Wednesday, January 31, 2018

She is a patron Saint of Ireland, collaborator with Patrick

St. Brigid of Ireland

Image of St. Brigid of Ireland


Feastday: February 1
Patron of Ireland, dairymaids, cattle, midwives, Irish nuns, and newborn babies
Birth: 451
Death: 525

Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares a name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated.
There is much debate over her birthparents, but it is widely believed her mother was Brocca, a Christian baptized by Saint Patrick, and her father was Dubthach, a Leinster chieftain. Brocca was a slave, therefore Brigid was born into slavery.
When Dubthach's wife discovered Brocca was pregnant, she was sold to a Druid landowner. It is not clear if Brocca was unable to produce milk or was not present to care for Brigid, but legend states Brigid vomited any food the druid attempted to feed her, as he was impure, so a white cow with red ears sustained her instead.
Many stories of Brigid's purity followed her childhood. She was unable to keep from feeding the poor and healing them.
One story says Brigid once gave her mother's entire store of butter, that was later replenished after Brigid prayed.
When she was about ten-years-old, Brigid was returned to her father's home, as he was her legal master. Her charity did not end when she left her mother, and she donated his possessions to anyone who asked.
Eventually, Dubthach became tired of her charitably nature and took her to the king of Leinster, with the intention of selling her. As he spoke to the king, Brigid gave his jeweled sword to a beggar so he could barter it for food for his family. When the king, who was a Christian, saw this, he recognized her heart and convinced Dubthach to grant her freedom by saying, "Her merit before God is greater than ours."
After being freed, Brigid returned to the Druid and her mother, who was in charge of the Druid's dairy. Brigid took over and often gave away milk, but the dairy prospered despite the charitable practice, and the Druid eventually freed Brocca.
Brigid then returned to Dubthach, who had arranged for her to marry a bard. She refused and made a vow to always be chaste.
Legend has it Brigid prayed that her beauty be taken so no one would want to marry her, and the prayer was granted. It was not until after she made her final vows that her beauty was restored.
Another tale says that when Saint Patrick heard her final vows, he accidentally used the form for ordaining priests. When the error was brought to his attention, he simply replied, "So be it, my son, she is destined for great things."
Little is known about Saint Brigid's life after she entered the Church, but in 40 she founded a monastery in Kildare, called the Church of the Oak. It was built above a pagan shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid, which was beneath a large oak tree.
Brigid and seven friends organized communal consecrated religious life for women in Ireland and she founded two monastic institutions, one for men and one for women. Brigid invited a hermit called Conleth to help her in Kildare as a spiritual pastor.
Her biographer reported that Brigid chose Saint Conleth "to govern the church along with herself."
She later founded a school of art that included metalwork and illumination, which Conleth led as well. It was at this school that the Book of Kildare, which the Gerald of Wales praised as "the work of angelic, and not human skill," was beautifully illuminated, but was lost three centuries ago.
There is evidence that Brigid was a good friend of Saint Patrick's and that the Trias Thaumaturga claimed, "Between St. Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works."
Saint Brigid helped many people in her lifetime, but on February 1 525, she passed away of natural causes. Her body was initially kept to the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, with a tomb "adorned with gems and precious stones and crowns of gold and silver," but in 878, during the Scandinavian raids, her relics were moved to the tomb of Patrick and Columba.
In 1185, John de Courcy had her remains relocated in Down Cathedral. Today, Saint Brigid's skull can be found in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Lumiar, Portugal. The tomb in which it is kept bears the inscription, "Here in these three tombs lie the three Irish knights who brought the head of St. Brigid, Virgin, a native of Ireland, whose relic is preserved in this chapel. In memory of which, the officials of the Altar of the same Saint caused this to be done in January AD 1283."
A portion of the skull was relocated to St. Bridget's Church and another was sent to the Bishop of Lisbon in St. Brigid's church in Killester.
Saint Brigid's likeness is often depicted holding a reed cross, a crozier, or a lamp

We just started 2018 and it's February already; fast!

Time moves fast at this stage of my life, I guess this is normal?  I am not so sure but it is my reality.  Not long ago we ushered in the New Year, watched a ton of college football and were cheering on our own New Orleans Saints into the playoffs.

January will be a mixed bag for me and my family as the most recent memories surround my wife Wendy's hospitalization and diagnosis followed by a wicked head cold/ear infection for yours truly.  I'm pretty much recovered, Wendy not so much.  This is our 1st experience with blood transfusions so we are told it takes a little time to get up to speed.  So more recovery awaits Wendy.

Looking back, we just celebrated Life, by being a witness to the evil and wrong associated with Roe v Wade.  This strong witness for Life, led by mostly Catholic Christians, was indeed powerful but sadly, not convincing enough for the Senators of this nation to vote for the killing of babies even when medical science prove these babies feel pain.  I posted earlier all the Catholic Senators who put party and policy over God, Church and Life.

Speaking of Life, looking forward, February very well may be the month Wendy and I welcome another grand baby.  Our daughter Elizabeth informed us today that the doctor is leaning towards making sure little Brennan Leigh is here before March 1st dawns.  This will be exciting as Brennan will join Calvin and Katelynn as our beautiful, wonderful grandchildren

Going back to January we recall some of the coldest, winter like weather we have had in these parts.  There were 5 days in a row of freezing weather, all the way down to 15 degrees.  We had frozen rain, sleet an a little snow but the extended amount of time below freezing took a local toll on pipes and water pressure.  Even we experienced one morning without water until a hairdryer did the trick.  Some early forecasts show that there will be cold again in February, not necessarily super freezing cold weather and on the wet side but February always promises some hints of spring.  By the way, notice that it is staying lighter longer in the evening?  Yep, mother nature does this on her own, there still is no need to spring forward and fall back every year; it's quite ridiculous.

January gave us some memorable moments with Pope Francis as he traveled to Chile and Peru.  In February the Pope will be involved in plenty of Lenten events including his Lenten Retreat.

