Please join us on January 21 at the Trinity-first United Methodist Church for an evening of prayer for the community of El Paso.
Bishop: Instead of fences on border, bridges El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz on Pope Francis’ February visit to Mexico — and what he will find Gretchen R. Crowe OSV Newsweekly
Pope Francis is coming back to North America.
Fewer than six months after his visit to the United States, Pope Francis will travel to Mexico from Feb. 12-17 to spread his message of mercy to a country desperately in need of it.
With meetings with families, youths and indigenous peoples on the schedule, the Holy Father’s six-day visit will include many opportunities for powerful imagery, but perhaps none so powerful as that of a Mass at the U.S.-Mexico border, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17. The Mass will take place in Ciudad Juárez, a location rife with gang and narcotics-based violence that only five years ago was listed among the most dangerous cities in the world. Many “border bishops” in both countries are working together to prepare for the Holy Father’s visit, including Bishop Mark J. Seitz, bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas. Read More Click Here
(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, said Pope Francis desires to ‘share the life of the Mexican people’ and to be close to the Virgin of Guadalupe during his upcoming Apostolic Journey to Mexico (12-17 February).
In an interview with Noticias MVS, Archbishop Pierre spoke about the reasons for the Holy Father’s visit, reminding people to expect the unexpected. Leer más Haga clic aquí
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Sr. Constance Veit, L.S.P.
During a recent family reunion my elderly mother and I were the only ones at the table without smart phones. We felt left out. A few days later I read that Pope Francis advised parents to ban mobile devices from the dinner table to help restore the quality of family relationships.
These two occurrences reminded me of the life of our foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan. In her time the poor were essentially swept aside in the wake of the French Revolution and rapid industrialization. Today we are experiencing a different type of revolution as digital technologies evolve nearly every day.
New modes of social communication, it is claimed, foster unimagined levels of human connectedness. But just as the poor and elderly were marginalized in Saint Jeanne Jugan’s day, they are often left behind in the communications revolution of today when they lack the means or the know-how to keep up with the latest technology. Consider these statistics from the Pew Internet and American Life Project:
Regardless of age, users of social networking say they interact more with other digitally connected people than with those who do not use digital communication. These new forms of technology, with their rapid changes, have created a new generation gap.
Recently I was shocked to read that more than one million older people in the United Kingdom go a month without talking to another human being. This figure would surely be comparable in our own country. Such loneliness is deadly! Studies show that inadequate social interaction is linked to premature death. The increased mortality risk associated with loneliness is comparable to smoking, and twice as great as the risk associated with obesity!
I hope you find this data as startling as I do. Through Pope Francis’ repeated calls for a culture of encounter I believe God is asking us to do something to relieve the social isolation of the elderly and poor. During this Jubilee Year of Mercy he is inviting us to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; among these are visiting the sick and imprisoned and comforting the afflicted.
So what can we do? If you know an older person, who has the means but not the know-how to access digital media, then practice mercy by teaching them how to use the technology they already own.
For those unable to afford computers and smart phones, as well as those whose physical or cognitive limitations prevent them from being able to use them, visit them with your laptop on a regular basis and facilitate their connection to long-distance loved ones via Skype or a similar platform.
Finally, enrich the lives of the elderly through real, in-person face time. What better way could there be to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy than to commit to spending time with our elderly loved ones or homebound neighbors and sharing a meal or a memory with them?
Pope Francis inspires us to practice this form of mercy: “Sharing and knowing how to share is a precious virtue!” he said. “Its symbol, its ‘icon,’ is the family gathered around the dinner table. The sharing of meals – and in addition to food also of affection, of stories, of events – is a common experience.”
The pope added, “A family that hardly ever eats together, or that does not talk at the table but watches television, or looks at a smartphone is a ‘barely familial’ family … It is like a boarding house!”
Let’s apply the pope’s thinking to our relationships with elders. Let’s do all we can to make sure that family togetherness and intergenerational bonds grow stronger during this Jubilee Year of Mercy!
Sister Constance Veit is the communications director for the Little Sisters of the Poor in the United States.
As the calendar turns to 2016, El Pasoans already have an idea of significant issues and events that will confront our community, region, state and nation in the coming year.
The most immediate, and most anticipated, is the Feb. 17 visit of Pope Francis to Juárez. It will mark the first time a pope has ever visited the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Francis is widely expected to speak on a theme that has been important during his papacy, the treatment of refugees and other migrants in an increasingly complex world. Read More Click Here
JUÁREZ — Pope Francis is expected to meet and deliver a message of hope to 800 inmates at the Cereso state prison No. 3 in south Juárez during his historic visit to the border city Feb. 17, according to church officials. The Cereso prison, located at 1650 Barranco Azul in the General Toribio Ortega neighborhood, will be the pontiff's first stop after his arrival in the city.
The itinerary says Francis will travel from the Abraham González International Airport to the Cereso prison, where he is scheduled to spend 90 minutes visiting with inmates, their families and the religious leaders who serve the prison. READ More Click Here