Source: Cruxnow.com, Covering all things Catholic
NEW YORK — “Dear Pope Francis,” 10-year-old Mohammed begins, “Will the world be again as it was in the past?”
Signed “Respectfully yours,” the boy wrote from a Jesuit-run school for refugee children in Syria and was treated to a long and personal answer from the pope himself. So were 29 other children who posed questions to Francis in letters from around the globe for a new book poignantly illustrated with their own artwork.
The book, “Dear Pope Francis,” is out March 1 from Loyola Press in Chicago. It’s a project that likely wouldn’t have materialized without the help of the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit like the pope and the director of La Civilta Cattolica, a Roman Catholic journal published in Rome.
Tom McGrath of the Jesuit-founded publishing house co-edited the book with Spadaro after reaching out to the priest for help. Spadaro brought about 50 letters with questions to the pope so he could select 30. Spadaro sat with the pope as he responded to each. Francis often complimented the artwork of the children.
“He knows Pope Francis very well,” McGrath said of Spadaro. “We tried to make it as easy for the pope as possible.”
The pope’s response to Mohammed spoke in part of suffering and the people who inflict it.
If you could ask Pope Francis one question, what would it be?
Children have questions and struggles just like adults, but rarely are they given the chance to voice their concerns and ask the big questions resting deep in their hearts. In Dear Pope Francis, Pope Francis gives them that chance and celebrates their spiritual depth by directly answering questions from children around the world. Some are fun. Some are serious. And some will quietly break your heart. But all of them are from children who deserve to know and feel God’s unconditional love.
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