February bring us locally the spectacle of all things Mardi Gras, culminating with Fat Tuesday on February 13th.  On Valentine's Day, the 14th, we realize that it is also Ash Wednesday, a full day of abstinence and penance, uh, oh!  Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.  Then comes Fridays with Stations of the Cross and our big parish fish fry dinners.  There is lots to do in February.

So for now, let's thank God for the gift of January, the promise of February, for renewed health for my wife and the gift of Life, in our relentless Pro-Life pursuits and the arrival of Brennan Leigh.

Onward into February 2018, you will go by so fast!

Wednesday General Audience with Pope Francis

General Audience: Pope: In Liturgy of Word, God Speaks to Us
Official Summary of the Catechesis — Jan. 31, 2018

General Audience © L'Osservatore Romano
Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:
Dear brothers and sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Eucharist, we now consider the importance of the Liturgy of the Word. There God speaks to us, and the same Holy Spirit who inspired the sacred Scriptures opens our minds and hearts to that living word. At the table of God’s word, we find nourishment for our lives as we listen to the Old and the New Testaments proclaim the one mystery of Christ and call for our response. Drawing from the richness of the Church’s Lectionary, the Liturgy of the Word invites us to silent openness to God’s saving message as it resounds in the ecclesial assembly and continues God’s constant dialogue with his people, the Church. Since we do not live “by bread alone”, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (cf. Mt 4:4), we need to be constantly open to, and challenged by, that word, in our lives as individuals and in our life as a Church. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to make the word sown in our hearts bear abundant fruit and guide our steps, day by day, on this, our earthly pilgrimage.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Australia and from the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!
© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Pope Francis February Prayer Intention

Say “No” to Corruption
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Father and Teacher of Youth, founder of the Salesian Order

St. John Bosco

Image of St. John Bosco


Feastday: January 31
Patron of apprentices, editors and publishers, schoolchildren, magicians, and juvenile delinquents
Birth: August 16, 1815
Death: January 31, 1888
Beatified By: June 2, 1929 by Pope Pius XI
Canonized By: April 1, 1934 by Pope Pius XI

John Bosco, also known as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco and Don Bosco, was born in Becchi, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His birth came just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars which ravaged the area. Compounding the problems on his birthday, there was also a drought and a famine at the time of his birth.
At the age of two, John lost his father, leaving him and his two older brothers to be raised by his mother, Margherita. His "Mama Margherita Occhiena" would herself be declared venerable by the Church in 2006.
Raised primarily by his mother, John attended church and became very devout. When he was not in church, he helped his family grow food and raise sheep. They were very poor, but despite their poverty his mother also found enough to share with the homeless who sometimes came to the door seeking food, shelter or clothing.
When John was nine years old, he had the first of several vivid dreams that would influence his life. In his dream, he encountered a multitude of boys who swore as they played. Among these boys, he encountered a great, majestic man and woman. The man told him that in meekness and charity, he would "conquer these your friends." Then a lady, also majestic said, "Be strong, humble and robust. When the time comes, you will understand everything." This dream influenced John the rest of his life.
Not long afterwards, John witnessed a traveling troupe of circus performers. He was enthralled by their magic tricks and acrobatics. He realized if he learned their tricks, he could use them to attract others and hold their attention. He studied their tricks and learned how to perform some himself.
One Sunday evening, John staged a show for the kids he played with and was heartily applauded. At the end of the show, he recited the homily he heard earlier in the day. He ended by inviting his neighbors to pray with him. His shows and games were repeated and during this time, John discerned the call to become a priest.
To be a priest, John required an education, something he lacked because of poverty. However, he found a priest willing to provide him with some teaching and a few books. John's older brother became angry at this apparent disloyalty, and he reportedly whipped John saying he's "a farmer like us!"
John was undeterred, and as soon as he could he left home to look for work as a hired farm laborer. He was only 12 when he departed, a decision hastened by his brother's hostility.
John had difficulty finding work, but managed to find a job at a vineyard. He labored for two more years before he met Jospeh Cafasso, a priest who was willing to help him. Cafasso himself would later be recognized as a saint for his work, particularly ministering to prisoners and the condemned.
In 1835, John entered the seminary and following six years of study and preparation, he was ordained a priest in 1841.
His first assignment was to the city of Turin. The city was in the throes of industrialization so it had slums and widespread poverty. It was into these poor neighborhoods that John, now known as Fr. Bosco, went to work with the children of the poor.
While visiting the prisons, Fr. Bosco noticed a large number of boys, between the ages of 12 and 18, inside. The conditions were deplorable, and he felt moved to do more to help other boys from ending up there.
He went into the streets and started to meet young men and boys where they worked and played. He used his talents as a performer, doing tricks to capture attention, then sharing with the children his message for the day.
When he was not preaching, Fr. Bosco worked tirelessly seeking work for boys who needed it, and searching for lodgings for others. His mother began to help him, and she became known as "Mamma Margherita." By the 1860s, Fr. Bosco and his mother were responsible for lodging 800 boys.
Fr. Bosco also negotiated new rights for boys who were employed as apprentices. A common problem was the abuse of apprentices, with their employers using them to perform manual labor and menial work unrelated to their apprenticeship. Fr. Bosco negotiated contracts which forbade such abuse, a sweeping reform for that time. The boys he hired out were also given feast days off and could no longer be beaten.
Fr. Bosco also identified boys he thought would make good priests and encouraged them to consider a vocation to the priesthood. Then, he helped to prepare those who responded favorably in their path to ordination.
Fr. Bosco was not without some controversy. Some parish priests accused him of stealing boys from their parishes. The Chief of Police of Turin was opposed to his catechizing of boys in the streets, which he claimed was political subversion.
In 1859, Fr. Bosco established the Society of St. Francis de Sales. He organized 15 seminarians and one teenage boy into the group. Their purpose was to carry on his charitable work, helping boys with their faith formation and to stay out of trouble. The organization still exists today and continues to help people, especially children around the world.
In the years that followed, Fr. Bosco expanded his mission, which had, and still has, much work to do.
Fr. Bosco died on January 31, 1888. The call for his canonization was immediate. Pope Pius XI knew Fr. Bosco personally and agreed, declaring him blessed in 1929. St. John Bosco was canonized on Easter Sunday, 1934 and he was given the title, "Father and Teacher of Youth."
In 2002, Pope John Paul II was petitioned to declare St. John Bosco the Patron of Stage Magicians. St. Bosco had pioneered the art of what is today called "Gospel Magic," using magic and other feats to attract attention and engage the youth.
Saint John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices, editors and publishers, schoolchildren, magicians, and juvenile delinquents. His feast day is on January 31

