Tag Archives: Vatican

Voice of the Vatican: Legatus and the Eternal City

29 Oct

a319c-upclose-with-patrick-novecoskyROME (Oct. 29, 2016) — Legatus, the world’s premier organization for Catholic business leaders, had its origin in Rome, the editor Legatus magazine told Shalom World TV‘s Ashley Puglia Noronha during an interview at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Patrick Novecosky told Noronha on an episode of Voice of the Vatican that business leaders–presidents, CEOs and other executives–have great influence. Catholic business leaders have a great responsibility to set the ethical bar high for many reasons. Employees will rise or lower their ethical behavior after the model set by their company’s leader. Also, he said, ethically run businesses thrive and can weather storms that others cannot.

voiceNoronha asked Novecosky about Legatus magazine and its purpose. The magazine, he said, exists to help Legatus members to learn, live and spread their faith. Once they do that, their impact is virtually unlimited. He pointed to Tim and Steph Busch, California Legatus members who are helping build the business school at the Catholic University of America.

Novecosky also pointed to Pope St. John Paul II’s influence on Legatus and its mission. CLICK HERE to watch the entire interview. 9 minutes 28 seconds.

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Vatican synod to reinforce Church teaching on the family

8 Jul

ICRadioJULY 8, 2014 — Patrick Novecosky, editor of this blog and Editor-in-Chief of Legatus magazine, was a guest on Iowa Catholic Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, this morning. He appeared on the Iowa Catholic Radio TODAY with host Jon Leonetti, Mark Amadeo, and Mary Sue Lone.

They asked Novecosky about the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family being held at the Vatican from Oct. 5-19. About 150 heads of bishops’ conferences and leaders of Eastern churches aligned with Rome will attend to discuss the cultural challenges to Church teaching on the family.

Novecosky said that while the synod won’t change Church teaching on marriage and family, it will be a teaching moment, giving Catholics the opportunity to talk about the beauty of God’s plan for the family. It will also give the Church a chance to streamline its processes for Catholics seeking an annulment, he said.

Listen to the entire interview.

Read more about the Synod in Legatus magazine.

The day of four popes: Top of the world, ma!

27 Apr

VATICAN CITY (April 27, 2014) — One of the most challenging aspects of being part of an historic event is that the full impact of the moment can’t be fully appreciated until it’s had time to percolate. The day of four popes — new newly canonized and two at the altar for the canonization Mass — was just that.

In St. Peter's Square the day before the double canonization

In St. Peter’s Square the day before the double canonization

Divine Providence, however, was at work for me and the other 1 million or more pilgrims in Rome today for the canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

While I had media credentials for the canonization Mass — the third time for me for a papal event at the Vatican — I didn’t receive credentials to be atop the colonnade of St. Peter’s Basilica as I had the previous two times. I was to be relegated to the general media section during the canonization Mass.

Officials told us that the media would have special seating in the square (somewhere), so some of my colleagues opted to camp out overnight near the media office at the entrance of the Paul VI Hall. Accredited media were to be let into the square, which had been emptied for cleaning and security sweeps, at 4:30 am.

I had a late evening, but I caught a few hours’ sleep, got up at 1:30 am and set out at 2 am to find my media friends. I’m staying right on the edge of the secured area which has been cordoned off from vehicular and pedestrian traffic, which is on the opposite side of the square from the media center. I’d been told that no one could pass through this restricted area around St.Peter’s Square. My plan was to make my way through a million people in 2 hours so I could join my friends.

Plans change.

Canonization Mass

Canonization Mass

I bought a couple bananas for breakfast from the shop downstairs, and then exited directly into the restricted area. It was spookily deserted while the other areas around the Vatican swelled with crowds waving banners and singing all through the night. As I walked the deserted three blocks to the Vatican, I only saw paramedics and a few other workers.

When I got to the edge of Vatican City near St. Peter’s Square at about 2 am, I flashed my media creds and they let me through. I was standing right in front of the square where Rome meets Vatican City. My two-hour journey lasted four minutes. Instead of walking around a million people, I walked three deserted blocks. God is good.

I spent the next two hours chatting with Peter, a 22-year-old Polish student who was a dead-ringer for a young Karol Wojtyła (John Paul II). He was tending to a wheelchair-bound man named Martin.

Video of St. Peter’s Square… and Peter (aka John Paul II):

The largest crowd in Vatican history: Well over 1 million people (click to enlarge)

The largest crowd in Vatican history: Well over 1 million people (click to enlarge)

By 5:30 am, I was in St. Peter’s Square. But security were incredibly clueless about where to have the media sit. We didn’t have chairs. We didn’t have a special section. But we were in the square for a truly historic day in the history of the Catholic Church. I connected with my friends — Dario Mobini from Seattle, Alton Pelowski who edits Columbia magazine for the Knights of Columbus, and Jason and Crystalina Evert of ChastityProject.com.

