IMAGE: CNS/Nancy WiechecBy Nancy WiechecNOGALES,
Ariz. (CNS) -- The apostolic nuncio to the United States celebrated Mass at the
U.S.-Mexico border Oct. 23 offering prayers to break down the barriers that
Christophe Pierre faced the immense steel border fence in Nogales as he and the
bishop of Tucson and the bishop of Mexico's Diocese of Nogales, Sonora,
concelebrated the liturgy with people gathered on both sides of the border.
nuncio began the prayer of the faithful with a plea for unity.
we come before you today as your disciples, sometimes filled with fear and
doubt, even suspicion," he said. "We pray to dismantle the barriers within our
hearts and minds that separate us, who are all members of your body."
his words, young people led the congregation in prayers for "needed immigration
reform," for humane treatment of migrants who don't have documents, and for "security
and justice for all." They prayed especially for migrant children, "who are
vulnerable to exploitation and abuse," and for all who have died in border
violence, including border patrol agents, immigrants and innocent victims.
Mass was the third such one this year along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The
liturgies were organized by Dioceses Without Borders, an effort of the dioceses
of Nogales, Tucson and Phoenix to work collaboratively on issues that affect
the church and people in the border region.
his homily and afterward in an interview with Catholic News Service, Archbishop
Pierre echoed the sentiments of Pope Francis in regard to borders and the care
of migrants and refugees, who the archbishop said all too often are looked upon
as unwanted and as criminals.
exist all over the world, and borders are not bad, but borders should not be
just a barrier -- should not be a wall -- but should be a bridge between
people," the nuncio said.
that goes in the direction of understanding, helping each other, discovering
the beauty of the other is what is necessary to covert hearts and transform the
world," he said. "It's time to break the obstacles that exist between people."
cheers from both sides of the border, Archbishop Pierre ended his homily with, "Viva
Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! Viva la iglesia santa!" ("Long live Christ
the King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe! Long live the holy church!")
Pierre is no stranger to the people of Mexico. He served as nuncio in Mexico
for nine years before being appointed as the pope's representative in the U.S.
But he said this Mass was his first visit to Nogales, Arizona.
what seemed to be a spontaneous moment during the service, five young people
ducked under a barrier near the border fence to hold hands and pray the Our
Father with those on the other side in Mexico.
stayed at the border fence until the sign of peace, offering their hands to those
on the other side.
Zapien, music director for the Diocese of Tucson, said the special Mass was a statement
that "faith can unite people."
original score "Misa de la Misericordia" ("Mass of Mercy") was used in the
cross-border liturgy with choirs on both sides participating.
and music have no borders," he said.
Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson said he was grateful for to Archbishop Pierre's
participation in the service.
represents Pope Francis, whose heart is along the borders of our world, caring
for immigrants and refugees," he told CNS.
nuncio's presence is a reminder of our Holy Father's great love for those who
are suffering, for those who are in need. So this was a very special
celebration here in 'ambos Nogales' ('both Nogaleses') as we pray together
across walls united in our prayer for one another."
the hundreds of people that gathered for the border Mass were those that serve
the Kino Border Initiative, a bi-national migrant advocacy and service
Kicanas expressed his pride in the group and in a group of young people, the
Kino Teens, who work with the border initiative.
enthusiasm, their spirit is a true blessing," he said. "They believe in the
Lord. They believe in the church, and to have these young people participating
in our Mass here in 'ambos Nogales' was a true blessing."- - -Follow Wiechec on Twitter: @nancywiechec.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS/Itua Egbor, SJBy Carol GlatzROME (CNS) -- Pope Francis, speaking both as pope and a
Jesuit, asked members of the Society of Jesus to continue to journey to where
Christ is most needed, and always ask God for consolation, compassion and help
The Jesuits aim to "move forward, overcoming the
impediments which the enemy of human nature puts in our way when, in serving
God, we are seeking the greater good," the pope told more than 200 Jesuits
chosen to represent the more than 16,000 Jesuits at the order's general
Given that the Society of Jesus' way of proceeding for
"the greater good is accomplished through joy, the cross and through the
church, our mother," the pope said he wished to help revive its zeal for
mission by reflecting on those three points.