Local newspaper to highlight 300 influential people for the 300th anniversary of New Orleans; portrait #1 is a beloved Catholic Priest on way to Sainthood

Francis Xavier Seelos, brother's keeper: 1 of 300

A portrait of Francis Xavier Seelos by artist Saegan Swanson of Where Y'Art, as commissioned by | The Times-Picayune for its "300 for 300" celebration of New Orleans' tricentennial. ( | The Times-Picayune)
A portrait of Francis Xavier Seelos by artist Saegan Swanson of Where Y'Art, as commissioned by | The Times-Picayune for its "300 for 300" celebration of New Orleans' tricentennial. ( | The Times-Picayune)( | The Times-Picayune)

The Times-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 project, running through 2018 and highlighting 300 people who have made New Orleans New Orleans, featuring original artwork commissioned by | The Times-Picayune with Where Y'Art gallery. Today: Francis Xavier Seelos.
The icon: Francis Xavier Seelos.
The legacy: Francis Xavier Seelos' time in New Orleans wasn't long. He arrived in 1866 to serve as pastor of the Church of St. Mary's Assumption in the Irish Channel. He died the following year, in October 1867. In that short time, however, Seelos inspired the city through his unflagging hope and selflessness. It was the latter quality that spurred him to the care for the city's poor and infirm. It was also what killed him, as he contracted yellow fever while caring for local victims of the disease. Three weeks later, he was dead. In 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Seelos, placing him one step away from sainthood.
The artist: Saegan Swanson,
The quote: "I have come here to pass the rest of my days and find a lasting resting place at Saint Mary's. I feel I have traveled enough. I shall never leave New Orleans." -- Francis Xavier Seelos
  • Two church-certified miracles must be attributed to a person before they are considered eligible for sainthood. The first miraculous cure attributed to Seelos' intervention was that of a Gretna cancer patient who in 1966 was given three weeks to live. She died in 2001. That leaves Seelos one miracle away from sainthood.
  • Seelos was born in 1819 in Fussen, Germany. From an early age, he wanted to become a priest.
  • He entered the seminary in 1842 and moved to America in 1843 to become a missionary, ministering specifically to German-speaking immigrants. He was ordained later that year in the Redemptorist Church of St. James in Baltimore.
  • He quickly gained a reputation for his kindness, being described as a man "with the constant smile on his lips and a generous heart, especially towards the needy and the marginalized."
  • Before coming to New Orleans, Seelos worked in cities including Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland.
  • Because yellow fever is so contagious, the Redemptorists sent only volunteers to New Orleans to minister to those struck by the disease. Seelos was one of those volunteers.
  • During his three-week struggle with yellow fever, newspapers published updates on his condition. When he finally succumbed, his death was front-page news.
  • New Orleanians reportedly flocked to St. Mary's for his funeral and to pray before his casket.
  • St. Mary's Church, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to the national Seelos shrine. It includes a sacred reliquary, which houses the remains of Seelos..
Source: The Times-Picayune archive

Holy Mass offered at Auschwitz

Eucharist for the Ex-Prisoners of Auschwitz
For 73rd Anniversary of Liberation of the Concentration Camp, Mass and Prayer

Auschwitz Photos by Tomasz Pielesz
On January 27, in the former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau took place ceremonies commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the camp. The next day, on January 28, the Holy Mass was celebrated at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer with the participation of ex-prisoners of the former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
On Jan. 27, candles were lit at the monument of the victims and a common prayer with Psalm 42 took place, recited together by the Christian clergy and the rabbi. The representatives of Judaism prayed “Kaddish”, while “Eternal rest” prayer was recited by bishop of the Diocese Bielsko-Żywiec Roman-Pindel. Over 60 former Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners took part in the celebrations.
The candles at the monument were set among others by the former prisoners of Auschwitz concentration camp and of other camps, survivors of the Holocaust, as well as Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio in Poland and the head of diplomatic corps, other ambassadors and diplomats, among whom ambassador of Israel Anna Azari, representatives of the clergy, regional and local authorities.
Auschwitz Photos by Tomasz Pielesz
On Jan. 28, at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer was celebrated the Eucharist. At the Mass presided by the spokesman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, participated among others former prisoners of the camp, Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło, representatives of the local community of Oświęcim and employees of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Center for Dialogue and Prayer.
In the greetings to the participants of the liturgy, Fr. Rytel-Andrianik admitted that he is the grandson of the prisoner of Treblinka extermination camp. “What unites us is the experience of this special place”, he said and he indicated three important words for this place: silence, witness, prayer. The director of the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer, Fr. Jan Nowak, said in the homily that “memory is an important element for the future and helps to understand today’s world better”.
The former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau is the largest former camp in Europe, now transformed into a place of remembrance of the victims: Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Belorussians, Ukrainians, Czechs, French and others. In 1992, near the former Auschwitz camp, the Center for Dialogue and Prayer was founded on the initiative of Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, then Metropolitan of Cracow, in consultation with the bishops of all Europe and representatives of Jewish organizations.

