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Francis's First Visit to Rome suburbs (confession, communion, teaches catechism)
chiesa ^ | May 31, 2013 | Sandro Magister

Posted on 05/31/2013 5:39:31 AM PDT by NYer

ROME, May 31, 2013 – The visit of Pope Francis, on Trinity Sunday, to the parish of Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah to the far north of the city, the first of a series of his visits to Roman parishes, immediately distinguished itself by several original characteristics.

The pope arrived early in the morning, before the time announced, and the first thing he wanted to do was to meet one-on-one the children baptized in the past year, about fifty of them, together with their parents.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is highly sensitive about the baptism of children. On the previous day, in the morning homily at Saint Martha's, he had cited the example of a teenage mother who had asked to have her child baptized and was refused. “The child is in no way at fault for the marital status of his parents” - this has been his principle since he was a bishop in Argentina - and in fact baptism “often becomes for the parents a new beginning.” Woe to those who set up a “pastoral customs agency" in front of this gate of entry into the Christian life: “So many times we are supervisors of the faith, instead of becoming facilitators of the faith of the people.”


The second novelty of the visit took place shortly afterward. The pope entered the sacristy, closed the door, and before celebrating Mass he heard the confession, one after another, of eight parishioners chosen at random. There were supposed to have been five, but three were added unexpectedly. The reporter from “L'Osservatore Romano” wrote: “When that door opened there came out a radiant face, most of the time furrowed with tears.”

Before him, John Paul II and Benedict XVI had heard confessions at St. Peter's during Holy Week. Pope Joseph Ratzinger had also heard confessions at World Youth Day in Madrid, in 2011.

Francis, however, wanted to hear confessions in the parish, right before Mass. He gave a good example to priests and faithful. He wanted to make visible the connection between confession and communion, which must be received only when one is “in the grace of God.”


A third innovation, less unexpected this time, took place during the homily. The pope set aside the pages with the text provided and improvised completely, cobbling together with the children present in the first rows a dialogue of question and answer, in the style of the classic catechism, on the theme of that day's feast, the Trinity.

The text of his homily, transcribed word for word, is on the website of the Vatican and is presented in its entirety further below. But a simple reading of it is not enough to make it comprehensible. One must above all see and hear how Francis conducted the dialogue with his little listeners and the faithful crowded into the space in front of the church. And this is possible thanks to the video recording that the Vatican television center has made available on the internet.


Fourth. Communion. Pope Bergoglio usually does not give it to anyone. He does not wish - and he has said so - that persons should present themselves before him to receive it who are seeking publicity, or worse, from an unclear position with respect to the doctrine and morality of the Church. He does not wish, that is, that there should happen with the pope what for example happened a few hours before, on Saturday, May 25 in Genoa, during the funeral for Fr. Andrea Gallo, when to receive communion from the hands of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco came the famous transvestite Vladimir Luxuria, and the photo ended up in the newspapers.

But this time Francis did give out communion. To the sixteen boys and girls who received it from him for the first time, and to the dozens of other children who had made their first communion in the parish during the previous months. He gave it only to them, who were the emblem of the pure heart with which one must approach the sacrament. They received it standing, not kneeling as with Benedict XVI. In any case Francis clearly wanted to highlight the sanctity of this culminating moment of Christian initiation.


Fifth. At the end of the Mass, the sixteen children who shortly before had received their first communion gathered around the pope (see the photo) and sang for him the blessing of St. Francis of Assisi. And he, Pope Francis, listened to the singing of the children with his head bowed and hands clasped, accepting the blessing with profound devotion, as he had done on the very evening of his election, on the loggia of the basilica of Saint Peter, when he asked for and received the blessing beseeched by the people. In both cases closing with: "I thank you for this.”


At the end of this morning spent “on the periphery,” Francis returned to the Vatican, where he was awaited for the midday Angelus, with a crowded St. Peter's Square .