Instead of the usual custom of general congregation
delegates going to the Vatican to meet the pope, Pope Francis went to the
Jesuits' Rome headquarters Oct. 24 to meet them. He was greeted by Venezuelan
Father Arturo Sosa, who was elected superior general of the order Oct. 14, as
well as by other members. He spent more than three hours at the headquarters, including time devoted to a "private conversation," according to the Vatican press office.
After taking part in morning prayer with the delegates,
Pope Francis delivered a lengthy reflection on how the Society of Jesus can
best serve God, the church and the world, while remaining true to its Ignatian
identity and zeal for mission.
He said the Jesuit way of journeying and moving forward
as followers of the Lord requires: asking God insistently for consolation;
allowing oneself to be moved by Jesus crucified on the cross for one's sins;
and doing good by being led by the Holy Spirit and by thinking with the church.
The true work of the Jesuits, he said, is to offer the
people of God consolation and help them so that "the enemy of human nature
does not rob us of joy -- the joy of evangelizing, the joy of the family, the
joy of the church, the joy of creation."
May this joy not be stripped from "us, either by
despair before the magnitude of the evils of the world or by the
misunderstandings between those who intend to do good," he said, and may
it not be replaced "with foolish joys that are always at hand in all human
Even when feeling unworthy, Jesuits should still pray
persistently for consolation so that they may be a sincere, joyful bearers of
the Gospel, he said.
"Good news cannot be given with a sad face. Joy is
not a decorative 'add-on'" nor is it a cosmetic, "special
effect," he said. "It is a clear indicator of grace; it shows that
love is active, working and present."
"This joy of the explicit proclamation of the Gospel
-- through preaching the faith and practicing justice and mercy -- is that
which leads the Society to go to all the peripheries," the pope said.
"The Jesuit is a servant of the joy of the Gospel."
Jesuits can move forward by "letting ourselves be
moved by the Lord placed on the cross -- by him in person and by him present in
so many of our brothers and sisters who are suffering (and are) the great
majority of humankind," he said, quoting the late-Father Pedro Arrupe who
said that wherever there is pain, the Society of Jesus is there.
God's mercy isn't an abstract term, but "a
lifestyle," Pope Francis said. Too often, people "dilute" the
life-giving power of mercy with "our abstract formulations and legalistic
God "looks upon us with mercy and chooses us,"
sending people out to bring that same mercy "to the poorest, to sinners,
to 'discarded' people and those crucified in the present world, who suffer
injustice and violence."
Only when people experience firsthand God's healing mercy
on their own wounds "will we lose the fear of allowing ourselves be moved
by the immense suffering of our brothers and sisters, and will we hasten to
walk patiently with our people, learning from them the best way of helping and
Lastly, journeying forward in doing good requires the
grace of discernment -- so that actions are inspired by "the good
Spirit," which roots people to the church, he said.
It is in the church that the Holy Spirit works and
"distributes the diversity of her charisms for the common good," Pope
Francis said. The importance of thinking with the church is what lies behind
the Jesuit St. Peter Faber's insistence that "those who wanted to reform
the church were right, but that God did not want to correct it through their
Thinking with the church, "without losing peace and
with joy, considering the sins we see, in us as well as in others, and in the
structures that we have created, involves carrying the cross, experiencing
poverty and humiliations," he said.
St. Ignatius advised personal reflection before speaking
or acting in response to clear contradictions in order to operate according to
the good Spirit. His invitation is not so much a guideline for how to respond
to controversy, but a reminder to "act against" an anti-ecclesial
spirit and orient oneself fully toward the mother -- the church -- "not to
justify a debatable position, but to make room so that the Spirit could act in
its own time."
