Vatican releases pope’s schedule for Fatima visit

Posted March 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

VATICAN CITY – (CNS) Celebrating the 100th anniversary of apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis will lead the evening recitation of rosary and celebrate Mass on the anniversary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima when he visits Portugal on May 12-13.

The pope will make the two-day pilgrimage to the site where Mary appeared to three shepherd children May 13, 1917. The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

During his visit, the pope also will meet with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and have lunch with the bishops of Portugal.

Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following in the

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    Priests Formation Days spiritually enriching for clergy members

    Dear People of God of the Diocese of Baton Rouge,

    The Continuing Formation of the Clergy Committee is hosting the Annual Priests’ Formation Days on January 9-12, 2017. These formation days are one of the important ways in which the priests of our diocese are formed for ministry. They offer the priests opportunities for growth in intellectual and spiritual formation, emotional maturity and physical well-being. Since these days are offered once a year, and is a commitment by the diocese

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    Pope expresses shock over violence in French church

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The murder of a priest in northern France, taken hostage with a handful of other faithful during a weekday morning Mass July 26, is another act of “absurd violence” added to too many stories of senseless violence and death, said the Vatican spokesman.

    Pope Francis was informed about the hostage situation at the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen and the murder of 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

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    Challenge to church is to become more ecclesial-minded

    (Below is Bishop Muench’s address during a meeting of priests, deacons and department heads regarding the Pastoral Planning Task Force on June 16 at the Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center.)

    In April 2014, the Pastoral Planning Task Force was appointed with clergy, consecrated persons and lay faithful members, and Father Trey Nelson, chair, with the assistance of SSA Consultants. I ask all of you to join me in thanking these people for their conscientious, diligent two-year work to date.

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    Christians, Muslims are called to imitate God’s mercy, says cardinal

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – God asks Christians and Muslims to be forgiving, merciful and compassionate toward others, especially those in need, said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

    “We are saddened to see so many victims of conflicts and violence,” in particular the elderly, children and women, as well as people who suffer from human trafficking, poverty, illness, natural disasters and unemployment, said the cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    “We cannot close our eyes to these realities, or turn

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    Bishop Muench’s ordination homily

    With consummate joy we assemble this morning in our revered cathedral celebrating this historic, graced occasion for our two highly-prized ordinands, beloved diocese and the church universal. We heartily welcome you, Deacon Ed, candidate Ryan, your family members and all. We express congratulations and support to you, and immense thanks to God. We also offer special prayers for Jenny Nates Martin, the late wife of Deacon Ed. May she rest in the peace of the risen Christ.

    The biblical

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    Bishop’s letter to diocese from 2014

    Dearly Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

    Greetings. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). This “great commission of Jesus,” given to the eleven before his ascension into heaven, is the same instruction assigned to every Christian community throughout time. The recent Diocesan Rite of Election, where we celebrated the anticipated entrance of almost 500 new members to Catholicism at this year’s Easter Vigil, is one sign

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    Pope marks third anniversary of election with talk on mercy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis celebrated the third anniversary of his election with a simple Tweet “Pray for me” and the usual Sunday recitation of the Angelus prayer with tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

    In his talk March 13, the pope did not mention the anniversary, but focused on God’s forgiveness and mercy as he did in his first Angelus address in 2013.

    “God does not

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    Pope makes long-awaited visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis fulfilled his much-desired wish to pray in silence before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

    After celebrating the first Mass of his papal trip to Mexico Feb. 13, the pope made his way to the “camarin” (“little room”) behind the main altar of the basilica dedicated to Mary. The miraculous mantle, which normally faces the congregation, can be turned around to allow a closer and

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    Reconciliation offers opportunity to experience God’s mercy

    The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy! As we know, our revered Pope Francis has declared this a Holy Year of Mercy. What a blessing for us who want to grow more connected to Jesus, our ultimate good shepherd. What a welcomed opportunity to acknowledge our sins through the sacrament of reconciliation, and powerfully experience the merciful love of Jesus.

