Pope Francis turned 85 back in mid-December, but Vatican watchers say we don’t expect retirement or a papal conclave soon. Francis reportedly said, “The Lord has chosen me, the Lord will protect me as long as he wants. I’m doing my best, and when he wants, he will take me away.” Not a bad attitude!
The pope has a full agenda for the coming year. He has plans to reform the Curia, the Church governing bureaucracy, appoint new cardinals, and, depending on covid, ambitious foreign travel plans. Francis is now the second most traveled pope; only John Paul II visited more countries. This year he is expected to travel to some political hotspots. Plans are for him to visit South Sudan and Lebanon. These are two countries faced with particularly volatile political climates that Pope Francis hopes his visit will quiet.
On the pope’s visit to South Sudan, he hopes to be accompanied by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. In another development on the ecumenical front, Francis plans a second face-to-face meeting with Russian Patriarch Kirill of Moscow at a Benedictine monastery in Hungry. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most Catholic country in Africa, and tiny Timor Leste, a former Portuguese colony in the East Indies with the highest per-capita Catholic population in Asia, are also part of the pope’s travel plans.
Francis will also be overseeing worldwide preparations for the Synod on Synodality planned for 2023. This year, the synod’s unprecedented amount of feedback from Catholics worldwide will be reviewed and prepared to present to the synod next year. Relations with China are also a significant item for the pope because the Vatican-Chinese agreement on the selection of bishops expires in October. That pact has not worked out exactly the way the Vatican had hoped, and observers speculate if Francis will renew it.
It appears Pope Francis has big plans for 2022! Please keep him in your prayers this year. Be sure to pray those three Hail Marys and Our Father at the beginning of every Rosary for his intentions. He needs our prayerful support this coming year.
Pick up Your Bottle for the Baby Bottle Boomerang
Holy Redeemer will participate in a Baby Bottle Boomerang to support A Woman’s Concern - Your Options Medical. This organization provides no-cost life-affirming pregnancy confirmation services to women and couples facing unplanned pregnancies, especially those considering abortion due to a lack of information and support. Please take a baby bottle home to fill with your loose change, cash, or a check. You can return them to church the weekend of February 8/9. Our financial support will help make Your Options Medical’s services available free of cost to those in need of support and guidance in the fight for life! Please make checks payable to “Your Options Medical” if you decide to donate by check.
Later this spring, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to rule on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case, where many expect the court to place more limits on abortion rights. If that comes to pass, abortion proponents are likely to accuse pro-life advocates of not supporting families and children once they are born. That is a falsehood, but pro-life Catholics must use both church and their financial resources to aid women and children. They must also support public policy such as the Child Tax Credit that supports children and families. The Baby Bottle Boomerang is one way we can do that.
Lower Cape Parishes Collaborative Respect Life Meeting
Holy Redeemer joins other parishes on the Lower Cape in a collaborative Respect for Life Ministry. They are meeting at the St. Joan of Arc, Orleans Parish Center on Wednesday, January 19, after the 8:00 a.m. mass. All are welcome! Please join in fighting for the lives of the unborn, the elderly, and the disabled. Questions? Please get in touch with Rosemary O’Reilly by email at oreillyrosemary54@ gmail.com or 508-269-0031
Holy Hour for Reparation and Healing
Holy Redeemer will be joining churches throughout the country conducting a Holy Hour for Reparation and Heal for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Friday morning, January 21, after the 8 a.m. morning mass. Deacon Joe Mador will conduct the celebration. Plan to attend Mass that day, offer your communion, and stay after Mass for the Holy Hour. This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release an abortion decision expanding the limits to abortion in our country. Join fellow parishioners asking God to give the justices wisdom and insight.
Desktop Publishing Skills Needed
Do you have experience with Microsoft Publisher or another desktop publishing software application? The parish needs someone to prepare our weekly Worship Aid. If you have desktop publishing skills or are willing to learn them, please call Cheryl Durrer, Music Director, (508) 945-0677.
SYNOD NEWS – The Listening Sessions are Just Around the Corner
A critical point of Pope Francis’s two-year global synod process is about to begin. Starting in mid-January, churches around the world will invite their parishioners to meet for informal “listening sessions” aimed at better understanding their needs and their vision of what the Church should be going forward. Holy Redeemer enthusiastically embraces the pope’s call to “journey together” and will hold open “listening sessions” in the parish hall on the following days:
Saturday, January 22 -- 1:00 pm Saturday, February 5 -- 1:00 pm
Saturday, February 26 -- 1:00 pm Saturday, March 19 -- 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 2 -- 1:00 pm Saturday, April 23 -- 1:00 pm
The listening sessions will be conducted by two lay members of the parish, Liz McCarty and Ron Weishaar, and any comments made during the sessions will be confidential.
Sign-up information is available at the back of the church.
Although we would prefer that you participate in the listening sessions in person, since that will allow for a more informal discussion regarding your individual needs and your vision of the Church going forward, survey questionnaires are available in the back of the church that you can answer at your convenience and return at a later date.
We hope you will take this opportunity to participate in Pope Francis’ Synod and to share your vision for the church.