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Pope Francis Returns to Rome

As Pope Francis flew, he sent messages of greetings to heads of state of the nations he flew over on his way back to Rome (full text).

Shortly before 10 a.m., Pope Francis’ airplane touched down at Rome’s Ciampino airport. After arriving, he visited the Basilica of Saint Mary Major to pray there (summary video).

Today Pope Francis sent message for the upcoming 31st World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland (full text).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

With my heartfelt thanks. May the love of Christ always guide the American people! #GodBlessAmerica (link)

Of Pope Francis’ journey through Cuba and the U.S. there were many addresses where he made a great many references to people being “prophets” and many details of what that entails, but also spoke a great amount of the value of families. And from this particular journey here’s a really really good summary video of many of his quotes regarding the family.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in U.S. – Day 6

This morning at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary where Pope Francis’ been staying the nights while in Philadelphia, he had several audiences. He met with a group of victims of sexual abuse by the clergy from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (full text). He also met with an Argentinian family (father, mother, and four children) who had traveled by VW bus all the way from Argentina to Philadelphia to see him.

Later, at the seminary’s chapel, he met with bishops attending the World Meeting of Families and shared with them details of the encounter a few moments before with sexual abuse victims and some of his perspectives on those issues, and discussed with them many other topics (full text, full video, summary video). This was such an impressive address. Below is one of my favorite passages:

Today’s culture seems to encourage people not to bond with anything or anyone, not to trust. The most important thing nowadays seems to be to follow the latest trend or activity. This is even true of religion. Today consumerism determines what is important. Consuming relationships, consuming friendships, consuming religions, consuming, consuming… Whatever the cost or consequences. A consumption which does not favor bonding, a consumption which has little to do with human relationships. Social bonds are a mere “means” for the satisfaction of “my needs”. The important thing is no longer our neighbor, with his or her familiar face, story and personality.

The result is a culture which discards everything that is no longer “useful” or “satisfying” for the tastes of the consumer. We have turned our society into a huge multicultural showcase tied only to the tastes of certain “consumers”, while so many others only “eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Mt 15:27).

This causes great harm. A very great cultural harm. I would say that at the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of impoverishment born of a widespread and radical sense of loneliness. Running after the latest fad, accumulating “friends” on one of the social networks, we get caught up in what contemporary society has to offer. Loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized.

Wow. Pope Francis is with God and God is with Pope Francis. Pope Francis is one of God’s main leaders to undo such consumerist social activities, in churches and across the whole Earth. A primary part of God’s plan is for nobody to be discarded.

Afterwards, he boarded a helicopter and traveled to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania where he met with prisoners there (more details, more details in Italian, full text, full video, summary video).

Additionally today, he made an unscheduled stop at Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University, a Jesuit institution (more details).

Following this, Pope Francis traveled by popemobile through many of the city’s avenues greeting the faithful and embracing and kissing children.

Eventually, he arrived at and celebrated the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families, and gave a homily (full text, full video, summary video). In the course of the night, it was also announced that Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Meeting of Families to take place in 2018 in Dublin, Ireland (summary video).

After the Mass, Pope Francis traveled by car to the Philadelphia International Airport and before boarding a airplane back to Rome, he gave a farewell address there (full text, full video, summary video). He also met once again with the U.S. vice president and his family, as well as other dignitaries, and faithful, and then at approximately 7:45 p.m. he departed for Rome.

After take-off, Pope Francis gave a press conference aboard the airplane (full text, full text in Italian, summary video 1, summary video 2). One of my favorite lines of Pope Francis from this press conference was that as a pope, he is a “servant of the servants of God.” I love Pope Francis! In another part, he spoke regarding the rights of some human beings to issue marriage licences or not to “same sex couples” and reasoned that to not issue them is a form of “conscience objection” This a spectacular doctrinal reasoning! To quote Pope Francis:

...conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. ... It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.

And to reason it in the reverse (which I’ll do right now), he seems to also be saying that it is a right for same sex couples to be allowed to marry, and “if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.” I love Pope Francis! Also, his comments on the looseness of rationalization for annulments of “sacramental marriage” also really got me to understand better that for Roman Catholics, “annulments” are really, an extremely nice definitional doctrinal step-around so as not to engage with the term “divorce.” Additionally in the press conference, he discussed women having the priesthood and how that is a topic that doctrinally for some Roman Catholics is extremely complicatedly rigid — it would spoil the boys club, but in the interest of making peace, an extremely nice doctrinal step-around should be nice for that, too.

Also today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a super good interview with Andrea Bocelli who sang for Pope Francis last night (and has done so also on other occasions). In the interview he called Pope Francis “a gift from Heaven.” As well, here’s a good article on how different people have been affected by Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in U.S. – Day 5

Early this morning, Pope Francis boarded a helicopter and flew over some of New York’s famous monuments on his way to the JFK Airport where he then flew to Philadelphia.

While in Philadelphia, Pope Francis’ll be staying the nights at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, which by one report is a part of St. Joseph’s University. And it was reported that today at St. Joseph’s, that Pope Francis met with Fr. Rick Malloy and Bishop Morrie of Paris, Kansas regarding communion for the divorced and remarried.

After arriving in Philadelphia, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily with Priests and Religious of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral (full text, full video, summary video).

Also today, after making his way through the streets of Philadelphia in the popemobile and arriving at Independence Park and Independence Hall, Pope Francis met with a gathering of immigrant families and spoke on the topics of religious freedom and immigrant assimilation (full text, full video, summary video).

In the evening on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, at the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis attended and a celebration of families and prayer vigil, and he addressed the gathering (full text given, full text prepared, full video, summary video). The gathering was M.C.ed by actor and producer Mark Wahlberg (summary video). On the stage at the gathering, six families greeted and told some of their stories to Pope Francis. Also several famous singers performed for Pope Francis, including soul singer Aretha Franklin (summary video), Andrea Bocelli (summary video), and Columbian singer & band Juanes (summary video).

In other Pope Francis news, today he made some appointments, and he sent message to the National Eucharistic Congress being held in Knock, Mayo County, Ireland (full text).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in U.S. – Day 4

Today at 8:30 this morning, Pope Francis visited the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City. He was greeted by Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon and several children who gave him flowers. He met privately with Mr. Ki-moon, exchanged gifts with him, and signed the U.N. guest book. After that, in the U.N. lobby, he met with a gathering of U.N. staff and addressed them (full text), Mr. Ki-moon made some comments, and Pope Francis left flowers at a memorial there to U.N. workers who had died in the service. Following that, Pope Francis met with several more U.N. officials, as well as some children of U.N. workers and then entered the main meeting chamber to give his main address to the U.N. General Assembly at approximately 9:45 a.m. (full text, full video, summary video). As he departed, a choir sang to him a popular Argentine song, and he was then greeted by more children. He then traveled to the September 11th/Ground Zero Memorial.

