Jan 042017

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 10 November 2016 to 4 January 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.


General Audiences






Papal Tweets

  • “The love of God, which can look into the heart of each person and see the deepest desire hidden there, must take primacy over all else.” @Pontifex 15 December 2016
  • “Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life” @Pontifex 16 December 2016
  • “I thank you all for your kindness. Please do not forget to pray for me.” @Pontifex 17 December 2016
  • “Our joy comes from the confidence we have that the Lord is close to us with his tenderness, mercy, forgiveness and love.” @Pontifex 18 December 2016
  • “I express my solidarity with migrants around the world and thank all those who help them: welcoming others means welcoming God in person!” @Pontifex 18 December 2016
  • “Nothing of what a repentant sinner places before God’s mercy can be excluded from the embrace of his forgiveness.” @Pontifex 19 December 2016
  • “Mercy is the concrete action of God’s love that, by forgiving, transforms and changes our lives.” @Pontifex 20 December 2016
  • “Mercy gives rise to joy, because our hearts are opened to the hope of a new life.” @Pontifex 21 December 2016
  • “The birthday of Jesus, who took on the burden of our human weakness, is drawing closer.” @Pontifex 22 December 2016
  • “The Lord becomes man to journey with us in our everyday lives.” @Pontifex 23 December 2016
  • “Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, may we too, with eyes full of amazement and wonder, gaze upon the Child Jesus, the Son of God.” @Pontifex 24 December 2016
  • “Christ is born for us, let us rejoice in the day of our salvation!” @Pontifex 25 December 2016
  • “On today’s Feast of Saint Stephen let us remember the martyrs of today and yesterday. May we overcome evil with good and hatred with love.” @Pontifex 26 December 2016
  • “Christmas has above all a taste of hope because, for all the darkness in our lives, God’s light shines forth.” @Pontifex 27 December 2016
  • “God, who is in love with us, draws us to himself with his tenderness, by being born poor and frail in our midst, as one of us.” @Pontifex 28 December 2016
  • “Let us be touched by the tenderness that saves. Let us draw close to God who draws close to us. Let us pause to gaze upon the crib.” @Pontifex 29 December 2016
  • “Holy Family of Nazareth, help us all to recognize the sacred nature of the family and its beauty in God’s plan for humanity.” @Pontifex 30 December 2016
  • “As we end this year, let us remember the days, weeks and months we have lived in order to give thanks and offer everything to the Lord.” @Pontifex 31 December 2016
  • “Let us entrust the new year to Mary, Mother of God, so that peace and mercy may grow throughout the world.” @Pontifex 1 January 2017
  • “At the beginning of this New Year, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace to the world’s peoples and nations.” @Pontifex 2 January 2017
  • “May nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions.” @Pontifex 3 January 2017
  • “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” @Pontifex 4 January 2017

Papal Instagram

Jan 032017

On Tolkien’s birthday it annoys me that once when it comes to books I was as irritating as Neil deGrasse Tyson. Fantasy books – no way. Give me Asimov, Niven, Clement. I want hard science fiction not day dreams! Thus I totally ignored this genre.

Even when I finally came around on Fantasy, I ignored Tolkien. Talk about dumb. It was only much later coming into the Church that I kept seeing his name on list of recommended books from Catholics. Since first reading it now they have become something I read it almost annually. They have become almost like spiritual wisdom since they contain so much wisdom. In one of those ironies of life leading up to my conversion I was noticing my increased love of the Fantasy genre because of the heroic and virtuous characters. I loved their willingness to do what is right and willing to sacrifice. I was coming to hate that I could not find those virtues in myself.

Last night I started going through the extended edition Blu-Ray of the movies again. It’s funny how the books and the movies have merged so much for me. Watching the movie I could have sworn there was a scene removed here or there. I could almost remember watching it. The same would happen reading the books. Although this only happened when there was considerable overlap. Mostly watching the movies I can understand the reasons for what was removed. Tom Bombadil and the whole section leading to Rivendell. The decision to remove the Scourging of the Shire, less so and how this changes a lot of things. Funny he could make 3 movies out of the hobbit, but kept to three for LOTR.

