Pope Backs #TeamRefugees at Rio

#TeamRefugees at Rio

Did you know that a team composed of refugees is competing at the Rio Olympics? With no country to call home they are #TeamRefugees. Read Pope Francis’ letter of support here.

Can Sport Contribute to World Peace?

In August Pope Francis asks us to pray that sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.

Watch his video message:

Fiat Lux – let there be light!

In these last months it seems like we are witnessing an unending stream of acts of violence. Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, Lahore, Medina, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Reutlingen, Rouen … We can feel overwhelmed, helpless, numb, unable even to take in the latest tragedy. In the face of all of this, can we say fiat lux – let there be light? Can we find ways to be bearers of light?

A Physical Response

It is heartening to see so many prayer memes of solidarity flooding social media. In a reflection following the murder of Fr Hamel in Rouen, Benedictine Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman suggests a more embodied approach saying “Prayer is seen as soul’s work. But we have bodies, and bodies can pray too.” Physical prayer gestures of fasting, kneeling, looking to the East, using rosary beads, may not appeal to everyone, but Fr Hugh suggests one thing that we can all do regardless of our religious beliefs:

“Light a candle or three, hallowing each one with a brief prayer… that the world might know that the darkness might win a battle but it cannot win the war. Let there be light: fiat lux — lumen Christi, lumen fidei, lumen veritatis, lumen caritatis, lumen spei.”

#fiatlux let there be light! The light of Christ, the light of faith, the light of truth, the light of love, the light of hope.

Songs of Light & Hope

Two songs have been a comfort to me in these months. Both speak of bringing light to darkness. The Peace Prayer of St Francis is sung in his home town of Assisi in this video:

Chris Rice’s song Go Light the World also encourages us not to turn away, but rather to run to the darkness with our candles bearing light to the world.

In a physical gesture of solidarity and spiritual closeness, many Muslims in France attended Mass to commemorate the life of Fr Hamel. How might Christians make physical gestures of solidarity with the Muslim communities around the world who are suffering violence?

Pray With Pope Francis July 2016 – Indigenous Peoples

Will You Pray With Pope Francis?

Each month the Pope announces two prayer intentions. One is universal, or general, while the other concerns evangelization more specifically. Pope Francis invites us to join him in praying for these intentions. Here are Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for July 2016.

Universal: Respect for Indigenous Peoples

That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect.

Evangelisation: Latin America & the Caribbean

That the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, by means of her mission to the continent, may announce the Gospel with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

Indigenous Peoples of Australia

Do you know who the indigenous people of your place are? Can you find out about them and pray for and with them this month?

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the indigenous peoples of Australia. Listening to their experiences is one way of showing respect. You can learn more about their experience of culture and faith here.

The Catholic Church in Australia celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday on the first Sunday in July. There are lots of resources to help you pray for Pope Francis’ intention this month in this kit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday 2016.

This website was built on Aboriginal land. We acknowledge the Guringai people of the Eora nation as the traditional custodians of this land and pay respect to their elders past and present.

Watch the Pope Video