Upon his arrival at the September 11th/Ground Zero Memorial, he was greeted by New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, laid a wreath near the south fountain of the memorial, and individually greeted family members of twenty fallen rescuers. He then went to the memorial’s Foundation Hall where he had an interreligious meeting with twelve other religious leaders at which prayers, meditations, and addresses were given (full video, summary video). Pope Francis gave an address (full text), and said a prayer (full text). Here’s a nice article interviewing people who met Pope Francis who had also lost family members in the 9-11 debacle, and another article on what it was like being at the memorial during Pope Francis’ visit. The leaders greeted each other individually and then Pope Francis departed with Cardinal Dolan for the home of the Holy See’s U.N. permanent observer.

After lunch, Pope Francis journeyed to the Harlem Elementary and Middle School of Our Lady Queen of Angels where he met and addressed children and families of immigrants in New York (more details, full text, full video, summary video). In his address, he gave them “homework” to pray for him. Also, as he proceeded to depart, he greeted families and children gathered outside.

Next, he processed by popemobile through Central Park on his way to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the celebration of Mass at which he gave a homily (full text, full video, summary video). Also at the Mass, a quite impressively huge choir performed (summary video). After Mass, Pope Francis returned for the night to the home of the Holy See’s U.N. permanent observer.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in U.S. – Day 3

Today Pope Francis arrived at the U.S. Congress to address them, though first he met with speaker of the House of Representatives and Republican house leader John Boehner, and with the vice president of the United States. In the news the following day, apparently Rep. John Boehner was so moved by Pope Francis that he decided to announce that he would be stepping down as house leader at the end of October (summary video). After the encounter with the house leader and vice president, Pope Francis went in and addressed the U.S. Congress (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). Here’s a video clip of him walking up to the podium and being introduced. After his address, Pope Francis greeted the thousands gathered outside (full text). Also, here’s a very nice summary and analysis video by PBS, and an excellent video on the strong impression Pope Francis’ speech made on the members of the congress.

Following the address to the congress, Pope Francis traveled to the Charity Center of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Washington and met with and addressed the hundreds of homeless people gathered there (full text, full video, summary video). During the visit, Pope Francis blessed the Chapel and cafeteria of the Center.

Afterward, he returned to the apostolic nunciature.

It was also reported that Pope Francis met with Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong” (more details, press release, summary video 1, summary video 2). As well, he met with Yayo Grassi, a former Argentine student of his.

After that, he then got in a car and traveled to the airport he had arrived at, and he departed on an American Airlines airplane for New York City at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Pope Francis arrived at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, in New York City between 5 and 5:30 p.m. and was greeted at the airport by the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Mons. Bernardito Auza, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, and other dignitaries, as well as by a brass band (summary video).

From there, Pope Francis boarded a helicopter and flew to Manhattan, where he traveled by popemobile to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York where he attended Vespers with clergy and men and women religious and addressed them (full text, full video, summary video). To open his address, he prayed and expressed closeness to the victims of a stampede that occurred in Mecca (summary video). While there, he also prayed with elderly priests in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

Pope Francis then traveled to the home of the Holy See’s permanent observer to the U.N. where he stayed the night.

And today, Pope Francis made some appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in U.S. – Day 2

This morning as Pope Francis made his way through the streets of Washington to his meeting with the U.S. president, he stopped his caravan to shake hands, hug people, kiss babies, and talk one-on-one with some of the people in the crowds.

At approximately 9:15 a.m., Pope Francis met with the U.S. president and both men gave addresses to the gathered crowd of over two hundred thousand people at the U.S. presidential palace (more details, full text of Pope Francis, full text of president, full video, summary video). After the welcome ceremony, Pope Francis met privately with the U.S. president in his office and they exchanged gifts, met the president’s family, including their dogs, and Pope Francis signed the guest book. Meanwhile, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met with the U.S. secretary of state.

Later on at noon today, Pope Francis met with and addressed a gathering of U.S. bishops gathered at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington (full text, full video, summary video). He also greeted supporters of that cathedral, and then departed back to the apostolic nunciature.

Later in the afternoon, Pope Francis traveled around Washington in the popemobile, greeting people til he got to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at the Catholic University of America where he celebrated Mass, gave a homily, and presided at the canonization of blessed Fr. Junípero Serra (full text, full video, summary video). After the Mass, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl expressed thanks and blessings, and Pope Francis greeted twenty representatives of “native” communities of California in attendance.

On the way back to the apostolic nunciature, he made a stop at the new St. John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary, opened in 2011, where a bunch of students were gathered. At the seminary, Pope Francis unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and signed the visitors book.

As well that evening, he made an additional stop at the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor who are in the midst of lawsuit against contraception details in one of the U.S.’s health care programs. His visit was to show “a sign of support for them.”

And today Pope Francis made an appointment.

Moreover today, Father Lombardi briefed journalists on this particular journey of Pope Francis thus far.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in Cuba – Day 4, U.S. – Day 1

Pope Francis celebrating Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Santiago, Cuba, September 22th, 2015.
Pope Francis celebrating Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Santiago, Cuba, September 22th, 2015.

After departing early from St. Basil the Great seminary by popemobile, at approximately 8 a.m. this morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Santiago, Cuba, and gave a homily on “liv[ing] the revolution of tenderness as Mary” (more details, full text, full video).

Next, Pope Francis traveled from the shrine to the Cathedral of Santiago, also called Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, where he met with and addressed a gathering of families (full text, full video, summary video). As well at the gathering, Pope Francis blessed all the pregnant mothers there and tuning in through media, and blessed their unborn children (full video).

Pope Francis then went outside the cathedral and gave a blessing upon all those present and then traveled to the airport where there was a departure ceremony (full video, summary video). He then flew to the U.S. capital. While on the flight, Pope Francis sent telegrams of greetings to the heads of state for both Cuba and the Bahamas (full text), and he had a brief press conference (extensive text, full text, full text in Italian, summary video, analysis article). During the press conference, when asked regarding Cuba’s pardoning of so many prisoners, he responded:

The church is working and has worked on this. I’m not saying that the 3,000 or so released prisoners were part of a Church list – No! But the Church has made a list of many people calling for them to be pardoned. The Church will continue to do this.

Pardoning all the prisoners all across the globe is a part of God’s larger plans for the planet. The Bible says that all the prisoners shall go free. Pope Francis is a leader to bring about God’s plans.

As he left Cuba, Pope Francis sent a tweet of gratitude:

Thank you to the Cuban people! Thank you from my heart! (link)

Upon arrival at the airport in the U.S. he was greeted by the U.S. president, vice president, and their families, as well as by the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald William Wuerl (full video, summary video). He then traveled by automobile to the local apostolic nunciature in Washington.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in Cuba – Day 3

This morning, Pope Francis boarded his airplane in Havana and arrived at the Frank Pais Airport in Holguin, Cuba, where he was welcomed by the city’s Bishop, Mons. Emilio Aranguren Etcheverría.