Tuesday Morning Papal Homily with advice to all "shepherds"

Pope’s Morning Homily: Shepherds Do Not Put Up Signs With Hours
Francis’ Advice to Shepherds? Be Close and Tender to Your Flock

Pope Francis delivers his homily in Santa Marta
Advice to Shepherds? Show Jesus’ closeness and tenderness to your flocks. Always be in their midst, end your day tired from doing good, and never see your faithful only during your ‘hours.’
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis gave this reminder during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the readings of the day (Mark 5:21-43).
Specifically, Francis said it is necessary to contemplate today’s Gospel,  according to Mark, which indicates ‘a day in the life of Jesus’ and healing stories, for they, he said, are models for shepherd, bishops, and priests.
Reflecting on how Jesus was “with the people,’ and cared for them, Francis recalled how Jesus was in their midst, not absent.
“Jesus did not open an office for spiritual counseling with a sign reading: ‘The prophet receives on Monday and Friday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Entry costs this much, or if you prefer, you can make an offering.’ No, Jesus does not do that.”
“He doesn’t even open a medical office with a sign reading: ‘The sick may come on such-and-such day, and they will be healed’. Jesus throws himself in the midst of the people.”
That presence and availability, Francis said, is an example of being a shepherd.
He also told a story about a holy priest who accompanied his people. The Pope said this man was tired in the evenings but that it was a “real tiredness” of “one who truly works” with people.
The Holy Father also recommended that difficulties are confronted with tenderness.
Recalling that during when, on their days of ordination, bishops and priests are anointed with oil, Francis clarified that the ‘true oil’ is that of closeness and tenderness.
“The shepherd who doesn’t know how to get close to people,” Pope Francis said, “is lacking something.” Even if he is a “master in the field,” “he is no shepherd.”
A good shepherd, Pope Francis said, “ends his day tired.” If his attitude is of doing good, he said, the people will feel the presence of the living God.
Pope Francis concluded, praying: “Today we could pray during this Mass for our shepherds, that the Lord give them the grace to walk with the people and to be present for them with much tenderness and closeness.
“When the people finds its shepherd, they feel that special sensation only felt in the presence of God, as today’s Gospel ends: ‘they were utterly astounded.’ This amazement comes from feeling the closeness and the tenderness of God in the shepherd,” he said.

Virgin, consecrated, Abbess, Patron Saint for those with cancer

St. Aldegunais

Image of St. Aldegunais


Feastday: January 30
Patron of Cancer, Wounds
Birth: 639
Death: 684

Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or Orgonne. She was a member of the royal family of the Merovingians and was raised by two saints: St. Walbert and St. Bertila, her parents. The family resided in the Hainault region of Flanders, a region of the Low Countries. Aldegundis reflused offers of marriage from other nobles and received the veil from St. Amandius, the bishop of Maastricht. She followed this ceremony of acceptance into the religious life with the foundation of a convent near the Sambre River, at a desert site called Malbode. Her sister, St. Waldetrudis, had founded a convent at Mons. Aldegundis' foundation became Mauberge, a noted Benedictine monastery, later taken over by canonesses. Aldegundis is reported to have died of cancer at the age of fifty-four.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cardinal Dolan calls out the Senate's failure to pass a common sense Pro Life bill

Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Calls Senate Failure to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “Appalling”

January 29, 2018

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities called the Senate's failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act "appalling". The bill proposes to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization.
"The U.S. Senate's failure to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, is appalling. Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother. The Senate's rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans. Opinion polls consistently show that a strong majority of the public opposes late-term abortions—including those who self-identify as 'pro-choice'. Furthermore, the United States is currently one of only seven countries that allows abortions beyond 20-weeks. The other six are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and the Netherlands. The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions. I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable.

Monday morning Papal Homily focuses on humility

Pope’s Morning Homily: Humiliation Makes Us More Christlike
Francis Reminds There Is No True Humility Without Humiliation

Pope Francis delivers his homily in Santa Marta
There is no true humility without humiliation.
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis gave this reminder during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on David’s humilation told in today’s first reading.
While remembering that David was a great man, overcoming Goliath, also with a ‘noble soul’ since he chose not to kill Saul despite twice having the chance to do so, the Pope said David was a sinner. Francis pointed out that the Great David had committed adultery and arranged for his lover Bathsheba’s husband to be killed.
However, the Holy Father observed, the Church still venerates him because he was humiliated. He ‘accepted’ forgiveness, repented for his sins, and let himself be transformed by the Lord.
The Pontiff also recalled the insults David endured, stressing that this mockery and his being discarded is similar to that of Jesus.
“Sometimes we think that humility is to go quietly, perhaps head-down looking at the floor… but even pigs walk with their heads down: this is not humility. This is that fake, ready-to-wear humility,” the Pope said, “which neither saves nor guards the heart. We have to be aware that there is no true humility without humiliation, and if you are not able to tolerate, to carry humiliation on your shoulders, you are not truly humble: you pretend you are, but you are not”.
Both David and Jesus burden themselves with sins, the Pontiff said, and they were both humiliated.
“There is always the temptation to counter slander and oppose anything that humiliates us or makes us feel ashamed – like Shimei. But David says “No”; the Lord says “No”, that is not the right path. The path is the one taken by Jesus and prophesied by David: bearing humiliation. ‘Perhaps the Lord will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day’: turning humiliation into hope.
Humility, Francis warned, is not justifying oneself immediately in the face of an offense and trying to look good.
“If you are unable to bear humiliation, you are not humble” he warned: “this is the golden rule”.
Pope Francis concluded, saying: “Let us ask the Lord for the grace of humility, with humiliations” saying our humiliations are opportunities to become more like the Lord.

