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World Day of the Poor 576x731Pope Francis has named the thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary time the World Day of the Poor. The inaugural World Day of the Poor will be celebrated November 19, 2017. What should parishes do to mark the World Day of the Poor? Pope Francis shares several ideas in his message about the day, including that parishes should spend the week leading up to the day creating moments of “encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance” with people who are poor:

"It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on 19 November, the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance. They can invite the poor and volunteers to take part together in the Eucharist on this Sunday ... This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favorable moment to encounter the God we seek.”  — Pope Francis

Amoris Logo English

Does the Family continue to be good news for today’s world? I am sure the answer is yes! And this yes is firmly based on God’s plan.” - Pope Francis, March 2017.

WHAT IS THE AMORIS: LET’S TALK FAMILY! LET’S BE FAMILY! PROGRAMME?

Pope Francis believes that in a world where humanity is often wounded, mistreated, and dominated by a lack of love, the family is the “yes” of God as Love. In spite of all the pressures and difficulties it faces, Pope Francis believes that the family is still good news for today’s world.

In 2016, he wrote “The Joy of Love” (Amoris Laetitia), a document about love, marriage and family life, and now he has given Ireland a special responsibility. He has asked Ireland to host the World Meeting of Families in 2018 and to prepare for that event by offering families, parishes and groups a way of thinking about and sharing his message in The Joy of Love: that the Gospel of the Family continues to be Joy for the World.  

The Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family! Programme is a response to Pope Francis’ request. The programme aims to support families and parishes as we set out on the journey of preparation to the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Dublin from 21st to 26th August 2018, and to continue that journey in the years ahead. 

More information can be found at the Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family! website wwww.amoris.ie.

 

candles in churchAll Souls' Day is marked on 2nd November (or the 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday), directly following All Saints' Day, and is an opportunity for us to commemorate the faithful departed. They remember and pray for the souls of people who are in Purgatory - the place (or state) in which those who have died atone for their less grave sins before being granted the vision of God in Heaven (called Beatific vision).

Reasoning behind this stems from the notion that when a soul leaves the body, it is not entirely cleansed from venial (minor) sins. However, through the power of prayer and self-denial, the faithful left on earth may be able to help these souls gain the Beatific Vision they seek, bringing the soul eternal sublime happiness.

A 7/8th century AD prayer The Office of the Dead is read out in churches on All Souls' Day. Other rituals include the offering of Requiem Mass for the dead, visiting family graves and reflecting on lost loved ones. 

Whilst praying for the dead is an ancient Christian tradition, it was Odilo, Abbot of Cluny (France) who, in 998AD, designated a specific day for remembering and praying for those in the process of purification. This started as a local feast in his monasteries and gradually spread throughout the Catholic Church towards the end of the 10th century AD.

For the souls in purgatory, waiting for eternal happiness and for meeting the Beloved is a source of suffering, because of the punishment due to sin which separates them from God. But there is also the certitude that once the time of purification is over, the souls will go to meet the One it desires.

Letter of Pope John Paul II for Millennium of All Souls' Day