Today at Revolution Square in Holguin, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave on homily on God’s ability to look on one’s heart, forgive, and transform the heart (full text, full video, summary video). As part of his homily, he praised the work of “mission houses” in the nation. President Raul Castro was also in attendance.

Also today, Pope Francis visited a monument to St. John Paul II, in the atrium of the Cathedral of San Isidoro de Holguín.

Pope Francis traveled to Loma de la Cruz, overlooking Holguin where he gave a blessing upon the city of Holguin (full video, summary video).

At approximately 4 p.m., he boarded his airplane again, and traveled to the city Santiago de Cuba, where after arriving at the Antonio Maceo airport and being greeted by people there, traveled to St. Basil the Great seminary where he met privately with Cuba’s bishops. Next, he traveled the rainy road up to the shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the Patroness of Cuba, and prayed at this image of Our Lady (summary video).

Afterwards, he traveled back to St. Basil the Great seminary where he stayed the night there.

As well today, Pope Francis made some appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in Cuba – Day 2

Pope Francis meeting with Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba, September 20th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba, September 20th, 2015.

In a provisional sacristy just before celebrating Mass today at Plaza of the Revolution, Pope Francis had a meeting with representatives of other Christian confessions present in Cuba.

Today at Plaza of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba, Pope Francis celebrated Mass, gave a homily on the meaning of serving others (more details, full text), and gave an Angelus Address on what it means to stand beside the Lord (full text). Also as a part of the Angelus Address, he expressed a special messages to the peace negotiations between the various groups of the nation of Columbia (full video, summary video). As well, Cuba’s President Raul Castro and Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner were in attendance at the Mass.

After celebrating Mass, Pope Francis returned to the apostolic nunciature for lunch.

He then traveled met with Fidel Castro, his wife, children, and grandchildren, at Castro’s home. The two men exchanged gifts, and Pope Francis gave him a copies of his two encyclical letters and some other gifts and Fidel Castro gave Pope Francis several gifts, including a book, “Fidel and Religion” with a personal message written in it (more details, summary video 1, summary video 2, analysis article). There was also a press conference regarding the encounter. Quoting from a later interview with Father Lombardi, Head of the Vatican Press Office, regarding the encounter with Fidel Castro:

Lombardi says he thinks that Cuba understands very well that the Catholic Church and the Popes are the world’s moral authorities today, and that they take Cuba, its history and its people very seriously.

Afterwards, Pope Francis traveled to the Palace of the Revolution where he met with Raul Castro. Pope Francis told him of how Fidel had written him a personal note (which seemed to mean a great amount to Pope Francis) and thanked Raul for the pardoning of so many prisoners he has done, and Raul Castro and Pope Francis exchanged gifts (summary video 1, summary video 2).

Also, while Pope Francis met with Raul Castro, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, met with Cuba’s Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez.

Pope Francis then made a visit to the primary Jesuit parish in Havana, Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Then Pope Francis proceeded by popemobile to the Cathedral of Havana where he celebrated Vespers with priests, seminarians, and men and women religious. While there, one of the cardinals spoke, and a sister who works helping the disabled. So moved by their words, he set aside his prepared remarks and spoke on not having one’s heart be in poverty and valuing and caring for all human life (full text given, full text prepared, full video).

Next he then traveled to the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center where he met with young people, a young man gave an address, and Pope Francis set aside his prepared remarks and spoke on not being afraid to dream and make the world into that better dream (full text given (trsln 1), full text given (trsln 2), full text prepared, summary video). I love Pope Francis!!!!!!!

Outside of these events, by way of the Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia’s Facebook page, Pope Francis also today sent video message to participants of the World Meeting of Families, of which he shall be a part (full video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis in Cuba – Day 1

President of Cuba, Raul Castro speaking with Pope Francis shortly after his arrival at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, September 19th, 2015.
President of Cuba, Raul Castro speaking with Pope Francis shortly after his arrival at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, September 19th, 2015.
Pope Francis riding through the streets of Havana, greeting people from the popemobile, September 19th, 2015.
Pope Francis riding through the streets of Havana, greeting people from the popemobile, September 19th, 2015.
Pope Francis riding through the streets of Havana, greeting people from the popemobile, September 19th, 2015.
Pope Francis riding through the streets of Havana, greeting people from the popemobile, September 19th, 2015.
Pope Francis riding through the streets of Havana, greeting people from the popemobile, September 19th, 2015 (pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 4).

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis visited a family of Syrian refugees being hosted by the Vatican parish of Santa Anna (more details about the family). Later on the airplane to Cuba, Pope Francis spoke of his encounter with the refugee family.

He made some appointments.

Next, Pope Francis traveled to Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport and before boarding the airplane to Cuba was greeted by Alitalia CEO and chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and his daughter (pic 1, pic 2). Then at approximately 10:32 a.m. in Rome, Pope Francis departed for Havana, Cuba. In flight, he sent messages to the heads of state of the nations he flew over, one to the president of Italy (full text in Italian), and to several others (full text). As well, he greeted the many reporters who were traveling with him on the plane (full text, summary video). In addition, here’s an interesting article on what it’s like to be a journalist on board a papal flight!

Pope Francis’ plane touched down at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba that evening, he was greeted by President Raul Castro and Pope Francis also gave an address (full text, full video, summary video).

Then with thousands cheering and lining the streets, he then traveled by popemobile through Havana to the papal nuncio’s home. I know some people are really into following what car make and models the popemobiles are, well here and here are some good pictures of this one from his first day in Havana.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Testimony of Science and Faith

Today Pope Francis received several audiences, including:

Anne Brasseur, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
an international symposium to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the Vatican Observatory transferring to Castel Gandolfo (other details, full text)
a virtual audience with five Cuban and five U.S. students (more details, full text)

Of messages, today Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Cuba to precede his journey tomorrow to Cuba (full text, full text alternate translation, full video, summary video), sent a video message to a meeting of consecrated people in Hungary (full text), sent condolences to the victims of a massive 8.3 magnitude earthquake in Chile (full text), and sent message of congratulations and solidarity to the newly elected Patriarch Mar Gewargis III of the Assyrian Catholic Church (full text).

He made some appointments, plus another), and sent a tweet:

I ask you to join me in praying for my trip to Cuba and the United States. I need your prayers. (link)

And in the evening, he traveled to the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome for prayer.

It was also reported today that, in preparation of his journey this month to the U.S., for a bunch of this summer Pope Francis has been taking English lessons from a monsignor in the Roman Curia. As well, there is report that the Papal Almoner (with the blessing of Pope Francis) has been utilizing a papal mobile-health clinic to help refugees on the outskirts of Rome.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Capacity to Dream

Today Pope Francis received several audiences:

participants in the World Meeting of Young Consecrated Men and Women (full text, summary video). Particularly, he had some beautiful statements in the Q & A he did with them:

Evangelization is not the same as engaging in proselytism. We are not a soccer association seeking members, adherents ....To evangelize is not only to convince; it is to witness that Jesus Christ is alive.