Pope Francis issues new Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities and other facilities

Pope Francis’ New Apostolic Constitution ‘Veritatis Gaudium’ on Ecclesiastical Universities & Faculties
Here is the full Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Constitution ‘Veritatis Gaudium’ on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties: *** APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION VERITATIS GAUDIUM ON ECCLESIASTICAL UNIVERSITIES AND FACULTIES   FOREWORD 1.The joy of truth (Veritatis Gaudium) expresses the restlessness of the […]

Pope writing a letter
Here is the full Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Constitution ‘Veritatis Gaudium’ on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties:


1.The joy of truth (Veritatis Gaudium) expresses the restlessness of the human heart until it encounters and dwells within God’s Light, and shares that Light with all people.[1] For truth is not an abstract idea, but is Jesus himself, the Word of God in whom is the Life that is the Light of man (cf. Jn 1:4), the Son of God who is also the Son of Man. He alone, “in revealing the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals humanity to itself and brings to light its very high calling”.[2]
When we encounter the Living One (cf. Rev 1:18) and the firstborn among many brothers (cf. Rom 8:29), our hearts experience, even now, amid the vicissitudes of history, the unfading light and joy born of our union with God and our unity with our brothers and sisters in the common home of creation. One day we will experience that endless joy in full communion with God. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father – “that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us” (Jn17:21) – we find the secret of the joy that Jesus wishes to share in its fullness (cf. Jn 15:11). It is the joy that comes from the Father through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth and of love, freedom, justice and unity.
This is the joy that the Church is impelled by Jesus to bear witness to and to proclaim in her mission, unceasingly and with ever renewed vigour. The People of God makes its pilgrim way along the paths of history, accompanying in solidarity the men and women of all peoples and cultures, in order to shed the light of the Gospel upon humanity’s journey towards the new civilization of love. Closely linked to the Church’s evangelizing mission, which flows from her very identity as completely committed to promoting the authentic and integral growth of the human family towards its definitive fullness in God, is the vast multidisciplinary system of ecclesiastical studies. This system has developed over the centuries from the wisdom of the People of God, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in dialogue with, and discernment of, the signs of the times and diverse cultural expressions.
It is not surprising then that the Second Vatican Council, in its decisive and prophetic effort to renew the Church’s life for a more effective mission in this moment of history, in its Decree Optatam Totius called for a faithful and creative review of ecclesiastical studies (cf. Nos. 13-22). That review, after careful study and prudent testing, led to the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, promulgated by Saint John Paul II on 15 April 1979. The Constitution further encouraged and refined the Church’s efforts to support “Ecclesiastical Faculties and Universities, which is to say those concerned particularly with Christian revelation and questions connected therewith and which are therefore more closely connected with her mission of evangelization”, as well as with other disciplines which, “although lacking a special link with Christian revelation, can still help considerably in the work of evangelizing”.[3]
Almost forty years later, in fidelity to the spirit and directives of Vatican II and for its own timely application, the Apostolic Constitution urgently needs to be brought up to date. While remaining fully valid in its prophetic vision and its clarity of expression, the Constitution ought to include the norms and dispositions issued since its promulgation, and to take into account developments in the area of academic studies in these past decades. There is also a need to acknowledge the changed social-cultural context worldwide and to implement initiatives on the international level to which the Holy See has adhered.
This, then, is a good occasion to promote with thoughtful and prophetic determination the renewal of ecclesiastical studies at every level, as part of the new phase of the Church’s mission, marked by witness to the joy born of encountering Jesus and proclaiming his Gospel, that I set before the whole People of God as a programme in Evangelii Gaudium.
2.The Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana represented in every respect the mature fruit of the great work of reforming ecclesiastical studies initiated by the Second Vatican Council. In particular, it consolidated the progress made in this crucial area of the Church’s mission under the wise and prudent guidance of Blessed Paul VI, while at the same time heralding the contribution, in continuity with the past, which would be made by the magisterium of Saint John Paul II.
As I have had occasion to note, “one of the main contributions of the Second Vatican Council was precisely seeking a way to overcome this divorce between theology and pastoral care, between faith and life. I dare say that the Council has revolutionized to some extent the status of theology – the believer’s way of doing and thinking”.[4] It is precisely in this light that Optatum Totiusstrongly proposes that ecclesiastical studies “be more suitably aligned and… work harmoniously towards opening more and more the minds of the students to the mystery of Christ. For it is this mystery which affects the whole history of the human race, [and] continually influences the Church”.[5] In order to achieve this, the conciliar Decree urges joining meditation with the study of sacred Scripture, “the soul of all theology”,[6] together with assiduous and conscious participation in the sacred Liturgy, the “primary and indispensable source of the truly Christian spirit”,[7] and the systematic study of the living Tradition of the Church in dialogue with all people of our time, listening attentively to their concerns, their sufferings and their needs.[8] Consequently, Optatam Totiusstresses, “pastoral concern… ought to permeate thoroughly the entire training of the students”,[9] so that they become accustomed to “transcending the limits of their own diocese, nation, or rite, and to helping the needs of the whole Church, [and] prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere”.[10]
Pope Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi and Populorum Progressio, and John Paul II’s Redemptoris Hominis, issued only a month before the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution, are milestones along the way which led from these directives of Vatican II to Sapientia Christiana. The prophetic inspiration of Pope Paul’s Apostolic Exhortation on evangelization in the modern world is forcefully echoed in the Foreword of Sapientia Christiana. There we read that “the Church’s mission of spreading the Gospel not only demands that the Good News be preached ever more widely and to ever greater numbers of men and women, but that the very power of the Gospel should permeate thought patterns, standards of judgment, and norms of behaviour. In a word, it is necessary that the whole of human culture be steeped in the Gospel”.[11] John Paul II, for his part, especially in the Encyclical Fides et Ratio, reaffirmed and developed, with regard to the dialogue between philosophy and theology, the conviction underlying Vatican II’s teaching that “the human being can come to a unified and organic vision of knowledge. This is one of the tasks which Christian thought will have to take up through the next millennium of the Christian era”.[12]
