More Stories
Telegram for victims of Munich attack

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis expressed his condolences for the victims of the attack that took place in Munich on Friday. In a telegram addressed to Cardinal Reinhard Marx , the Archbishop of Munich, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Pope Francis “shares in the pain of the survivors and expresses to them his closeness in suffering,” and “entrusts the departed, in prayer, to the mercy of God.” The Pope also thanked emergency service personnel and security forces for “their attentive and generous service.” Cardinal Parolin concluded the telegram with the Pope’s prayer that Christ “the Lord of Life,” might “give comfort and consolation to all.” Here is the full text of the telegram sent to Cardinal Reinhard Marx: His Eminence Cardinal Reinhard Marx Archbishop of Munich and Freising Pope Francis has noted with consternation the news of the terrible act of violence which occurred in Munich, in which several persons, mostly young people, were killed, and many others were gravely wounded. His Holiness shares in the pain of the survivors and expresses to them his closeness in suffering. He entrusts the departed in prayer to the mercy of God. He expresses his deep sympathy to all those who were wounded in this attack, and thanks the rescue service personnel and the security forces for their attentive and generous service. Pope Francis beseeches Christ, the Lord of Life, to give comfort and consolation to all, and imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of hope. (from Vatican Radio)...

A summer retreat with Pope Francis

Summer, with its hot days, long hours and different schedule offers the perfect opportunity to vacation, whether it be far from home or just by exploring one’s own neighborhood with new eyes. It also offers the perfect opportunity to take a retreat, to draw closer to the Lord and reflect on the ways one has grown or struggled in faith over the past year. Pope Francis prays during Mass in the chapel of St. Martha’s guesthouse at the Vatican Nov. 6, 2015. CNS photos/L’Osservatore Romano, handout A retreat can be an organized event with opportunities to grow in the faith and meet others on the same journey, or it can be as simple as extra time spent in prayer. Often, participants at formal retreats come away with a deeper knowledge of the Lord, themselves, friends and the spirituality they encountered on the retreat. As such, one can only imagine the benefits from attending a retreat led by Pope Francis. Aside from the amazing opportunity to pray with the Holy Father, it would be a chance to listen to the words of the pope and to learn his spiritual vision for the Church. Fortunately for us, Pope Francis gives us that opportunity with his daily homilies. While Pope Francis has provided the secular media with plenty of off-the-cuff remarks to send them spinning, the beauty and simplicity of his thought comes through in the text of his often overlooked daily homilies. Shortly after his election, Pope Francis began celebrating daily Mass in the chapel of St. Martha’s guesthouse, where he was staying at the time, and invited various members of Vatican staff — from gardeners and trash collectors to curia and government staff — to attend. Over the three years of his pontificate, Pope Francis has continued to offer his daily Mass, with the text of his homily published daily by L’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio. Homilies online OSV Newsweekly has been publishing Pope Francis’ daily homilies online at OSVNews.com. For other sources, visit: ◗ vatican.va and click on “daily meditations” ◗ en.radiovatican.va/news/pope-francis/homilies Based closely on the readings of the day, the pope draws from Scripture a message that is simple, practical and challenging. He envisions the Church not as closed in on itself but as generously embracing the poor and the marginalized in an effort to heal their wounds. He sees memory as the first step of renewal and confident prayer as key to growing in our relationship with Christ. For the pope, the examination of conscience is the touchstone of the spiritual life so as to avoid lukewarmness, hypocrisy and gossip. A person who follows the pope’s advice will exhibit humility and joy, which Pope Francis says are the hallmarks of a Christian. During July and August, the pope often makes his own retreat, so to speak, by taking a break from his daily homilies to set aside time to study, rest and prepare for events such as World Youth Day. As Pope Francis takes a break from his daily homilies, it’s an opportune moment for us to step back and examine the messages the pope has been giving us every day for the past three years. Here are five themes to explore in your own summer retreat with Pope Francis. Amy Marter is OSV Newsweekly’s 2016 summer intern. "To remember our history, and how the Lord has saved us, is a beautiful thing." May 13, 2013 Remember your first love Memory is essential to the Christian, according to Pope Francis, who says that “a Christian with no memory is not a true Christian” (May 13, 2013). From memory springs our identity as children of God and our prayers of thanksgiving for all God has done for us. Thus, Pope Francis likes to draw attention to a special moment for each Christian with the phrase “remember your first love.” Living Memories As a special challenge of this retreat, here are three ways to live out Pope Francis’ words: ◗ Spend time in prayer reflecting with the Lord on your own moment of “first love.” ◗ Celebrate the day of your baptism, or another transformative day in your ...

