By OSV News NEW YORK – Many are remembering how Harry Belafonte, who died April 25 in New York at age 96, was so inspired by the life and ministry of Sister Thea Bowman that he had planned to make a film about her. In turn, the singer, actor and civil rights activist who popularized calypso music with international audiences in the 1950s, inspired others, including Chicago’s Father Michael Pfleger, senior pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina in Chicago, who is himself an outspoken advocate against gun violence, gangs, poverty and racism.
According to an April 25 posting on the website of The Catholic University of America in Washington, Belafonte first contacted Sister Bowman after he saw a profile of her on “60 Minutes” on CBS in 1987. The religious sister, a noted educator and dynamic evangelist, had persuaded the TV news magazine’s lead reporter, Mike Wallace, to say, “Black is beautiful” during the primetime story on her ministry, said the university’s posting.
“Belafonte watched the broadcast and knew he wanted to bring her witness to hope and healing to wider audiences,” Catholic University said. “Belafonte contacted Sister Bowman to discuss his idea of a feature film about her life starring Whoopi Goldberg, both of whom she met during a visit to California.”
They first met in 1988. At the time, Belafonte was “a Hollywood icon who was widely respected for his social justice activism, so Sister Bowman trusted that he would do her life’s work justice,” Catholic University said, adding that Belafonte “went to great lengths to get personally involved in bringing her story to the big screen.”
According to the university, the Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, who was battling the cancer that would claim her life on March 30, 1990, invited Belafonte to her home in Canton, Mississippi, and to Xavier University of Louisiana’s Institute for Black Catholic Studies, of which she was founding member, in New Orleans. Belafonte visited both places “to speak with Sister Bowman’s friends and students to learn about her impact on their lives,” Catholic University said. “Even though she was using a wheelchair due to a battle with cancer that took her life less than two years later, he saw that nothing kept her down. They became practically inseparable, and Belafonte was seen pushing her along in her wheelchair.”
When Sister Bowman’s “condition worsened,” Belafonte “traveled to visit her at her bedside,” the university added. But the film was never made. The actor-activist’s rights expired after the project was delayed because he and her Franciscan community had different opinions on who should “have final editorial control over her portrayal” – him or her community, the university said.
Some years later, a documentary on her life and ministry was written and produced by Franciscan Sister Judith Ann Zielinski. The film was released in 2022. Sister Bowman today is a candidate for sainthood along with five other prominent Black Catholics in the U.S.
Belafonte died at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The cause was congestive heart failure, according to his longtime spokesman, Ken Sunshine.
Born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr. on March 1, 1927, at Lying-in Hospital in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, he was the son of immigrants from the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Jamaica. His father worked as a chef and his mother was a housekeeper.
Harry Jr. was baptized a Catholic and raised in the faith. He attended parochial school at St. Charles Borromeo in Harlem. He grew up in poverty, but spent much of his childhood living with his grandmother in Jamaica. After high school graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and served during World War II.
He returned to New York after the war, enrolled in drama school and began performing. Belafonte first achieved fame in the 1950s with film and musical theater roles.
“Harry Belafonte was not the first Black entertainer to transcend racial boundaries, but none had made as much of a splash as he did,” The New York Times said in an April 25 obituary.
Belafonte is one of the few performers to have received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT). He won the Oscar in a noncompetitive category – in 2014, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He earned his career breakthrough with the album “Calypso” (1956), which was the first million-selling LP record by a single artist.
Belafonte was best known for his recordings of “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora),” “Jamaica Farewell” and “Mary’s Boy Child.” He recorded and performed in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes and American standards. He also starred in films such as “Carmen Jones” (1954), “Island in the Sun” (1957), “Odds Against Tomorrow “(1959), “Buck and the Preacher” (1972) and “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974). He made his final screen appearance in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” (2018).
Belafonte was a close confidant of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He also helped organize the March on Washington in 1963.
His civil rights activism inspired Father Pfleger, the Chicago pastor and activist. In an interview with Chicago’s CBS News affiliate, Father Pfleger called Belafonte a hero and a friend who helped shape him. “He stood in this pulpit. He stood in this church time after time after time,” Father Pfleger said about St. Sabina. “He had a major shaping of my life, and my formation of who I am today, because … I had such admiration for him.”
