Church, home and school of communion


Three American bishops at audience with Pope Francis on Feb. 27 were Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyoming and yours truly.

On Feb. 27 a group of bishops and friends of the Focolare Movement met in the Vatican Apostolic Palace with Pope Francis. I found Pope Francis to be a wonderfully simple man of God.


Pope Francis during audience with bishops and friends of the Focolare Movement.

The Holy Father recalled the words of Blessed John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, “To make the Church the home and the school of communion is truly fundamental for the efficacy of every commitment to evangelization, inasmuch as it reveals the deepest yearning of the Father.”

This yearning is for all his sons to live as brothers – ‘that all of them may be one’. It also reveals the vitality of the Holy Spirit. “Cultivating the spirituality of communion also contributes to making us more able to walk the path of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue,” Pope Francis said.

The pope asked us to ensure that we place all we receive “to the benefit of the entire Church.” He said that society “has a great need for the testimony of a style of life, from which their transpires the novelty offered to us by Lord Jesus,” which is to care for each other.

In the coming months I hope to share with all of you the extraordinary and simple call of the Holy Father to be missionary disciples in the New Evangelization. May Mary, Our Blessed Mother, inspire us to live more radically the word of God.

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