But it is likely that his upcoming visits to other Roman parishes will last longer and will bring more innovations.

TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Worship

1 posted on 05/31/2013 5:39:31 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
The following, then, is the complete transcription of the homily of May 26, 2013, the video of which is also available on the internet:

> Visita parrocchia romana dei santi Elisabetta e Zaccaria


Dear brothers and sisters, the pastor, in his words, reminded me of a wonderful thing about the Blessed Mother. The Blessed Mother, as soon as she had received the annunciation that she would be the mother of Jesus, and also the annunciation that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant - the Gospel says - went off in haste; she did not wait. She did not say: “But now I am pregnant, I must take care of my health. My cousin must have friends who may help her.” She heard something and “she went off in haste.”

It is wonderful to think this about the Virgin Mary, about our Mother, who goes off in haste because she has this inside: to help. She goes to help. she does not go to brag and to tell her cousin: "But listen, I'm in charge now, because I am the Mamma of God!" No, she did not do this. She went to help! And the Blessed Mother is always like this. She is our Mother, who always comes in haste when we are in need.

It would be nice to add to the litanies of the Blessed Mother one that would say this: "Our Lady who goes in haste, pray for us!" This is nice, right? Because she always goes in haste, she does not forget her children. And when her children are in difficulty, are in need and call upon her, she goes in haste. And this gives us reassurance, it gives us the reassurance of having Mamma near, always at our side. We go, we walk better in life when we have mamma near. Let us think of this grace of the Blessed Mother, this grace that she gives us: of being close to us, but without making us wait. Always! She is - let us trust in this - there to help us. The Blessed Mother who always goes in haste, for us.

The Blessed Mother also helps us to understand well God, Jesus, to understand well the life of Jesus, the life of God, to understand well what the Lord is, how the Lord is, who God is.

I ask you children: "Who knows who God is?" Raise your hand. Yes, you? That's it! Creator of the earth.

And how many Gods are there? One? But they told me that there are three of them: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! What is the explanation for this? Is there one or are there three? One? One? And how is it explained that one may be the Father, the other the Son, and the other the Holy Spirit? Speak up, speak up! That's right. They are three in one, three persons in one.

And what does the Father do? The Father is the beginning, the Father, who created everything, created us.

What does the Son do? What does Jesus do? Who knows what Jesus does? He loves us? What else? He brings the Word of God! Jesus comes to teach us the Word of God. That's great! What else? What did Jesus do on earth? He saved us! And Jesus came to give his life for us.

The Father creates the world; Jesus saves us. And what does the Holy Spirit do? He loves us! He gives you love! All the children together: the Father creates everything, he creates the world; Jesus saves us, and the Holy Spirit? He loves us! This is the Christian life: to speak with the Father, to speak with the Son, and to speak with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus has saved us, but he also walks with us in life. Right? And how does he walk? What does he do when he walks with us in life? This is difficult. The one who gets it wins the derby. What does Jesus do when he walks with us? Speak up! First: he helps us. He guides us! Great! He walks with us, he guides us and he teaches us to go forward. And Jesus also gives us the strength to walk. Right? He sustains us! Good! In difficulties, right? And also in our homework! He sustains us, he helps us, he guides us, he sustains us. That's it!

Jesus always goes with us. Very well. But listen, Jesus gives us strength. How does Jesus give us strength? You know this, how he gives us strength! Speak up, I can't hear you! In Communion he gives us strength, he really helps us with strength. He comes to us. But when you say, "he gives us Communion," does a piece of bread give you so much strength? That's not bread? It's bread? This is bread, but that on the altar, is it bread or not? It looks like bread! It's not really bread. What is it? It is the Body of Jesus. Jesus comes into our hearts.

Here, let's think about this, everyone: the Father has given us life; Jesus has given us salvation, he accompanies us, he guides us, he sustains us, he teaches us; and the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit give  us? He loves us! He gives us love.

