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Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Sean Bryan's story: From gymnast, to Berkeley Grad to Papal Ninja

2016-07-16

 

"American Ninja Warrior” is one of the most popular reality television shows around. It challenges its contestants to go through intricate obstacle courses. Only a few are selected and later eliminated. The ultimate goal is to make it to the national finals in Las Vegas, in hopes of becoming the next "American Ninja Warrior” and winning the 1,000,000 dollar grand prize.

SEAN BRYAN
Papal Ninja
"I would actually say that I have been training for my whole life because I started gymnastics when I was three and I did it throughout college. I've been specifically training ninja stuff for about seven months but my whole life has been training for this.”

This competitor has a little more than skills and luck by his side. His name is Sean Bryan and some could say that he is getting some help from above lately. He is a former gymnast who carries is immense faith in the Church with him both on and off the obstacle course. In fact, he calls himself the Papal Ninja.

SEAN BRYAN
Papal Ninja
"Most of the time, I'm speaking to a secular or non-religious audience. So they don't really know understand the term, 'Papal.' So, I use that as an opportunity to explain it and reach out to the secular world in that sort of way, where I explain 'Papal' as an adjective of or relating to the Pope. So, if the Pope gave a blessing, that would be a Papal blessing and if the Pope had a ninja, that would be me.”

Sean Bryan completed the challenging course in two minutes and thirty seconds. Although, he has not won the grand prize, he is still ranked among the show's top performers. 

SEAN BRYAN
Papal Ninja
"In all reality, if you think about what a ninja actually is a skilled person who uses their talents and their gifts to accomplish the mission of the one who sent them. If you just stick with the analogy of 'what would a papal ninja be?' To me, that would be, especially as a lay person, helping accomplish the mission of the lay people, which is order towards secular society of ordering temporal affairs. I'm teaching other people how to and myself as well by going out into the world and living my faith in a way that is helping to accomplish that mission.”

Although Sean decided that priesthood was not for him, he continues to fulfill his mission of faith and purpose as a lay person. He stayed with the Salesians to finish his Masters in Theology at the University of California, Berkeley. When he is not busy competing, Sean is heavily involved with the Lay Mission Project


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