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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Biological Warfare!...

Posted on Aug 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

An annual problem in the Papa Stronsay greenhouse is the Red Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae). This mite is very small and reproduces rapidly. It feeds on the cell-material of all kinds of plants, killing the cells on which they feed. When gathered in their hundreds-of-thousands, you can imagine the havoc they can wreak in the greenhouse! We do not use chemical sprays in our greenhouse, so each year we have to introduce a second mite, Phytoseiulus persimilis, which is the natural arch-enemy of the Red Spider Mite.  It can be ordered online, and arrives in the post!

Join Fr Jean Marie, F.SS.R. as he explains how it works.
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The Pope on Capitol Hill–Part 2...

Posted on Aug 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Daniel Imwalle, assistant editor of St. Anthony Messenger. To see Part 1 of this article, please click here.

The pope’s address to Congress may be an opportunity to expand upon his critique of trickle-down economics. In his first papal exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis pointed out that blindly putting trust in the invisible hand of the free market “expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting” (54).

Who are “the excluded” in the United States, a nation of 321 million people? In a report published on the US Census Bureau’s website (census.gov), as of 2013, the number of Americans living in poverty is over 45 million. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported in December 2014 that the wealth gap between upper-income families and middle- and lower-income families is the widest it’s ever been since the Federal Reserve started tracking this data 30 years ago. Perhaps the pope will encourage Congress to consider equitable economic policies that can narrow the wealth gap and reduce poverty.

“God is not afraid of new things.”  —Pope Francis

The pope may challenge our leaders and our nation to address other societal woes, too. Still, we may be afraid of embracing new and developing immigrant populations and wish to avoid the growing pains that come along with cultural exchange. We might also be resistant to making lifestyle changes that serve to support a more ethical form of capitalism. During the October 2014 beatification Mass for Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis said, “God is not afraid of new things.” Human beings, on the other hand, often are.

Our faith calls us to be more like God. Opening our minds and our hearts to what promises to be the pope’s challenging message to the United States, we can take a confident step in that holy direction.

Franciscan Media is partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic News Service, and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican’s official publishing house to publish the Official Commemorative Edition of Pope Francis’ first-ever trip to the United States.

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CNS photo/Paul Haring

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The Pope on Capitol Hill–Part 2...

Posted on Aug 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Daniel Imwalle, assistant editor of St. Anthony Messenger. To see Part 1 of this article, please click here.

The pope’s address to Congress may be an opportunity to expand upon his critique of trickle-down economics. In his first papal exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis pointed out that blindly putting trust in the invisible hand of the free market “expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting” (54).

Who are “the excluded” in the United States, a nation of 321 million people? In a report published on the US Census Bureau’s website (census.gov), as of 2013, the number of Americans living in poverty is over 45 million. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported in December 2014 that the wealth gap between upper-income families and middle- and lower-income families is the widest it’s ever been since the Federal Reserve started tracking this data 30 years ago. Perhaps the pope will encourage Congress to consider equitable economic policies that can narrow the wealth gap and reduce poverty.

“God is not afraid of new things.”  —Pope Francis

The pope may challenge our leaders and our nation to address other societal woes, too. Still, we may be afraid of embracing new and developing immigrant populations and wish to avoid the growing pains that come along with cultural exchange. We might also be resistant to making lifestyle changes that serve to support a more ethical form of capitalism. During the October 2014 beatification Mass for Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis said, “God is not afraid of new things.” Human beings, on the other hand, often are.

Our faith calls us to be more like God. Opening our minds and our hearts to what promises to be the pope’s challenging message to the United States, we can take a confident step in that holy direction.

Franciscan Media is partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic News Service, and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican’s official publishing house to publish the Official Commemorative Edition of Pope Francis’ first-ever trip to the United States.

*****
CNS photo/Paul Haring

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How do we handle immigration?...

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

You can’t hardly go a day or two without seeing something in the headlines that relates to immigration. And it’s not just in the US that this is happening, but around the world. People are looking for stability and safety and many times aren’t finding it in their home country. It can be confusing for us as Catholic Christians to know what our response ought to be. Should we let everyone who wants to live here settle in? Can we handle the influx of humanity? Do we view this as a problem or do we look at this as an opportunity that needs to be managed properly?

In Pope Francis’ document, Joy of the Gospel, he has this to say about having a missionary heart in all we do. He says, “A missionary heart never closes itself off, never retreats into its own security, never opts for rigidity and defensiveness. It realizes that it has to grow in its own understanding of the Gospel and in discerning the paths of the Spirit, and so it always does what good it can, even if in the process, its shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.”

That quote speaks to me about how difficult it can sometimes be to follow what the Gospel is urging us to do. The path of the Spirit is not always neat, clean and easy to discern. If you’ve ever accidentally stepped into a squishy, wet, pile of mud, you know just how hard it is to clean that off of your shoes. Sometimes discerning what to do in a complex situation, like immigration, can be messy.

There’s a pragmatic way to address immigration as well as an emotional and faith-filled way to address immigration. As Catholic Christians we need to be aware and deliberate about making sure we see this issue from as many angles as we possibly can. And sometimes one of those angles involves navigating around a pile of mud. Fortunately, we have a document like Pope Francis’ to help us through. So don’t be shy. Jump on in and get dirty.

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Photo by Denis and Yulia Pogostins/Shutterstock

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How do we handle immigration?...

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

You can’t hardly go a day or two without seeing something in the headlines that relates to immigration. And it’s not just in the US that this is happening, but around the world. People are looking for stability and safety and many times aren’t finding it in their home country. It can be confusing for us as Catholic Christians to know what our response ought to be. Should we let everyone who wants to live here settle in? Can we handle the influx of humanity? Do we view this as a problem or do we look at this as an opportunity that needs to be managed properly?

In Pope Francis’ document, Joy of the Gospel, he has this to say about having a missionary heart in all we do. He says, “A missionary heart never closes itself off, never retreats into its own security, never opts for rigidity and defensiveness. It realizes that it has to grow in its own understanding of the Gospel and in discerning the paths of the Spirit, and so it always does what good it can, even if in the process, its shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.”

That quote speaks to me about how difficult it can sometimes be to follow what the Gospel is urging us to do. The path of the Spirit is not always neat, clean and easy to discern. If you’ve ever accidentally stepped into a squishy, wet, pile of mud, you know just how hard it is to clean that off of your shoes. Sometimes discerning what to do in a complex situation, like immigration, can be messy.

There’s a pragmatic way to address immigration as well as an emotional and faith-filled way to address immigration. As Catholic Christians we need to be aware and deliberate about making sure we see this issue from as many angles as we possibly can. And sometimes one of those angles involves navigating around a pile of mud. Fortunately, we have a document like Pope Francis’ to help us through. So don’t be shy. Jump on in and get dirty.

*****

Photo by Denis and Yulia Pogostins/Shutterstock

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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."