Letters to Pope Francis from prison: “Thank you for washing the feet of youth like us…”

From Vatican Radio:  Los Angeles County has one of the highest youth incarceration rates in the country. Up to 90% of the county’s juvenile justice youth are Latino or African American, and up to 70% of incarcerated youth nationally are said to have some kind of disability. After witnessing the tragic lives of so many [Read More...]

Pope Francis: the medium and the messenger

Two views of Pope Francis, from different perspectives, come to a strikingly similar conclusion. From Deacon Bill Ditewig:  I do not write this from some naive expectation that “he will change church teaching,” as some like to say.  Rather, it is in the way he is approaching his ministry as Bishop of Rome (his preferred [Read More...]

VIDEO: Pope Francis, deacon—UPDATED

From Rome Reports, the Holy Father is shown in this video washing the feet of 12 jailed teenagers —including two Muslims and two girls—and wearing the stole of a deacon. UPDATE: A couple readers have noted that it appears Pope Francis is actually wearing his priest’s stole, turned to one side. They suggest he did [Read More...]

Pope Francis at the Mass of Our Lord’s Supper: “Washing your feet means I am at your service”

From Vatican Radio:  The Washing of the Feet, or Mandatum, is an integral part of the Holy Thursday liturgy, the Missa in Coena Domini, or Mass of Our Lord’s Supper, which opens the Easter Triduum The Washing of the Feet is a sign of service. Or as Pope Francis told about 40 young detainees gathered [Read More...]

Pope Francis to priests at Chrism Mass: “We need to ‘go out’ and give the Gospel to others”

From the Vatican, the text of Pope Francis’ homily at today’s Chrism Mass: Dear Brothers and Sisters, This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination. [Read More...]

Simply Francis

CNS’s gifted producer Robert Duncan has put together this exceptional glimpse at the Franciscan spirituality that animates and inspires our new pope. Take a look.  Among other things, it reminds me why I count among my favorite places in the world the tiny town of Assisi. [Read more...]

Was this the key to Bergoglio’s election as pope?

A Cuban cardinal has shared Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s intervention during the pre-conclave General Congregation meetings: Cuba’s Catholic primate, Jaime Ortega, made public in Havana a manuscript with remarks made by Jorge Bergoglio about the mission of the church in a session before the conclave that elected him pope. The manuscript was presented “exclusively” to Cardinal [Read More...]

Pope Francis’ first general audience: “Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves”

A preliminary text from today’s appearance, from the Vatican: Dear Brothers and Sisters, On Palm Sunday we began Holy Week, the heart of the liturgical year, when we commemorate the great events that express most powerfully God’s loving plan for all men and women. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to give himself completely. He gives us [Read More...]

Pope Francis as a model of “what it means to be fully human”

An intriguing take on the new pope, from Catholic San Francisco:  Pope Francis is offering the contemporary world the example of Christ as a model of “what it means to be fully human,” in a way that is consistent with the previous two popes but breaks new ground in putting the Gospel into action, Jesuit [Read More...]

Pope’s Holy Thursday Mass: simple, diverse, closed to the media

From the Vatican:  The Mass of the Lord’s Supper that Pope Francis will celebrate on Holy Thursday in the chapel of the Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors (IPM) will be, by his express desire, very simple, as reported by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. Concelebrating with [Read More...]


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