Pope to contemplative nuns: The Church needs you!

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican on Friday published a new Apostolic Constitution, Vultum Dei quaerere (Seeking the Face of God), On Women’s Contemplative Life. The promotion of an adequate formation; the centrality of prayer and of the word of God, especially in lectio divina ; specific criteria for the autonomy of contemplative communities; and membership of monasteries within federations are some of the main points addressed by Pope Francis in the new Apostolic Constitution. In the introduction to Vultum Dei quaerere , Pope Francis explains the motivation behind the document, noting the journey the Church has undergone, and “the rapid progress of human history,” in the fifty years since the Second Vatican Council. From that starting point, the Pope points out the need “to weave a dialogue” with contemporary society, while preserving the “fundational values” of contemplative life – silence, attentive listening, the call to an interior life, stability. Through these values, the Pope says, contemplative life “can and must challenge the contemporary mindset.” The document is introduced by a broad discussion of the importance of nuns and the contemplative life for the Church and the world. Addressing contemplative sisters, the Pope asks, “Without you what would the Church be like, or those living on the fringes of humanity and ministering in the outposts of evangelization?” The Church, he says, “greatly esteems your life of complete self-giving.  The Church counts on your prayers and on your self-sacrifice to bring today’s men and women to the good news of the Gospel.  The Church needs you!” The bulk of the document is taken up with a reflection on twelve themes calling for discernment and renewed norms. Among these, Pope Francis calls special attention to the need for adequate formation, to prayer, and to the centrality of the Word of God. The new document concludes with a series of fourteen articles that set the Pope’s reflections in juridical terms, notably with regard to formation and vocational discernment; the exercise of authority within communities; the autonomy of the various communities; and their relationships to one another – especially in federations. The final article establishes that the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life will be responsible for issuing new regulations with regard to the indications of the Apostolic Constitution. (from Vatican Radio)...

Editor’s Notebook: In depth with Archbishop Pierre; charges dropped in Twin Cities; WYD countdown; 'Amoris Laetitia’ reflections

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., says the role of bishops is to help ‘the people know Jesus’ Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., backs Archbishop Chaput : Marriage/Communion guidelines apply "not only in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but also here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, as it does elsewhere in the Church.’ Nearby, Archbishop Cupich of Chicago begins new series of reflections on ‘Amoris Laetitia' Archdiocese of Minnesota admits wrongdoing in clergy sexual abuse case , prosecutors drop criminal charges At Crisis: More women are addicted to porn than you think From the Catholic Herald: Liberal Catholicism’s unexpected crisis John Allen on the countdown to World Youth Day, Krakow And: Not traveling this summer? Here’s the expert’s guide to an armchair pilgrimage Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.

Fr Lombardi briefs journalists on Papal WYD trip

(Vatican Radio) The upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Poland for World Youth Day celebrations in Krakow was the subject of a detailed briefing for journalists in the Press Office of the Holy See on Wednesday, conducted by the Press Office’s outgoing Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ. Essentially, the briefing was an in-depth look at the Holy Father’s published schedule for the three-day visit to the native land of his predecessor, Pope St. John Paul II, who began the World Youth Day tradition in 1986. One issue that emerged in the question-and-answer session with journalists that followed the briefing proper was that of security, and especially of the “atmosphere” surrounding the event. “All the messages I’ve seen seem sincere and are of tranquility,” said Fr. Lombardi. “There are no particular concerns in Poland over security,” he added. Fr. Lombardi also said that he has not heard of any groups withdrawing due to security concerns. “It seems to me,” he said, regarding the general atmpsphere, “to be a climate of great normality and tranquility.” (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope reflects on Lord's Prayer in Angelus address

