November 23, 2014

Postivity: You are my legacy, Cardinal George tells Chicago at final Mass

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago:

Nov 17, 2014 / 04:28 pm

Cardinal Francis George celebrated his last public Mass as Archbishop of Chicago on Sunday, thanking the people of Chicago for being God’s “gift” to him.

“Every priest and bishop is given the gift of the people that he is called to care for and to love in Christ’s name,” Cardinal George said in his Nov. 16 homily, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“At some point, Christ will question me: What have you done with my people? Are they holier because of your ministry? Are they more generous, more loving toward others? In short, you are my legacy,” he told the congregation at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.

The 77-year-old Cardinal George has headed the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1997. He submitted his resignation two years ago upon reaching 75 years of age, as is required by canon law. He is suffering from cancer for the third time and uses crutches to help him walk. He has often expressed his desire to be the first Archbishop of Chicago to retire, rather than die in office.

The cardinal said that people will have different views of his ministry, “some of them I might appreciate, and some not.”

He said he asked himself the questions “With what have I been entrusted? And what have I done with this gift?”

He said he has sometimes been “too fearful to speak, to act, to love generously,” but he has helped people “better able to know and live their faith, able to worship God in spirit and in truth, able to give themselves to the salvation of others.”

Cardinal George said there are “a lot of holy people” in the counties of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “I meet them every week. I’ve met them for years. And you are among them.” …

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November 22, 2014

Positivity: Lots of high fives —Philly celebrates announcement of Pope’s visit

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Philadelphia:

Nov 18, 2014 / 04:47 am

Pope Francis’ official confirmation of a visit to Philadelphia in 2015 has stoked great Catholic enthusiasm and prompted hopes that a papal visit will reinvigorate the archdiocese.

“Everyone is absolutely overjoyed. There are a lot of high-fives around here, a lot of big smiles. Everyone is celebrating,” Donna Farrell, executive director of the 2015 World Meeting of Families, said in a Nov. 17 conference call with reporters.

“One of our top goals with the World Meeting of Families is to reenergize, to reinvigorate the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and even the wider Church. I think Pope Francis is the man to do it,” she added.

“That’s why, in part, we are so grateful. This means an awful lot for the archdiocese.”

Bishop John J. McIntyre, a Philadelphia auxiliary bishop, said the announcement was “a moment of great joy for us.”

“The day has been really phenomenal.”

Farrell suggested the celebration should be “short-lived” because “we have an awful lot of work to do.”

On Monday morning, Pope Francis officially announced his intention to visit the U.S.

“I wish to confirm, if God wills it, that in September of 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families,” he said at Vatican City’s Synod Hall during his remarks at an international colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman.

The 2015 World Meeting of Families, a global Catholic event, will take place in Philadelphia from Sept. 22-27. The world meeting takes place every three years and seeks to support and strengthen families. St. John Paul II founded the event in 1994. …

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November 21, 2014

Positivity: Pope Francis — Children have right to a mother and father

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 17, 2014 / 04:00 pm

Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that “the family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation.”

The Pope made these remarks on Nov. 17 at the opening of the three-day international, interfaith colloquium entitled The Complementarity of Man and Woman, currently underway in the Vatican.

Also referred to as the “Humanum” conference, the gathering is being sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

“To reflect upon ‘complementarity’ is nothing less than to ponder the dynamic harmonies at the heart of all creation,” he said. “All complementarities were made by our creator, so the author of harmony achieves this harmony.”

Complementarity, which is at the core of this gathering, “is a root of marriage and family,” the Pope said. “For the family grounded in marriage is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others’ gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of cooperative living.”

Although the family often leads to tensions – “egoism and altruism, reason and passion, immediate desires and long-range goals” – it also provides “frameworks for resolving such tensions.”

Pope Francis warned against confusing complementarity with the notion that “all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern.” Rather, he said, “complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children – his or her personal richness, personal charisma.”

“Marriage and family are in crisis,” he said, with the “culture of the temporary” dissuading people from making the “public commitment” of marriage.

“This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.” …

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November 20, 2014

Positvity: Retiring Cardinal George opens up on faith, freedom and death

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago:

Nov 18, 2014 / 11:58 am

As he enters retirement, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago noted the importance of living faith in the truth, reflecting on his time as archbishop, the approach of death, and advice for his successor, Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich.

