org. How does Francis celebrate the anniversary of his election? By hearing confessions. On Friday 13 March, Pope Francis presided over a penitential celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the “24 hours for the Lord,” promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation. It is an invitation to the Church everywhere in the world and the motto this year is “God rich in mercy.” In his Lenten Message for 2015 Pope Francis said: “Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.”
“I know that my old parish in Pretoria, will be part of the Pope’s initiative…so South Africa will be united in this initiative,” wrote Sarah-Leah Pimentel. Cecilia Mata, from Buenos Aires, commented: “In Buenos Aires, I know several parishes that will hold adoration (I’m not sure if this will be in all parishes). And yesterday I was at the Belgrano Shrine and they also have sign up forms for the 24 hours of adoration.”
And how do we celebrate? In covenant solidarity with Francis
On 11 March, an email with a link to a promotional video went around among some of the Schoenstatt.org “Dreamteam” members in Paraguay, Spain and German. The video was promoting “24 hours with the Lord” and the second anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election as the pope of the universal Church.
“This video is above all a true reflection of this covenant solidarity we sealed with Francis!” commented José Argüello from Paraguay, who “in passing took this video from a Whatsapp group.” “Let’s share this invitation with the WHOLE WORLD!” he added. This invitation is expressed in a simple and clear way in this short video: Let us not abandon our Pope Francis. Let us speak about him. Let us pray for him (the same invitation given by Prayer Rally for Francis). Let us make his calls, his requests, his prayers, his initiatives our own. Let us listen to his words (the Schoenstatt Movement has a message from him that fills 54 pages of a book) and allow them to question us, to call us to go out onto the streets, to promote a culture of encounter, which is a covenant culture that creates solidarity.
That 13 March 2013
On 13 March we celebrated two years with Francis, two years since the moment when he asked us, the people of God, to pray for him…before giving us his first blessing. It was a moment of covenant solidarity, a covenant solidarity by Francis with the pilgrim people of God…and the pilgrim people of God answered him in many ways. Some small Schoenstatt groups answered him by sealing a covenant in solidarity with him, expressed in other ways, such as the “100 solidarity houses” (now there are almost 140…)
“If Benedict XVI renounced the pontificate so that his decision could be a prophetic gesture for the Church and the world, Francis begins in the same way,” commented Fr. José María García in an email to the Schoenstatt.org collaborators, several hours after Francis was elected. “This falls under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, from great theology to the deepest and most radical incarnated evangelical spirituality. Today he calls us to the life of faith, the live of covenant, to covenant culture. The way of the Church is that of the simple shepherds and magi of Bethlehem.”
Here we are, Holy Father.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, South Africa