Prophecy, capacity to dream is the contrary of rigidity. The rigid can’t dream. We think of those great things that Jesus said to the rigid of his times, to the rigid consecrated of his times, in chapter 23 of Saint Matthew. Read it. Those are the rigid ones. And the observance must not be rigid. If the observance is rigid it isn’t observance, it’s personal egoism. It is to seek oneself and to feel more just than others.

I love Pope Francis! He also commented, “I would like – forgive me if I am a bit feminist – to give thanks for the witness given by consecrated women.”
Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
participants in the International Symposium on the Pastoral Care of the Street, organized by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (full text, summary video)
participants in a meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria and Iraq, organized by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” (full text)

Also, in the evening Pope Francis spoke by telephone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about conflicts in Jerusalem.

And in Pope Francis related news, there’s a super good interview with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin regarding Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Cuba and the U.S.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A More Integral And Inclusive Vision

Pope Francis and European Union Environment ministers listening to Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg’s Minister for the Environment, during an audience at the Vatican, September 16th, 2015.
Pope Francis and European Union Environment ministers listening to Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg’s Minister for the Environment, during an audience at the Vatican, September 16th, 2015.

This morning, Pope Francis received in audience environment ministers of the European Union (full text, summary video, pic). At the audience, Gian Luca Galletti, Italy’s Minister for the Environment, and Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg’s Minister for the Environment, also addressed Pope Francis.

Later in the day, Pope Francis had a General Audience on St. Peter’s Square and spoke on how families strength to the larger society and how the church family helps us move forward together (full text, full video, summary video). Also near the conclusion of his address, he praised the work and example of Archbishop Pio Alberto del Corona who would be beatified on Saturday, as well as asked for prayers for his coming Cuba/U.S. journey.

Also today, the Council of Cardinals concluded their meetings for the week and there was a press conference summarizing their work this week (full video).

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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There is Life, There is Joy

At Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on the church being like a mother to its children (more details, summary video).

As well today, Pope Francis continued his meetings with the Council of Cardinals.

Of audiences, he received just one, Archbishop Martin Krebs.

Of messages, Pope Francis sent message marking the twenty-fourth World Day of the Sick (full text). Also, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, sent message to the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency and in it, greetings from Pope Francis were expressed (full text).

And he made an appointment, and the full list of participants approved by Pope Francis for the Synod of Bishops on the Family was released (full list, summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Path of Humility

This morning as Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on how the road to following Jesus can be both ugly and humbling (more details, summary video).

The Council of Cardinals (or “C9”), which Pope Francis is leading to make changes to the Roman Curia, has reconveined today, and those meetings are scheduled to continue through Wednesday.

Also, last Tuesday, Pope Francis had a radio interview and today is its official broadcast day (full text in English, full text in Portuguese, full audio). In the interview there is reference to a speech Pope Francis gave to Portuguese bishops on Monday, Sept. 7th, the day before the radio interview which happened on the 8th. For reference purposes, here is the full text in Portuguese of the address mentioned. Also in the interview, he revealed that the Vatican has found the two refugee families it shall host. As well during the interview, gifts were exchanged.

Also published today is another radio interview with Pope Francis, this one on Radio Milenium in Buenos Aires, Argentina (more details, original article in Spanish). Actually, the article was published today, the radio interview appears to have officially first aired yesterday.

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment and sent a tweet:

God loves the lowly. When we live humbly, he takes our small efforts and creates great things. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Undertake The Discipleship

Today Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square on the topic of being a disciple of Jesus (full text, full video, summary video). Also as part of the address, Pope Francis remembered the beatification of South Africa’s first blessed martyr, Samuel Benedict Daswa, who was beatified today in South Africa.

Also today, through Pope Francis’ blessing, fifty inmates from the Rome’s Rebibbia prison got a tour of the Vatican Gardens, and got to hear Pope Francis’ Angelus Address (original article in Italian).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Sign of the Cross

Pope Francis greeting managers, employees and their families, of the Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, Paul VI hall, Vatican, Sept. 12th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting managers, employees and their families, of the Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, Paul VI hall, Vatican, Sept. 12th, 2015.
Pope Francis shaking hands with Francesco Liberati, president of Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, during an audience with the bank’s managers, employees and their families, Paul VI hall, Vatican, Sept. 12th, 2015.
Pope Francis shaking hands with Francesco Liberati, president of Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, during an audience with the bank’s managers, employees and their families, Paul VI hall, Vatican, Sept. 12th, 2015.
Pope Francis delivering an address to managers, employees and their families, of the Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, Paul VI hall, Vatican, Sept. 12th, 2015.
Pope Francis delivering an address to managers, employees and their families, of the Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome, Paul VI hall, Vatican, Sept. 12th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received an array of people in audience, including managers, employees and their families, of the Cooperative Credit Bank of Rome (more details, full text, summary video).

He sent a letter to Cardinal Kurt Koch being his special envoy to the concluding celebrations of 1500th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice, Switzerland, taking place September 22nd, 2015 (full text in Latin). As well, he sent telegram to members of the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors (AMCI) who are having a conference in Vercelli, Italy.

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment and sent a tweet:

Every time that we make the sign of the cross, we draw closer to the great mystery of the Trinity. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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For the Common Good, for the Whole of Humanity

This morning Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Casa Santa Marta and gave an homily on avoiding hypocrisy (more details, summary video).

Also today, he received a bunch of people in audience, including:

President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic (pic 1, pic 2)
• Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for bishops
Father Guy Gilbert, French priest and educator (wikipedia page)
participants in a meeting sponsored by the “Foundation for Sustainable Development” on the theme of “environmental justice and climate change” (full text, summary video) and at the audience, he was presented with an electric bicycle (pic link)
participants of the General Chapter of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also called Claretians (full text)

He sent letter several messages/letters, one to Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, being his special envoy to the dedication of the new Cathedral of the Diocese of Créteil, France, scheduled for September 20th, 2015 (full text in Latin), and one to the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences gathering in Israel/Palestine from September 11th-16th, 2015 (full text).

Pope Francis opened the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo for tours including regular train rides from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo. This is the inaugural train, awaiting departure from the Vatican, Sept. 11th, 2015.
Pope Francis opened the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo for tours including regular train rides from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo. This is the inaugural train, awaiting departure from the Vatican, Sept. 11th, 2015.
Pope Francis opened the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo for tours including regular train rides from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo. This is inside the inaugural train, en route to Castel Gandolfo, Sept. 11th, 2015.
Inside the inaugural train, en route to Castel Gandolfo, Sept. 11th, 2015.
Pope Francis opened the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo for tours including regular train rides from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo. This is the inaugural train just after arriving at Castel Gandolfo, Sept. 11th, 2015.
The inaugural train just after arriving at Castel Gandolfo, Sept. 11th, 2015.

