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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Keeping it Current...

Monthlies are notoriously slow, especially in the digital age, when everyone has access to publishing commentary and analysis instantly. That’s not a problem in much of our magazine. The inspirational stories, the profiles of amazing people, the seasonal features, and our many columns keep our content vibrant. But we like to stay close to current events, too. So we try, constantly, to anticipate the future.

What will be in the daily news three or four months from now that will interest you? What can we take the kind of long look at, that the daily or hourly media simply can’t? Or in the case of big, recent news events, how can we offer some type of wrap-up or overview, or how can we help our readers interpret the importance of events?

Such is the case with this month’s cover story about Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land in May. We—and select Catholic press worldwide—had the opportunity to go, courtesy of Israel’s tourism ministry. They wanted to demonstrate all of Israel as safe and interesting. They knew we would want to be in Jerusalem, close to the Holy Father, so they provided a way for us to do both. In addition to the papal story, in future months you’ll see a few stories sparked by the things we saw.

At the end of the day, we are able to report on an aspect of this story that, in the mainstream media, kept getting pushed aside in May by the critical, unsettled business of Israel and Palestine. That neglected story was the reason for the pope’s visit: to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and demonstrate a heartfelt desire for Christian unity.

We editors met and talked about many ways to tell the story of the pope’s historic visit. Though there were a number of truly significant events, we settled on keeping our focus steady. It didn’t make the most news, and it’s not the jazziest of the possible stories, but the union of East and West is a huge issue in the Church, one that we Roman Catholics barely understand. Art Director Jeanne Kortekamp and I tried to infuse that story with the jazz of the pope’s trip, especially through photos.

Let us know how we did!

This blog was taken from John’s “Backstory” column in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning magazine, click here.

Photo: archideaphoto/


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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."