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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.”

Former shoe-shiners humble beginnings: TV channel exec to traveling with the Pope to Mexico


Among all the reporters traveling with Pope Francis on his trip to Mexico, only one of them truly understands the meaning of a key theme that will be discussed: immigration.

His name is Noel Diaz. He was born in Tijuana, a city bordering the United States. He was able to settle there permanently, thanks to the immigration reform act of the 1980s, during the Ronald Reagan administration. Today, the country is on a campaign trail and the situation of immigration reform is still an issue, in a country that host more than 10 million illegal immigrants and counting. 

Founder of "El Sembrador”
"When I will have the opportunity to share a few words with the Pope one of the things I'm going to ask him, is to continue to seek immigration reform. I'll give him shoeshine box as a gift, as a symbol  of how I used to make money to buy clothes for my first communion as a child.”

Noel Diaz is the son of a single mother. While living in the United States, he grew-up poor and eventually succeeded in developing a successful career and founded 'El Sembrador' a Catholic television channel in Spanish, broadcasting in 17 countries and several radio stations in California.

Founder of "El Sembrador”
"Being away from my country, Mexico, I felt the need to look for something else and that's where faith comes in. I went to Bible study. And there began my work by sharing a simple message yet practical message about the Gospel. That was the beginning of something that I never imagined would grow so rapidly. That was the beginning of what is now know as 'El Sembrador' ministries."

Noel Diaz is what many would call the definition of the American dream. He was deported from the United States twice before becoming legal. With that said, he will be paying close attention to what the Pope will say in Ciudad Juarez, across the border.

He believes that the Pope's words can help find solutions for the millions of people, who like he once did, continue to try to get to the other side.