(Vatican Radio) In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis focused on Jesus’ teaching on prayer, from the day’s Gospel. When the Apostles asked the Lord to teach them to pray, Jesus responded, “When you pray, say ‘Father…’” This word, “Father,” the Pope said, is the “secret” of the prayer of Jesus – “it is the key that He Himself gives us so that we too can enter into that relationship of confidential dialogue with the Father.” Moving on to the various petitions addressed to God in the Lord’s Prayer, Pope Francis said the first two petitions, “hallowed be Thy Name,” and “Thy kingdom come” are associated with the name “Father.” Jesus’ prayer – and thus Christian prayer – consists first of all in making room for God, allowing Him to act in our lives. St Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer than continues with three more petitions, which express our fundamental needs: for bread, for forgiveness, and for help in temptations. We ask in prayer for bread which is necessary, not superfluous; we ask, in the first place, for forgiveness of our own sins, so that we might be capable of “concrete acts of fraternal reconciliation”; and we ask that we might not be lead into temptation, because we know we are weak, “always exposed to the snares of wickedness and of corruption.” The two parables following the Lord’s Prayer teach us “to have full confidence in God, who is Father.” God does not need our prayer to discover what we need, or to be convinced to give it to us. Rather, Pope Francis said, we pray so that our faith and patience might be strengthened, so that we might “struggle” together with God for those things that are most important and necessary. And that which is most important, but which, the Pope said, we almost never ask for, is the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit helps us to live well, to live with wisdom and love, doing the will of God. “What a beautiful prayer it would be,” Pope Francis said, if in the coming week, “each one of us would ask of the Father, “Father, give me the Holy Spirit.”  (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope appeals for prayers for peace after terrorist attacks

(Vatican Radio) Following the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis once again called for prayer for goodness and fraternity in the wake of recent acts of terrorism and violence. “At this time our soul is once again moved by sad news related to deplorable acts of terrorism and of violence, which have caused sorrow and death,” the Pope said. “I think of the dramatic events in Munich in Germany, and in Kabul in Afghanistan, where many innocent people lost their lives.” He assured the family and friends of the victims of his spiritual closeness to them. The Holy Father also called on people to join him in prayer “that the Lord might inspire in everyone intentions of goodness and fraternity.” The more “difficulties might seem insurmountable, and prospects of security and peace seem obscure,” he said, “the more insistent must our prayer be.” Finally, after a few moments of silent prayer, Pope Francis led those gathered in Saint Peter’s Square in the recitation of the Ave Maria . (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope's envoy in South Sudan in pursuit of peace-building

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a special envoy to South Sudan to urge for an end to violence in the country and to help establish dialogue and trust between the warring parties. Cardinal Peter Turkson , president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, travelled to the capital Juba this week to give support to the Archbishop and to meet with the country’s leaders. He carried with him a letter from the Pope for President Salva Kiir and one for Vice President Riek Machar who are historic enemies and represent the different ethnic groups. For almost a year, South Sudan has been trying to emerge from a civil war caused by political rivalry between the Vice President and the President.  Violent clashes across the city have left tens of thousands of people dead since December 2013 and a recent flare-up of fighting has caused more casualties, scores of displaced people and a serious humanitarian crisis. Although a cease-fire is currently in effect in Juba, the threat of more violence continues to loom large. Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni asked Cardinal Turkson to illustrate the current situation and talk about the Church’s effort to push forward a peaceful process. Listen : Cardinal Peter Turkson says he arrived in Juba last Sunday early enough to celebrate Mass with the faithful, the Archbishop, the priests and the religious. “To put it mildly: the situation is tough” he says. He says the violence which flared on the 5th anniversary of the country’s independence recurs intermittently between the warring forces causing a lot of deaths.  And, he explained, it is also very hard on the civilian population who flee the violence to save their lives leaving their homes to be looted. occupied or destroyed. “A lot of the women and children and even boys have sought refuge in Churches and in schools – and that is where they live – and the priests and brothers and nuns try to take care of them as best as they can” he says. But Turkson says the situation is desperate and security levels are low. He says the authorities he has met with have promised to do their best to put a programme of reform on course towards elections in 2018.  Turkson explains that the process has been derailed by recent events but the President maintains the course can be resumed. “We brought them the greetings of the Pope, his solidarity, two letters he had addressed to the President and to the Vice President – the two protagonists of the conflict” he says. The Cardinal says his own effort was “to try to get them to come together at some point, to see if we could facilitate a reconciliation, to help them build some trust and confidence in each other”. Turkson also speaks of the urgent need for help and says he has already contacted Cor Unum in Rome to see what assistance can be organized in terms of medication. He explains that the displaced population is living in the open and in classrooms and are victims of mosquito bites so there is malaria, dysentery, “there’s even talk about cholera in some areas”. “So there’s a need for medication and there’s a need for food supplies” he says. Cardinal Turkson concludes expressing his hope that upon his return to Rome later this week it will be possible to send some concrete aid back to the archbishop “as a help from the side of the Holy See”.                     (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope issues rules to help contemplative women be beacons for world

