Francis in the United States

'Noisy contemplation'

The swirl that I found myself in when I visited Washington, D.C. during the Pope Francis’ visit to the United States brought to mind Jesuit Fr. Bill Callahan, who in the early 1980s coined the phrase “noisy contemplation." It was a clear call that we can all pray all the time no matter how hectic our lives become. It is taking the time to really see what is before us, no matter how fast we might be going.

Pope's prison visit should have broad impact, says sister who teaches there

A woman religious who teaches a course at the Philadelphia prison Pope Francis visited Sept. 27 believes the pope's outreach to prisoners will have an impact on the criminal justice system in America. "He'll be aware of the injustices that may occur in the prison system," and his presence will raise public awareness about prison systems around the country, said Mercy Sr. Elizabeth Linehan, a professor of philosophy at Jesuit-run St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Securing peace

As a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace, I often find myself reflecting on the words spoken by the Bishop of Nottingham at the profession of our first sisters in 1884: “To secure this divine peace for ourselves and procure its blessings for others in the midst of the sin, turmoil and restless anxiety of this modern world is the object of your institute.” Our religious congregation was founded to promote peace in family life, in the church, and in society in the late 19th century, a time when there was tremendous social upheaval and poverty causing people to flee their native lands in search of a better life. Today in the early 21st century, there is tremendous poverty and violence forcing millions of people to flee their native lands in search of a better life.

Francis' creative Spirit

As I sat and reflected on the few days the pope spent in the United States, with all that he did and shared, and the two days, in particular, that we were treated to his presence in Philadelphia, I couldn’t believe how significant the time had been. Seeing him go was like the Ascension; I was sad, but I also knew that what I’d experienced wasn’t over. Francis left a spirit that needs to be kept alive.

Dorothy Day: ‘We are not going into the subject of birth control at all as a matter of fact’

I was on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol along with many thousands of others listening to Pope Francis’ address to Congress on Sept. 24, when he singled out and praised Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement. With the mention of her name, the murmured question, “Dorothy Day, who’s she?” was audible over the scattered applause and cheers of the few who know her and who share the pope’s good opinion of her.

Of echoes and holograms, Pope Francis' words and what Nuns on the Bus heard on the road

Nuns on the Bus Blog - Sisters on the tour were struck by Pope Francis’ words, particularly his address to the U.S. Congress that came just as we completed an amazing trip through seven states and 13 cities with 33 stops. We went to talk with people, hear their stories, provide a space for conversations and learn how they are bridging divides.