Populorum Progressio likewise played a decisive role in the reordering of ecclesiastical studies in the light of Vatican II. The experience of the various local Churches has shown that it, together with Evangelii Nuntiandi, offered significant encouragement and concrete direction for the inculturation of the Gospel and the evangelization of culture in various regions of the world and in response to present-day challenges. This social Encyclical of Paul VI, in fact, incisively states that the development of peoples, essential for attaining justice and peace worldwide, “must be well rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man”.[13] It also speaks of the need for “wise men in search of a new humanism, one which will enable… [human persons to] find themselves”.[14] Populorum Progressio thus interprets with prophetic vision the social question as an anthropological question, one affecting the fate of the entire human family.
This is the distinct interpretative key that would inspire the Church’s subsequent social teaching, from Laborem Exercens to Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, to John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus, to Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate and to Laudato Si’. Renewing the invitation to a new way of thinking proposed by Populorum Progressio, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the urgent need “to experience and to steer the globalization of humanity in relational terms, in terms of communion and the sharing of goods”.[15] He emphasized that God wants to associate humanity to that ineffable mystery of communion that is the Blessed Trinity, of which the Church is a sign and instrument in Jesus Christ.[16] For this actually to take place, he invites us “to broaden the scope of reason” thus enabling it to understand and guide the powerful new forces troubling the human family, “animating them within the perspective of that ‘civilization of love’ whose seed God has planted in every people, in every culture”.[17] This in turn will “foster the interaction of the different levels of human knowledge”, theological and philosophical, social and scientific.[18]
  1. This rich legacy of analysis and direction has been tested and enriched, as it were, “on the ground” thanks to the persevering commitment to a social and cultural meditation on the Gospel undertaken by the People of God in different continental areas and in dialogue with diverse cultures. The time has now come for it to be consolidated and to impart to ecclesiastical studies that wise and courageous renewal demanded by the missionary transformation of a Church that “goes forth”.
The primary need today is for the whole People of God to be ready to embark upon a new stage of “Spirit-filled” evangelization.[19]This calls for “a resolute process of discernment, purification and reform”.[20] In this process, a fitting renewal of the system of ecclesiastical studies plays a strategic role. These studies, in fact, are called to offer opportunities and processes for the suitable formation of priests, consecrated men and women, and committed lay people. At the same time, they are called to be a sort of providential cultural laboratory in which the Church carries out the performative interpretation of the reality brought about by the Christ event and nourished by the gifts of wisdom and knowledge by which the Holy Spirit enriches the People of God in manifold ways – from the sensus fidei fidelium to the magisterium of the bishops, and from the charism of the prophets to that of the doctors and theologians.
This is essential for a Church that “goes forth”! All the more so because today we are not only living in a time of changes but are experiencing a true epochal shift[21], marked by a wide-ranging “anthropological”[22] and “environmental crisis”.[23] Indeed, we daily see “signs that things are now reaching a breaking point, due to the rapid pace of change and degradation; these are evident in large-scale natural disasters as well as social and even financial crises”.[24] In a word, this calls for “changing the models of global development” and “redefining our notion of progress”.[25] Yet “the problem is that we still lack the culture necessary to confront this crisis. We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths”.[26]
This vast and pressing task requires, on the cultural level of academic training and scientific study, a broad and generous effort at a radical paradigm shift, or rather – dare I say – at “a bold cultural revolution”.[27] In this effort, the worldwide network of ecclesiastical universities and faculties is called to offer the decisive contribution of leaven, salt and light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the living Tradition of the Church, which is ever open to new situations and ideas.
Today it is becoming increasingly evident that “there is need of a true evangelical hermeneutic for better understanding life, the world and humanity, not of a synthesis but of a spiritual atmosphere of research and certainty based on the truths of reason and of faith. Philosophy and theology permit one to acquire the convictions that structure and strengthen the intelligence and illuminate the will… but this is fruitful only if it is done with an open mind and on one’s knees. The theologian who is satisfied with his complete and conclusive thought is mediocre. The good theologian and philosopher has an open, that is, an incomplete, thought, always open to the maius of God and of the truth, always in development, according to the law that Saint Vincent of Lerins described in these words: annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate (Commonitorium primum, 23: PL 50, 668)”.[28]
  1. Against this vast new horizon now opening before us, what must be the fundamental criteria for a renewal and revival of the contribution of ecclesiastical studies to a Church of missionary outreach? Here we can identify at least four criteria that emerge from the Second Vatican Council’s teaching and the Church’s experience in these past decades of having received that teaching in attentive listening to the Holy Spirit and to the deepest needs and most pressing questions of the human family.
  2. a) First, the most urgent and enduring criterion is that of contemplation and the presentation of a spiritual, intellectual and existential introduction to the heart of the kerygma, namely the ever fresh and attractive good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,[29]which continues to take flesh in the life of the Church and of humanity.[30] This is the mystery of salvation, of which the Church, in Christ, is a sign and instrument in the midst of all people.[31] The Church is “a mystery rooted in the Trinity, yet she exists concretely in history as a people of pilgrims and evangelizers, transcending any institutional expression, however necessary… [and her] ultimate foundation is in the free and gracious initiative of God”.[32]
This joyful and life-giving contemplation of the face of God, revealed in Jesus Christ as a Father rich in mercy (cf. Eph 2:4),[33]enables us to live in a liberating and responsible way the experience the Church as a “mystique” of living together.[34] This provides the leaven of that universal fraternity which is “capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbour, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common by clinging to the love of God, of opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others just as their heavenly Father does”.[35] It is also the source of the imperative to allow our hearts and minds to heed the cry of the earth’s poor[36] and to give concrete expression to the social dimension of evangelization,[37] which is an integral part of the Church’s mission. For “God, in Christ, redeems not only the individual person but also the social relations existing between men”.[38] It is true that “we may not always be able to reflect adequately the beauty of the Gospel, but there is one sign which we should never lack: the option for those who are least, those whom society discards”.[39] This option must pervade the presentation and study of Christian truth.
