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(Vatican Radio) Although the plane-trip from Albania to Rome was only 90 minutes, it still left time for Pope Francis to give what has become a traditional post-trip in-flight interview with journalists. While answering questions by the journalists, Pope Francis apologized and said he would only respond to those concerning the trip itself, not wanting to overshadow the day. During the press encounter, Pope Francis stressed the fact Albania is on the peripheries of Europe, saying this is a “sign I wanted to give.”  He also pointed out that despite the fact that Albania has a Muslim majority, it is not a “Muslim country; it is a European country,” and noted the cooperation among the three major religions: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Catholicism. He reiterated the importance of the culture of “living together”, “tolerance”, and “fraternity” in the Balkan country.  The Pope said he was impressed, "from the beginning" by the youth of the country. "They told me that it is the youngest country in Europe,” he said. “You see a higher culture…capable of building brotherhood." The Pope said he studied for two months the history of persecution in the country during the Communist era, trying to understand. “ It was a cruel period, the level of cruelty was terrible," he said.  “When I saw [the posters of those killed during the Communist period], not only Catholics, but also Orthodox and Muslims ... this happened because they said they believe in God. Each of the three communities have given a witness to God and now bear witness to their fraternity.” Pope Francis admitted he was moved to tears after listening to the testimony of a priest jailed for 27 years, saying he was impressed by the man’s humility which seemed to tell the story of all the others who were persecuted.   Pope Francis also confirmed that his trip Strasbourg would be on November 25th, and his trip to Turkey was to be a few days  later on November 30th, the feast of St. Andrew, which he will celebrate in Istanbul with Patriarch Bartholomew. When reminded that Turkey is on the border with Iraq, the Holy Father said “the geography cannot be changed.” (from Vatican Radio)... 5 hours 52 min
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has visited a residential centre for disabled and needy children run by an Italian charity in the Albanian capital, Tirana.  It was the final engagement of his one-day visit to Albania on Sunday.  In his address at the Bethany Centre the Pope spoke of how faith, working through charity, can dislodge indifference, disbelief and  apathy. He also said goodness offers infinitely more than money which only disappoints and warned against measuring everything in terms of power and money.   Please find below a translation into English of the Pope’s address during his meeting with children at the Bethany Centre and representatives of other charitable organisations in Albania:   “Dear Friends,                 I thank you from my heart for your joyful welcome!  Above all, I wish to thank those of you who, each day, offer to so many children and youngsters in need of care, tenderness, a serene environment and friendliness.  May you be also true educators, giving good example in the way you live and the way you offer support.                   In places such as this we are all confirmed in the faith; each one is helped in his or her belief, because we see the faith visibly expressed in practical acts of charity.  We see how faith brings light and hope in situations of grave hardship; we observe how faith is rekindled in hearts touched by the Spirit of Jesus who said, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Mk 9:37).  This faith,  working through charity, dislodges the mountains of indifference, of disbelief and of apathy, and opens hands and hearts to work for what is good and share this experience.  Through humble gestures and simple acts of service to the least among us, the Good News that Jesus is risen and lives among us is proclaimed.                 This Centre, furthermore, shows that it is possible to live together peacefully and fraternally as people of different ethnicities and followers of various religious confessions.  Here differences do not prevent harmony, joy and peace, but rather become occasions for a greater mutual awareness and understanding.  The variety of religious experiences reveals a true and reverential love of neighbour; each religious community expresses itself through love and not violence, and is never ashamed of showing goodness!  The persons who nourish goodness in their heart, find that such goodness leads to a peaceful conscience and to profound joy even in the midst of difficulties and misunderstandings.  Even when affronted, goodness is never weak but  rather, shows its strength by refusing to take revenge.                  Goodness is its own reward and draws us closer to God, who is the Supreme Good.  It helps us to think like him, to see our lives in the light of his plan of love for each one of us, and enables us to delight in life’s daily joys, helping us in difficulties and in trials.  Goodness offers infinitely more than money, which only deludes, because we have been created to receive the love of God and to offer it, not measuring everything in terms of money or power.                 Dear friends, in her greeting, your Director recalled the steps taken by your Association and the works that were inspired by the founder, Mrs Antonietta Vitale, whom I cordially greet and thank for her welcome.  Your Director also spoke of help given by benefactors and described the progress of various projects.  She noted too, how many children have been lovingly welcomed and cared for.   Mirjan spoke, on the other hand, of a personal experience, of wonder and gratitude for an encounter which was life-changing for him, and which opened new horizons, offering opportunities to make new friends, and particularly one Friend who is greater than all the others, namely, Jesus.  Mirjan said something very poignant in regard to those volunteers who offer their help; he said, “For fifteen years now they have sacrificed themselves joyfully out of love for Jesus and for us”.  This phrase reveals how making a gift of oneself for the love of Jesus gives birth to joy and hope, and it also shows how serving one’s brothers and sisters is transformed into an experience of sharing God’s kingdom.  The words of Mirjan-Paolo might seem paradoxical to many in our world who are slow to grasp their meaning and who frantically seek the key to existence in earthly riches, possessions and amusements.  What these people discover, instead, is estrangement and bewilderment.                 The secret to a good life is found in loving and giving oneself for love’s sake.  From here comes the strength to “sacrifice oneself joyfully”, and thus the most demanding work is transformed into a source of a greater joy.  In this way, there is no longer any fear of making important choices in life, but they are seen for what they are, namely, as the way to personal fulfilment in freedom.                 May the Lord Jesus and his Mother, the Virgin Mary, bless your Association, this Bethany Centre and the other centres which love has initiated and providence has built.  May God bless all the volunteers, benefactors and the children and adolescents who have been welcomed here.  May your patron, Saint Anthony, accompany you along the way.  I encourage you to continue faithfully serving the Lord Jesus in the poor and abandoned, and to pray to him so that the hearts and minds of all may be opened to goodness, to charity shown in works, which is the source of real and authentic joy.  I ask you also kindly to pray for me, and from my heart, I bless each one of you.” (from Vatican Radio)... 