Oct. 2, 2021 – Some inspiring things in the news that you may not have heard about…
As it seems that we mostly only hear bad things in the news, I wanted to mention two things in the news in the last six months that I think are quite inspiring, but didn’t always get noticed in headline news. So two news events I would like to mention:
1) Pope’s visit to Iraq (March 2021)
Last March, 2021, Pope Francis visited Iraq. The Pope often visits various countries and nations, so we don’t always follow or take note of it. But this visit was of utmost importance because it was the first time in recorded history that the Pope has ever visited Iraq! This is even more important as in recent decades Christians in Iraq have been greatly persecuted, and the numbers of Christians in Iraq have dropped dramatically (as many have emigrated or fled the country to escape persecution).
I recently listened to a news story talking more about it and talking to people six months later about the impact of the event. Christians talked about what incredible hope was inspired by the Pope’s visit. It gave them courage and strength to continue living their faith. It also opened up greater dialogue with some of their Muslim neighbors about how to live peaceably together. It really was a dramatic historical event in the life of the Church there, and really for the nation as a whole!
You can listen to more from Catholic News Agency:
“How Pope Francis changed Iraq”
Or you can read more about the impact of the Pope on Iraq here:
2) International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest (Sept. 5-12, 2021)
A Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of clergy, religious, and laity to bear witness to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, which is an important Roman Catholic doctrine. Congresses bring together people from a wide area and typically involve large open-air Masses, Eucharistic adoration (Blessed Sacrament), and other devotional ceremonies held over several days. Congresses may both refer to National (varies by country) and International Eucharistic Congresses. For the last century, every three to five years or so the Church holds an International Eucharistic Congress, where people from all over the world attend.
The last one was just held a few weeks back and it involved a Eucharistic Procession with the Pope that approximately TWO-HUNDRED THOUSAND people processed in. Two hundred Thousand!
I find that immensely incredible and inspiring! I find it hard to imagine any event that involves 200,000 people!
The last FIFA International World Cup had 35,000 in-person spectators (but has been as big as 90,000 spectators).
The 2019 Superbowl had 70,000 people as spectators in the stadium.
In early September more than double of either of those numbers marched in prayer and adoration of Our Lord in the Eucharist.
Learn more about the event here:
I wanted to share these “good news” headlines with you!
PS: I (Fr. Kevin) will be leaving the afternoon of Oct. 2 for an 8-day Ignatian retreat. I will return Tues. Oct. 12
Please keep me in prayer while I’m gone, as I will be holding you all in prayer as well.
In the meantime, Fr. Frantz will take good care of you all, until I return on Oct. 12!