The Ever Unfolding Vision of Pope Francis
Since the first moment that Pope Francis walked out onto the balcony of the Papal apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square, the understand of his papacy and his vision for the church has been steadily unfolding. Appearing in a simple white cassock he first asked for prayers from the crowd of thousands gathered below before he blessed them, many came to see this as a startling beginning of his pontificate - a sign that something new was afoot.
As the months have passed, we have had a chance to hear him speak, not only in words but most significantly in gesture. As we listen to his exhortations in Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel and his summons to conversion in Laudato Si: Care for Our Common Home, we are challenged to think differently and act differently. His words in Amoris Laetitia: The Joy of Love and in Misericordiae Vultus: The Jubilee of Mercy make it ever so clear that he believes that our core identity as a church is mercy and compassion.
Pictures of Francis engaged with people are riveting - washing their feet, kissing their disfigurements, hopping off his popemobile to give an embrace, inviting street people to come to breakfast with him on his birthday; so many symbolic acts that reveal his core beliefs as a person and as a pastor.
In the Pope Francis Lecture Series, we will highlight four themes that seem central to Pope Francis' thinking - aspirations for the church and the world that seem deeply etched in his being.
- An abhorrence for the degradation of the environment
- Concern for the poor of the world
- A conviction that the mission of the church is evangelical
- A belief that mercy and compassion are foundational in the Church's life and must be a priority for pastoral ministry
Wednesdays, April 5 - 26, 2017 from 6:30pm - 8pm at the Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center
The cost is $40 for the 4 part series
To register, go to https://retreats.arch-no.org/retreats/170/register
Lecture One: [April 5, 2017] A Relentless Concern for the Poor
Pope Francis' Vision: In one of Pope Francis' earliest audiences he exclaimed, "Oh, how I would like a poor Church and a Church for the poor." [Audience to Representatives of the Communications Media - March 16, 2013] In the past three years, he has untiringly manifested this concern.
Lecture Two: [April 12, 2017] We Are All Missionary-Disciples
Pope Francis' Vision: "I dream of a 'missionary option,' that is a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church's customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, languages and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today's world rather than for her self-preservation." [Evangelii Gaudium #27]"At the same time, a clear awareness of the responsibility of the laity, grounded in their baptism and confirmation, does not appear in the same way in all places, In some cases, it is because lay persons have not been given the formation needed to take on important responsibilities." [Evangelii Gaudium #102]
Lecture Three: [April 19, 2017] A Bold Manifesto on Climate Change
Pope Francis' Vision: "Ecological conversion is imperative." "We need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair." "Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone." [Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home #202]
Lecture Four: [April 26, 2017] The Name of God Is Mercy
Pope Francis' Vision: "The very credibility of the Church is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love." "Wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident; wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy."