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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.”
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.

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.

Refugee turned CEO: His goal to integrate refugees into Canadian society


In 1988 the world had about 15 million displaced people, now in 2016, there are more than 60 million refugees.

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), celebrating it's 35 year anniversary, has made it their mission to not only welcome these migrants, but resettle and integrate them into Canadian society, with the lead of their CEO, who immigrated to Canada as an Iranian Baha'i refugee.

CCIS Executive Director
"Our mandate is to help immigrants and refugees in partnership with our community to regain really their self worth and their dignity and become a very meaningful participant in all aspects of our community life. We have about 70 different programs at the organization level and we attracted many talents, many of them former immigrants or refugees.”

The CEO is not alone in arriving to Canada as a refugee in 1988. Many of the other 300 staff members have also come in this way, and Fariborz has served as the CEO for the past 22 years. Due to his experience, he is able to truly understand the plight refugees face and the fears that accompany them as they get acclimated into a new country.

CCIS Executive Director
"Nobody plans to become a refugee, but once you become a refugee it's a whole different world. You have to learn to function with the limited resources you may have. The dangers around refugees, the safety of your children and your wife, your family-so the mental journey people go through, the process of becoming a refugee obviously is quite important to understand.”

CCIS assists with sponsoring refugees, both in the private sector and through the government. In 2013, they started sponsoring refugees from Syria and have sponsored over 500 by joining with other organizations, providing 75 percent of all sponsorships in their area. 

Fariborz is calling for drastic action to prevent refugees from leaving their country. If there are refugees, he is advocating for people to take measures to address their issues on a local level. He is insistant on managing the crisis because he knows how strongly it will impact everyone. 

CCIS Executive Director
"The world is becoming a small village. And what happens in one part of the world, I think we cannot ignore it, and we see when we ignore it, the disaster becomes so big that it impacts everybody.”

 "Everybody ignored it and now we have a problem that impacts obviously that country severely, the people in that country, and Europe and the entire world.” 

CCIS acts as a shelter for all displaced, regardless of where they come from. They organize their mission around their logo, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” hoping that the fears of Canadian refugees will one day be eliminated and they will simply be left with the hope of a bright future.