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an effort to help contemplative women religious renew their life and mission in the church and the world, Pope Francis issued a series of new rulings dealing with formation, assets, prayer life, authority and autonomy. The new rulings include a mandate that "initially, all monasteries are to be part of a federation" based on "an affinity of spirit and traditions" with the aim of facilitating formation and meeting needs through sharing assets and exchanging members. Monasteries voting for an exception from joining a federation will need Vatican approval. All institutes of contemplative women religious will need to revise or update their constitutions or rules so as to implement the new norms and have those changes approved by the Holy See. Titled "Vultum Dei Quaerere" (Seeking the face of God), the document focuses on the life of contemplative women religious. Dated June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, it was released by the Vatican July 22, the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. The 38-page document contains 14 new articles ruling on various aspects of life within monasteries and their jurisdiction, including a regulation outlining the criteria needed for a monastery to retain juridical autonomy or else be absorbed by another entity or face closure. The Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life is now charged with creating a new instruction to replace what had been the current -- but now no longer in effect -- "Verbi Sponsa" -- the congregation's 1999 instruction on contemplative life and cloistered nuns. Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the congregation, told reporters July 22 that the new apostolic constitution is meant to fill the legislative gaps that have become apparent since Pope Pius XII's apostolic constitution "Sponsa Christi," issued 66 years ago. The bulk of the new document outlines 12 aspects of consecrated life that call for "discernment and renewed norms" in an effort to help contemplative women fulfill their specific vocation and "essential elements of contemplative life," the pope wrote. The document also notes today's pervasive "digital culture" and praises the potential of internet for formation and communication. However, the pope calls for "prudent discernment" in the use of new media so that they don't lead women to "wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community" or become harmful to one's vocation or an obstacle to contemplative life. The pope praised contemplative women and expressed the church's long-held esteem for men and women who chose to follow Christ "more closely" by dedicating their lives to him "with an undivided heart" and in a prophetic way. Underlining how much the church and humanity need their prayers, self-sacrifice and evangelizing witness, the pope said it was not easy for today's world to understand their "particular vocation and your hidden mission; and yet it needs them immensely." Like beacons of light, contemplative women are "torches to guide men and women along their journey through the dark night of time," pointing the way to the new dawn and the truth and life of Christ, the pope said. They are "like Mary Magdalene on Easter morning, announce to us: 'I have seen the Lord!'" and Mary, the Mother of God, who contemplates the mystery of God in order to see the world "with spiritual eyes." However, contemplative life can "meet with subtle temptations" -- the most dangerous being: listlessness, falling into mere routine, lack of enthusiasm and hope, and "paralyzing lethargy," he said. To that end, the pope highlighted 12 aspects of contemplative and monastic life that needed particular attention and renewed norms for women: formation; prayer; the word of God; the sacraments of the Eucharist and reconciliation; fraternal life in community; autonomy; federations; the cloister; work; silence; media; and asceticism. The document includes clearer regulations saying that ...

Archbishop Gregory to chair USCCB task force on race

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta has been appointed as chair of a new task force of the U.S. bishops to deal with racial issues brought into public consciousness following a series of summertime shootings that left both citizens and police officers among those dead. The task force's charge includes helping bishops to engage directly the challenging problems highlighted by the shootings. Task force members will gather and disseminate supportive resources and "best practices" for their fellow bishops; actively listening to the concerns of members in troubled communities and law enforcement; and build strong relationships to help prevent and resolve conflicts. "By stepping forward to embrace the suffering, through unified, concrete action animated by the love of Christ, we hope to nurture peace and build bridges of communication and mutual aid in our own communities," said a July 21 statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition to creating the task force and appointing its members, Archbishop Kurtz also called for a national day of prayer for peace in our communities, to be held Sept. 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver. Archbishop Gregory is a former USCCB president. Other task force members are Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Social Development; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for African-American Affairs; Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and retired Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, who is president of the National Black Catholic Congress. The day of prayer, according to a July 21 USCCB announcement about the task force's formation, will "serve as a focal point for the work of the task force." The task force's work will conclude with the USCCB's fall general meeting in November, at which time it will report on its activities and recommendations for future work. "I have stressed the need to look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence," Archbishop Kurtz said. "The day of prayer and special task force will help us advance in that direction." The task force will have bishop consultants, including Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is USCCB vice president, as well as bishops whose jurisdictions have experienced extreme gun violence, or who otherwise bring special insight or experience on related questions. An equal or smaller number of lay consultants with relevant expertise will be appointed soon thereafter, the USCCB announcement said. "I am honored to lead this task force which will assist my brother bishops, individually and as a group, to accompany suffering communities on the path toward peace and reconciliation," said Archbishop Gregory in a July 21 statement. "We are one body in Christ, so we must walk with our brothers and sisters and renew our commitment to promote healing. The suffering is not somewhere else, or someone else's; it is our own, in our very dioceses."

