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Rome Reports

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Pope to Mozambique priests: Renew vocational call, avoid “spiritual worldliness”

The Archbishop of Maputo was waiting at the door of the cathedral for the pope, who arrived 15 minutes early for his meeting with priests, seminarians and nuns.

First he greeted the oldest among the participants.

Then he stopped a few minutes to pray silently before the Eucharist.

The meeting began with a prayer. The style was common to Mozambique, and the pope seemed to like it.

Then, a local priest, a nun and a catechist told him about the challenges they are currently facing in the country.

Holy Father, the great concern for our personal well-being, especially economic resources for our livelihoods, often leads us to take winding roads that, instead of facilitating our ministry, make it increasingly difficult and cause a lot of problems among us.

What can we do to live our religious consecration with more fidelity and hope, in a society that is so materialistic and alienating?

Mixed marriages, particularly between Catholics and Muslims, were previously completely unquestionable, but now face many difficulties due to a certain religious extremism. It seems to always force the Catholic side to convert to the other religion.

The pope, in an intense speech, thanked them for having given their lives to God and invited them to renew their vocational “yes.”

Renewing our vocation often entails discerning if our exhaustion and worries are the result of a certain “spiritual worldliness.”

Renewing our call has to do with choosing to say yes and to let our weariness come from things that bear fruit in God’s eyes, things that make His son Jesus, present and incarnate.

Pope Francis recalled pastoral life and carrying the worries of others is tiring. Yet, it's worth it in the long run and it shows the beauty of a life dedicated to God.

Before leaving, the pope prayed for vocations and for the faithfulness of priests, seminarians and religious men and women.

Then, he crossed the cathedral to get closer to the contagious enthusiasm of the attendees.

A popemobile and a multitude of pilgrims were waiting outside the door, ready to greet him and see him up close.

Javier Martinez-Brocal
Melissa Butz