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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

There is an entire generation that grew up with John Paul II...seeing his trips and listening to his speeches from afar or even up close. But for many priests, seminarians and religious, John Paul II was much more than the head of the Church. He was the one person who personally sparked their vocation. 

BISHOP JORGE CARLOS PATRON-WONG
Sec. for Seminaries in the Congregation for Clergy
"It's a proven fact. When you look at numbers and statistics, all countries saw a rise in religious vocations during John Paul II's pontificate.” 

Mexican Bishop Jorge Carlos Patron-Wong falls under this very category. He says that it was thanks to John Paul II that he found his priestly vocation. As a seminarian he met John Paul II a few times in Rome. When he told the Pope he was studying psychology, he says, he jokingly  told him 'Make sure you don't go crazy.' 

BISHOP JORGE CARLOS PATRON-WONG
Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy
"He was a Pope who opened his heart to the youth. From discovering your vocation, to service and love.” 

From his famous message of 'Don't be afraid' to simply putting the Gospel into practice, he says, whenever priests or even seminarians talk about their inspirations, every one of them, has a story to share about how John Paul II. 

BISHOP JORGE CARLOS PATRON-WONG
Sec. for Seminaries in the Congregation for Clergy
"Really, from a very young age, the only Pope we ever knew was John Paul II. That included our time as seminarians and for some maybe 15, 20, or even 25 years as priests.” 

Bishop Patron Wong now lives in Rome, at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta, in the same residence as Pope Francis.  Things have come full circle: He serves as the Secretary for Seminaries in the Congregation for the Clergy, helping seminarians in their vocation. 

Along with millions of Catholics, he will witness the canonization of John Paul II, the man, Pope and saint, who inspired him and thousands more, to dedicate his life to the Church. 


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