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Carmelite professor to lead pope’s Lenten retreat

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has chosen an Italian Carmelite professor of spirituality to lead him and top members of the Roman Curia on their Lenten retreat.

Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, though listed as a “professor emeritus” at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, is still teaching in the university’s Institute of Spirituality. He is the author of dozens of books, including a multivolume series of guides for “lectio divina,” the prayerful reading of the books of the New Testament and selected readings from the Old Testament.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reported Jan. 30 that Father Secondin will preach on the theme, “Servants and Prophets of the Living God.”

Pope Francis and some 80 Vatican officials will listen to Father Secondin and reflect on his words Feb. 22-27 at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat and conference center in Ariccia, about 20 miles southeast of Rome.

Father Secondin will give 10 meditations during the week, which L’Osservatore said would have a special focus each day: “Journeys of authenticity,” including “the courage to say no to ambiguity”; “paths of freedom,” subtitled “from vain idols to true piety”; “”let yourself be surprised by God,” meeting God where you least expect him and being evangelized by the poor; “justice and intercession,” looking at witnesses of justice and solidarity; and “accepting Elijah’s cloak,” looking at ways of becoming “prophets of fraternity.”