Pope Francis said that serving the Holy Spirit with
discernment "makes us men of the church -- not clerical, but ecclesial --
men for others.""We don't walk alone
or comfortably, but we walk with 'a heart that does not rest, that does not
close in on itself but beats to the rhythm of a journey undertaken together
with all the people faithful to God,'" he said. - - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Remo Casilli, ReutersBy Catholic News ServiceVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As a military operation in northern
Iraq fights to wrest control of areas held by retaliating Islamic State forces,
Pope Francis criticized the "cruelty" and heinous violence waged
against innocent civilians.
He invited people to pray with him, asking that
"Iraq, while gravely stricken, might be both strong and firm in the hope
of moving toward a future of security, reconciliation and peace."
Speaking to visitors in St. Peter's Square Oct.
23 for the Angelus prayer, the pope said, "In these dramatic hours, I am
close to the entire population of Iraq, especially that of the city of
"Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of
violence that for too long have been perpetrated against innocent citizens,
whether they be Muslims, whether they be Christians, or people belonging to
other ethnic groups and religions."
He said he was "saddened to hear news of the
killing, in cold blood, of many sons and daughters of that beloved land,
including many children; this cruelty makes us weep, leaving us without
The pope's remarks came as Iraqi government troops and
Kurdish fighters backed by a U.S.-led coalition were seeking to retake control
of Mosul, the nation's second-largest city. As the so-called Islamic State lost
control of a number of villages, it has stepped up attacks in other parts of
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
verified reports that IS militants were forcing residents of surrounding
villages into Mosul -- presumably to be used as human shields.
As humanitarian groups worked to aid those already
displaced by the offensive, many were preparing for what's feared to become a
mass exodus because more than 1 million people were thought to be inside Mosul.
Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Iraq said they were
prepared to respond quickly to the expected crisis and have already been
assisting thousands of people who fled since the new offensive began Oct. 17.
"We've been getting ready for Mosul for months by
training additional staff and volunteers," CRS Iraq country representative
Hani El-Mahdi said in a CRS press release Oct. 21.
According to the United Nations, approximately 3,900
people have fled Mosul since the offensive was launched. Tens of thousands more
were expected to join the some 3.3 million Iraqis who have been internally
displaced since IS forces started controlling parts of Iraq in 2014.
CRS and Caritas said they were ready to provide shelter,
water, sanitation and cash assistance, while offering priority care and
protection to women, children, the elderly and the disabled.
El-Mahdi said the coming winter months will pose an
additional challenge as well as the fear that aid may not reach those trapped
within militant-controlled areas.
It's estimated that more than 10 million people are in
urgent need of humanitarian aid throughout the country, the CRS press statement
said.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Gregory A. ShemitzBy Beth GriffinNEW
YORK (CNS) -- When Donald J. Trump stepped over yet another invisible line of the
contentious presidential race Oct. 20, many of the 1,500 people
at 71st annual dinner of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation broke historic
precedent to boo him.
Trump and Hillary Clinton flanked the host, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, on
the five-tiered dais of the Grand Ballroom at the heavily secured Waldorf
Astoria hotel for the charitable gala.
event has been a traditional opportunity for speakers to poke good-natured fun
at themselves, one another, and prominent guests from the worlds of politics,
business and philanthropy without inflicting wounds.
In 1928, Alfred
E. Smith, former governor of New York who was raised in poverty, was the first
Catholic nominated by a major political party to run for president of the
an introductory warning delivered as a humor-coated reminder of the evening's ground
rules by emcee Alfred E. Smith IV, chairman of the dinner, Trump veered from the
safety of chuckle-inducing barbs and zings. He said she is "so corrupt" she was kicked off the Watergate commission. The room erupted
in a crescendo of boos and shoutouts, as he lobbed one accusation after
another that his opponent is deceptive and a Catholic-hater. "She
is here tonight ... pretending not to hate Catholics," he said.
was restored when the Republican nominee recalled past Al Smith dinners as a
special occasion to spend time with his father, developer Fred Trump.