“The faith, what it means, and then the habits of life that protect a life of faith, are part of personal formation in the truth, and the Church should attend to those dimensions as much as she possibly can,” the 77-year-old Cardinal George said in an interview with the Catholic New World, published Nov. 16.

He discussed the need to save people from the dangers of living in falsehood, “especially religious falsehood.”

“You also want to see to it that they have the habits of life that keep them free, particularly the young people. If young people get caught early on in habits that enslave — drugs or sexual promiscuity or gangs — they’re never free. Christ died to make us free.”

Cardinal George also noted the importance of engaging people who disagree with him or the Church.

“If you don’t do that you risk reducing people to their ideas. People are always more than their ideas. I think Pope Francis reminds us of that. Also, when you reach out, you often discover things you wouldn’t have found out had you not made the effort to speak with them.”

“I try purposely to keep all of the doors open that I can,” he added. “God wants us to talk to him and he wants us to talk to one another. Conversation is part of loving.”

Cardinal George has headed the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1997. He will be the first Chicago archbishop to retire. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 19, 2014

Positivity: New Chicago archbishop: Be authentic, leave your comfort zone

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago:

Nov 18, 2014 / 04:06 pm

Newly installed Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich’s first public homily stressed the importance of personal witness “with joy and compassion,” purified of “anger, harshness and fear.”

“Jesus tells all of us today to go back to where our journey of faith began, to be in touch with the joyful experience of being transformed by the intimacy God offers us, to be willing to share it with the next generation,” he said during his installation Mass at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral on Tuesday.

“Young people have always been attracted to authenticity of life, where words match deeds. Let’s not be afraid to let our young people know about our life with God and how it began.”

He encouraged Catholics to “stay close” to young people, in order to “tell them what it means for us to believe, and share with them how the Gospel has brought joy and meaning to us and has transformed our lives.”

Archbishop Cupich, 65, succeeds Cardinal Francis George, who had headed the Chicago archdiocese since 1997. Cardinal George is battling cancer for the third time at age 77 and chose to step down as head of the local Church.

Archbishop Cupich had served as Bishop of Spokane, Wash., since 2010 and previously headed the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D. …

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November 18, 2014

Positivity: Pope Francis blasts abortion, euthanasia as ‘sins against God’

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 15, 2014 / 07:53 am

Pope Francis has told a group of Catholic doctors that “playing with life” in ways like abortion and euthanasia is sinful, and he stressed that each human life, no matter the condition, is sacred.

“We’re are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment… (we’re) playing with life,” the Pope told an audience of 4,000 Catholic doctors gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Nov. 15.

“Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator.”

Pope Francis offered his words in an address given to members of the Italian Catholic Doctors Association in celebration of their 70th anniversary.

He recalled that many times in his years as a priest he heard people object to the Church’s position on life issues, specifically asking why the Church is against abortion.

After explaining to the inquirer that the Church is not against abortion because it is simply a religious or philosophical issue, he said it’s also because abortion “is a scientific problem, because there is a human life and it’s not lawful to take a human life to solve a problem.”

Regardless of the many objections he has heard saying that modern thought has evolved on the issue, the Pope stressed that “in ancient thought and in modern thought, the word ‘kill’ means the same!”

“(And) the same goes for euthanasia,” he explained, observing that as a result of “this culture of waste, a hidden euthanasia is practiced on the elderly.” …

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November 17, 2014

Positivity: For one young Catholic, music is an apostolate of beauty

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Ann Arbor, Michigan:

Nov 15, 2014 / 03:46 pm

An up-and-coming Catholic musician in Michigan aims to expose listeners to God in the same way she did during her school years – through beauty found in “truly good” forms of art.

“My desire with this music and this album is to reach anybody, anywhere and hopefully open their hearts to the reality that transfiguration and transformation is real,” singer/songwriter Alanna-Marie Boudreau told CNA recently.

Growing up, she said that her parents made it a point to expose their children to “the transcendental truth, goodness and beauty” through beautiful literature and art. Since they believed that was not available in the upstate New York schools where they lived, her mother decided to homeschool them.