5 hours 52 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis told Albania’s priests, religious and lay movements that despite their many difficulties, they must have the courage to go out and serve those most in need. Speaking at Vespers in Tirana’s Catholic cathedral, the Pope recalled those pastors who paid a huge price under the atheist regime, experiencing prison and persecution in order to remain faithful to Christ. When love for Christ is placed above all else, Pope Francis said, then we are able to move outside of ourselves, of our personal or communal pettiness, and move towards Jesus who, in our brothers and sisters, comes to us. His wounds are still visible today, the Pope said, on the bodies of so many men and women who are hungry and thirsty; who are humiliated; who are in hospital or prison. What people are looking for today, the Pope concluded, is not experts, but rather humble witnesses of the mercy and tenderness of God. Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ homily to Priests, Religious, Seminarians  and Members of Lay Movements in the Cathedral of Tirana. Dear brothers and sisters, It is a great joy for me to meet with you in your beloved homeland; I thank God for the opportunity and I thank you for your hospitality! Here in your midst, I can better express my closeness to your task of evangelization. Since the moment your country has been free from dictatorship, the ecclesial communities in Albania have begun again to journey onward and to organize themselves for pastoral work, looking to the future with hope. I am particularly grateful to those Pastors who paid a great price for their fidelity to Christ and for their decision to remain united to the Successor of Peter. They were courageous in the face of difficulty and trial! There are still priests and religious among us who have experienced prison and persecution, like the sister and brother who have told us their story. I embrace you warmly, and I praise God for your faithful witness that inspires the whole Church to continue to proclaim the Gospel with joy. Treasuring this experience, the Church in Albania can grow in its missionary and apostolic zeal. I know and appreciate the effort you make to oppose those new forms of “dictatorship” that threaten to enslave individuals and communities. If the atheist regime sought to suffocate the faith, these new forms of dictatorship, in a more insidious way, are able to suffocate charity. I am referring to individualism, rivalry and heated conflicts: these are worldly mentalities that can contaminate even the Christian community. We need not be discouraged by these difficulties; do not be afraid to continue along the path of the Lord. He is always at your side, he gives you his grace and he helps you to sustain one another; to accept one another as you are, with understanding and mercy; he helps you to deepen fraternal communion. Evangelization is more effective when it is carried out with oneness of spirit and with sincere teamwork among the various ecclesial communities as well as among missionaries and local clergy: this requires courage to seek out ways of working together and offering mutual help in the areas of catechesis and catholic education, as well as integral human development and charity. In these settings, the contribution of the ecclesial movements that know how to work in communion with Pastors is highly valuable. That is precisely what I see before me: bishops, priests, religious and laity: a Church that desires to walk in fraternity and unity. When love for Christ is placed above all else, even above our legitimate particular needs, then we are able to move outside of ourselves, of our personal or communal pettiness, and move towards Jesus who, in our brothers and sisters, comes to us. His wounds are still visible today on the bodies of so many men and women who are hungry and thirst; who are humiliated; who are in hospital or prison. By touching and caring for these wounds with tenderness, it is possible to fully live the Gospel and to adore God who lives in our midst. There are many problems that you encounter every day. These problems compel you to immerse yourselves with fervour and generosity in apostolic work. And yet, we know that by ourselves we can do nothing: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain” (Ps 127:1). This awareness calls us to give due space for the Lord every day, to dedicate our time to him, open our hearts to him, so that he may work in our lives and in our mission. That which the Lord promises for the prayer made with trust and perseverance goes beyond what we can imagine (cf Lk 11:11-12): beyond that which we ask for, God sends us also the Holy Spirit. The contemplative dimension of our lives becomes indispensable even in the midst of the most urgent and difficult tasks we encounter. The more our mission calls us to go out into the peripheries of life, the more our hearts feel the intimate need to be united to the heart of Christ, which is full of mercy and love. Considering the fact that the number of priests and religious is not yet sufficient, the Lord Jesus repeats to you today “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest,” (Mt 9: 37-38). We must not forget that this prayer begins with a gaze: the gaze of Jesus, who sees the great harvest. Do we also have this gaze? Do we know how to recognize the abundant fruits that the grace of God has caused to grow and the work that there is to be done in the field of the Lord? It is by gazing with faith on the field of God that prayer spring forth, namely, the daily and pressing invocation to the Lord for priestly and religious vocations. Dear seminarians, postulants and novices, you are the fruit of this prayer of the people of God, which always precedes and accompanies your personal response. The Church in Albania needs your enthusiasm and your generosity. The time that you dedicate today to a solid spiritual, theological, communitarian and pastoral formation, is directed to serving adequately the people of God tomorrow. The people, more than seeking experts, are looking for witnesses: humble witnesses of the mercy and tenderness of God; priests and religious conformed to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who are capable of communicating the love of Christ to all people. Together with you and the entire Albanian people, I want to give thanks to God for the many missionaries whose activity was decisive for the renewal of the Church in Albania and which continues to be of great importance to this day. These missionaries have offered significant contribution to the consolidation of the spiritual patrimony that the Albanian bishops, priests, consecrated religious and lay persons have preserved in the midst of difficult trials and tribulations. Let us acknowledge the great work done by the religious institutes for the revival of Catholic education: these efforts are worth recognizing and sustaining. Dear brothers and sisters, do not be discouraged in the face of difficulties. Following the footsteps of your fathers, be tenacious in giving testimony to Christ, walking “together with God, toward the hope that never disappoints”. In your journey, rest assured that you are accompanied and supported by the love of the whole Church. I thank you from the heart for this meeting, and I entrust each one of you and your communities - your plans and your hopes - to the holy Mother of God. I bless you from my heart and I ask you please to pray for me. (from Vatican Radio)... 