Still I really love the movies – especially the extended editions as they undo some of the character damage and do add to the telling. Although what I hate is that when a character is altered it is always for the worse. Faramir and Sam most of all. Sam leaving Frodo – you got to be kidding me. Yeah lots to quibble over regarding the movies, but at least mostly understandable quibbles. Although I can’t not say that for Hobbit trilogy – feast for the eyes, but not the soul. I don’t own any of those movies and I love the book.

I do love John C. Wright’s essay on one of the Hobbit movies. THE HOBBIT: The Desolation Of Tolkien and how it was often struck by the Stupidity Hammer.

Dec 312016

2016 has been the year of making a year anthropomorphic. Dark humor mixed in with a running joke.

This has kind of annoyed me. Yes I could appreciate the running joke, but I also want to count the blessings. Scapegoating the current year makes sense since we are always looking for patterns to put into a narrative. We are all storytellers of various skill and extract from everything to place into a story to make sense of.

Sure election years suck and this has been the suckiest in my memory. But I knew I was going to oppose whoever got elected. Yes it is sad when iconic entertainers die, especially at a younger age. Just that now we are feeling what are parents felt as their iconic stars died as they got older.

Still I would rather celebrate and enter in again what they left behind in film, books, and movies than complain about 2016. So yes this year triggered a lot of revisits of favorites leading also to new favorites.

Every year really is like Dickens brilliant start to “A Tale of Two Cities”.

As an optimistic/pessimist both dark humor and gratitude appeals to me in often contradictory ways. Still I would like to think about and list things I am grateful for in random order.

  • I actually managed to keep a New Year’s Resolution. I prayed the Rosary every day this year. Sure it was 366 (leap year) distracted Rosaries. But that was still better than roughly 4 a week I managed before. I also managed to pray Evening and Night Prayer every day along with spiritual reading. Before I was consistent on the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer. I used an app called Strides to log this everyday and that helped me to prioritize this everyday instead of my usual severe procrastination.
  • Discovered lots of new music (to me) this year via Apple Music. My favorite album was Megadeth’s “Dystopia”. The addition of guitarist Kiko Loureiro has reenergized Dave Mustaine.
  • My Apple Watch enabled me to be consistent in a daily workout. Probably only 7–8 days I missed during the whole year. Now have a standing desk at work and became much better at taking breaks and short walks.
  • While 2016 was not a great year for movies, there were some very good series with “Stranger Things” topping the list. Surprisingly the series “Lethal Weapon” was very good and actually brought the premise fuller to life. Plus it is one of the few series with an intact and happy family in it. I also enjoyed “Mr. Robot” and am finishing the second season of “A Man in the High Castle”. While movies are mostly retreading – series are showing that we don’t have a dearth of good writers.
  • This year I think I read more books from indie authors than books from big name publishers. Again reminding me how much talent is out there. Elitist gatekeepers have moved to narratives of political correctness and virtue signaling. The new Dragon Awards, awarded novels I actually read and enjoyed and the Hugo’s continued their decline. Sure there is a lot of crap in the indie world – just like the published world. See Sturgeon’s Law.
  • Yes there is a lot of bad news out there. Pope Francis phrase ‘piecemeal World War III’ is deadly accurate. So there is a lot to pray about and sometimes I responded appropriately in intercessory prayer. I want to make this my default response.
  • There is so much that can move us towards wonder if we let it. Sometimes my response to wonder can be overwhelming in the actuality of it. I am thankful for this and have a long way to go for a true Chestertonian response to the wonder of the world.
  • I am very thankful for a more detached view towards the world of politics. Yes still a political junkie, but less moved towards anger. “Put no trust in princes” has almost become an ejaculatory prayer for me this year.
  • Super thankful for social media friends. They keep me out of a bubble and challenge me. Even though I follow mostly faithful Catholics – there are certainly a wide range of prudential reactions out there. This helps me to not dogmatize my opinions and to remember how often I am wrong and will continue to be. Plus I love the wide range of interests that open me up into new worlds.
  • Also thankful for the job I have. As an application developer I enjoy my work which is intellectually satisfying, challenging, and requires constant learning.
  • Last but not least is just being a Catholic. How everything provides evidence for the truth of the faith. How my stoic tendencies are constantly being bombarded by the truth of the faith and “sheer grace”.

