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Pope Francis

Nicolás Maduro meets with the pope in surprise visit to Rome

October 24, 2016. Pope Francis met with Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. The private visit took place in the midst of the "worrysome political, social, and economic situation the country is going through, which is having serious repercussins in the daily life of the people,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Holy See and Vietnam begin their 6th bilateral meeting today

October 24, 2016. The sixth meeting between the Holy See and a delegation of Vietnam begins today to improve relations between the two states. The Vatican delegation is headed by Antoine Camilleri, while the head of the Vietnamese delegation is Bui Thanh Son, with Foreign Affairs. The last meeting between the two state delegations was in September 2014.
Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”

The Spaniard Jose Maria Abella re-chosen as superior general of Claretians


Today on its 160th anniversary some 3,000 priests and laypeople make up the order.

During the general chapter meeting that takes place every six years, representatives of the order analyze their current situation and the challenges they face. One of the more important ones will be continuing developed projects in Europe and North America with less Claretians.

José María Abella
Superior General
“It’s about a presence that helps resurface the questions that are in the hearts of people. Maybe they don’t really expect prepared answers, the ‘pret a porter,’ so to speak, but instead expect help in finding those questions again and that the missionary have patience to respond to those questions.”

But in Africa, where the number of Claretians is on the rise, the situation is much more different. Here, the order is centered around accompanying and forming new members. In South America and some parts of Asia, the order makes an effort to offer the means necessary so people can live with dignity.

In some cases Claretians interact with communities that don’t know about Christianity. According to Jose Maria, the challenge here is being sensitive to other cultures and religions.

Getting close to young people and responding to the questions they have is another one of the Claretian’s worries.

José María Abella
Superior General

“The fundamental thing is being with them and having fun with them. Without this attitude, without this closeness, without this disposition to accept and offer friendship it’s impossible to enter into dialogue. Also being very clear in why we are there. We’re not trying to fool anyone. We’re there because we believe in Jesus, because we know that the Gospel is an important message for their lives and we want to offer that to them.”

The lives of many Claretians has been marked by persecutions and martyrs. The founder himself had his life threatened when he was Archbishop of Cuba and in 1929 they were expelled from China. John Paul II beatified 51 Claretians that were killed in the Spanish civil war. The last to be beatified was Andres Sola, a Mexican who was killed in the Philippines.

José María Abella
Superior General

In these parts of the world where conflict is very much alive, the missionaries know that they’re risking their lives. What’s great is to see them work with generosity, very much conscious of what could happen to them and not always without taking unnecessary risks.

The Claretian priests will celebrate this Year for Priests in a very special way by remembering their founder, who never waited for people to come to him but rather went to the people himself.