Learning from a Catholic curriculum, Boudreau says excellent books and beautiful music were a regular part of her education.

“It was a very natural part of the fabric of our life and it was interwoven with a really sacramental understanding of life and of family,” she said.

“The faith, it always fit like a hand in the glove with our upbringing and with our education.” That integration of faith, beauty and truth is something the 23-year old woman says she hopes permeates her music, especially in her new, full-length album, “Hints and Guesses” – a follow-up to her 2012 EP, “Hands in the Land.”

“And anybody – everybody – is affected by beauty, no matter what their life experience is, where they’re from, or what they’ve done, there’s something about beauty that bypasses those preconceived ideas and it just sets the heart in a very good position to hear God.”

But Boudreau doesn’t label her work as “Christian music” – not because it doesn’t deal with the faith, but because of the inclination of some to automatically be turned off by such a label or assume that it will sound a certain way without listening to it. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 16, 2014

Positivity: Priest swaps clerical hats with a ‘sharp, healthy’ Benedict XVI

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Rome:

Nov 12, 2014 / 11:49 am

A priest who met and exchanged zucchettos with retired pontiff Benedict XVI last week marveled at the former pope’s joy, mental clarity and good health.

“We were so, so enthused by the joy in Benedict, (by his) his serenity. He’s a man at peace, at peace in the will of God for him today, which is to pray for the Church,” Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo told CNA Nov. 7.

Benedict XVI is like a wise grandfather, he said, pointing out how as “a tender man who is full of humility,” the retired pope is a living example of what Pope Francis means when he often speaks of the importance of tenderness.

“He is in fantastic health, fantastic health, and his mind is as sharp today and perhaps even sharper than when he was the great theologian and the great Pope that we knew him as.”

Msgr. Figueiredo serves as spiritual director at Rome’s Pontifical North American College. He was one of five leaders of the new “Caritas in Veritate International” confederation, for which he also serves as Vice President for Relations with Bishops, who met Benedict XVI last Thursday.

Inspired by the retired pontiff’s encyclical letters “Deus Caritas est” – God is Love – and “Caritas in Veritate” – Charity in Truth – the organization is made up of several Catholic communities, international groups and charitable institutions who are involved in missions in 80 countries throughout the world.

By using these two encyclicals as the foundation for their work, the organization, who also met with Pope Francis at the end of their Nov. 4-9 leaders’ forum in Rome, seeks to unite works of charity with the preaching of the Gospel.

“Charity is not something extrinsic to the Church, but along with preaching the Gospel and the liturgy it’s actually one of the three essential tasks of the Church,” Msgr. Figueiredo said of the organization’s driving motives. …

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November 15, 2014

Positivity: You can’t serve others if you’re lazy or controlling, Pope says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 11, 2014 / 09:34 am

In his homily on Tuesday Pope Francis said that Jesus’ service to others has no boundaries, and warned of those who put limits on how much they give because they are lazy, or want to control the situation.

“His path was this attitude of service; He is a servant. He presents himself as a servant, the one who came to serve and not to be served,” the Pope told mass-goers gathered in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse on Nov. 11.

But “Laziness distances us from work and leads us to this ease, this selfishness. Many Christians are like this – they are good, they go to Mass, but only serve to a certain point.”

The Roman Pontiff centered his reflections on the day’s Gospel reading from the 17th chapter of Luke, in which Jesus tells the parable of a servant who, after a long day of work, serves his master dinner and responds that he is unworthy, and merely did his duty.

While there are some who would tell this servant “to go to his trade union for some advice on how to deal with a boss like that,” what Jesus is telling us through the parable is that “service is total,” the Pope explained.

Through his attitude of service Jesus shows his apostles what the path looks like for those who have received faith, the Bishop of Rome noted, saying that this faith can “do wonders” on the path of service.

A Christian who receives the gift of faith in baptism but doesn’t use it to go forward on a path of service becomes a Christian “without strength, without fertility,” he said, explaining that because these people live only for themselves, they turn out sad and waste the gifts of the Lord.