Additionally, today Pope Francis opened the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo for tours including regular train rides from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo. An historic train departed from the Vatican today to inaugurate the tours and train rides (summary video). There are now also various tour options open (summary video).

In Pope Francis related news:

Cuba has pardoned 3,522 prisoners ahead of Pope Francis’ visit (summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Understand Other People

Pope Francis receiving in audience and exchanging gifts with Prime Minister of Kuwait, His Highness Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, at the Vatican, Sept. 10th, 2015.
Pope Francis receiving in audience and exchanging gifts with Prime Minister of Kuwait, His Highness Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, at the Vatican, Sept. 10th, 2015.

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on forgiving others (more details, summary video). And in the homily he mentioned the Italian singer Mina who in the 1970s sang the song Parole, Parole (video link).

Of audiences, Pope Francis received a number of individuals and groups today, including:

Prime Minister of Kuwait, His Highness Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (summary video). And after the audience, officials from Kuwait and the Holy See signed an agreement between each other
a group of new bishops ordained during the past year (full text, pic 1, pic 2)
participants in the International Meeting of the Equipes Notre Dame (other details, full text, summary video)
Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio in Canada

As well today, Pope Francis sent telegram to a conference on the spirituality of mercy and forgiveness being held at the ecumenical Monastic Community of Bose (full text, more conference details).

Further, today it was reported that Pope Francis has decided to open the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo to the public, and relatedly tomorrow begins a train service from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo (more details).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Do we say “Thank you” to God every day? (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a super good interview with UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in which he praises Pope Francis saying:

He is a man of humility and humanity, and he is a man of moral voice, and purpose. Particularly at a time in which this world is experiencing many conflicts: refugees; migration; human rights abuses; climate change; we really need such a strong moral voice as the Pope’s.... I’m grateful for his compassionate leadership for peace and humanity.

And there is a report today on parishes and other religious communities taking up Pope Francis’ invitation last Sunday to take in immigrant/refugee families.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Written Directly in the Heart of God

Today Pope Francis had a General Audience at St. Peter’s Square and gave an address on parishes and other religious institutions being places which welcome, else they become museums (full text, full video, summary video). This was such a good address, here’s a few super good lines:

The Christian community is the home of those who believe in Jesus as the source of fraternity among all men.

...the history of human affections is written directly in the heart of God....

A Church that is truly according to the Gospel cannot but have the form of a welcoming home, with the doors always open. Churches, parishes, institutions with closed doors must not be called Churches; they must be called museums! This is a crucial alliance today.

...the family and the parish must work the miracle of a more communal life for the whole society.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!

As well during the General Audience, Pope Francis met a couple who have been married over sixty years, met a large group of newlyweds (pic 1, pic 2), and greeted a group of Young Franciscans (summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Annulment Reforms

This morning Pope Francis had Mass at Casa Santa Marta and gave a homily on God bringing peace in many many little ways (more details).

Also today, Pope Francis issued two Motu Proprios to simplify marriage annulments: Mitis et misericors Iesus (full text in Italian & Latin) and Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (full text in Italian & Latin). To accompany the issuance of these documents, there was a press conference (full video, summary video). Following the release, some good articles offering commentary were released. Here’s just a few:

an analysis article showing some of the biblical and contemporary context of these changes
how the reforms might be going far enough and how further reforms are still needed
how these new measures help streamline the process
how the reforms could impact the Synod of Bishops this October
how the new measures might influence the rigor accompanying annulment decisions

And regarding the article on that the reforms don’t go far enough – a few weeks back, I was actually talking to a lady in her eighties whose husband had divorced her after having many children and being married for many decades. She told me that as a Roman Catholic, that after the divorce she never felt welcome again in the Roman church. It wasn’t her fault; guilt and ostracism should not have been the answer. And here’s a good article speaking of this in relation to the reforms themselves and to the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Today Pope Francis received in audience Mons. Emil Paul Tscherrig, the Papal Nuncio for Argentina.

As well, Pope Francis sent message on the occasion of the Second Unveiling of the Panels War and Peace at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (exhibit details).

Additionally today, Pope Francis was interviewed by Rádio Renascença, a Portuguese radio station. There are several accompanying articles (link 1, link 2. link 3), but the full interview is expected to be published on this coming Monday, Sept. 14th.

He made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

May every parish and religious community in Europe host a refugee family. #Jubilee #refugeeswelcome (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Amid Pope Francis’ call to support and house refugees/immigrants particularly in Europe, there seems to be mixed reactions among people. Some prelates are fully behind supporting, others are cautioning not to panic, some prelates are actually warning that these are not “migrants” at all, but truly are invaders, and here’s another article supporting that perspective, and another saying to support the destitute of Europe before taking in immigrants.

Whatever the situations may be, God’s plans come to fruition.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day.


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To Help All Families

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on the state of persecuted Christians (summary video) — also the Mass was quite special in that the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, His Beatitude Gregory Peter XX Ghabroyan, and Bishops of Synod of the Apostolic Armenian Catholic Church and the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri were also there (summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis received bishops of Portugal on their ad Limina visit. There were so many bishops from Portugal, that Pope Francis actually received them in two separate groups, one at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 11:00 a.m. and then received all of the bishops at once at 12:30 p.m. to deliver his prepared remarks to all of them (full text in Portuguese).

And he sent a tweet:

Let us ask Our Lady to help all families, especially those affected by unemployment. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Great Bridge of Full Communion

Today overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address on the topic of keeping “the great bridge of full communion with the Father” open (full text, summary video). As a part of the address, he also sent good wishes unto the All Africa Games currently taking place in Congo, commented on the good progress of bishops of Venezuela and Colombia meeting to help resolve the migrant imbroglio between the two nations (summary video), and asked for religious communities to step up and help out with the refugee situations in Europe (summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis had sent letter to a three-day international meeting of some 400 religious leaders titled Peace is Always Possible: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue being held in Tirana, Albania. Today at the opening of the conference, the letter was read by Mons. Matteo Maria Zuppi, auxiliary bishop of Rome (full text, full video, more conf. details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Laughing with Children

Pope Francis laughing with a child at an audience with members of Parish Evangelization Cells, Paul VI Hall, Sept. 5th, 2015.
Pope Francis laughing with a child at an audience with members of Parish Evangelization Cells, Paul VI Hall, Sept. 5th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting in audience members of Parish Evangelization Cells, Paul VI Hall, Sept. 5th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting in audience members of Parish Evangelization Cells, Paul VI Hall, Sept. 5th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received in audience a number of cardinals and archbishops, but also members of Parish Evangelization Cells (more details, full text in Italian, full video).

