Perspectives Daily – Papal Nuncio Addresses Israeli Assault in Gaza

Today on Perspectives, we look at the deteriorating situation in Gaza and Vatican Radio talks to the Papal Nuncio to the Holy Land to get his assessment of the situation. Catholic News Service also takes a look back at the First World War a century after its inception and examines how the Vatican responded to total war.

Perspectives Daily – Brief Relief in Gaza

Today on Perspectives, brief cease fire brings temporary relief in Gaza, the Holy See Press Office announces two trips for the pope to the city of Caserta and a look ahead at a pair upcoming events.

Perspectives Daily – Preaching Conference

In Toronto’s St. Augustine’s Seminary, deacons, priests and bishops from all over the English-speaking world spent this past week working to improve on an important part of their ministry. Our Deacon Pedro was there.

The Preaching Conference is one of the many gatherings throughout the year commemorating the 100th anniversary of St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. For more information on all the seminary’s centenary events, please visit staugustines.on.ca

This past Sunday, the Knights Columbus hosted the Special Olympics Hometown Softball Games. Taking place at Etobicoke, Ontario’s Centennial Park, the games are organized for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Blessed with perfect weather, a total of 16 teams and over 200 athletes participated in the event. The Knights, who regularly look after the event, provided the volunteers, lunches, umpires and trophies. In 2005 the Knights pledged $1 million over four years to the Special Olympics and this has since been renewed through 2016. It is a stalwart partnership that spans across all of North America. To date, the Knights have raised more than $526 million for programs for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

On Friday June 27, the Archdiocese of Ottawa ordained Father Matthew Chojna to the priesthood in the city’s Notre Dame Cathedral. Now a few weeks into his new vocation, Father Chojna took some time to talk about his priestly ministry.

Perspectives Daily – Pope’s Schedule for Upcoming Journey

Today the Holy See Press Office announced the breakdown for His Holiness Pope Francis’ trip to the diocese of Cassano all’Jonio in Italy’s Calabria Region on Saturday June 21. After he arrives by helicopter, the Holy Father will meet inmates at the local penitentiary and then visit a palliative care center. He will then meet with the clergy of the diocese followed by lunch with the poor and with youth. He will then visit the elderly at a therapeutic rehabilitation center after which he will conclude his visit with a late afternoon vigil mass.

Last month saw the final installment of the Christian Culture Series from Windsor’s Assumption University. The last speaker was His Grace Archbishop Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton. Here now is an excerpt of his talk was entitled, “What Does the New Evangelization Ask of Us in Canada?”

Archbishop Smith’s full talk is now available on our website along with the whole of the Christian Culture Series. For more information or to watch, please visit saltandlighttv.org/christiancultureseries

For a limited time, Salt and Light is proud to offer on our online store, “Father Michael McGivney,” a film produced by the Knight’s of Columbus. It tells the story of the film’s namesake, the founder of the Knights.

“Father Michael McGivney” can now be purchased on our online store at saltandlighttv.org/store

Perspectives Daily – Tues. March 4, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ daily mass, Cardinal Turkson visits Slovakia, the gardens of Castel Gondolfo are opened to the world and the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition.

Knights of Columbus Co-Sponsor Vatican Conference in Mexico City on New Evangelization in America

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A major meeting led by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus is discussing the role and mission of the Catholic Church in North, South and Central America. The conference is taking place at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City from Nov. 16 to 19.

The conference, titled “Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization on the American Continent,” will pay special attention to the important role of Mary’s apparition at Guadalupe in the subsequent — and ongoing — evangelization of the American continent.

The event is co-sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Knights of Columbus, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Instituto Superior de Estudios Guadalupanos.

Building on a similar event held last year in Rome, this conference takes on a special significance in light of the March 13 election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as the first pope from the American hemisphere.

Inspired by Blessed John Paul II’s exhortation “Ecclesia in America” (The Church in America), which was published in the wake of the Synod for America held in 1997, the conference will include addresses by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and former primate of Canada; Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson; Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, director of the Instituto Superior de Estudios Guadalupanos; Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley; newly elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville; in addition to other leading members of the clergy and laity from throughout the hemisphere.