ST. PAUL, Minn. (OSV News) – Mike Wavra thinks of the 2024 National Eucharistic Pilgrimage as “an opportunity to walk with the Lord.”
He and his wife, Cindi, both 65-year-old retirees, plan to join the pilgrimage at its northern launch point in Minnesota in May 2024, and then walk for about a week, before rejoining the pilgrims seven weeks later in Indianapolis for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.
The Wavras are among thousands of Catholics from across the United States anticipated to participate in next year’s pilgrimage to the Congress, part of the U.S. bishops’ three-year National Eucharistic Revival that began in 2021. The pilgrimage has four routes, with one beginning in the north, south, east and west of the country.
Pilgrims traveling in the “Eucharistic caravans” on all four routes will begin their journeys with Pentecost weekend celebrations May 17-18, 2024, leaving May 19. They will all converge on Indianapolis July 16, 2024, the day before the five-day Congress opens. The pilgrimage is an opportunity for prayer and evangelization, as well as a way to engage Catholics unable to attend the Congress, said Tim Glemkowski, the National Eucharistic Congress’ executive director.
“What the pilgrimage does is it builds us in prayerful anticipation for what God is going to do at the Congress,” he told OSV News May 5. “It’s two months of us pilgrimaging, fasting, praying, interceding, asking the Lord to renew his church, his bride, in those five days. … They’re not two different things. It’s one pilgrimage: five days of which happen in a stadium in Indianapolis, and two months of which happen across our country on the way there.”
Weekend stops in major cities will include special liturgies, Eucharistic adoration, processions and service opportunities, Glemkowski said.
The northern “Marian Route” that the Wavras plan to take begins in northern Minnesota at Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The route follows the river to St. Paul and Minneapolis, its first weekend stop. Then the route heads south to Rochester, Minnesota, and then east through La Crosse and Green Bay, Wisconsin. It continues through Milwaukee, Chicago and Notre Dame, Indiana, before arriving in Indianapolis.
The “Juan Diego Route” begins more than 1,600 miles south of Lake Itasca in Brownsville, Texas, at the U.S.-Mexico border. It will follow Texas’ eastern border through Corpus Christi and Houston, and continue through New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama; Atlanta; Nashville, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky.
The “Seton Route” – named for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first U.S.-born saint – begins in New Haven, Connecticut, and continues through New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Steubenville, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio.
The “Junipero Serra Route” begins in San Francisco – with hope of walking over the Golden Gate Bridge – and continues through Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City; Denver; North Platte and Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri; and St. Louis.
At more than 2,200 miles long, the Junipero Serra Route is the longest and most rigorous route. Pilgrims will use transport to cross sections of their route, but the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains are expected to be crossed on foot. In an interview with Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, for a February episode of the popular podcast “Catholic Stuff You Should Know,” co-host Father John Nepil said he wanted to walk with the Eucharist and fellow priests over Colorado’s Vail Pass, which, at 10,541 feet above sea level, is the highest elevation the pilgrimage routes will reach.
Besides the thrill of the physical challenge, “there’s always been a close connection for me between thinking of the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith, and the ways we reflect on the Eucharistic high points as a place of transcendence, and then the way it connects to the mountains,” Father Nepil, a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver and vice rector of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, told OSV News May 8. “We just kind of jumped at that as a cool prospect of leading some people and shepherding them over that pass as we make our way.”
Modern Catholic Pilgrim, a pilgrimage nonprofit with offices in Minnesota and California, is organizing the national pilgrimage. Its founder and president, Will Peterson, connects the pilgrimage to the scriptural journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus, where two of his disciples met Jesus after the Resurrection. Luke 24 recounts how Jesus comforted them, and then revealed himself in the breaking of the bread.
The routes include important Catholic sites in the United States, such the 18th-century ministry of St. Junipero Serra in what is now California, the Philadelphia tombs of St. John Neumann and St. Katharine Drexel, and in Wisconsin, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion, the only approved Marian apparition in the United States.
“People are going to reach an ‘Emmaus point’ at these spots along the way, and we want to support the local church,” Peterson said May 9. “That’s where it’s such a great gift to coordinate with like 65 dioceses to say, ‘How can we really highlight the great sacred sites of your diocese?’”
