WelCom March 2023
13 March 2013 – 13 March 2023
Pope Francis, the bishop of Rome and the leader of the Catholic Church (2013–present) is the first pope from the Western Hemisphere, the first from South America, and the first from the Jesuit order. He was elected Supreme Pontiff on 13 March 2013. The 10th anniversary of his pontificate will be celebrated on 13 March 2023.
Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.
– Pope Francis, 2015
Pope Francis’ ten-year tenure has seen his battle to reform the Catholic Church as well as the challenges he has faced in shaping the Church to be forward thinking in its outlook and positioned to address past injustices while at the same time focusing on helping the most vulnerable in society.
During an interview at his Vatican home at the Casa Santa Marta, on 18 February, about the 10 years of his pontificate, Pope Francis recalled his election.
‘Poor Peter, what a successor he found himself!’ he exclaimed, laughing. ‘I never imagined such a thing for my life.’
In an American Catholic magazine article published last month, titled ‘10 years as pope: Francis pushing the Church to bring the Gospel to the world’, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago said the best description of Pope Francis was, ‘He’s free’.
‘He’s free in the sense of wanting to listen to different voices in the life of the Church. He’s free in being imaginative, but also he has the kind of freedom that really allows him to be joyful in this ministry.
‘John Paul II told us what we should do. Benedict told us why we should do it. And Francis is saying, “Do it”. Pope Francis is leading by example in how he cares for the poor, sees God at work in people’s real lives and reaches out to people often overlooked by the Church.
‘I think history will look back on this pontificate as historic, as pivotal in the life of the Church,’ Cardinal Cupich said.
Sources: Vatican Media; UK Tablet; CNS
Let us pray for peace: peace in the world and in each of our hearts.
‘Viral’ celebration to mark 10th anniversary of Francis’ pontificate
A Hail Mary for Pope Francis – say a prayer on 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate.
A special prayer initiative for the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate has been launched by the Vatican in which the faithful are invited to pray one or more Hail Marys for him.
The Vatican Digital Synod has launched the online prayer initiative to mark the tenth anniversary on 13 March.
To highlight this milestone anniversary in a ‘viral’ manner, the Digital Synod has launched a special online map [www.decimus-annus.org/site/index] featuring virtual lighted candles representing the prayers of the faithful worldwide for him.
According to a Vatican press release, ‘The Petrine ministry is a great grace that Jesus granted to His Church and we must always be grateful for it. Therefore, prayer must be our best gift, so that God may support the service of the one He has chosen for this ministry because on this rock He builds His Church in time and history’.
Anyone who wishes to join the initiative will find an invitation on the website to pray one or more Hail Marys on 13 March.
‘In the end we will send the Holy Father the map with the ‘little candles’ which represent the Hail Marys that are prayed for him, thanking God for His Mercy,’ the press release concludes.
Source: Vatican News
Dear young people, do not be afraid of making decisive choices in life. Have faith; the Lord will not abandon you!
Resigning not on the Pope’s agenda
The resignation of a pope should not become the norm within the Catholic Church, and that prospect is not ‘on my agenda,’ Pope Francis, 86, said in a recent interview.
Francis met with Jesuits in Congo and in South Sudan during his visit to the two countries in late January-early February this year.
He made the comments on 2 February during a question and answer session with 82 Jesuits as part of his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The pope was commenting on a recent revelation that he had prepared a letter of resignation in case he became too ill or infirm to carry out the duties of the papacy. Two months after his election, he wrote the letter and delivered it to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, but he is unsure of the letter’s current location.
However, Pope Francis said that resigning popes should not become a common occurrence, and he believes the pope’s ministry is ‘ad vitam’ (for life).
When asked if he was considering resignation, he replied, ‘No, it has not crossed my mind.’
He cited the surprise resignation in 2013 of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who ‘had the courage to do it because he did not feel up to continuing due to his health.’
‘I, for the moment, do not have that on my agenda. I believe that the Pope’s ministry is “ad vitam” ’, Pope Francis said, adding that ‘historical tradition’ was important.
In prayer, God keeps calling us, opening our hearts to charity.
Pope Francis’ major documents
Lumen Fidei, 2013 – Encyclical the Light of Faith
The first encyclical of Pope Francis, issued on
the Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, 29 June 2013, the encyclical focuses on Christian faith in the
Evangelii Gaudium, 2013 – Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of the Gospel
A 2013 apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis on the Church’s mission of evangelisation in the modern world. It aims at overcoming complacency at every level of the Church’s hierarchy and in the life of every Christian.
Laudato si’, 2015 – Apostolic Exhortation on Care for our Common Home
An encyclical of Pope Francis published in May 2015. It focuses on care for the natural environment and all people, as well as broader questions of the relationship between God, humans, and the Earth.
Amoris Laetitia, 2016 – Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of Love
An apostolic exhortation that addresses marriage, family, divorce and other important modern issues. The groundbreaking document asks the Church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions.
Gaudete et Exsultate, 2018 – Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in
The third apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, ‘Rejoice and be glad’, addresses the universal call to holiness, with a focus ‘to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time’.
Fratelli Tutti, 2020 – Encyclical on Fraternity and Social Friendship
The third encyclical of Pope Francis proposes fraternity and social friendship as the ways indicated to build a better, more just and peaceful world, with the commitment of all: people and institutions.
God is present in every one of you, in each one of us.
Let us care for one another and let us be loving custodians of creation.