Tag Archives: rio de janeiro

Reflections from Pope Francis for the Church in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 28, 2013 (Zenit.org)

On Saturday in Rio, Pope Francis met with the bishops of Brazil, telling them that more than a formal address, he wanted to share with them some reflections.

Below are some of the highlights of those reflections:

— In the context of a consideration of the discovery of Our Lady of Aparecida, the Pope said this: “The fishermen do not dismiss the mystery encountered in the river, even if it is a mystery which seems incomplete. They do not throw away the pieces of the mystery. They await its completion. And this does not take long to come. There is a wisdom here that we need to learn. There are pieces of the mystery, like the stones of a mosaic, which we encounter, which we see. We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly. The Church also has to learn how to wait.”

— Reflecting on lessons from the disciples of Emmaus, he offered this: “Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Perhaps the Church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas, perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions; perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age.4 It is a fact that nowadays there are many people like the two disciples of Emmaus; not only those looking for answers in the new religious groups that are sprouting up, but also those who already seem godless, both in theory and in practice.
Faced with this situation, what are we to do?

We need a Church unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a Church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren, fruitless soil, incapable of generating meaning.”

— “I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable of warming hearts? A Church capable of leading people back to Jerusalem? Of bringing them home? Jerusalem is where our roots are: Scripture, catechesis, sacraments, community, friendship with the Lord, Mary and the apostles… Are we still able to speak of these roots in a way that will revive a sense of wonder at their beauty?
Many people have left because they were promised something more lofty, more powerful, and faster.
But what is more lofty than the love revealed in Jerusalem? Nothing is more lofty than the abasement of the Cross, since there we truly approach the height of love! Are we still capable of demonstrating this truth to those who think that the apex of life is to be found elsewhere?”

— Regarding challenges facing the Church in Brazil, he made these comments: “Formation as a priority: Bishops, priests, religious, laity

Dear brothers, unless we train ministers capable of warming people’s hearts, of walking with them in the night, of dialoguing with their hopes and disappointments, of mending their brokenness, what hope can we have for our present and future journey? It isn’t true that God’s presence has been dimmed in them. Let us learn to look at things more deeply. What is missing is someone to warm their heart, as was the case with the disciples of Emmaus”

— “What is needed is a solid human, cultural, effective, spiritual and doctrinal formation.6 Dear brother Bishops, courage is needed to undertake a profound review of the structures in place for the formation and preparation of the clergy and the laity of the Church in Brazil. It is not enough that formation be considered a vague priority, either in documents or at meetings. What is needed is the practical wisdom to set up lasting educational structures on the local, regional and national levels and to take them to heart as Bishops, without sparing energy, concern and personal interest. The present situation calls for quality formation at every level. Bishops may not delegate this task. You cannot delegate this task, but must embrace it as something fundamental for the journey of your Churches.”

— “Concerning mission, we need to remember that its urgency derives from its inner motivation; in other words, it is about handing on a legacy. As for method, it is essential to realize that a legacy is about witness, it is like the baton in a relay race: you don’t throw it up in the air for whoever is able to catch it, so that anyone who doesn’t catch it has to manage without. In order to transmit a legacy, one needs to hand it over personally, to touch the one to whom one wants to give, to relay, this inheritance.”

— “Concerning pastoral conversion, I would like to recall that ‘pastoral care’ is nothing other than the exercise of the Church’s motherhood. She gives birth, suckles, gives growth, corrects, nourishes and leads by the hand … So we need a Church capable of rediscovering the maternal womb of mercy. Without mercy we have little chance nowadays of becoming part of a world of ‘wounded’ persons in need of understanding, forgiveness, love.”

— Regarding the Church in society, Francis said: “In the context of society, there is only one thing which the Church quite clearly demands: the freedom to proclaim

From zenith.org

World Youth Day opens at Copacabana

(Vatican Radio) Copacabana beach was the place to be on Tuesday evening as thousands of people flocked to the famed spot to be part of the Mass celebrating the opening of World Youth Day. Our correspondent Seàn Patrick Lovett was there and sends this report.

The Concho Padre

Pope Francis has free day

Pope Francis is pretty much taking the day off, resting up after the long flight to Rio and all the welcoming ceremonies. Good idea, because he has a grueling schedule for the rest of the World Youth Day activities!