Family gives ‘hearts to soles’ for homeless

The next time you ponder which pair of shoes to wear in your closet, consider the homeless who wear the same pair every day. That’s what Dr. Matt Conti, 27, a graduate of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and a first year resident at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, recalled thinking the first time he volunteered at the wound care center of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh at age 14. “It was an eye-opening experience, because the wounds that people came in with can be really horrific,” he said. “Spending time in the wound center showed me how much people take for granted, for example, properly fitted shoes.” In 2004, his high school volunteer experience inspired him to found a nonprofit, charitable organization in Pittsburgh called Our Hearts to Your Soles to provide free foot care, fittings and comfortable shoes to the homeless. Helping the Homeless The Conti family’s organization has provided shoes to thousands of homeless people since 2006. To learn more about the organization or how you can help, visit heartstosoles.com or facebook.com/heartstosoles . “I think homeless men and women are more active than people believe and often walk many miles a day, and if they’re walking a lot, they can be vulnerable to pressure ulcers,” Conti said. “Just to be able to help someone walk around in a comfortable pair of shoes is worth pursuing. It can make a big difference in someone’s quality of life.” Tom Kneier, administrator of St. Joseph House of Hospitality, a residential program for older homeless men or men at risk of homelessness, in Pittsburgh, sees residents with diabetes and serious conditions that require professional foot care. Most homeless do not have the means to access public transportation and walk to medical appointments, mental health appointments, recovery meetings, job sites, food stores and interview locations. Kneier said homeless have the pair of shoes they’re wearing. “The men at St. Joe’s and men at temporary shelters typically rely on places that give out donated items,” he said. “But there’s no guarantee that their shoe size is in stock. So they often end up taking whatever is available.” Currently, Our Hearts to Your Soles annually serves 8,000 homeless men and women in 35 to 40 sites across the United States, including Puerto Rico. So far, they have shoed more than 50,000 people since they started. It is the first charity to provide free medical foot care, fittings, new shoes and socks for the homeless in the country. Matt’s first step in setting up the organization was to speak with his father, Dr. Stephen Conti, an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh. Together, they developed a business plan and ways to obtain donations. After a year of planning, the first event was held on Feb. 24, 2006, at Light of Life Rescue Mission on Pittsburgh’s north side. Matt, Stephen Conti and some of his colleagues, Colaizzi Pedorthic Center in Bellevue and Hanger Orthopedics Group treated toenails, calluses and sores, completed fittings and gave new orthotic shoes to approximately 50 homeless men. A few months later, a second event was held in central Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and provided foot care and shoes to some 50-75 homeless men. By November 2007, the organization had expanded nationally with sites in 23 states and served approximately 3,000 homeless. The same year, they partnered with Soles4Souls, an international nonprofit in Nashville, Tennessee, that distributes the shoes to sites, and Red Wing Shoes, an American footwear company in Red Wing, Minnesota, that donates 6,000 pairs of Red Wing boots every year. Besides his father, Matt is supported by his sister, Laura, with national outreach; brother, Chris, who started a supplemental charity called Socks2Soles in 2010; and their mother, Carol, who manages and coordinates locations. The family belongs to Sts. John and Paul parish in Franklin Park outside of Pittsburgh. ...

Editor’s Notebook: Pope sends video greeting to WYD youth; LA movie theater ad invites viewers to church; Greg Erlandson named CNS director, editor-in-chief

Pope Francis sends video greeting to youth ahead of World Youth Day in Krakow Inspired by Pope Francis, California legal clinic offers legal services AP on the ‘Amoris’ struggle: Vatican ratchets up defense of pope’s family document Former OSV publisher Greg Erlandson named Catholic News Service director, editor-in-chief Russell Shaw on violence, race and rediscovering America’s values Louisiana lay leader is connecting young Latinos with the Church Watch: The Archdiocese of New Orleans will run a 15-second ad at movie theaters inviting viewers to “Come join us!” And: Pope Francis marries young deaf couple at his Casa Santa Marta residence! Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.

