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Vatican Museums will be closed August 15 for the Feast of the Assumption

Since August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, is a Holy Day, the Vatican Museums will be closed that day. However, the archaeological sites in Rome will be open.  So if you will be in Rome on the 15th  that means you can visit the Colosseum, the forum, etc. since Rome is part of Italy and does not necessarily observe the religious holiday.  

The Vatican, obviously, is its own country and therefore has its own rules. The Vatican Post Office will also be closed, but both will be open again on the 16th.  Major Basilicas (including Saint Peter’s) and Churches will be open and probably crowded due to the feast day.  

And one other note:  Pope Francis will be at the Papal Summer residence at Castel Gandolfo that day.  Whether he will make a public appearance or not is unknown, but our guess is he probably will.

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New Zealanders Stranded in China with a newborn..need your prayers

Traveling when pregnant is usually just fine, but here is a story that has not worked out well and the family is asking for your prayers.  The couple and their newborn, who needs serious medical care, are still stranded in Shanghai. So far they are caught between a diplomatic tug of war and we ask you to pray for them.  The mother and father are from New Zealand and were en-route home when the baby was born in China during a stop-over just a few hours from home.

You can read the details in the article, but what is not mentioned is the fact that most of the Chinese doctors just wanted her to abort the baby since it was going to be born with health problems (this is China, so of course abortion is nothing to them, just another means of birth control).  Fortunately she had one doctor who was on her side, and was able to deliver the baby. but they need modern pre-natal care that will be available to them in New Zealand and is not available in China.  Our prayers are with them and we hope you will join us as we invoke the intercession of Saint Philomena.  

And also we want to caution anyone who is pregnant to avoid layovers that include countries that might be hostile to the unborn.  Certainly China is up there near the top of the list, although there are quite a few others as well.  

We are hoping to hear from the New Zealand authorities about their progress in helping their citizens.

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See live coverage of Mass from Mount Tabor on August 6, 2013

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 is the Feast of the Transfiguration celebrated throughout the Universal Church. In addition to attending Mass in your local parish, you can view Mass  live from the Church of the Transfiguration at Mount Tabor in the Holy Land in observance of the Feast of the Transfiguration.  

Broadcast will be August 6th at 10:30 a.m. local time (07:30 GMT) using the link above and also on the following media:

Tv2000 (Italian language)
Popolar Tv Murcia 
(Spanish language)
Maria Vision 
(Spanish language)
Tele Lumiere 
(Arabic)
KTO France 
(French)

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Knights of Columbus Annual International Convention Aug 6-8, 2013 San Antonio, Texas

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Opening ceremonies will begin on Tuesday August 6, 2013 with Holy Mass celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia Siller, M.Sp.S., of San Antonio along with 11 Cardinals, over 90 Archbishops and Bishops, along with scores of priests. 

Mass will be broadcast live at 9:30 a.m. Central U.S. time (14:30 GMT) on EWTN (TV, radio and shortwave); Catholic TV and Canada’s Salt+Light TV.    

The stations mentioned above will also have live coverage of the Opening Session on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m Central U.S. time (17:30 GMT) and States Dinner at 8:30 p.m. Central U.S. time (01:30 GMT) The keynote speaker in the evening will be Cardinal Sean O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap.  You can also follow the events on Twitter:  #KofCSA13

For those Knights attending the convention, we hope they will take advantage of the many Catholic sites in the city.  Named after Saint Anthony, it was founded in 1731, and is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. The San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest continually-operating Cathedral in the country. Along the famous river walk you find a statue of Saint Anthony given to the city by the government of Spain

For more about the Catholic sites of San Antonio click here.

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Mass at the Gesu Church in Rome on July 31st

July 31 is the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order.  Masses at the Church of the Gesu in Rome on that day are at noon and 7:00 p.m.

 It was earlier announced that Pope Francis would be celebrating Mass on the Feast Day, but we have not been able to find out when that will be and if it is open to the public.  So if anything breaks in the next few hours we will let you know.

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World Youth Day in Washington D.C.

World Youth Day is not only for those able to travel to Rio.  WYD events are planned in many cities throughout the world.  They offer a great opportunity for young people to get together to celebrate this occasion and participate in various activities.  One of these is in Washington, D.C. at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in what is appropriately called Rio in DC.  The event will be held Saturday evening at  the Monastery beginning at 6:00 pm and ending at 11:00 pm.

There will be live feeds of Pope Francis from Rio, relics John Paul II on display (courtesy of the John Paul II Shrine in Washington), Mass and much more.  It is open to ages 18-35.

Click here for the official Archdiocesan website for details of Rio in DC.

Click here for the official website of the Franciscan Monastery in the Holy Land in Washington, D.C.

Click here for more information about The John Paul II shrine in Washington, D.C.

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Relics of John Paul II are now in Rio for WYD 2013

Pope John Paul II is the one who organized the first World Youth Day back in 1985.  The first one was a relatively small event held in Rome, but it has now grown to be an international sensation for young Catholics from countries all over the globe.  So it is very fitting that the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported that the relics of John Paul II reached the Brazilian capital on Sunday July 7th.  They will be on display at various locations throughout World Youth Day  Pope John Paul II made four visits to Rio during his Pontificate, the last being in 1997 for the World Meeting of Families.

In addition to the World Youth Day there is an art display from July 9th through October 13th entitled  “In the Footsteps of Christ”, with masterpieces from Italy and the Vatican at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio. It primarily contains  works by the most famous artists, painters and sculptors, ranging from the year 1400 to 1800, most of which have never been seen in Latin America.

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Egypt in the News

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As we watch the events unfold in Egypt, it might be interesting to consider the reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zeitoun  Here is a video concerning the apparitions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMEWxRB-1dc

Obviously we don’t encourage anyone to travel there right now, but it will be interesting to look back some day and ponder the significance of her appearance in this predominantly Muslim nation, with an ancient Coptic Christian minority..

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Pope Francis’ Summer Schedule Update

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We announced previously that there would be no Wednesday Public Public audiences in July but that is now extended through the month of August.   Nevertheless, Pope Francis will be busy.

On Monday July 8th he will travel to the island of Lampedusa off the coast of Sicily.  It is to this island that many refugees from north Africa (only about 90 miles away) flee and often die in the attempt.   Those who do survive the trip then are held in temporary quarters which are filled beyond capacity and this naturally places a strain on local facilities. Recently some 10 immigrants drowned trying to reach the island.  On this trip  Pope Francis will be dropping a ceremonial wreath in the waters off the coast in memory of all who lost their lives on this perilous journey through the years. 

Plans were previously announced for him to travel to Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, July 14th to lead the Angelus.  Normally the public attends the Angelus when the Pope says it, either in Rome or Castel Gandolfo.  However, we are trying to confirm that this is still on his schedule.  Also, we’ve heard that Pope Francis will be in Castel Gondolfo, as previous popes  have, for the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), but are still trying to verify that.  If you have any information please let us know.

He will travel to World Youth Day in Rio from July 21st through July 30th.

So if you had planned to see Pope Francis in Rome this summer we think you will probably be disappointed.  We don’t expect the weekly Papal audiences to begin before September.