Each pilgrimage route is expected to have 12 “perpetual pilgrims,” young adults, including two seminarians, committed to traveling the entire route, from their launch points to Indianapolis. Each route also will include priest chaplains who will carry the Eucharist, usually in a monstrance specially designed for the pilgrimage. While some chaplains may join the entire pilgrimage route, others may join for segments of the journey, Glemkowski said.
The faithful are invited to join the pilgrimage for hours, days or weeks. Each day of the pilgrimage will begin with Mass and a Eucharistic procession with the local community before pilgrims continue the trek to their next stopping point. Pilgrims joining the Eucharistic caravans for short stretches will be responsible for arranging their own food and overnight accommodations, although some parishes along the routes may provide meals and lodging.
Parishioners of St. Bernard Parish in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, the Wavras have worked out their own logistics: They plan to take their truck with a camper and two motorized bicycles, and “hopscotch” their way along the route, taking their truck each morning to drop off their bikes at that evening’s stop, driving back, walking the pilgrimage route, and then taking their bikes to pick up their truck.
The Wavras expect the pilgrimage to include comradery with fellow Catholics and their bishop, Bishop Cozzens, whose Diocese of Crookston is home to Lake Itasca and the first stretch of the Marian Route. Bishop Cozzens is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, which is overseeing the revival.
The pilgrimage “brings Jesus out of our churches and out into the public,” Mike Wavra told OSV News May 4. “This is just an opportunity for people to see the Jesus that we know and love.”
Wavra also expects the pilgrimage to attract interest and curiosity from non-Catholics. “They wonder what some crazy Catholics are doing, following a piece of bread,” he said. “It’s not a piece of bread, it’s the Lord himself. What an opportunity for us to share that.”
NATION HOUSTON (OSV News) – Entering a cavelike entrance, visitors at the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston confront a life-size statue lying in the tomb, a replica of the man’s body image from the Shroud of Turin. Sculpted by Italian artist Luigi Enzo Mattei, the body shows some of the suffering endured but in a subdued manner. The dark, bronze-colored resin statue highlights a gaping hole in his side, in each of his wrists, his feet and other wounds. Across on a wall of the compact space, a 14-foot replica of the well-known Shroud of Turin looms as the possible burial cloth of Jesus. The shroud exposition sits adjacent to the museum’s lengthy exhibit on the death of the popes and features two life-size, back-lit screen displays of the shroud’s photonegative scans from official studies. Visitors have room to view the shroud up close, a certified linen reproduction gifted to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston from the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy. The shroud replica is just one of seven authentic reproductions recently made available by Turin officials for public display around the world. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston blessed the new exhibit with holy water, telling those gathered that the shroud “has led many to contemplate more deeply the central mysteries of the Christian faith, principally the historical reality of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.”
WASHINGTON (OSV News) – On May 11, when Title 42 public health order comes to an end, processing of migrants will be full reinstated under Title 8, a measure that experts said would stiffen the consequences for migrants who attempt to cross the border into the United States irregularly. Additionally, the Biden administration announced on May 10 new measures that would further harden the requirements to request asylum in the United States. Troy Miller, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), testified before Congress in recent days that the agency is preparing for up to 10,000 migrants to cross the southern border daily once Title 42 ends. Title 42 is part of the U.S. federal public health law implemented by the Trump administration in 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Title 8 has been the standard for migration to the United States for decades. Johanna Kelley, a Washington-based immigration lawyer, said, “What is new are the policies of execution and implementation of Title 8; what is new is what the Biden administration is doing to create these regional centers (to process migrants in places like Guatemala and Colombia), to generate alternative paths to stop irregular migration and these processes or procedures before entry through paroles,” she said. “Sadly, the asylum ban policy that the administration is finalizing raises many barriers to the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers at the border,” said Dylan Corbett, director of the Hope Border Institute.
VATICAN VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Although she died centuries ago, the English mystic Julian of Norwich continues to remind people of the importance of “faith in God’s loving providence and holiness of life expressed in generous service to our brothers and sisters in need,” Pope Francis said. Pope Francis’ message about the ongoing relevance of the medieval mystic was read May 14 at the Anglican cathedral in Norwich, England, during an ecumenical service marking the 650th anniversary of the “shewings” or visions and revelations Julian received in Norwich over several days and nights in May 1373. Noting how Julian of Norwich’s life and writings are “increasingly being acknowledged and celebrated,” Pope Francis said that “her maternal influence, humble anonymity and profound theological insights stand as timely reminders” of the importance of faith in God and assisting one another. The mystic’s real name is not known; she is called Julian because she lived in a cell at the Church of St. Julian, praying and receiving visitors who asked for help.
