Thu, 11 Jul 2024 22:53:44 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215785 Commentary on the Gospel of Sunday, July 14, 2024. XV Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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Mons. Francesco Follo
(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 11.07.2024).- Commentary on the Gospel of Sunday, July 14, 2024. XV Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The Disciples are the called ones.

In today’s Gospel, Saint Mark explains the essential traits of the physiognomy of the disciple who is a chosen, separate, and holy person. In fact, the word «saint» comes from the correspondent Latin word that means «separated», separated from the world and from evil to enter the sphere of God. He or she is «set aside» for a special task, that of carrying the announcement of salvation to the whole world.

The disciple is the one who listens, believes and detaches himself or herself from the crowd to stand beside Christ and carry the announcement of his presence that has amazed him or her. The crowd listens to the words of Christ but then returns home. The disciple, on the other hand, remains with Christ and with him faithfully leads a life of communion and pilgrimage. He or she lives the choice and the separation not as distance from the others, but as proximity and familiarity with Christ. The life of communion with him becomes a mission.

What are the essential features of Christ ‘ disciples (those of that time and the ones of today)? They are: 1. complete abandonment in following, 2. loving trust, 3. being a missionary that carries joy.

In this Sunday’s Gospel passage, Saint Mark speaks of Jesus who sends his disciples on a mission. The disciple is the one who has left everything to follow Christ and become a missionary with such a confidence to use only poor means: a pair of sandals, a dress and a walking stick.

Therefore, the disciple is one who listens, believes, detaches from what is dear to him and places himself in the wake of Jesus, who has become the dearest to him: Jesus is the precious pearl.

The disciple remains with Christ and leads a common and itinerant life with him, who sends him on a mission. There is also another aspect of the disciple: he is sent on a mission. Indeed, St. Mark tells us that Christ sent his disciples to fulfil the mission of proclaiming to all not only that salvation is near but that the Savior can be encountered through the presence of his disciples of new life.

This is also true today because Christianity lives as a fact and communicates itself as a real encounter.

However, it must be kept in mind that the Christian disciple is first of all a person called by God who has become an encounter. Properly speaking, a person does not become a Christian by autonomous choice; he or she becomes so by answering to a call. In fact, there is a love that precedes our response. This is what Christ taught us when he said: «You did not choose me, but I chose you».  Saint Paul writes «In Christ (the Father) has chosen us before the creation of the world to be holy and immaculate in his presence in charity «(Eph 1: 46). Already the Old Testament, from Abraham onwards, places God at the origin of every call; the initiative to start the history of salvation of the people of Israel is entirely by the Lord. «Abraham, called by God, obeyed» (Heb 11: 8).

Even in the narratives of the prophetic vocations, the primacy of a God that calls is clearly revealed. Exemplary is the story of Amos, which we hear in the first reading of this Sunday’s Mass. This prophet is driven by his vocation to a hard confrontation with the injustices of the political power. Furthermore, he must clash with the cold considerations of the «court chaplain», the priest Amaziak, who exhorts him to prudence. Amos replies to the priest that at the root of his words there is not a personal choice linked to his own perspectives. It is God himself who forced him with a very specific call: «I was not a prophet, nor a son of a prophet; I was a shepherd and a collector of sycamores; the Lord took me from following the cattle, and the Lord said to me, «Go, prophesy among my people Israel» (Am 7: 14-15).

Disciples, namely missionaries.

Not only the prophet is called to be a missionary.  The disciple too is sent on a mission, as the today’s Gospel passage[1] (6: 7-13) makes us meditate. In fact, the evangelist Mark underlines that Jesus «sent them» and this involves at least the awareness of being sent by God and not by one’s own decision. They are sent for a project in which the disciples are involved but of which they are not the owners.

Today, as then, Christians, who as such are disciples of Christ, are sent as Missionaries of the Merciful Truth. Today, as then, the disciples invite people to conversion and give relief to suffering.

The message, which in the name of Christ they announce, is an invitation to conversion: «Turn towards the light because the light is already here. Pure and holy are our hands on the sick with which we announce: God is already here, is close to you with love, and heals life. Turn towards him «.

It is important to understand Jesus’ evangelical insistence on poverty as an indispensable condition for the mission: neither bread nor bag nor money. It is a poverty that is faith, freedom and lightness. First of all, freedom and lightness: a disciple weighed down by a baggage becomes sedentary, conservative, unable to grasp the novelty of God and very skillful in finding a thousand convenient reasons to judge the house in which he is accommodated and that he no longer wants to leave. Moreover, poverty is also faith: it is the sign of those who do not trust in themselves but rely on God.

There is also another aspect that cannot be forgotten: the «dramatic» atmosphere of the mission. Rejection is foreseen (Mk 7:11): the word of God is effective, but in its own way. The disciple must proclaim the message and get completely involved in it, but he must leave the result to God. A task has been assigned to the disciple, but success is not guaranteed.

