Category: The Shepherd’s Voice

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Assumption

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“Do you pray the Rosary every day?,” Pope Francis asked the crowd at Castelgandolfo on the Feast of the Assumption last year.  “But I’m not sure you do, he added, teasingly.  “Yes!,” the crowd yelled back in unison. Pope Francis is traveling in South Korea this week, and thus he did not hold his weekly […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Church and the Beatitudes

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Pope Francis resumed his catechesis on the Church, during his first General Audience since June. He focuses this week’s teaching on how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament by giving a new teaching on mercy in the beatitudes. Key Points: 1.)“John points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion. The new […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Living Out the Eucharist

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As faithful Catholics, how exactly are we living out the Eucharist, both during and outside of Mass? This is the basic question posed by Pope Francis during the second part of his Catechesis on the Eucharist . In the first teaching, the pope reminded us about our real communion with Jesus and his mystery during […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Eucharist and Renewing Our Hearts

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I do believe, help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24) Trembling and filled with anticipation I repeated this to myself as I walked down the aisle to receive, for the first time, the Eucharist. Pope Francis speaks to those gathered to receive his catechesis about the Eucharist (February 5, 2014) that “From this Sacrament of love, in […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Sacrament of Confirmation

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When I got assigned to write about Pope Francis’ general audience on Confirmation, I was filled with joy. I smiled thinking how beautiful God works in our lives. I go to different churches and talk about the importance of Confirmation to our young people and tell them my story, and how the Holy Spirit worked […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: On Baptism

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The routine and ritual of the Sunday mornings of my childhood are forever etched into my memory. My siblings and I looked forward to Saturday night sleepovers at my Italian-immigrant Grandmother’s house and on Sunday morning we awoken to the smell of frying meatballs and simmering sauce. Hand in hand, we walked with my Grandmother […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Belonging to the Church

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Remember that scene from the movie QUO VADIS (okay, you don’t; the movie was released, after all, in 1951!) where two early Christians meet on the road? They don’t know each other and, in a time of persecution, they have to be circumspect around strangers. So, the first one draws an arc in the sand […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Nature of the Church

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After concluding his talks on the gifts of the Spirit, Pope Francis now takes up the subject of the Church, its identity and mission. He began by warmly welcoming everyone as his brothers and sisters. This was a fitting greeting since his address emphasized God’s desire to form a family of people through Fatherly love. […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Fear of the Lord

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In Pope Francis’ general audience this past Wednesday he explains beautifully what Fear of God means. This particular Gift of the Holy Spirit can be taken the wrong way by many people. It can be taken as a literal fear, of something that could ultimately hurt us in some way. Our Pope knows this and […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Gift of Piety

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Service to God means to submit to Gods will for you at all times. That sounds easy enough you may be thinking, but is it?  As a mother of seven children fulfilling Gods will is hard work and it is made more difficult if I am lacking the Gift of Piety. What does piety mean […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Path to Unity

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“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:20-21) Pope Francis […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Gift of Knowledge

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In the May 21, 2014, Wednesday Audience on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, (this week focusing on The Gift of Knowledge), Pope Francis spoke several times about various gifts God offers us. First, let us examine the idea of gift.  Each of us has experienced physically receiving a gift especially on a special occasion […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Gift of Fortitude

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“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” –GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy Continuing his Catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis used this week’s lesson to discuss the gift of fortitude. When we consider the Gifts of the Spirit, […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Gift of Counsel

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Pope Francis continues his catechesis at the General Audience  Wednesday morning in Saint Peter’s Square on gifts of the Holy Spirit. After having examined wisdom and understanding the last two weeks, this week he discusses the often misunderstood gift of counsel. The pope reminds us that “we must make room for the Spirit, so that […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Gift of Understanding

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Pope Francis continues his catechesis this week on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. After having examined wisdom as the first of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. This week he draws attention to the second gift, the gift of understanding. He goes on to say that:” Born of our sharing in God’s life […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Pope Francis’ Homily at Canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II

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At the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the  Octave of Easter and which John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus. He had already shown those wounds when he first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Seeking the Living Among the Dead

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In Pope Francis’ General Audience on Wednesday April 24th, he greets everyone with Easter Joy. Pope Francis challenges the crowd with the question the angel asked the women who went to Jesus’ tomb; “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” This question is definitely a challenging question for many because it is something […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: In Our Suffering, God Humbles and Exalts

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We like happy endings, don’t we? We always want the underdog to win, and sometimes, we can get carried away with it – and hope the story ends the way it should. That’s easier. There’s no lingering dissonance to resolve. Pressing the pause button on his catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: What is Wisdom?

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Continuing with his back to basics approach to catechesis, the Holy Father used this week’s general audience to begin a new series of reflections, this time on the gifts of the Spirit. When you ask people what the gifts of the Spirit are, you frequently hear such things as speaking in tongues, prophesy, healing, etc. […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Love, Marriage, and Broken Dishes

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In Wednesday’s general audience, the Holy Father wraps up his series on the sacraments by covering that of Holy Matrimony.  It is fitting he saved the sacrament for last, because in the end, matrimony is what we are all called to.  Even if we choose the religious life, we are called to nuptial union with […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Holy Orders

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The call to the priesthood is “the desire to serve others in the things that come from God,” Pope Francis told 50,000 gathered in a rainy St. Peter’s Square for his General Audience on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.  A priestly vocation is “the wish to spend your whole life in service to catechize, baptize, forgive, […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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24 Hours for the Lord Begins Today

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At the request of Pope Francis, the Diocese of Rome and other dioceses throughout the world will begin the weekend with a sustained period of heightened Lenten reflections and devotional practices termed “24 hours for the Lord.” The Pope announced the initiative from the window of the Papal Apartments after praying the “Angelus” last Sunday.  […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: February 19, 2014

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“Be courageous, and go to confession,” was the message Pope Francis delivered at his Weekly General Audience on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.  This was the seventh General Audience of the year, part of a cycle of weekly talks dedicated to the Church’s Sacraments. In his straightforward way, Francis called on those present to silently ask […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Pope Francis: Christmas Urbi et Orbi Message

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Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours (Lk 2:14) Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the whole world, Greetings and Happy Christmas! I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. It is […]

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