Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis: Part 4: Hearing the Holy Father’s message

Artwork by Joe Heller for The Compass, the Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay

I wanted to spend some time in this series talking about how we can best prepare to hear the message of the Holy Father. 

I attended a webinar last week for journalists in the Catholic Press Association with Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, the English language Media Attaché for the Holy See Press Office, as well as CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Television Network. The purpose of the webinar was to provide CPA members with a preview to the papal visit, answer questions, and provide suggestions on how best to prepare for coverage.
As I listened to Fr. Rosica and asked a few questions of my own, I realized how important it is for American Catholics to prepare themselves to hear the Holy Father’s message both through a prayerful opening of our hearts and minds, as well as background reading of the Holy Father’s writings.
Father shared a lot of background context, especially in preparation for the these first four days in Cuba, as well as “the bookends” of the upcoming World Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 4-25) and the upcoming Jubilee Year/Holy Year of Mercy against the backdrop of the papal visit. He urged all of us to let the bigger message speak… the message of Gospel. Pope Francis’ masterful use of scripture and its application to our everyday life are immense helps to all of us in living the Gospel message.
With all of this in mind, I wanted to share resources that my readers could use to prepare to listen to the message of the Holy Father this week. And then… I discovered that my friends at the U.S. Catholics Bishops Office had done just that. Great minds think alike!
No need to reinvent the wheel, as they say. I would like to share with you “Ten ways to participate in Pope Francis’ U.S. visit” from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, whether in person or from your homes on TV or online coverage. 
1. Take part in a “Virtual Pilgrimage” with these prayers as the Holy Father makes his way to more than a dozen different locations in Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

2. Learn more about the places Pope Francis will visit by following his journey on this interactive map.

3. Become “Pope Francis-literate” by reading his two encyclical letters: Lumen Fidei and Laudato Si.
Read the rest of this insightful list of suggestions here.

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Do you have other ideas on how to best participate in this week’s papal visit?
Please share your thoughts with me:
Twitter: @JCSMinistry


Read more from my series on the visit of Pope Francis to the United States:
Part 1 includes all the basics that you should know: 
Part 2 includes lots of memories from those who attended or participated in past papal visits to our country:
Part 3 is all about papal memorabilia, including where to purchase keepsakes from authorized distributors, as well as a look at part of my collection from past papal visits to the United States: 

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.