Pope Francis reiterated that service must be total, saying that we can’t serve two masters, but must choose between serving God and serving riches. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 14, 2014

Positivity: How one bishop sees marriage as key to ‘culture of encounter’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Nov 12, 2014 / 03:15 pm

With marriage in crisis in the modern world, the faithful have a duty to work for its restoration, promoting the ‘culture of encounter’ called for by the Holy Father, said a leading U.S. bishop.

“Pope Francis said recently, ‘There is a crisis in the family because it’s beat[en] up from all sides and left very wounded!’ We must help to pick it up, like the Good Samaritan, and care for it,” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone explained.

The archbishop chairs the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He addressed his fellow bishops at their annual fall meeting in Baltimore on Nov 10.

Marriage is a key part of Pope Francis’ call for a “culture of encounter,” he explained, and Catholics can participate in several ways.

One way to advance a “culture of encounter” through marriage is reaching out to the “most vulnerable” – in this case, the poor, emphasizing “the connection between strengthening marriage and combating poverty,” the archbishop said.

He pointed to an address given by Professor W. Bradford Wilcox to the bishops at their June general assembly in New Orleans.

The University of Virginia professor, who heads the National Marriage Project at the university, spoke about the connection between the strength of marriages and family poverty. “If you care about poverty, if you care about income inequality; if you care about opportunity in America, you should care about marriage,” he told the bishops.

Another way to participate in the “culture of encounter” through marriage is “walking with others toward Christ,” Archbishop Cordileone said.

He explained that “good messaging and sound bites, while important, can only go so far in a culture deeply affected and wounded by the sexual revolution.” Catholics must personally accompany those who struggle, for example, with same-sex attraction.

“We must encourage and walk with others in living out this call [to chastity], which is a great ‘yes!’” the archbishop insisted.

Finally, he said, the faithful must bear witness to the truth amid a society of broken families.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 13, 2014

Positivity: Religious freedom battle ‘daunting,’ but bishops urged to persist

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Nov 12, 2014 / 05:05 pm

The leader of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee encouraged his fellow bishops not to lose heart, but to place their trust in God, in the ongoing battle for religious liberty.

“Sometimes it might seem that fighting or struggling against threats to religious liberty is a daunting task,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore acknowledged, but we know that “with God all things are possible.”

“And we realize that with prayer is the ultimate source of our wisdom and our strength and our pastoral love in these struggles,” he stressed.

Archbishop Lori addressed the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov 11, giving an update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, which he chairs.

He listed current affairs that the committee is keeping a close eye on, which include new state proposals requiring all health plans to cover abortions with no religious exemptions.

In a similar case in August, California’s state Department of Managed Health Care declared that employee health plans at two Catholic universities limiting abortion coverage were in violation of state law.

The state’s Catholic conference had deplored the action, saying it “directly targeted” Catholic institutions and calling it “government coercion of the worst kind” and a “flagrant violation of their civil rights.” Archbishop Lori singled out that case as one of particular concern to the committee.

Also among the laws and regulations being monitored by the committee is the HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs.

The federal mandate has prompted lawsuits from more than 300 plaintiffs. The Supreme Court issued a ruling affecting some of these cases over the summer, upholding the right of closely-held corporations owned by individuals with religious objections to the mandate, such as Hobby Lobby.

However, more than 100 legal cases against the HHS mandate are currently open, the archbishop said. “That’s keeping us all pretty busy,” he admitted. An update to the mandate was recently released and is being studied by the bishops’ religious freedom committee.

In addition, Archbishop Lori noted the growing threat to religious liberty being posed by “laws redefining marriage.” Such laws have led to businesses and religious entities being threatened with fines or closure for seeking to maintain their longstanding beliefs on marriage.

Despite the ongoing challenges in the realm of religious freedom, the archbishop called for hope.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 12, 2014

Positivity: Pope Francis recognizes ‘heroic virtue’ of 12-year-old boy

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 8, 2014 / 01:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes for a 12-year-old Italian boy who died late 1970s as well as seven other men and women, recognizing all for their “heroic virtue.”

The Pope authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to declare the eight laypersons, priests, and religious – including young Silvio Dissegna – as “venerable.”

The move was announced Nov. 7 during an audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the cause for saints congregation.

