#ShortNews: Pope concludes Year of Consecrated Life with call to encounter, wonder, gratitude

Calling upon consecrated persons to live lives characterized by gratitude, wonder, and an encounter with the Lord and others, Pope Francis concluded the Year of Consecrated Life with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on February 2.

Since 1997, February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, has also been observed as the World Day of Consecrated Life.

“May the Lord Jesus, through the maternal intercession of Mary … increase in each of us the desire of encounter, the custody of wonder, and the joy of gratitude,” Pope Francis preached during his homily. “Then others will be attracted by His light and will be able to meet the Father’s mercy.”

At the conclusion of Mass, Pope Francis said:

Today the Lord continues to call you with that love with which you were called. Do not forget, do not forget that beauty, that wonder of the first call. And then continue to work. How beautiful it is to continue! There is always something to do. The most important thing is to pray.


#ShortNews: Vermont diocese to open on-line Catholic high school

The diocese of Burlington, Vermont, plans to open an on-line Catholic high school for the next academic year, the National Catholic Register reports.

The new school– which will offer courses through the internet, without a classroom building– is only the 2nd such institution established by a Catholic diocese in the US. The Archdiocese of Miami, Florida, opened an online school in 2013.


#ShortNews: Mexico’s violence, corruption, is not Our Lady’s plan, Pope says on eve of visit

“I come to Mexico as a pilgrim, to look for something among the Mexican people,” Pope Francis said in an interview with a Mexican news service as he prepares for his visit to the country next week.

In his interview with the Notimex service, the Pope was candid in his assessment of Mexico’s social and economic problems, but reminded his listeners that the people of Mexico are “children of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

In a blunt description of Mexico’s problems, the Pontiff took note of how the country’s social problems reflect the threats to world peace: “Violence, corruption, war children who cannot go to school because their country is at war, trafficking, arms manufacturers who sell weapons so that the wars of the world can continue … this is more or less the climate that we live in the world, and you are experiencing a part of it.”

This troubled image of the country, the Pope said, does not truly reflect the soul of Mexico, as envisioned by Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Pope continued. He argued that “the Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drug trafficking, the Mexico of the cartels, is not the Mexico that our Mother loves.”

Offering a preview of the message that he will bring to Mexico, Pope Francis said that the faithful should show the courage to bring the message of the Gospel to their neighbors and beyond: to go out to the sectors of society most in need of help. He told them that Our Lady of Guadalupe is sending the same challenge: “Do not be afraid of going forth, do not be afraid, my child, I am here and I am your mother.”