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Catholic groups have collected and are distributing aid for thousands of people affected by a deadly earthquake that struck Lombok, Indonesia’s popular tourist island. The magnitude 6.4 … more
Marcelo Perdomo didn’t think an earthly brush with holiness would take place in his native El Salvador next to the parish priest. As a young man in the early 1960s, Perdomo worked in his … more
On a Sunday night in early July, four men –  two of them indigenous – were brutally murdered in Assis, a tiny Brazilian town on the border with Peru. Far from the two … more
The presence in the United States of about 3,000 priests and religious from countries in Africa is a great contribution to the U.S., said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey. That … more
The internationally acclaimed Irish dance troupe Riverdance will be among those performing for Pope Francis at the August World Meeting of Families in Dublin, organizers said July 19. The group – which has been seen by some 25 million people worldwide – will be one of the main acts at a Festival of Families Aug. 25 before an expected 80,000 people at Croke Park stadium in Dublin. Brenda Drumm, spokeswoman for the World Meeting of Families, said she expects people from 116 countries to participate in the event, at which the Pope will preside. Pope Francis also will hear testimony from families from India, Iraq, Ireland and Burkina Faso on topics as diverse as the effects of technology on family life and the value of families forgiving one another. The Festival of Families will be a two-hour spectacle of music, dance and worship and is choreographed as a celebration of family life. It is billed as one of the highlights of the meeting. As well as prominent performers such as Daniel O’Donnell and Nathan Carter, the cast for the Festival of Families will include an orchestra of more than 50 musicians; more than 700 Irish Sean Nos and contemporary dancers, including 500 from Irish dance schools across the country; a 1,000-member choir; 100 community groups; and 300 flag bearers. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, president of World Meeting of Families, told reporters at a news conference at the stadium that expectations about Pope Francis’ visit vary. “There is enthusiasm: Within days of opening registration, the bookings for all the major events of Pope Francis’ visit were sold out. Very large numbers will come from abroad, and this event will be a way to highlight modern Ireland to the world. “This is a great opportunity,” he said. “One of the great attractions of Pope Francis is how he shows us that he can live in a world where faith seems marginal and yet manage to touch hearts,” the archbishop said. “He finds ways in which he can win hearts for what the teaching of Jesus involves, not through imposing and judging, but through winning and attracting.” However, Archbishop Martin cautioned against thinking that the papal visit would set a definitive plan for the renewal of the Church in Ireland after decades of scandal and decline. “Pope Francis will not work miracles,” he said. “In a visit of little more than 36 hours, it will not be possible for him to design a new road map for the Irish Church. “At most he can offer the Irish Church the instruments on which that new road map can be drawn. We all have to understand, however, that while you can still draw maps on paper, maps today are different. They are interactive and constantly being updated. “Pope Francis will challenge the Irish Church to be authentically the Church in a changed culture,” he said. Organizers said the selection of themes and artists featured in the event reflect many of the priorities in the ministry of Pope Francis, including homelessness and those on the margins; migrants and refugees; care for the earth and the importance of the family. The Pope’s visit will be preceded by a three-day pastoral congress, which will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.” The Pope also will also visit a Capuchin-run day center for homeless families and the national Marian shrine of Knock. As well as presiding at the closing Mass of World Meeting of Families, with an expected crowd of some 600,000, Pope Francis will meet with President Michael D. Higgins and other state officials during the short trip. more
The Mexican bishops conference extended congratulations to presidential election winner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who won a landslide victory on an agenda of change and promises to combat … more
Nicaraguan bishops and clergy were attacked by armed groups aligned with the government July 9 as violence in the Central American country escalated and affected the Catholic Church, which has … more
World War I and its aftermath changed the map of Europe, but also dismantled the notion of the “state church” in a way that forced the Catholic Church to discover again the authentic … more
Can one imagine a more difficult year for “Humanae Vitae” (“Of Human Life”) to be heard than 1968? Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical came out just as the sexual revolution … more
God wants His disciples to bring His mercy and love to everyone, everywhere on earth, which means it may cost them their “good name,” comfort and their life, Pope Francis said on the … more
Defending the weak or hopeless and becoming a servant to those most in need is the best promotion one can ever receive, Pope Francis told new and old cardinals. “None of us must feel … more
Clergy from the Archdiocese of Managua, Nicaragua, had planned to pray for peace June 21. Instead, bishops from the archdiocese, Archbishop Waldemar Sommertag, apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua, … more
Not only God, but today’s broken, divided world is begging for unity among Christians, Pope Francis said on an ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva. “Our differences must not be … more
A relic of bones of an early Pope was given to the Catholic Church after it was stolen from a car and recovered by a waste disposal company. Three fragments of a bone said to belong to St. … more
Leading thousands of people in prayer, Pope Francis said he hoped the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea would lead to lasting peace. After praying the … more
Through early June, the social action arm of the Catholic Church has been able to help about 1.8 million people affected by the Typhoon Haiyan that struck the central Philippines in 2013. The … more
Pope Francis has asked the Catholic bishops’ conference of Germany not to publish nationwide guidelines for allowing Protestants married to Catholics to receive Communion at Mass, but to … more
Pope Francis sent condolences to Guatemala after a horrific volcanic eruption left more than 60 people dead. In a June 5 telegram addressed to Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, apostolic nuncio of … more
Click here to read a related article.   Here are brief biographical notes about each of the 14 Churchmen who will become cardinals June 29. Their names are listed in the order Pope … more
Irish bishops used Pentecost Sunday Masses to make a final appeal for people to reject a government proposal to remove the right to life of unborn children from the country’s constitution … more
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