We welcome Pope Francis
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
In only a few weeks we will welcome Pope Francis to our beloved country! He will be visiting our land from September 22 – 27. He will take part in the what is begin called the ‘World Meeting of Families’. The theme of the conference is ‘Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive’. There is a good catechesis document that has been published to help the faithful prepare for the graces of this important event. You can find that document at www.worldmeeting2015.org I include in the bulletin this week the summary statement from this document. Let us join in prayer for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, as he prepares to come to our country and for all families throughout the world, that the love of God our Heavenly Father may be our sure support in all things! Summary Statement of the catechesis document: “The Church believes that God exists and that he loves us. We make this claim because we have encountered and trust Jesus Christ. This trust enables a relationship in which God’s plan for all creation is revealed and disclosed. Confident in this plan, we are able to proclaim that each and every human being is created in the image of God. We believe that God creates us with a purpose and for a mission. We believe that in Jesus, God became man. We believe that in Jesus, God invites and summons the whole world to know him and live as his covenant people in the Church. We believe that God’s love is visible and manifest in this covenant, which reveals that God is faithful even unto death, despite our infidelity and sinfulness. We believe that Jesus suffered, died, and rose from the dead, confirming the power and fidelity of God, giving us confidence that his way is true. We trust that as his covenant people, Jesus is now present with us sacramentally, and that ultimately we will share his victory and heavenly communion. Sustained by the Holy Spirit and the sacraments of the Church, we seek this communion, which Jesus has promised is our destiny. We believe that all aspects of our lives — including our sexuality, fertility, and family life— are part of this mission to live and love as Jesus taught. We believe that in the Sacrament of Marriage, God has given us the gift of experiencing his covenant.
In the marriage covenant, husband and wife live together in light of the covenant already established by God and Israel, Christ and the Church. We believe that marriage is the seedbed of a family, the nucleus of the domestic church, which is itself an essential member of the wider universal Church. We acknowledge that we are fallen, and that all manner of suffering, temptations, and sins can burden us and prevent us from becoming who we were created to be. But we trust that no matter what trials we face or wounds we inflict upon ourselves and others, God is faithful. His passion, crucifixion, and resurrection are the decisive evidence that he will not depart from his covenant.
The Lord has shown that he is stronger than all our sins and that he conquers sin. In our life together, through the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our midst, we believe that God will bring to fruition the work which he has begun in us. Anticipating that day when Jesus comes again and fully establishes his Kingdom on earth, we believe it is our mission to testify to what God has done and is doing. We believe it is our mission to love God and neighbor as he has taught us. We believe that love is our mission, and that this mission is the only way we can be fully alive and be who we were created to be. We believe that this love should be taught, shared, and communicated in and through the family, the domestic church. We believe that the family shares in the mission of the whole Church, and we devote this catechesis to explaining this vision of love in more detail.”
Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may our good Lord grant us the grace to prepare our hearts for the upcoming papal visit the World Meeting of Families!
In Christ through Mary,