Let us think of God this way and let us ask the Virgin Mary, the Virgin Mary our Mother, always in haste to help us, to teach us to understand well how God is: how the Father is, how the Son is, and how the Holy Spirit is. So be it.
2 posted on 05/31/2013 5:41:32 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

He’s amazing. These homilies every day are so enlightening and uplifting. Hard not to love him already.

3 posted on 05/31/2013 6:46:27 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare--now a Marine Mom)
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To: ottbmare

I’m not Catholic, but man....I love this guy! That rapport with the kids....fantastic.

4 posted on 05/31/2013 6:53:09 AM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: ottbmare

If he keeps this up, a lot of guys are going to wonder if they have a vocation, I think. He makes being a priest look like a joyful, purposeful life.

5 posted on 05/31/2013 8:32:09 AM PDT by married21
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To: NYer

This is always a pleasure to read. Great stuff.

6 posted on 05/31/2013 8:59:49 AM PDT by grimalkin (Once abolish the God and the government becomes the God. -G.K. Chesterton)
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To: ottbmare; grimalkin; married21
These homilies every day are so enlightening and uplifting.

I totally agree. Unfortunately, Pope Francis' "ad lib" approach poses problems for Vatican Radio and other news outlets that depend on transcripts of the homilies. It has been decided that his daily homilies from the chapel at his residence, Domus Sanctae Marthae, will now be summarized.

Therefore, for the sake of "making accessible to a wide public the richness of the pope's homilies [at Saint Martha's] without altering their nature," the decision was made - the note continues - to publish each time only "an extensive summary, rich also with original phrases in quotation marks that may reflect the genuine flavor of the pope's expressions."

This task has been delegated to "L'Osservatore Romano" and Vatican Radio, the latter with some clips of the original audio recording, one of which is also offered as a video clip from the Centro Televisivo Vaticano.

This evening (in Rome), the pope led a prayer service and candlelit procession with the statue of Mary, to mark both the end of the month of Mary and the Feast of the Visitation to Elizabeth. At the conclusion, he delivered a prepared homily; so I will be posting it shortly. Just waiting for the news service to post photos from the event. Normally, it is held in the Vatican gardens. However, due to the large crowds, it was switched to St. Peter's Square. This pope is like a magnet, drawing huge numbers of people. On Wednesday, despite downpours, the square was packed to capacity - a see of umbrellas. Undaunted, Pope Francis rode around the square in an open jeep. He walked up the steps, soaking wet, and an aide met him with a roll of paper towels to sop up the moisture on his head. The most remarkable thing about this was that he smiled all the way.


From the original article posted above:

To the five innovations presented above, during the visit of Pope Francis to the parish of Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah, another can be added.

At the beginning of the Mass, in responding to the greeting from the pastor, Francis made this quip: "The pope is in the Vatican, eh? Today the bishop has come here."

In effect, in this first visit to a parish of his diocese, Francis has wanted to present himself visibly - unlike his predecessors - more as a simple bishop of Rome than as supreme pontiff.

In the last visit made by Benedict XVI to a Roman parish, that of Saint Patrick on December 16, 2012, the pope was accompanied - as is the tradition - by the two highest dignitaries of the prefecture of the pontifical household, the prefect and the regent.

This time, however, neither of them was part of the pontifical entourage, neither Archbishop Georg Gänswein nor Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza.

Pope Francis is truly unique ... a one of a kind. The Holy Spirit always gives us the right man at the proper time. God bless him!

7 posted on 05/31/2013 1:56:05 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Don’t catch cold, Holy Father!

8 posted on 05/31/2013 9:29:52 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: NYer
Thank you NYer! I had looked everywhere for a translation of this homily and I even posted a request on the original thread ( This is what I was looking for.
9 posted on 06/01/2013 6:50:01 PM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: NYer; HoosierDammit; TYVets; red irish; fastrock; NorthernCrunchyCon;; Finatic; ..

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

10 posted on 06/01/2013 7:01:01 PM PDT by narses
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