Thank you Jesus!

Dec 282016

Since John Glenn’s death I have been going through books on the various space programs. I wanted to fill in my gaps of knowledge since while growing up in that era I knew little of the Mercury and Gemini programs.

So started with The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe’s masterful book on the Mercury program. The opening chapters describing a jet pilots life were just great writing with a poetic rhythm. Such a great book.

Next up was “On the Shoulders of Titans: History of Project Gemini.” This was a straight forward history produced by NASA (free PDF). A bit dry, but informative. It kind of freaks me out I didn’t know about the Gemini 6A and 7 accomplishing the first space rendezvous. Had no idea we ever sent up two crews close together.

Now I am reading A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin. I got the audiobook version of this which is done by my favorite narrator Bronson Pinchot. This one is really blowing me away. This approaches “The Right Stuff” in writing skill. Chaikin eventually was able to interview almost all of the Apollo pilots that were still living at the time. So you see it colored by these interviews adding so much flavor and really bringing you into the moment. Just so well done. I just finished the part on Apollo 8 mission, the first to go around the moon and first using the new Saturn V rocket. I was ten at the time and remember listening to their broadcast on Christmas Eve on my crystal radio set with the single earpiece and braided cord. Listening to them describe the moons surface and then alternately read from Genesis. I remember this so well, although I had no idea what the book of Genesis was. My exposure to scripture was all accidental. In fact decades later I was surprised to find out how many phrases I knew were actually scriptural references. YouTube video with the Genesis reading from the Astronauts.

Regardless the audiobook version of A Man on the Moon is phenomenal. Pinchot’s skill is so evident while being both restrained and dramatic when the story is open to it. A good history is a time machine into the past and this is that in spades. The introduction to the book is from Tom Hanks who describes the impact it made on him for his preparations for Apollo 13 along with others involved. Astronaut Jim Lovell the commander of Apollo 13 was also one of the crew on Apollo 8 and Command Pilot of Gemini 10.

The space programs was transformative for me being that they lead me to my lifetime love of Science Fiction along with technical interests starting as an electronics hobbyist, a Navy Career as an Avionics tech doing component repair of “black boxes”, and then a career working with computers as an application developer. So like many others influenced by this era it is sad to see our space program dwindle so. The sadness of watching live the Challenger explode and the joy of watching the subsequent Discovery launch while I was in Florida on a port visit with the U.S.S. America (CV–66). I remember the night before the successful Discovery launch playing the Commodore 64 Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space simulator from Activision all night long until finally having success.

Dec 242016

Steven D. Greydanus has a thoughtful piece on more and more Protestant churches being closed on Christmas Day. Christmas and culture: Closing churches on Christmas?

While this has been a trend in Protestant churches, the trend I notice for Catholics is earlier and earlier Christmas Vigil Masses. While parishes still have Midnight Mass and other Christmas Day Masses I am seeing multiple Vigil Masses and ones as early as 4:30 PM.

Seems to me to be a get Mass out of the way phenomenon. I know I can catch myself in this mentality. The old joke about what time is Midnight Mass isn’t quite as funny anymore. Convenience rules the day and then we see what Catholics in the Middle East are suffering through.

I love Midnight Mass myself. Even when I was an atheist because of the Christmas Carols. So I would put up with the sky fairy thing for being able to sing Christmas Carols. I am not a person who much like crowds and Midnight Masses are often overcrowded. But I arrive early not just to get a seat in a pew, but mostly for the Christmas Carols sung before Mass. There is something about bringing in Christmas Day at Mass in participating with the Angels who brought the message to the shepherds. Plus it is hardly even a Vigil Mass being at midnight. Plus one thing I dearly love is the thunderous Joy to the World pretty much sang at the end of Mass regardless what parish I have attended. It gets me every time.

I have been to many different parishes for Midnight Masses in my diocese. The experience regardless of the normal liturgical fare offered at other times is usually quite excellent. This is when parishes all of a sudden remember that there are hymns written before 1970. Where we tend to have fuller choirs and symphonic accompaniment.

Although one time the choir was so out of tune that it was disconcerting and not just one person. That this included one of the soloists was surprising. I discovered later that this wasn’t just an off night. My mantra to myself was – “They are giving of their time and ”cough“ talent so don’t complain.” Guess I failed at the not complaining part, but it has been a couple of years.

