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Waiting for Pope Francis

September 18th, 2015

papal-visit-2015-logo-usa-rgb-150[1]“When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always ‘add more water to the beans’! Is it possible to add more water to the beans?…Always?…And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in materials things, but in the heart!           

Pope Francis, Address to Community at Varginha – July 25, 2013.

The Apostolic journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to United States starts Tuesday September 22. Eager anticipation of Pope Francis’s visit is evident all around the Oblate house on Michigan Avenue, NE, in Washington, DC. As we glance over at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where Pope Francis will say Mass next Wednesday, September 23 – banners swing in the breeze, fences cordon off areas, cranes erect structures for the outdoor Mass and media are busy interviewing passersby.  Even a flowerbed in front of the basilica is being replanted into white and yellow pansies – the papal colors!

When he was elected in March 2013, one of the first things the new Pope Francis did was to appeal to the thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square to pray for him. No doubt he would welcome more of our prayers as we anticipate his visit. People wonder what will he say and do; what will surprise us? He will deliver several speeches, some in English and most in Spanish.

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Last Wednesday September 16, Oblate JPIC staff attended a briefing event at U.S Congress, The Pope Francis Effect on Immigration: Protecting Families and Advancing the Common Good. Sponsored by the Justice for Immigrants, of which Oblate JPIC is a core member, the speakers addressed connections of Catholic Social Teaching and migration, challenges facing migrants at the border and in detention and political landscape regarding actions for immigration reform.

“As faith leaders across denominations and faith traditions, we resonate with Pope Francis’ concern for the poor and the planet, as with his call for a discussion of critical issues that transcends conventional divisions. We urge members of Congress – and all of us — to listen with open minds and hearts to his words and to work together, even across great differences, for the common good” said Washington Interfaith Staff Community (WISC) in a letter addressed to Members of Congress about Pope Francis joint address session. The letter was signed by leaders of national religious organizations and was sent to Members of Congress on September 16.

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On September 24, Pope Francis will address a joint session of United States Congress. Thousands of people representing a diverse coalition faith groups, community leaders and student groups will join together to rally on the National Mall. The rally is a free public event for the Pope and will demand that our leaders #FollowFrancis and take bold action for climate justice.

Schedule Resource: 2015 Apostolic Journey Of Pope Francis To The United States Of America

  • The USCCB will provide live streaming coverage of all events of the Holy Father’s visit, and video on demand for most events where he will be speaking, see the full schedule of events. In addition, local television and radio stations may be providing live coverage. Check your local listings or your local diocese’s communications office for details.  For those interested in setting up a watch party using the USCCB live stream or video on demand.
  • Walking Pilgrimage to Papal Mass from Baltimore to Philadelphia. His Holiness Pope Francis teaches us about humility. He has also called us to serve and help the poor. During his visit to the United States in September, a small group of pilgrims will walk in his honor. Starting September 20 from the Baltimore Basilica, these pilgrims will walk 104 miles to Philadelphia to join with Pope Francis. This journey will take a week. http://funds2orgs.com/feetforfrancis/?utm_source=Sept.+11,+2015&utm_campaign=UA-28648111-1+&utm_medium=email
  • OMI Lacombe Canada’s Office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in partnership with St Paul University is pleased to invite you to attend a free live screening that will take place at St. Paul University (Ottawa, Ontario) on Friday, September 25th at 8:30 a.m. in room G103, first floor of the Guigues Pavilion. Following the Pope’s speech there will be a panel discussion with participation from the audience. Panelists include; Dr. Chantal Beauvais, Rector of St. Paul University, Fr. Ken Forster, Provincial OMI Lacombe and Mr. Joe Gunn, Executive Director, Citizens for Public Justice.

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