Friday, April 11, 2008

Upcoming Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States

Pope Benedict will be in Washington DC April 15th-17th and then he will go to New York until April 20th. With my job and other responsibilities, I cannot provide detailed coverage of this awesome event. However, I can recommend some websites you should check daily. I know I will. Just a sampling.

First, the Vatican's webpage detailing the Pope's visit.

Second, the USCCB has a website created for this event called Christ Our Hope. This site has it's own blog with contributions from many young Benedict enthusiasts. The blogposts I have read there thusfar, have been excellent. For example, a blogpost entitled The Pope through the Eyes of a Twenty-something, is a very powerful testimony in many ways (emphases mine).

As a twenty-something Catholic, I am regularly referred to as a “JPII Catholic.” To be sure, the papacy of John Paul the Great lasted longer than my life thus far. However, my faith has also been shaped by then-Cardinal Ratzinger and his current papacy. Three ways that he has affected the outlook of many young American Catholics are his vast writings, his over twenty-five stateside elevations of priests to bishops, and his example of a man who remains a priest first.

I cannot downplay the influence of his writings in my own theological study. As the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his moral direction shaped John Paul II’s writings, which my classmates and I read with abandon. He also published several theological books on a variety of topics and meditations in his own right. Reading his book-length interview Salt of the Earth with German reporter Peter Seewald provided an expansive look at how Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the man, the theologian, and the priest saw the state of the current Church. Few men who went on to become pope have left such an honest public record of how they perceive the Church. Such honesty led many to believe they knew what his papacy would hold. Almost three years later, it has been shown that no amount of research can show how exactly the Holy Spirit will guide the spiritual leader of almost a billion people. He has reached out to both the “left” and the “right,” greening the Vatican city-state and steadfastly opposing the situation in Iraq while granting wider use of the 1962 Roman Missal with his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum. His life has been one which emphasizes the universal nature of the Church’s mission.

Hyphenated priests (priest-lawyers, priest-doctors, priest-counselors) seem to be on a rise, but in Benedict XVI we have a man who remains a priest first. He serves as an example par excellence for young men discerning the priesthood but who are cautious of the ever-mounting responsibilities associated with the vocation. In the many roles assigned to him, his priesthood stays central. This must be the case for an ever changing papacy and world. Despite the many roles Catholics take on in daily life, they are Catholics first, baptized and missioned in the kingly, priestly, and prophetic offices of Christ.

Many young Catholics view Benedict XVI as a great priest, something the world could use a lot more of.

Daniel Napolitano is an employee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Another blog to keep track of daily, as I mentioned before, would be that of the American Papist, Tom Peters, who is following this closely - literally. He's there in Washington DC and will be providing up front coverage and photos. A few samples:

Some recent news headlines follow:

In the "spare us, O Lord" category:

In that last one, do hit the links that say "here" and "here". I am with them on this. Where is the chant? The musical lineup does not surprise me for the US where things like chant are still shunned by a generation bent on "folk" tunes.

In the "interesting" category:

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