So really looking forward to the 4:30 PM Mass, I mean Midnight Mass.

Dec 242016

Hilaire Belloc – Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël!

A Catholic tale have I to tell! And a Christian song have I to sing
While all the bells in Arundel ring.

I pray good beef and I pray good beer
This holy night of all the year,
But I pay detestable drink for them
That give no honour to Bethlehem.

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël!

May all my enemies go to hell!
Noël! Noël! (Hilaire Belloc – The Four Men, 1912)

This from Belloc makes me laugh despite how much I hate the funny part.

I much prefer Tolkein’s Noel.

J.R.R. Tolkien – Noel

Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
The wind in the trees was like to the sea,
And over the mountains’ teeth
It whistled bitter-cold and free,
As a sword leapt from its sheath.

The lord of snows upreared his head;
His mantle long and pale
Upon the bitter blast was spread
And hung o’er hill and dale.
The world was blind, the boughs were bent,
All ways and paths were wild:
Then the veil of cloud apart was rent,
And here was born a Child.

The ancient dome of heaven sheer
Was pricked with distant light;
A star came shining white and clear
Alone above the night.
In the dale of dark in that hour of birth
One voice on a sudden sang:
Then all the bells in Heaven and Earth
Together at midnight rang.

Mary sang in this world below:
They heard her song arise
O’er mist and over mountain snow
To the walls of Paradise,
And the tongue of many bells was stirred
in Heaven’s towers to ring
When the voice of mortal maid was heard,
That was mother of Heaven’s King.

Glad is the world and fair this night
With stars about its head,
And the hall is filled with laughter and light,
And fires are burning red.
The bells of Paradise now ring
With bells of Christendom,
And Gloria, Gloria we will sing
That God on earth is come.

Dec 232016

Over the years there has been a continued meme of calling Die Hard a Christmas movie. This is mostly done as a jest, but people watching this on or near Christmas is a thing. I have joined in on this trend just because it is funny to put the film in this genre.

There are lighthearted and more serious discussions in social media over this question.

Recently I saw Matthew Archbold’s post on 7 Reasons Die Hard is NOT a Christmas Movie. In this piece he mocks the arguments put forth to class it as a Christmas movie – all in good humor.

What was missing from his post is what is the definition of a Christmas Movie in the first place. Probably because such a definition would be difficult to craft. I think there are multiple genres in what people consider belonging to this.

Now I am no film critic or have an encyclopedia knowledge regarding movies. Not even an amateur film buff. So caveats aside let me wrestle with this.

First off at a top level narrow definition of a Christmas Movie would be actually about the Incarnation of Christ involving his birth. So a movie like The Nativity Story fits that narrow definition. Maybe even the reading of Luke in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Probably not a lot of movies that fit this definition.

Our celebration of the Nativity is all about the joy of our redeemer coming to us. That we are sinners desperately in need of a redeemer. There is no Pelagian pick ourselves up by our bootstraps. Even sins we think we have overcome by sheer willpower were actually powered by grace. Still nothing we could do could merit eternal life participating in Gods own life.

So a movie regarding our knowledge of sin and our need for a savior would thematically participate in what Christmas is truly about. In Incarnation shows God’s great love for us. There are a lot of movies with themes of redemption, but less tying this directly to our redeemer. Plus salvation history is large story arc beyond the Nativity of Christ.

The really large block of so-called Christmas movies usually have two things in common.

  1. Events occurring around or on Christmas.
  2. The driving message that “Family is important”.

So in this large block you get everything from the masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life to all the movies that show up on the Hallmark Channel and other venues. They have an element of disassociation with family, friends, and the world in general. Selfishness or despair. By the end they learn something about themselves that lets them more fully enter family or community. Most involve a more secular redemption while others have shadows of a more religious theme connected to grace and redemption.

Most of my favorite movies that are more fully Christmas movies are movies like It’s a Wonderful Life or some version of A Christmas Carol. It is interesting the thematic connections these two stories share. They both involve a looking back at life and what you have done. For Scrooge this was a negative experience as he lived a life of selfishness. George lived a life of self-giving and a review of his past revealed to him more fully the connection to others to help get passed his despair. George is like “Bob” Cratchit and Potter is like Scrooge. A Scrooge with no redemption. There is a religious dimension to both stories, but more haunted than explicit.