5 hours 52 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday encouraged the people of Albania to cultivate hope and involve the young generations, opening their hearts to Christ and fulfilling their roles in the Church and in society. In his homily during Mass in Tirana’s Mother Teresa Square, Pope Francis recalled the witness of the Albanian martyrs and the terrible suffering of persecuted Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims. Commenting on the fact that the Albanian population is a young one, he urged all Albanians not to forget the wounds of the past, but to go forward and fly high on the wings of hope for a great future. Please find below the full text of the Pope’s homily : Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis Holy Mass in Mother Teresa Square  (Tirana, 21 September 2014) Today’s Gospel tells us that, as well as the Twelve Apostles, Jesus calls another seventy-two disciples and that he sends them to the villages and cities to announce the Kingdom of God (cf. Lk 10:1-9, 17-20).  He comes to bring the love of God to the world and he wishes to share it by means of communion and fraternity.  To this end he immediately forms a community of disciples, a missionary community, and he trains them how to “go out” on mission.  The method is both clear and simple: the disciples visit homes and their preaching begins with a greeting which is charged with meaning: “Peace be to this house!”.  It is not only a greeting, but also a gift: the gift of peace.  Being here with you today, dear brothers and sisters of Albania, in this Square dedicated to a humble and great daughter of this land, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, I wish to repeat to you this greeting: May peace be in your homes! May peace reign in your hearts! Peace in your country!     In the mission of the seventy-two disciples we see a reflection of the Christian community’s missionary experience in every age: the risen and living Lord sends not only the Twelve, but the entire Church; he sends each of the baptized to announce the Gospel to all peoples.  Through the ages, the message of peace brought by Jesus’ messengers has not always been accepted; at times, the doors have been closed to them.  In the recent past, the doors of your country were also closed, locked by the chains of prohibitions and prescriptions of a system which denied God and impeded religious freedom.  Those who were afraid of the truth did everything they could to banish God from the hearts of men and women and to exclude Christ and the Church from the history of your country, even though it was one of the first to receive the light of the Gospel.  In the second reading, in fact, we heard a reference being made to Illyria, which in Paul’s time included the territory of modern-day Albania. Recalling the decades of atrocious suffering and harsh persecutions against Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims, we can say that Albania was a land of martyrs: many bishops, priests, men and women religious, and laity paid for their fidelity with their lives.  Demonstrations of great courage and constancy in the profession of the faith are not lacking.  How many Christians did not succumb when threatened, but persevered without wavering on the path they had undertaken!  I stand spiritually at that wall of the cemetery of Scutari, a symbolic place of the martyrdom of Catholics before the firing squads, and with profound emotion I place the flower of my prayer and of my grateful and undying remembrance.  The Lord was close to you, dear brothers and sisters, to sustain you; he led you and consoled you and in the end he has raised you up on eagle’s wings as he did for the ancient people of Israel (cf. First Reading).  The eagle, depicted on your nation’s flag, calls to mind hope, and the need to always place your trust in God, who does not lead us astray and who is ever at our side, especially in moments of difficulty. Today, the doors of Albania have been reopened and a season of new missionary vitality is growing for all of the members of the people of God: each baptized person has his or her role to fulfil in the Church and in society.  Each one must experience the call to dedicate themselves generously to the announcing of the Gospel and to the witness of charity; called to strengthen the bonds of solidarity so as to create more just and fraternal living conditions for all.  Today, I have come to encourage you to cultivate hope among yourselves and within your hearts; to involve the young generations; to nourish yourselves assiduously on the Word of God, opening your hearts to Christ: his Gospel will show you the way!  May your faith be joyful and bright; may you demonstrate that the encounter with Christ gives meaning to human existence, meaning to every man and woman. In the spirit of communion among bishops, priests, consecrated persons and laity, I encourage you to bring vitality to your pastoral activities and to continuously seek new ways of making the Church present in society: do not be afraid to respond generously to Christ who invites you to follow him!  In a priestly or religious vocation you will find the richness and the joy of offering yourselves to the service of God and your brothers and sisters.  How many men and women await the light of the Gospel and the grace of the Sacraments! To the Church which is alive in this land of Albania, I say “thank you” for the example of fidelity to the Gospel!  So many of your sons and daughters have suffered for Christ, even to the point of sacrificing their lives.  May their witness sustain your steps today and tomorrow as you journey along the way of love, of freedom, of justice and of peace.  Amen. (from Vatican Radio)... 5 hours 53 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with leaders of the different religious communities in Albania on Sunday afternoon, insisting once again that no-one can use the name of God to commit violence. Speaking at the Catholic University of Tirana, the Pope said “Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence….To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.” Noting that religious freedom cannot be guaranteed by legislation alone, the Pope urged his listeners to promote attitudes of respect and cooperation in the service of the common good.  When a person is secure of his or her own beliefs, he said, there is no need to impose or put pressure on others. Please find below the full text of the Pope’s meeting with leaders of other religions and Christian denominations in Albania Dear Friends, It is a great pleasure to be here at this meeting which brings together leaders of the main religious confessions present in Albania. With deep respect I greet each one of you and the communities that you represent; and I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to Archbishop Massafra for his words of introduction. It is important that you are here together: it is a sign of the dialogue which you experience daily, seeking to build among yourselves bonds of fraternity and cooperation for the good of the whole of society. Albania sadly witnessed the violence and tragedy that can be caused by a forced exclusion of God from personal and communal life. When, in the name of an ideology, there is an attempt to remove God from society, it ends up adoring idols, and very soon men and women lose their way, their dignity is trampled and their rights violated. You know well how much pain comes from the denial of freedom of conscience and of religious freedom, and how from such a wound comes a humanity that is impoverished because it lacks hope and ideals to guide it. The changes that have come since the 1990’s have had the positive effect, among other things, of creating the conditions for an exercise of authentic religious freedom. This has made it possible for each community to renew traditions which were never really extinguished, despite ferocious persecution. With this religious freedom has come also the possibility for every person to offer, according to their own religious convictions, a positive contribution; firstly, to the moral reconstruction of the country and then, subsequently, to the economic reconstruction. In reality, as John Paul II stated during his historic visit to Albania in 1993, “Religious freedom […] is not only a precious gift from the Lord for those who have faith: it is a gift for each person, because it is the basic guarantee of every other expression of freedom […]. Only faith reminds us that, if we have one Creator, we are therefore all brothers and sisters. Religious freedom is a safeguard against all forms of totalitarianism and contributes decisively to human fraternity” (Message to the Albanian People, 25 April 1993). He immediately then added, “True religious freedom shuns the temptation to intolerance and sectarianism, and promotes attitudes of respect and constructive dialogue” (ibid.). We cannot deny that intolerance towards those with different religious convictions is a particularly insidious enemy, one which today is being witnessed in various areas around the world. All believers must be particularly vigilant so that, in living out with conviction our religious and ethical code, we may always express the mystery we intend to honour. This means that all those forms which present a distorted use of religion, must be firmly refuted as false since they are unworthy of God or humanity. Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence! No one must use the name of God to commit violence! To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman. Seen in this light, religious freedom is not a right which can be guaranteed solely by existing legislation, although laws are necessary. Rather religious freedom is a shared space, an atmosphere of respect and cooperation that must be built with everyone’s participation, even those who have no religious convictions. Allow me to outline two attitudes which can be especially helpful in the advancement of this fundamental freedom. The first attitude is that of regarding every man and woman, even those of different religious traditions, not as rivals, less still enemies, but rather as brothers and sisters. When a person is secure of his or her own beliefs, there is no need to impose or put pressure on others: there is a conviction that truth has its own power of attraction. Deep down, we are all pilgrims on this earth, and on this pilgrim journey, as we yearn for truth and eternity, we do not live autonomous and self-sufficient individual lives; the same applies to religious, cultural and national communities. We need each other, and are entrusted to each other’s care. Each religious tradition, from within, must be able to take account of others. The second attitude which fosters the promotion of religious freedom is the work done in service of the common good. Whenever adherence to a specific religious tradition gives birth to service that shows conviction, generosity and concern for the whole of society without making distinctions, then there too exists an authentic and mature living out of religious freedom. This presents itself not only as a space in which to legitimately defend one’s autonomy, but also as a potential that enriches the human family as it advances. The more men and women are at the service of others, the greater their freedom! Let us look around us: there are so many poor and needy people, so many societies that try to find a more inclusive way of social justice and path of economic development! How great is the need for the human heart to be firmly fixed on the deepest meaning of experiences in life and rooted in a rediscovery of hope! Men and women, inspired in these areas by the values of their respective religious traditions, can offer an important, and even unique, contribution. This is truly a fertile land offering much fruit, also in the field of interreligious dialogue. Dear friends, I encourage you to maintain and develop the tradition of good relations among the various religious communities in Albania, and to be united in serving your beloved homeland. Continue to be a sign for your country, and beyond, that good relations and fruitful cooperation are truly possible among men and women of different religions. And pray also for me. May God bless you all.   (from Vatican Radio)... 5 hours 53 min
“Estamos com as armas nas mãos, mas delas não faremos uso para defender-nos. Antes queremos morrer inocentes, do que viver culpados”, bradou Maurício e seus companheiros diante do imperador que iria massacrá-los. Maurício nasceu por volta do ano 250 em Tebas no Egito. Cristão convicto, Maurício foi criado naquela r... 11 hours 33 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged the new generations of Albania to  reject the idolatry of money, the false freedom of individualism, to addiction and violence, and he has encouraged them to cultivate a culture of encounter and of solidarity. The Pope's words to the young came during his Angelus address after the celebration of Holy Mass in Tirana's Mother Teresa Square. Commenting off-the-cuff that he has been told that Albania is the youngest country in Europe, Pope Francis invited the youth to build a better future for their country without forgetting the lessons of the past. Please find below the full text of the Pope's Angelus address: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Before concluding this celebration, I wish to greet each of you who have come from all over Albania and from nearby countries.  I thank you for your presence and for the witness of your faith. In a particular way, I wish to greet the young! They tell me that Albania is the youngest country in Europe, so it is to you that I turn!  I invite you to build your lives on Jesus Christ: the one who builds on Christ builds on rock, because he is always faithful, even if we sometimes lack faith (cf. 2 Tim. 2:13).  Jesus knows us better than anyone else; when we sin, he does not condemn us but rather says to us, “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11).  Dear young people, you are the new generation of Albania, the future of the nation. With the power of the Gospel and the example of the martyrs, you know how to say “No” to the idolatry of money, “No” to the false freedom of individualism, “No” to addiction and to violence; you also know how to say “Yes” to a culture of encounter and of solidarity, “Yes” to the beauty that is inseparable from the good and the true; “Yes” to a life lived with great enthusiasm and at the same time faithful in little things.  In this way, you will build a better Albania and a better world in the footsteps of your ancestors. Let us turn to the Virgin Mary, whom you venerate above all under her title of “Our Lady of Good Counsel”.  I stand before her, spiritually, at her Shrine in Scutari, so dear to you, and to her I entrust the entire Church in Albania and all the people of this country, especially families, children and the elderly who are the living memory of the people.  May Our Lady guide you to walk “together with God towards the hope that does not delude.”   (from Vatican Radio)... 17 hours 53 min
Senhor Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, Ilustres Membros do Corpo Diplomático, Excelências, Senhoras e Senhores! Sinto imensa alegria por estar aqui convosco, na nobre terra da Albânia: terra de heróis, que sacrificaram a vida pela independência do país, e terra de mártires, que testemunharam a sua fé nos ... 18 hours 8 min
Papa Francisco na Missa celebrada neste domingo, 21, na Praça Madre Teresa, em Tirana, capital da Albânia, refletiu sobre a missionariedade. Apresentamos as palavras pronuncaidas pelo Pontífice: Hoje, o Evangelho diz-nos que, além dos Doze Apóstolos, Jesus chama outros setenta e dois discípulos e manda-os pelas a... 18 hours 17 min
Apresentamos o discurso do Papa Francisco na celebração das Vésperas com os sacerdotes, as religiosas, os religiosos, os seminaristas e movimentos leigos em Tirana, Albânia.  Amados irmãos e irmãs! É para mim uma alegria encontrar-vos na vossa amada terra; dou graças ao Senhor e agradeço a todos pela vossa rece... 18 hours 36 min
