December 13 marks the 50th anniversary of the priestly ordination of our Holy Father Pope Francis. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has asked Bishops across the country, to encourage their dioceses to honor the jubilee during Advent with special prayers and Mass petitions.
Here are two petitions that could be used at Mass or in the Liturgy of the Hours, or in private prayer:
- For our Holy Father Pope Francis as we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his
ordination to the priesthood, that Jesus the High Priest will continue to renew,
increase, and strengthen in him the graces received at ordination as he carries out his
sacred ministry in the Holy Church.
- That the example of the many years of faithful priesthood of Pope Francis will be a
source of inspiration for all priests, and awaken in young people their own call to
service in the Church for the salvation of souls.
Celebrations Closer to Home
On December 1, the first Sunday of Advent, I had the honor of presenting 72 Marian Medals to dedicated, faithful lay men and women from across the Fall River diocese. Moved by their commitment and dedication to the Church, I offered these words during the ceremony.
So while some people are leaving the Church, you are doing something to keep the Church alive, vital, and prosperous. While there are many who spend time and energy criticizing the Church, you are saying, “I am showing with my actions that I love the Church, and I love God.”
While some are abandoning the Church, you want to stay with it and make it more relevant and effective for our times and for generations to come. While some are walking away from God, from their faith, and from the Church, you are here to say these are too important for me, for each one of you, to walk away from. And for that, we are here, as the Church of Fall River, represented here by all of us, to say thank you for what you have done and for your faith, for your commitment, for your service, and for all that you continue to do to make the Church vibrant in our diocese.
Blessing the New Offices of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts
Right before Thanksgiving, I attended the open house for The Catholic Foundation’s new location in Fall River. Surrounded by staff and Catholic Foundation partners, I offered a blessing of the space which until recently housed the Catholic Schools offices, which moved to Bishop Connolly High School.
As the reading from the Prophet Isaiah tells us this 3rd Sunday of advent:
Be strong, fear not! Here is your God.
Continued Advent Blessing to all of you.
Bishop da Cunha