An Easter Message from the JFRC Director
Dear JFRC family,
Here in Rome, we continue to watch from our windows and balconies at the signs of new life quietly erupting around us: flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the sun warming the trees and empty piazzas below. As winter slowly turns to spring with the approach of Easter Sunday, the days are getting longer, too -- along with a palpable longing for “normalcy” that remains seemingly just beyond our grasp.
So many of us seem to be experiencing feelings of frustration, worry, even fear during this most unsettling Lenten season. At the same time, we would be well reminded to reflect on Papa Francesco’s words during the moving “Urbi et Orbi” benediction he gave last week from an empty St. Peter’s Square: “From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies, and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: ‘Do not be afraid (Mt 28:5).’ And we, together with Peter, ‘cast all our anxieties onto you, for you love us (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).’”
During this season of hope and resurrection, my prayer is that Easter blessings of patience, gratitude, and compassion be yours in abundance. As we enter the deep mysteries of Passover and the Easter Triduum, let us pray that our entire JFRC community remain safe and that our hearts be filled with the gift of generosity.
A blessed and joyful Buona Pasqua from Rome to you and your friends and family!
Dr. Michael F. Andrews
Director, John Felice Rome Center
Loyola University Chicago