The conference will focus on the Church’s continental mission in light of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s important place as Mother of the Church in America and in the wake of the election of Pope Francis, whose impact within the region — and beyond — will be the subject of much discussion.

Pope Francis will address the group via a video message on opening day, Nov. 16, following words of welcome by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico City, and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio in Mexico.

“At Guadalupe, Mary’s message was one of love and reconciliation, which can be seen echoed in Pope Francis’ efforts to reach out to the poor and marginalized, to the fallen-away and those who have never really followed Christ,” observed Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who will address the gathering on the Church’s New Evangelization in a talk on Sunday, Nov. 17. “Pope Francis has focused on the New Evangelization with a model that is clearly related to the American model embodied by Our Lady of Guadalupe — a model based on loving outreach, on charity and on concern for the spiritual and physical well-being of all.”

Pope Francis’ Video Message to Conference
“Missionary outreach is paradigm for pastoral action”

Missionary outreach is “the paradigm for all pastoral action,” said Pope Francis in his remarks today in a video message to participants at a four-day pilgrimage-encounter in Mexico. The conference, held 16-19 November, was organized by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

The Pope spoke about the need for creativity and about the missionary impulse in the evangelizing work of the Church, making reference to the conclusions of the Fifth General Conference of Latin American Bishops, held in 2007, commonly referred to as Aparecida.

“Aparecida,” he said, “proposes to put the Church in a permanent state of mission… And this, in the certainty that missionary outreach, more than being one activity among others, is a paradigm, that is, the paradigm for all pastoral action.”

The intimacy of the Church with Jesus is an “itinerant intimacy,” he said, which calls people out of themselves to reach out to others.

“It is vital for the Church not to close in on itself, not to feel already satisfied and sure with what it has accomplished,” he said. “If this happens, the Church will get sick, it will get sick with imaginary abundance… in a certain sense it will ‘get indigestion’ and will weaken.”

All pastoral activity is oriented by the missionary impulse to reach everyone, he continued. “It is necessary to go out of one’s community and to have the boldness to go to the existential peripheries, which need to feel God’s closeness,” he said.

Evangelization is not exclusive and it considers the circumstances in which people find themselves. Christians must share the joy of having encountered Christ and not impose new obligations, reprimand others or complain about that which they consider to be lacking.

“The work of evangelization demands much patience,” he said. It also presents the “Christian message in manner that is serene and gradual… as did the Lord”.

It privileges that which is “essential and most necessary, that is, the beauty of the love of God, communicated in Christ, who died and resurrected.”

He urged Christians to step outside of their usual ways of doing things. “We must force ourselves to be creative in our methods,” he said. “We cannot remain confined in our common space of ‘it was always done this way’.”

Temptation of Clericalism

The Pope also addressed the role of clerics and religious in the Church. He said a bishop leads the pastoral life of the Church with tenderness and patience, “manifesting the maternity of the Church and the mercy of God”. The attitude of the true pastor must not be that of a prince or of a bureaucrat. Instead, a bishop must care for his people, knowing how to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis also addressed the need to deal with clericalism. “The temptation of clericalism, which does much damage to the Church in Latin America, is an obstacle to the development of maturity and Christian responsibility of a good part of the laity,” he said.

He described clericalism as a “group attitude” that is “self-referential” and which impoverishes encounter with Christ, which is what creates disciples.

“Therefore, I believe it is important, urgent, to form ministers capable… of encounter, who know how to enflame the hearts of people, walk with them, enter into dialogue with their hopes and fears,” he said.

He added that today’s culture requires good priestly formation, and he questioned whether the Church had “sufficient capacity to be self-critical in order to evaluate the results of very small seminaries, which have a shortage of formative staff”.

The Pope also said consecrated life is leaven for the Church and urged consecrated men and women to be faithful to their communities’ charisms, which are a “great prophecy… for the good of the Church”.

The Pope concluded by urging his listeners to live their baptismal call in faith and to share it with others.

(CNS Photo/ Bob Roller) 

Perspectives Daily : Monday, Aug. 26

Today on Perspectives: Pope Francis speaks out against the violence in Syria. Today marks the 35th anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul I, who reigned for 34 days. Also, we introduce you to the figure of Cardinal Celso Costantini, the first papal delegate to China, and bring you details about our encore presentations of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention.