Durante viagem à Albânia, após a missa, o Papa rezou o Angelus na Praça Madre Teresa. Eis o texto na íntegra: Amados irmãos e irmãs! Antes de concluir esta Celebração, desejo saudar a todos vós que viestes da Albânia e dos países vizinhos. Obrigado pela vossa presença e pelo testemunho da vossa fé! De modo pa... 18 hours 54 min
(Vatican Radio) The Boulevard of National Martyrs in Tirana is already filled with people on Saturday night, ahead of Pope Francis’ arrival on Sunday morning. Thousands of local residents and visitors have chosen to take their evening walk along the street, checking out preparations for Sunday morning’s papal Mass. For most people, the Pope’s journey from Mother Teresa International Airport and the papal liturgy taking place in Mother Teresa Square will be the best opportunity to see the Holy Father in person. In the Square itself on Saturday night, engineers and technicians are making sure everything is ready, while on the altar the Pope’s Master of Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini is walking through the final details of liturgy. It’s a remarkable atmosphere. Throughout the day, there was little evidence of excitement, despite the omnipresent flags and banners. Now less than twelve hours before Pope Francis’ arrival it seems all of Tirana is turning out to be part of the Holy Father’s historic visit. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 16 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Saturday. The meeting began at 12:30 Rome Time in the lobby of the Santa Marta guesthouse, and lasted roughly a quarter-hour. After the private colloquy, Pope Francis greeted the other members of the presidential delegation. President Kirchner brought the Holy Father an image of Our Lady, Untier of Knots, one of the devotional titles of which Pope Francis is most fond, and one under which he promoted devotion to our lady in Argentina. Following their meeting, the Pope and the President proceeded to lunch together at the Casa Santa Marta. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 16 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held a special audience on Saturday for the bishops taking part in a training seminar held over the past two weeks under the auspices of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The sessions were organized particularly for bishops ordained during the course of the past two years, and examined various aspects of episcopal life and ministry, relating to the work of preaching the Good News. Click below to hear our report In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered on Saturday morning, the Holy Father said that  the essential mission of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel, and there is now the urgent need for a missionary conversion. “A conversion,” he said, “that concerns every Christian and every parish, but is one that that shepherds are called to live and to witness in the first.”   Pope Francis went on to say that the church needs shepherds of souls – bishops – who are servants, and, “who know how to kneel down in front of others to wash their feet.” He encouraged the participants to seek to give a genuine missionary impulse to their diocesan communities, that they might grow more and more with new members, thanks to their bishops’ witness of life and ministry exercised as a service to the People of God. He also had special words for the bishops who were not able to take part in the sessions, especially the Chinese bishops ordained in recent years. “How I wish,” he said, “[they] were present at the meeting today,” adding, “at heart, though, I hope that day is not far off.” Looking forward to the upcoming extraordinary synod assembly on the family, Pope Francis stressed that families are the foundation of the work of evangelization, with their educational mission and with the active participation in the life of the parish community. “I encourage you to promote the pastoral care of families,” he said, “so that families, accompanied and formed in the faith, might always give their best contribution to the life of the Church and of society. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 16 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has named Bishop Blase J. Cupich to succeed Cardinal Francis E. George as the archbishop of Chicago. Listen to the press conference in Chicago, with Archbishop-elect Cupich: The Pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal George, in conformity with canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law. At the time of his nomination, Bishop Cupich was heading the Diocese of Spokane in Washington. Bishop Cupich was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1949. He earned his bachelor’s in philosophy from the College of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1971. For the next four years, he was a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975, later earning a licentiate (1979) and a doctorate (1987) in sacramental theology from the Catholic University of America. Among his pastoral assignments, he served as vicar at Saint Margaret Mary Parish and taught at Paul VI High School in Omaha (1975-1978). Subsequently, he served as director of the archdiocese’s Liturgy Office (1978-1981) and worked at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. (1981-1987). He was pastor at Saint Mary Parish in Bellevue (1987-1989) before returning to the world of education as president and rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio (1989-1997). He then served as pastor at Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha for one year, before being named bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1998. In 2010, he was named bishop of Spokane. The 65-year-old bishop is currently a member of various committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, the National Collections Committee and the Subcommittee on the Translation of Scripture Text. He also sits on the Board of Governors of the Catholic Extension Society and is board president of the National Catholic Education Association.  (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 20 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday met with Andris Bērziņš, President of the Republic of Latvia, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States. The Holy See Press Office issued statement describing the discussions taking place in a “cordial atmosphere”, and during which the good relations between Latvia and the Holy See were evoked, as well as the positive contribution made by the Catholic Church to society, especially in the fields of education and social welfare. Mention was then made of various aspects of life in the country, as well as international matters of common interest, particularly in view of Latvia’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which beings January 1, 2015. Special attention was also paid to the situation in Ukraine, in the hope that a political solution, based on law, may be sought through dialogue. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 21 hours
