With anticipation growing in the streets of Mexico City for Pope Francis' visit, a group of local pilgrims found time to thank their "mother" and prayed that it would give their country a spiritual awakening.
The following is the fifth in a series of several bulletin inserts that will appear in parish bulletins and on the diocesan website during the Jubilee of Mercy, in English and Spanish, by Bishop Patrick J. Zurek.
Pope Francis is scheduled to have more than two hours alone with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Cuba in addition to signing a declaration with the patriarch before flying on to Mexico for a Friday, Feb. 12-Wednesday, Feb. 17 visit.
On the eve of sending off "missionaries of mercy" to all corners of the globe, Pope Francis told his specially appointed men that the reassuring strength of God's love—not the "bludgeon of judgment”—will bring the "lost sheep" back to the fold.
The planned Friday, Feb. 12 meeting in Cuba between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church will be a historic event, those involved in ecumenical relations agree, but they contend the proof of the pudding will lie in the content of the joint statement the two church leaders are expected to sign at the end of their meeting.