Of messages, Pope Francis sent a letter to the Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet in his capacity as Pope Francis’ Special Envoy to the 5th national Eucharistic Congress of Bolivia, to be celebrated in Tarija, Bolivia, September 16th-20th, 2015 (full text in Latin).

Today Pope Francis gave his consent to an election within the Armenian Church, and he made several appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Undividing the Church

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on undividing the church (more details, summary video).

One of the biggest things in the news today is that this evening was the 20/20 broadcast of Pope Francis’ virtual audience with three different groups across the U.S. (full video on ABC site, full video on YouTube, full text).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

War is the mother of all poverty, a vast predator of lives and souls. (link)

In Synod on the Family news:

It seems that German bishops are rallying for the Roman church to shift its teachings away from divorce and homosexuality being immoral, while opposingly others in the church seem to be of the opinion that faith’ll deliver the church from an immobile stance on the such issues. In so many instances in the Bible, as long as people are extending affection and care to each other, laws of living are quite flexible and malleable from God’s perspective. It is God’s plan that laws bend, change, and even some be discarded to accommodate a fullness of extension of affection and care among all humans across the whole Earth.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis Goes Shopping At Via Del Babuino

This morning Pope Francis had Mass at Casa Santa Marta and gave a homily on the authority of Jesus over sin (more details, summary video).

And now that Pope Francis has come fully out of summer break, his reception of audiences with global leaders has also resumed. Today Pope received a number of people, including:

President Reuven Rivlin of the State of Israel (press release, summary video)
Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and of the Commonwealth
Participants in the General Chapter of the Institute of Fathers of Schönstatt movement (full text in Spanish, summary video)

Today Pope Francis also sent a video message to participants in the Second International Congress of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires (full text in Spanish).

Pope Francis shopping for new lenses for his glasses, on Via del Babuino in downtown Rome, Sept. 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis shopping for new lenses for his glasses, on Via del Babuino in downtown Rome, Sept. 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis shopping for new lenses for his glasses, on Via del Babuino in downtown Rome, Sept. 3rd, 2015 (src 1, src 2).
Pope Francis departing Via del Babuino in downtown Rome after shopping for new lenses for his glasses, Sept. 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis departing Via del Babuino in downtown Rome after shopping for new lenses for his glasses, Sept. 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis departing Via del Babuino in downtown Rome after shopping for new lenses for his glasses, Sept. 3rd, 2015 (src 1, src 2).

As well today, Pope Francis left the Vatican to go to an eyeglass shop on Via del Babuino (wikipedia page) near the Spanish Steps in downtown Rome, where he got some new lenses for his glasses (summary video). And here’s a few more Twitter pictures: pic 1, pic 2, pic 3.

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a really neat article in the Italian news on Pope Francis’ helicopter.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Whoever Does The Will Of God

Today Pope Francis gave his General Audience Address at St. Peter’s Square and spoke on loving each other by understanding the love within families (full text, full video, summary video). At the conclusion of this address, he also remembered the tragedies of World War II and asked for an end to all wars across the earth. Also during the General Audience, Pope Francis met with a group of Argentinian officers in attendance (pic 1, pic 2), with the board of governors of Catholic Extension (pic 1, pic 2, official website) who brought him the cross which was buried with Blessed Junipero Serra, which upon reception, Pope Francis kissed and blessed it (more details), and he met with a group of intellectually disabled adults (summary video).

In commentary news:

Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize Padre Serra later this month, and there is an excellent article on the reasoning for his canonization, particularly in relation to Pope Francis.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Pope Francis at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Sept. 1st, 2015.
Pope Francis at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Sept. 1st, 2015.

This morning Pope Francis resumed celebrating morning Mass with pilgrims at Casa Santa Marta and gave a homily on comforting each other as Christians (more details, summary video).

It was reported that Pope Francis received in audience Bishop Jacques Gaillot, the former bishop of Evreux, France.

Today was also the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and in the evening at approximately 5 p.m. at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis presided at a Liturgy of the Word and Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Pontifical household, gave the homily (full video, summary video). And Pope Francis said did some additional things at the gathering.

As well today, Pope Francis issued a letter regarding indulgences granted during the Holy Year of Mercy (full text, summary video 1, summary video 2). Part of letter extended an arm of communion with the Fraternity of St Pius X, with whom the Vatican has been in talks with, and the letter extended to parish priests the allowance for them to absolve of the sin of abortion during the coming year. As well, he sent message of condolences at the passing of Bishop Pierfranco Pastore, who was greatly involved in various Vatican communication departments (full text).

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and he sent a tweet:

Today is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Let us work and pray. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Virtual Audience

Pope Francis having a virtual audience via satellite with people in the U.S., moderated by ABC News anchor David Muir, at the Vatican, August 31st, 2015.
Pope Francis having a virtual audience via satellite with people in the U.S., moderated by ABC News anchor David Muir, at the Vatican, August 31st, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received a bunch of audiences of mostly archbishops and cardinals, but also, hosted by ABC News, he had a virtual audience over a satellite link-up with three different groups across the U.S.: students at the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in inner city Chicago, congregants from a church in McAllen, Texas, and a group of homeless people and aid workers in Los Angeles. The audience is scheduled for formal broadcast on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday night, Sept. 4th (more details and more details, summary video). Anchor David Muir was moderating, and of the engagement posted to Twitter:

A true honor. Our visit with Pope Francis @Pontifex on the eve of his historic visit to the U.S. (link)

After the virtual audience, there were post-audience interviews with the three groups on the satellite link-up: Chicago, Texas, Los Angeles.

And the news link is missing, but it was reported that before the ABC News engagement, Pope Francis himself telephone called the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas (website) and spoke with congregants and community members.

Of messages: Pope Francis had sent letter to the Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio, Mons. Gianni Ambrosio, on the occasion of the 18th International Meeting of the Colombaniane Community and the 1400th anniversary of the death of Saint Columbanus (full text). He also had sent message to victims of Hurricane Erika in the nation Dominica, within the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea (full text). As well today, Pope Francis sent message to President Anthony Carmona of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of the nation’s independence day.

Also today, some prayer intentions of Pope Francis for this September were released today, and they are to pray for high joblessness among young people to shift to align with God’s plans for the world and to pray for consistency among preachers of the Gospel (more details, summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Do Everything for Love of God

Today Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square and spoke on the topic of “rules or customs” are not what saves, but the change of the heart (full text, full video, summary video). Here’s two super good quotes:

...change the heart and... concrete attitudes: opening oneself to the encounter with God and his word, seeking justice and peace, helping the poor, the weak and the oppressed.

...exterior things are not what makes us holy or not holy, but rather the heart that expresses our intentions, our desires and the desire to do everything for love of God.

