Last time we looked at what Pope Francis writes about Jesus in his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” Now let us consider what the Holy Father has to say about the Mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In this part of my series on Pope Francis’ Game Plan, then, it seems helpful to look at key elements of the Ignatian charism that are evident in the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation, the “Joy of the Gospel.”
Pope Francis' words give us insight into some of his top priorities as the Bishop of Rome. It is worthwhile, then, to look briefly at what he writes about parish life today.
It should come as no surprise that Pope Francis has much to say about Jesus, since Peter and all his successors have been called by God to make Christ known and loved.
Has the Holy Father given up on prayer and negotiations for peace? Or is he signaling the complex nature of peace making?
Since his election on March 13 of this year, he has caught the attention of the world. Even non-believers and non-practicing Catholics are paying attention. Pope Francis surprises and inspires, even as he challenges us to love the poor and in them to meet Jesus anew.
On the first day after he was elected pope, our new Holy Father traveled across the city of Rome to pray at the most important Roman Shrine of Our Lady, found in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. On the first day of the New Year 2014, Pope Francis again made an unannounced visit to this Marian Shrine. In the nine months of his papacy, he has made similar pilgrimages to pray to the Mother of God and ask her loving protection for the Church and the world.
Pope Francis also hears their cry and has made service of the poor a top priority in his life and ministry. Repeatedly, since his election as pope, he has called for a Church of the poor, a Church for the poor. Let us see why pastoral concern for the poor is so important.
In the previous part of this series, we looked at the first of three stages of education for human freedom, and saw how it is built on natural inclinations given to us by God and on the discipline of obedience. Now, we shall consider the second stage, where we progressively interiorize what has been learned in stage one. Here, personal initiative comes to the fore and virtues begin to be formed. We develop a consistency of personal intention to act in accord with excellence.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix spelled out his thoughts about the Church in Arizona in his inaugural “State of the Catholic Church” address Sept. 23.