Born Jul. 1, 1967 in the Turin province of Moncalieri, Italy, Dissegna was diagnosed with bone cancer early 1978. According to the website dedicated to his cause, www.silviodissegna.org, he spent his illness in prayer, and exhibited a strong devotion to the Rosary. He also offered his sufferings up for the Pope, missionaries, the conversion of sinners, among other intentions. He died on Sep. 24, 1979 in Poirino, Italy.

Also recognized as venerable was Marthe Louise Robin. A french laywoman and founder of the Foyers de Charité, Robin was a mystic and reported stigmatist. She died Feb. 6, 1981.

Another French-born laywoman, Jeanne Mance was founder of the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Montréal, Canada. She died in Montréal on June 18, 1673.

Pope Francis also approved the advancement of the cause to sainthood of fellow Jesuit Fr. John Sullivan, S.J. The Irish priest of the Society of Jesus died in Dublin in 1933.

Others on the list of new Venerables include German priest, Fr. Pelagius Sauter; Chilean Franciscan, Francesco Massimiano Valdes Subercaseaux, O.F.M; Italian Abbot and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Reparationi fo the Holy Face of Jesus, Ildebrando Gregori; and Italian Fr. Raimondo Calcagno, of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. …

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November 11, 2014

Positivity: History of Veterans Day

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

Thanks to all who have served our country in the Armed Forces.

* * * * * *

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

… Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

November 10, 2014

Positivity: ‘We need bridges, not walls!’ Pope says on Berlin Wall anniversary

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 9, 2014 / 07:27 am

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pope Francis said that it only happened through a long, painful struggle, and warned that there are still many walls that divide the world today.

“Wherever there is a wall, there is a closed heart. We need bridges, not walls!” the Pope voiced to those present in St. Peter’s Square for his Nov. 9 Angelus address.

He recalled how for many years the Berlin Wall had cut the city in two as a sign of the “ideological division” not only of Europe, but of the whole world.

When the Wall fell it happened suddenly, the pontiff observed, saying that although it happened fast, it was only made possible “by the long and arduous efforts of many people who fought, prayed and struggled for this, some even sacrificing their life.”

Among those who played a key role by working and praying tirelessly for peace and unity was St Pope John Paul II, he noted, and encouraged those present to work together in building and spreading a culture of encounter.

Constructed in 1961, the Berlin Wall was a large concrete barrier built by the German Democratic Republic that divided West Berlin from East Germany and East Berlin.

Built to stop people fleeing from communist East Germany to the West, the Wall’s fall in 1989 became a powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War. Within a year of tearing the Wall down, Germany – which was divided after its defeat in World War Two – was once again reunited.

The Pope explained that in order to foster unity rather than division, we need a culture “capable of tearing down all the walls that still divide the world, and (that) it will not happen again that innocent people are persecuted and even killed because of their beliefs and of their religion.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 9, 2014

Positivity: Pray with your iPhone? How one mobile app unites users in prayer

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Madrid:

Nov 6, 2014 / 08:40 pm

A social network focused on connecting the world in prayer has launched a mobile application enabling people from across the globe to unite and track their petitions and prayers.

May Feelings was launched in May 2012 as a social network, aimed at offering an online platform where people could pray for each other’s intentions.

“What we were wondering when we started this amazing project was how it is possible that in a world full of social networks, so many people feel alone?” asked co-founder Santiago Requejo, in a promotional video for their website, mayfeelings.com.

The mission of May Feelings is to reach people who are alone, or who do not have anyone to pray for them, with the guarantee that their petitions will be heard and prayed for. Users voice their concerns and petitions, and other people respond and offer their prayers.

“May Feelings makes you forget yourself in order to think of other people,” said Bosco Ybarra, one of the network’s founders.

The May Feelings website has been largely successful, and the network has now launched a mobile app called “Pray – with your iPhone.” Using the same concept as the website, Pray describes itself as the first app that uses prayer and petitions to unite others from across the globe in fellowship.

The app connects people from around the world who need prayer, allows users to make and track prayer resolutions, and offers the ability to chat with others about their petitions and accompany them on their prayer journeys. It also allows users to see weekly prayer progress, follow developments on intentions, and be involved in a community that prays together to change the world.

Pray has collected more than 1 million prayers from every continent, and has found particular success in South America and the United States, organizers say.

Go here for the rest of the story.