From this comes the particular feature, in the formation of a Christian culture, of discovering in the whole of creation the Trinitarian imprint that makes the cosmos in which we live a “network of relations” in which “it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things”. This in turn fosters “a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity”.[40]
  1. b) A second guiding criterion, closely linked to and flowing from the first, is that of wide-ranging dialogue, not as a mere tactical approach, but as an intrinsic requirement for experiencing in community the joy of the Truth and appreciating more fully its meaning and practical implications. Today our proclamation of the Gospel and the Church’s doctrine are called to promote a culture of encounter,[41]in generous and open cooperation with all the positive forces that contribute to the growth of universal human consciousness. A culture, we might say, of encounter between all the authentic and vital cultures, thanks to a reciprocal exchange of the gifts of each in that luminous space opened up by God’s love for all his creatures.
As Pope Benedict XVI pointed out, “truth, in fact, is logos which creates dia-logos, and hence communication and communion”.[42]In this light, Sapientia Christiana, echoing Gaudium et Spes, urges dialogue with Christians of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and with those of other religious or humanistic convictions, maintaining “contact with scholars of other disciplines, whether these are believers or not”, in an effort to “evaluate and interpret the latter’s affirmations and judge them in the light of revealed truth”.[43]
This provides a positive and timely chance to review, from this standpoint and in this spirit, the structure and method of the academic curricula proposed by the system of ecclesiastical studies, in their theological foundations, in their guiding principles and in their various levels of disciplinary, pedagogical and didactical organization. This can be accomplished in a demanding but highly productive effort to rethink and update the aims and integration of the different disciplines and the teaching imparted in ecclesiastical studies within this specific framework and intentionality. Today, in fact, “what is called for is an evangelization capable of shedding light on these new ways of relating to God, to others and to the world around us, and inspiring essential values. It must reach the places where new narratives and paradigms are being formed.”[44]
  1. c) From this follows the third fundamental criterion that I would propose: inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches carried out with wisdom and creativity in the light of Revelation. What distinguishes the academic, formative and research approach of the system of ecclesiastical studies, on the level of both content and method, is the vital intellectual principle of the unity in difference of knowledge and respect for its multiple, correlated and convergent expressions.
This entails offering, through the various programmes proposed by ecclesiastical studies, a variety of disciplines corresponding to the multifaceted richness of reality disclosed by the event of Revelation, yet harmoniously and dynamically converging in the unity of their transcendent source and their historical and metahistorical intentionality, which is eschatologically disclosed in Christ Jesus. In him, writes Saint Paul, “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). This theological, anthropological, existential and epistemic principle takes on particular significance and is called to manifest all its effectiveness within the system of ecclesiastical studies by ensuring cohesion together with flexibility, and organicity together with dynamism. It must also show its effectiveness in relation to the fragmented and often disintegrated panorama of contemporary university studies and to the pluralism – uncertain, conflicting and relativistic – of current beliefs and cultural options.
Today, as Benedict XVI noted in Caritas in Veritate, taking up the cultural insights expressed by Paul VI in Populorum Progressio, “there is a lack of wisdom and reflection, a lack of thinking capable of formulating a guiding synthesis”.[45] This is where the specific mission entrusted to the programme of ecclesiastical studies comes into play. The need for such a guiding synthesis not only makes clear the intrinsic purpose of the programme of ecclesiastical studies, but also demonstrates, especially today, its real cultural and humanizing importance. Today’s recovery of an interdisciplinary approach is certainly positive and promising,[46] even in its “weak” form as a simple multidisciplinary approach that favours a better understanding from several points of view of an object of study. It is all the more so in its “strong” form, as cross-disciplinary, situating and stimulating all disciplines against the backdrop of the Light and Life offered by the Wisdom streaming from God’s Revelation.
It follows that someone trained in the framework of the institutions promoted by the system of ecclesiastical studies – as Blessed John Henry Newman wished for – ought to know “just where he and his science stand; he has come to it, as it were, from a height; he has taken a survey of all knowledge”.[47] So too, in the nineteenth century, Blessed Antonio Rosmini called for a decisive reform in the area of Christian education, restoring the four pillars on which it firmly rested in the first centuries of the Christian era: “communion in learning, holy intercourse, habit of life, interchange of affection”. What is essential, he argued, is to restore the unity of content, perspective and aim of the science being taught, on the basis of the Word of God and its culmination in Christ Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. Without this living centre, science has “neither root nor coherence” and simply remains “as a mere matter of youthful memory”. Only in this way is it possible to overcome the “fatal separation of theory and practice”, for in the unity of science and holiness “we find the true spirit of that doctrine which is destined to save the world”. For the teaching of that doctrine, in ancient times, “did not end with the brief daily lesson; it was continued in the constant intercourse of the disciple with his master”.[48]
  1. d) A fourth and final criterion concerns the urgent need for “networking” between those institutions worldwide that cultivate and promote ecclesiastical studies, in order to set up suitable channels of cooperation also with academic institutions in the different countries and with those inspired by different cultural and religious traditions. At the same time, specialized centres of research need to be established in order to study the epochal issues affecting humanity today and to offer appropriate and realistic paths for their resolution.
As I noted in Laudato Si’, “beginning in the middle of the last century and in spite of many difficulties, there has been a growing conviction that our planet is a homeland and that humanity is one people living in a common home”.[49] Recognizing this interdependence “obliges us to think of one world with a common plan.[50] The Church, in particular, in a convinced and prophetic response to the summons to a renewed presence and mission in history issued by Vatican II, is called to realize that the very catholicity that makes her a leaven of unity in diversity and communion in freedom both demands and favours “the polarity between the particular and the universal, between the one and the many, between the simple and the complex. To annihilate this tension would be to go against the life of the Spirit”.[51] What is needed, then, is to practise a way of knowing and interpreting reality in the light of the “mind of Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 2:16), wherein the model for approaching and resolving problems “is not the sphere… where every point is equidistant from the centre, and there are no differences between them”, but rather “the polyhedron, which reflects the convergence of all its parts, each of which preserves its distinctiveness”.[52]