So these specific films and others like them are fully Christmas films despite not having the full connection to the birth of Christ and our need of a savior. Besides nobody argues about whether these examples are Christmas movies.

When we move on the largest part of so-called Christmas films they all have points 1. and 2. I listed. The large majority are rather smarmy and have little real depth, yet still contain the truth that ties to family and community are important. That reaching out of our selves to serve others is primary.

Now I happen to like a lot of these Hallmark style films for what they are. Still I don’t really categorize them as fully Christmas films. For myself I call this genre Christmassy films.

Another large category of so-called Christmas films is Santa Clause related ones. These also almost always involve the “Family/Friends are important” theme. So I see these as a subgenre to Christmassy films.

So when it comes to Die Hard this is not a Christmas movie. It does have connections to the Christmassy genre. If you took out the family aspects it would have been a lesser film. His estrangement from his wife and coming back to bring about a reconciliation provided some of the tension in the film and a catalyst for the action. So Die Hard is roughly 95% an action flick and 5% a Christmassy flick.

Dec 202016

Some years ago I hear an interview on Al Kresta’s show with Sally Read. She is a a British poet and former psychiatric nurse. The interview involved her conversion to the Catholic faith from then a lifetime as an atheist. Very insightful interview.

So I was interested to find that she has now written her conversion story for Ignatius Press. The book is Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story.

Conversion stories of all types interest me. As a former atheist I especially enjoy conversion stories from other former atheists. After reading this one I realized that the recent books I read about atheists becoming Catholics were all women.

I had recently read Andrew Klavan’s The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ which is excellent, but he didn’t become Catholic.

Still an interesting thread in the stories of these women and a couple of similar examples I know of was that these were not women who rebelled against how they were raised. As I remember they grew up in households with no faith, as I did. All firm in their atheism with the Catholic Church, if it was even on their radar at all, was a marked enemy. So I find these commonalities fascinating along with just how different their stories are. Each book I referenced was a journey where they didn’t want to go filled with their own personalities and interests. These stories also tend not to read like an apologetics work common with Protestants who became Catholics. There are different concerns involved.

So I expected Sally Read’s account to have a literary tone to it as I imagined a poet’s account would be. I was not expecting it to feel so much a meditation. The story itself seems so unlikely. A staunch atheist with a view of life common to modern feminism. Yet at times she has glimpses into her situation that she can’t account for from her viewpoint. A realization that something was missing which could not be accounted for.

The journey of her conversion is very frank and striking. What gets her talking to a priest is not exactly a common point in a story of conversion. Yet like all conversion stories there is a confluence of different threads moving together.

Really I am failing spectacularly at writing this review because I don’t have the skill to write the review it deserves. I was totally enthralled in her story and how she weaved in these parts of her life and the influence on her thinking. Not a straight forward sequential biography of going from point A to B. A narrative with themes that presents her story. That she did some of this merging St. John of the Cross’ “Dark Night of the Soul” was very effective. It all moved me greatly.

The story of the priest she came to know and argued back and forth with was integral to this story. So glad that this priest showed such perseverance in this. The same goes with her relationship with one Catholic mother that was tumultuous.

I just totally loved this book. So much so that it is one I will probably read is again. So insightful and written so wonderfully. Striking in the absurdity of the story and the movement of grace.

Dec 152016

People in Spain have an “Uber” version of the Confession and it’s awesome

There is now an app whereby a Catholic in Spain can find a priest to meet him or her in order to be offered the sacrament of reconciliation (also known as “penance” or simply “confession”). The new app is called “Confesor Go” (note that, yes, there is one “s” in the Spanish word “confesor”), and there is also a recently-launched Twitter account (@ConfesorGo).

The app identifies the location of the user, and indicates where priests are located nearby, as well as introductory details about the priest, including his name, age, and year of ordination. Confesor Go also includes a list of the Ten Commandments, so that the penitent can examine his or her conscience in preparation for receiving the sacrament.

