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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.

The difference between charity and solidarity

2016-08-18

There are currently over 1.5 million organizations and billions of people who practice charity in their daily lives. Even the pope himself is asking for this virtue with the care for the elderly, marginalized and those who are lonely or forgotten. 

While donating time and money is the most common way this selflessness is practiced throughout the world, donations only go so far and do not get to the root of the problem to answer the main question. 

FR. GEORGE GREGORY GAY
Congregation of the Mission
"I ask people, I say, now the people you've helped are they any better off now then they were 10 years ago when you started helping them? And if you say no, then really is that charity? Is that a sign of God's love helping people to grow in their humanity? It's not.” 

The Superior General for the Congregation of the Mission and the Sisters of Charity, Fr. George Gregory Gay, has practiced and witnessed this charity for the past 12 years. He says there is one form of charity that not only helps, but turns the outcome around: systemic change.

FR. GEORGE GREGORY GAY
Congregation of the Mission
"The idea is how do you help those who are poor rise up from their poverty. Instead of giving them a hand out, our idea is giving them a hand up, so that they can become more responsible for their own lives.

Systematic change is a way to set up policies and programs so the poor can help themselves within these difficult situations. Even Pope Francis has spoken about it in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium:

"The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed, not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of society, but because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises.” 

To avoid this crisis, a bold step must be taken. Fr. George gives an example he witnessed in the Dominican Republic of a village without water. He says when the missionaries built a well in their community, the people came alive and became self-sufficient, planting their own crops and cultivating not only food, but a deep sense of self-worth and dignity.

This is exactly the action the pope is asking for people of the world to take in this age of new evangelization, to rise up with not only charity, but with a spirit of systemic change.


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