Then the good news came.

Dario, who was born in Rome and raised in the States, had wrangled four spots atop the colonnade that surround the square. The head of security for  the event walked us up the narrow stairway himself. After all of the turmoil of botched accreditation and badly managed media relations on the part of organizers, this was a minor miracle!

"Top of the world, Ma!"

“Top of the world, Ma!”

I felt like Jimmy Cagney in finale of White Heat: “I made it! Top of the world, ma!”

That feeling didn’t subside until the Mass was over. There were about 400 media taking in the view as the square filled up. Most of them were photographers. When I was in Rome for the conclave that elected Pope Francis, I forgot my long lens at home. This time, I brought the lens, but left it in my room because access to the colonnade was a pipe dream. I should have been a Boy Scout! Their motto is “always be prepared.”

While I waited, I prayed for each person who had requested prayers from me. I also read the requirements for the Divine Mercy plenary indulgence.

Bishops taking cell phone pics before the Mass

Bishops taking cell phone pics before the Mass

Despite the hiccups, it was a thrill to see Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict from my perch. It was a thrill (despite my lack of sleep) to be part of a Catholic first — two popes canonized at the same time, and with two living popes present no less! And it was delightful to see the great number of bishops and cardinals taking cell phone pictures of the crowd and selfies, too.

My video from atop the colonnade during the canonization Mass:

The significance of the event was not lost of Pope Francis. In his homily, he praised the new saints as men of courage and mercy, who responded to challenges of their time by modernizing the Catholic Church in fidelity to its ancient traditions.

Pope Francis embraces Pope Emeritus Benedict

Pope Francis embraces Pope Emeritus Benedict

“They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century,” Francis said. “They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful.”

When the hundreds of Eucharistic ministers began fanning out through the square, I grabbed my things to make my way down. But just as I was about to go down the stairs, Jesus came to me! Two Eucharistic ministers showed up to bring Communion to the media. Well played, Lord! We need you.

Divine Mercy Sunday is the Octave of Easter. That simply means that the celebration of Easter Sunday is eight days long. Being in St. Peter’s Square today was a fitting way to wrap up the greatest feast of the year!

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is the editor of this blog.

Coming soon: Double papal canonization

25 Jul

Iowa-Radio-newJULY 25, 2013 — Patrick Novecosky, editor of this blog and editor-in-chief of Legatus magazine, was a guest on Iowa Catholic Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, this morning.

He appeared on the Iowa Catholic Radio Morning Show with Jeanne Wells, Mark Amadeo, and Billy Shears. They asked Novecosky about his four meetings with Blessed John Paul II. They went on to discuss the Vatican’s July 4 announcement that Pope Francis has called a consistory for this fall at which the Holy Father and Cardinals will set a date for canonizing John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII, the pope who convened the Second Vatican Council in 1962.

John23-JohnPaul2

Blessed John XXIII (left) and Blessed John Paul II will be canonized at the Vatican later this year

Novecosky talked about the canonization miracle attributed to John Paul II and Pope Francis’ decision to waive the miracle for John XXIII’s canonization. He also noted that it’s unusual for a consistory to set the date of a canonization or — in this case — canonizations.

When the Pope and cardinals meet this fall (no date has been set), the Holy Father will likely create new cardinals as well. They also discussed whether a rumored October canonization date would be possible given the short time to plan such a major event in the life of the Church.

Listen to the entire interview.

Francis, pope to the poor

23 Mar

by Patrick Novecosky

MARCH 23, 2013 (VATICAN CITY)Although his pontificate is not even two weeks old, it’s clear that Pope Francis does things differently. Before he even stepped out onto the loggia on March 13 as the 266th successor of St. Peter, he eschewed the gold pectoral cross reserved for the newly elected pope and instead opted to wear his own simple dark metallic cross depicting the Holy Spirit descending upon the shepherd returning with a lost sheep.

Pope Francis pays his hotel bill on the first day of his pontificate

Pope Francis pays his hotel bill on the first day of his pontificate

On his first day as pontiff, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome with a small security escort before returning to the hotel where he had stayed prior to the conclave. He cleared out his room, carried his own suitcase, and then paid the bill himself.

