Sunday, December 08, 2013

For Marian Week, "Santa Pope" Meets "Super Bowl"

Even if this Advent Sunday takes precedence over the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Rome's traditional Yuletide launch continues – at 4pm local (10am ET, 7 Pacific), the Pope arrives at Piazza di Spagna for the annual "homage" at the square's statue of the Immacolata, which tops a pillar at the center of the city's main shopping district.

The crowds already flooding the surrounding streets, here's the Vatistream, set to go live just before Francis shows up (and available on-demand once it wraps):

His intense Marian devotion having shown itself repeatedly over these months, at the noontime Angelus Papa Bergoglio said that he would stop at St Mary Major on his way back to the Vatican from the Spanish Steps for an additional tribute to the patroness of Rome – the Madonna under the title Salus Populi Romani – "to pray for all of you" in the crowd and the city beyond.

While the Sunday clash sees the liturgical observance of the Immacolata transferred to Monday, the usual obligation to attend Mass will not apply this year given the calendar's conflict.

On another front, in a rare Sunday appointment, the Holy See announced today that the Ghanaian-born president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson, would serve as Francis' legate to Tuesday's memorial service in Johannesburg for Nelson Mandela.

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So, that's Rome. In the States, meanwhile, another edition of American Catholicism's "Super Bowl" is already underway – and of course, it's got nothing to do with what (at least, juridically) remains the nation's patronal feast. It's just got everything to do with the project's survival into the next generation.

Isn't that right, Storm Troopers? (¿Es verdad, Stormtroopers?)

(de Norristown, Pennsylvania)

From coast to coast, celebrations are building toward the Stateside Church's Biggest Night of all – the 11th-into-12th eruption for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the calendar's premier flashpoint marking the ascendancy of a Hispanic bloc which already comprises a majority of the US faithful younger than 30, and today, at least the plurality of the nation's 70 million Catholics.

(de Nueva York, 7 de diciembre 2013)

Entonces, a entrar en estos días santísimas, rogamos a nuestra Virgen Madre que la Iglesia en este país será más y más de verdad una familia de Díos, donde nadie sea un extrañjero a los demás, y todos sepan la plenitud de la vida y de libertad en esta tierra....

(de Phoenix, 4 de diciembre 2013)

Muy buenas fiestas a todos – buen domingo y buen almuerzo.