WORLD JERUSALEM (OSV News) – Faith leaders and activists for coexistence from across Israel gathered in prayer in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on May 10, in a week that once again saw yet another increase in violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The prayer march came after the May 2 death in prison of prominent hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, a leader and spokesman in the Islamic Jihad militant group. The prayer gathering took on more urgency following an early morning Israeli airstrike into Gaza May 9 that killed three senior Islamic Jihad militants and at least 10 civilians including the militants’ wives, several children, and civilian neighbors in a residential building. Muslim peace activist Ghadir Hani, from the northern Israeli city of Acco, and Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway from the Jerusalem area, said their prayers – recited in both Hebrew and Arabic – took on a special urgency now, and that it was important to see Arabs and Jews marching together at these very tense times, with the missile attacks continuing even as they prayed. “Today we are praying for all the children in Gaza and for all the children living along the Gaza border in Israel. We are one, and we are the ones bringing light to all the people of this land,” Hani said. “This march is a very important statement.”
LONDON (OSV News) – Catholic leaders in Britain welcomed the ecumenical and interfaith elements in the May 6 coronation of King Charles III and his consort, Queen Camilla, as well as a pledge by the new monarch “not to be served but to serve.” “The years following the Reformation were a desperately challenging time for Catholics, with priests, religious and laity persecuted and killed for their faith – it is testament to an incredible journey of reconciliation that six Catholic bishops were present at the coronation, including Vatican representatives,” said Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark. The archbishop was preaching at a May 7 thanksgiving Mass at St. George’s Cathedral in Southwark following the coronation, which was attended by 2,300 in London’s historic Westminster Abbey, including heads of state and government, and watched live by tens of millions worldwide. Westminster Abbey said the coronation, with its historic elements of recognition, oath-taking, anointing, investiture, crowning, enthronement and homage, had been the 39th in the Gothic building since that of William the Conqueror in 1066. The procession into the abbey included a new Cross of Wales, incorporating fragments of the Cross of Christ donated by Pope Francis, and a book of Latin gospels used in a sixth-century conversion mission to England, and was joined by various Christian denominations, as well as Bahai, Jain, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish leaders.
SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus, “Inner Healing through Scripture” Retreat on Saturday, June 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the retreat center on 1407 Levee Road. Presenters are Dr. Sheryl Jones and Joyce Pellegrin. Details: contact (662) 299-1232.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference, July 21-22 at John Carroll Catholic High School at 300 Lakeshore Parkway held by the Diocese of Birmingham. Conference theme is “Victory in Jesus” and will feature Father James Blount, with Father Eric Gami and Teresa Ragusa, a miracle COVID survivor. Father Blount is an internationally known healing ministry priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity (SOLT) of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Registration $25 for individuals and $65 for family of three or more. All are welcome! Details: Sally Smith at (205) 983-4150 or email@example.com. To register visit www.catholiccharismaticrenewal.org.
METAIRIE, La. Five-day Silent Directed Retreat, June 26 – July 2 at the Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center (5500 Saint Mary Street, Metairie). Cost $500, includes room and board. Meet daily with a spiritual director, pray with scripture and spend the rest of the day in silence, prayer and rest. Register at franu.edu/retreat. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (225) 526-1694.
PARISH, FAMILY & SCHOOL EVENTS COLUMBUS Annunciation, International Food Fest, Sunday, June 4 at 5 p.m. to sunset in church parking lot. All are welcome for fun, fellowship and food. Details: church office (662) 328-2927.
MERIDIAN St. Joseph, Knights of Peter Claver Food Fest, Saturday, June 3. BBQ ribs, chicken and fish plates cost $12. Slab of ribs $25 and must pre-order. Details: Contact David to order ribs at (601) 938-5757. Plate tickets can be purchased from KPC members.
OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Yard Sale, Saturday, June 10 at 8 a.m. Details: church office (662) 895-5007.
PEARL St. Jude, Pentecost International Food Fest, Saturday, May 27 following 5 p.m. Vigil Mass. Bring your favorite dish to share and join the fun as we celebrate the diversity of cultures with food. If you have a group that would like to perform a dance of your culture, contact Caytee at email@example.com.