(Vatican Radio) The Holy See Press Office on Saturday announced Pope Francis has decided to establish a Special Commission  for the study of the reform of the matrimonial processes in canon law. The decision was made on August 2, 2014. This Committee will be chaired by Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, Dean of the Roman Rota.  The other members are:  and will be composed of the following members: Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Archbishop Luis  Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Bishop Dimitri Salachas, Apostolic Exarch of the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church; Msgrs. Maurice Monier, Leo Xavier Michael Arokiaraj and Alejandro W. Bunge, Prelate Auditors of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota; the Rev. Fr.  Nikolaus Schöch, O.F.M., Substitute Promotor of Justice of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Fr. Konštanc Miroslav Adam, O.P., Rector of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum); Fr. Jorge Horta Espinoza, O.F.M., Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical University Antoniamum; and Prof. Paolo Moneta, formerly professor of Canon Law at the University of Pisa. The work of the Commission will start as soon as possible and will have as its goal to prepare a proposal of reform of the matrimonial process, with the objective of simplifying its procedure, making it more streamlined, and safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 21 hours
Há de se dar plena razão aos que consideram a participação dos candidatos nos debates veiculados pelos meios de comunicação inócua e pouco relevante para o processo de discernimento dos eleitores. Também são coerentes os argumentos dos que apontam a propaganda eleitoral como verdadeira enganação. Pode não chegar a ... 2 days 17 hours
Entre os jogos clássicos que muitos rapazes experimentam, pelo menos uma vez na vida, está aquele da sessão espírita. Em muitos casos, é praticado quase como uma brincadeira, para tentar experimentar uma sutil transgressão ou para assustar algum amigo medroso. Brincar com certas coisas, porém, significa brincar c... 2 days 18 hours
Juliette Chove é uma obstetra e uma das primeiras mulheres a fazer um Master no Pontifício Instituto "João Paulo II" para os Estudos sobre o Matrimônio e a Família, em Roma. Agora, se dedica a acompanhar casais inférteis e hipoférteis e lhes dá razões para esperar, sob a proteção de Santa Ana, em Auray, perto de Va... 2 days 18 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan at the Vatican on Friday. According to a statement from the Secretariat of State, the two men expressed satisfaction for the development and strengthening of bilateral relations, highlighting the special role of Christianity in the history and life of Armenian society. The statement reads that with regard to the regional political situation, it is hoped that complex and hitherto unresolved issues may be overcome through dialogue between all the interested parties. Furthermore, mention was made of the conflict in the Middle East, and trust was expressed in the common efforts of interested nations and religious communities to achieve a  peaceful co-existence of peoples throughout the entire region. Special attention was paid to the  situation faced by Christian communities and other religious minorities in the area, and to the humanitarian crisis regarding refugees from the affected zones. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 19 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis paid a private visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major on Thursday afternoon, to pray for the success of his upcoming voyage to Albania. A brief statement from the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, says that the Holy Father made the trip across the city centre to the top of the Esquiline Hill to spend time with Our Lady salus populi Romani – Protectress of the Roman people – whose icon in the church is among the city’s oldest and most beloved objects of Marian devotion. All told, the visit lasted about a half-hour, at the end of which the Pope left a bouquet of flowers. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 19 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message - through his Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin - to the II Catholic Social Days for Europe, currently underway in Madrid. The message states that "one of the great challenges for the Church in Europe is to find effective ways to bring the light of the Gospel to bear upon the pressing issues which affect the continent", which include teh plague of youth unemployment and rising tides of popularism. The message also  encourages the more than 200 participants gathered in Madrid until Sunday 21"to deepen your own pursuit of holiness by a firm commitment to personal prayer and conversion"and to "offer to the various sectors of society a more coherent and joyful witness which will awaken consciences to the reality that temporal goods and the ordering of society must be at the service of the human person and their ultimate fulfilment in God”. the message conlcudes that a Church " gives greater attention to the material needs of those who suffer will also learn how to provide a more convincing proclamation of truth and salvation to those who hunger and thirst for eternal life and to those who “call you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15). The full text of the message is transcribed below. -------------------------- Your Eminence, On behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, I am pleased to greet you, your brother bishops, the organizers and the participants at this year’s “Catholic Social Days for Europe”, as you gather in Madrid from 18 to 21 September. I assure you of the Holy Father’s spiritual closeness as you reflect on “The Christian Faith and the Future of Europe”. One of the great challenges for the Church in Europe is to find effective ways to bring the light of the Gospel to bear upon the pressing issues which affect the continent. In rising to this challenge, the participant of all the faithful, under the direction of the Council of Bishop’s Conference of Europe and the Commission of the Bishops’ of the European Community, acquires greater urgency. In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis reminds us that “from the heart of the Gospel we see the profound connection between evangelization and human advancement” (178). He is confident that, as you reflect on the many areas on which the light of the Gospel sheds meaning, you will be able to trace new and concrete ways of responding to diverse pastoral demands. In this context, the Holy Father encourages you to deepen your own pursuit of holiness by a firm commitment to personal prayer and conversion. Thus you will offer to the various sectors of society a more coherent and joyful witness which will awaken consciences to the reality that temporal goods and the ordering of society must be at the service of the human person and their ultimate fulfilment in God. He prays especially that this event will highlight the ways in which faith compels us to transmit the Church’s love for the poor, for those suffering persecution, for all who are forced to flee their homes and for those who come to Europe in search of refuge. A Church that gives greater attention to the material needs of those who suffer will also learn how to provide a more convincing proclamation of truth and salvation to those who hunger and thirst for eternal life and to those who “call you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15). Commending all the participants of this meeting to the loving care of Our Lady of Europe, His Holiness imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace, peace and joy. Yours sincerely in Christ, Pietro Card. Parolin Secretary of State (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 19 hours
O cardeal Reinhard Marx, arcebispo de Munique e presidente da Comissão das Conferências Episcopais da Comunidade Europeia (COMECE), se pronunciou nesta sexta-feira durante a II Jornada Social Católica pela Europa, que acontece até o próximo domingo em Madri. A Europa social, como elemento constituinte de uma orde... 2 days 19 hours
O Encontro Internacional “O Projeto Pastoral da Evangelii Gaudium”, organizado pelo Pontifício Conselho para a Promoção da Nova Evangelização, começou nesta quinta-feira, 18, no Vaticano, e termina neste sábado, 20. O ápice do evento foi audiência com o papa Francisco, realizada hoje.