The app was developed by Father Ricardo Latorre, who has expressed his hope that the app will likewise become available in the Spanish-speaking nations of Latin America sometime within 2017. Of note, Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of the Diocese of San Sebastián in Spain has made himself available via the app, and his brother bishops around the world would do well to consider supporting the use of such an app within their respective dioceses, in order to inspire more of the faithful to make recourse to the sacrament.

This app is not to be confused with a different app launched last month.

(Vatican Radio) In an impressive move to introduce a legacy of the Year of Mercy, a Scottish archbishop has launched what is thought to be the world’s first GPS-powered Sacrament-finding app.

Leo Cushley from the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh announced the launch of ‘The Catholic App’ outside St Peter’s Basilica on 22nd November 2016, surrounded by pilgrims and seminarians from his archdiocese, accompanied by the sound of the Scottish bagpipe.

The app will allow users around the archdiocese to find the nearest and soonest opportunities to go to Confession and Holy Mass, as well as Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The archbishop called the app “a little bit of smart technology that could make a big impact on how the Catholic Church brings the mercy of God and the joy of the Gospel to our contemporary world.”

This app was labeled “sindr” by the media.

As for it being “world’s first GPS-powered Sacrament-finding app” that is not close to being correct. Masstimes.org had an early iPhone app out for finding a Mass near you. Although it has hardly been updated, but still works.

Now if only someone in the U.S. would launch a similar app. Although confessional times are fairly universal here. Usually on Saturday before the Vigil Mass or “by appointment”. I only know of one parish in my diocese that has confession before each Mass.

Getting all the data for such an app would be quite the undertaking. You couldn’t just scrape data from parish websites since finding times for confession on may sites is not an easy task.

Now what would I want in a confessional app beyond what you would expect?

  1. Picture of the confessional. Often times its hard to tell a “Reconciliation Room” from a closet from the outside. Usually need GPS just to find it since it is often not in a prominent location.
  2. Ratings of how hard the penances given out are. Because of course I want to find the priest that gives out more severe penances. Seriously though my late-pastor would sometimes give people lighter penances because he would take on a heavier penance himself for them.
  3. A built in voice recorder. This way if I was trying to remember the sins I committed I could just ask my wife to remind me.
  4. If you are still having a hard time determining what to confess, the app could review your Twitter/Facebook/etc feed for helpful reminders.
  5. An Audio Decibel Meter to make sure you are quiet enough to only confess your sins to the priest and not the people in line.
  6. An included calendar to log when you have been to confession. This way you could be like Spock and say “I last went to confession on 15 December 2016 at 4:32 PM”. Reminders to nag you if the time since your last confession starts to get a big long in the tooth.
  7. Displays the text of the Act of Contrition automatically dimming the screen so the priest doesn’t know you still haven’t spent the time to remember it.
  8. A Hail Mary counter to keep track of number of Hail Mary’s assigned that you could then tap to countdown.
  9. A handy compass to display that your confessed sins are now as far from us as the east is from the west.” Nice to know that our confessed sins are the equivalent of GPS not found.

Now the Epic Pew story called it a “Uber” version. Now that would be cooler to have the confessional come to you.

Perhaps like this actual van from the Diocese of Lafayette.

Or possibly something like this done by a non-priest hoaxer.

Dec 142016

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 6 December 2016 to 14 December 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.



Papal Tweets

  • “The Church does not grow through proselytism, but by attraction.” @Pontifex 6 December 2016
  • “Let us learn from the Blessed Mother how to have a humble heart capable of receiving God’s gifts.” @Pontifex 8 December 2016
  • “Let us pray for all the victims of genocide and work together so that this crime never happens again in the world.” @Pontifex 9 December 2016
  • “Let us all work decisively so that no one is excluded from the effective recognition of their fundamental human rights.” @Pontifex 10 December 2016
  • “May Advent be a time of hope. We go to encounter the Lord who comes to encounter us.” @Pontifex 11 December 2016
  • “On this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, let us entrust to her the American peoples and the mission of the Church on that continent.” @Pontifex 12 December 2016
  • “Today I would like each of us to reflect on his and her own past and the gifts received from the Lord.” @Pontifex 13 December 2016
  • “Now is the time to unleash the creativity of mercy, to bring about new undertakings, the fruit of grace.” @Pontifex 14 December 2016

Papal Instagram