For more about understanding the heart and it engaging with God, I highly recommend a Kenneth Copeland ministries broadcast from last month (page links: week 1, week 2, full audio: week 1, week 2). They explain in great detail the definitions of “the heart” and how it relates to God. I completely recommend it.

Also as a part of the Angelus Address, he lamented the so often loss of life among immigrant populations, specifically the seventy-one migrants who died locked in a truck in Austria a few days ago (summary video). He also spoke of Syriac Catholic Bishop Flavianus Michael Melki who was beatified yesterday and that related to persecuted Christians, Pope Francis said, “May the beatification of this bishop-martyr bring to them consolation, courage and hope.”

Today Pope Francis also received in audience members of the International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN).

In Pope Francis related news:

Fr. Benedict had Mass with some former students of his, the Schuelerkreis group, and gave a homily.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Thank you Ecuador

Today Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

Of messages, he sent letter to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, his Special Envoy to the 6th National Eucharistic Congress of Mexico, for the celebrated in Monterrey, September 9-13, 2015 (full text in Latin). Also today, it was reported that Pope Francis sent letters to President Rafael Correa of Ecuador for the good visit he had with the people of Ecuador.

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a nice article telling of how the Vatican Pharmacy works with the Office of Papal Charities to provide medical aid to many in need.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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More Generous And Closer

Young people taking selfies with Pope Francis at an audience with youth from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza and Bobbio, at St. Peter’s Basilica, August 28th, 2015.
Young people taking selfies with Pope Francis at an audience with youth from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza and Bobbio, at St. Peter’s Basilica, August 28th, 2015.

Probably the biggest news of the day is that Pope Francis had sent a letter to lesbian writer Francesca Pardi (and her wife) regarding a children’s book she wrote, Piccolo Uovo, which helps teach that whether people are homosexual or heterosexual, good parents and families come in many varieties (nice summary, more details, Vatican press release). Part of the letter read:

His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian value.

According to one article, Ms. Pardi interpreted the letter as a sign that things were changing in the Roman Catholic Church toward greater acceptance. I love Pope Francis!

Today, Pope Francis was informed regarding the passing away this morning of Mons. Józef Wesolowski (summary video).

Of audiences, there is an article mentioning that today Pope Francis met inside St. Peter’s Basilica with youth from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza and Bobbio who came to Rome for a pilgrimage (additional pic).

Of messages, a statement was issued regarding Pope Francis’ perspectives on immigration (original article in Italian), and he sent a tweet:

Lord, help us always to be more generous and closer to poor families. (link)

Also today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

In Pope Francis related news:

Today more details regarding Pope Francis’ journey to Africa came out; he is scheduled to visit Uganda, the Central African Republic, and Kenya. It was announced that Father Benedict has testified in the proceedings for the beatification of Pope John Paul I. And, there is another good interview (in Italian) with Pope Francis’ new physician.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Hope and Encouragement

It was expressed today that Pope Francis would like the beatification of Msgr Flavien Michel Melk, being held on Saturday in Harissa, Lebanon, to be a message of hope and encouragement to all oppressed Christians.

In Pope Francis related news:

As some might be aware, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, initiated by Pope Francis, is this coming Tuesday. In the news today, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace published a proposal for a one hour Eucharistic Adoration to aid the faithful in organizing for the day within their churches (official page, pdf proposal).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Human Heart Always Seeks Prayer

Today at St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis had a General Audience and address, speaking on the topics of the value of prayer and teaching children faith (full text, full video, summary video).

There were a bunch of super good quotes from his address:

...the human heart always seeks prayer, even without knowing it...

A heart inhabited by affection for God also makes a thought without words become a prayer, or an invocation before a sacred image, or a kiss sent toward a church.

The spirit of prayer... rediscovers the peace of necessary things, and discovers the joy of unexpected gifts.

...one day Martha learned that the work of hospitality, though important, is not everything, but that to listen to the Lord, as Mary did, was really the essential thing, the “better part” of time.

Wow. I love Pope Francis!

Additionally in the address, he invited people to participate in the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to be held next Tuesday. This General Audience was also the 100th of his pontificate (summary video 1, summary video 2). Moreover, as a part of the audience, Pope Francis:

met with a Chaldean Catholic priest who ministers to refugees.
received a copy of the Holy Face of Manoppello
dancers from Argentina performed for him (more pic 1, pic 2)
received a soccer ball from a pilgrim
got bombarded by bubbles

In addition to the General Audience, today Pope Francis blessed three bells being sent to several parishes.

As well in the news, Pope Francis sent message to Hebrew-speaking Catholics in the Israel-Palestine region (full text).

Also today, Pope Francis did some redistricting and gave his consent regarding an election in the Eastern Churches.

In Pope Francis related news:

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si is meant in part to influence the upcoming climate talks in Paris this coming December; well, here’s an update on some of the negotiations and planning happening as the talks get closer!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Today Pope Francis sent a tweet:

A Christian who is too attached to riches has lost his way. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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In Thy Light, We See Light

Today Pope Francis made some appointments.

Since there isn’t much more in the news, here’s few really really good Bible verses from a Bible lesson I read last week:

   O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
   For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever.
– Romans 11:33,36

   ...where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
   The depth saith, It is not in me and the sea saith, It is not with me.
   Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
   God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
– Job 28:12,14,20,23

   Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? – Isaiah 29:16

   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29:11

   How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!
   ...in thy light ...we see light.
– Psalm 36:7,9

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Who Is Jesus?

Today Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square and spoke on the question of “Who is Jesus?” (full text, full video, summary video). I really liked how he phrased it in the address, that Jesus can be somewhat different for each individual, and that this is something for each individual to ponder, understand more deeply, and come in a greater relationship with – for themselves.

Also today, Pope Francis sent message of greeting and unity to participants in the Synod of the Tavola Valdese and Methodist Church, held in Torino, Italy (full text).

Also in the news, in Dunedin, New Zealand, a faithful Roman Catholic woman at Mass today received a birthday blessing from Pope Francis at turning 100 this coming Tuesday.

In God’s global plan news:

Within India’s government, there is a report of Pope Francis’ influence prompting people to formulate new ways to approach valuing and sustaining all human life while, in some form, allowing businesses to thrive. This is what God is facilitating humans across the Earth to achieve.

I saw this quite interesting article highlighting a desire for a Pope Francis-like figure to help to bring unity throughout the Muslim populations across the Earth. Pope Francis’ influence is already affecting those populations, too, to bring all the people across the Earth in unity with God’s global plan.

Today there is also a report of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, organizing protests against abortions. One minister at a protest this weekend quoted Pope Francis:

A society of abortion is a throw-away culture ... a culture where the unborn are cast aside.

Yes, abortions are a sign of the “throw-away culture” — and not a part of God’s plans. Part of God’s plan is to have it so that if anyone does get pregnant that all people everywhere value human life so very very very much that nobody anywhere would allow that unborn baby to be aborted, and that human social structures are molded to preserve and support human life as their mission and highest value.