 São três dias de programaçã... 2 days 19 hours
O papa Francisco recebeu nesta manhã o presidente da República da Armênia, Serzh Sargsyan. Como é habitual nesse tipo de encontro, o governante manteve em seguida uma conversa com o cardeal Pietro Parolin, secretário de Estado do Vaticano, acompanhado pelo secretário vaticano para as Relações Diplomáticas, dom Domi... 2 days 19 hours
Depois da onda de indignação provocada pela execução dos jornalistas James Foley e Steven Sotloff, dos EUA, e do voluntário em projetos de ajuda social David Haines, do Reino Unido, foi divulgado pelo grupo terrorista Estado Islâmico (EI) um novo vídeo mostrando o também britânico refém John Cantlie, mas agora com ... 2 days 19 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in a conference on his post-Synodal Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium on Friday. Some 2,000 people gathered in the Paul VI audience hall to meet the Holy Father, on the afternoon of the second day of a three-day conference organized by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation in order to explore strategies and avenues for the pastoral renewal of the Church in the missionary key of the Joy of the Gospel . Click below for our report: In his words to the group, the Pope reflected on the words of St Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus felt compassion for the crowds who were “tired and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd”. So many people today, he said, are on the margins of our society, feeling tired and dejected, awaiting an answer from the Church. How can we share our experience of faith, the Pope asked? He said he is not offering any detailed analysis of the complex realities of today’s world, but rather urging the Church to read the signs of the times which can offer us hope and courage.  Bishops, priests, deacons, catechists and all those working to pass on the faith have a particular responsibility to read these signs of the times, the Pope said, and to respond with wisdom and generosity. Instead of being afraid and defensive, like the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, the Pope said those involved in pastoral work must go out constantly in search  of those on the margins who are looking for the comfort that Christ can bring. Rather than merely increasing pastoral initiatives, the Pope said  it’s important to focus on the needs of these people, with patience and perseverance. We don’t have a magic wand to solve all the problems, the Pope concluded, but we do have faith in the Lord who accompanies all our efforts and who will never abandon us. Those taking part in the conference have come from all around the world, and represent every state of life in the Church: lay people with families and in the single life; bishops; priests; deacons; men and women religious – all involved in missionary work, and especially in service to the poor and marginalized. The President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, told Vatican Radio that the participants bring a wealth of diversity in experience, all of which is focused on a single purpose: spreading the Good News of salvation as effectively as possible. “[In the conference] we have the possibility to share a common understanding,” he said, “and then to translate [that understanding] into the different cultural and ecclesial traditions of our Churches.” The conference promoted by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation on The Pastoral Project of Evangelii gaudium opened Thursday, September 18 th , and concludes on Saturday, September 20 th . (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 19 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence on Friday morning. In remarks to the gathered faithful following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the Resurrection as the seal of Christian identity. Drawing on the words of St Paul the Apostle from his Letter to the Corinthians, which were proclaimed at Mass, Pope Francis spoke of the difficulty that some Christians – and others, who might otherwise be attracted to the Faith – have in understanding and living with the certain knowledge in faith that our bodies will be transformed and that we shall be restored to them. Click below to hear our report “[The Corinthians],” said Pope Francis, “had other ideas: ‘sure, the dead are justified, they shall not go to hell – good thing, too! – but they’ll go into the cosmos, into the air – just the soul before God’,” and so St. Paul had to offer a “difficult correction”: that of the Resurrection. Nor were the Christians of Corinth the only ones to have difficulty with the teaching. The Greeks at Athens, to whom St. Paul also preached – the wise philosophers – were even afraid of the notion: “[The Christian teaching on the bodily resurrection] is a scandal: they cannot understand it. This is why Paul offers the following line of reasoning, which is quite clear: ‘if Christ is risen, how can they say that there is not among yourselves resurrection from the dead, as well? If Christ is risen, the dead, too, shall rise’. There is resistance to the transformation, resistance to the work of the Spirit we received at Baptism, which is to transform us utterly, unto the Resurrection. When we speak of this, our language tlls us: ‘I want to go to heaven, I don’t want to go to hell’, but we stop there. None of us says: ‘I shall rise as Christ [did]’. No, even for us it is difficult to understand this.” Pope Francis went on to say that a sort of “cosmic pantheism” is easier to grasp, since there is this resistance to transformation – St Paul’s word – and, “in the Resurrection, we shall all be transformed.”:   “This is the future that awaits us and this is the fact that brings us to pose so much resistance: resistance to the transformation of our bodies. Also – resistance to Christian identity. I’ll say more: perhaps we are not so much afraid of the Apocalypse of the Evil One, of the Antichrist who must come first – perhaps we are not so afraid [of him]. Perhaps we are not so afraid of the voice of the Archangel or the sound of his trumpet – that shall sound the victory of the Lord. Fear of our resurrection, however, we have: we shall all be transformed. That transformation shall be the end of our Christian journey.” Pope Francis went on to say that the essence of Christian identity is, “being with the Lord, in body and soul.” He went on to say, Our Christian identity is completed, therefore, “with the resurrection of our bodies, with our resurrection.”: “That is the end, right there: [that point in which we are] satiated, by the image of the Lord. Christian identity is a way, a journey, on which we ‘are’ with the Lord, as those two disciples who ‘were with the Lord’ on that night. Our whole life is called to 'being with the Lord', in order – at the end – after the voice of the Archangel, after the sound of his trumpet, to remain with Him and abide with the Lord [forever].” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 19 hours
A apresentação do livro Álvaro del Portillo. Il primo successore di san Josemaría alla guida dell’Opus Dei (Alvaro del Portillo. O primeiro sucessor de São Josemaria à frente do Opus Dei), realizada ontem na Pontifícia Universidade da Santa Cruz, em Roma, foi enriquecida por numerosos testemunhos de pessoas das mai... 2 days 19 hours
O Congresso Internacional sobre o projeto pastoral da Evangelii Gaudium, promovido pelo Pontifício Conselho para a Promoção da Nova Evangelização, que começou ontem e que terminará amanhã, sábado, 20 de setembro, chegou ao seu momento forte esta tarde com a audiência concedida pelo Papa Francisco. Trata-se de trê... 2 days 20 hours
A ressurreição é a verdadeira realização da vida cristã, mas não é um conceito óbvio, nem fácil de aceitar. Confirmam as pregações de São Paulo, comprometido a fazer uma "correção difícil" sobre esta questão com a comunidade de Corinto (1 Cor 15,12-68). Durante a homilia desta manhã em Santa Marta, meditando sobr... 2 days 20 hours

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From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
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Staff Report Ever wanted to find the current season records for all the Catholic high school football teams in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati? Your search is over. Though most of the archdiocese’s Catholic high schools compete in the Greater Catholic … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
Staff Report By the time the August 13, 1982 edition of The Catholic Telegraph was delivered, the appointment of then-Archbishop of Cincinnati Joseph L. Bernardin as Archbishop of Chicago was beginning to set in locally. See last week’s Throwback Thursday … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
By Adelaide Mena & Matt Hadro Catholic News Agency  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee has renewed a call for Congressional action after a new report verified the bishops’ repeated warnings of taxpayer-funded abortion in … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
By Kevin Jones CNA/EWTN News  Chicago’s Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich introduced himself to his new city on Saturday, downplaying political interpretations of his appointment and stressing the need to be attentive to God’s voice. “My priority as a priest and now … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
Staff Report Updated Sept. 17 8:45 p.m. Carroll High School was evacuated at roughly 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in the wake of a threatening message found at the school, according to Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — More than a dozen religious bodies, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, argued in a joint letter to the Federal Communications Commission that the Internet must remain available to all without … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
  By Sarah McCarthy Catholic News Service WASHINGTON —The Song of Solomon, the amorous tale of two lovers contained in the Old Testament, has found reincarnation in a modern story of love and faith underscored by American folk music. “The … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
By Beth Griffin Catholic News Service  NEW YORK — Peace is never achieved once and for all, but is the fruit of a daily quest for greater justice and respect for one another, the new papal nuncio to the United … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
 Press Release The University of Dayton announced today the George and Amanda Hanley Foundation will make a $12.5 million gift to establish the University of Dayton as a national leader for innovation in sustainability education. It’s the largest single gift … Continue reading → 7 hours 11 min
By Beth Griffin Catholic News Service  NEW YORK — Religious liberty is under aggressive assault on many fronts in a culture increasingly insensitive to rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to U.S. Constitution, according to speakers at a Sept. 15 … Continue reading → 2 days 7 hours

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Students and faculty at Mother of Mercy took the Ice Bucket Challenge (remember that?) at the height of its fleeing fame   -- the first day of school.

