This morning, His Holiness Pope Francis sent a video greeting to the organizers, players and fans at the 2014 World Cup of Soccer that begins to day in Brazil. Speaking in Portuguese, the Holy Father said that he hoped that tournament would show itself to be a festival of solidarity between all peoples. He said that sport should encourage a peaceful and fraternal coexistence between all. Francis said it should teach people the value of fair play as well as authentic team effort. The Pontiff finally talked of sport as a means of moral education, teaching that discipline and sacrifice are necessary to achieve excellence. The Holy Father has made no secret of his love for the game, and to this day he is still a card-carrying member of his hometown team back in Buenos Aires, San Lorenzo.
Tragic news out of the Diocese of Phoenix today, as one of it’s priests was shot and killed and another left in critical condition. It happened yesterday evening at Mother of Mercy Mission Church in Phoenix Arizona. Police were responded to a 911 call regarding a burglary and upon their arrival discovered the body of 29 year-old Father Kenneth Walker, the church’s associate pastor. He had died of apparent gun shot wounds while the pastor, 56 year-old Father Joseph Terra was found severely beaten yet alive. Father Terra is currently being cared for at a Phoenix area hospital and is listed as being in critical condition. Grieving parishioners gathered outside the parish as early as 4:30am this morning to pray following the tragedy. Speaking from a meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in New Orleans, His Excellency Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix offered prayers and said that Father Walker had been ordained just two years ago. Both priests are members of the Fraternal Society of St. Peter and their duties in the diocese included offering mass in the extraordinary form. Police have said that they do not yet have any information on suspects or a potential motive.
Tomorrow the Archdiocese of Ottawa will for the second time this year celebrate a priestly ordination. At St-Jean-Baptiste parish in L’Original, His Grace Archbishop Terrence Prendergast will ordain Deacon Léo Villeneuve to the priesthood. A late vocation to the priesthood, Deacon Villeneuve is a widower, father and grandfather. In a release from the Archdiocese of Ottawa, he said of his late vocation that “I always ask myself how I can serve the Lord. Is there an age to answer the Lord’s call? I consider myself to be neither young nor old, but ready to work in the vineyard of the Lord. Rather than people saying that I’m old, I would prefer to be told that I have worked in the vineyard of the Lord in the sacrament of marriage, as husband, father, and grandfather; now a widower, I am ready to work from another branch of the vine. Never forget that we can be old young and young old.” Deacon Villeneuve’s ordination will take place tomorrow evening at 7:30pm at St-Jean-Baptiste parish in L’Original, Ontario.
Remember to tune-in this weekend for Salt and Light's audio podcast, the Salt and Light Hour. This week Deacon Pedro speaks with Devin Schadt, about the call to fatherly greatness. Beth Mahoney tells us about the work of Holy Cross Family Ministries; Gillian Kantor tells us what she learned from her kids this week and we have a featured chat with country music star, Collin Raye.
For more information on the Salt and Light hour, please visit saltandlighttv.org/radio