Fr. Lombardi: Pope is spending anniversary in prayer

Pope Francis prays during his General Audience on Sept. 25, 2013 Credit: Elise Harris/CNA

In light of the Pope Francis’ first anniversary as Bishop of Rome, the Vatican has stated that the pontiff is doing nothing special to celebrate other than pray, as he is currently participating in his Lenten retreat.

“Today the Pope is not doing anything special or different from other days. He is praying,” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told reporters in a March 13 statement.

Fr. Lombardi’s comment came in wake of numerous phone calls and emails he had received from journalists inquiring about the Holy Father’s plans for the day of his anniversary.

Having left Rome on Sunday afternoon with members of the Curia to spend their annual Lenten retreat in the hillside town of Ariccia, thus breaking from the tradition of holding it inside of the Vatican, Pope Francis is spending his anniversary in deep reflection and prayer.

During the retreat the Pope and curia members begin everyday with Mass, breakfast and a meditation given by Msgr. De Donatis, which is followed by lunch and a period of free time before a second meditation is given at 4p.m. After this they pray Vespers, have Eucharistic adoration, and eat dinner.

Msgr. De Donatis, who oversees a parish in the center of Rome and is highly regarded as a spiritual director for both priests and seminarians, is in charge of preaching during this year’s Lenten retreat, and has chosen to reflect on the theme of “the purification of the heart.”

On Friday the Pope and Curia members will conclude their retreat, and return from Ariccia by bus, the same means of transport he used to travel to the hill town on Sunday.

No special accommodations have been made for their return trip, as the bus is a regular motor coach, and is one of several owned by the Vatican.

In a message tweeted earlier this morning on Pope Francis’ twitter account, @Pontifex, the pontiff asked only one thing on the occasion of his anniversary: “Pray for me.”

The Pope’s twitter account currently has over 12 million followers worldwide, including 5 million in the Spanish language, close to 4 million in English, 1.5 million in Italian, almost 1 million in Portuguese, 248,000 in French, 177, 500 in German and 116,000 in Arabic.


Voices

Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in United States v. Texas

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Our nation’s ongoing failure to address the immigration crisis is a humanitarian tragedy. For more than a decade, state and local governments, Congress, the President, the courts — and now the highest court in the land — all have failed in their responsibilities to address this issue. 

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June 25, 2016

  • Saturday, June 25

    Los Angeles Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Children’s Bureau Foster Care & Adoption, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles. Discover if you have the ability and resources to help a child in need. To RSVP or for more information, call (800) 730-3933. To request an information packet, go to: www.all4kids.org/program/foster-care.

     

    His Mercy Endures Forever, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Presented by The Sower Metanoia. Speakers: Fr. R. Tony Richard from New Orleans; Lay evangelist Jesse Romero; Fr. Ismael Robles; Sower prayer ministry leader Sandra Burroughs, Noel Diaz, founder of El Sembrador. Praise & Worship- The Sower Band. Donation $25/person (Buy 3 tix get a 4th free). Info: (877) 714-5679, Spanish (818) 700-4938. Get tickets at www.sowermetanoia.com.

     

    New Rite of Matrimony Workshop by the Archdiocesan Office for Worship, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Junipero Serra, 5205 Upland Rd., Camarillo. Speakers from the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). Implementation of the new rite begins Sept. 8, 2016, and is mandated as of Dec. 30, 2016. To register, go to: www.fdlc.org.

     

    How Can This Man Give Us His Flesh to Eat?, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., St Madeleine parish, 931 East Kingsley Ave., Pomona. The many prophecies, antetypes and allusions to the Holy Eucharist and Holy Mass found in the Torah and in the Gospels--along with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A mini-retreat conducted by Tidings columnist Sean M. Wright. Register at the parish. Info: (909) 629-9495. 

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