Students and faculty at Mother of Mercy took the Ice Bucket Challenge (remember that?) at the height of its fleeing, but universal fame — the first day of school.

Mother of Mercy High School students and faculty took the Ice Bucket Challenge on the first day of classes this fall, raising money for an ALS charity while enjoying fun and fellowship

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Photo courtesy Mother of Mercy High School.

 

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From: Live Catholic Headlines
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Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 10:21 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The "conviction that truth has its own power of attraction," said Pope Francis, negates the need for those secure in their faith to impose their beliefs on others. 22 hours 50 min
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 09:11 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis' visit to Albania is a "gigantic event" for the religiously diverse country as it seeks a greater role in Europe, one leader at the country's main Catholic university has said. 1 day 25 sec
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 07:58 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In a press briefing Sunday the Vatican's spokesman downplayed worries over Pope Francis' safety in Albania, also noting that Muslims gathered in an important Tirana mosque to pray for the pontiff's visit. 1 day 1 hour
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 06:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- After celebrating Mass at Mother Teresa square during his one-day trip to Albania, Pope Francis led the crowds in the angelus prayer, urging the country's young people to live a life fully engaged with Christ. 1 day 3 hours
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 05:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis opened his trip to Albania praising the "coexistence" between members of different faiths in the country, while condemning those who "consider themselves to be the 'armour' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression." 1 day 4 hours
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 04:45 am (EWTN News/CNA).- During Mass at Mother Teresa square as part of his one-day trip to Albania, Pope Francis recalled the country's vicious history of anti-religious persecution, saying it is now ready for the Gospel to flourish. 1 day 4 hours
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 04:31 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- God's consolation for Albania's martyrs and other persecuted Christians is a reminder for us all of the intimate consolation that God offers amid suffering, Pope Francis said at a Sunday vespers service. 1 day 4 hours
Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 01:17 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis visited an Albanian center for abandoned children on Sunday, emphasizing in his remarks that Christian charity can help bring oneself and others closer to God. 1 day 7 hours
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2014 / 01:09 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis will establish a commission to review the matrimonial process in canon law with the goal of simplifying the procedure while maintaining the indissolubility of marriage, the Holy See Press Office announced Saturday.

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Chicago, Ill., Sep 20, 2014 / 11:35 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Chicago's Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich introduced himself to his new city on Saturday, downplaying political interpretations of his appointment and stressing the need to be attentive to God's voice. 1 day 21 hours
Rome, Italy, Sep 20, 2014 / 08:53 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Foreign weapons and a lack of funding are among the serious challenges facing humanitarian response efforts in the Middle East, said participants at a recent conference in Rome.

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Vatican City, Sep 20, 2014 / 06:09 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis has appointed Spokane, Wash. Bishop Blase Cupich as the new shepherd of the Archdiocese of Chicago, replacing retiring Cardinal Francis George. 2 days 3 hours
Legazpi City, Philippines, Sep 20, 2014 / 05:04 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Residents near the restive Mayon volcano in the Philippines are turning to prayer as the mountain begins to erupt, and the nation's Catholic charity agency is preparing to help those whose lives are disrupted.
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Tirana, Albania, Sep 20, 2014 / 02:34 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A Franciscan involved in the preparations for Pope Francis' trip to Albania said that he hopes for a surprise from a Pope who has made a habit of breaking his routine to visit the sick. 2 days 6 hours
Tirana, Albania, Sep 19, 2014 / 12:48 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Albania could encourage the leaders of the Catholic Church in a nation with a long history of religious persecution and political domination, said a priest in the country.

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From: CWN provides reliable world news and commentary from a Catholic perspective, availble exclusively at CatholicCulture.org.
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Pope Francis met on September 19 with President Sezh Sargsyan of Armenia, for talks that centered on the role of Christianity in shaping that country's history and culture. The talks ... 2 days 19 hours
Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar has issued a letter denouncing human trafficking and challenging the country's government to stop the outrage, the AsiaNews service ... 2 days 19 hours
Preaching on the Christian belief in the resurrection of the body, Pope Francis told a congregation at daily Mass on September 19 that for many people, resurrection is more difficult to ... 2 days 19 hours
A Catholic university in Indonesia has cancelled a seminar on homosexuality because of intense opposition from Muslim activists, the AsiaNews service reports. The psychology department ... 2 days 19 hours
An Italian television show has persuaded Pope Francis to donate a zucchetto for a charity auction, and the bidding has already soared to $130,000. The host of the show Le Iene appeared ... 2 days 19 hours