Perspectives Daily: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

Tonight on Perspectives: The Knights of Columbus wrap up their Supreme Annual Convention with a relic from John Paul II and the launch of a new prayer campaign. Meanwhile, Pope Francis creates new financial laws at the Holy See in order to meet international anti-money laundering norms. Get the details on Perspectives.

More from the Knights Convention in San Antonio – Aug. 7, 2013

Tonight on Perspectives: Japanese Church remembers WWII bombings and we bring you more highlights from the 131st Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus.

Archbishop Richard Smith addresses the Knights of Columbus

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Remarks of Most Rev. Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at the States Dinner of the 131st Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in San Antonio, Texas, August 6, 2013

Your Eminences and Excellencies, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, Dorian, Brother Knights, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to have this opportunity to address once again some brief remarks on the occasion of this States Dinner.

The relationship between the Knights of Columbus and the Bishops of Canada is strong, and I and my brother Bishops from Canada who join me on this day are pleased to underline that good rapport by our presence here during the Supreme Convention.

Allow me to share with you a story. Recently I attended the episcopal ordination of the new Bishop of Churchill-Hudson Bay, Most Reverend Anthony Krotki. It took place in the Canadian far north, in the hamlet of Rankin Inlet, in the territory of Nunavut. As part of the celebrations the local Inuit population offered everyone the opportunity to share in a traditional community feast. We gathered in the local arena. As I arrived, I saw a number of people putting down sheets of cardboard across the gymnasium floor. Then they proceeded to throw out on to this cardboard large pieces of raw, frozen fish and caribou, together with the heads and brains and inner organs of Lord knows what other animals. To this was added some raw, fresh whale blubber. After the blessing the local people sat on the floor and gathered up the food in their hands and used small knives to slice off pieces to eat. I saw only one non-local (a missionary priest from Poland — God bless him) get on the floor and join them. Most of us visitors (cowards, some would say), including yours truly, simply stood back and stared. Thanks be to God, there was other cooked food available. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lineup for that nourishment was very long.

Getting accustomed to a strange diet is not easy. I know my own stomach recoiled at what I saw on that arena floor. Many international travellers know the experience of encountering unfamiliar food and being unable to handle it. This is, I believe, a helpful analogy for understanding the difficulties we encounter today as Christians when we undertake the new evangelization.

When we announce the Gospel, we are proposing a “diet” to which much of our western culture has grown unaccustomed, even allergic. Our “diet” is centred on the Bread of Life, Jesus Himself, truly present in the Eucharistic species. Transformed by this food, our daily diet becomes that of obedience to truth, the embrace of the Cross and self-gift for the sake of world. For anyone more accustomed to a diet of selfishness and relativism, such a proposed diet would be impossible to swallow. The “stomach” recoils. Hence the negative and sometimes vitriolic response to the Gospel and the Church that we witness today.

What is to be done? I suggest two things. First, as I watched the Inuit eat the food that I could not imagine even touching, I noticed the look of satisfaction — even joy —on their faces. Such a “witness” made me wonder if the food might be worth tasting after all. I didn’t get that far, but it at least left me thinking that there must be something good about this particular diet. The most effective way we have of proposing that diet we call the Gospel is to give witness to the joy that it brings us. Our world is living largely on the junk food of individualism and self-reliance, a diet that leaves one hungry and malnourished. By our joy, we invite those accustomed to this empty diet to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” (Psalm 34:8) and in Christ to find true nourishment and real life.

Second, we need to pay close attention to our own daily diet, to avoid giving in to the constant temptation to nibble at the “junk food” that surrounds us. The Holy Father, from his first homily as our Chief Shepherd, called us to model our lives on the custos, on Saint Joseph, by protecting the gifts God has given to us. Foundational among those gifts is that of our identity as disciples. We protect that gift by living it with integrity, which demands a careful attention to our choice of nourishment. May the Lord help each of us to choose as our food only Him and the truth he reveals, and to avoid all else. Apart from Christ, nothing can satisfy.

God bless you all.

(CNS Photo)