Smith, a great-grandson of the foundation's namesake, aimed jokes equally at both
candidates and reflected the general discomfort of the electorate with them. He
told Trump to watch his language because "even though the man sitting next to
you is in a robe, you're not in a locker room." He advised Clinton to remain
stoic in the face of insults during the evening by considering it a fourth
the proximity on Fifth Avenue of St. Patrick's Cathedral to Trump Tower, Smith
said Trump's appearance was historic, marking the first time the Catholic Church
was not the largest tax-exempt landowner at the dinner.
was greeted warmly with applause. He quipped that the huge event was a small intimate dinner
with friends for him, but that it counted as his opponent's largest crowd of
gave a shoutout to politicians in the room who formerly loved him, but turned
on him when he sought the Republican nomination. He said the dinner gives
candidates an opportunity to meet one another's teams and those working hard to
get them elected.
he spoke, he pointed out chairmen of media corporations seated on the dais and
among the assembly. As an example that the media is biased against him, Trump
said Michelle Obama gave a speech that everyone loved, but when his wife,
Melania, delivered the exact same speech, "people got all over her case. I
don't get it."
said he knows Clinton is very gracious because, if elected, she wants him to be
her ambassador to either Iraq or Afghanistan.
said the presidential debates were the most vicious in the history of politics.
In a rare reflective moment, he turned to Clinton and asked, "Are we supposed
to be proud of it?"
need to stand up to anti-Catholic bias, defend religious liberty and create a
culture that celebrates life, Trump concluded.
sat down to mixed applause and boos. Retaking the microphone, Smith said, "As
Ronald Reagan would say, 'There you go again!'" He noted the dinner raised a
record $6 million.
Democratic nominee was introduced to a standing ovation. Clinton said the fiery
populist Al Smith would be proud of the money raised at the event, but if he
saw the "room full of plutocrats" gathered to celebrate his legacy, he'd be
said she was taking a break from her rigorous nap schedule to attend, but the
event was also treat for the guests because she usually charges a lot for a
speech. She said she was a little amazed at the opportunity to speak, because
she didn't think her opponent would be OK with a peaceful transition of
said, "Every year this dinner brings together a collection of sensible,
committed mainstream Republicans, or as we now like to call them, Hillary
said critics accuse her of saying only what listeners want to hear. "Tonight
that is true. This is exactly what you want to hear. This election will be over
very, very soon."
said when Trump wanted her to undergo a pre-debate drug test, "I was so flattered
he thought I used some sort of performance-enhancers. Actually I did. It's
has questioned her stamina, Clinton said, but over the course of three debates,
she has stood next to him for longer than any of his campaign managers. She
said Trump is so concerned about her health, he sent a car to bring her to the
dinner. "Actually it was a hearse."
Clinton said if elected, "I will be the healthiest and youngest woman ever to
said one of the things the candidates have in common is the Republican National
Committee "isn't spending a dime to help either one of us."
serious, Clinton said it's easy to forget how far the country has come. When Al
Smith ran for office, she said there were rumors that he would forbid
Bible-reading in schools, annul Protestant marriages and make the Holland
Tunnel into a secret passageway to the Vatican so the pope could rule the
country. "Those appeals to fear and division can cause us to treat each other
as 'the other.' Rhetoric like that makes it harder for us to respect each
other," she said.
need to get better at finding ways to disagree on matters of policy while
agreeing on questions of decency and civility," she said.
the candidates shook hands across Cardinal Dolan at the dinner, he jokingly
attributed his nascent cold at the benediction to having spent two hours seated
between them, which he said is "the iciest pace on the planet. Where is global
warming when you need it?"