A few days later, just before celebrating Sunday Mass at the tiny parish church of Santa Anna inside the Vatican, the new Pope stepped onto the sidewalk to greet passersby, astonishing pilgrims making their way to St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis greets people after celebrating mass at St. Anne's Parish within the Vatican March 17. The new pope greeted every person leaving the small church and then walked over to meet people waiting around St. Anne's Gate. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets people after celebrating Mass at St. Anne’s Parish within the Vatican March 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A new pope

As a journalist and a Catholic, I was blessed to be in Rome during the conclave and the first days of Francis’ pontificate. I arrived in Rome on March 12 — about 12 hours before the first black smoke issued from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on the first day of the conclave.

While the square was perhaps half-full on that cold and rainy night with temps dipping into the 30s, it was a different story 24 hours later. It was still cold, but nearly 150,000 had packed the square, clutching umbrellas as the rain occasionally turned to flurries.

My view of St. Peter's Square on March 13

My view of St. Peter’s Square on March 13

When the curtains on the basilica’s loggia opened — more than an hour after the white smoke appeared — I was shivering atop the colonnade waiting for the new pope. A Spanish journalist next to me speculated that Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola had been elected because his Twitter account had been removed. However, a couple of minutes before the new pope appeared, she told me his name was “Bergoglio from Argentina.” As it turns out, she was right. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was the new Holy Father — now named Pope Francis. He was installed on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church.

Atop the colonnade of St. Peter's Square awaiting the new pope

Atop the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square awaiting the new pope

The inspiration

Like his famous namesake — St. Francis of Assisi — the new pope has a heart for the poor. As cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, he left the opulent bishop’s residence to live in a small apartment with a retired bishop. He did his own cooking and rode the bus to his office. Being pope hasn’t changed him. After his election, he rode on a bus with the cardinals back to the residence in the Vatican Gardens where they were staying during the conclave.

During his March 16 audience with journalists where he became known as the “Hugging Pope,” Francis expressed a desire to refocus on the poor. Regarding the inspiration for his new name, he explained that late in the voting during the conclave, he was sitting next to his friend, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, OFM, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.

“When things were getting a little ‘dangerous,’ he comforted me,” the Pope told journalists. “And then, when the votes reached the two-thirds, there was the usual applause because the pope had been elected. He hugged me and said: ‘Do not forget the poor.’ And that word stuck here [tapping his forehead]; the poor, the poor.

“Then, immediately in relation to the poor I thought of Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and safeguards creation. In this moment when our relationship with creation is not so good — right? — he is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man. Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor!”

In Paul VI Hall during the audience for journalists with Pope Francis on March 16

In Paul VI Hall during the audience for journalists with Pope Francis on March 16

Pope Francis has surprised almost everyone with his charm, his simplicity and his ability to communicate the truths of the faith in word and action. I have no doubt that we can expect much of the same during his pontificate. This man, who has the humility of Benedict XVI and the charm and ease of John Paul II, will do things differently. And that’s a good thing.

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is the editor of Legatus magazine and this blog. A modified version of this article appeared in the March 17 edition of the Prairie Messenger.

From the Vatican to Los Angeles

16 Mar

KNBCVATICAN CITY (March 16, 2013) — Not only was today a first for the new Pope, but it was a first for me personally. After Pope Francis’ historic audience with journalists (see my earlier blog post), I was interviewed by KNBC News (NBC4), Los Angeles. It was my first interview with a major market television news reporter.

Anchor/reporter Robert Kovacik reported on the audience for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. this evening in Southern California. Several of my friends from Los Angeles saw the report. It later went national. Friends from across the country told me they spotted me on the news.

Kovacik asked me what I thought of the new Pope. What did I say? You’ll have to watch the entire thing to find out. Look for me around the 3 minute-mark.

Click here to see the report.

Secrets of the papal conclave: WNAV interviews

14 Mar

wnav vert logo on blueMARCH 14, 2013 (VATICAN CITY) –Patrick Novecosky, editor of this blog, was acting as the Vatican correspondent for 1430 WNAV Radio in Annapolis, Maryland, this week.

On Tuesday, March 12, Patrick spoke to WNAV news director Bill Lusby about the conclave and what to expect when the cardinals, now in their second day of voting, choose a new pope. Patrick talked about how the cardinals arrive at their decision and why the cardinals work in secret.

On the following day, March 13, he talked to Bill about the cardinals’ second day of balloting. They spoke just hours before the cardinals chose Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the 266th successor of St. Peter. The Argentinian cardinal took the name Pope Francis.

During the third report, March 14, they spoke about the new pope and his dynamic personality. Patrick was 80 yards from the Pope when he presented himself to the world on March 13.

Listen to the March 12 interview by clicking here.

Listen to the March 13 interview by clicking here.

Listen to the March 14 interview by clicking here.