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Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

Grand Ayatollah to Pope Francis: “Thank you for saying Islam is not equal to terrorism”

August 22, 2016. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi sent a letter to Pope Francis to thank him for his words on the flight back from Poland, a few weeks ago: "It is not right to say that Islam is a terrorist faith.” In his letter, the Shia religious leader has strongly condemned terrorist attacks from fundamentalist Islamic groups. He has also stated that "the vast majority of the Musilm people consider all Takfiri sects to be outside the fold of Islam.” Makarem Shirazi is one of the 64 Grand Ayatollahs in Shia Islam and, as such, one of the highest authorities in matters of Islamic dogma and law.
World

Pope conveys “solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims of wildfire in Portugal

August 16, 2016. The fire has killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed a letter, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the bishop of Funchal, Antonio Carrilho. The letter was read during the celebration of Holy Mass for Our Lady of the Mount, Patroness of Funchal. In the letter, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and sorrow over the loss of life and property in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where wildfires have killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. Pope Francis conveys "solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims and those displaced by the wildfires and prayed for the wounded and asked them to have "courage and consolation in Christian hope” for all involved.
World

Pope sends condolences to North America in wake of Hurricane Earl

August 9, 2016. Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to the victims in the wake of Hurricane Earl through a message sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The hurricane killed at least 45 people in Mexico and 13 in the Dominican Republic and caused an estimated $50 million in damage.
World

Pope sends his condolences following attack that killed 70 people at a hospital in Pakistan

August 9, 2016. The terrorist attack at Quetta Hospital killed dozens of lawyers and left 120 others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis officially establishes the commission to study the diaconate of women

August 2, 2016. Six women and six men will study the diaconate of women "with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
Vatican

Federico Lombardi appointed new president of The Ratzinger Foundation

Aug. 1, 2016. Today Fr. Lombardi officially ceases to be director of the Vatican Press Office and becomes the president of The Ratzinger Foundation. Father Federico Lombardi will chair the board of the Vatican foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Until now it was run by president Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti. The Ratzinger Foundation promotes the study of theology, organizes cultural and scientific congresses and rewards the work of scholars and researchers in different fields.

Francis is the first Jesuit Pope... but St. Ignatius of Loyola was the first Jesuit

2014-07-31

Pope Francis is the most popular Jesuit in the world, but what exactly characterizes his religious Order? The charism needs to be traced back to the founder of the Society of Jesus: St. Ignatius of Loyola. 


CHRIS LOWNEY
Author: Why the Pope Leads the Way He Leads 
"So the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius, created a series of spiritual exercises, a series of meditations that help people to think how they might follow Jesus in the circumstances of their own life.” 

The spiritual exercises are a series of meditations and prayers that were developed by St. Ignatius. Since the motto of the Order is to do things for 'God's Greater Glory,' it's no wonder that the exercises were developed to strengthen one's relationship with God: Through self awareness and reflection, for example, doing away with inner restraints

CHRIS LOWNEY
Author: Why the Pope Leads the Way He Leads 
"Maybe I’m greedy and so I want to make choices that have to do with accumulating money for myself and so on or maybe I’m attached to my own fears. Like maybe the right or best thing to do now, would be to try a new career, or to take a little more risks in terms of how I talk to people about my values or religious beliefs, but because I’m attached to my own fears of making a mistake or looking foolish, I’m not free enough to do what I should be doing.” 

We see the Pope reflect on these very teachings. From embracing a missionary spirit, to letting go of self imposed limitations based on fear. He has often says it's better to make mistakes than to have a closed off Church. 

POPE FRANCIS
(September 2013) 
"I'll say it one thousand times. I'd rather have a wounded Church than a sick Church.” 

When he speaks of going to the frontier and reaching out to others, that too, can be traced back to the Jesuit mindset. They're known for being educators. As missionaries, Jesuits were the first to evangelize in parts of Latin America, India, Africa and the far East. But it's not just about being a missionary in far away countries. One can be a missionary at home. 

CHRIS LOWNEY 
Author: Why the Pope Leads the Way He Leads
"We have people who are alienated from the Church, who really haven’t had much exposure to religion. They don’t care about religion. Whatever it might be. So I think the way his frontier spirit manifests is that kind of focus.”

So when the Pope says he thinks like a Jesuit, more than likely, it's this type of formation he's referring to. On the Feast Day of St. Ignatius, Jesuits will celebrate their founder's legacy, which gave way to the first Jesuit Pope. 



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