RIDGELAND Catholic Charities, Open House, Tuesday, May 23 from 4-6 p.m. Come visit the new location and learn about services provided. Address: 731 S. Pear Orchard Rd, Ste. 51 in Ridgeland. Details: call (601) 355-8634.
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Trivia Night, Saturday, June 10 at 7 p.m. Cost: $15/person or $25/couple. Details: call Donna to reserve a spot (662) 342-1073.
WEST POINT Immaculate Conception, Blood drive, Wednesday, May 24 from 1-7 p.m. in parish hall. Details: make an appointment by calling (662) 494-3486 or www.donors.vitalant.org, code: iccatholic. Walk-ins welcome.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, VBS, June 12-16. Launch kids on a cosmic quest where they’ll have a blast shining Jesus’ light to the world. Volunteers needed. Details: call Catelin at (662) 902-6478 if you can help.
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, VBS, June 4-6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for ages entering Pre-K4 to sixth. Details: Sign up or volunteer, call or text Jenifer at (662) 402-7050.
FLOWOOD St. Paul, VBS, June 5-9 from 6-8 p.m. for ages 4 through sixth grade. Helpers needed. Details: Register at https://bit.ly/StPaulVBS2023.
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, “Win the World for Jesus!” VBS, June 5-7. Registration for children (K5-fourth graders) and youth volunteers (fifth graders on up) will begin May 7. Details: Registration forms are in the church foyer or email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GREENVILLE St. Joseph, VBS for grades K to fifth grades, July 16-18 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at St. Joe High School. Visit stjosephgreenville.org to register or volunteer. Details: Alyssa at (662) 820-0868.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, VBS, June 5-8 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for Pre-K through fifth grade. Dinner provided. Register in the Narthex. Details: Jessica at (601) 540-5301. Volunteers needed.
MADISON St. Francis, Rocky Railway VBS express, June 19-22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All pre-K4 through fourth graders are invited. More volunteers are needed. Register at https://bit.ly/StFrancisVBS2023. Details: email@example.com.
MERIDIAN VBS, June 26-30. Adult volunteers needed. Details: church office (601) 693-1321. SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, “Camping in God’s Creation” VBS for K through third grade, June 19-23 6-8 p.m. Island Luau for fourth through eighth grade, June 26-30 from 6:30-9 p.m. Details: call Donna to register at (662) 342-1073.
YAZOO CITY St. Mary, VBS, June 9-11. Details: (662) 746-1680.
REMINDERS/NOTICES JOB OPENINGS Catholic schools across the diocese have a variety of positions open from athletic directors, teachers, bookkeepers, substitutes and more. Please visit https://jacksondiocese.org/employment for an opportunity near you.
ENGAGED ENCOUNTER WEEKENDS July 14-16 and Oct. 27-29 at Camp Garaywa in Clinton. Please register at www.jacksondiocese.org/family-ministry.
INDIANAPOLIS Eucharistic Congress, July 17-21, 2024. Registration is now open. See what Our Lord has in store for this next chapter for the Catholic Church in United States. Purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/3ydav9Q. Details: EucharisticCongress.org.
INDIANAPOLIS National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), Nov. 16-18, 2023 at the Indiana Convention Center. This distinctly Catholic three-day conference will include opportunities for spiritual growth, prayer, learning and service. For more information, visit ncyc.us.
NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS GATHERING, July 20-23 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Join with other Black Catholics and those who minister to Black Catholics for a celebration of faith and culture. Details: nbccongress.org.
WORLD YOUTH DAY: LISBON 2023 Event for young Catholics ages 16-35, though all are welcomed to attend in Lisbon, Portugal. For more information visit: https://www.lisboa2023.org/en/.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Vatican office in charge of coordinating plans for the Holy Year 2025 announced they are launching a new website and releasing an app to help people register and to guide them along their pilgrimage in Rome.
By registering online at iubilaeum2025.va or on the jubilee app, people will receive a free digital “pilgrim’s card,” which will be needed to participate in jubilee events, especially gaining access to the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica, said Msgr. Graham Bell, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization’s section that is coordinating the Holy Year.
The jubilee website was to go live May 10 and be available in nine languages, he said at a news conference at the Vatican May 9.
