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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.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Pope Francis will visit Roman parish on 'existential peripheries'

2014-01-17

On Sunday, Pope Francis will visit the Sacred Heart parish in Rome. It's located by the city's main train station, known as Termini. Over the years, the area has gained a reputation for its high homeless population. 

FR. VALERIO BARESI
Parish priest
"At first the Pope wasn't convinced about visiting this parish. Instead, he wanted to give priority to those that are not really in the center of Rome. But when he found out that we work with the youth, the poor and with refugees, he said he would definitely visit.”

It's a common sight to see people sleeping on the street, under cardboard boxes, especially at night. But at the parish, they find support to assimilate into society. Luigi is among them. He's one of the  lucky ones who have been able to find shelter at night. 

During the day, Luigi spends most of his time out on the street, and while he hopes to one day land a job, he knows it won't be easy. At 59, he suffers from a condition that limits his vision. But he says,  the fact that Pope Francis will pay a visit, is very moving. 

LUIGI GRIGOLDO
"I'd like to tell him so many things. But it's no use saying them, because he already knows what we're feeling.  It's like he sees it in our very own eyes. But really the greatest gift will be to meet him. I think Pope Francis is great and I really want to finally meet him.” 

The Salesian-run parish carries out many support programs for the poor, including refugees.  A chapter from the Missionaries of the Risen Christ assist the Salesians with educational and welfare activities. These women arrived to the Sacred Heart church four years ago, and since then, things have gotten busy.  

Nowadays, about 400 refugees depend on them.  One of them, Stephen who stopped in the now infamous island of Lampedusa, before making it to Rome. 

STEPHEN DERY
Ghanian Refugee
"I'm very happy with them because they have love for everyone here, most of them are refugees, because sometimes they have dinner for refugees here. We all gather to eat.”

SR. MARIA MERCEDES GUAITA
Missionary of the Risen Christ 
"We listen to their lives, have tea with them. Many times they'll say, this is the first time I've been offered tea since I escaped from home.  Many have seen their friends die, while they ran away. And many more have families that were killed.”

The Pope's schedule will be completely packed. He will spend about four hours, meeting several groups. In addition to the homeless, Pope Francis will meet with refugees, volunteers and parish youths. But he will also make the time to answer their questions.

In his role as Bishop of Rome, the Pope will confess five people, celebrate Mass, and greet the sick. He'll also meet with the two religious communities that look after the Sacred Heart parish.


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