Archbishop Coakley proclaims sacred purpose of Archdiocese

Mutually Shared Vision

By Tina Korbe Dzurisin
The Sooner Catholic

An archdiocesan envisioning team led by the Most Reverend Paul Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, has ascertained and articulated the sacred purpose of the archdiocese, the team announced this month.

"Our purpose as the people of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City," Archbishop Coakley said, "is to joyfully witness to the Catholic faith in central and western Oklahoma through the teaching, sanctifying and governing ministry of Christ and His Church so that the Body of Christ is made present, the universal call to holiness proclaimed and all people are welcomed into the promise of eternal life."

The announcement is the first official outcome of a 13-month process to discern and proclaim a mutually shared vision for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City - a process that began when Archbishop Coakley chartered the archdiocesan envisioning team in July 2012 and continued last fall with 12 listening sessions in parishes across the archdiocese.

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Pope begins pontificate with symbols of ministry


By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Although attempts were made to simplify the ceremony, Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission.

But before the solemn rites began March 19, Pope Francis -- known for choosing public transport over chauffeur-driven limousines -- took his first spin in the popemobile, blessing the tens of thousands of people who arrived in St. Peter's Square as early as 4 a.m. to pray with him. He waved and, at one point, gave a thumbs up to the faithful. He also kissed three babies held up to him by the chief of Vatican security, DomeniQco Gianni, and other officers.

But he climbed out of the open jeep used as a popemobile to kiss a severely disabled man.

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Pope Francis disarms press, public with fresh style

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY —  Pope Francis had been pope for less than six days when he was formally installed March 19, but he had already made a distinctive and overwhelmingly favorable impression on the world.

That is an especially remarkable accomplishment given that, until his election, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been practically unknown to the public outside his native Argentina.

His abrupt change in style from the previous pontificate has overwhelmingly charmed the press and the public. But among the hierarchy, off-the-record sentiments seem to be more mixed: admiration at the ease with which Pope Francis has assumed his new role, alongside doubts that he can or should keep up such an unconventional approach for long.

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Rock bands, vendors, prayer: Buenos Aires celebrates pope

By David Agren
Catholic News Service

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina —  The celebrating started late March 18. Outside the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the expansive Plaza de Mayo, rock bands played. Vendors in the area peddled pictures and posters of Pope Francis, as well as pope-themed cushions, calendars and key rings.

Seminarians and youth groups began praying for the new pope. Trucks came to accept donations for the poor; Pope Francis had asked Argentines not to spend money traveling to Rome for his inauguration.

Instead, they rose early and watched the hometown resident elevated to head of the world's Catholic Church.

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Pope Francis leaves deep first impression

ROME — When Pope Francis stepped out onto the central loggia of St. Peter's on the night of March 13, I thought of the man I had met in his Buenos Aires office 10 months before: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., who was looking forward to laying down the burden of leadership and devoting himself to prayer, reflection and study. Now, because Benedict XVI decided to renounce the Chair of Peter and do what Cardinal Bergoglio wanted to do, the old-school Argentine Jesuit is now Benedict's successor. His acceptance of the cross that is the papacy was an act of humble obedience by a man who had bent his will to the divine will for over a half-century.

What kind of man is he? Some impressions from an hour's conversation last May:

A man of God. The new pope struck me then as someone who lived from the inside out - a man whose rich interior life was the basis of his public life, a leader whose decisions grew from prayer and discernment, not calculation.

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Pope on Palm Sunday: Christ's passion leads to joy

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass as pope March 24, telling an overflow crowd in St. Peter's Square that Christ's death on the cross is a source of eternal consolation and joy.

"A Christian can never be sad. Never give way to discouragement," the pope said in his homily, assuring listeners that with Jesus, "We are never alone, even at difficult moments, even at difficult moments when our life's journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them."

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Archbishop Coakley: All of us are called to be more concerned with mission than maintenance

SUBIACO, ARKANSAS -- The baptized faithful are called to be more concerned with mission than maintenance, Archbishop Paul Coakley said March 15 during a Mass to celebrate the 135th anniversary of Subiaco Abbey and the 55th anniversary of the consecration of its church.

Archbishop Coakley traveled to Arkansas -- which is within the province of Oklahoma City -- for the celebration.

"The modern papacy has taken on a new style, less managerial and more evangelical," Archbishop Coakley said in his homily. "This has consequences for the whole Church. All of us are called to be ... more interested in evangelization and making disciples than merely shoring up institutions while Catholics drift away."

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The fresh style of Pope Francis sends a clear message

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis had been pope for less than six days when he was formally installed March 19, but he had already made a distinctive and overwhelmingly favorable impression on the world.

That is an especially remarkable accomplishment given that, until his election, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been practically unknown to the public outside his native Argentina.

His abrupt change in style from the previous pontificate has overwhelmingly charmed the press and the public. But among the hierarchy, off-the-record sentiments seem to be more mixed: admiration at the ease with which Pope Francis has assumed his new role, alongside doubts that he can or should keep up such an unconventional approach for long.

Read more...

Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis attracts crowd of 200,000

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although attempts were made to simplify the ceremony, Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission.

But before the solemn rites began March 19, Pope Francis -- known for choosing public transport over chauffeur-driven limousines -- took his first spin in the popemobile, blessing the tens of thousands of people who arrived in St. Peter's Square as early as 4 a.m. to pray with him. He waved and, at one point, gave a thumbs up to the faithful. He also kissed three babies held up to him by the chief of Vatican security, Domenico Gianni, and other officers.

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Pope Francis to reporters: The Church is not essentially political, but spiritual

By Tina Korbe Dzurisin
The Sooner Catholic

In an address to the media this weekend, Pope Francis thanked reporters for their around-the-clock coverage of the conclave even as he reminded them that news related to the Church must be reported in the context of faith.

"Ecclesial events are certainly no more intricate than political or economic events!" Pope Francis said. "But they do have one particular underlying feature: They follow a pattern which does not readily correspond to the 'worldly' categories which we are accustomed to use, and so it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wider and more varied public. The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, the Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church’s life and activity."

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