    The Treasure of Sacred

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    Church’s credibility found in showing mercy, pope says in new book

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Being ministers of God’s mercy, church members overcome “prejudice and rigidity,” taking risks like Jesus did in order to heal and to save, Pope Francis said.

    In Jesus’ day, lepers were cast out of the community “to avoid contamination: the healthy needed to be protected,” but Jesus, at his own risk, “goes up to the leper and he restores him, he heals him,” Pope Francis said in a new book-length interview on mercy.

    “By welcoming a

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    Priests’ Formation Days offer spiritual growth for clergy

    The Continuing Formation of the Clergy Committee holds Annual Priests’ Formation Days on the second full week in January. These formation days are one of the important ways in which the priests of our diocese are formed for ministry. They offer the priests opportunities for growth in intellectual and spiritual formation, emotional maturity and physical well-being. Since these days are offered once a year, and is a commitment by the diocese for their on-going formation, participation by the priests

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    Pope recognizes miracle needed to declare Mother Teresa a saint

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, thus paving the way for her canonization.

    Pope Francis signed the decree for Blessed Teresa’s cause and advanced three other sainthood causes Dec. 17, the Vatican announced.

    Although the date for the canonization ceremony will be officially announced during the next consistory of cardinals in February, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Vatican

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    Jubilee spree: Year of Mercy beefs up pope’s already busy year

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – When Pope Francis established the Year of Mercy, a full slate of Jubilee events were slotted into his already packed calendar for 2016.

    A typical “business as usual” year for a pope is already full with meetings, liturgies and foreign trips.

    But then add the extraordinary Jubilee Year, which will run until Nov. 20, and the pope will now preside over at least one major public ceremony or event

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    In Rome or at home, Catholics urged to take part in Year of Mercy

    VATICAN CITY – (CNS) Whether in Rome or at home, Catholics will have a variety of ways to take part in the Year of Mercy.

    The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization, the office organizing events for the Holy Year, presented details about some of the events planned at the Vatican and the services available for pilgrims.

    Pope Francis used a “very simple” ceremony to open the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica

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    Glorify God and serve others

    Bishop Stanley J. Ott envisioned a ministry of support for many good works, an annual campaign that might enjoy the blessing of unending commitment. In 1985 he established the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. In this commemorative anniversary effort, “Glorify God and Serve Others,” we celebrate and continue 30 years of vital ministry through the BAA and graciously ask for your participation and support.

    By God’s grace and the generosity of caring parishioners, the BAA has

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    Tear down this wall: Holy Year calls for human barriers to tumble down

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – For a spiritual leader who denounces a world divided by walls, a church shuttered by cliques and hearts hardened to compassion, opening wide the Holy Door for the Year of Mercy will be a significant and symbolic moment for Pope Francis.

    In Catholic tradition, the Holy Door represents the passage to salvation – the path to a new and eternal life, which was opened to humanity by Jesus.

    It also symbolizes an entryway to God’s mercy

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    Vatican spokesman confirms money laundering investigation

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Investigations into money laundering, insider trading and market manipulation through a Vatican office were launched after an initial report was filed by the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority in February 2015, the Vatican spokesman said.

    Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, issued a statement Nov. 4 about the investigations involving the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. The office, known by its Italian acronym APSA, handles the Vatican’s investment portfolio and its real estate holdings.

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    St. Maria Goretti veneration a powerful spiritual experience

    The pilgrimage of Mercy held at Our Lady of Mercy Church, Baton Rouge, the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 1 featuring the sacred remains of St. Maria Goretti was a powerful spiritual experience for the thousands of people who participated. The large crowd who attended manifested a reverential spirit and disposition. Special thanks to Father Brad Doyle who helped arrange the visit and to Father Cleo Milano and parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy who facilitated the events.

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    Synod report urges ‘accompaniment’ tailored to family situations

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – While not specifically mentioning the controversial proposal of a path toward full reconciliation and Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family handed Pope Francis a report emphasizing an obligation to recognize that not all Catholics in such a situation bear the same amount of blame.

