(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is the inaugural contributor to a Lenten pastoral effort of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii. “Keep Lent” is an initiative of the Prelature’s youth ministry office, which reports several thousand subscribers already from throughout all of Italy and from around the world, including the United States.
The initiative begins on Ash Wednesday, and is based on social media: it will provide a daily Gospel reading and commentary from leading clergymen and lay catechists.
In his 2016 Lenten Message to all the faithful, Pope Francis said, “The digital world is a public square, a meeting-place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks,” and encouraged Catholics to lead the way in making good use of God’s gifts in cooperation with the best of human ingenuity.
“In a broken, fragmented and polarized world,” said Pope Francis, “to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all our brothers and sisters in the one human family.”