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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.

Stopover in Rome for pilgrims traveling to WYD in Krakow

2016-07-26

World Youth Day is around the corner and many attendees are using the opportunity to visit other European countries before the start of this international meeting. Rome is the most popular addition with 35.2% of all pilgrims taking time to visit the Vatican.

"We're from the Newcastle Diocese, in Australia, New South Wales, and we're here as a massive group of 72 people. We're here to experience everything, see the Pope, meet the Pope, and connect with other Catholics.”

"It's going to be a once in a lifetime experience. I don't think Pope will come to Sydney, World Youth Day has already been in Sydney, we're never going to be 16 again doing this trip, so why not?”. 

Many have a very clear itinerary for their trip to Poland, others are going to improvise. Some have even found help along the way.

"There is already a group there; they have all of the information. I did get a text message yesterday telling us that there is a lot of trouble with food distribution, with getting information and stuff like that, but you know what? We are young so...”

"We have organized the stays in every country we have been to, and we've spoken to the brothers of the communities in other towns, and they have helped us arrange our stays. In fact, this priest is hosting us here in Italy.”

"They're behaving very well. They're young people with a deep-rooted faith and they are looking forward to finding the Lord, which I think is crucial in this pilgrimage, because Jesus Christ is waiting for us and He wants to transform our hearts.”

Even though many don't have a clear plan, there are two things they know for sure: the places they want to see in Krakow and the reasons for going to WYD.

"We want to see all the places where John Paul II spent his life, because he was a Pope who left a mark in our lives.”

"One of our plans is to visit the Shrine of the Divine Mercy and to discover and feel where this devotion came from, the message the Pope wants to pass on, and his Mercy through love.”

"The reunion of the whole community. Catholics from all over the world coming together in one place, with one goal, is incredible.”

In order to make the most of their trip to Europe, many are planning on staying around for a few more days after WYD. 

"Now we are going to Venice, Pisa, Florence, Venecia, then to Cologne. We will be in Krakow, Auschwitz, then Warsaw and Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam, France, Avignon. Paris, we go back to Madrid, then in Zaragoza for a while, and then we go back to Colombia.”

WYD will be, without a doubt, an unforgettable experience for everyone.


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