People can begin registering online starting in September, he said, “by clicking on the ‘participate’ button.” After registering, people will be able to access a personal page on the site’s “pilgrim’s zone,” which will also go live in September.
Registrants will receive a digital “pilgrim’s card,” which is a personal QR code needed to access jubilee events and better facilitate the pilgrimage to the Holy Door, the monsignor said. There also will be an option to purchase a “service card” for a nominal fee to receive special discounts for transportation, lodging, food and museums during the pilgrimage.
The jubilee website and app will give news and information on the Holy Door of St. Peter’s and the other basilicas as well as offer the possibility of organizing one’s own pilgrimage within the city, Msgr. Bell said.
People can choose from three proposed pilgrimages: “the traditional pilgrimage of St. Philip Neri with the seven churches; the pilgrimage on the churches dedicated to the women doctors of the church and patrons of Europe; and the ‘Iter Europaeum,’ that is, the 28 churches in 27 different European countries, plus the church that represents the European Union.”
“Tools are being prepared to better introduce pilgrims into these paths and to promote knowledge of the works of art in the various churches,” he said. It marks “an important effort carried out in agreement with the (Italian) Ministry of Tourism, which will encourage the discovery of many places often unknown to tourists themselves.”
“Rome has always been a cultural attraction and our aim is that the pilgrim may also become a tourist, just as the tourist may be fascinated by the pilgrim experience,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the section.
Starting in September, he said, they will open an exhibition “with works by the great Spanish Renaissance artist, El Greco.”
The pieces “have never left Spain and are being made available for this very occasion,” he said. The exhibit will be held in the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone facing onto Piazza Navona and will feature El Greco’s three masterpieces: “The Baptism of Christ,” “Christ Carrying the Cross” and “Christ Blessing.”
Other art exhibits will take place throughout the run-up to and during the jubilee, including ones that will rotate into places like hospitals and prisons, he said. “We want as much as possible for these events to have free access, in order to encourage the participation of citizens in the contemplation of beauty that allows a better relationship with the city and its people.”
Archbishop Fisichella said Pope Francis has asked Catholics worldwide to prepare for the next jubilee year by spending 2023 studying the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially its four constitutions, which focused on: the liturgy; the church as the people of God; Scripture; and the role of the church in the modern world.
“In order to help local churches in their catechetical, human and especially Christian formation paths, and to give younger people the opportunity to know and rediscover the central contents of the council,” he said, the dicastery published a series of 35 small volumes titled, “Council Notebooks,” in December.
The “notebooks” have already been translated into Spanish in one hardcover volume titled, “Cuadernos del Concilio,” he said, and they are now being translated into English by ATC Publishers-India.
Since the pope wants 2024 to be dedicated to prayer in preparation for the jubilee, the dicastery will publish an in-depth series called “Notes on Prayer” to promote “the centrality of prayer, personal and communal,” the archbishop said.
“We are studying the possibility of a ‘school of prayer’ with pathways that would cover the vast world of prayer,” he added.
The opening and closing dates of the jubilee year will be announced in the pope’s “Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee, which will be published according to tradition on the feast of the Ascension, May 9, 2024,” Archbishop Fisichella said.
The ordinary jubilee will begin with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in December 2024, he said, and there will be “major jubilee events” throughout 2025. For example, Jan. 24, 2025, will be dedicated to the World of Communications, May 30-June 1, 2025, will be dedicated to families, and July 28-Aug. 3, 2025, will be dedicated to young people.
The archbishop also announced that Italian composer Francesco Meneghello was the winner of the competition for an original score for the official hymn for the Holy Year 2025 that highlights its theme, “Pilgrims of Hope.” The lyrics were written by Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, an Italian theologian, composer and musician.
The city of Rome has estimated more than 30 million people will come to Rome for the jubilee year. At least 87 public works projects are set to begin at an initial cost of 1.8 billion euro. Projects include revamping key areas, increasing accessibility and transport, and improving reception services and infrastructure.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Christians have no need to be afraid or hopeless because Jesus always tells the faithful where they are going and how to get there, Pope Francis said.
“At times, especially when there are major problems to face and there is the sensation that evil is stronger, we ask ourselves: What should I do, what path should I follow?” he said May 7.
Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life,” which means “Jesus himself is the way to follow to live in truth and to have life in abundance,” the pope said.
