Category Archives: Franciscans

Our Lady of the Atonement

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Today, is the feast of Our Lady of the Atonement. Under her patronage do the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement live their vocation. I was happy to celebrate with a favorite Atonement Sister today!

The Founder of the Franciscans of the Atonement, the Servant of God Father Paul, said of Mary’s part in the Atonement:

“She is necessarily “of the Atonement” since it was the will of God that she play a necessary part in the atonement or redemption. This is not to say that without her man would have remained unredeemed but that God’s plan gave her a large share in the redemptive work…Mary, although her part is in no way similar in nature to that of her divine Son’s, cooperated with Jesus Christ, as no other creature did, in his work of reconciling man with God. Her claim to this high title rests most solidly on the fact that she consented to become, and became the mother of the Redeemer; that she suffered with Jesus during the passion; and that all graces merited for mankind by Christ have come to us through Mary.

When we, therefore, give to our Blessed Mother the title of Our Lady of the Atonement we mean: Our Lady of Unity. As she sits enthroned, as the great wonder of heaven, wearing a crown of twelve stars, clothed with the sun, the moon her footstool, she presents to the universe the highest possible approach of a creature to intimate and exalted union with God.

More on Fr Paul Wattson and the devotion to Atonement.

José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, is NEW Secretary of the Congregation for Religious


The Pope’s first appointment to his curia was made today when he named the Minister General of the Friars Minor, Father José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, Secretary of the Congregation for Religious (official name: Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life). Carballo will assist the Brazilian cardinal João Bráz de Aviz.

Father José Rodríguez Carballo was born in 1953, professed temporary vows as a Franciscan in 1971 and ordained a priest in 1977.

According to the 1988 Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, the Congregation for Consecrated life –first formed in 1586– is “to promote and supervise in the whole Latin Church the practice of the evangelical counsels as they are lived in the approved forms of consecrated life and, at the same time, the work of societies of apostolic life” (105)

The Archbishop-elect is a Spanish Franciscan who has served the Friars Minor in a variety of capacities.

In 2003, Father José Rodríguez Carballo was elected the 119th successor of Saint Francis of Assisi when he was elected Minister General of the Friars Minor. In 2009, he was elected to the same work.

Friar José was trained in Scripture studies. He was appointed to the Synod of Bishops in 2005, 2008 and 2012. He’s been a member of the Congregations of Evangelization of Peoples and the one he’s the Secretary to.

Carballo succeeds in the office the American Redemptorist Archbishop Joseph Tobin who is now the archbishop of Indianapolis. The Vatican Insider has an article on the appointment of Carballo that gives some stats.

Popes who belonged to religious orders

Pope Gregory XVI made gambling on papal electi...

Pope Gregory XVI, a Benedictine monk, made gambling on papal elections punishable by excommunication.

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th Roman Pontiff he was listed among a rather small and elite group of men who had their intellectual and spiritual formation in religious life. Bergoglio is a member of the Society of Jesus. But who are the others?

The Benedictine monks have 17
Gregory I, Boniface IV, Adeodatus II, Leo IV, John IX, Leo VII, Stephen IX, Gregory VII, Victor, III, Urban II, Paschal II, Gelasius, II, Celestine V, Clement VI, Urban V, Pius VII, Gregory XVI
The Augustine canons and friars have 6
Honorius II, Innocent II, Lucius II, Adrian IV, Gregory VIII, Eugene IV
The Franciscans friars have 4
Nicholas IV, Sixtus IV, Sixtus V, Clement XIV
Secular Franciscans have 2
Pius IX, Leo XIII
The Dominicans friars have 4
Innocent V, Benedict XI, Pius V, Benedict XIII
The Cistercian monks have 2
Eugene III, Benedict XII
The Theatine clerks regular have 
Paul IV
The Jesuit clerks regular have 1
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Bishop of Rome –appreciating its significance for the churches

Pope's chair, Basilica di San Giovanni in Late...

The chair of the Bishop of Rome, Basilica Saint John Lateran, Rome.

In the first moments of his introduction to the world, Pope Francis has spoken of his ministry as the bishop of Rome, and his exercise of said ministry. Nine times, in fact. I think many were surprised at the theological precision that Pope Francis expressed so quickly. How is this possible? Because Francis is clearly Christocentric, and the Petrine ministry located in service of the other and at the foot of the Cross.

We ought to recall that ministries in the Church have gradually taken on new significance over time as the issues of teaching, preaching and sanctifying and governing (leading) surfaced and challenged the unity of the faithful. We know historically that by the third century the parameters of the bishop of Rome began to develop because of the work of Saints Peter and Paul, and because of the importance of the imperial city of Rome, and by the fourth century the influence of the Roman bishop was well-situated; and by the fifth century “canonical” letters, i.e., decrees, were sent to the world’s bishops carrying with them certain authority. One can posit that from almost the beginning bishops from across the Christian world had appealed to the bishop of Rome for assistance in resolving with pastoral problems. 

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1 Million Hits for Life!

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are launching a video hoping to make 1 Million Hits for Life! 

Please view the video and share with your friends.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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