Moreover, it is important not to forget that the disciple is not only called to be a teacher, but also a witness who engages in the struggle against Evil because he is on the side of truth, freedom and love,

Finally, we must not forget that to be missionaries we must first be disciples of Christ and listen always again to the invitation to follow him imitating him: «Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart» (Mt 11,29). A disciple, in fact, is a person who listens to the Word of Jesus (cf. Lk 10:39) recognized as the Master who loved us up to the gift of life. Therefore, for each of us, it is a matter of letting ourselves be molded each day by the Word of God. It will make us friends of the Lord Jesus and able to bring others into this friendship with Him. This fraternal friendship with Christ, the center of our life, allows us to go to the human peripheries to carry to everyone the truth of Christ, incarnate Love.

A particular way of being «disciples-missionaries» (Pope Francis) is the one of the consecrated virgins who, living and working in the world, meet the people who live and work in the existential peripheries. There is a feminine style in living the mission, a way of being disciple-missionary like the Virgin Mary, the Disciple-Missionary par excellence. More than to Mnason of Cyprus, who hosted St. Paul on his journey from Caesarea to Jerusalem, it is to Our Lady that the title of «disciple of the first hour» competes (Acts 21: 16) because she believed in the Son of God the Most High at the very moment in which he was incarnated in her womb by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Mary is the first missionary because she first brought Christ on the roads of the world to go to her cousin Elizabeth. She was a missionary who brought not a speech, but the Gospel incarnated. The consecrated Virgins in a special way imitate Our Lady through vigilance and prayer, that is, through the custody of the heart offered to Christ with the gift of their virginity and docility to the Holy Spirit. Through a discreet life in the world, the consecrated virgins live a personal focus, thanks to which they dedicate themselves to listening to the Word of God. On their example, may our heart and mind keep alive the maternal love that animates all those cooperating in the apostolic mission of the Church for the regeneration of men (cf. Lumen Gentium, 65). Every Christian is called to take up Mary’s attitude to motherly animate the evangelical proclamation of Christ, and to exercise the «power» of serving the Lord in the brothers and sisters in humanity, living in one’s own situation the virginal fruitfulness of the Church, as the consecrated Virgins witness.

[1]Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.  He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.  Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”  So they went off and preached repentance.  The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” ( Mk 6,7-13)

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Vandal Decapitates Statue of Infant Jesus at New York Parish https://zenit.org/2024/07/11/vandal-decapitates-statue-of-infant-jesus-at-new-york-parish/ Thu, 11 Jul 2024 22:38:01 +0000 https://zenit.org/?p=215782 Father Sean Suckiel of the Holy Family Church expressed his heartbreak and confusion to ABC-7 New York. "My heart is broken, and the question that keeps coming to mind is, why? This act was very deliberate, and it’s clear the statue wasn’t in his way. So, why do this?"

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(ZENIT News / New York, 07.11.2024).- In a shocking act of vandalism, a statue of the Infant Jesus, which had stood in the grounds of a New York parish for over 40 years, was decapitated. The incident occurred late June 2024 at the Church of the Holy Family in Flushing, Queens, and was caught on surveillance cameras.

The footage, recorded at 5:30 am on Sunday, May 31, shows a man emerging from his taxi, removing his shoe, and methodically striking the statues of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The vandal targeted the face of St. Joseph first, followed by Mary, and finally the Infant Jesus, decapitating the statue in a disturbing sequence of blows.

Father Sean Suckiel of the Holy Family Church expressed his heartbreak and confusion to ABC-7 New York. «My heart is broken, and the question that keeps coming to mind is, why? This act was very deliberate, and it’s clear the statue wasn’t in his way. So, why do this?»

Puede ser una imagen de patineta

This incident adds to a troubling trend of vandalism against Catholic churches across the United States. In June alone, a thief broke into St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Portland, Oregon, stealing the tabernacle after midnight. On April 27, vandals spray-painted the doors and sidewalk of St. Patrick’s Church in northwest Portland with the message «My body, my choice.» The same church had been targeted twice before in June and July 2021, during a spate of attacks on four Portland Catholic churches over six weeks.

According to CatholicVote.org, over 400 attacks on Catholic churches have occurred in the United States since 2020. Their «Violence Tracker» indicates that in 2024 alone, there have been more than 27 attacks, with only 25 percent resulting in arrests. The states with the highest number of attacks include California (55), New York (46), Pennsylvania (25), Texas (22), and Oregon (15).

The attack on the Holy Family Church is not the first time the parish has faced vandalism. Last year, an assailant toppled an angel statue from its pedestal. The police are still working to identify the man responsible for the recent decapitation of the Infant Jesus statue.

Local authorities and church officials are calling for increased vigilance and protection of religious sites to prevent further incidents. Father Suckiel and the parish community remain hopeful for justice and a return to peace.

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