- Jun 3, 2020
Thousands of new Catholics joined the Church in the United States during the “mother of vigils” when catechumens receive the sacraments of initiation. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington reported the number of candidates in nearly 60 dioceses.
The Easter Vigil is loaded with symbolism. It must take place after dark and begins with the lighting of the fire outside and the inside lighting of the Paschal candle, whose light is passed on to individual candles. There are seven Old Testament readings telling the salvation history, sung responses between readings and a sung proclamation called an Exsultet.
Pope Francis is well known for finding parallels between Gospel scenes and contemporary happenings, and he did so again during the Easter vigil Mass on Saturday. The pontiff suggested that the grieving and fearful faces of the two women who accompanied Jesus during his passion, and who sought out his body in the tomb, can be glimpsed today in the poor, victims of human trafficking, and all those who bear injustice.
A recent, and long needed, restoration of the most sacred chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a small sign of the progress that has been made in the relationship among the Churches which control the shrine. This year – when Catholic and Orthodox Easter fall on the same day – Holy Saturday will be a busy day in the church.
The spiritual journey of one Indian-born priest has taken many unexpected turns, as he has traveled from the probable religion of the three wise men to the Catholic Church. Now, his own mother has decided to join him on the journey.
Easter season has arrived, and Pope Francis keeps a rather packed schedule to attend to. Here is the list of events and places he will be over Holy Week and Easter and what he will be doing at each. This is a great time to be in Rome!