Today we begin in Medjugorje, where only weeks after the Pope announced that he was sending an emissary to study the pastoral needs there, the bishop of the local diocese publishes a statement saying that,.. "based on all the evidence he's seen, there are many reasons to doubt, that Mary is appearing there".
Bishop Ratko Peric, stated that the diocesan commissions, that studied the alleged apparitions over three periods, (first in 1982-to-1984, then in 1984 to 1986, then again with the Yugoslavian bishops' conference from 1987 to 1990), concluded that, it could not affirm that a supernatural event was occurring in the town.
Six young visionaries continue to claim to see Mary and receive messages from her however, the position of the local Diocese as published in their statement that, "for this entire period has been clear and resolute: THESE are not real apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary".
“Don't worry how it's spent, always give homeless a handout”,was the main message the Pope gave at an interview, to an Italian magazine run by homeless persons last week.
Speaking to Italian magazine “Scarp de’ tenis” from Milan, the Pope gave a wide-ranging interview including a preview of his upcoming trip to Milan, and on his recent initiatives for refugees, such as; providing accommodations at the Vatican. The Pope also talked about how the initiative to welcome the homeless had inspired parishes throughout Rome to join the effort. “To walk in the other’s shoes,is a way to escape our own egoism:" said the Pope in the interview. “We learn to have a great capacity for understanding, for getting to know difficult situations.”
You can read the entire article published on the Vatican website at: press.vatican.va
Here in Canada, The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace: Caritas Canada, launched its 50th annual Share Lent campaign last week.
The theme of this year's campaign is Women at the Heart of Change. The goal is to collect $8 million "to support Development and Peace's social justice work in solidarity with approximately a hundred local partners. Development and Peace was founded in 1967 by the Catholic Bishops of Canada. Over the past 50 years, D and P has invested $600 million in more than 15-thousand development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Various resources are available on their website, including a message from the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
This weekend, a Colloquium on Medieval Ethiopia will be held in Toronto starting on Friday March 10th to the 11th, here at the University of St. Michael's College.
The events will begin with plenary lecture on Friday by Fr. Columbia Stewart, a Benedictine Monk, who spent the past 13 years roaming, from the Balkans to the Middle East, in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, lately,.. the Islamic State. On the following day, sessions will include a wide range of interesting topics on Medieval Ethiopian history presented by many distinguished academics from around the world.
For a detailed look at the schedule for this event, you can visit the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies at: www.PIMS.ca
And finally today, I leave you with this thought from the Pope.
What if we treated the bible like our cell phones? Have a look at this video message.