The Concho Padre

Pope Francis: welcome ceremony in Brazil

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, beginning a week-long Apostolic visit to mark the twenty-eighth World Youth Day. After a brief formal greeting at Rio’s Galeão airport, the Holy Father proceeded to Guanabara Palace for the official Welcoming Ceremony, where he was received by the President of Brazil, Dilma Vana Rousseff Linhares, the Governor of Rio State, Sergio Cabral Filho, and the Mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes.

In her formal remarks, the President expressed joy and gratitude at the Holy Father’s visit. The Holy Father returned those sentiments, and placed his visit in the context of World Youth Day. The Holy Father went on to offer particular encouragement to the young participants, to their families, and to those responsible for forming and empowering the new generation to take up their responsibilities as the future leaders of humanity.

After the exchange of speeches, the Pope and the President retired for a private meeting, during which Francis presented Mrs. Rousseff with a mosaic realized by the Vatican Mosaic Studio according to the centuries-old techniques used to apply the mosaics in St. Peter’s Basilica, and depicting a panoramic view of Rio from just behind and above the great Statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Read more, including full text of Pope Francis’ remarks.

The Concho Padre

On the Papal Plane to Brazil

Here is a report from Catholic News Service on Pope Francis’ encounter with the journalists traveling on the papal plane to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

The Concho Padre

Pope to young people on eve of departure for Rio

(Vatican Radio) On the eve of his departure to Brazil for the World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis from the window of the apostolic palace asked those present in St Peter’s Square to accompany him spiritually in prayer for this his first Apostolic visit He also entrusted what he called “this new stage of the great pilgrimage of young people across the world”, to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who he added, is so loved and venerated in Brazil.

The Holy Father was speaking following the recitation of the Angelus underlining that at this time, young people should listen to the voice of Jesus. The week of World Youth Day said the Pope could also be called “World Youth Week as it is a week devoted to youth.Peering down at the huge crowds in St Peter’s Square Pope Francis noticed a banner held up by a group of pilgrims, which read “Buon Viaggio” or “have a good trip”. He smiled and thanked them for their good wishes.

The Pope on Sunday also focused his attention on the Gospel reading from Luke which recounts the story of Martha and Mary and their brother Lazarus.

Pope Francis described how both sisters offered hospitality to Jesus on his visit to their house, but in different ways. Mary places herself at the feet of Jesus while Martha is busy preparing things. The Holy Father explained that both of these disciplines, service and prayer are needed to serve the Lord, “they are not two opposing attitudes but, on the contrary both are two aspects essential to our Christian life aspects that should never be separated, but lived in profound unity and harmony.”

Even in our Christian lives, continued the Pope, prayer and action are always deeply united. A prayer that does not lead to concrete action towards a poor brother, who is sick, and in need of help, is a prayer that is sterile and incomplete. But, equally, Pope Francis said, when in ecclesial service you are careful only to give more attention to objects, functions, and structures, and forget the centrality of Christ, you are likely to serve these earthy things and not God.At the end of the Angelus Pope Francis as has become traditional wished all present a good Sunday and a good lunch.

Vatican Radio

Flying down to Rio

(Vatican Radio) Final preparations are continuing in Rio De Janeiro for the opening of World Youth Day 2013. Pope Francis will depart from Rome to Brazil on Monday. While there the Pope will participate in numerous events including liturgies, the Via Crucis and a prayer vigil with young people. This will also be the Holy Father’s first apostolic journey. Thousands of young people have already arrived in Rio but there are still many who are on their way to be with the Pope in Brazil.

One of those getting ready to depart from Ireland is Anna Keegan who is a Faith Development officer in the Archdiocese of Dublin. Anna is no stranger to the WYD having been to four previous encounters. Anna told Lydia O’Kane that she is also looking forward to this event because it will be first time she will be attending a World Youth Day presided over by Pope Francis. “ Pope Francis seems to be really outgoing and really fun and I think because he is going to South America, you know, where he is from, I think it will be great and I am really looking forward to seeing what his message is, to be honest, to young people.”

Vatican Radio

The Concho Padre

World Youth Day by the numbers

SAO PAULO (CNS) — As hundreds of thousands of young Catholic pilgrims descend on Brazil, World Youth Day coordinators in Rio de Janeiro are putting the finishing touches on preparations for up to 2.5 million people.

Read more from Catholic News Service