Before reciting the midday “Regina Coeli” prayer with about 20,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke about the day’s Gospel reading, John 14:1-12, which is among Jesus’ discourses at the Last Supper before his death.
“The disciples’ hearts are troubled, but the Lord speaks reassuring words to them, inviting them not to be afraid,” the pope said. Jesus “is not abandoning them but is going to prepare a place for them and to guide them toward that destination.”
Jesus tells his disciples that “there is space for you, you are welcome, you will always be received with the warmth of an embrace, and I am in heaven to prepare a place for you,” the pope said. Jesus also “prepares for us that embrace with the Father, the place for all eternity.”
This is a source of consolation and hope for the faithful, he said. “So, when we experience fatigue, bewilderment and even failure, let us remember where our life is headed.”
“We must not lose sight of the destination,” he said, which is the “greatness and the beauty” of heaven. Pope Francis said that once the faithful understand where they are going and what they are living for, the next question is “how can we get there, what is the way?”
Jesus says he is the path to follow, the pope said. “He is the way and therefore faith in him is not a ‘package of ideas’ in which to believe, but rather a road to be traveled, a journey to undertake, a path with him,” which “leads to unfailing happiness.”
The faithful are invited to follow Jesus and imitate him, “especially with deeds of closeness and mercy toward others, Pope Francis said. “This is the compass for reaching heaven: loving Jesus, the way, becoming signs of his love on earth.”
May 11 Father Mark Shoffner St. John the Evangelist, Oxford Father Adolfo Suarez Pasillas St. Michael, Forest
May 14 Father Panneer Selvam Arockiam St. Mary, Yazoo City Father Jason Johnston St. Joseph, Starkville Father Joseph Le St. Francis, Aberdeen Father Andrew Bowden St. Richard, Jackson
May 17 Father Matthew Simmons St. Joseph, Gluckstadt
May 23 Father Joachim Studwell, OFM St. Francis, Greenwood Deacon Hank Babin Retired
May 24 Father Bob Goodyear, ST Holy Rosary Indian Mission Father Joseph Chau Nguyen, SVD St. Mary, Vicksburg
May 27 Father Charles Bucciantini Retired
May 29 Father Sam Messina Retired Father Hilary Brzezinski, OFM St. Francis, Greenwood
May 31 Father Lincoln Dall Holy Savior, Clinton Father Rusty Vincent St. Paul, Vicksburg Father José de Jesus Sanchez St. Joseph, Greenville Father Binh Chau Nguyen Immaculate Conception, West Point Father Nick Adam Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, Jackson Father Aaron Williams Basilica of St. Mary, Natchez
June 1 Father Anthony Okwum, SSJ Holy Family, Natchez & St. Anne, Fayette
June 2 Father Guy Wilson Holy Child Jesus, Canton & Sacred Heart, Camden
June 4 Father Joe Tonos St. Richard, Jackson Deacon Jeff Artigues St. Joseph, Starkville
Deacon Denzil Lobo Christ the King, Jackson Deacon John McGinley St. Joseph, Starkville Deacon John McGregor St. Jude, Pearl Deacon Ted Schreck Catholic Parishes of Northwest MS
June 6 Father PJ Curley Retired
June 7 Father Noel Prendergast Retired Father Kevin Slattery St. Therese, Jackson
June 8 Father Thomas Delaney Retired
June 9 Father Juan Chavajay Sacred Heart, Canton
June 10 Father Robert Dore St. Michael, Vicksburg
June 11 Msgr. Patrick Farrell Retired Father Thomas Lalor Retired
June 12 Father Gerry Hurley St. Paul, Flowood
June 13 Father Mike O’Brien Retired Father Mario Solorzano St. James the Less, Corinth
June 14 Father Tom McGing Retired Msgr. Mike Flannery Retired
June 15 Father David Szatkowski, SCJ Catholic Parishes of Northwest MS
June 16 Father Jeffrey Waldrep Annunciation, Columbus
June 18 Father Anthony Quyet Retired
June 26 Deacon David Gruseck Annunciation, Columbus
June 27 Father Andrew Nguyen Immaculate Heart of Mary, Greenwood Father Cesar Sanchez St. James, Tupelo Father Marco Sanchez, ST St. Anne, Carthage & St. Therese, Kosciusko