Former Our Sunday Visitor publisher named CNS director, editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Greg Erlandson, former president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, has been named director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service, effective Sept. 12. Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the appointment July 20. "Greg brings a remarkable combination of management expertise, journalism skills and demonstrated service to the church at the national and international level. I am confident he will prove to be an important resource to clients of CNS," Msgr. Bransfield said in a statement. Erlandson, 62, stepped down from his position at OSV in Huntington, Indiana, after nearly 27 years with the company. He was named OSV editor in 1989 and was promoted to editor-in-chief of its editorial operations in 1992. He was named president and publisher in 2000. "CNS is one of the gifts of the U.S. church to the rest of the Catholic world," Erlandson said in response to an email asking for comment. "It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of so many great directors of the news service, and I am humbled by the opportunity to join our colleagues at the bishops' conference in serving our fellow Catholics." "Catholic News Service has for decades been the backbone of the Catholic press," he told CNS. "It has enabled diocesan media to have a dependable source of national and international news, of great columnists and great features. It has also provided timely and trustworthy reporting to a wide variety of Catholic publications and organizations as well as to bishops and communicators around the world." Erlandson worked for CNS from 1986 to 1989. After a brief time in the Washington office, he worked at the CNS Rome bureau until he left to become editor at OSV. "So I expect to feel a little deja vu," he said, calling his time with CNS in Rome "life-changing." "My years in Italy changed the way I viewed both my church and my country, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity Richard Daw (then-CNS editor-in-chief) made available to me," Erlandson said. "I have always felt like I've remained part of the CNS family. I've kept in touch with my colleagues in Washington and I've visited the bureau whenever I've been in Rome." Since he was with CNS, the CNS offices -- in the USCCB headquarters -- is in a different part of Washington and CNS has new staff members, new resources -- such as video and social media -- and "new challenges," he said. "So this feels a tiny bit like coming home and a whole lot like a brand new opportunity." Erlandson succeeds Tony Spence, who resigned in April after 12 years as editor-in-chief. James Rogers, USCCB chief communications officer, took over CNS administrative duties while a search process took place for a successor. Msgr. Bransfield thanked CNS staff "for their focus and hard work during this period of transition" and thanked Rogers and the search committee for their work. Erlandson studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism of the University of California at Berkeley. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Early in his career, he was editor of the National Catholic Register. Over the years, Erlandson has had an active role as an advocate for the Catholic press. He served as president of Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada from 2011 to 2013 and continued on the organization's board after his term. He has been appointed twice as a consultant to the USCCB's Committee on Communications, and he has been a consultant for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He completed a stint in 2015 on a committee working to reform the Vatican's communications arm that led to the creation of the new Vatican Secretariat for Communications. In June, he received the Bishop John England Award from the CPA during the Catholic Media Conference in St. Louis. Last February, he was inducted into the Association of ...

Schedule of Pope’s Assisi pilgrimage released

(Vatican Radio) More details have been released about Pope Francis’ upcoming pilgrimage for the eighth centenary of Franciscan feast of the “Pardon of Assisi.” On 4 Aug, the Pope will make a private pilgrimage to Assisi , a small medieval town in the Italian region of Umbria known for being the birthplace of the Franciscan order. While there, he will pray in the Porziuncola chapel, where the feast of the “Pardon of Assisi” originated. According to new details released on the local website for the Franciscan order , the Holy Father will arrive in Assisi by helicopter at 3:40pm. At 4pm, he will arrive at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, inside which the small Porziuncola chapel is located. There, he will take a moment of silent prayer in the chapel, before offering a reflection on the Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35. Afterwards, Pope Francis will meet with Franciscan bishops and superiors, and then will greet pilgrims gathered in the piazza outside the basilica. At 6pm, the Pope will be taken by car to the Migaghelli sports field, before travelling back to the Vatican via helicopter. Over the course of his short visit, the Pope will be received by several local religious authorities, including Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi-Nocera, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor Fr Michael Anthony Perry, and provincial minister of the Friars Minor of Umbria, Fr Claudio Durighetto. (from Vatican Radio)...

More posts are loading...