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Faith and fiesta merge at Dia de La Familia

Music, Mass, food and fun were all part of a special day to celebrate the culture of Latino Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Pope to hold extra General Audiences during Year of Mercy

(Vatican Radio) The month of August promises to be a busy one for Pope Francis who is scheduled to be involved in a series of public events.

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, told Vatican Radio that the Pope will meet publically with the faithful in numerous occasions during the summer month and that preparations are underway to organize an extra General Audience each month (possibly on a Saturday) during the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Monsignor Gaenswein said that next Tuesday afternoon, August 4, Pope Francis will meet with some 12,000 German speaking participants of the International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers.

On Wednesday, August 5, the Pope will resume his weekly General Audiences which see the participation of thousands of pilgrims from across the world. Archbishop Gaenswein pointed out that the General Audience on August 26 will mark the 100th such occasion for Pope Francis. Due to the heat, the August General Audiences will take place inside the Paul VIth Hall.

On Friday, August 7, the Pope will receive in audience members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement.

Archbishop Gaenswein also revealed that since the beginning of Pope Francis’ Pontificate in March 2013, fifteen million people have been present for his General Audiences, Angelus’ and special audiences in the Vatican.

(from Vatican Radio)

First funerals of Mexico truck tragedy take place

(Vatican Radio) The first funerals of Mexico's truck tragedy which killed 27 pilgrims, have been taking place.  

Pope Francis has sent his condolences after the tragedy on Wednesday in the town of Mazapil.

In a telegram to the Bishop of Zacatecas, Sigifredo Noriega Barceló, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Pope Francis was “greatly saddened” when he learned the news of the tragic accident, and “offers prayers for the eternal repose of those who died.”

43 people remain hospitalized. Ten of these are in serious condition while one is critical. 

Listen to the report by James Blears
 
The accident happened on Wednesday in the town of Mazapil in the Northern State of Zacatecas, and already some of its victims have been buried, following harrowing funerals.  

Authorities say that the brakes of a truck carrying building materials failed and it ploughed into a procession of pilgrims. 

They were celebrating the day of their patrón saint Jesús of Nazarath.  

The out of control truck crushed scores of devout people, and hit the Wall of a building ripping and scoring its plaster and brickwork, ending up on its side.

The driver fled the scene of horror and carnage and is still being sought.  Only when he's found, arrested and questioned can the full extent of what's happened... and why become plain. 

The injured are being treated in hospitals in the cities of Saltillo and Concepción de Oro. 

State and Federal Authories are combining to help as well as try to confort the families of the dead and the injured.  

An investigation is underway into what led up to this unprecidented tragedy which will forever overshadow Mazapil's most cherished and devout day of the year. 

(from Vatican Radio)

Cardinal William Levada on upcoming Papal Visit to United States

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will be visiting Cuba and the United States from September 19th to the 28th. The final stop of his trip will be the World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia.

Cardinal William Levada is the Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and served as the Archbishop of San Francisco, California, from  1995 to 2005.

He spoke to Vatican Radio about the upcoming papal visit.

Listen: 

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis offers condolences after Mexico tragedy

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his condolences after the tragedy on Wednesday in the town of Mazapil, Mexico, where a truck with defective brakes hit a religious procession, killing 27 people, and injuring hundreds of others.

In a telegram to the Bishop of Zacatecas, Sigifredo Noriega Barceló, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Pope Francis was “greatly saddened” when he learned the news of the tragic accident, and “offers prayers for the eternal repose of those who died.”

“In addition,” the telegram continues, “The Holy Father offers his own condolences to the families of the deceased, along with words of comfort, closeness, and wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured, and, at the same time, he cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a sign of hope in the Risen Lord.”

(from Vatican Radio)

August 3rd claims filing deadline stands

Judge denies motion to move deadline to May, 2016

U.S. Church calls on Congress to ensure fair minimum wage

(Vatican Radio) U.S. Catholic leaders have called on Congress to ensure that the federal minimum wage is raised to “improve the financial security of millions of American families”. In a letter, dated July 28th, Bishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Sr Donna Markham, President of Catholic Charities USA, note that a full-time worker, currently earning the federal minimum wage, “does not make enough to raise a child free from poverty”.

As pastors and service providers, they say they see how each year “it becomes more difficult for low-wage workers to make ends meet”.  Quoting from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus, they stress that society and the State must guarantee wage levels “adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family”, as well as ensuring “adequate legislative measures” to stop exploitation of the most vulnerable. Protecting low-wage workers and promoting their ability to form and nurture families, the two Catholic leaders insist, are shared responsibilities and critical to building a more equitable society

Please find below the full text of the letter from Sr Donna Markham and Bishop Thomas Wenski

July 28, 2015

Dear Representative/Senator:

On behalf of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA, we write to lift up the struggles of low-wage workers and their families. We urge you to advance legislation and policies that would ensure fair and just wages for all workers, and in doing so improve the financial security of millions of American families.

An economy thrives only when it is centered on the dignity and well-being of the workers and families in it. As pastors and service providers, we see every day the consequences when society fails to honor this priority. A full-year, full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage does not make enough to raise a child free from poverty. Because the federal minimum wage is a static number and does not change, each year it becomes more difficult for low-wage workers to make ends meet. This leads to increased demand for Charities’ services and reliance on the social safety net to make ends meet. Indeed, recent research suggests that about three-fourths (73 percent) of those who receive public benefits come from working families, meaning they or a family member is employed.

Saint John Paul II pointed out, “society and the State must ensure wage levels adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family, including a certain amount for savings. This requires a continuous effort to improve workers' training and capability so that their work will be more skilled and productive, as well as careful controls and adequate legislative measures to block shameful forms of exploitation, especially to the disadvantage of the most vulnerable workers. . . (Centesimus Annus, no. 15).

Protecting low-wage workers and promoting their ability to form and nurture families are shared responsibilities and critical to building a more equitable society. One way Congress can contribute to this shared work of promoting the common good is by ensuring the federal minimum wage promotes family formation and stability.

Sincerely,

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski

Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

Sister Donna Markham, OP, Ph.D.

President of  Catholic Charities USA

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for August

Vatican City, 31 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for August is: “That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbours to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society”.

China set for first public ordination of bishop since 2012

(UCAN) When Father Joseph Zhang Yinlin is ordained bishop of Anyang in Henan province on August 4, he will become the first publicly ordained Chinese bishop in three years and the first since the Vatican and China restarted its dialogue […]

The post China set for first public ordination of bishop since 2012 appeared first on CathNewsUSA.

Abuse whistleblowers seek Vatican inquiry of Newark Archbishop Myers

(NCR Online) In a test of Pope Francis’ pledge that bishops will be held accountable, an advocacy group for survivors of clergy sexual abuse has formally petitioned the Vatican to investigate Newark, N.J., Archbishop John Myers for possible abuse of […]

The post Abuse whistleblowers seek Vatican inquiry of Newark Archbishop Myers appeared first on CathNewsUSA.