Tag Archives: Blessed John XXIII

Pope Francis shows the import of Blessed John XXIII on his anniversary of death

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Dear friends of the Diocese of Bergamo,

I am pleased to welcome you here, at the tomb of the Apostle Peter, in this place that is home to every Catholic. I affectionately greet your Pastor, Bishop Francesco Beschi, and thank him for the kind words he addressed to me on behalf of all.

Exactly fifty years ago, just at this moment, Blessed John XXIII left this world. Those who, like me, [are of] a certain age, retain a vivid memory of the commotion that spread everywhere in those days: St. Peter’s Square had become a sanctuary in the open, day and night welcoming the faithful of all ages and social conditions, in trepidation and prayer for the Pope’s health. The whole world had recognized in Pope John a pastor and a father: a shepherd because [he was] father. What made him such? How could he reach the hearts of so many different people, even many non-Christians? To answer this question, we can refer to his episcopal motto, oboedientia et pax: obedience and peace. “These words,” noted the then-Archbishop Roncalli on the eve of his episcopal ordination, “are [in a way] my story and my life.” (Journal of a Soul, retreat in preparation for consecration as bishop, 13-17 March 1925).

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Anniversary of death of Pope John XXIII, the Mosul martyrs, and a Trappist

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In daily life most of occasionally remember the passing of a loved with a visit to the cemetery, saying a prayer for the peaceful repose of the soul, perhaps having a Mass offered for the loved. These are normal Catholic practices in remembering the dead. But when you are a pope similar things happen, but just like with loved ones, there comes a point that we just don’t actively remember anymore. Do we actively remember the dead? In my family, I think I am the only one to keep the memory of loved ones known, and try to beg God for mercy on the dead. This is a sad stage in our the evolving of our society.

Today happens to be anniversary of death that I am recalling, four people from widely different backgrounds and vocations:

  • Blessed Pope John XXIII‘s 50 years since his death
  • Aunt Helen, 2002
  • Dom Basil Pennington, OCSO, monk, abbot, and author, Spencer, MA, 2005
  • Father Raghed Ganni and 3 subdeacons killed in Mosul, Iraq, 2007
John XXIII, was the supreme pontiff less than 5 years, was the smiling pope who called the Second Vatican Council, Aunt Helen was a wife and mother, Dom Basil was a Trappist monk of St Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, MA who was a prolific writer on the spiritual life and on Cistercian life, and Father Raghed Ganni and the subdeacons we gunned down for being Christian in a context of Islamic persecution. Of note, pilgrims from Blessed John’s native region in Italy will be at Mass today and meet with Pope Francis. It is a good thing to remember our loved ones. They still are a part of our lives; they make up our DNA.
Let’s offer a prayer for all these people asking God the Father of Mercies to be gentle and loving. But let’s ask these people to ask God to bestow mercy upon us.

Pope Francis calls Archbishop Loris Capovilla

Keeping up appearances…by phone…with previous papal administrations. Pope Francis apparently is touching base with key people in history of the Church from the 20th century. He spoke with Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, 97, one of the oldest prelates in the Church today. A priest (73 years) of Venice, he was ordained to the episcopacy in 1967 and served as the archbishop of Cheiti-Vasto and later he was the Prelate of the Shrine of Loreto. His Excellency is the former secretary of Blessed John XXIII. L’Osservatore Romano will run this story on April 3.

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A simple, moving gesture: last Monday, at 6:30 p.m., the telephone rang at Ca’ Maitino di Sotto il Monte, John XXIII’s summer residence, where today Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla lives and where the Suore Poverelle cherish memories of Pope John. As usual Capovilla answered himself. It was Pope Francis who was calling him because, among the many messages of good wishes, he had received directly an Easter message written in the light of the Second Vatican Council, edited by Pope Roncalli’s former Secretary, subtitled: “With Pope Francis we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris on 11 April 2013 and on 3 June 2013 of the passing of John XXIII:  a detailed agenda.  With the Bishop of Rome who greets the Secretary who was the companion at arms of the Pope of the Council and says to him “I see him with the eyes of my heart“, Capovilla told us. “It was a very great surprise and I like to consider this telephone call made to this place where John XXIII was born rather than to me myself: as a tribute to him and to his roots“. Capovilla, who will be ninety [-eight] in October, mentioned that the Pope had stressed certain parts of the message he had sent him: a few pages together with a few pictures (of Manzù’s medal for the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Francis on the Loggia the evening of his election; Francis and Benedict XVI from behind, kneeling in prayer together at Castel Gandolfo; a portrait of John XXIII by Hans-Jürgen Kallmann), and some very short texts  “as precious as a homily”, as Francis described them.  In their brief conversation the Pope asked Capovilla “to pray John XXIII to help the Pope and everyone to be better people”,  Archbishop Capovilla continued: “I also reminded him of my age and he remarked that the spirit counts more. I told him that I have both Christian and non-Christian friends and that to this day the Lord has accompanied me”. And he added that he had “humbly asked His Holiness for a blessing for the inhabitants of Sotto il Monte, for his parish community, for the relatives of the Pope of the  Council”, and for “all those who work with me together with the Bishop of Bergamo”.

Marco Roncalli

April 3, 2013

Pacem in Terris after 50 years

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A Public Symposium in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s Encyclical on Establishing Universal Peace on Earth

Thursday, April 4, 2013, 5:00PM – 7:00PM

5 – 7 p.m. EST

4 – 6 p.m. CST

Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes Hall

University of Chicago

1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Roland Minnerath, Archbishop of Dijon

Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School
Joseph Weiler, New York University Law School
Russell Hittinger, University of Tulsa Thursday, April 4, 2013

Presented by 

The Lumen Christi Institute for Catholic Faith, Thought, and Culture, the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame Law School

For more information on other presentations, visit this site.

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Year of Faith: sharing Christ’s Good News is new life, a journey that transforms

In the presence of  hundreds of bishops, the Eastern Catholic Patriarchs, ecumenical partners and laity, Pope Benedict prayed the Mass and preached on the meaning of both the Second Vatican Council and the Year of Faith through the lens of conversion. Benedict is clear: the Year of Faith is not celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The Church needs not a special forum for this anniversary; it is all an invitation to conversion and to deepen one’s faith in the Christ. The homily Pope Benedict delivered today follows.

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fifty years from the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, we begin
with great joy the Year of Faith. I am delighted to greet all of you,
particularly His Holiness Bartholomaois I, Patriarch of Constantinople, and His
Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. A special greeting goes to the
Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and to the
Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences. In order to evoke the Council, which
some present had the grace to experience for themselves – and I greet them with
particular affection – this celebration has been enriched by several special
signs: the opening procession, intended to recall the memorable one of the
Council Fathers when they entered this Basilica; the enthronement of a copy of
the Book of the Gospels used at the Council; the consignment of the seven final
Messages of the Council, and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I
will do before the final blessing. These signs help us not only to remember,
they also offer us the possibility of going beyond commemorating. They invite
us to enter more deeply into the spiritual movement which characterized Vatican
II, to make it ours and to develop it according to its true meaning. And its
true meaning was and remains faith in Christ, the apostolic faith, animated by
the inner desire to communicate Christ to individuals and all people, in the
Church’s pilgrimage along the pathways of history.

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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]yahoo.com.
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