Friday, August 16, 2013

Francis and the Jesuits: 'There is an immense treasure we carry and communicate' (Video)

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Rio de Janiero, Brazil 2013 World Youth Day (Ginger McCarthy)


Ginger McCarthy
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August 2, 2013

This Wednesday was the anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and this is also the order of priests in which Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained on 13 December1969, a few days before his 33rd birthday.

As his vehicle arrived at the Church of the Jesuits in Rome, Pope Francis alighted at the site of the tomb of St. Ignatius, that had been first consecrated in 1584. Pope Francis was greeted at the door of the Church known as the Gesù – the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus. In his greeting of the Pontiff, the Superior General of the Jesuits, Father Adolfo Nicolas, made reference to his historic visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, earlier in the week, as 3.5 million pilgrims joined in celebration with the Holy Father, at the 2013 World Youth Day.

Although only 427,000 individuals registered for the event, by Tuesday there were 600,000 attendees; and two days later, the pilgrims tallied more than 2 million. The organizers have provided additional details in their report:

Saturday's events, including the prayer vigil at the Copacabana Beach, drew a staggering 3.5 million people. But Sunday's closing Mass was by far the largest event, with 3.7 million participants.

The nearly half a million registered pilgrims came from 175 countries, and 60 percent of them were between the ages of 19 and 35. The countries with the largest number of registered participants were Brazil, Argentina, USA, Chile and Italy.

Participants also included over 7800 priests. The faithful received the Eucharist over 4 million times, during the various Masses for WYD. In all, visitors spent an estimated 1.8 billion Reais, or 784 million dollars, during the week long event in Rio.

Concelebrating with Pope Francis for the Holy Mass on 31 July, were Father Adolfo Nicolas, S.J., and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; as well as members of the Council, and more than two hundred other Jesuits.

The Holy Father stressed in his homily, the joy that is derived from putting Christ at the center of one’s life, and in entrusting one’s self to serve God and to be ever mindful of the limitations of our fragile human nature in the struggle to do what is right and good; and to take inspiration -- and a special kind of encouragement -- from our capacity to live in community with one another, yet the Holy Father also cautioned against setting oneself apart:

“We cannot walk in parallel or in isolation. Yes, there are paths of research, creative paths, yes: this is important; to go out to the peripheries … but always in community, in the Church, with this belonging that gives us the courage to go ahead.”

In several sections of his homily, Pope Francis made reference to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius which have come to be practiced as meditations and sound instructions for a very powerful tradition in spirituality, undertaken not only by Jesuits, but by the laity In the Roman Catholic Church; by those of other Christian denominations, and even those of other faiths on occasion, because they have been proven to have been effective as a means of allowing for the stillness that is necessary -- in order to “find God in all things.”


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