Indeed, “the history of the Church shows that Christianity does not have simply one cultural expression, but rather, ‘remaining completely true to itself, with unswerving fidelity to the proclamation of the Gospel and the tradition of the Church, it will also reflect the different faces of the cultures and peoples in which it is received and takes root’.[53] In the diversity of peoples who experience the gift of God, each in accordance with its own culture, the Church expresses her genuine catholicity and shows forth ‘the beauty of her varied face’.[54] In the Christian customs of an evangelized people, the Holy Spirit adorns the Church, showing her new aspects of revelation and giving her a new face”.[55]
This way of seeing things clearly sets out a demanding task for theology just as, in their own specific areas of competence, for the other disciplines contemplated in ecclesiastical studies. With a fine image, Benedict XVI stated that the Church’s tradition “is not a transmission of things or of words, a collection of dead things. Tradition is the living river that links us to the origins, the living river in which the origins are ever present”.[56] “This river irrigates various lands, feeds various geographical places, germinating the best of that land, the best of that culture. In this way, the Gospel continues to be incarnated in every corner of the world, in an ever new way”.[57] Theology must doubtless be rooted and grounded in sacred Scripture and in the living tradition, but for this very reason it must simultaneously accompany cultural and social processes, and particularly difficult transitions. Indeed, “at this time theology must address conflicts: not only those that we experience within the Church but also those that concern the world as a whole”.[58] This involves “the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process”, thus acquiring “a way of making history in a life setting where conflicts, tensions and oppositions can achieve the diversified and life-giving unity. This is not to opt for a kind of syncretism, or for the absorption of one into the other, but rather for a resolution which takes place on a higher plane and preserves what is valid and useful on both sides”.[59]
  1. The revival of ecclesiastical studies entails the pressing need to give new impulse to the scientific research conducted in our ecclesiastical universities and faculties. The Apostolic ConstitutionSapientia Christianapresented research as a “primary duty”, in constant “contact with reality… to communicate doctrine to [our] contemporaries in various cultures”.[60] Yet in today’s multicultural and multiethnic world, new social and cultural dynamics impose a broadening of these aims. Indeed, for the Church to carry out her saving mission, “it is not enough that evangelizers be concerned to reach each person… the Gospel is also proclaimed to the cultures as a whole”.[61] Ecclesiastical studies cannot be limited to passing on knowledge, professional competence and experience to the men and women of our time who desire to grow as Christians, but must also take up the urgent task of developing intellectual tools that can serve as paradigms for action and thought, useful for preaching in a world marked by ethical and religious pluralism. To do so calls not only for profound theological knowledge, but also the ability to conceive, design and achieve ways of presenting the Christian religion capable of a profound engagement with different cultural systems. All this calls for increased quality in scientific research and a gradual improvement in the level of theological studies and related sciences. It is not only a matter of extending the field of diagnosis and of adding to the mass of available data for interpreting reality,[62] but of a deeper study that seeks “to communicate more effectively the truth of the Gospel in a specific context, without renouncing the truth, the goodness and the light which it can bring wherever perfection is not possible”.[63]
It is to research conducted in ecclesiastical universities, faculties and institutes that I primarily entrust the task of developing that “creative apologetics” which I called for in Evangelii Gaudium, in order to “encourage greater openness to the Gospel on the part of all”.[64]
Indispensable in this regard is the establishment of new and qualified centres of research where – as I proposed in Laudato Si’ – scholars from different religious universities and from different scientific fields can interact with responsible freedom and mutual transparency, thus entering into “dialogue among themselves for the sake of protecting nature, defending the poor, and building networks of respect and fraternity”.[65] In all countries, universities constitute the main centres of scientific research for the advancement of knowledge and of society; they play a decisive role in economic social and cultural development, especially in a time like our own, marked as it is by rapid, constant and far-reaching changes in the fields of science and technology. International agreements also take account of the vital responsibility of universities for research policies and the need to coordinate them by creating networks of specialized centres in order to facilitate, not least, the mobility of researchers.
In this regard, plans are under way for outstanding interdisciplinary centres and initiatives aimed at accompanying the development of advanced technologies, the best use of human resources and programmes of integration. Ecclesiastical studies, in the spirit of a Church that “goes forth”, are likewise called to develop specialized centers capable of deeper dialogue with the different scientific fields. Specifically, shared and converging research between specialists of different disciplines represents a particular service to the people of God, and especially to the Magisterium. It also supports the Church’s mission of proclaiming the good news of Christ to all, in dialogue with the different sciences and in the service of a deeper understanding and application of truth in the life of individuals and society.
Ecclesiastical studies will thus be poised to make their specific and unique contribution of inspiration and guidance, and will be able to articulate and express in a new, challenging and realistic way their proper task. So it has always been and so shall it ever be! Theology and Christian culture have lived up to their mission whenever they were ready to take risks and remain faithful on the borderline. “The questions of our people, their suffering, their battles, their dreams, their trials, their worries possess an interpretational value that we cannot ignore if we want to take the principle of the Incarnation seriously. Their wondering helps us to wonder ourselves, their questions question us. All this helps us to delve into the mystery of the Word of God, the Word that requires and asks that we dialogue, that we enter into communion”.[66]
  1. What is taking shape before us today is “a great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal”.[67]This is also the case for ecclesiastical faculties and universities.
May a joyful and unshaken faith in Jesus, crucified and risen, the centre and Lord of history, guide, enlighten and sustain us in these demanding and exciting times marked by commitment to a renewed and far-sighted overall configuration of ecclesiastical studies. Christ’s resurrection, with the superabundant gift of the Holy Spirit, “everywhere calls forth seeds of this new world; even if they are cut back, they grow again, for the resurrection is already secretly woven into the fabric of this history”.[68]
May Mary Most Holy, who at the message of the angel conceived with ineffable joy the Word of Truth, accompany our journey. May she obtain from the Father of all good things the blessing of light and of love that we await, with hope and childlike trust, from her Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the joy of the Holy Spirit!

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