noted the funds raised at the dinner would provide grants for thousands of
mothers and children who are most in need and least visible to society.
guests in formal attire sat elbow-to-elbow at gold-covered tables in the
ballroom and its two balconies. The $3,000-a plate meal included a seafood trio
appetizer, tournedos of beef and a chocolate dessert duet. Metropolitan Opera
soprano Nadine Sierra sang the national anthem from the dais, set against the backdrop
of a huge American flag.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Erik De Castro, ReutersBy Alastair WanklynTOKYO (CNS) -- Heavy
damage was reported to homes and farm land in the northern Philippines Oct. 20
after the strongest storm in three years struck overnight.
barreled into northern Cagayan and Isabella provinces, ripping the roofs off
homes and flattening crops. By
late Oct. 21, 13 people had been reported dead, and Haima hit southern China.
building in the city of Tuguegarao was damaged, Philippine media quoted
officials as saying. The city's communication links were down Oct. 20, and phone calls
to the archdiocesan office in Tuguegarao did not connect.
Across the district,
many roads were flooded or blocked by fallen trees. Aid groups said the
disruption made it difficult to assess the extent of damage, with one aid
official calling it "a communications black hole."
Thousands of people
in neighboring Isabella province spent the night sheltering in public
evacuation centers such as schools and churches.
"Most of the
time, the churches serve as evacuation centers if the government evacuation
centers cannot accommodate some of the people," April Ann Abello-Bulanadi,
a spokeswoman for Catholic aid group Caritas Philippines, said by phone from
Caritas released a
summary of reports from parishes of how they had prepared for the storm.
Some of them
reported holding stocks of relief goods. One diocese said it had been giving
out disaster advice at Mass. And in one district, a church compound was designated
the local relief staging ground for emergency supplies, so that residents and
aid groups alike would know where to go.
are very important because they are the ones who are already present on the
ground," Bulanadi said.
There was no estimate
of the total damage to agriculture, but northern Luzon is a center of rice and
corn farming, and the storm was feared to have wiped out crops shortly before
The day after the
typhoon, Caritas officials were expected to monitor video from a drone flown
over the disaster zone by Philippine aerial imagery startup SkyEye Analytics
Inc. Such images can identify communities that are cut off and roads that may
be accessible for aid teams.
Haima is the 12th
typhoon to strike the Philippines this year. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan
killed at least 6,300 people and forced around 5 million from their homes.
disaster following Haiyan served as a wake-up call for authorities and
residents alike. Today, aid workers say, there is a higher alertness by state
agencies and greater willingness by residents to follow evacuation advisories.
Caritas said Haiyan
also highlighted the importance of community-led disaster risk reduction, such
as identifying safe houses and checking on neighbors.
In the three years
since that disaster, Caritas has worked to create a more coordinated readiness
by the church nationwide.
"Now we are
trying to include as many dioceses as possible, not just dioceses from the
provinces affected, but we are also capacitating dioceses from the other
provinces, so that they would also be prepared when such a typhoon like this
would happen again here in the Philippines," Bulanadi said.
Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international relief and
development agency, is part of the Caritas network. Matthew McGarry, country
the "institutional knowledge" of responding and rebuilding structures and lives
since Typhoon Haiyan have helped shape its approach today.
In January 2015,
Pope Francis paid a short visit to Tacloban, one of the cities badly hit by Typhoon
At Mass in the city,
he paid tribute to church and lay workers who helped those left homeless.
"To those of
you who housed and fed people seeking safety, in churches, convents, rectories,
and who continue to assist those still struggling, I thank you," he said.
"You are a credit to the church. You are the pride of your nation.
you did for the least of Christ's brothers and sisters, you did for him."
But there was a
reminder of the Philippines' storm-prone nature when Pope Francis cut short his
visit. He said the pilots of his plane feared worsening conditions would
prevent it taking off safely.
- - -
to this story was Simone Orendain in Chicago.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.