Photo credit: CNS/Paul Haring
Pope Francis hosted a peace prayer summit with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican Gardens on Sunday. The meeting was a result of an invitation the Holy Father issued during his trip to the Holy Land two weeks ago, in which he requested that the two presidents meet at the Vatican for an “invocation for peace” in the Holy Land. Catholic News Service reports:
The event, at which Christians, Muslims and Jews prayed in each other’s presence, was almost certainly the first of its kind at the Vatican, according to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.
The starting time of 7 p.m. had been chosen in part to avoid the midday heat, yet temperatures were still in the mid 80s less than an hour earlier, when Peres arrived by car at the Vatican guesthouse, where the pope lives. Abbas arrived at 6:30 p.m., and 15 minutes later the two presidents embraced in the presence of the pope.
“Nice to see you,” Peres and Abbas told each other in English.
Joining the group was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, whom Father Lombardi had described as one of the event’s “four protagonists,” and Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land and the principal coordinator of the event.
“What makes you different is what makes you beautiful.”
That is the quote that accompanies a photo of Pip, an 18-month old girl with Down Syndrome, on a 200-foot billboard in one of Toronto’s busiest intersections.
The billboard is the result of a contest run by Indie88, a radio station in Toronto, and Pip’s billboard entry gained about 45,000 votes to win the coveted spot. Pip’s mom, Tara McCallan, said:
“I hope people see value in any and all life. I hope they get to see what I see in my daughter every day: a little, beautiful , happy soul. And yes, she has Down Syndrome, but I think differences in people need to be celebrated and we need to see the beauty in that.”
The Catholic Gentleman has a terrific 4-part series on How to be Catholic in the Cubicle. Author Bob Waruszewski writes:
A few weeks ago, I was reading an excerpt about how a man chose to serve as a missionary on a college campus following graduation. He said that he decided to become a missionary because he wanted to something meaningful with his life and not just push papers in an office. As an office worker his story struck a chord with me and I began to wonder, Can you only be holy if you work for the Church? Are those who work in an office destined to live a life of mediocrity without meaning?
Upon further reflection, I realized that the various saints show us that holiness is possible in every state of life, even at the office cubicle. Maybe one day we will even have a patron saint for office workers. Yet until an office worker is canonized, I have offered a few suggestions in living out your faith at work.