    The 94-paragraph report approved Oct. 24, the last working day of the three-week synod, highlighted the role of pastors in helping couples understand church teaching, grow in faith and

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    Take a positive approach to families, synod members say

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The first week of the Synod of Bishops on the family ended with near unanimous calls to be more positive in describing family life today and to show more appreciation for Catholic families living close to the church’s ideals. But there were also widespread questions among synod participants about the work they are expected to produce.

    After listening to speeches and working in small groups Oct. 5-8, synod participants listened to the small group reports Oct. 9.

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    Bishop’s Annual Appeal a timely invitation to help shape the future

    Pope Francis’ recent trip to America was a historic event that honored the blessing of family, the promise of youth and our commitment to faith on behalf of generations to come. Illustrated by this visit to Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia, celebratory gatherings of God’s people are transformative events.

    As was true at the World Meeting of Families, the needs of families and youth have been a primary focus of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal from the beginning. During his tenure,

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    Pope calls on Europe’s parishes, religious houses to take in refugees

    Catholic News Service

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Given the ongoing crisis of people fleeing from war and poverty, Pope Francis asked every parish and religious community in Europe to take in a family of refugees as a concrete sign of hope and God’s mercy.

    Migrants wait for trains at Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary Sept. 8.

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    Priest retreat a sacrifice worth making

    Dear People of God of the Diocese of Baton Rouge,

    Your pastor will be attending a mandatory priest retreat from Monday, Oct. 5, through Thursday, Oct. 8. I know this may affect certain regular ministries, such as daily Mass and funerals. The daily Mass schedule in your parish can be adjusted as determined by your parish priest to meet the needs of your parish during this retreat. While this is a sacrifice, I consider this sacrifice worth making. Regarding funerals,

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    Bishop Muench encourages support, prayer for 40 Days for Life

    As part of our respect life efforts, I am encouraging all the people of our diocese to support the 40 Days for Life campaign. This marks the fifth year that we have joined New Orleans, Shreveport and cities around the world in this simultaneous pro-life effort. Last year in Baton Rouge alone, more than 1,300 people became actively involved in the campaign, and 21 babies were confirmed saved from the evil of abortion.

    This year

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    Vatican Museums’ app gathers funds and art fans

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – By downloading an app for a smartphone or tablet, members of the public can chat with others about famous works of art in the Vatican Museums, share strategies for dealing with the crowds and choose a work to help restore.

    “Patrum,” the new app from the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, launched in mid-August. Part social network and part crowdsourcing, the app lets museum fans communicate with each other and make donations online.

    The app

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    Bishop Robert W. Muench’s 2015 Fall Schedule




    Sacrament of Confirmation

    Sunday, Oct. 11 9:30 a.m. St. Catherine of Siena Donaldsonville

    Tuesday, Oct. 13 7 p.m. St. John the Evangelist Prairieville

    Monday, Oct. 19 7 p.m. Holy Ghost Hammond

    Wednesday, Oct. 21 7 p.m. St. Thomas More Baton Rouge

    Monday, Nov. 9 7 p.m. St. Jude

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    Katrina: Some personal reflections a decade later

    The Setting. On a Saturday morning after the flood waters in New Orleans had receded, I drove to the residence where my parents had lived prior to Hurricane Katrina (from which they had evacuated with my sister, Mary, and her husband Frank, to Memphis beforehand) in the Gentilly neighborhood of the city. I was not prepared for what I saw when I took the Elysian Fields Avenue exit from the Interstate 610 elevated expressway. I felt as if I had entered “The Twilight Zone” (the science-fiction TV series).

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    Under new system, Vatican budgets show previously unreported assets

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Under new reporting procedures that are more in line with international accounting standards, the Holy See reported $1 billion in net assets that had never been reported before and in a consolidated form.

    The Vatican’s final figures for 2014 also showed a continued budget deficit on the part of the Roman Curia and nearly double the profits brought in by entities falling under the separate Vatican City State budget.

    In fact, the profits coming from the

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