Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Pope Francis I - updated

The new pope is also a Jesuit, which made me wonder if he is a Jesuit like this or that?

Seems more the former than the latter:

This kind of demonization is unfair, says Rubin, who wrote Bergoglio’s authorized biography, “The Jesuit.”
“Is Bergoglio a progressive — a liberation theologist even? No. He’s no third-world priest. Does he criticize the International Monetary Fund, and neoliberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes,” Rubin said.
Critics also accuse him of failing to stand up publicly against the country’s military dictatorship from 1976-1983, when victims and their relatives often brought first-hand accounts of torture, death and kidnappings to the priests he supervised as leader of the Jesuit Order in Argentina
Like other Jesuit intellectuals, Bergoglio has focused on social outreach. Catholics are still buzzing over his speech last year accusing fellow church officials of hypocrisy for forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

and from The Blaze:
Prior to his selection, CNN reported that Pergoglio is known as a “straight-shooter” who has no problem calling situations as he sees them. Potentially crushing dreams that he will take the church in a more liberal direction, he subscribes to the Catholicism’s most conservative wing. On contraceptives and gay marriage, he has, in the past, taken strict, conservative stances.

The Register also notes that Pope Francis is a scholar who has deep roots in theology, having studied in Germany. He’s known for being down-to-earth, rejecting a chauffeured limousine instead to take public transportation to work. He also cooked his own meals — another sign that he is not concerned with opulence and riches.
Considering these personal life choices, it’s no surprise that Pope Francis is a fierce defender of the poor. In the past, he has spoken openly about his belief that there is an “unjust distribution of goods.”

It appears that Pope Francis will be keeping firmly in the authentic teachings of the church.

His views on gay marriage.
Priests should baptize babies born to unwed mothers. 
Pro-life at both ends of the life span. 

10 Facts about Pope Francis
13 Facts about the Pope - trained as a chemist, speaks three languages and had one lung!

The Pope's only book - so far!

The Pope's first words!

Brothers and sisters, good evening!
You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you! 
Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him …
[Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be]
And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city. 
And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”
[Silence … the Holy Father bows]
[Cardinal N. says … “The Holy Father, Francesco …”]
“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”
[Pope’s blessing]
Brothers and Sisters,
I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest.

A testimony of Simplicity

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