God has Pope Francis and others clearly leading the way!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Surprise Visit to Mass

This morning after having a private Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis made a surprise attending of the 7 a.m. Mass at the Altar of St. Pius X in St. Peter’s Basilica. He greeted pilgrims there (more details).

Of messages, today Pope Francis sent letter of blessing and prayers to a youth missionary group working at Riccione Beach in Rimini, Italy. Also today, he sent message to Cardinal Angelo Scola, his Special Envoy to the celebration of the occasion of the 18th international meeting of the Colombaniane Community, on the 1400th anniversary of the death of Saint Columbanus, to be held August 30th in Bobbio, Italy (full text in Latin). And he sent message to the President of Ukraine, marking the country’s 24th anniversary of independence.

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Follow Jesus Our Teacher

One of the leading groups of the nation of Columbia has sought to have Pope Francis help resolve the conflict between them and another leading group of their nation while the pope is in Cuba. In the news today, after much consideration, Pope Francis has proposed to send an Observer of the Holy See to help lead them in much more comfortable negotiations and resolutions.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Reading the Gospel each day helps us to overcome our selfishness and to follow Jesus our Teacher with dedication. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Gospel’s Response is Mercy

Today Pope Francis theme for the upcoming World Day of Migrants and Refugees on January 17, 2016, was released. The chosen theme is “Migrants and refugees challenge us. The response of the Gospel of mercy,” another translation says “Migrants and refugees call to us. The Gospel’s response is mercy” (full text of press release in Italian, summary video).

As well today, it was expressed that in the dispute between Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands, that Pope Francis has chosen not to take any particular side – well, except for God’s side, of course (summary video).

In Pope Francis related news:

The Popemobiles were shipped and have arrived in the U.S. for Pope Francis’ journeys there next month.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Prayer and Work, Together in Harmony

Today Pope Francis had his General Audience and spoke on the value of work (full text, full video, summary video). I really liked the line:

Prayer and work can and must be together in harmony, as Saint Benedict teaches.

Today Pope Francis sent message of prayer and support of those affected by the bombings in Thailand (full text). He also sent message of greetings to the 36th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples (full text). As well, he sent message in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Taizé community (full text in French).

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a good interview with Pope Francis’ new physician.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Share This Joy With Our Neighbour

Yesterday Cardinal Laszlo Paskai passed away (summary video), and today Pope Francis sent message of condolences and prayers regarding the passing (full text).

Also today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

When we experience the merciful love of the Father, we are more able to share this joy with our neighbour. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Pope Francis is being covered more readily on Chinese media, specifically sharing his prayers for families and relief workers in the aftermath of the explosions and fires in Tianjin, China.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Across The Threshold

Not much in Pope Francis news today. Outside journeying to South America, July and August were supposed to be lighter months – plus he still might be busy in the office preparing for his Cuba/U.S. journey next month.

Nonetheless, in the news today, here’s two Pope Francis related news stories:

Registration to attend the Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican and walk across the threshold of the Holy Door, it was reported begins today. Searching www.im.va, I wasn’t actually able to find the registration area of the website; it was later reported that the reservations system would be available online in October.

Also today in the news is an excellent summary article about how Pope Francis has engaged with his pontificate versus how other popes have done so.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Whoever Eats This Bread

Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at his Angelus Address, overlooking St. Peter’s Square, August 16th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at his Angelus Address, overlooking St. Peter’s Square, August 16th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis delivered an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square, speaking regarding being transformed by the Eucharist (full text, full video, summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

The sky and clouds above St. Peter’s Square, at Pope Francis’ Angelus Address, August 15th, 2015.
The sky and clouds above St. Peter’s Square, at Pope Francis’ Angelus Address, August 15th, 2015.

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (summary video). As such, today Pope Francis delivered a special Angelus Address at St. Peter’s Square, in honor of this feast day (full text, summary video). Actually, I’m not someone who is titanically excited about Mary, but Pope Francis shared a line that showed me how to perceive Mary in a new way that I hadn’t before:

The Canticle of Our Lady also lets us sense the full meaning of the story of Mary: if the mercy of the Lord is the motor of history, then He could not “allow Her who generated the Lord of life to know the corruption of the sepulchre” (Preface).

That is quite a nice reasoning. Consulting later with a priest, he told me that the Canticle of Our Lady which Pope Francis referred to is often called the Magnificat (wikipedia page), and it’s a hymn. As well, as a part of the address, Pope Francis also expressed his condolences and prayers for the victims of the enormous fire in an industrial area of Tianjin, China.

And today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

Mary’s life shows that God accomplishes great deeds through those who are the most humble. (link)

So true.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Scope Beyond The National Borders

Today Pope Francis sent message of greeting and blessing to the 18th Meeting of the Ordinary Jurisdiction on Transitional Justice, Peace and Post-Conflict in Columbia (full text).

He also made an appointment.

In Pope Francis related news:

There is an excellent article today reporting in depth the entire process of the U.S.-Cuba relations renewal which Pope Francis was key in helping orchestrate.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Mary is Full of Grace

Today Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Mary is full of grace. She is a sure refuge for us in times of temptation. (link)

In late breaking news, it was reported today:

• A few days ago Pope Francis baptized two children at Casa Santa Marta.
• Last month Pope Francis chose not to have Bishop Tebartz-van Elst (wikipedia page) pay damages for going over budget while presiding over the Limburg Diocese in Germany.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Celebration and Work

Today Pope Francis had his weekly General Audience and spoke regarding the topic of celebration & work (full text, summary video). Also during the audience, there is report that Pope Francis met with ten young Christian refugees from Nigeria (pic 1, pic 2).

Pope Francis also received in audience Gábor Győriványi, Ambassador of Hungary.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Encounter with Christ

Today Pope Francis sent a van full of food to immigrant people of the Baobab Housing Center, in Rome’s Tiburtina section.

Today the title of Pope Francis’ message for the 49th World Day of Peace (occurring on January 1st, 2016) was announced as Overcome Indifference and Win Peace (full text of announcement, summary video).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

The encounter with Christ can completely change our life. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a good interview with one of Pope Francis’ nephews talking about growing up with Pope Francis as his uncle.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Be More Credible And Effective

Today Pope Francis sent letter to Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and to Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to initiate having an annual “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” (full text, summary video). Here’s a few goodnesses from the letter:

...living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.

We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective. It is my hope that this Day will in some way also involve other Churches and ecclesial Communities....

...this World Day can serve as a sign of a common journey in which all believers in Christ take part.

Pope Francis continues to be one of God’s central leaders to bring about God’s plans for the Earth. God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.

Today Pope Francis sent message to Cardinal Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Archbishop of Valladolid on the occasion of the European Youth Meeting, held in Avila, Spain (full text).

Also today, he made several appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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