Dear Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries, Associates and friends,
Next Saturday, October 3rd, Pope Francis will sign the new Encyclical “Fratelli tutti” on fraternity and social friendship. This Encyclical will then be promulgated next Sunday, October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The promulgation of an Encyclical is always an important event in the life of the Church. This year, as we continue to experience the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, I believe that this Encyclical will have special relevance for all of us.
The title of the new Encyclical calls to mind the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed and promulgated by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb on February 4, 2019. Together, the Holy Father and Grand Imam called all believers to live and strive for an authentic and prophetic human fraternity among all peoples, which would strengthen us to face the great challenges facing humanity and, indeed, the world, which is our common home. This document was published one year before the present pandemic, and it is more relevant than ever in the present crisis confronting humanity and our whole world.
We expect that the new Encyclical will continue and further develop this call to all believers. As we await the promulgation next weekend of “Fratelli tutti” on fraternity and social friendship, I invite all of you, sisters and brothers in the Redeemer, to join together in prayerful anticipation that God prepares us and all peoples to receive the message of Pope Francis with open hearts. As part of this prayerful preparation, I encourage you to read once again the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, which is included with this brief message.
May God bless us with the profound conviction that we truly are all brothers and sisters, God’s children in our brother and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. May be live as prophetic and authentic witnesses of the Redeemer in our wounded world.
Your brother in Jesus our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.